a good small optical rangefinder?


Active Member
Jan 31, 2003
Terre Haute, Indiana
I was wandering why no one makes a optical rangefinder that is practicle for hunting, I mean, the Wild and Barr & stroud are like 3 freaken feet wide... I know they can range out to like 250-12,000 & 500-20,000 meters, so 3 ft wide might be just right for star gazing/ranging..
My question is, why doesn't someone make a opticle rangefinder that is only 1/3 the lenth and only 1/3 the range, or say 1 ft wide, and "only" ranges to 3000-4000 meters/yards??
a 1 ft wide opticle rangefinder than only ranges to 1500-2000 meters would be fine..
instead we have HUGE GIGANTIC opticles that range 20,000 meters that NO practicle hunting gun on the plannet can even make use of..
only other choice is a laser range finders, they are crap if the weather isn't perfect, too sunny, too much snow, or a the coytote I want to shoot doesn't have a house next to him 800 yards out in a field..
The Russian military ones work great if you have $3,000 - $10,000 ...

a small 6 inch to 1 ft wide 1000-2000 yard opticle would be nice...

I totally agree, I think a small handheld optical rangefinder that measured to 3000 yards would be just the ticket! Another thing that would be great is if leica reduced the price of their vector 2000+ yard rangefinder to something I could afford.

Look for the coyotes standing next to the stop signs.

They range even farther than most houses with my Yardage Pro.

It took me less than a year to learn to shoot further than the Yardage Pro can measure, on a real good day.

I need an affordable, portable rangefinder, that can pick up a coyote, or at least the bush he is standing next to, out to 1,500 yards.
I have a Rangeing Rangematic 1000. It is exactly what you are talking about.About a foot long.I paid about 70 dollars a while back for mine.I have the same thing to say about these particular units as everybody else.It seldom works if ever.
I would gladly pay a couple hundred for one to pick up squrirrels through dense clutter. If the thing actually worked as well as my Wild unit.
I had one of the "Ranging 1000" coinsidence rangefinders at first, about five years ago. I found the thing pretty hard to make out the two seperate images most of the time. I'm not sure how differently the Wild or B&S work from these, I'm sure alot better, but exactly how the the images are brought together or seen as compared to the 1000 I'm not sure. Frank, could you shed some light on this for me, seeing as how you have both of them?

Hell, even a 20-24" long tube on one would be alot easier toten around than the bazooka tube, case and all of the Wild.

I have a good friend, his dad makes HIGH dollar small to giant telescope lenses in his shop/lab. I'll have to ask him what it would take to make one up and if he could. Hmmmm? I hope he'll know how all the internals work, cause I sure don't... ****, would that be cool if someone could actually get one off the ground. Well if Jim's telescope building knowledge will help, we might have something! I'm sure he's got everything from the tubes and lenses covered, the rest of it might be tricky. His shop is like an operating room, all the tools needed... Cross your fingers!! I might have to get one for him to reverse engeneer! Ouch!
They made just exactly what you are talking about. I have only seen one for sale about 5-8 years ago by Dan Lilja. It was 12" Barr and Stroud that would range up to about 3-5K and it was in yards. Almost bought it and have always kicked myself in the butt for not doing it then.

They made just exactly what you are talking about. I have only seen one for sale about 5-8 years ago by Dan Lilja. It was 12" Barr and Stroud that would range up to about 3-5K and it was in yards. Almost bought it and have always kicked myself in the butt for not doing it then.


WOW, why did he stop making them? I do not mean to pich up a bi+ch, but someone by now should see the $$$$ signs...
no one needs a 20,000 yard unit that you need a donky to carry your supliess (rangefinder) around with you..
Even the best of the best ones you can legally buy and use the Lecca LR 1200 unit isn't going to range a coyote sized critter out to 600 yards very easy, unless the weather is with you, no fog, no snow, no sun...

Like I had said before, the Ones Darral Cassel and those guys use cost between $3,000 to $10,000 if you can find them...

it wouldn't take too much effort for Wind or Barr&Stroud to make one that is 1 ft long.. and ranges only say 3000 yards.
it would require less materials, cost less, be much more practicle, portable, no one would by those eye safe lasers anymore, and whoever makes it would become instant millionares over.

Dan Lilja, from what you have said, had a great idea, why he stopped is behond me..

imagine a 1 ft long unit that can range to 3000 yard in ANY weather on ANY sized target, and only cost around $350
Even the three to ten thousend doller Russian laser units would have no (ZERO) advantage over this unit..

where do we get ahold of Mr Lilja?

Doesn't sound like Dan Lilja was even the manufacturer, BH said it was made by Barr & Stroud

Dan was just the seller of that one particular model, go to his website at liljarifles to look him up. It was the only one he had and sold for about $1200. Back then the Wildes were not in the US and any B @ S rangefinders cost $1000 plus. doubt you are going to get anyone to make a limited run of them for anything close to $375 which by the way is the price of a Leica 1200 now.

The Leica 1200 (Class 1 laser) is eyesafe, the Russian military units (class 3 laser) are not eyesafe and more importantly, are not authorized for legal import into the US and the US military models (class 3 also) are specifically prohibited to ever be sold to the public as surplus. So it is not just a matter of being eyesafe. They have been illegally imported and the FDA (has oversight of laser products) along with US mftrs are watching the internet, to include Ebay and this site for those items for sale. The class 1 laser is not as powerful or dangerous as the class 3 laser. As the electonics inside them get better, they can range further than before but will never get the distances and accuracy of the military class 3 models.


I had one of the small B&S units in my hand about two years ago.

The fellow wanted $1000.00 for it.

I was just looking at the features of it and think it went to 1500 yards which was not far enough for most of my LR hunting friends.

I wasen't interested at the time because of the Russian Laser that I owned. Many of the Russians were readily available then through a company in California who imported them. Most of my hunting friends across the country already owned the Russians and were sold on them, as I have been over the years.

"Legal or not", there are hundreds if not thousands of these units in this country being used without inccident to date. They come up for sale from time to time in the shooting circles and if used in a safe manner are the best you will ever have available to you. You MUST use them in a responsible manner though.
They will repeat ranges time after time in all weather conditions.
You will see them for sale by other sportsmen. As a matter of fact, I just saw two of them (Russian) for sale recently. The fellow wanted $3250.00 each for them.

I may be able to find a short B&S though.
I'll check with another person I know that has a collection of Rangefinders. I don't think Dan has any at this time?

Brent,you know how the 1000 works with the 2 images like double vision that have to be brought together.Well the Wild has a clear viewing area with a small window in the middle. In the window the image is upside down.Both images are very sharp.
Pick a small target,like a groundhog, and center it above the window.There will be an upsidedown groundhog in the window. As you turn the dial you can get the one groundhog exactly above the other.Now read your distance.It will be very close.Daryl says he takes three readings then averages the three.I'm guessing he shoots LOTS farther than I do.
The system takes just a little getting used to.But it works.And the 14 power optics are freakin'great.
If the thing would range as short as 150 yards I would have already drug the big monster into the woods with my long range .22 rimfire.
They are not superimposed.They touch.So if you were looking at a letter *T*, when the images are where they are supposed to be you get a T on top of and touching an upside down T whic would form an *I*
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