G7 BR2 Rangefinder - Gunwerks Ballistic Rangefinder
Are you a long range hunter looking to stretch your effective range out to 1000 yards? Then the Gunwerks G7 BR2 rangefinder is for you. Everyone else, probably not. While the G7 BR2 can do everything from archery hunting to extreme long range target shooting, its sweet spot is long range hunting. However, if you are looking for a rangefinder for most any other purpose, this rangefinder is likely overkill. With that in mind let’s take a look at what this rangefinder can do.
The G7 BR2 is equipped with three sensors two of which almost no other commercial rangefinders have. First, like many rangefinders the G7 BR2 is equipped with an inclination sensor for making angle compensated readings so the unit can calculate true horizontal distance to the target. Next, and unlike most rangefinders the G7 BR2 is equipped with a temperature sensor, an important factor that needs to be calculated for long distance shots. Note, because the temperature sensor is built into the rangefinder make sure it has time to adjust from quick temperature changes, like when getting out of a warm truck into a cold a weather environment. Finally, this unit is equipped with a barometric pressure sensor which is also a very uncommon feature to find among current rangefinders. The G7 BR2 rangefinder gives the atmospheric pressure uncorrected for sea level which is what long range shooters want; furthermore it takes this measurement and converts it to an approximate altitude measurement for those using charts or programs that use an altitude input instead of directly inputting the atmospheric pressure.
Range Only Mode
The G7 BR2 has two types of modes, a Range Only Measurement mode and a Ballistic Profile mode. This rangefinder comes from the factory in the Range Only Measurement mode and will range as close as 10 yards out to a maximum of 2500 yards in ideal conditions on reflective targets. In this mode the rangefinder will return the distance to the target in LOS (line of sight distance) for a moment and then display the true horizontal distance (angle compensated range). However, the individual sensor data such as temperature, barometric pressure, target angle and approximate altitude can all be displayed by using the small forward arrow on top of the unit; this feature is handy for those using a ballistics program on a smartphone or other device but still want to take advantage of all the data this G7 rangefinder can collect.
Ballistic Profile Mode
The other mode this rangefinder operates in is a Ballistic Profile mode. Here you can enter exact specific custom load data for up to five different cartridges. The rangefinder will use this data to calculate firing solutions in drop units (mils, MOA, inches or BDC) out to 1400 yards. This mode requires the following data to be entered:
Profile name (i.e. 7Mag or 338Lap, etc.)
Drop units (MOA, mils, inches, or bdc)
Drag standard (G1 or G7)
Ballistic coefficient (i.e. .512,.631, etc)
Muzzle velocity (chronograph for best results)
Sight height (center of bore to center of scope)
Turret Temp (Only for BDC output)
Turret Altitude (Only for BDC output)
Zero Range (Only for BDC output)
As seen above if you are using a custom ballistic turret on your riflescope and wish to use this rangefinder in a ballistic profile mode with BDC output, you need to provide some additional information. This rangefinder requires the temperature, altitude, and zero range that your turret was made for. After you enter these three additional inputs, the G7 BR2 rangefinder will be able to calculate a shoot as distance which will give you the yards range you need to dial on your custom turret. So when the rangefinder is in BDC mode you simply turn your turret to the matching yardage the rangefinder is displaying.
The G7 BR2 rangefinder is not equipped with a sensor for measuring wind; however it can still help you out a great deal when it comes to dealing with the wind and holdoff. When in Ballistic Profile mode, after the unit displays the firing solution in your choice of drop units (mils, MOA, etc.) you can use the small forward arrow on top of the unit to scroll through windage holds for the ranged target in 5mph increments. While very helpful you still need to either judge or measure the wind yourself. Also, since the rangefinder provides the windage solution in 5 mph increments you might have to extrapolate solutions in between reported holds; for example, if you have a 17mph wind you would have to roughly split the difference between the 15mph and 20mph holds the unit reports.
With all the features, options and settings, programming is obviously more involved than with most rangefinders. While the G7 BR2 comes with the standard power and mode buttons found on most hunting rangefinders, it also has two smaller additional arrow buttons on top to help navigate and program the unit’s settings. The addition of these two smaller arrow buttons combined with the programming instructions in the manual as well as Youtube videos produced by the Gunwerks G7 guys should be more than adequate for most people to get their rangefinder up and running in a reasonable amount of time. Also, realize setting up the unit requires some homework on your part such as your rifle’s sight height (distance from center of bore to center of scope), your bullet’s ballistic coefficient, and muzzle velocity. Note, muzzle velocity is a big factor so don’t go off a box of ammo, you need to have your ammo shot through a chronograph.
Many long distance rangefinders kind of gloss over target priority and neglect to include this feature as often target shooters don’t need them; but hunters on the other hand often rely on them. Fortunately, the G7 BR2 is well equipped and has four targeting modes: nearest, farthest, scan and basic. Nearest is the equivalent of first target priority and will report the closer of two objects if the unit receives a split reading. Farthest or last target priority is generally the one most utilized by hunters as it reports the more distant of two objects when it receives a split reading; essentially this helps the rangefinder to ignore brush, grass, branches and other obstructions between you and the target. Scan mode allows the you to range multiple targets or follow a moving target while the distance automatically updates on the display. Basic does not have a split reading filter like nearest or farthest applied to the ranging results.
Price is obviously the first thing that comes to mind, at nearly $1800 this rangefinder will be beyond the budget of many shooters; however, we really hate putting something in the disadvantages category on price alone as we would rather see a company build a full featured product and charge what it needs rather than not produce it at all or cut corners to keep the cost down. Also of note, when used in the Ballistic Profile mode this unit is slower than most rangefinders; this decrease in speed is because the unit takes multiple sensor readings and calculates firing solutions on every press of the button. So expect the G7 BR2 rangefinder to take a couple seconds to process a range and compute a ballistic solution as opposed to the the near instant range only reporting of some other rangefinders.
You might have noticed that the max range on the G7 BR2 rangefinder is 2500 yards, and that it will calculate ballistic solutions out to 1400 yards. However, hunting at 1000 yards plus brings up numerous concerns. To brush on the ethical aspect our feeling is that some people are more capable of a 1000 yard shot than others are at 400 yards; so you will have to decide on your maximum range based on your skill and experience. In regards to the rangefinder itself once you get around 1000 yards other factors start coming into play that this rangefinder does not account for like Coriolis effect and spin drift. So it is important to understand both your own limitations as well as the rangefinder’s before using it for long range hunting.
In our opinion the G7 BR2 rangefinder unit is best suited for long range hunting use out to the 1000 yard range when set in a Ballistic Profile mode tailored to your rifle’s hunting load. Here is where this unit and its additional sensors for calculating temperature and barometric pressure outclass other rangefinders, while at the same time it calculates and displays precise ballistic solutions eliminating the need for a separate ballistics calculator. Currently the G7 BR2 is selling online for around $1800.
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