Range finder?

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70 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Feb 28, 2007
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I use my range finder all the time, especially on long shots.
I out stretch my right arm.
Clench my first, fingers upper most.
With my left hand I wind an imaginary winch that raises slowly my right hand middle finger just so the tip of my middle finger touches the distant object.
I then about face and walk off.
Hope this helps.


40 Cal.
Mar 4, 2013
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'evening folks,
I have that range finder, and it seems to be fairly accurate. However, it's in a display of ACW items that I put out as conversation starters.
Yes, I know it doesn't have the same appearance as the originals that I've seen, but I also don't really worry about it walking off as I can replace it for minimal dollars. And I do explain that it's a reproduction, which varies some in appearance from the originals that I've seen.


45 Cal.
Jan 31, 2019
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Some folks may not like what I am about to say but here goes.

I have a Parker Hale Whitworth. I've taken a lot of deer with it. My longest shots on them has been 100 yards. I didn't use a rangefinder but paced off the distance after the shot. That's how I know with a reasonable degree of accuracy how far the shot was. I am also fairly decent at estimating range out to about 500 to 600 yards.

When you've been a forward observer for Field Artillery you get to do that sort of stuff.

Anyway, back to my deer hunting escapades with the Whitworth. I didn't carry a rangefinder with me at the time as I knew that the woods were thick enough that 100 yards would be the limit and the trajectory didn't vary but a few inches from up close to 100 yards.

Do I think that my Whitworth, or any other muzzle-loader is capable of taking game at longer distances? Of course I do; given the right conditions, a good position or rest and the ability of the shooter.

Now here is where I'm going to really upset the traditionalists.

If a person was going to harvest an animal past 100 yards with a good muzzle-loader they should do the following:

1) Shoot at long range targets at the distances that you would be expecting to shoot a game animal and see what the accuracy is at those distances. Obviously, all the shots should fall within the vital area of the animal.

2) Also place the target a few yards closer and farther back to see what sort of elevation error that you would be getting. Remember that muzzle-loaders have rainbow like trajectories. A few yards difference in range estimation can make a difference between a lethal hit, miss or crippled animal.

3) If possible, chornograph the load that you will be using. Use ballistic software to get a good idea of what your load will do along with shooting at actual distances. Carry a ballistic chart with you in the field. If it is a really long range shot you will probably have time to figure out your elevation and windage corrections anyway.

4) Get a quality range rangefinder. Yes, I am referring to one of the really good laser rangefinding marvels of 21st century technology. I'm just as much as a traditionalist when it comes to muzzle-loading but the main reason that I'm advocating the use of a non-traditional range finder is that we owe to the animal that we are harvesting.

5) Along with the modern range finder, a long range hunter may want to use the range card that the military uses. Yes it is a modern aid but remember we are talking about trying to harvest a game animal at long distances. The principal behind using the range card are the same as with a modern high velocity centerfire cartridge rifle but at reduced distances. You can use it in a blind or tree stand. Besides if you are sitting there all day with nothing to do completing a range card will keep you occupied.

If anyone thinks they are another Davy Crockett, Simon Kenton or Billy Dixon go ahead and eschew the use of a modern range finder. That's up to each individual.

On the other hand when it comes to taking a big game animal when you only have one tag and you want to dispatch it was quickly and as humanely as possible then use a range finder and ballistic table. And by all means practice. We owe it to the animal that we are harvesting.

Now please excuse me for a few minutes while I slip into some comfortable nomex.


Loyalist Dave

MLF Supporter
Nov 22, 2011
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People's Republic of Maryland
what is it ? and how do I use it?
It's a range finder...,
You look through the rectangle in the interior, and it's based on a 6' tall subject, so.....,
in the first image the stickman is at 50 yards; in the second at 100 yards, and in the third at 200 yards..,
RANGE FINDER 50 yards.jpg
RANGE FINDER 100 yards.jpg
RANGE FINDER 200yards.jpg

Actually for most of us at 200 yards we would see this:

RANGE FINDER 200yards TRUE.jpg
Because most of us are going to pick out a 6 foot all object at 200 yards with the "naked eye"...geesh.



Oct 23, 2018
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250yards outside the NRA (UK) Ranges at Bisley.
In the 1850s here was a device called a "stadium" --- pic attached of a Repro -- the firer held the device out with the string fully stretched and compared the height of a man (presumably these days one is expected to say "person") to see how far away he was. Of course there were inbuilt errors, e.g., people varied in height.
Lord Bury,
Repro STADIUM.jpg
Repro STADIUM.jpga Council member of the British NRA (founded 11 years before the American one) put his name to a telescope made by J H STEWARD. One version had a graticule which was compared to the height of the target (obviously fixed height) to check the range. In those days the match rules did not allow "sighters" so judging distance and setting elevation were critical -- but screw adjustable sights were not allowed for Service Rifle, so people bought a "Vernier Elevator" for distance and a "Ventometer" for windage --and later on a combined instrument - a "Vernier Ventometer". Worth Googling ......

There is nothing new, really



Art Caputo

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Feb 9, 2020
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New England
The devise from TOTW is representative of those used by the buffalo hunters in the late 1800‘s, when the critters smartened up and kept their distance. This device was more sophisticated replacement for using ones thumb nail to estimate range. The average size of a bull buffalo. averages 6 feet at the top of the hump(shoulder). Given the BPCR Rifles in use, mounted with vernier sights, long range shots could be achieved given an accurate range estimation. IMO, iit would be of limited used for the muzzleloader.


40 Cal.
Apr 4, 2010
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In the military, these range estimaters were used as such.

Holding the knot or bead between your lower and upper teeth, hold the device so the string is taut.
Now viewing your 6 foot target ... buff or man ... adjust the slider so your object is sandwitched in the rectangle.
Your yardage is indicated on the sides of the main frame where the slider stops.
On a man target ... aiming at the belt buckle ... after adjusting your rear sight to coincide with the indicated yardage on the range estimator ... and gently press the trigger.
On buffler ... aiming on the middle of the shoulder ... after adjusting the rear sight to coincide with the indicated yardage on the range estimator ... gently press the trigger.

Buff hunters and snipers used these and if the knot or bead is left in adjustment ... these can be pretty accurate.

Practice using these and comparing to known ranges or modern range finders can gain confidence in their use.

Personally I would consider these to be used for target yardages only and not for hunting of game animals. As mentioned above ... our game deserves the best we can give in the accuracy dept. And a fast humane kill with the very best accuracy we can deliver at a pre determined yardage and never to stretch this known accuracy ever.

My opinion only. Worth what ya paid for it.


32 Cal
Jun 1, 2020
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Long shots are much easier to make if you have a rangefinder with yourself. I didn't know this until I tried using laser rangefinder from ATN. I wanted to try hunting with rangefinder and I was looking for one online. I saw a lot of offers but on ATN website I found the best ones. I bought ATN LaserBallistics 1000 and I am very satisfied with it. I was never able to make really long shots before and with it's help I make almost every shot i take. I entered a giveaway for a scope on their website and even If I don't win it I will buy one from them.


Apr 10, 2014
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The archery hunting sight invented or marketed by Harry Sprandel had a lever you pulled with the forefinger until the top and belly of the deer fit between two horizontal bars. One bar is fixed and the other pivots from an axis and the sight has to be calibrated in advance. The Iowa made Shepherd modern rifle scope has circles of increasing size to fit in a pre determined animal body size as it gets closer. A metal plate with increasing diameter holes lined up and down is used to guesstimate the range when the cord attached is stretched taut. One end of cord held against breastbone and plate held at arm's length or until cord is taut. It seems you would have to tweak it for your arm's length and back to belly height of your intended game animal. Thousands of hours and practice on the range and guessing ranges in the field and verifiying with a modern electronic laser range finder might be more reliable. Why take chances when you only draw a tag for a buck or bull once every so many years and they cost so much. You might only see one animal or only get one shot at one. Guys who shoot perfect scores at known target distances often get messed up when there are no distance markers or firing lines in the woods. Best to practice getting in close.

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