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Rangefinder Field Test: Swarovski 8x30 Laser Guide Vs. Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaster

 
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  #22  
Old 07-06-2011, 03:32 PM
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Re: Rangefinder Field Test: Swarovski 8x30 Laser Guide Vs. Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaste

Based on my experiences with laser rangefinders, I would recommend ranging those 'open fields' you intend to hunt with range-able objects prior to your hunting/shooting of the groundhog. Have someone stand in various locations in the field holding a large (larger than a groundhog) reflective target, sign, etc... Then range the distances to that person and record those ranges for future use. Reference those notes and interpolate as necessary to the location of the groundhog wherever he sticks his nose above the grass.

Either that or place a fake Christmas tree at a variety of desired locations and range those distances. Record the notes and interpolate to estimate a distance to the little critters - wherever they happen to appear - from your recorded ranges.

Your scenario helps explain why I range evergreen trees when comparing the ranging performance of laser rangefinders. There's no reasonable way to compare their performance while ranging field rat or groundhog-sized objects on a level field that's void of any prominent topographic relief.

A boom truck like the electrical lineman use to work on overhead power lines would be ideal. You'll need to increase the angle of the shot on any extremely flat ground surface in order to expect repeatable ranging on tiny objects - because what you'll really be ranging is the surrounding ground surface rather than the groundhog. And the shallower the angle of the rangefinder shot onto a flat ground surface - the greater the inherent error in the yardages ranged.

Last edited by phorwath; 07-07-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-06-2011, 03:58 PM
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Re: Rangefinder Field Test: Swarovski 8x30 Laser Guide Vs. Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaste

+1

I doubt I could see a deer at 1000 yds over the grass/mirage on perfectly flat ground, much less a groundhog. Not without having some elevation or topography/angle difference between myself and them.

I know some guys that are 1000 and 1500 yd club members in the VHA. They did it on my property on prarie dogs. They went out ahead of time and ranged certain spots in the dog town and then drove in wooden surveyors stakes. They recorded the distance to these stakes on a piece of paper for reference later. They did it in a town that had a long slow upslope too. That way they could see all the stakes and had a better idea of how far between each stake the dogs were.

I know on perfectly flat ground, the Leica 1600 or 1200 start having trouble with prarie dogs way closer than 1000 yds........sure, we can get a dark patch of grass or a small sagebrush or even maybe the mound they're standing on out quite a ways, but the dog itself is very hard to range.

Even with the small beam divergence of the Leica or the Vectronix, IMO it's not small enough to ensure we're getting the actual dog and not some grass behind or in front of the dog. Heck, last fall we were shooting a friends Edge at 700 to 950 yds on cardboard. The cardboard was about 2' wide X 3' tall. At the 700 yd mark, the cardboard was at an angle, so we would sometimes get the dirt berm behind the cardboard instead of the board itself. Swarovski, Leica, it didn't matter which; both would occasionally give a 5 yd further reading due to the board not reflecting enough back.
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Last edited by SBruce; 07-06-2011 at 04:12 PM.
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  #24  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:59 PM
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Re: Rangefinder Field Test: Swarovski 8x30 Laser Guide Vs. Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaste

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBruce View Post
+
Even with the small beam divergence of the Leica or the Vectronix, IMO it's not small enough to ensure we're getting the actual dog and not some grass behind or in front of the dog.
I would say ranging a larger object would sure be easier too. But with the beam divergence of a PLRF10 at .3 x 1.5 mils , or in plain terms, a beam of 10.8" tall by 54" wide at 1000 yards. You give me a ground hog that is not obstructed by grass and I will go prone with sand bags and I feel I could range him. as long as he is the tallest object between me and him or with in 5 feet left or right of him.

I play with and study laser RF's quite a bit. I feel one of the big problem with mostof them is, the users need more practice learning how to use them and how they work. Off hand is for close stuff only. Lets say 700 yards and shorter. Off the elbo's you can probably get to 1000 depending on the target size and quality. But past that they need to be rested very solid. Even more so with the smaller beam units. Heck even with a projectile size of 10" x 54" I doubt I could hit a small bush or even a deer at 1000 yds hand or off my elbo's no matter how good my rifle is.

Jeff
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  #25  
Old 07-06-2011, 05:28 PM
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Re: Rangefinder Field Test: Swarovski 8x30 Laser Guide Vs. Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaste

Howdy Jeff,

Quote:
a beam of 10.8" tall by 54" wide at 1000 yards.
My apologies, I was thinking the vertical dispersion was .5 mil and would be 18" at 1000 yds. I knew the horizontal dispersion was quite a bit more than the vertical though.

More so, that being said; I was worried about the horizontal. My thoughts being that a prarie dog is only about 4" wide Maximum. In my mind, there's a good chance that the nearly 5 foot wide beam would catch grass on either side of the dog that is closer or further than the dog itself. Much more area to catch and bounce back a reading outside and both sides of the dog, especially on relatively flat ground.........The beam on both sides of the dog would still "be out there searching" for something.? What are your thoughts on that?

I've tried the Leica's on wooden telephone pole tops against the skyline. It was tough to get consistant readings much beyond 800 yds, even on sandbags. Of course, the pole is more vertical than horizontal, so again, in my mind; I am thinking that most of the beam is in fact missing the pole and shooting past it out into space. And, the pole is round so it's not reflecting much back anyway, just as a chuck or dog is round.

Would like to hear your thoughts on this.

I'll get to see the Vectronix in action side/side to a Swarovski and my Leica 1600 this fall, excited to see the results.
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  #26  
Old 07-06-2011, 05:46 PM
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Re: Rangefinder Field Test: Swarovski 8x30 Laser Guide Vs. Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaste

A military laser rangefinder that both ranges and smokes a hole through the groundhog - and thereafter lights the ground on fire out the back side is called for...

Then we'll have confidence we've ranged the little rodents!
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  #27  
Old 07-06-2011, 06:00 PM
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Re: Rangefinder Field Test: Swarovski 8x30 Laser Guide Vs. Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaste

Quote:
Originally Posted by phorwath View Post
A military laser rangefinder that both ranges and smokes a hole through the groundhog - and thereafter lights the ground on fire out the back side is called for...

Then we'll have confidence we've ranged the little rodents!
If I had one of those, why would I ever need a rifle. Besides it be quiet. Big and heavy but quiet....

I'm in the market for something by next spring. My dream list is getting quite expensive. The list includes a pickup, an ATV w/Trax and a LRF of extreme capability. Any donations will be happily accepted.
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  #28  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:44 PM
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Re: Rangefinder Field Test: Swarovski 8x30 Laser Guide Vs. Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaste

SBruce, Sorry, I forgot you were talking about PD's. I stated a ground hog and pictured him up on is rear once in a while. And like I said , he would need to be clear of other close objects. Definatly with PD's I would lase the mound.

I have ranged poles too and feel they are a very good way to test your RF for reticle alignment. I had a Swaro Laser guide that you needed to hold left of the center of the pole about a foot or two to get a reading. Once I learned the beam and reticle were not aligned the unit worked alot better for me. Never thought of the round surface though. Not sure if it makes a difference or not.

I had the pleasure of seeing a big miltary unit in action once. I think the farthest we ranged anything was like 25 miles on a rock bluff. No fires though. Just met the guy out shooting. Not sure what it was or where he got it. But it sure was impressive.

Jeff
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