The Range-R card is one of those things that I never expected would have taken off the way it did - over 800 sold thus far in three versions - and there's no doubt in my mind that if people speak with their wallets, the people have spoken in volumes in this case.
When I saw it the first time it immediately reminded me of the old PSO Soviet scope rangefinders. Put the feet on the horizontal line and wherever the head comes up to, that's the distance to the target. The Soviet methodology of fielding Snipers was quite a bit different from the American methodology. Rather than treating them as isolated assets they were viewed in what we'd come to call Designated Marksmen, or a native asset to the larger Infantry Squad. Extended range snap shots were more critical than mathematical ranging and pinpoint shot placement. Their training program was reflective of this, based around the experiences of the Eastern Front of WWII and Stalingrad in particular. With limited ammo and resources they created riflemen and their equipment was reflective of this effective methodology.
Everything is based around averages. In real life we don't know exactly how tall our target is, but we do know what the average of all targets are - and with that said we can create mental images of how far things appear to be. In my years of doing this I've gotten used to estimating range based on how things appear; people, cars, fences, etc. In many years of doing it with mils you begin to know based on what it looks like to the naked eye before you find it in the glass. It takes experience and that's where this rangefinder begins to shine. No batteries, no gimmicks, and a low margin for error if you do your part.
But you knew all that and I'm not one for resting on laurels. How do we take a tool and make it better? How to we cram the absolute most functionality into one package? There were a few pieces of first line kit in Afghanistan that were "don't leave your bed without" as I was discussing on the Angery American podcast last night with Chris Weatherman, Carl Ericson and the Tactical Rifleman crew last night: your compass, a map of your operations box, and a protractor. GPS was fine for confirming what you knew, but in those days just over a decade ago the Iranians were already playing man in the middle with the satellite signals. Map and paper - hard skill - was the bread and butter and it never failed us.
So with that in mind I sought to include plot pointers (the whole reason you carry a protractor) for 1:24k (UTM), 1:25k & 1:50k (MGRS) for map reading and land navigation. Based on the feedback I've received from the extremely popular Micro Cards, I've included bullet drop scales for both 5.56 and 7.62 NATO (M80 Ball) to give the shooters holdover points based on the range. All of this put in one package is designed to give the shooter an inexpensive option that requires no batteries, no IR or thermal signature, and can be used in a number of ways to train Riflemen in not just marksmanship but land navigation as well.