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Leica crf 1600 here! (short review)

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Unread 08-09-2010, 03:16 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 167
Leica crf 1600 here! (short review)

UPS brought mine today!

Been playin with it a little and will post what I know for now, and will try to answer questions as they come in. First off, I have not had a chance to stretch its legs yet, and it might be a little while to see what it can do on live critters runnin' in the woods. For now all my info is comming from plain' in the house, and around the neighborhood.

Here is what I know so far.....
It feels like the 1200. One added menu button on top.

Menu items are very simple, and easy to navigate.

Works just like the other leicas as far as one push to turn on, and one push to range.

It still has the scan mode, but I rarely ever use it.

The reticle seemed a little larger than the 1200, but I have not looked through one for about a month, and can't compare for sure. My guess is it is the same and my eyes are playin tricks.

It does not seem as fast of recovery time after ranging, and trying to range again. Seems to pause longer than before. Might be the computer crunchin numbers. It takes about 1.5 seconds to recover. I thought my 1200 was almost instantanious.

If the Ballistics compensation is turned off, all the screen will show is the range.

If the ballistics comp is turned on, it will show the holdover after displaying the range. It is in the middle of the screen, and does not show both at the same time.

When the unit is on(after ranging, or pushing the main button once), you can press the menu button once, and the angle, temp, and barometer reading will be shown. They are shown in that order, and not all at once. It shows each one for about a second or two.

The angle is shown just as a +/-number, the temp will show either c/f depening on weither you have the unit set to metric or american, and the barometer is shown like 12.95. Not sure what this barometer is showing. My current pressure at the house is about 26.XX station pressure (not corrected).

You can choose between either a 100 or 200 yard/meter zero with 12 different curves each.

The BIG problem is the charts included in the manual only show drops from 0-300yrds in 25 yard increments. There are some pretty flat curves that would appear flat enough for even some of the flattest shooting rifles. However there is no way to see what the bullets are doing at long range. Example: the curve that best matches my berger 7mm 180 at 2960 is the #3 curve. With a 200 yard zero the drop shows 6.2" drop, when mine is actually about 6.3 (I think) at their atmospheric conditions. This curve could be matched by something like a 220 swift shooting 3600fps (guessing), but at 800 no way are they the same. I guess the only way to check is to go out to 1000, range it, and check to see if the suggested holdover is correct. My guess is that it won't work outside 600-700 yards.

The holdover is corrected to show basically MOA when in US mode. Here is the quote from the instructions "The correction value for the range actually measured is automatically converted to 100m/100yds. The major advantage of this is that the correction value can be set directly on the riflescope, i.e. without elaborate prior conversion."

I really don't see a whole lot of benifit for the ballistics function unless we get lucky enough that the corrections work with our particular load. I just doubt they have a curve with a bullet that has a G1 BC of .600-.800 like some of the 7mm's and 338's. Looks like we will still need our palm pilots in the field. For those shooting more "normal" loads like a 300winmag with 180grn bullet it might work perfectly.

One great thing, is that if you have the ballistics function turned off, and don't go out of your way to push the menu button, it acts just like a regular Leica. Push to range and thats it. No cluttered view/options showing.

Another good thing, is the beam divergence seems pretty tight. I can range through tree branches, or between cars/obstacles, and almost always get the distance of what is in the reticle. as long as the objects are outside the little red rectangle it won't give you the closer reading. So at least I can trust that if the object is centered in the reticle, then you should have no errors with closer/farther objects. I am sure this is the same as the 1200, but I never checked mine out for the deam tightness/sensitivity.

I hope this helps a little, and will try and answer any questions that I can. I don't have time to scan the manual and post anything right now. I will test at some longer distances, but so far ranging way down the street, I can get around 1250 yrds in bright sunlight. Nothing farther yet, but i am sure I will be pleased after I get out and stretch its legs.

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Unread 08-09-2010, 03:26 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,654
Re: Leica crf 1600 here! (short review)

Thanks for the review . I think it will be a good buy if it will range out to 1800 or 1900 yards like the swaro atleast thats what i'm hoping for .

One question . Can you fudge the ballistics program to match real world drop ? in my opinion that's what will make of break this option with the Leica 1600 but then again if one already has a pc he's still good to go.

"Molon Labe"
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Unread 08-09-2010, 03:40 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 167
Re: Leica crf 1600 here! (short review)

I don't think there is any way to "tweak" the program. As far as 100yrd shooting is concerned, I bet only one in ten people would find a curve that is good enough to match. problem is that alot of the people that use this range finder, won't know better, and "think" that the holdovers are accurate, and shoot beyond their effective range. I could be wrong with the ballistic charts, and maybe the have them set with higher BC bullets to get the flatter trajectories, instead of just increasing speed. Only time will tell.

I do think this feature would be better served on the 800 and 1200 yard models. Wost thing is I guess you just ignore the holdover, and use what our own charts say. No harm no foul!
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Unread 08-09-2010, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 167
Re: Leica crf 1600 here! (short review)

Went out of town a ways to do some quick testing.

Conditions: Hot very sunny clear skys, 90deg, lots of mirage.

Here is what I was able to range.
Trees at 1421, 1505, 1307, 1324.

Houses, large buildings, and garages; house 1411, lrg building 1635, blue house in sun 0 but same color garage in shade at 1607.

I got 1859 on a large building, but only got about one out of five that gave a reading.

I ranged a black horse at 1321, brown horse at 1317, and the barn they were near at 1335.

Anything past about 1400-1500 seemed incosistant with getting a reading everytime, and does depend on color quite a bit.

Again this is in some pretty tough conditions with very bright sun and mirage.

It seems like the ranging will be plenty powerful enough for my use, and I would suspect it will get stronger in less sunny conditions.

The ballistics function is a big letdown! I appears from my limited testing that it will not give you a correction of more than 10moa. Which with my settings and ballistic curve #3 is maxed out at about 550yrds. If this is true, why bother putting it into a 1600 yard range finder. I will do some more testing and change the curves a little and see, but when I was ranging at 560 yards it gave me no correction, and at 540, it gave me 9.8 moa, and I did get 10.0 to come up once, but don't remember the yardage.

I guess it will work well for an entry level hunter that needs the help correcting for angles, temp, and barometer at yardages about 500 or less. This belongs on the Leica 800, and not the 1600. I will most likely turning off the ballistics function, and use the other readings to plug into my palm.

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Unread 08-09-2010, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rock Springs, WY
Posts: 56
Re: Leica crf 1600 here! (short review)


Thanks for your reviews. This is pretty much what I had expected. Yes a bit of a let down. But it will be nice to get the range, temperature, pressure, and inclination all in one unit. Until a manufacturer lets us program with our own custom info like BC and velocity I guess this is all we get for a while. As for the pressure that seems to be in units of psi. Where sea level is 14.696psi.
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Unread 08-10-2010, 09:28 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 890
Re: Leica crf 1600 here! (short review)

So do you think it is worth the up grade from owning the 1200? i own the 1200 and the swarv.
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Unread 08-11-2010, 06:42 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 167
Re: Leica crf 1600 here! (short review)

Mike, I think that if you are looking to hunt and kill animals PAST 1000 yrds, then the Leica 1600 might be worth it. If you don't already have something with a barometer in it then it would also be a nice benifit. I really like ignoring my elevation, and just punching in station pressure into exbal. I already have a kestral, but will not need it on calm days now.

If you are huntin and not shooting at stuff over 1000yrds then I think the 1200 is all you will ever need. I think it is better than the swaro when ranging 1000 and under.

The swaro "might" have a little more range than the 1600, but the tighter beam divergence of the Leica is wonderful.

My suggestion.... Sell both the 1200 and your swaro, and get the 1600. I think that is what i would do in your shoes.

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