Factors that Determine and Distinguish the Reflective and Non-reflective Targets

Hunting is no mean feat. It requires you to accurately identify your target and shoot only when you are confident that you will hit the target. For you to accomplish this venture hassle-free, you, by all means, require the best hunting rangefinder 2018. This is simply an instrument that allows you to estimate the distance between your target and you.

This instrument accomplishes its task by emitting a ray of light. When the ray of light hits the target, it is reflected or bounces back to the source. The instrument then determines the time that the ray of light took to complete the circuit. Since the speed of light is known, it is possible to calculate the distance between you and the target.

There are two kinds of targets. These are the reflective and the non-reflective targets respectively. Reflective targets are those that bounce back light whenever they encounter such light. Non-reflective targets are those that absorb, scatter, deflect or diffuse light rays.


In the proceeding conversations, we are going to discuss those factors that determine and set these two kinds of targets apart.


This is the degree of smoothness and roughness of a surface or target. Reflective targets tend to have smooth and consistent surfaces. This is what enables the light to bounce back to the source whenever it strikes them. Non-reflective targets, on the other hand, do have rough and inconsistent surfaces. For this reason, light that falls on them is scattered in several directions.

Color and Opacity

Most reflective surfaces are brightly colored. They comprise white, grey, red, orange, or bright blue. This again gives them that capability of bouncing back the incident light to the source whenever that light hits them. Non-reflective targets, on the other hand, tend to have a dark color. Examples of these include black, dark blue, purple, and so on. Such color mainly absorbs the incident light. Other than color, reflective targets also tend to be opaque i.e. block the penetration of light. Non-reflective targets, on the other hand, are generally transparent or translucent.

Surface Material

Other than texture and color, these two kinds of surfaces also differ in their surface material composition. Reflective targets are usually made of shiny, thick and hard materials. It is these materials that block the penetration of light and instead bounce them back to the source. The non-reflective surfaces, on the other hand, are normally made of soft and thin-layered materials. These allow light to penetrate them.


The size of targets also has a bearing on whether they are reflective or not. In general, reflective targets tend to be larger in size. It is this sheer size that enables them to block as much light as possible. Non-reflective targets, on the other hand, tend to be smaller in size. As such, they allow as much light as possible to pass through or beside them.


The shape also has a bearing on the reflectivity of light. This is because for a surface to reflect light perfectly, all the rays have to be channeled in one direction only. Reflective targets i.e. those surfaces that are good at reflecting light tend to have a regular and consistent shape than their non-reflective counterparts.

Stationary vs. Mobile

Whether a body is stationary or mobile also has a bearing on its ability to reflect light. A target that moves from one point to another will usually reflect light poorly. This is because, as has already been stated, all the rays of light have to travel in one direction only. Moving targets interfere with the direction of the reflected light and thus the quality of the reflected image. Reflective targets generally tend to be stationary whereas the non-reflective targets are constantly moving.

Existence of Obstacles

It goes without saying that any obstacles within the path of light interfere with the reflected rays of light. They do so by blocking the beam of light that is emitted by the rangefinder from hitting the target. They may also block the reflected ray from the target to the rangefinder. As a matter of fact, any obstacles that exist within the path of a target convert that particular target to a non-reflective on even if it ordinarily reflects light well.


Rangefinders have a fixed range i.e. the distance within which they may function properly. Their ability to estimate distances of targets diminish with distance. This is to mean that the farther away a target is, the less likely that it may be detected by the rangefinder. It, therefore, follows that reflective targets are located closer to a rangefinder than their non-reflective target counterparts. This case applies even to those targets that would ordinarily reflect light well.


Elevation refers to the height of a target above or below the level of the hunter. The elevation of a target i.e. how high or low it is located relative to the hunter determines its ability to reflect back light. This is because light rays are better reflected if the target object is located directly opposite or in line with the hunter. Non-reflective targets tend to be located either above or below the hunter. As such, the direction of rays of light that bounce back from them is compromised. This interferes with their reflectivity.

Environmental Conditions

Other environmental conditions such as the degree of sunlight, cloud cover, humidity, and amount of precipitation also affect the reflectivity of light. This is because they absorb some of these rays of light and diminish their intensity. If and when these adverse environmental conditions exist, even those surfaces that are ordinarily good at reflecting light lose this ability.


Reflective targets are generally more convenient to locate and hunt than their non-reflective targets. This is because, as you may deduce from the conversations above, their distances are simpler to detect and ascertain. Given that most animals that are hunted fall under the non-reflective target category, you will have to look for a better hunting rangefinder that is capable of detecting and locating such targets. In all, hunting is a thrilling venture. Any serious lover of adventure or nature has no choice but to consider undertaking it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *