What is a Reflective Target for a Rangefinder – Complete Guide

If you have a rangefinder, you might be wondering what a reflective target for a rangefinder is.

Let’s find out!

What Is a Reflective Target for a Rangefinder?

A reflective target for a rangefinder is an object that reflects light to the shooter.

This can be used as a visual aid, or it can be used in conjunction with a range finder (RF) to help you zero your rifle accurately at longer distances.

The advantage of using a reflector is that it will give you a more accurate reading of the distance to the target than if you were simply looking through the scope.

What Makes a Target Reflective?

Lasers don’t always hit their targets, but they’re better at finding them than any other method. Reflective targets help lasers find their targets.

Static targets are the usual ones you would hit at the shooting range. These include materials such as white paper, steel, and even cars. Technically, any object can be a static (nonmoving) object. Static objects are almost always manmade.

What is the common type of reflector?

The most common type of reflector is called a “spot” reflector. It consists of a small metal plate that has been painted white and then covered with a thin layer of black paint. When light hits this spot, some of the light bounces off the surface and returns to the eye of the shooter.

The amount of light reflected depends on how much of the white area of the spot is exposed by the light hitting it. If the spot is completely covered, no light will bounce off it.

As the spot gets less and less covered, more and more light will bounce off it until it reaches 100 percent coverage. At this point, all of the light bouncing off the spot will return to the shooter.

How should you use a spot reflector?

Spot reflectors are very easy to use. You just place them where you want to measure the distance to the target, hold the spot up to your eye, and look through the scope.

A typical spot reflector will have a diameter of about 2 inches. This means that when you look through the scope, the spot should appear to be roughly 1 inch from the end of the barrel.

How Do Reflective Targets Affect Hunters?

Reflective targets are useful for hunting because they allow us to see where we’re shooting from. However, if you use a non-reflective target, then you won’t be able to tell where you’re shooting from. What matters is the distance at which you can shoot accurately without having to move your position.

Additionally, it isn’t just used for animals. It’s also used for setting up ranges like trees, stones, etc. These aren’t reflective, so they must be set within your non-reflective ranges.

Reflection and non-reflection aren’t the only things affecting your rangefinder’s ability. You need to know that when you’re using it for hunting, you may not be able to use it under ideal conditions. Hunters are less apt to encounter those same, ideal conditions.

If you want to use a laser rangefinder, then make sure you understand how it works and its limitations before you begin using it.

what is a reflective target for a rangefinder

What is a Reflective Target for a Rangefinder?

Environmental Conditions’ Affect on Reflective Targets


The natural world doesn’t have any rhyme or reason for how things work. You won’t find many perfectly square or right-angled objects in nature. You’ll find slopes and slants instead.

These shapes tend to cause problems for your rangefinders’ ability to measure distances accurately.


Laser rangefinder technology is based on light waves. To measure distance accurately, the device must emit a beam of light and then detect how much of that beam is reflected by the device. Because of this, the laser rangefinder can only work effectively under certain lighting conditions.

For example, if the sun is shining directly into your eyes, the laser rangefinder won’t be able to see where the target is located. On the other hand, if the sun is behind you, the laser rangefinder should be able to pick up the reflection just fine.


Laser rangefinders are often used outdoors when exposed to rain, snow, and humidity. These factors can cause problems with accuracy.

Fortunately, newer models are designed to compensate for these issues. Before buying, make sure your device works best in the conditions you’ll be using it in.

How Does a Laser Rangefinder work?

Laser rangefinders are by far the most accurate way to measure distances. They’re so accurate they can be used to measure distances from one point to another within a yard.

The core concept behind a range finder is simple. Aiming the device at something you wish to hit allows the sensor to measure the distance between your target and the device itself.

Once you press the trigger, the sensor sends out a pulse of energy that travels through space until it hits an object.

What does the sensor measure?

When it does, the sensor measures the amount of time it takes for the beam to travel to the object and back again. The range finder can calculate the distance between the two objects from this information.

The rangefinder has a built-in timer, and the light beam travels at the speed of light. It’s measuring how long it takes for a reflection from the target to return to the finder.

So, How is the distance calculated?

A lot of calculations occur within the units, and they spit out a distance. This distance is calculated by measuring the time between when the beam was fired and when the rangefinder picked it back up again. So the whole system relies on an interpretation and calculation of the reflection of the beam.

Without mirrors, the laser beam would go on forever without stopping. It would just keep bouncing back and forth between the mirror and the object.

Laser Rangefinder Limitations

Lasers aren’t perfect. There are some things they’re good at, but there are others where they fall short. You need to know which ones they are before buying one.

Optical Clarity

While it is easy enough to get lost in the electronic world of a range finder, it is important to realize that they are still optical devices. Optical devices must have a certain level of clarity to work properly.

You should choose a product with high-grade lenses that let you view the target you wish to range. You will then also have to select an appropriate magnification.

Beam Divergence

A target that is farther away requires the rangefinder to fire a narrower beam. This causes the target to appear larger on the screen.

However, if the target is too far away, the rangefinder may not be able to see it enough to hit it accurately. To compensate for this, the rangefinder must fire a wider beam. This results in the target appearing smaller on the screen.


We hope that now you know about the reflective target for a rangefinder. If you have any queries feel free to reach out in the comments section below.

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