french? rangefinder


Active Member
Jul 31, 2004
Backwoods Nowhere, PA
I just recently looked at a French built rangfinder for sale, the model was 31. It is a coincidental rangefinder, I think. It is 3 feet long and uses the mirrors in a tube on the ends. I am not at all familiar with these kinds of rangefinders. I checked the range with the dials. it went from 250 yards(yes I was told it is yards) to 8,000. It has two small dials towards the one side that are not used to range the target. Could anyone give me information on these, and if they are accurate. I would also like to know how to calibrate it.
They are very accurate just like the Barr & Strouds and Wildes. One adjustment is the halfing scale and there is an adjustment for zeroing in at a known distance (if it starts at 250 yds-about 800 to 1000 yds would be good to zero in on). You range on a vertical object like a pole a tree, etc. Bring the two images together (the tree or whatever in the upright normal position and the same tree in the inverted position) with the thumb wheel immediately to the left of the right handle which drops down vertically then read the distance on the scale adjust the scale accordingly at the known distance. One set of mirrors (cluster of lenses)on one end looks straight at the object and the other end looks at the object diagonally (azmithical). The adjustment for the halfing scale should be adjusted to keep the object (both the normal object and the inverted object) the same heighth when brought together.
This is just a thumbnail of information to help you get the feel of it for purchase. Deutsche Optik used to sell these French Rangefinders and still could furnish you with the phamphlet. Contact them. I've looked through these rangefinders and ranged with them at rifle matches that were for sale by private owners.
Hope this helps.
The halfing adjustment brings the inverted object and the normal upright object (which are the same vertical tree or whatever) to touch on the separating line (from inverted to upright) not the same heigth as I stated on previous post. It's probably a 80 cm (the distance between centers of the lenses of both ends) if it is about 3' long and ranges from 250 yds. Usually the 1 meter ranges from 500 yds.
Make sure you zero in and make your adjustments while the unit is solid as on a tripod or some other means. Even if you are not zeroed right on the money it won't matter if your rifle(s) are zeroed with the rangefinder. It's bulky but you don't need batteries or have to worry about reflections, sunny days, cloudy days, etc.


couple little quirks on the French models you need to beware of.

1. It is ok on deer and non-dangerous game. If it sees a bear or anything with sharp teeth or claws, it will want to surrender on you, so stake it down good.

2. However, the good side is that it is mechanically very good. Has probably been dropped once in their haste to retreat, similar to the Egyptian Hakim rifles.


[ 08-01-2004: Message edited by: BountyHunter ]
Thank you for the input. I like the quirks to beware of, LOL! I forgot to mention an item that comes with it. It is a flat piece of metal that is a as long as the rangefinder and about an inch high. It has two vertical ends that are about 6" long. It looks kind of like this |------|. There are two sets of legs that hold it up. I think it is used to calibrate the rangefinder. The piece is calbrated from the left 3/4 of the way across. both rangefinder and piece have some sort of very small ring with crosshairs in. The vertical ends have shiny white strips running vertically on them. Does anyone know what this is for?

[ 08-04-2004: Message edited by: dWeller ]
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