Trouble ranging small targets

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by arrow, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. arrow

    arrow Well-Known Member

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    I have a leica 1600. It is the 3rd rangefinder I have purchased. Tried to go cheap starting out, didnt work. Sold it upgraded a little bit, still didnt work. So now I have this leica hoping this will be my last one. Where I usually hunt is on a powerline I can see about 800 yards. I just cant range the deer when they get out there. The reticule box is bigger than the deer and I get alot of - - -. Also when the deer cross the powerline, I only have a couple seconds to get a shot off most of the time. I had the same problem while sitting on a road too. There are no target reference points along the way to range and draw a range card of. It is just brush on both sides. I know the distance to the poles on the power lines, but because of depth perception I am unable to tell where the deer is and between what power poles. If there were any terrain features I could range them, but there are not. I am unable to plant any terrain features either because it is not my property to be messing with. So my questions are, how do you range a single animal when the reticule is bigger than they are? And also, how do you know ranges when you are sitting on a road or power line and it just looks like a tunnel of brush? Thanks
     
  2. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    I would like to be able to help but it is a hard situation. I would be asking the owner if I could put some range signs on each pole so you can tell which two poles are in front and in back off the deer coming through.
    Maybe some feed piles at known ranges to try and get them to move to and stop in that spot .
    In the off season do some practise with a reflective deer sized target , ranging and then shooting it to train your mind picture of how much hold over for certain ranges along the corridor .
     

  3. Augustus

    Augustus Well-Known Member

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    The vertical divergence on the Leica is only .5 mil, that is plenty tight to range deer at 800 yds. Play with the device to determine exactly where the beam is in relation to the box. Ranging deer on flat terrain can be difficult, no matter what rangefinder you have practice is a must. I have a TERRIPIN and it too requires careful operation on flat terrain. There is nothing magic about any rangefinder no matter what it costs.

    With that being said it is usually possible to find a larger object close to the target if you are having trouble. In the case you described I would put the deer in the box and range it. To confirm the results range the timber at the edge of the power line directly in front of or behind the target.

    What cal is your rifle, I know a really nifty trick for a 308. You can adapt a similar trick to a 338 Lapua, Edge, or RUM. It's quick, it works and you don't have to screw with paper or calculator. You must have mil-dots or some mil based variant to use the trick.
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Your LRF advice is good. I have yet to use one that the sight is spot on.

    Ok ya got me hooked. I have a 338 RUM and Mil-Dot ret. What's the nifty trick?
     
  5. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Are you certain the rangefinder is working to it's potential? It should give readings to at least 1600 yds on evergreens or hardwood trees with leaves.
    It certainly should go to 1600 on cutbanks and sides of buildings with ease.

    Reason I ask is that mine will range mule deer in open meadows most of the time up to about 1000 yds (resting it on sandbags of course). Bright sunny days are tougher, low light morning/evening is best, cloudy days are not bad.

    My first Leica would not range as it was supposed too, it wouldn't even compete with my much older 1200 yd model. I sent it back and got a replacement. Hopefully that is not the case with yours but thought I'd ask.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  6. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Are you resting the unit on a sand bag or solid rest? I would not expect the RF to read if you are moving at all on a deer at 800 yards. Also be very careful not to block the RF laser with your finger or something. It is a common mistake on the CRF's

    Jeff
     
  7. Augustus

    Augustus Well-Known Member

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    I am shooting the 300 SMK at 2850 from my Edge. The method works great on this class of cartridge from 600 tp 1100 yds on come-ups and the windage works from 200 to 900 yds. these distances are very simple to do.

    For come-ups 600 to 1100 yds the trick is simply range minus three. 600 yds is 3 mils, 750 yds would be 4.5.mils, 815yds is 5.15 mils etc. You can use Range minus two on distances 200 to 400 and I just memorize 500 at 2.50 mils. You can study a ballistic computer range card and learn to tweak this method if you need more precision.

    Windage is simply distance times wind. 8 mph wind at 800 yds would be .64 mils, 7 mph wind at 600 yds would be .42 mils and so on. This works very nice out to about 800 yds, out passed that distance you need to add an extra .2 mils.

    You can round the distance to the nearest hundred yds to figure the wind. It's easier to multiply single digit numbers in your head.


    Now for the 308 fans, from 300 to 650 yds the 175 SMK at 2700 fps can be figured with Range minus two. 625 yds is 4.25 mils, 410 yds is 2.10 mils etc.

    The wind can be figured by wind times distance times 2. Example, 500 yds in a 6 mph wind would require .60 mils, 600 yds in 7 mph wind needs .84 mils

    Anyway that's the basics, if you are shooting one rifle with one load you can become quite efficient by learning to add a little and take a little away as the system starts to deviate from ballistic program.

    I hope That wasn't too confusing, the best way to practice is to enter your parameters in your program then go to the range card and practice figuring the solutions in your head for various distances.

    If you have a ballistic calculator and have time to use it by all means do so, if you forgot it at the truck or the batteries went south try this.
     
  8. trevor73402

    trevor73402 Well-Known Member

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    You've already been given some sound advice, but ill repeat that your RF needs to be on some type of solid/stabel rest to range small objects at those distance with repeatable accuracy. I had the same problems with my Bushnell Fusion 1600's where I hunt (on a power line and a pipeline) I did a couple of things to fix my problem.

    1.) Sold the Fusions
    2.) Bought a Vectronix Terrapin (best gadget I've ever bought)
    3.) Bought a small collapsable lightweight tripod

    Problem solved. I can range deer now out to 1,100 yds with repeated accuracy 3-4 times in a row. I'm sure I could go farther, but that is as far as I can see on the pipeline. The tripod will collapse down low enough that i can have it eye level when im laying down prone on the rifle ready to shoot. Ranging is quick, easy, and accurate. Here is a pic of the setup.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. TacBlade

    TacBlade Well-Known Member

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    I just went out and tried this on some deer at 955 yards. I could not get a reading by just holding onto the RF. I put it on a Tripod and it worked every time. I also have the Leica 1600B model.
     
  10. arrow

    arrow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the help, it sounds like the tripod is the way to go. I have been resting it on a sturdy surface but I guess that is not steady enough. Any body out there have any homemade creations for holding a leica on a tripod? Thanks
     
  11. trevor73402

    trevor73402 Well-Known Member

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  12. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Seems like FEENIX posted a picture of a tripod adapter for the Leica CRF not too long ago, might PM him.
     
  13. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Yep, here it is ...

    [​IMG]

    http://www.opticsspot.com/leica-crf-tripodadapter-98750.aspx

    A couple of weekends ago I was ranging muleys at 1800 yards with mine without a problem ... was laying down prone using my arms as a bipod and occasionally rest on my pack . During windy conditions, it's almost impossible to stabilize and get any readings.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  14. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    FEENIX, Were you using a Leica 1600 or the newer 1600B ?

    Either way, sounds like you've got quite a bit more powerful unit than I do. I have got some 1800 and 1900 yd readings, but they've only been on the sides of buildings. I have not been able to get deer at much over 1000 yds.