ACI vs Rangefinder


Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2008
Northern California
My question is what would be better to get/use, an ACI type device that attaches to the scope or a rangefinder with one built in during the readings. Then why for the pick. I know there is one but I guess I'm wondering how much of a POI difference one would see out to say 800 yards and given a normal "Out west" type mule deer terrain. Not sure as I've never used one and not sure how much of an angle it would take to make that difference in POI. I already have a range finder, but was thinking if a different type worked well, it would be one less thing to attach to a rifle then do the calculations prior to the shot. Thanks in advance for any assistance..........
For "out to 800 yds" I'd go with the Range Finder every time.

I'm figuring that you may be strolling through that "Out west" type mule deer terrain and taking shots as the opportunity arises. The range finder with internal angle detection removes several thought processes as in "aim and shoot". Much time will be saved and can be applied to getting into shooting position.

With the ACI every thing has to be pre calculated, and the cos has to be factored in at the proper point in the process. Not just cos times distance. For ambush hunting I always use the ACI and ballistics software.

Oh, the shooting angle does make a difference even at 800 yds in some steeper conditions.
ACI vs Rangefinder?????

One checks angle, one measures distance.

I know your asking about a rangefinder to find angle yes there are some.
There are lots of ways to find angles

This best comes down to mechanical VS electronics

You need to know distance, angle, conditions, and drop etc.
The better the info the better the shot!

If you worry about batteries or electronics then

Range with mils or moa check angle with aci or angle finder and make charts to ponder

If you want the best most accurate info

Use a range finder, get angle anyway you like! ( its an angle not min. or sec.) get a weather station and a ballistic program!

If you want the best of all worlds get it all its only money.....LOL

If your like most of us find what works for you and build up from there, find what you need to make the shots you take. I have an aci and have taken it off my gun because I get the info from my rangefinder. But the aci worked I just know the angle is only good if the range is right, so if my range finder don't work and I'm "guessing" the range. (mil or moa reticle) I might as well guess the angle because I'm way better at that then the range! then go to the charts.

Long story short I'd rather have spare batteries then guess.

a 60 deg angle has a cos of .5, 45 deg is.70, 30 deg is .86, and 20 deg is .93

To shoot out to 800 you don't need much fancy stuff!!!!
You will most likely never ever see a 60 deg angle out to much distance.
I hunt Colo in the mountains! one ridge to the other 45 deg would be extreme.

Good luck
Roy, CAM, thanks for a point in the right direction. If you don't mind what range finder do you prefer that is giving reliable range readings along with the corrected angle.....
Roy, CAM, thanks for a point in the right direction. If you don't mind what range finder do you prefer that is giving reliable range readings along with the corrected angle.....

None of the LRFs that I prefer (1200yards and a bit beyond , Leica and Swaro, don't have the angle built in. Thus I can't recommend any of them.

I'll be testing a Leupold shortly that has the feature plus a switch for bow and rifle. We'll see how it pans out. I'll post some comments.

For my ambushing I use the Leica LRF, ACI and ballistics program.

For walk and stalk, I use the Leica LRF, Mil Dot reticle and the seat of my pants.
My rangefinder just gives me an angle, then I put the angle into exbal.
It really won't matter how you get the angle if you use a program.
I can stand on a cliff, hold out my arm (point at target) and give pretty close guess at angle.
I work construction and weld lots of stuff, angles are easy. even get angles off a watch.

I would not buy a rangefinder just because it gives angle (or corrected distance).
I would not use the corrected distance at the distances I like to tinker.
Time of flight, wind, enviro conditions, etc. all still use true distance the bullet travels.

Corrected distance is fine for some shooters, even bowhunters like it!

One thing for sure you have to know the distance, most important I think.
You have to buy a rangefinder that can range maybe 1.5 times what you plan to shoot to be sure it will work when you need it. just because the box shows 1000 yard it might be dependable to 750 as a general rule, of course some are better than others.
You get what you pay for with most optics, so your kind of limited by your pocket book.

If you don't have or want to spend the money get closer!! its cheap to hike.
Also in the old days we drew circles on maps to know rough distance.
We would shoot rocks in the summer and know the hold for various rocks from some vantage points. We never know the actual distance just what it took to tip over Elk close to that rock.

Most people will not put the time/money into thier equipment to be shooting very far anyways.
Even if you know the distance you still need to know your gun and capibility.

It all boils down to practice
its interesting to hear the different opinions of hunters from different parts of the country.
most sports are played the same regardless of location.
long range hunting dosent seem to work that way.
obviously the type of terrain we hunt in plays a major role in how we go about doing what we do.
im a native pennsylvanian, this will be my 62nd year of hunting the mountanious area of north central pa.
this is the area where long range hunting as we know it, had its beginnings.
all the hunting here is by what you might call the ambush method.
much is from mountain to mountain, or across a big hollow on the same mountain.
virtually none is done by moving from place to place.
everybody uses large tripod mounted binnoculars, usually made up with spotting scopes in pairs.
game is found by glassing hillsides. most people hunt as part of a group of 2 or more.
those who hunt alone, usually shoot up to 500yds. or less.
the spotter system is the norm. the spotter runs the show, the shooter takes direction from him.
first shot hits are always strived for, but just move on if you miss.
experienced shooters usually see their hits, and will quite often just crank over to the hit. no counting clicks or adding minits.
a sighter shot at a rock is fairly common, especially beyond 1000yds, and more so with wind.
many of the older hunters are still using the equiptment they used years ago.
the exception being scopes, the old unertles still work fine, but theres not enough field for novice shooters like grandkids.
weather stations, wind meters, and calculators are not used or at least kept out of site.
im sure i know at least 100 long rangers and to my knowledge none use them.
we have accurate click charts.
we take a range, add the corrections, and shoot.
then listen for orders from the spotter.
pretty simple system.
Thats the way the "OLD TIMERS" do it.
Hope your not teaching your grandkids this way................ LOL

Your system has been provin many times over keep at it!
You use custom guns and shoot them often.
We don't build sheds and shooting boxes and drive to our spot.
We hoof it in to the back country, and paper charts take on a new use!

Biggest problem we have is everybody can buy guns and glass and think they can shoot 2 miles because they have a cannon, rangefinder and a ballistic program.

Some of them even just try to"guess" and send one over, then adjust.
I know lots of guy's that never shoot thier guns except during the hunt???

We don't all hunt alike some like regular rifle, some bow, others muzzy.
Very few really good long range hunters just lots of want-a-bees

cam, it might surprise you to know that shooting shacks or boxes as you call them are about nonexistant here.
the vast majority of land is state owned and open for public hunting.
ive never seen any kind of even temporary shack built, except if it was private owned land.
we do carry a tarp and sometimes put that up in order to keep things dry.
the spots we hunt are fair game, meaning get there first.
many of them can be driven to, or at least close to.
some guys do pack in a mile or so.
as vast as this area is, there are few places where you are very far from some type of road, power line, or natural gas pipeline.
by and large the hillsides are tree covered. there is also an abundance of thick laurel, and rhododendrum.
thats why casual glassing with hand glasses dosent work here.
10-4 yobuck
I seen a few pics that Darrel Cassel use to post, and one had a shooting house in it.
Most of the side hills were covered in trees.
Very interesting hunting for sure!
I've seen pics of the big eyes, thier just not that common here.
Hunting is hunting to me I try to hunt the way the group that I go with hunts. If some body invited me to go muzzy hunting I'd go...

I agree hunting is different in different places.
we even hunt terain different, some terain is great for long range and some would be useless for long range shots.

cam, darryl cassel is my neibor, only about a mile up the road. he does have a shack, but of coarse its on his own land. he has a wonderful view from there but frankly much of it is too far to shoot. at least at animals. he does a fair amount of rock busting from there but ive never been invited to wittness. very few deer are killed beyond 1000yds. here. the buck season is only 2 weeks. most often conditions arent suitable for long shots during that period of time.
My first custom long range boomer was a 30-378 built buy Howard Wolfe.
Man that "work of art" made 1K a chip shot!!!! Killed lots of Elk with that rifle.
You PA guys started this whole thing of LRH but it has spread west. LOL

Take care
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