A Clean Miss on a Trophy Animal

Crews

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I have always really loved my Leica Geovid HD-B 2200 LRF binoculars. I am a hunter first and foremost, so good glass is a necessity and I will never need ranges out past 800 yards or so.

Yesterday morning, I had the trophy buck of the decade walk out. He was in a bare dirt field, and I ranged him at (what I thought was) 500 yards. No wind and I had a very stable bipod/rear bag position. This is a shot I’ve practiced on steel hundreds of times and have great confidence in. I dialed on 2.6 and sent it, and watched in horror as my bullet impacted in the dirt right behind his front feet.

I’ve got 100% confidence in my dope, and now have 0% confidence in my LRF equipment. I wasn’t shooting THAT far, but obviously that deer was 100+ yards further than I thought he was. I am just thankful it was a clean miss.

So.... am I incorrect in assuming a device with a tighter beam divergence might have helped in my situation? Or am I just an idiot that wasn’t using the equipment properly?
 
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pell1203

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Start by listing caliber, bullet, MV, rifle configuration, and environmental parameters used to generate the 2.6 drop at 500 yards.

Factory ammo or reloads?

State environmental factors when you took the shot? Any differences from those on original table?

From the size of the miss it sounds like something else may have gone wrong.
 

rth1800

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Lasers normally work or don’t work. Fail to come on yes, Fail to pick up target. Yes. Give incorrect range ??? Doubtful.
 
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Jefe's Dope

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How many times did you laser your target before deciding the distance?

Leica is known as one of the best rangers w/ the tightest beam divergence, similarly to Vectronix, and glass. The binos are top shelf range finders.

You do make a great case for long shots on game vs. steel and the ethics of why long shots are debated.
 

spelunk

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I just got back from a hunt yesterday using those same binos. I will start by saying that its extremely important to figure out EXACTLY where in the reticle your beam actually is. My brother and I sat on a nice bull for 3 hrs waiting for the right opportunity. While waiting, I tried ranging him and surrounding elk extensively using the Leicas and also the Vortex Razor 4000 my bro was carrying. The Lecias are a great bino and good range finder, but I find the square reticle to be way too big for precision ranging. The Razor's reticle is also way too big, but I had tested it out on power poles and wires previously, and knew EXACTLY where the laser was in relation to the reticle. On the bull we kept getting ranges of 650 yds and a few around 730 yds. This was using the standard mode, and with me and my bro switching back and forth with both rangers. But then I used the Razor's other modes (first and ELR) supported off of my riflescope. It was with these modes and more stability I discovered the bull was actually at 583 yds but the way he was bedded down made it almost impossible for the Leicas and standard mode in the Razor to pick him up instead of his surroundings. He ended up spooking out to 850 yards before we shot, but again using my riflescope for stability and the ELR mode, the Razor gave us a perfect reading and my bro put him down with a fantastic shot! Long story short, play with your range finder on some power poles or signs and figure out very exactly where the beam is. Hunting is hunting, and there are so many variables that you'll never know for sure what happened, but ranging in the field is actually more challenging than most people think.
 

Crews

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When I say I had 100% confidence in my dope, I mean just that. I have absolutely done all the pre-work required to have confidence taking a shot in a hunting scenario at that distance. That includes tons of practice, accounting for environmental conditions, tracking of cold bore/cold powder temp POI, etc. Obviously knowing the right distance is a part, but everything else was accounted for long before I made the decision to pull the trigger. Please don’t take this down the ethics road, it’s is an equipment forum and conversation.

I observed this animal for about 10 minutes before pulling the trigger. Ranged him multiple times to make sure I got it right. There were a couple readings that were +/- 50ish yards, but most were right there at 500.

I think I may have failed in this situation by not knowing exactly where the laser is in the large square reticle.
 

Crews

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Also, edited my OP.... I’m pretty sure I have the older 2200 version of the HD-B. Looks like the beam divergence on those is 2.7 x 1 and the newer versions are 1.5.
 

TheGerman

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You didn't mention your caliber/bullet/FPS, but just running basic 308WIN numbers in regards to your +- 50 yards ranging variance, I see this:

450 to 500 yards is 17 inches of drop difference
500 to 500 yards is is another 20 inches of drop difference

If aiming for the vitals and being off 50 yards, I can see how you its possible to blow the shot over the shoulder and see it hit the ground somewhere behind the deer a ways.
 

Crews

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6.5 Creedmoor, 147 factory Hornady ammo going 2760

I am definitely looking at almost 2 feet of drop if I thought it was 500 yards and it was actually 600.
 
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MilDot1960

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Just a thought, seeing you have done that shot over and over and you have good gear, I am thinking maybe you have the wrong ZERO in your Ballistic Gizmo, Or the wrong Zero in your LRF,

Could that be possible ??

Sorry to hear your misfortune, (y)
 

rth1800

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Gotta ask, with all that time and a lack of confidence in your set up why did you not simply close the distance?
 
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whatsupdoc

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From what you describe "my bullet impacted in the dirt right behind his front feet" it can only be one of three things either the range was way longer than 500 yards, there is an issue with the rifle/optic or you messed up the shot.

Test the rangefinder against another unit and test the rife scope combination, if they pass then it can only be the man behind the bow.
 
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Crews

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Also, a really good reason to keep your MIL/MOA ranging skills sharp. Confirm your rangefinder w/ some math. 🤓
This is a great suggestion, I will admit that this is a skill that I’ve never learned or practiced. But I’d be willing to bet that I could use a fairly accurate constant value for deer size.

Just a thought, seeing you have done that shot over and over and you have good gear, I am thinking maybe you have the wrong ZERO in your Ballistic Gizmo, Or the wrong Zero in your LRF,

Could that be possible ??

Sorry to hear your misfortune, (y)
Great question... The day before this hunt I actually checked my zero. So I know it was good.
 
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MilDot1960

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Great question... The day before this hunt I actually checked my zero. So I know it was good.
Reason I ask is because I spent a day ranging and making drop charts using another rifle with a 200yd zero and the next time I use my rangefinder for a rifle that I zero at 100 I was slinging lead every which way, LOL.
 

wade2big

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Sounds like you just missed OP. Shooting steel and shooting living breathing things are completely different. This is the reason I won’t take the shot you did.
 

HayStax

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Are you sure you are ranging in yards? My Leicas came from the factory set to meters. Glad we were playing around at my buddy’s range and noticed that before we went hunting
 
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MilDot1960

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Sounds like you just missed OP. Shooting steel and shooting living breathing things are completely different. This is the reason I won’t take the shot you did.
Not really ?? He wasn't to know his range/sights were off, But on the other hand he might have had a bullet that was a bit low on powder, It could be any number of reasons, we've all had one go stray at one time or another,
 

wade2big

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Not really ?? He wasn't to know his range/sights were off, But on the other hand he might have had a bullet that was a bit low on powder, It could be any number of reasons, we've all had one go stray at one time or another,
Yep. Its called a miss. It happens. Most of the time its the shooter. If you are a hunter then you understand the difference from shooting at the range and shooting an animal. A lot more goes on with the shooter.
Same reason a bow hunter can nail bullseyes at 40 hards practicing at home and gut shots a buck at 15 yards when it needs to count.

Get him next time OP. Hopefully at a much closer distance As it makes for more wiggle room for error.
 

MilDot1960

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Yep. Its called a miss. It happens. Most of the time its the shooter. If you are a hunter then you understand the difference from shooting at the range and shooting an animal. A lot more goes on with the shooter.
Same reason a bow hunter can nail bullseyes at 40 hards practicing at home and gut shots a buck at 15 yards when it needs to count.

Get him next time OP. Hopefully at a much closer distance As it makes for more wiggle room for error.
Yeah forgetting to Zero your Angle on your App can have the same effect too.

funny how I seem to know many of the causes Ay, LOL.
 

CMP70306

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Yep. Its called a miss. It happens. Most of the time its the shooter. If you are a hunter then you understand the difference from shooting at the range and shooting an animal. A lot more goes on with the shooter.
Same reason a bow hunter can nail bullseyes at 40 hards practicing at home and gut shots a buck at 15 yards when it needs to count.

Get him next time OP. Hopefully at a much closer distance As it makes for more wiggle room for error.
Well if the bullet impacted right below his front feet then that implies the shot was directly in line with the vital zone and lends credence to his incorrect elevation hypothesis. Typically a miss would be off to one side as the bipod and bag would control elevation and make a sideways miss far more likely.

Based on the OP statement of getting ranges from 500 + or - 50 yards I’d say the beam divergence coupled with unforgiving ranging terrain lead to an incorrectly ranged animal and an elevation correction that was 100 yards short of what it needed to be.

I can somewhat relate, when I was 13 I sat on a field that I was told was 200 yards long and some deer came out 3/4 of the way across the field. So since my .243 was sighted for 200 yards I held slightly low and proceeded to shoot under every deer I shot at because that 150 yard shot was actually 300 yards.

Although I can’t really complain as missing those deer is the reason I’m even typing this since that is the catalyst that got me interested in long range shooting.
 
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wade2big

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Well if the bullet impacted right below his front feet then that implies the shot was directly in line with the vital zone and lends credence to his incorrect elevation hypothesis. Typically a miss would be off to one side as the bipod and bag would control elevation and make a sideways miss far more likely.

Based on the OP statement of getting ranges from 500 + or - 50 yards I’d say the beam divergence coupled with unforgiving ranging terrain lead to an incorrectly ranged animal and an elevation correction that was 100 yards short of what it needed to be.

I can somewhat relate, when I was 13 I sat on a field that I was told was 200 yards long and some deer came out 3/4 of the way across the field. So since my .243 was sighted for 200 yards I held slightly low and proceeded to shoot under every deer I shot at because that 150 yard shot was actually 300 yards.

Although I can’t really complain as missing those deer is the reason I’m even typing this since that is the catalyst that got me interested in long range shooting.
A .243 sighted in at 200 needs no hold under or over from dang near 250 down to the muzzle. Point and shoot. You are correct though knowing the distance matters. It matters more the further away the target. Less room for error.

I have never shot a deer using a bipod and rear bag but i do know that a miss could be any which way. I doubt he was completely still as he would be when shooting at steel. That heart was beating. Every beat the crosshairs jumped and with a trophy in the scope, that heart was beating hard and fast. My guess is that he hadn’t settled down in the 10 minutes leading up to the shot and seeing the crosshairs move to his heart rate, the OP rushed the trigger pull and missed low. A hard beating heart is plenty movement to make a complete miss especially at that distance. I would put money on what I just described is what went down.
 
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264win

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It is very easy to range the ground behind an animal in a situation like the OP. A better LRF will help, also ranging everything around your target it a good idea. If you get 500 on the target and 400 on a tree nearby, you know you have a false reading.
 

Crews

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Sounds like you just missed OP. Shooting steel and shooting living breathing things are completely different. This is the reason I won’t take the shot you did.
Good for you, you have to know your limits. I shoot steel targets so I can be proficient when an opportunity like the one I had comes up. I'm very confident in how I've prepared for these opportunities. Apparently there's a gap in how I'm getting my ranges that hasn't been identified until now, but don't assume I'm not capable of making an ethical shot at medium ranges just because you can't.

I have never shot a deer using a bipod and rear bag but i do know that a miss could be any which way. I doubt he was completely still as he would be when shooting at steel. That heart was beating. Every beat the crosshairs jumped and with a trophy in the scope, that heart was beating hard and fast. My guess is that he hadn’t settled down in the 10 minutes leading up to the shot and seeing the crosshairs move to his heart rate, the OP rushed the trigger pull and missed low. A hard beating heart is plenty movement to make a complete miss especially at that distance. I would put money on what I just described is what went down.
And you'd be losing that money too. I broke the shot exactly where I intended to. I was shooting off the top of a hay bale, which came up to right about the center of my chest. My shooting position was very stable. No, there's no way I would have taken this shot from an unsupported position in a box blind.

Kinda hard to assume I was jerking the trigger if my windage was absolutely perfect. My recoil management and follow-through were also in place, as I was clearly able to see the impact.
 
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Crews

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Gotta ask, with all that time and a lack of confidence in your set up why did you not simply close the distance?
Great question. I was concealed in a large stack of hay bales in an otherwise featureless large plowed field. There was a slight (~3mph) wind blowing from my back directly towards the animals. So there just wasn't any opportunities to close the gap without getting busted. Their direction of travel wasn't going to bring them any closer to me, and due to prior scouting I knew they were eventually going to jump the fence onto another piece of property I don't have access to.

Are you sure you are ranging in yards? My Leicas came from the factory set to meters. Glad we were playing around at my buddy’s range and noticed that before we went hunting
Another great suggestion, sometimes it's the most simple of things... I've got a 18"x18" steel plate that I set up at unknown ranges for practicing cold bore shots. I've been using this unit for years, and never had any issues coming up with accurate firing solutions. I guess there's a chance I could have inadvertently gone into the menu and changed it to meters. I'll check that out tonight.
 

wade2big

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Good for you, you have to know your limits. I shoot steel targets so I can be proficient when an opportunity like the one I had comes up. I'm very confident in how I've prepared for these opportunities. Apparently there's a gap in how I'm getting my ranges that hasn't been identified until now, but don't assume I'm not capable of making an ethical shot at medium ranges just because you can't.



And you'd be losing that money too. I broke the shot exactly where I intended to. I was shooting off the top of a hay bale, which came up to right about the center of my chest. My shooting position was very stable. No, there's no way I would have taken this shot from an unsupported position in a box blind.

Kinda hard to assume I was jerking the trigger if my windage was absolutely perfect. My recoil management and follow-through were also in place, as I was clearly able to see the impact.
I am just making assumptions like everyone else is on what went wrong so that something may jump out at you. Practicing on steel and then making it count on living animals is completely different. I described it earlier. You may have hunted your whole life so I am not saying anything that you don’t already know.

I don’t have to assume that you aren’t capable of making an ethical shot at medium ranges as you proved it. You tried. You missed. No matter the reason.

While 500 yards is medium range while target shooting, it is considered long range while hunting. I am not saying shots like this can’t be taken, but not taking the shot should definitely be considered.

EDIT: @Crews, I took your last post directed at me as an attack and fought back In this post. Not my intentions when i started posting in this thread. You took my comments personally. I have missed shots much closer than yours and have no idea why. The distance was close enough to not be a factor. Shit happens is all that I am saying. Good shooters miss and bad shooters get lucky.
 
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8pointer

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I am just making assumptions like everyone else is on what went wrong so that something may jump out at you. Practicing on steel and then making it count on living animals is completely different. I described it earlier. You may have hunted your whole life so I am not saying anything that you don’t already know.

I don’t have to assume that you aren’t capable of making an ethical shot at medium ranges as you proved it. You tried. You missed. No matter the reason.

While 500 yards is medium range while target shooting, it is considered long range while hunting. I am not saying shots like this can’t be taken, but not taking the shot should definitely be considered.
we all gotta whiffit sometimes even with fancy kestrels
 
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morganlamprecht

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im not sure how the leica's work, but hard to range situations are why ive come to love the fast pulse ranging of the sig2400 (the lower end models work well also, but the aiming circle is a little bigger than i like)

the ability to scan from target > up, left, right, and down...and the opposite up, left, right, and down > target, and watch the range values update makes it easier to see what youre hitting and where it is in relation to the surroundings...u dont have to point and shoot and hope it hits the target, you can scan and build a 3d idea with it
 

eddie102870

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Just bought a Swarovski DS. makes ranging and the holdovers a ton easier. just dont do it right at dark. ive got to figure out how to turn the brightness down. had a nice buck come in right at dark friday afternoon. hit the range button and it redded out. had to screw the top cap off and snatch the battery out real quick and quiet with a shooter buck in the field.
 

DetroitRearView

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^^^this https://forum.snipershide.com/members/morganlamprecht.92667/

Buck fever? I doubt it. maybe if it is your first time whacking a good specimen - but OP was pretty clear on the fundamentals he employed and spotted his miss. As Mr. Litz says, most misses at range are due to an incorrect distance measurement.

I have killed over 100 big game animals in the last 12 years - do I get an extra bit of adrenaline when busting a nice bull @ 500 -600 yards? You bet, but the training and fundamentals always kick in and when I break the shot, it is cake.

And before some asks, no I have not wounded or missed on any of the above. I simply pass on shots that I have any doubts about the outcome.

I cannot imagine how someone with experience and fundamental discipline would respond to the necessity of killing another human being @ range if they cannot get it done on an animal.

Incorrect range was the problem IMHO; but only the OP knows. Just fun to jump into this mess of commentary!
 
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jwknutson17

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How bout.... It just wasn't meant to be. Everything happens for a reason. As much as your 100% prepared, somethings happen for reasons out of your control. Maybe this makes you train and prepare more for next year and it will be more rewarding when it's meant to happen. Easy to find reasons but may just be out of your control.
 
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j-huskey

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Spelunks post, #5, is about as good as it gets.

When I worked for the contractors on Ft. Benning testing equipment, laser range finders were one of my details. Beam divergence can be different in 10 of the same model units, and with any unit, you have to find the best aim point.
I used a 24x24" square piece of steel out to 600 meters, 36x36 out to 1000, 48x48 out to 1500, and 4'x 8' past 1500.
I cannot reiterate that you. have. to. find. the. beam. divergence. aim. point for the unit you are using.
And it has to be done under controlled circumstances, and confirmed in less controlled circumstances.
Non-disclosure doesnt let me say what units we used or exact results. However.... we used a vector that had a known aim point and was known accurate, and we had a plrf10 and a plrf15, which had proven themselves many many times. And we had the grid maps of a few ft Benning places so it wasnt rocket science.
And, since the units we were testing were for mil use, we tested on just about every vehicle in inventory. The bigger the target, the easier to range. The more reflective the target, the easier to range.
All of the units we tested worked fine on vehicles or structures for mil purposes per rfp. And all that's fine for big mil.

One of my group spent several years at the sniper school and his and my interest were just how good the units were on people at distance, and we were seeing just how many hits we could get with a Tac50 and a 408CT.

Beam divergence was absolutely critical.....

Things we found were the same as said several places here. Try it with more than one, several times, with more than one person, until you know exactly how good the unit is.

*****Understand that a heartbeat bounce at distance or just the finger pressure on the button can move the unit enough to give you a different aim point in the divergence and a bad read on the target. *****
It's that easy to get a bad read. And a miss. I use a stabilized tripod or sandbag when it really matters with a vector or plrf10.

AND, if your unit gets bumped enough, the beam divergence can move off your aim point, requiring you to periodically retest your aim points.

And yes, I shoot animals at distance regularly. 338lapua, 225grn speer at 3250fps.
Crop damage critters, deer and pig. 800 yard deer are easy enough, pigs at 600, the same.
However. Shooting table in truck bed, rifle sandbagged in, topo mapped fields, GPS planted, absolute known distance points, with laser required to pinpoint exactly where Mr pig is at 593 yards.......
They are very very easy to miss when you miss the distance by 10 yards....

Known beam divergence, known aim point, known interference issues, and knowing finger pressure can move that aim point enough, and, I remember it falling out of the truck this morning and hitting that rock.... ahhh....

Crews experience isnt unique. The less expensive the unit, the bigger the divergence, the crudity of the aiming box, the wear and tear unknown on the unit, and not having ranged enough animals (or people) on known distance locations to "know" the unit is on point, can easily give a miss.
There are those who have missed and those who are going to.
Every time you pull the trigger or release the string, the animal can move enough to create a miss or have a non vital hit. Can be DRT or tracked a bit. So much in play, and all even more critical at distance, and all the more critical you know that laser and all its weaknesses.

Finger push on the button is the most common cause of bad read..... add little stress or a pair of gloves, etcetcetc...
 

rth1800

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I am not thinking that the RF is the issue. I have used many and had no problems ranging animals like deer, sheep and elk. My last two units and my present unit are Swaro 10x40 EL range binoculars. They are stupid simple to use. You would need to try to mis range an animal the size of an elk in a field. I do not know where the Swaro unit ranks compared to others but it certainly will range an elk at 500 yards.
 

j-huskey

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For those serious about testing your lrf for hunting.... and I mean serious.

Life sized Cardboard (very heavy cardboard, double thickness even) silhouette of your target animal covered with a suede type cloth for the nap/hair effect.

Put it on your kd range near your steel targets and range them both, psuedo animal and steel. See the differences.
Put psuedo animal in field edges and range it several times. See what happens.

You will learn much about your range finder.
 

Pvt.Donut

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OP, are you running 147gr ELD Match bullets? Anyone have any feedback on how well these work for hunting? Is it possible you actually hit the target but just punched straight through him and saw your bullet hit the dirt on the other side? I wouldn't expect a match bullet to expand very well. Did you check for any signs of blood? Just throwing out another idea.
 

Skookum

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For those serious about testing your lrf for hunting.... and I mean serious.

Life sized Cardboard (very heavy cardboard, double thickness even) silhouette of your target animal covered with a suede type cloth for the nap/hair effect.

Put it on your kd range near your steel targets and range them both, psuedo animal and steel. See the differences.
Put psuedo animal in field edges and range it several times. See what happens.

You will learn much about your range finder.
That is a great idea that has never occurred to me. Thank you for that!
 
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MilDot1960

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Also, edited my OP.... I’m pretty sure I have the older 2200 version of the HD-B. Looks like the beam divergence on those is 2.7 x 1 and the newer versions are 1.5.
I am in the middle of trying to buy the T-X but at present I have the ConX and I just wrote out some Angle drop charts from 0* to 20* in 8 different angles and what I learned was base on a 308 which no where near a flat shooting as yours is that the difference between 0* and 20* @ 500yds it would only be out by 4.4 inches which is a lot less than what you said, So your angles couldn't of been off. So that's not the reason Ay.
 

Diver160651

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Spelunks post, #5, is about as good as it gets.

When I worked for the contractors on Ft. Benning testing equipment, laser range finders were one of my details. Beam divergence can be different in 10 of the same model units, and with any unit, you have to find the best aim point.
I used a 24x24" square piece of steel out to 600 meters, 36x36 out to 1000, 48x48 out to 1500, and 4'x 8' past 1500.
I cannot reiterate that you. have. to. find. the. beam. divergence. aim. point for the unit you are using.
And it has to be done under controlled circumstances, and confirmed in less controlled circumstances.
Non-disclosure doesnt let me say what units we used or exact results. However.... we used a vector that had a known aim point and was known accurate, and we had a plrf10 and a plrf15, which had proven themselves many many times. And we had the grid maps of a few ft Benning places so it wasnt rocket science.
And, since the units we were testing were for mil use, we tested on just about every vehicle in inventory. The bigger the target, the easier to range. The more reflective the target, the easier to range.
All of the units we tested worked fine on vehicles or structures for mil purposes per rfp. And all that's fine for big mil.

One of my group spent several years at the sniper school and his and my interest were just how good the units were on people at distance, and we were seeing just how many hits we could get with a Tac50 and a 408CT.

Beam divergence was absolutely critical.....

Things we found were the same as said several places here. Try it with more than one, several times, with more than one person, until you know exactly how good the unit is.

*****Understand that a heartbeat bounce at distance or just the finger pressure on the button can move the unit enough to give you a different aim point in the divergence and a bad read on the target. *****
It's that easy to get a bad read. And a miss. I use a stabilized tripod or sandbag when it really matters with a vector or plrf10.

AND, if your unit gets bumped enough, the beam divergence can move off your aim point, requiring you to periodically retest your aim points.

And yes, I shoot animals at distance regularly. 338lapua, 225grn speer at 3250fps.
Crop damage critters, deer and pig. 800 yard deer are easy enough, pigs at 600, the same.
However. Shooting table in truck bed, rifle sandbagged in, topo mapped fields, GPS planted, absolute known distance points, with laser required to pinpoint exactly where Mr pig is at 593 yards.......
They are very very easy to miss when you miss the distance by 10 yards....

Known beam divergence, known aim point, known interference issues, and knowing finger pressure can move that aim point enough, and, I remember it falling out of the truck this morning and hitting that rock.... ahhh....

Crews experience isnt unique. The less expensive the unit, the bigger the divergence, the crudity of the aiming box, the wear and tear unknown on the unit, and not having ranged enough animals (or people) on known distance locations to "know" the unit is on point, can easily give a miss.
There are those who have missed and those who are going to.
Every time you pull the trigger or release the string, the animal can move enough to create a miss or have a non vital hit. Can be DRT or tracked a bit. So much in play, and all even more critical at distance, and all the more critical you know that laser and all its weaknesses.

Finger push on the button is the most common cause of bad read..... add little stress or a pair of gloves, etcetcetc...
Weirdly people defend their single reads over and over. .. I ad issue wit V21s, not because of the actual equipment but because of the tiny beam returning off something other than I was targeting.. same with my the 15s 10s. teripian and my leica etc.. I've posted beams of various PLRFs over the years under NV.. Usually they are fairly aligned..

My 2 cents is almost 100% of the time it is a rush PLRF hand held issue, or a loop when using a big ass beam.
 

MilDot1960

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Weirdly people defend their single reads over and over. .. I ad issue wit V21s, not because of the actual equipment but because of the tiny beam returning off something other than I was targeting.. same with my the 15s 10s. teripian and my leica etc.. I've posted beams of various PLRFs over the years under NV.. Usually they are fairly aligned..

My 2 cents is almost 100% of the time it is a rush PLRF hand held issue, or a loop when using a big ass beam.
Yeah I must admit I have done that trying to get the info fast as possible busting a gut to get behind the scope.
 

wade2big

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OP, are you running 147gr ELD Match bullets? Anyone have any feedback on how well these work for hunting? Is it possible you actually hit the target but just punched straight through him and saw your bullet hit the dirt on the other side? I wouldn't expect a match bullet to expand very well. Did you check for any signs of blood? Just throwing out another idea.
I killed four deer last year with the 147 eldm. They were very effective. They showed good controlled expansion at 375 yards and did well at 150 yards. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again on deer sized game. The 140 grain BTHP, never again.
 
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Crews

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AND, if your unit gets bumped enough, the beam divergence can move off your aim point, requiring you to periodically retest your aim points.
All your input was very valuable perspective, thank you. This part was particularly relevent to me. I guess in my experience thus far with this pair of binoculars I haven't run into any challenges getting accurate ranges until this instance. Usually if it's in the center of the large box I have gotten what I needed. But this unit does get handled pretty rough, and has for the last 3 years I've been using it.

OP, are you running 147gr ELD Match bullets? Anyone have any feedback on how well these work for hunting? Is it possible you actually hit the target but just punched straight through him and saw your bullet hit the dirt on the other side?
I am using the 147 ELD-M. Zero complaints thus far in terminal performance, in my mind it doesn't make sense to pay the extra $5/box for the ELD-X ammo. Plus, the factory Hornady 147's go about 30fps faster in my AT than the 140's that I've used in the past (still haven't figured that out, but Magnetospeed don't lie.) I distinctly noted the impact, so in this case I'm fairly confident in my assessment of POI. Once again, we don't often have this luxury but I was in a pretty solid shooting position off a bipod with my prone rear bag for support. Thanks for the comments!
 

Crews

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How bout.... It just wasn't meant to be. Everything happens for a reason. As much as your 100% prepared, somethings happen for reasons out of your control. Maybe this makes you train and prepare more for next year and it will be more rewarding when it's meant to happen. Easy to find reasons but may just be out of your control.
I agree with this and thanks for your comments. I can pass the "red face test" on the work I put into preparing for the opportunity I was presented with. But there are definitely some areas for continuous improvement that have been identified thus far in this conversation. Just like when the conversation started, I think the LRF mechanical element played the most significant part and needs to be addressed in one way or another. But it could just be a software fix.
 

rth1800

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Every possibility presented has been refuted by the OP.

Your equipment is perfect. Your shot was perfectly executed. Your data is perfect. You are not mistaken about the actual POI.

Why are you asking advice?
 

Crews

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So.... am I incorrect in assuming a device with a tighter beam divergence might have helped in my situation? Or am I just an idiot that wasn’t using the equipment properly?
Every possibility presented has been refuted by the OP.
Your equipment is perfect. Your shot was perfectly executed. Your data is perfect. You are not mistaken about the actual POI.
Why are you asking advice?
Go back to the original post, I was very clear about questioning whether a LFF with tighter beam divergence would have helped in this particular situation. For what it's worth, I HAVE received some valuable input in that regard.... since I haven't verified the actual aiming point within the large aiming reticle there's a good chance my incorrect range was a software problem (me) and not hardware limitation. But better hardware might help eliminate more possibility of errors too.
 

sleeplz

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Can you go back to the same spot and shoot the same scenario? In all this, I've learned the human element is the weakest link and you may have just had that day.
 
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j-huskey

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Throwing out some more what ifs...
Post 7, Crews: consistent 500 yard multiple readings. Couple +/- 50 yards. The finger push creates this FOR ME, so I tripod or sandbag the unit to keep it from bouncing as I push the button. Even tripod under stress, I still get movement, and +/- readings. So far, Crews and I are on the same plan. I'd do everything he did.
Assuming eliminated push/movement on the consistent 500 yard readings, back to his original question.

I run into: flat ground long range reading. What is the most reflective thing behind the person/deer/pig. Generally that's what the reading is.
I normally read long in these cases.

I do a 45° half moon sweep with the target centered and TRY to read the ground on 5 points, begin/end point, pt 2, target, point 2x, end point. More times than not, I still range something behind the target. I dont take a lot of those shots.
But, on known fields we have worked for 20 years, I know the LRF is on and take and make 85% of the shots. I would NOT be confident in a new field, not at all.

Ground readings on a flat clear dirt field as Crews describes, are the hardest readings I try to make. They are imho the most difficult I have tried. I normally read short like he did, me off an incorrect ground reading in the cone.

2nd bump.... I have some fields I shoot from elevations. On flat clean fields, I have beam divergence hitting the ground similar to a machinegun beaten zone/cone I have to ask, where am I getting the most reflect and where is it reading in the beaten zone/come.
After a number of short hits....
I have learned on my plrf10 where I get the most accurate reading on the aiming cross.

For people who have only tested their lrf against straight standing steel targets, sides of buildings, sides of cars, trees, canyon walls, or big rocks, first time flat ground reading on a low reflective person or deer is going to be a surprise. That's why I suggested cardboard cloth or net covered target for testing.

And then, we have the cotton/soybean/corn field, where those interferences eat the beam or beam reads them rather than the animal, and give me the wildest readings out there.
Wet foliage reflects more highly than animal fur....

How do I overcome that ? A drive post in select places in those flat fields with a tag on it. In the Brit/Boer conflict, the Boers put out white painted rocks. It might have been Kipling who said, beware a white painted rock....
And, no, you cant do this on unknown ground hunts. You have to learn your lrf and learn to trust it. The cardboard cloth/net covered target helped me start to trust the lrf.

ymmv wildly..
Very Respectfully
 
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Crews

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Yep..... this level of granularity in my assessment was definitely missing. This is something I will have to dedicate some more time to, for sure.
 

MilDot1960

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Can you go back to the same spot and shoot the same scenario? In all this, I've learned the human element is the weakest link and you may have just had that day.
Yeah He can if you want to get down on all Fours and pretend your a Deer, LOLOLOLOL.

The Down side is he will probably make the Shot this time HAHAHAHAHAHA (y) :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: