What kind of Rangefinder do you use?

spectr17

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How about a quick survey on what rangefinders everyone uses.

I started with Bushnell 400, the original model a few years back. It worked pretty good but the weight and size was a killer, especially if you had it around your neck.

I lucked out about 1 1/2 years ago when a friend sent me an email saying the Bushnell 600 compact was on Ubid.com for about $100.00 when they were selling for almost $300.00. I got in late on the bidding but did get the 600 for $145.00.

The Bushnell 600 is much smaller than the 400 so for carrying or around the neck it's not that bad. I hate the velcro cover and would like to change the velcro to a snap. The 600 ranges animals out to 300 yards on sunny days and hard targets to about 600 yards.

I do wish it had a backlite display for the low light times I've needed it. Leica is the only one I know of that has the backlite. The buttons are a bit hard the the neoprene cover over them.

The display is pertty good although I was higher magnification so I didn't have to shift back to binos. Someday we'll have 10x rangefidners I hope.

I'm thinking of upgrading to the Leica 800 for the backlite and better optics. I keep checking Ubid.com for the Leica but so far no deal.

So what kind of rangefinder do you use and what do you like and dislike about it.
 



boyd

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At the moment I have six rangefinders.
They each have good features and very different uses.
In the order I got them:

1. Leica Geovid. Now nearly 10 years old. They're a heavy set of binoculars. While they're rated at 1000 meters it requires a very reflective surface like a white building to achieve that range. Large trees with plenty of foliage are about the most useful target for rangefinders in the field. The Geovid will usually measure to about 650 meters on trees. These go for about $2500. A high price for a large heavy pair of Leica quality binos plus a 700 yard rangefinder. New ones may be better as rangefinders.
It's one advantage over all of the other rangefinders is it works in lower light. The 7 x 35 binos allow you to see the object you're trying to measure in twilight better than the smaller monoculars. The readout, like all the Leica's, is LED and compensated for the brightness of the background scene. Even if you cant' see the target you can read the distance to whatever you're pointing at. The battery is hard to find and expensive but lasts a long time.

2. Bushnell YP 1000. A great buy in my opinon and probalby the best buy in "yards per dollar". It will reliably measure to trees to about 700 yards, typically to 800. It has lots of button selectable options, most of which I haven't found useful. The one feature which is very nice is the signal strength indicator. It allow you to move the rangefinder around and find reflective targets. It's actual sensitivity is about the same as the Leica 800, but this feature allows finding a good reflective target more easily. Of all the handheld rangefinders listed here this one gives the longest range to highly reflective targets. I've used mine to 1500 yards with a survying retroreflector. Beyond that it quits. As a monocular it's ok but not as good as the Leica 800 or 1200, and nowhere close to the Geovid's optics. It's pretty useless in low light. Trying to see either a target or the display through the small optics is difficult even with a full moon overhead.

3 Bushnell Scout. It's very small, shirt pocket size and fairly inexpensive. It's reliable for measuring to trees to 400 yards. I've measured 700 yards to white building. Mine eats it's battery in about a month just in stoarge. I sent it back and the one they returned does the same thing. I just leave the battery out
when I put it away. It uses a lithium batter which is available but a bit difficult to fine.

4. Leica 800 It performs a bit better than the old Geovid. It gives fairly reliable readings to 700 yards off of trees with occasional readings over 800 yards. Near sunset it will sometimes read to 1000 yards. It's has a brightness adjusting LED which looks just like the Geovid's display. It's about an inch smaller than the Yardage Pro 1000 in each dimension but nearly as heavy. It uses a common 9v battery and gives good life. It's monocular is a bit more magnification than the YP 1000 and has noticably larger field of vew. Still, it's only a 21 mm objective so it's night performance isn't nearly as good as the Geovid. Better than the Bushnells though.

5. Leica 1200 I just acquired this one. I'm impressed.. It reliably gives reading to just about any tree to 1000 yards in noonday light, and toward sunset it reliably measures to most trees right up to 1200 yards. Unlike the YP 1000 which can measure reflective objects to 1500 yards the Leica 1200 appears to quit just beyond 1200 yards. It's definitely more sensitive than the YP 1000 for "soft" targets. Physically it's nearly identical to the Leica 800. The monocular and display performance seem to be the same too. Leica apparently just made major improvements to the sensitivity. I got mine from a Leica dealer in Califorina who sells under the name of "meleica" on ebay. $420 including shipping.

6. My "other" rangefinder is a Navy surplus surveying unit. It measures up to 2000 meters with 5cm resolution. It sits on a tripod and weighs about 20 lbs. It requires a retrorflector at the other end and has inputs for air density (a function of attitude, temperature, and humidity) to correct for the speed of light in air. I don't recommend one of these for huntting, but I used it to set up targets for some fun silhouette shooting. Standard NRA targets but not standard distances: chicken @1000 yards, pig@1500, turkey @1760, and ram @2000 yards . Shot from bipod or bags. Any scope any rifle. Just informal shooting with some local ranchers. This is not for whimpy rifles.
 

Bishop

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Bushnell Yardage Pro Scout. Very light, good price. Good to 400 yards, perfect for bow or handgun hunting.
 

boyd

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The Leica rangefinders ( LRF 800, 1200, and Geovid) do not have a backlit display. The display is a few small red light emitting diode bars which are superimposed on the field seen through the eyepiece. The brightness of the LED's is adjusted based on light comming into the unit. It is easy to read in daylight but not excessively bright in the dark. The limitation for low light use is being able to aim at the desired target not reading the display.

A small square box appears in the center of the field as soon as you press the single display button which is the aiming point. You have about 5 seconds to center on the object you want to measure and press the button again. The range is then displayed below the box with a 3-1/2 digit set of seven segement leds. "- - -" is displayed if no reading can be made. If the battery is low the display blinks while it still give the reading. The laser ranging pulses only occurs when the button is pressed the second time and it's brief. The unit and the display shuts off 5-6 seconds after the measurement is taken. You can take more readings by just pressing the button before the timeout. After the timeout the display is totaly invisible leaving just a clear monocular. On the Geovid the display only appears in one eyepiece. The yards/meters selection is a switch in the battery compartment of the 800/1200 units. Early Geovids did not have a yard/meter selection. Current Geovids use a second button.
 

jayber

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Bought a Bushnell Yardage Pro Scout the end of last year for bowhunting. I used to step-off and flag all my yardages, but this year I'm going to pick landmarks as reference points once I get on stand.
 

MNHNTR

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BUSHNELL YARDAGE PRO SCOUT,....... I like the size and it appears to be accurate....
 

Tominator

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Dang, I'm almost ashamed to mention my Ranging TLR75 in the same post with these others! Of course, I only use it for bowhunting so it's fine for what i do.
Tominator
 

Bishop

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Tominator:

That TLR75 is a great bowhunting rangefinder. I used one for years, simple and easy to use. If I wasn't gun hunting now I'd still be using it.
 

shadow

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BUSHNELL YARDAGE PRO SCOUT for me. Love the size and weight. No problems other than going thru batteries quickly when not in use...go figure? I keep my batteries out of it until I get ready to use it.
 

MOTX Hunter

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spectre17,


I've had a Leica LRF800 since the first year they came out. I've loved it. I've used it in Colorado twice (elk and Mulies) and ranged a single pine tree at 886 yards. (the elk were that much further away)
I've carried it to my local range and informed them that their 50 yd targets weren't 50yds away, more like 46 yds. Their reply was "We know, but we figured the average joe wouldn't know that"

Most, if not all of these rangefinders aren't really designed to be used IN PLACE OF your regular binoculars. You'll still need to carry them.

But for an all-purpose hunter (archery, rifle,shotgun,muzzleloader) they are a great benefit to have. Sure removes the guess-work out of how far that animal or target is!!
 

bubba

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Bushnell compact 600. I can get up to 550 yards on good targets. I agree about the velcro strap, to noisy when your ou tin the field trying to be stealthlike.
 


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