range finder suggestions

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by 2tall, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. 2tall

    2tall Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    I just found out i have the opportunity to go to colorado this fall and hunt elk. I have a great rifle for this (280 ackley) but i will need a gps and a good rangefinder. Ive got an old range finder i use for bow hunting but it only ranges to about 200 yards. I was told most shots out there are 300-400 average but longer shots are common. I would say my gun has the ability to kill an elk out to 800 (with a better shooter behind the gun) Myself, i would feel more comfortable keeping it under 600. I need a rangfinder that can do this. Ive looked and saw the bushnell gforce 1300 is selling for $280on amazon right now. Its got the arc feature which i think would be awesome if it really works. Seems like if i ranged, it told me 5xx yards and x mil correction. Then just click the turret x amount of times and then id be good to go. If that system works, then i think it would be the fastest and most efficient way to get on target. Anyone use bushnells arc rifle system for something like this? Is there another range finder that would be better suited? I know i cant cheep out on something this important but i cant spend too awful much either
     
  2. pods8

    pods8 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Cabelas has the Leupold RX-1000i TBR for $300, some buddies just picked that one up but haven't played with it yet, I'd imagine it should read off animal hide out to 600ish. I have a nikon 100 that will read elk to 550-600 range (may go farther but needs a solid rest).

    I'm not sure who told you MOST shots are 300-400yds, I wouldn't agree with that. That said it sure doesn't hurt if you are a solid shooter that can capitalize on a 450yd shot it presented it (for instance).

    I would most certainly not be taking my MIL/MOA numbers from a range finder unless it allows you to personally input them. At extended ranges you should be using your own dope, not generic caliber suggestions. Don't forget you'll also likely be 8000-12000' in elevation which changes things too.
     
  3. 2tall

    2tall Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Ah crap, i was thinking i could spend my summer working up a load and playing with the arc feature and trying to see if i could maybe get the trajectory figured out well enough to use the arc with reasonable amount of accuracy. I know trajectory wise my 280 ackley and will shoot verrrry closely to a 7mag. But even if i spend all summer doing that and succeed, your right the elevation will throw everything off. So should i just try to get a rock solid rangefinder, play with it at the range and record all dope calculations and make a chart. Then use a ballistic calculator to adjust for elevation? My range finder i have now is super old. I guess when i went looking at new ones and saw all the cool bells and whistles I almost put the cart in front of the horse lol
     
  4. ntg

    ntg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    571
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    I recently got the Vortex Ranger. I'm still playing with it, but I do like it so far. I've hit houses well past 1000 with it. Furthest opportunity on an animal thus far was a horse at 500ish IIRC.

    I debated this long and hard and the warranty Vortex has was part of why I went with it.

    Check it out. IMO it was better than the RX-1000 optically, but not a lot better.
     
  5. pods8

    pods8 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Just use a rangefinder to give you a distance (angle compensation is nice too) and from there stick with your dope (while using your rangefinder), not generic dope. Generic dope for a "caliber" is garbage to ethically take a shot at an animal at extended range.

    I'm slightly confused if you're talking 600yds in the original post for hunting, to be speaking that way one would presumably already have a rangefinder, good dope, and also some more familiarity on air density impacts (because it also affects wind drift, not just elevation). I'm personally not a 600yd shooter right now, I haven't practiced it yet. A 1/2MOA 200yd load doesn't mean I can automatically stretch that out to 600yds. The margins for error start shrinking, look at the impacts of calling the wind off by 5mph out at 600yd for instance (both at your elevation and 10k). I hope to get some summer time practice in at farther ranges so we'll see what I'll label myself come fall but hunting isn't the place for experimentation on your abilities.
     
  6. 2tall

    2tall Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Never owned a vortex anything but thats not because i dont like them. I'll have to look into it. I did pick up a leupold at basspro a couple weeks ago and loved it but put it back as fast as i could after seeing the $450 price tag lol
     
  7. 2tall

    2tall Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Im not a 600 yard shooter either, the farthest i have shot is 300. But this summer i will be practicing alot. I have a place i can shoot out to 1000 if i want. Just got my gun put together this winter and only have 40 rounds through it so its not even broke in. Ive been hunting since i was little but got into shooting at paper several years ago but never competitive. Ive been reloading for a couple years now and last summer i really focused on shooting good groups at 100 yards but i built my gun this winter to get into long rang. I just found out about this Colorado hunt last week so ive really got an incentive to practice. Ive got some steel targets, over 500 bullets and several pounds of powder to play with this summer. The guy thats taking me out there has been to the same ranch every year but 3 since 93. He said to plan on 300-400 yard shots but he has taken elk out to 800. Soooo i dont think i want shoot at an elk that far, id rather keep it around 200. Thats where ive shot deer at. But if one steps out at longer range, i want to be able to put it down. 600 yards is a long ways and 600 yards is my goal of where i want to be proficient at.
     
  8. pods8

    pods8 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Congrats on the ranch hookup, that helps!

    Practice a bunch and learn your gear. Backload the info in a calculator and then tweak it for elevation, ideally if you can confirm zero once here you will have a good feel for your limitations.

    I have a 280ai due myself in may.
     
  9. 2tall

    2tall Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Your gonna love the 280 ackley. Its the best of both worlds, 7mag performance thats just as easy to load for as the 30-06. Do you live in colorado? If so do you know anything about bair ranch near glenwood spring? Thats where im headed, my grandfather in law has some hook ups lol i dont know anything about the place but the way they talk its pretty nice, idk ive never been hunting outside of missouri
     
  10. cummins cowboy

    cummins cowboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    338
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    something leica or swaro, I don't have a ton of use for a GPS in the mountains, note where you are at in relation to surrounding mountains and maybe a map, and you should be good.

    all the other RF's are garbage and pretty much are only reliable to maybe 300 yards. basically IMO a bow hunting RF. the leupolds, vortex's bushnells etc all fit in this catagory.
     
  11. pods8

    pods8 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Exactly why I picked it, I'm quite looking forward (ie getting antsy) to getting it. I'm having a Tikka M695 stainless rebarreled with an Oberymeyer 9twist, sporter contour 24". The mag takes a decent sized 3.49 COAL so I shouldn't be too hindered on length. Planning to start out trying to load up some 150gr bonded (midway "blems") and the barnes 145gr LRX.

    Going on my 3rd year here in CO, great place. No I don't know anything on that ranch but by the sounds of things you have an enjoyable hunt lined up. Regardless I think just heading out here will be a huge highlight for you. The mountains are quite epic, I know I was blow away when I headed out to WA from MI for a few years prior to moving to CO.

    All depends on the location you are in, some areas are rather pocketed with private land and you need to avoid trespassing so I find a GPS extremely useful when navigating close proximity to areas.

    I think folks would tend to disagree on the latest wave of 1000yd units only being good for 300yd, granted they aren't going to be 1000yd units but they work pretty well out to 500-600yd. After that yeah you need to jump up a class, just depends on your plans.
     
  12. 2tall

    2tall Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Well i just looked those up and they are way too rich for my blood. Not that i wouldn't want one, its just that i literally dont have that kind of money to spend on a rangefinder. The vortex that someone mentioned earlier is $360ish. I believe and i could maybe do that if i could look through one before i bought it. Im just a factory worker. I do the best i can with what i got. If the vortex would give me a reading on animals out to 600 that was accurate to within 25 yards that would be all i need honestly
     
  13. 2tall

    2tall Active Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Well the way they talked, the ranch is pretty big and i dont think id have to worry much about trespassing. But i was told by a guy a work i should at least get one of the back tracking gps. Says they dont really show a map but they show you how to get back to camp. I might want one with a map tho because they said the terrain was ROUGH so when im coming back to camp i may need a map so i can see the best way to back rather than just the shortest way to get back. I dont know i'll figure all that out sooner to this fall, i was just curious about range finders because id like to have it this summer so i can really get use to using it in my shooting routine
     
  14. pods8

    pods8 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014