Plrf25c, Vector IV, Vector 21, or steiner m830r lrf 1535nm?

Hoplite Arms Ammunition

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Gathering all the information I can before making a purchase.

Use:

2moa targets out to 2500yds (possibly further), with a lot of PRS matches as well.

Any and all experiences welcome.
 

Jumper

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I was watching bullet trace with my Steiner's at the East Coast night shoot a couple weeks ago out to 1000yds. This was before it got dark. The laser is great as I've posted before. And so is the glass. I don't have the Bluetooth dongle to link it with the Kestrel, it's backordered. I love them but I would never pay Steiner's retail price for them. I got mine brand new in the PX at a fair price. They don't have the smartphone app like I think the Vectronix units do and they don't have inclination and magnetic heading either. They just do one thing pretty dam well.
 

CoryT

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  • Mar 5, 2004
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    Plus/minus on all the units

    PLRF25C - Small and light, excellent range capability, good connectivity. Downside is monocular viewing, high price > $11K
    Vector IV or 21 - Bino is a much better observation device, outstanding range cabability, good connectivity. Downside is more weight/bulk.
    Steiner - Bino with good ranging. Downside is bulk, limited connectivity, range data only, no DMC
    Moskito - In between size of bino and PLRF, but has a built-in image tube for night use, good connectivity, excellent range ability, DMC. Downside is monocular view at 5x day and 3x night.

    The Vector and Moskito can have an add on lens to increase magnification, with the added weight and bulk. 10X for the Vectors and 8/5 x for the Moskito. Lack of a DMC is a significant factor for the Steiner, IMHO.

    Connectivity depends on what your needs are, if any. Depending on target size and location, beam size is an important factor. I tend to go for the tightest beam size if at all possible. That tends to drive cost quite a bit higher though, as noted by the PLRF and Vector 23 retail price.

    Note that the Vectronix units have many measurement features, like the distance and azimuth between two points, multiple object measurements, horizontal distance and height difference just to name a few. They are all NVG compatible if that matters.
     
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    SkyScrapin

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    Plus/minus on all the units

    PLRF25C - Small and light, excellent range capability, good connectivity. Downside is monocular viewing, high price > $11K
    Vector IV or 21 - Bino is a much better observation device, outstanding range cabability, good connectivity. Downside is more weight/bulk.
    Steiner - Bino with good ranging. Downside is bulk, limited connectivity, range data only, no DMC
    Moskito - In between size of bino and PLRF, but has a built-in image tube for night use, good connectivity, excellent range ability, DMC. Downside is monocular view at 5x day and 3x night.

    The Vector and Moskito can have an add on lens to increase magnification, with the added weight and bulk. 10X for the Vectors and 8/5 x for the Moskito. Lack of a DMC is a significant factor for the Steiner, IMHO.

    Connectivity depends on what your needs are, if any. Depending on target size and location, beam size is an important factor. I tend to go for the tightest beam size if at all possible. That tends to drive cost quite a bit higher though, as noted by the PLRF and Vector 23 retail price.

    Note that the Vectronix units have many measurement features, like the distance and azimuth between two points, multiple object measurements, horizontal distance and height difference just to name a few. They are all NVG compatible if that matters.

    The 25c X3 upgrades are worth not having bino function as long as this isn’t for long term observation. I’m not sure that specs have been announced, and I will keep quiet until then 👹
     

    Hoplite Arms Ammunition

    Hoplite Arms Ammunition Division
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    Nov 14, 2021
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    South Texas
    Plus/minus on all the units

    PLRF25C - Small and light, excellent range capability, good connectivity. Downside is monocular viewing, high price > $11K
    Vector IV or 21 - Bino is a much better observation device, outstanding range cabability, good connectivity. Downside is more weight/bulk.
    Steiner - Bino with good ranging. Downside is bulk, limited connectivity, range data only, no DMC
    Moskito - In between size of bino and PLRF, but has a built-in image tube for night use, good connectivity, excellent range ability, DMC. Downside is monocular view at 5x day and 3x night.

    The Vector and Moskito can have an add on lens to increase magnification, with the added weight and bulk. 10X for the Vectors and 8/5 x for the Moskito. Lack of a DMC is a significant factor for the Steiner, IMHO.

    Connectivity depends on what your needs are, if any. Depending on target size and location, beam size is an important factor. I tend to go for the tightest beam size if at all possible. That tends to drive cost quite a bit higher though, as noted by the PLRF and Vector 23 retail price.

    Note that the Vectronix units have many measurement features, like the distance and azimuth between two points, multiple object measurements, horizontal distance and height difference just to name a few. They are all NVG compatible if that matters.

    Thanks. Sorry I haven’t made time to give you a call. Been swamped with basically two jobs. And also want to make sure I have the right questions to ask and not waste your time.

    Generally speaking, ignoring the bino vs monocular pro/cons……the Plrf25c vs Vector 21:

    (Generally speaking) 2moa targets to 2500yds, will the Vector 21 provide a noticeable improvement in ranging over the Plrf25c?

    And if not, do you often run across in plrf25c’s in your buys?

    Thanks!
     

    CoryT

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    Short answer is yes, the 21 will work noticeably better that the PLRF's on small distant targets. The smaller beam and larger 7x lenses make smaller targets easier to range. The PRLF uses the same laser module as the Vector IV, beam size in MOA is 6.9 x 6.9 in a 6x system. The 21 is 1.2 x 2.4 MOA in a 7x system with an option to go to 10X. Right now you can get a 21 with 10x lens for the cost of a 25C. The only downside is the 21 is larger and heavier, so if you intend to do a lot of hiking about the 25C will be easier to carry.

    I see 25C's from time to time, but I don't currently have any in stock.

    I am available today if you decide you'd like to chat.
     

    The King

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    If I were in the market I would get the new Wilcox most likely. I have the Raptar S and it’s pretty good to 3km and I expect the new xrf to be similar.

    When I need spotting and Nv not on a rifle I mount it to a Leupold spotter with a clip on and go.

    Also, the new Sigs are decent if you don’t care about NV visibility.
     

    Hoplite Arms Ammunition

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    I have personally used the 1535s to over 8k yards. It was a reflective water tower and I used 10 digit MGRS to verify it.

    Completely serious here…..ranging house, barns, mountains…..giant stuff….really has no value unless you’re using the laser for actual work building a target card or directing artillery.

    And at that point you can use maps and gps anyway.

    An ipsc is a much more practical test of a laser at distance. It not so ideal conditions is even better.
     

    CoryT

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    NV visibility is only part of the equation. The reason a 1550nm laser works so much better than a normal commercial 905nm is because you can pump the power up to insane levels and remain eye safe, as the cornea absorbs 1550 but not 905. You can run the 1550 at 100 watts, but a 905 is limited to < 1 watt.

    HH, I'm not sure how a reflective water tower is relevant to a discussion about a 2 MOA target.

    The RAPTAR is a decent unit, but beam size is an issue.. It's annoying to zero, and because of the offset is really only zeroed at one range, after which you must know where the beam is relative to the approximate range to be sure you are on the target. Therefore they make the beam fairly large. I've run out of E/W adjustment on the RAPTAR's on several setups.

    Great on a rifle where you will leave it mounted and want a small package with ballistics though. Not what I would call general purpose though.
     

    The King

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    NV visibility is only part of the equation. The reason a 1550nm laser works so much better than a normal commercial 905nm is because you can pump the power up to insane levels and remain eye safe, as the cornea absorbs 1550 but not 905. You can run the 1550 at 100 watts, but a 905 is limited to < 1 watt.

    HH, I'm not sure how a reflective water tower is relevant to a discussion about a 2 MOA target.

    The RAPTAR is a decent unit, but beam size is an issue.. It's annoying to zero, and because of the offset is really only zeroed at one range, after which you must know where the beam is relative to the approximate range to be sure you are on the target. Therefore they make the beam fairly large. I've run out of E/W adjustment on the RAPTAR's on several setups.

    Great on a rifle where you will leave it mounted and want a small package with ballistics though. Not what I would call general purpose though.
    All true. Interested in the new 905nm sigs though. Wanna see how much magic is there.

    I have a series of serious 1535 lasers as well, including one that does 40km. So I’m not ignorant of the Ferraris performance - I’m just more interested in how much growth there is in the Honda type stuff.
     

    Hoplite Arms Ammunition

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    All true. Interested in the new 905nm sigs though. Wanna see how much magic is there.

    I have a series of serious 1535 lasers as well, including one that does 40km. So I’m not ignorant of the Ferraris performance - I’m just more interested in how much growth there is in the Honda type stuff.

    As @CoryT said, 905nm lasers will always be not so great.

    You can’t crank up the power on anything less than 1400nm and still be eye safe.


    So, no matter what….when you have a 905nm, you’re already light years behind a 1550nm. Which is why we are going to spend the substantial amount more on a 1550nm instead of continually buying the next “great” 905nm that will be hamstrung out the gate.
     

    CoryT

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    Processing the returns, pulsing the laser longer and increasing the lens size/performance will help the 905's, but there is a practical limit given the power restriction. In most cases, the 905 will well exceed the needs of the average consumer, it's really only the ELR /military guys that need the high power stuff. Not a huge market, one reason the OG Terrapin crumped.
     

    The King

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    Processing the returns, pulsing the laser longer and increasing the lens size/performance will help the 905's, but there is a practical limit given the power restriction. In most cases, the 905 will well exceed the needs of the average consumer, it's really only the ELR /military guys that need the high power stuff. Not a huge market, one reason the OG Terrapin crumped.
    They list 3km on deer on the new 10k unit. Again, I understand your point (am an engineer), and have a couple of lasers so powerful that they make a loud snapping noise when you fire them.

    But I’m more excited to see a honda run down the strip with the Ferrari and keep up than I am a Porsche.

    We will see what happens.
     

    StrayDog

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    ^^^ This.
    When I saw Sig was claiming 1.5 x 0.06 MRAD beam divergence on the 10k Kilo, I decided to wait for the reviews on them.
    I had a original Terrapin years ago, and would still have it, if it wasn't for the warranty/service issues... but traded it away as it got older.
    I'm hoping the Hondas catch up to the Porsches, and soon every tripod at matches will have one pair of 10, 12, or 15x binos with a laser that can reliably range a <2moa steel plate at 1200y with internal AB that spits out a firing solution around an etched mil reticle :LOL: 🦄 🤞 :coffee: .
    Happy Thanksgiving Hide.
     
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