How do you estimate range?

bax

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Mr. Barr & Stroud. Totally analog. Emits no energy. Ranges out a long way. Seriously big and clunky. You need a tripod to set it on. Buddy has a very nice LRF, it says a target is 1,054 yards. My B&S says that same target is 1,048 and I can adjust to get closer. It uses a split image so it really helps to find a vertical edge you can range on. (picture stolen from an Ebay ad)
 

Rob01

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I bought one, haven't set down to figure it out yet
Pretty simple in function. Use the right column to line up the size of target with your mil or moa reading and then look over to left column for the range. If shooting an angle it will have that there too. Simple.
 
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BoltRunner

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So I have a question on straight reticle ranging without knowing the size of the target. Is there a way to somewhat accurately measure the size of the target with your reticle and then manually use the formula for MOA or MILS to do a reticle range estimate that gets you somewhat close like within 50yds or so...? I know this is somewhat of a dead art and yes I have plenty of laser range finders to do everything for me but I like knowing the manual way to do things if electronics fail if anything just for fun. I use the below formula that is the same for MILS just use 27.77 instead of the 95.5 for MOA. So if its an X Y Z formula and you need to know 2 of the 3 to get your answer can you use your reticle to get you the inches of the target cause that's my problem. If you can walk out an measure your target in inches its pretty easy but what if you cant walk out and measure the target how can you still reticle range estimate and get somewhat close to real distance...? When I practice this and guess on the inches of a target then check with a range finder sometimes its pretty damn good sometimes its way the F off and the guessing of the target size is the issue...

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Rob01

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You would have to know the range to target to figure the size in inches of the target as it reads in mil or moa. Seems like if you knew that you wouldn't need the formula. ;)
 

BoltRunner

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You would have to know the range to target to figure the size in inches of the target as it reads in mil or moa. Seems like if you knew that you wouldn't need the formula. ;)

Still not following and I'm sure its user error on my part, I'm saying you have a rifle and reticle no range finder, no mildot master nothing, don't know the distance or the size of target. Can you use your reticle to get the inches of target, and then MOA/MIL, then yards...?
 

Rob01

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Still not following and I'm sure its user error on my part, I'm saying you have a rifle and reticle no range finder, no mildot master nothing, don't know the distance or the size of target. Can you use your reticle to get the inches of target, and then MOA/MIL, then yards...?
No. You would need to know the range to translate the angular mil/moa reading to the linear inches to know the size of the target. You can only take one portion of that formula out.
 
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BoltRunner

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No. You would need to know the range to translate the angular mil/moa reading to the linear inches to know the size of the target. You can only take one portion of that formula out.

Ok that's what I thought that even if you work the formula backwards you need 2 of the 3 to get the answer. So basically without knowing at least 2 your really just guessing and your distance can be way off...
 
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JimmyJr

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Yeah that is the hard part. Knowing or guessing the size of an object in inches or cm or whatever you prefer.
What’s in your area? Where I live there are lots of trees where the diameter of the trunk can net you a decent estimate.
I don’t have an answer for a desert terrain since rocks sand and brush might vary, maybe a sage bush at distance is similar to the one next to you? Also the objects you want to hit can be referenced for a decent guess. IPSC silhouette, a rabbit, coyote, antelope, fence post, etc.
 
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GreenGO Juan

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It can be done but you need two optics parallel to each other at a known spacing. Then note the angle( mil or moa) and you can get a range estimate. ( range below is supposed to be yards... I accidentally put feet in the picture)
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100 yards with a 16” spacing is roughly 15 moa or 4.5mil. 200 yards 7.6moa 2.2 mil... so on an so fourth. The further the spread between optics, the more precise. And they need to be exactly parallel.
 
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BoltRunner

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FFP and known average measurements

Send one, adjust, and go
This works well at the range where you know the size of the targets or your shooting a match but outside of that this doesn't work. I was talking more about hunting or shooting at objects that vary in size, you cant walk up and measure it, then go back and plug it in to a formula, no range finder, and when you shoot at them they usually move so shooting at it then adjusting until you hit it is kinda out the window.
 

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This works well at the range where you know the size of the targets or your shooting a match but outside of that this doesn't work. I was talking more about hunting or shooting at objects that vary in size, you cant walk up and measure it, then go back and plug it in to a formula, no range finder, and when you shoot at them they usually move so shooting at it then adjusting until you hit it is kinda out the window.

Thankfully hunting only requires a “paper plate worth of precision” for most freezer worthy game. And shooting on private or public land in most settings I’m not taking shots far enough out to require much drop or drift anyways, for both backstop and humane reasons.
 
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smoothy8500

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I was talking more about hunting or shooting at objects that vary in size, you cant walk up and measure it,
Then maybe you need to learn the average size of common game? Google the height of a deer chest to start..... Interesting enough it matches the universal accepted width of a male chest shoulder to shoulder. What's the width of a stop sign, door height....
 
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BoltRunner

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Then maybe you need to learn the average size of common game? Google the height of a deer chest to start..... Interesting enough it matches the universal accepted width of a male chest shoulder to shoulder. What's the width of a stop sign, door height....
Yeah when you use the Reticle Ranging Formula and just guess on inches of something it will really throw off your yardage by enough to miss at distance... Again guys this is more of something I do for fun and general knowledge of how to estimate range when you have nothing in a pinch. If you ever get a chance set around the house with your rifle & range finder... Guess the inches of something at distance, plug it into either formula, then check it with a range finder and see how close it is. Its nice if there's a bunch of known size objects right around your target bit that's not always the case. Sometimes it comes out pretty close for me and then other times its way off and the factor is the guessing of target size in inches.
 

Feniks Technologies

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Yeah when you use the Reticle Ranging Formula and just guess on inches of something it will really throw off your yardage by enough to miss at distance... Again guys this is more of something I do for fun and general knowledge of how to estimate range when you have nothing in a pinch. If you ever get a chance set around the house with your rifle & range finder... Guess the inches of something at distance, plug it into either formula, then check it with a range finder and see how close it is. Its nice if there's a bunch of known size objects right around your target bit that's not always the case. Sometimes it comes out pretty close for me and then other times its way off and the factor is the guessing of target size in inches.

Analog ranging requires two knowns. The mil/moa measurement from your reticle, and the size of what you’re measuring in whatever units you want. Then use the correct formula.

Part of the preparation is knowing average sizes of the two or four legged target/s you’re planning on engaging. Part of the preparation also usually entails making a prepared range chart for those various measurements. Then you’re not required to do math in the field. Measure with reticle, look at charge, get range.

If you’re attempting to do anything else, you’ve already failed the assignment. Especially if it’s a situation where you can’t employ a follow up shot off your random range guess because you don’t have the required information.

Analog ranging is also not intended for small targets. It’s to get you inside the acceptable impact zone for your target. It’s also rarely used past 6-700yds because it becomes much less reliable (lighting, mirage, edges….etc) combined with velocity and BC now putting you in a spot where you drop out of the margin of error.
 

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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.
A "two birds-one stone" fieldcraft practice it to work on point to point navigation using a map and compass and alternating distance by pace, eye ball estimate, GPS, and range finder. It exercises many field skills and pieces of equipment at the same time.
 

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A "two birds-one stone" fieldcraft practice it to work on point to point navigation using a map and compass and alternating distance by pace, eye ball estimate, GPS, and range finder. It exercises many field skills and pieces of equipment at the same time.
If I didn't mention before, you can do a lot of practice pretty much anywhere. Even suburban folks can walk around town for a change, or pay attention on dog walks, etc. Use the compass, have an LRF in the pocket, and get a topo-map product on your phone. Get used to thinking of azimuth and distance, then checking your work, to learn it instead of just following driving directions or thinking in terms of blocks.

People practiced at land nav don't loose their car in the parking lot at the mall or airport, either.
 

308pirate

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    It can be done but you need two optics parallel to each other at a known spacing. Then note the angle( mil or moa) and you can get a range estimate. ( range below is supposed to be yards... I accidentally put feet in the picture)View attachment 7772142View attachment 7772141

    100 yards with a 16” spacing is roughly 15 moa or 4.5mil. 200 yards 7.6moa 2.2 mil... so on an so fourth. The further the spread between optics, the more precise. And they need to be exactly parallel.

    I'm pretty sure that's how the old school optical rangefinders work
     
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    308pirate

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    Target size in mm
    ————————— = range in meters
    Target size in mils

    As much as I joke with those who say we should go metric, they are absolutely right.

    And unlike the last time it was tried in the 70s, next time we should just go cold turkey overnight.

    Change road signs overnight. Outlaw the use of imperial units on all consumer packaging within 3 months. Outlaw the use of imperial units in all weather forecasting, including weather broadcasts. Outlaw the use of imperial fasteners in all new products and construction materials.

    Some major industries (auto manufacturing) won't care, they are already there even here.

    Keep outlawing imperial units in everything, focusing on what the retail consumer sees first. Imperial units will hang on for a while then they will die off with the old people.

    Just stay the course. Ignore the bitching which will go to 11.
     

    SanPatHogger

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    As much as I joke with those who say we should go metric, they are absolutely right.

    And unlike the last time it was tried in the 70s, next time we should just go cold turkey overnight.

    Change road signs overnight. Outlaw the use of imperial units on all consumer packaging within 3 months. Outlaw the use of imperial units in all weather forecasting, including weather broadcasts. Outlaw the use of imperial fasteners in all new products and construction materials.

    Some major industries (auto manufacturing) won't care, they are already there even here.

    Keep outlawing imperial units in everything, focusing on what the retail consumer sees first. Imperial units will hang on for a while then they will die off with the old people.

    Just stay the course. Ignore the bitching which will go to 11.
    6QTS-L2a67UMRge5LuBx2FomFkwEPDEcokZUaDH91pM.jpg


    This is just funny.



    But I do agree with almost everything you say on here.
     
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    308pirate

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    This is just funny.



    But I do agree with almost everything you say on here.

    I know, I've used that meme about half a dozen times. But there is absolutely no question that metric is just easier in common usage and superior for any technical or scientific work.

    I got my engineering degree from USNA in 1988 and all my engineering textbooks were in metric. Every single one of them.

    metric.jpg
     
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    JAS-SH

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    When the batteries run out, and the nearest 7/11 was just got burnt to the ground by looters (err - nice people just peacefully protesting), or a hurricane just came by and there's nothing left, what to do....

    Better have a plan. It's called simple math, and a mil ranging scope. And yes, it is pretty simple. Learn it.

    And forget your phone app. That ran out of battery too.

    :oops::eek::ROFLMAO:
     
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    JAS-SH

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    I know, I've used that meme about half a dozen times. But there is absolutely no question that metric is just easier in common usage and superior for any technical or scientific work.

    I got my engineering degree from USNA in 1988 and all my engineering textbooks were in metric. Every single one of them.

    View attachment 7811398
    But, but, mils are not "metric" they are just a base 10 angular measurement system...... Love base 10 and hate fractions! You said that yourself in another recent post - "forget inches"? And I completely agree! I measure everything in MM these days
     
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    308pirate

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    But, but, mils are not "metric" they are just a base 10 angular measurement system...... Love base 10 and hate fractions! You said that yourself in another recent post - "forget inches"? And I completely agree! I measure everything in MM these days

    Even though no one uses milliradians in mechanical engineering, all angles are in degrees and decimals, not degrees, arcminutes, and arcseconds.

    As far as I can tell, navigation is moving away or has moved away from arcminutes and arcseconds as well.

    The best way is to be fluent in all units.....
     
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    acudaowner

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    I pick an arbitrary point on a mountain far away send the kid to measure it and when he drops down on the ground all tuckered out and winded I know it's about 400 yards I never thought he would make it past 200 yards . Just needed to find the right carrot to dangle on the stick in front of him . Slave labor it's how things get done cheaply i jest lol .
     

    Mini 762

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    Size in inches times 27.77. That answer divided by size measured in Mil and that’s your range estimate in yds. Like mentioned before it’s nice to have a cheat sheet of common things (car, truck and SUV average heights, wheels, license plates, construction cones, torso and body heights. The more accurate you can guess how big the object is and how accurately you measure the object with your reticle the closer your range estimate will be.
     
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