Friday, February 10, 2023

The RANGE-R Card

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

I needed a way to easily teach an experienced shooter how to estimate how far away objects are, because going over the several different types of reticules, and how they are used, wasn't clear.

Luckily, I found the RANGE-R Card from Black Hills Designs.

From the RANGE-R Card website:
Similar in function to the world famous PSO BDC reticle used on Combloc weaponry the RANGE-R card gives off NO thermal, IR, or SWIR signature. With a bombproof design and small footprint, add a Black Hills Designs RANGE-R card to your gear today. At a svelte 5.375″ x 3″ and only 1.2oz , the Black Hills Designs RANGE-R Card is sure to fit anywhere in your kit. The RANGE-R Card gives you the ability to range easily out to 900m without the use of electronics or dependence on GPS. The RANGE-R Card can be used as a standalone ranging solution or can be combined with traditional ranging mechanisms (Laser Range Finding, GPS, Milling, etc) to improve the accuracy of a given range. The polycarbonate card is perfectly sized for a BDU pocket. binocular pack or GP pouch. At roughly 1 oz the card disappears effortless into your kit.
  1. Bite the end of the included 18” draw string and extend in front of sightline until tight.
  2. Shift target within its specific targeting slot until it touches top and bottom of the curve.
  3. Now, you have your range.
The card is graduated in meters, but has a direct conversion to yards in the center for quick translation.
Opening the Package
The RANGE-R Card is laser-etched (I think) and comes with the protective film still on the reverse side, likely for protection during shipping. The paper covering has some adhesive to keep it stuck to the plastic.

RANGE-R Card with protective film and paracord

In the above photo you can see a cleaned RANGE-R Card and one still covered with the protective paper. I had a slight problem with removing the paper on the first one; the paper was much more stiff or brittle, which made the removal somewhat harder.

Starting at a corner I picked up the paper with my fingernail and pulled. As the card is only about 3 x 5 inches, it took maybe two minutes to get all of the small pieces removed.

If any of you have ever done serious house painting and had difficulty removing masking tape without damaging the taped surface, even the blue or green painters tape advertised as 'clean removal' , there's a trick to having everything come out as clean and damage-free as possible: pull the tape on a 45° to 90° angle to the run of the tape while pulling as close to the surface as possible. If you try to pull straight up and away from the surface, you're almost guaranteed surface damage.

Paper removed

After removing the paper, I found smudges or glue residue on the surface. I wasn't too concerned until our Esteemed Editrix Erin mentioned having the same issue on her Card. Up to that point I wasn't too concerned, as I figured what I had might be a fluke.

Hmmm... smudges

Since the smears weren't terrible, I decided to try wiping the plastic with a wet paper towel, and had no results. The next step was Dawn dish soap, which I've used on all sorts of things that would be damaged if harsher cleaners or solvents were used. After washing the card with Dawn, a sponge and warm water, the smears were still there! Now it appeared there might be a real problem with the cards...

... until I really looked at the surface. Really, really looked closely...

... and washed the etched side, not just the smooth side that came covered with paper.


Clean and clear!

In the photo above, just above my index finger you can see what looks like two smudges. They are in fact a reflection from my hand that's holding my phone.

Using The RANGE-R Card
I pulled out the paper range cards I ordered from Amazon, the seriously cool Rite in the Rain ones. From previous measurements using Google Maps and their added distance measuring functions, I have a fairly good idea how far away several permanent points are, like buildings. The "Front Door" slot was the easiest to use, as I have measurements to the corner of several buildings and their driveways. Allowing for some error in Google and my mapping, I believe I'm within several yards of perfect.

Some of the other sizing options I haven't been able to use yet, as I need to find a building site to measure some cargo containers or fencing. I certainly can expect those distance measurements to be at least as good as the door estimates, but I'd like to get a second source.

Recap And Takeaway
  • I really like the simplicity and easy use of the card. I'm going to use it with the Purple Pack Lady, since I'm not the best teacher to explain how to estimate distances and then translate that to hash marks in a scope.
  • Ordered previously from Amazon: Rite in the Rain Range Cards, $13.80 with Prime shipping.
  • RANGE-R Card ordered from Black Hills Designs: $25 and free shipping.
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NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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