Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?



Author Topic: Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?  (Read 137 times))

Online GatorCountry

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 271
  • Real Name: Mark
Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?
« on: November 21, 2018, 10:52:36 AM »
Anyone find these useful for setup or practice for HFT?  There's one in the bargain gate currently that got me thinking about this.  Its got my curiosity up, but not sure how I'd use it.

I set my side wheel markings by focusing on measured increments once, then record/refine holdovers during practice at whatever mark lines up.  The number almost seems irrelevant.  The marks are just fixed focus/aim points.

At variable distances beyond the 10-55yds for HFT a range finder makes a lot of sense, but in the controlled/known HFT zone...am I missing something?



  • Monroe, NC
The ones that get fed (all .177):  Air Arms TX200 MKIII; Weihrauch HW97K, HW50S and HW30S; Diana 54 and 34.

Offline ss23

  • Shooter
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • yes
  • Real Name: Dennis
Re: Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 11:03:11 AM »
Nice gun range. Is this yours?
You already have a range finder in your targets setup.
If you know your velocity you can estimate your trajectory at different ranges through practice.
A range finder is great outdoors in the hunting or plinking world, where ranges are not set.
  • USA,GEORGIA,ATLANTA

Offline tommy2toes

  • Shooter
  • *
  • Posts: 73
  • yes
  • Real Name: Thomas
Re: Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2018, 11:06:40 AM »
I know you mentioned range finders in the context of HFT, but I bought mine for back yard pest control.  Have a number of trees at various distances and I wanted to make sure I knew exactly how far each was from my outside deck rail, where I hunt/pest from typically.

I bought a Nikon Monarch 3000 Image Stabilizer Range Finder ( spent more than I needed ), but I am very happy with it so far.  So for me, the range finder is used a lot for marking tree distances, that will have squirrel activity for back yard pest control. 

re. your base question, "are they useful?"  Yes, my hold overs/unders are now more precise for POA purposes but not exactly sure how this might apply to HFT under 55 yards, based on your question.

Will keep watching thread for an answer.



  • Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Crossman .22 Break Barrel with Centerpoint scope (never use anymore)
Diana AM03 N-Tec .22 caliber Break Barrel with UTG 4-16X40 EZ Tap
Gamo Swarm Maxxim .22 with Hawk AMX 30 4-12X40MM
Daystate Regal XL .22 ( non regulated) with Leupold 6.5-20X40 EFR
Walther CP 88 .177 pistol, Crossman 357 .177 pellet pistol

Online GatorCountry

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 271
  • Real Name: Mark
Re: Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 11:34:54 AM »
Nice gun range. Is this yours?
The range is owned by a shooting buddy.  He cleared a 100+ yard lane into the woods on a slight downhill slope, that terminates at the base of a hill.  The pic shows part of a setup we created for a PB fun shoot.  I've got space, but mostly flat open land with neighbor's houses in line of sight.  His range is near perfect IMO.

A range finder is great outdoors in the hunting or plinking world, where ranges are not set.
I believe we're stating the same thing differently and if so, that's what I was thinking...very useful for ranging beyond the preset markings (10-55yds) on the sidewheel.  Redundant inside those distances.

  • Monroe, NC
The ones that get fed (all .177):  Air Arms TX200 MKIII; Weihrauch HW97K, HW50S and HW30S; Diana 54 and 34.

Online GatorCountry

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 271
  • Real Name: Mark
Re: Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 11:37:41 AM »
I know you mentioned range finders in the context of HFT, but I bought mine for back yard pest control.  Have a number of trees at various distances and I wanted to make sure I knew exactly how far each was from my outside deck rail, where I hunt/pest from typically.
Definitely see the ability of a range finder to take the slope into account for true linear ground distance (probably a better term for that) as very useful too.

  • Monroe, NC
The ones that get fed (all .177):  Air Arms TX200 MKIII; Weihrauch HW97K, HW50S and HW30S; Diana 54 and 34.

Online Mole2017

  • Squirrel Researcher
  • Sharp Shooter
  • ****
  • Posts: 938
  • Real Name: David
Re: Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 02:45:24 PM »
I'm pretty good at estimating my ranges in the back yard--everything is about 30 yards or less, so it if the AO is right, it shows. But out in the open, 40, 50, 60 yards get a little harder to get right. SO, I like mine...

I actually bought it more for verifying the range after the fact in my yard or for setting a target at a precise range. Later, I got involved in some groundhog hunting in a much larger place.

As for angle, I'm a line of site guy and don't screw around with any math theories about horizontal distance when shooting at an angle. It is just easier for me to work the corrections based on range to the target (line of sight) and how steep the shot is--it's never more than about 1 mildot correction in my back yard.
  • Pendleton, SC
Gamo CFX .177
BSA R10 MK2 .177
Crosman 1377

Offline Motorhead

  • Field Target Shooter .... AAFTA 2018 Gran Prix Hunter PCP High Point Champion.
  • GTA Senior Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 13415
  • "EXPERIENCE" ... Our Reward For Lifes Mistakes
  • Real Name: Scott
Re: Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2018, 03:53:32 PM »
Now this JMO ....  So long what you practice is within a KNOWN 10 to 55 yards, what the actual distances are DOES NOT MATTER. * For now  ???
In Field target we use the scopes parrilax function as a miens of range finding, so ... what matters is that what ever distance you get a clear parrilax image at ... is in sync with hold over value that will compensate for the trajectory profile pellet is following.

While it is important to establish a correct PBR ( Point Blank range / zero ) so your hold overs are NEVER hold unders .... from there you could mark the SF wheel at any given distance to actual hold over value ( eliminating an elevation correction dope chart ) or use letters such a A=10 B=11 C=12 etc ... Just so what you view and determine as the distance matches your hold correction, distance is irreverent.  "Except" if your advanced enough of a shooter to use a dope sheet for Windage correction. In these situations having a close idea of distance to target certainly helps in knowing @ how far off the KZ you need to be @ holding. 

While my personal FT practice range is a full 55 yards long and marked every 5 yards ... SELDOM do i practice shooting the known marked distance because I practice TRUSTING MY OPTICS and my dope number as I actually view & must shoot each distance same as an actual match.  We have no clue what the distances are and absolutely MUST trust our optics and correction data when in competition.
  • Northern California ... Old Hangtown
** Home of MOTORHEADS AG Tuning Services **
        ** PM me for further contact & tuning info.

       Sacramento Valley Field Target Club
#https://sites.google.com/site/sacvalleyairgunclub/

Online GatorCountry

  • Plinker
  • **
  • Posts: 271
  • Real Name: Mark
Re: Range Finders - Useful practice tool...or not?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 06:13:27 PM »
.... from there you could mark the SF wheel at any given distance to actual hold over value ( eliminating an elevation correction dope chart ) or use letters such a A=10 B=11 C=12 etc ... Just so what you view and determine as the distance matches your hold correction, distance is irreverent.
Which confirms that having index wheel markings correspond to "true" yardage values is almost irrelevant.  Knowing what holdover corresponds to the mark where the target is "in focus" is key.  The wheel could even be marked at close, equally spaced intervals and then holdovers recorded for when those marks were in focus.  Practically though a difficult task to get them all covered, plus many would have no appreciable difference.

I'll be skipping the range finder and continuing to refine my range card for HFT - by shooting.   :D

Very clear explanation, including the holdover and windage.  Thanks for taking the time to lay it out.

  • Monroe, NC
The ones that get fed (all .177):  Air Arms TX200 MKIII; Weihrauch HW97K, HW50S and HW30S; Diana 54 and 34.

GTA - The best place for discussion about Air Guns.