The MTC Optics Rapier Ballistic Laser Rangefinder is an interesting and useful accessory from the British company.
A laser rangefinder is an essential device for the serious airgun hunter. It can also come in very useful for sighting-in and working-out holdover for the Field Target enthusiast. This is a good one and now Airguns of Arizona has it on sale at nearly $100 off!
With a minimum focusing range of 5 Yards, this MTC rangefinder has a claimed maximum range of 1,300 Yards. We tested it out measuring ranges in comparison to a long surveyor’s tape out to 50 Yards. The readings were spot on!
Like most laser rangefinders, the MTC Optics Rapier Ballistic Laser Rangefinder is a small, portable unit. It’s not much larger than a tin of pellets, as you can see from our photograph above. It also comes complete with a comprehensive range of accessories.
The clamshell case can be fixed to your belt by the included carabiner. There’s also a wrist strap which can be attached to the rangefinder for security.
The MTC Optics Rapier Ballistic Laser Rangefinder can be used in two ways. As a stand-alone rangefinder, or as a complete, computerized, ballistic correction system.
1. Using the MTC Laser Rangefinder as a stand alone device.
The first is to simply take it out of the box, install the battery and press the red button on top. Looking through the viewfinder eyepiece, the rangefinder immediately springs to life and records the range of the target you aim at using the reticle.
If you want to select a different reticle pattern, or change measurements from Yards to Meters, this is achieved by pressing the two buttons on top, as explained by the instruction manual.
But this MTC rangefinder can be used in a different way, too…
2. Using it as a complete ballistic correction system.
While the MTC Optics Rapier Ballistic Laser Rangefinder can be used “just” as a simple rangefinder, it has huge capabilities beyond this.
To discover and use these capabilities requires you to use a smartphone – iPhone or Android. Download the free Rapier Ballistic Calculator App onto your phone and get ready for a whole new world of computerized shooting assistance!
There’s a link to this from AoA’s product page for the rangefinder.
First it’s essential to understand that once the MTC Laser Rangefinder has been connected to the Rapier Ballistic Calculator App, the rangefinder will be controlled by the phone. You will press the red “fire” button on the rangefinder itself, but everything else will happen on your phone, including turning the rangefinder off after use.
Next, check that the MTC Rapier App has correctly downloaded onto your phone (below, left). Then you MUST go through the “Using The Rangefinder” setup steps, as described on pages 5 and 6 of the manual, even if you are happy with the way the MTC Optics Rapier Ballistic Laser Rangefinder works out of the box.
This allows you to make a Bluetooth pairing between the rangefinder and your phone.
Having achieved Bluetooth pairing, you need to tell the MTC App the type of air rifle, scope and pellet you are using. The screen below left shows how to do this. As part of this setup, you’ll need to input the Ballistic Coefficient for the pellet. Time to find that from the Hard Air Magazine Ballistic Coefficients page , for example…
Repeat the same process to tell the App about the other airgun/pellet/scope combinations you will be using. (Hit the + button on the right screen, below). You can select the one you want when you’re ready to shoot.
The App will provide details of holdover based on the sighted-in (Zero) distance and other details you fed into the phone. Obviously they will be visible on your phone’s screen (we’ll see the display screen below), but they are also given audibly as well.
That’s a great feature, but what about if you’re hunting? Simply pair the included earpiece with your phone and you can listen to the instructions. That way the prey is not spooked and you don’t even have to look at the phone to understand the holdover required.
The Audio menu can be configured to speak just the range, or any other combination of information the MTC Optics Rapier Ballistic Laser Rangefinder generates. (See below, left).
Other settings include the angular units for your scope’s reticle (above right) and the environmental settings at the time you’re shooting (screens below). As you can see, the MTC App can even retrieve current weather automatically from the Internet if you wish!
So, finally, let’s look at the output display screen of the App (below). The range, target angle and appropriate holdover corrections are all indicated on this screen – and can be spoken to you as we discussed above.
You can also see if your rangefinder has been discovered by the App (the top bar) and the output selection you have made (next bar down). The third bar confirms the scope unit settings you selected and the one below shows the gun.scope/pellet combination profile you’re using now.
Below that is the graphic display for holdover, range, weather etc. That 10 min indicator shows the time before the rangefinder will automatically be switched off. You can change it, naturally.
If you choose to “go the whole hog” and benefit from this great App, it will take a little set-up time, of course. However the results are well worth it for the excellent, comprehensive and immediate results you will achieve when using the MTC Optics Rapier Ballistic Laser Rangefinder in the field.
And did we mention that AoA has this rangefinder at a close to a $100 saving right now?