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Estimating Ranges?


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I’ll admit it, I have been assimilated. I eat, breath, and, drink these CM games. The other day driving down the road, I see this wheat field with a ditch all around it. I say to my 10 year old son in the back seat. “Good cover for infantry on the right.” He says “Dad, you’ve been playing your game way too much.” I say “Not too, too much. I took time out to take you to a museum right now.” It was a military museum. I’m hooked.

The point is: when I drive down the road and look off in the distance, EXACTLY how does one estimate the range to that SUV or T-34 I see in the distant haze? I guess I could draw a blue LOS line, but that doesn’t work while driving on the freeway.

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The tools at hand would be, in order of preference:

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  • Map and compass. Requires you to know where you are, and that the target is near something you can identify on the map. Accurate to within a few percent.</font>
  • Using mils. Requires knowledge of the targets actual size, and a good eye and optics. Error depends on skill, but maybe 10%.</font>
  • SWAG - Scientific Wild Ass Guess. About 20% margin of error.</font>
  • Optical distance measuring intrument (40cm), 5% margin of error. Damn bulky things to carry around, though.</font>

Nowadays, a laser rangefinder would do the job with a margin of 2-4%.

/SirReal

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With a little practice, you can get pretty good at estimating ranges using mils and no more equipment than your own thumb, palm, and fist.

As previously noted, you need to know either (1) the target's actual size (in meters) or (2) the actual size of something near the target, like a house, person or tree. Assuming you have such a known point of reference, it is quite possible to get within 10% of the actual distance.

No time to explain details right now, but I'm betting a quick google search will turn up a website that teaches the basics of estimating range using mils and handy body parts.

Cheers,

YD

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