Practical limit for reticle rangefinding

sscoyote

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Feb 26, 2003
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Pueblo, CO
Anybody got any ideas on this, for say a deer or elk size target? I was ranging a 30" target a few days ago with a plex reticle, and discovered that @ 500 yds. if I was off 1" that equated to about 30 yds. variation. I gather some guys/reticles are going out farther with a reasonable degree of consistency, but i just can't imagine it working well at longer ranges.?
 

Brent

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Jun 12, 2001
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Palmer, Alaska
I know what you mean. I am not sure what my practical limit is yet, it's still going to take a bunch more testing to get a reliable understanding of it's limits. Measuring something and sticking it out there to range is one thing, being real close with a guess of the actual size could be quite another, and probably disapointing if the range was far enough.

I don't seem to have too much of a problem getting a good measurement in MOA from the R2 reticle, if the target's still, but knowing exactly what size it is definitely can throw you a curve ball.

At a certain range, 30 yards is going to be too much to be off on even larger bodied animals. Add a slight MOA measurement error to that, and one might find an additional 20 yards of error. 50 yards of error would severely limit you in range, even with the flattest shooting cartridges. Depending on ones skill, 50 yards of error might be the best you could do, or it might be 20 yards... There's quite a few variables that could screw a guy up by themself, not to mention the combination of variables that could possibly stack up against you. A really good question. I'd love to hear more about it too. Here in the next year or two, I'll definitely know where my limit with it will be.... wish I knew now tho.
 

Ian M

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Tough question because the animal dimensions are not uniform. I only use it to 550-600 when practicing with my decoys. We find that mildots are much more accurate farther out, as in 5-600+ than duplex estimates. I have used mildots on caribou and deer out past 500 and the numbers were very close to my laser.
Bottom line is that a decent rangefinder will give you readings out that far so why not use it. My Bushnell 1000 and Leica 1200 are virtually always good to 5-600 yards regardless of the light.
 

Ian M

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May 3, 2001
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Tough question because the animal dimensions are not uniform. I only use it to 550-600 when practicing with my decoys. We find that mildots are much more accurate farther out, as in 5-600+ than duplex estimates. I have used mildots on caribou and deer out past 500 and the numbers were very close to my laser.
Bottom line is that a decent rangefinder will give you readings out that far so why not use it. My Bushnell 1000 and Leica 1200 are virtually always good to 5-600 yards regardless of the light.
 

Jeff In TX

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Aug 10, 2003
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McKinney TX
Great question. Mil-dots are very effective for ranging hard targets of know size out beyond 1500 yards or more. The problem is animals and human type targets aren't constantly the same size and won't sit still, making the range finding process even more difficult. Using given sizes for live targets and using mil-dots can be accurate out to 500 or 600 yards for me at least. Beyond that, I’m looking for a hard target to range if I can find one. But again, that's why I purchased my Lieca 1200 LRF last year.

I’m using the new 2nd Gen Mil-dot from Premier Reticle. It’s a much easier reticle for ranging, but I doubt it will extend my ranges beyond what they are.

The key to any range finding reticle is practice. The more you practice with the range finding reticle, the better you'll get.
 

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