Help choosing a range finder

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by texas724, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. texas724

    texas724 Member

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    I have never owned a rangefinder, but I feel like it would be a good piece of equipment to have for taking the long shots until I can judge them myself. I currently have the available space to take shots out to 600 yards on a friends property. While doing some research I found a Bushnell Pro 1600 on sale. I cant imagine I will ever need the 1600 yard ranging, but at least its there if I need it.

    My biggest issues that concerns me is that it is factory refurbished. it's currently on sale for $229. A new unit goes for roughly $100-150 more. I'm not 100% sure what all I should be looking for, and if this is worth it.

    Can anyone hand out some pointers that they use when purchasing and using a range finder?
     
  2. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I don't have experience with the RF you mention, but I originally bought a budget one and was very disappointed. I have a Leica CRF 1200 and am very happy with it. It gives me fast and reliable readings out to about 800-900 yds in almost all conditions. It will reach out much farther on large targets if conditions are good.

    From what I've read, one of the important criteria is how much the laser spreads out as you range farther and farther. That makes it more likely that you are ranging something other than your target.

    At a max of 600yds I think you will have more leeway than the guys reaching waaaaay out (not me), but my personal experience would be to get a quality brand and read a ton of reviews before buying.

    Good luck
     

  3. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I just bit the bullet and bought a Lecia 1600B. I have had a couple mediocre range finders and it was just a waste of money. Like all ready stated beam divergence is critical. The lesser quality range finders fail to perform with the wide beams. In pore conditions most range finders won't range 50% of their advertised distances and struggle when its perfect. Buy a good one and keep it forever. A G7 BR2 is 2 times the Lecia but will do twice as much! My pockets arn't quite deep enough for the G7.
     
  4. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree with kcebcj. Don't waste your $$$ on medicore range finders. Been there done that. The Leica's will give you much more reliable results than the Bushnell. In good conditons the Leica 1600 will give you 1600 yds and more, in not so good condition it will usually give you 600 yds. The Bushnell will not and the the difference in beam width is important in getting reliable accurate info.

    On judging distances for yourself, good luck with that. I've been practicing it or years and owning a good range finder shows me my own estimations of longer ranges are not at all reliable.
     
  5. wyowinchester

    wyowinchester Well-Known Member

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  6. texas724

    texas724 Member

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    Thank you for the information. Could someone enlighten me on what "good conditions" is considered? What kind of weather would affect a RF? Is there anyway to know how much area of spread a RF will have at longer distances? Does it change under conditions as well?
     
  7. 500mag_guy

    500mag_guy Well-Known Member

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    +1 for any of the Leica rangefinders! Best money spent in my opinion. At least in there price range.
     
  8. extreme

    extreme Well-Known Member

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    Buy the G7 and you will not be sorry...It cost more but it does everything you will ever need in one package and I,am sure it will you last a lifetime..
     
  9. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    Get the g7. I've owned the lie a 1200 and1600 and now the g7. After you buy a palm pilot kestrel and a night force program your basically the same price as the g7 and the g7 is faster
     
  10. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    From this part of your post I can see you have already done some research. So you are way ahead of many that buy with no consideration of these facts.

    Fast is not in my vocabulary when taking game at long distances. There is either adequate time for a well executed shot ... or not. What becomes more important at distance are these facts. If the distance is off because your Rf grabbed a bush 30 to 50 yards closer, you are screwed right off the bat. Then we all know wind is KING. This is why I choose a ballistic app that will add all drifts to my shooting solution. Like wind to a "T" if I have an accurate reading. For this I and most LR hunters use the kestrel, so I feel the Kestrel or a good quality weather station is needed with any RF, even the G7 which I tested and reviewed. How else will we make an educated estimation of wind speed? To me the wind solutions of the G7 are more complicated and some of the time gained will surely be spent here splitting values to figure a hold. The ballistic app will also add or subtract spin drift from my inputted wind readings and give me a correction to dial or hold. Not as commonly used, but still there, is the coriolis drift and the Ballistic app covers me there if I so choose. But the coriolis effects are seldom an issue under 1000 except in extreme instances. Quicker is in most cases easier, but seldom is better when we are talking a long range kill.

    What ever you choose, do your research, know how it works, its weak points and how to use it to your advantage, and remember it all starts with an accurate range.

    Jeff
     
  11. mtntrapper1

    mtntrapper1 Well-Known Member

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    I picked up a Terrapin and could not be more pleased. I had looked thru many over the years. As for the TPin, Several seasoned vets of LRH and Shawn Carlock advised me to get it. I have a Kestrel with Applied Ballistics in it coming soon to take advantage of the Terrapin. And as I progress, a longer range model from Vectronix will be in order also. I looked at G7, have a friend with one, but it wont come close to the accuracy of the Terrapin on ranging tough conditions. The G7 has nice features but not accurate enough when its really needed.
     
  12. extreme

    extreme Well-Known Member

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    I figure anyone shooting longer distances ,knows they need a kestrel wind meter or weather station of some sort. For 600 yards or less he is talking about the G7
    range finder and a kestrel meter is all he needs. The terrapin in his case is just to
    expensive.
     
  13. superman0812

    superman0812 Member

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  14. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Just like in all threads, there is an overwhelming love of Leica RF, and I know waiting to save up for one is probably well worth it. I am wondering what some excellent alternatives might be. I am particularly interested in those of you who have used the Leupold RX-1000i TBR or the Bushnell G-Force 1300 ARC? There have been a couple posts on the matter, but they were by guys who had just purchased them, and I was wondering your thoughts after getting some real field use out of them? I have never been a huge fan of Bushnell, but this G-Force seems to be getting pretty solid reviews. Any thoughts on the two RF's?