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Range Finding - Mil-Dot vs Laser

 
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  #1  
Old 08-18-2005, 05:52 AM
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Location: Oshkosh, WI
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Range Finding - Mil-Dot vs Laser

First let me establish some parameters for my question: Only talking out to about 600-700 yards, Do not want comparisons to the high priced Leicas or Zwaros that most of us cann't afford.

My question is which is better a Laser Range Finder or a Mil-Dot reticle for determining range? Are the results comparable?

I realize that the laser would be quicker with instant readout but the with the Mil-Dot you would already be on target.
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2005, 07:34 AM
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Re: Range Finding - Mil-Dot vs Laser

When ranging animals of varying sizes, I just don't see how the mildot could be as precise as a laser. In the right hands, it may be though.
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2005, 07:40 AM
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Re: Range Finding - Mil-Dot vs Laser

I worked my butt off on this subject a year ago. Ranged elk in an easily accessed area the whole winter using the mil dot thing. I did all the paper work, calcs etc. Got really serious.

Using a less than 400$ scope. Don't thing price makes a difference. A mil is a mil.

After I got the LRF I found that my ranging using the mil dot was off from 100 to 300 yds at times.

Use the mil dot for hold over etc. Leave the ranging up to the LRF.

M .02c
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2005, 07:43 AM
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Re: Range Finding - Mil-Dot vs Laser

Mil ranging will get progressively more inaccurate with longer range.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2005, 07:53 AM
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Re: Range Finding - Mil-Dot vs Laser

Sam,

Even in the distance range you have specified I believe that you should look a the lazer option. If you use the mil-dot system it does have a couple of accuracy short comings. Distance accuracy counts on the fact that you know the size ( exactly ) of the animal you are ranging. Take a whitetail deer @ 500 yards, based on an 18" belly to back distance this would be exactly 1 mil. Now lets say we are looking at a buck that is 1 mil but he happens to have a little larger body say 20", the distance is 555 yards. A 55 yard error with even a fairly flat shooting rifle will result in a miss low, the opposite is true of a 16" deer but high. Now add to this the inability for accurate hold over. Say you range a 19" deer based on 18" @ 500 yards, you are off 27 yards to start with and will shoot about 5 or 6 inches low. Now your mil hold with a flatter shooting rifle is say, 2.7 mils. If you hold 2.6 instead you will be another 1.8 inches lower for a total drop from target point of about 8" low for most people that would be a miss. If you held 2.8 you would luck out and gain 1.8 of the 5 or 6 you lost in range estimation, but this is not about luck. It is my opinion that you will be happier and more successfull with quality knobs and a reasonable lazer. You can pick up a lazer (1000 yard) for 325.00 or so that would fill your needs nicely. good luck hope this helps.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2005, 08:03 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Oshkosh, WI
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Re: Range Finding - Mil-Dot vs Laser

Shawn, you made good points on the body size thing. I already have a "good" laser range finder so it is a matter of which to use. I don't quite agree on the turrets though, 24X will give you a lot better sight picture. I say this because shooting at targets at 200 yards there is a big difference in group size from a 10X to a 24X.
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2005, 08:48 AM
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Re: Range Finding - Mil-Dot vs Laser

I personally believe milling sucks on live objects. For the reasons Shawn pointed out, not too mention maybe a moving animal, patially exposed animal it gets real imprecise. And the thought that it would be quicker since your already behind the scope doesnt work out either since you need to to look at a your calculater, mil-dot master, etc. Unless you can memerize them perfectly.

Milldots work fine as a back up system, but for accurate shooting a good laser, and repeatable adjustments is probably the best way to go.
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