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Mar 25th, 2012
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The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... #7204163
06/21/18 06:34 PM
06/21/18 06:34 PM
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Ben Wheeler, TX
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If you have not heard the news yet, there is some exciting news from Pulsar about a new addition to the popular Trail series of thermal optics. Later this summer of 2018 or early fall, Pulsar is set to release their Pulsar Trail LRF's (Laser Range Finder). The LRF will be available on a few of the Pulsar Trail models but for everyone out there that has been asking for a thermal scope with a built in Laser Range Finder, your wait is near over. Had a chance recently to take the Trail XP50 LRF out on a few hog hunts to test it out. I found that the Laser Range Finder was very accurate and there's much to like about the LRF option. There were only a couple things that I'd like to see changed with the functionality but nothing major. Here's my review and video out in the field on a couple hunts...






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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: HansETX] #7204547
06/22/18 12:11 AM
06/22/18 12:11 AM
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Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
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LOL, Pulsar offered LRFs last year with the Apex line of scopes. Not a lot of folks took advantage of them, but they were definitely the forerunners to the Trail LRFs and worked just fine.


Si vis pacem cum sus, para bellum.
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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: Double Naught Spy] #7204663
06/22/18 02:09 AM
06/22/18 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted By: Double Naught Spy
LOL, Pulsar offered LRFs last year with the Apex line of scopes. Not a lot of folks took advantage of them, but they were definitely the forerunners to the Trail LRFs and worked just fine.


True DNS.. I give the figure they'd try it with the Trail buyers..


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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: HansETX] #7205126
06/22/18 06:01 PM
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it is a good idea, with NV and thermal it is hard judge distance unless you really know the area you are in..
I have shot pigs that I thought were 75 yards out and 200 lbs and they have been much closer and much smaller!


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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: HansETX] #7205661
06/23/18 02:40 AM
06/23/18 02:40 AM
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Most rounds w/a 6.8 spc only vary 2" from 50yds to 200 yds, so why spend the money on a laser range finder?


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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: easttxhoghunter] #7205718
06/23/18 03:04 AM
06/23/18 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted By: easttxhoghunter
Most rounds w/a 6.8 spc only vary 2" from 50yds to 200 yds, so why spend the money on a laser range finder?


From a pure ballistics standpoint youíre probably right

Iíve noticed over the years that various technologies (I^2, digital, thermal, conventional optics) all have different influences on ďdropĒ with regards to 100 yard zeros being used at longer range.

I canít explain the WHY

But more often than not I find that bullet drop is more often greater with thermal and digital sights versus 3-9x or 6-20x conventional scopes

This doesnít necessarily justify the premium for a rangefinder - you should practice and reverify shots at 200 and 300 yards to see what your drop is over a period of time and weather conditions to see what each rifle/optic combination yields.

Iíd bet in most cases I tís more than 2Ē of drop at 225 yards using a 100 yard zero with a thermal optic versus a conventional scope mounted low to the bore line...

Last edited by Pig_Popper; 06/23/18 03:09 AM.

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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: Pig_Popper] #7205721
06/23/18 03:06 AM
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double post

Last edited by Pig_Popper; 06/23/18 03:08 AM.

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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: easttxhoghunter] #7205793
06/23/18 03:42 AM
06/23/18 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: easttxhoghunter
Most rounds w/a 6.8 spc only vary 2" from 50yds to 200 yds, so why spend the money on a laser range finder?


I agree to a large extent, particularly given the low magnification relative to resolution of the Pulsar rifle scopes. By the point the animal is so blurry to make positive identification difficult, it is likely beyond 200 yards. You may have a moving blob that moves like a hog and feel comfortable shooting it well beyond that distance, but in terms of actual clarity, you can likely self assess well enough to know if the hog is within 200 yards. These are not 500 yard shooting scopes. What I am getting at here is that you likely do not need the rangefinder for actual shooting for full power centerfire supersonic rifle rounds with current Pulsar Trail optics. Besides, most folks do not shoot beyond 200 yards. Heck, most don't shoot beyond 100 yards, particularly at night. So do, but most do not.

However, there are numerous times where having the rangefinder will come in useful.
1) How many night vision rangefinders are there out there? I often arrive at locations, particularly new locations, and range landmarks with my daylight rangefinder as these are not things that I can see at night to range in the dark. I like to know how far the tree line is, property line, major landmarks in the field, field size, etc. I like to build a mental picture BEFORE I hunt of what areas I can be shooting safely and accurately from my chosen position (if I am stationary). But I have to do that in the day time because I don't have any form of night vision/thermal rangefinding. So having it on the scope would be REALLY NICE.
2) Shooting subsonic ammo? Somebody can correct me on the specifics, but to illustrate the point, a .300 Blk at 200 yards has about as much drop as a .308 at 450-500 yards, over 30" which means if you want to shoot very far with subsonic, you need to know the distance so that you can compensate for the drop accordingly.
3) Pig_Popper and I have experienced this, shooting hogs in high grass using thermal and knowing the direction, but having trouble with the distance. Ranging a shot, after the kill, could have come in handy for helping locate downed hogs in high grass.

The rangefinder is a nice feature. It can prove to be very useful.


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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: easttxhoghunter] #7205831
06/23/18 04:06 AM
06/23/18 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted By: easttxhoghunter
Most rounds w/a 6.8 spc only vary 2" from 50yds to 200 yds, so why spend the money on a laser range finder?
Not true plain and simple. The most common bullet is the 120 SST and if sighted in at 100 yards the bullet will be dead on at 50 and 5 1/2 inches low at 200. This can make a big difference when taking a head shot.



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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: HansETX] #7206195
06/23/18 03:40 PM
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And when you take into the equation most of these thermal scopes are mounted at 3-3.5 inches high vs a more typical 1.75-2 inch bore sigh of a optical scope, that drop can become more significant.

I think this is one of the key elements pippopper was trying to get at, drops are more extreme with thermal just due to the sight height.

DNS brings up a good point about shooting in grass. The ability to accurately range some thing prior to dropping g it would make life so much easier in finding it. I have spent way too much time scratching my head wondering where that hog was that should have been ďright hereĒ only to find I was about 30-40 yards off in my distance estimate and hadnít gone far enough

Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: Texas buckeye] #7206235
06/23/18 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
And when you take into the equation most of these thermal scopes are mounted at 3-3.5 inches high vs a more typical 1.75-2 inch bore sigh of a optical scope, that drop can become more significant.

I think this is one of the key elements pippopper was trying to get at, drops are more extreme with thermal just due to the sight height.

DNS brings up a good point about shooting in grass. The ability to accurately range some thing prior to dropping g it would make life so much easier in finding it. I have spent way too much time scratching my head wondering where that hog was that should have been ďright hereĒ only to find I was about 30-40 yards off in my distance estimate and hadnít gone far enough
In the same ballistic calculator I moved scope heigh Fram 1.5 inches to 3 inches and the drop was less at 200 yards than when I had it at 1.5 inches. So actually the exact opposite of what you just stated.


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I plowed mules.
Originally Posted by Roll-Tide
I did build a cabin. Aka the brokeback shack.

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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: HansETX] #7206289
06/23/18 05:39 PM
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I find it to be the exact opposite of what the ballistic calculator calculated - more drop with thermal

Who is going to tests this

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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: HansETX] #7206395
06/23/18 07:41 PM
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The LRFís definitely arenít for everyone and if youíre like me and shoot the vast majority of your hogs under 50 yards and on your own property that your familiar with, then ya, it probably wonít do you a lot of good. But I know when I go hunting with other people on their land Iím always struggling a little more to figure out ranges. I saw a coyote out in a really big pasture while I was using the LRF and I thought he was at 200+ yards. Come to find out, he was actually about 168 yards. The point is, itís not hard to be off on your estimates by 50-75 yards when an animal gets out there that far.

Another thing Iíve found hunting with other people is that most of folks really arenít very good at estimating range at night, even if they are experienced day time hunters. I had a guy swear to me a group of hogs were 150 yards when in reality they were 75 yards. I couldnít convince him and he kept pushing us to get closer. Finally we got about 40 yards away, he got setup and looked through his scope and whispered ďya you were right. Weíre on TOP of them!Ē And we were and they winded us and the whole thing went to crap.

I talk to customers and potential customers every day on the phone. Youíd be shocked how many claim to shoot 350 yards at night. I had a guy tell me he can see and identify hogs at 500 yards on a black night with a Photon XT with the stock Illuminator. Says he does it all the time. I had someone else tell me he saw and identified a rat at ďabout 450 yardsĒ with an Apex XQ38. Trust me I hear it all.haha The point Iím making is, a lot of people over estimate their ability to determine range at night. Iím defiantly not claiming to be an expert at it either unless itís my own land I know well.

At the end of the day I think itís going to be really nice for coyote hunters and guys hunting on big open properties. I also think itís one of those things that a lot of people canít justify the cost on but there are also a lot of guys who have the money spend and it will be a worthy upgrade for them. There is no question that it will be useful for a lot of people, the question is, is it worth the $1,000 extra. Everyone has to decide that for themselves. Itís also worth noting, these things are going to be in low supply when they are released. Iím expecting only handfuls to hit US soil each month. Thatís my speculation from what Iím hearing.

Jason



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Re: The Not Yet Released Yet Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF... [Re: SapperTitan] #7206771
06/24/18 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted By: SapperTitan
Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
And when you take into the equation most of these thermal scopes are mounted at 3-3.5 inches high vs a more typical 1.75-2 inch bore sigh of a optical scope, that drop can become more significant.

I think this is one of the key elements pippopper was trying to get at, drops are more extreme with thermal just due to the sight height.

DNS brings up a good point about shooting in grass. The ability to accurately range some thing prior to dropping g it would make life so much easier in finding it. I have spent way too much time scratching my head wondering where that hog was that should have been ďright hereĒ only to find I was about 30-40 yards off in my distance estimate and hadnít gone far enough
In the same ballistic calculator I moved scope heigh Fram 1.5 inches to 3 inches and the drop was less at 200 yards than when I had it at 1.5 inches. So actually the exact opposite of what you just stated.


You would be correct, at 200 yards. You gotta remember the arc the bullet travels through and although the drop for 200 yards for your bullet would be less than if you set the scope at 1.5 inches, what you arenít accounting for is the adjustment at 50 yards would be more and the drop after 200 would go quickly. So the ballistics with a 1.5 inch scope height are very different than a 3-4 inch scope height. This will vary some based on the bullet being shot and speed (sub Sonics would drop quite a bit more) but the concept is the same.

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