Trying to decide on the right rangefinder and wind meter.

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by FlGunner, May 19, 2018.

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  1. FlGunner

    FlGunner Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2016
    I'm looking to buy a new rangefinder and I really want a Kestrel. I would like to eventually get a G7 BR2500 or a Sig Kilo 2400. Both have great reviews and from what I read they put out really good ballistic data. However, 1400-1600 is a lot of money. I could swing it but most likely would have to do without the Kestrel. My Bushnell truth ranges out to 800 on most reflective targets but not on deer. It's been very accurate in combination with the Applied ballistics all on my phone. So for the money am I better off to go ahead and get one of the two listed above or get the new Kestrel and spend less on something like the Vortex ranger 1800? It says it'll range deer out to 900. For my purposes that's a plenty and it's going for $430 on Midway and the Kestrel Elite 5700 with Applied ballistics is going for $710. Any advice you guys have is appreciated. I'm looking for what will give the best ballistic solution to make cold bore hunting shots.
  2. geo4061

    geo4061 Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Absolutely love my Kestrel. Shop around, you should find one for quite a bit less.
  3. dok7mm

    dok7mm Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2015
    To save money, I'd suggest the cheapest Kestrel that has pressure capability, I think the 400 model.

    Add a Kilo 2000 for about $400. Build a good dope card and you're ready to go.
    Mike 338 likes this.
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Windmeter - Kestrel.

    Rangefinder - Vortex Ranger 1800
  5. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    IMO, the critical aspect is matching your ranging/ballistics system to your specific hunting/shooting requirements and becoming highly proficient in its use under various conditions and situations. For my hunting style and quarry, “time to shot” has proven to be the factor that has made the difference with quite a few good animals taken. Having worked with various approaches, for me, it’s hard to beat the speed and simplicity, of a basic wind meter/ballistic RF(ie. G7, Sig 2400, etc) for my medium game LR hunting.
  6. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    If all you need the Kestrel for is reading wind then just get a cheaper wind meter. You are far better off getting the quality laser range finder then having an expensive wind meter. The Sig 2400 ABS & Gunwerks range finders do everything but read the wind. I’ve used the $30 windmeter from Caldwell and guess what, it works. If for some reason you want something that has all the weather reading capabilities then look at the Skymaster sm-28. They are about $100, I have one and have compared it to a kestrel on many occasions.
  7. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    At this time I'm hung up on beam divergence that the various Laser Range Finders have. That seems to be a big factor when ranging objects way out there. Also, it seems a LRF should have a threaded hole to attach to a tripod so you can aim at those targets way out there. For the Sig rangefinders you have to buy a bracket to mount on a tripod.
  8. catorres1

    catorres1 Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2014
    Fl gunner,

    2018 is a big year for RF's, so unless you are in a hurry, you might wait a few months to let things shake out a bit.
    I have used Leica RF's for a while, currently run a 2700 with a Kestrel Elite. I did a review on the RF on another site, working on the second part that lightly covers the Kestrel but focuses more on the workflow. Putting ranging performance aside (the top ones are all pretty good in this regard), its the other functions that separate them at this point...IE the data they provide and how you can access it.

    As there have been so many developments recently and more coming (Sig BDX series, Vectonix X, new Leicas coming), some points below will be based on expected performance, as the new stuff is untested.

    But assuming your budget is about 1150 ish (RF and Kestrel), and assuming you want to pair it to the Kestrel Elite or ballistic, here are some choices (there are others!) with pluses and minuses IMO:

    Leica 2700 and Kestrel (Either Elite or the Ballistic).
    Upsides: Both are available and tested now. Leica optics are tops. The custom curve option makes onboard ballistics trustworthy until you get to where coriolis and aero jump matter. Return from this limited to 1000 yards if using custom curve. Strong ranging performance in all kinds of conditions.
    Downsides: May bust your budget a bit. RF itself, does not take into account advanced stuff like Coriolis etc., so at some point you are moving to another solver. Kestrel takes care of that, but data entry is manual.

    Sig BDX Series and Kestrel
    Upsides: Theoretically, best workflow around, as it dumps all the info right into the Kestrel, and as it was explained to me by Sig, the Kestrel can feed that back into the RF. So range, let the kestrel do it's thing, it feeds it back to the RF and you have everything, similar to the 2400 ABS, except all the work is done by the Kestrel instead of inside the RF (there are pluses and minuses to that vs the ABS).
    Also has a stand alone ballistic solution...AB lite. Like the ballistics on the Leica, it does not take into account advanced forces on your shot, but is good for medium to medium long range (it is limited to 800 yards for this return)
    Cost wise, you can pick up whatever model you can afford to make work with your system, from a 1400 IIRC, to the 2400. Pick your price point.
    Downsides: Just released, so you are a beta tester to see how well the system really works in the field. Glass is not in Leica's league....which can matter depending on when, where, and how you use it...YMMV. Incidentally, there will be a BDX bino coming out shortly as well if you like that setup...IIRC, it's in the 1200 range.

    Leica Vaporware and Kestrel
    Leica is bringing a response to market that will work with the Kestrel. Exactly how, could not get further details. But my guess is it will probably work like the Vec X...range, it will dump it to the Kestrel, but will not feed back like the BDX is supposed to do. You will have to look at the Kestrel to get your shooting solution. But that is totally conjecture at this point.
    Glass will be top notch. I would guess ranging will be in the 3000 to 3300 yard range, which it will probably achieve under difficult conditions, if past performance is any indicator.
    Downsides? It is already late...don't know when it will actually come out. And the price is likely to be higher than the sig products. And again, you will be a beta tester. Leica has generally been good about it's products working on new release because they have been iterative...but this will represent something new in terms of connecting to a Kestrel, so there is risk there.

    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  9. FlGunner

    FlGunner Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2016
    Thank you. It'll be end of summer maybe August before make a buy. That'll give me time to get my $ right to do closer to $2k. I feel that I probably should wait until I get what I want and don't cut myself short by settling. All the advice has really helped. I'll definitely look into the Leica RF. as well.