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Laser range finders (max distance)

thestug

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My father and I are into long range target shooting and are looking into different laser range finders. I think my father is going to get a relatively cheap Nikon laser range finder. However, there isn't a whole lot of information that I can find about what type and what power the lasers used in these things are. I see that some of Nikons LRFs have Class 1M listed in the specs, so that would mean that these are quite low power. However, that would sort of be expected for consumer products that emit a laser.

So a few questions about these things:

I would assume that these things use some sort of IR laser, correct?

I would also assume that the power of the laser would likely be the limiting factor in the maximum ranges you can detect. Would replacing the diode with a more powerful one increase the ranges that could be detected?

Since these likely use very precise circuitry would changing out the laser diodes be even be possible without messing everything up?

The reason I ask this is most of the laser range finders that I've seen only go about 500-1000 yards max and even shorter range in certain weather conditions. There are times where laser range finders don't cut the mustard and we have to resort to GPS or old school range estimation using the scope recticle.
 

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No you need to just buy a good one to begin with, don't think about tampering with it. From what I have heard Leica are the best. Stay away from a cheap Nikon, especially the Nikon Aculon. Get a Leica Rangemaster CFR 1600-B, they do cost $800 but are supposed to be very good with distance up to 1500M/1600yds. You can get one from Cabela's or on Amazon. Here is a review video:

Alan
 

thestug

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That rangefinder looks rather impressive. What are the largest factors that go into how far away the range finder works? I would assume that laser output would be capped at 5mw unless they're overspec. So it must be the optics or the sensitivity of the sensors?
 




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