How do you estimate range?

JimmyJr

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Edit: In the event electronics are unavailable, how do you estimate range?
Or is stalking close enough that range doesn’t matter the better option?

Post your method, and any comments about it.
I carry a small weatherproof calculator and use this formula.
Size (inches) ÷ Size (MOA) x 95.5 = Range (yards)
 
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hafejd30

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    27 yards,
    5582B549-DBE0-4A79-8D3E-EFAC4EF3FF11.jpeg

    I use a Leica 2700B
     

    JimmyJr

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    Haha! That’s funny. I’ll just stick with my kilo 2000 and zap the range. Is the Leica binocular the thing to have?
     

    camocorvette

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    I got bored one day and drove around the section and measured signs, poles mailboxes and the like. Write it all down in your DOPE book. Then you have a reference of size. I use mil normally so size of target in inches / mils X 25.4 = distance to target in meters.
    I have all my target sizes written down too.
    Then just use a stable position and range with my reticle.
    I ranged a fence post at my cousins farm (1.5 miles away as the crow flies) of unknown height. Gps had it at 2408 meters and my range estimation had it at 2289 meters. Had I known the actual height I would have been closer i think.

    But as others have stated it's a legacy skill. Use technology to your advantage; but still know the basics.

    Hell in ten years dudes won't know how to shoot without a bag, tripod and pillow...
     

    JustSendit

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    JD by eye, it’s a hard skill to prefect but it’s effective to certain distances, especially if you can work your rounds trajectory to your advantage. Guessing off a known point as well. For quick shooting these ballpark ranges can get you close enough to spot splash (hopefully). Otherwise you’re miling in some method. Barring the use of LRFs…
     
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    JimmyJr

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    Many of you stated what I wasn’t smart enough to actually write in the first question.
    How do you estimate range if there was a situation when laser range finder isn’t available.
    But I asked what I asked and can’t change the question now. Lol.
     
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    mtwarych

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    Just like everyone is saying, practice, practice and more practicing. One of the tricks I use is cutting the full distance in half and judge the half distance.

    After a lot of practicing, you will surprise yourself how accurate you will be able to judge distance.

    Good luck, practice with your range finder and you will get pretty good.
     

    JimmyJr

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    Just like everyone is saying, practice, practice and more practicing. One of the tricks I use is cutting the full distance in half and judge the half distance.

    After a lot of practicing, you will surprise yourself how accurate you will be able to judge distance.

    Good luck, practice with your range finder and you will get pretty good.
    Cool thanks for that. I’ll practice. A lot.
     

    Brettmparker1

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    I dial up 1 mil shoot. Add another, shoot again, repeat until I hit it. Then I put that information it in 7 apps and average them to get the range. With this method everyone with their rangefinders are just wasting time.😂
     

    AlphaThree

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    Many of you stated what I wasn’t smart enough to actually write in the first question.
    How do you estimate range if there was a situation when laser range finder isn’t available.
    But I asked what I asked and can’t change the question now. Lol.m
    Most common/effective methods are using a 100m unit of measure, because most people are familiar with the length of a football field or soccer pitch. using a 100m reference, if you pick a target that is actually 400m away, you can do an over/under/average estimate. For instance, the target is definitely farther than 300. But definitely closer than 600. So averaging that out, your range estimation is 450m. using that estimate, even with a 300m spread, you are only 50m off and should easily be able to get close enough for a second round correction. But you could see this works even better if your “definitely farther” estimation is even closer at 200m. This can be very effective especially if you practice it.
     

    Steel head

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    Many of you stated what I wasn’t smart enough to actually write in the first question.
    How do you estimate range if there was a situation when laser range finder isn’t available.
    But I asked what I asked and can’t change the question now. Lol.
    You can use an app, many ballistic solvers have a range finding function.
    You can use a mil dot master or similar.
    You can learn the math
     
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    308pirate

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    Many of you stated what I wasn’t smart enough to actually write in the first question.
    How do you estimate range if there was a situation when laser range finder isn’t available.
    But I asked what I asked and can’t change the question now. Lol.

    You know that you can edit your posts..................right?
     
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    Shootin Stuff

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    #1 Laser rangefinder
    #2 Fatal fallopians

    But be cautious about pointing a laser rangefinder at anything that might have the tech to see you doing so. In such a situation, a notebook with known distance objects that have been ranged ahead of time is not a bad thing to have.
     

    DocRDS

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    Surprised this hasn't been mentioned (or maybe I read too fast)--use your scope!

    If you now the average size of the animal or an object you see in your scope--you have a ruler right on your glass. Measure it! Now this does get back to the IPHY or Mils/distance, but they aren't super bad to calc in your head. With some practice, it becomes second nature.
     

    Wiillk

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    Just send a round and see where it ends up ;)


    Battleship-board-game-001.jpg
    Laugh you may, but after a couple of years of guessing, I stumbled upon a ballistic program. The program told me what elevation to set the scope, I set it, (for 600 yards) saw it was a low hit, reset for 700 yards and next shot, my first hit ever on any target past 300 meters.

    Caveat. On the hill in Vietnam we had a free fire zone for a thousand meters. In the evening we would all be a bit bored and with unlimited free ammunition, we would sit up (on top of my bunker naturally since I had to do m thing on the night shift; don’t ask, the equipment is still secret) So, we would practice shooting at boulders that were anywhere from 500 to a boat 700 meters (or more) away. This is where I really learned how to shoot. However, the boulders were huge so missing was not easy.

    So, referencing the first paragraph, that shot was at the first Normal sized target and not a boulder as big as a small house,
     

    BiggBeans

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    I use my laser range finding binos. Have never been in a situation where electronics were not working. Usually replace batteries before big hunts. Or every year even if the batteries are good. What kind of situation where you thinking when you stated “electronics not functioning?”
     

    Slab74

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    If it’s an animal I intend to eat, stalking skills beat calculators. But if I’m defending my life, volume of fire will either end or detour 99.9% of attackers. If I’m up against that .1%, then shit happens. If I’m shooting steel, give me my LRF.
     

    JimmyJr

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    I use my laser range finding binos. Have never been in a situation where electronics were not working. Usually replace batteries before big hunts. Or every year even if the batteries are good. What kind of situation where you thinking when you stated “electronics not functioning?”
    Well I’m a cnc machinist by trade. Much of it is electronics and computers. In the 20 years doing this there has been quite a few electronics fail at inopportune times, leading to much creativity or else downtime if a backup wasn’t available.
    Due to those experiences there is an argument for redundancy and backup systems. And so am trying to improve my crude ranging skills, or lack thereof.
    But that’s a good idea to do regular battery changes. Maybe keep a backup LRF in the spare hunting gear bin?
    Probably am majoring a little on the unnecessary, compared to actually shooting more, but that’s what hobbys are for right?
     
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    JimmyJr

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    If it’s an animal I intend to eat, stalking skills beat calculators. But if I’m defending my life, volume of fire will either end or detour 99.9% of attackers. If I’m up against that .1%, then shit happens. If I’m shooting steel, give me my LRF.
    Well said! In that case stalking till you KNOW you are within max point blank range covers the hunting aspect.
     
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    Hollywood 6mm

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    Back when PRS matches would still throw out the occassional unknown target, I carried one of these (Attached pic) in my pack. The left most column is based on common target dimensions. Find the target size (or the closest one for a rougher estimate) and follow that row across until you see the result closest to your measured target size in MILs. From there, follow that column up to see the range estimate. I did everything for it in Excel with formulas, so it was easy to tweak the chart if I wanted to make one with different target sizes, smaller range increments, etc. I also had a separate version at one point with a smaller range window (EX: 400-1k yards), smaller distance increments, and rough DOPE for my 6CM already built into the chart to make it even simpler.

    Now, I'd either pull our a LRF (if allowed) or do it in my Kestrel for a more exact range. I practiced milling targets enough that I can still measure down to .05 or so pretty consistently. Even at 800ish yards on a full IPSC, I was rarely off by more than 10-20 yards when I milled the target and used my Kestrel for the exact math.
     

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    GONE BAD

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    Good out to 1000 yards on known size targets. I know its china but I've had it forever and it works fast. Never dial, just hold and shoot!
     

    bluegrasspicker

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    Here's a fun game to play that's in the spirit of the OP's question.

    Pretend your electronics are fried (calculator included), you forgot the formula(s) for estimation, and your Mildot Master burst into flames.

    Pick a target size and angular subtension at (somewhat, keep it reasonable) random.

    So, for poops and giggles let's take a target size of two feet that takes up five mrad in the scope.

    All I need for the entire process is my knowledge that one yard takes up 1 mrad at 1000 yards and a little good old-fashioned common horse sense. You can break the process into two separate steps. Adjust for the angle and adjust for the size.

    Adjust for angular subtension: Since the target's taking up five mrad instead of one, that puts the hypothetical one-yard target that we started with at 1/5th the starting 1000-yard distance, or two hundred yards. Forget about the size difference for this step, we'll take care of that next.

    Adjust for target size: Since the actual target's smaller by a factor of 2/3 than the hypothetical 1-yard target, that puts the target closer by the same factor. You know it's closer than the hypothetical because a smaller target needs to be closer to take up the same angular subtension. Two thirds of 200 yards is 133 yards.

    So after the dust settles our solution is that a two-foot target that appears to be 5 mrad in height is 133 yards away.

    The first numbers that came to my head resulted in a pretty precise answer. In practice you're not going to be so certain of the target size or the angular subtension, so you can relax on the significant digits and still come to a useful answer.

    Bonus points: Without redoing the calculation, what would be the distance of a two-foot target that takes up .5 mrad of angular subtension?

    Caution: Don't play this game while you're driving.
     

    Ronws

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    I had the situation this last Saturday hunting on public land. My range finder kept reflecting off closer trees and leaves. It is heavily forested. I saw a tree that was like the one next to me, about 3 inches wide. The target tree measured 4 MOA. 3 inches*95.5/ 4 = approximately 72.. So 72 yards.
     
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    JimmyJr

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    I had the situation this last Saturday hunting on public land. My range finder kept reflecting off closer trees and leaves. It is heavily forested. I saw a tree that was like the one next to me, about 3 inches wide. The target tree measured 4 MOA. 3 inches*95.5/ 4 = approximately 72.. So 72 yards.
    Public math? Nice, I like it!
     
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    Greg Langelius *

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    LRF combined with Bushnell AR Drop Zone BDC Scope. My backup is my Chinese 1000yd+ LRF. I carry and maintain adequate fresh batteries.

    Just as my VA Dentist told me that there's no reason for a patient to feel any pain; I think that in today's world of cheaper electronics, there's no good reason to be without a backup LRF. My plans for my remaining lifespan do not include first round kills/X's.

    I suspect that some of us here get carried away with ultimate accuracy and may be training for an MOS that they will likely never actually occupy. I shoot for fun and if I'm hitting what I'm aiming at, I'm a happy camper. Usually, that's the way it happens; and FWIW, at my age, I am one of those for whom a seat and a bench are pretty much a requisite. No shame there.

    IMHO, there does exist such a thing as excessive accuracy. Adequate works, by definition.

    Greg
     
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    shoobe01

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    Great point I mention in other contexts a lot. For many purposes, rangefinding is like navigating: a constant activity. You should always know where you are, have a general idea where threat (or game) might appear, and from map, LRF, etc keep track of ranges.
     
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    Dawhit

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    Base Maps app on the phone has a measuring tool. Corresponds pretty well with the numbers the range finder gives the times I have checked them against each other.
     

    JimmyJr

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    Yeah I need to get a mil dot master. Better than the wiz wheel or similar?
     

    JimmyJr

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    “I also have never used a wiz wheel. But I once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.”

    Did you get the option with clean sheets?
     
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