I’ve been seeing some pretty cool optics come out recently that are integrating technology into their functions.
Most recently, I picked up the MTC Rapier Rangefinder. I first noticed this little rangefinder at Shot Show 2018 and was immediately impressed at how much more it did than just tell me the range alone. This little gadget uses your smart phone or watch to calculate the ballistics of your rifle and then shows you and tells you exactly where to place your shot. Yup, it actually talks to you through either through your device or via an included bluetooth earpiece! It gave me a laugh the first time I heard it because it’s been programmed to talk to you with a British accent! It does require some initial setup information from you in order to provide you with the most accurate feedback. But, that little time spent in the beginning will take away any guess work out in the field.
Calculating ballistics is one thing but, this little rangefinder does even more. It also takes into consideration the angle your shooting at. That alone can mean the difference between a hit and a miss. “But wait, there’s more!” If you’re in an area with internet connection, you can download the local weather in your area and it will compute that into your ballistics as well. “But wait, there’s more!” There’s also a place for the shooter to enter the local wind data so that it can compute that into the ballistics of your shot as well!
The Rapier Rangefinder provides 4 pre-sets that are set up by the shooter a “custom tailored” fit to each of their rifle/scope combinations. I say custom tailored because ballistic coefficient, zero distance, velocity, scope height, twist rate, bullet weight, caliber, and length are all taken into consideration.
So, you might be wondering if it works with any scope. Yes! It asks you a couple of questions during setup in order to work with whatever scope your using. Is it First or Second focal plane and at what magnification is the scope at “true mil-dot.” Once this is entered, the main screen will then allow you to set and change your scope magnification very easily.
You can also choose what it tells you after you hit the “FIRE” button. It will tell you Range, plus any combination of the following – Angle, Drop, and Drift. Are you an MOA user? Or, maybe you prefer to “click in” to take your shot? No problem! Just set it to what you like… mil, MOA, 0.1-0.2 mil clicks, 1/8,1/4,1/2 MOA clicks, or bullet drop in inches or centimeters, and it will tell you what you want to know and how you want to hear it.
You do need a smart phone or watch in order to utilize all this information. But, even without one of these, the rangefinder will still work as a standard rangefinder. Through the eyepiece, you’ll see the changeable reticle, distance in yards or meters, angle with up or down indication, battery level, and whether vibration mode is on or off.
I searched around to see if there was anything else like this available. There is, but there’s only about 2 others to choose from (that I found) and you’d have to spend double or even triple the price in order to get one of them. Another product you might compare this to is the ATN X-sight scope. It has a lot of the same features built directly into the scope itself. Here’s why I like the rangefinder platform better. I own multiple rifles and I can easily use it with them without having to go through the process of un-mounting or mounting anything at all. That means I also don’t have to re-sight in. Being a rangefinder that will work with any scope, I can use whatever scope I want to look through and not be forced to use something that I might not like as much. Then, there’s the weight. The Rapier is 6.2oz in your pocket whereas the ATN scope is 2.5LBS on top of your rifle. Cost is always a concern as well. The MTC Rapier is the lowest priced of anything I found that compares to it making this little “piece of kit” (as the brits say) hard to beat!
I put together a youtube video about this little gem! If you’d like to see and hear it working, follow the link and check it out!