Thanks for the report. I have owned the Bushnell 400, 800 and now a Leica 800 trying to sell for a 1200.. I found the older Bushnell optics to be the equivilent of something purchased for a quarter out of a machine. I am very happy with the optics of the Leica. On my particular LRF 800, rotating the eye piece corrects for the standard diopters of poor eye sight.
You will like the 1200. I have the 1200 and it is the best of the smaller "hunting-size" lasers that I have used - have used them all so have some background to work from. Very good optics, not pebbly. I also use the Nikon 800 (same unit as the Bushnell 800) for some hunts, and have worn out a Bushnell 1000.
Rumor has it that Leupold is bringing out a Leica-like model.
Hi guys I would like to add some of my personal experience with leica's new 1200 LRF.
I have been bowhunting a lot lately and always bring along the Leica LRF. I could consistantly range out to 700 yards on patches of waist high sagebrush and I consistantly ranged out to 1150 yards on 6-7' ft patches of shrubs. On single trees I could range out to 8-900 yards. All the ranging was done on a very sunny day with no clouds in the sky.
Sorry this took so long guys...been busy lately. I did have a chance to test the LRB 7X50's a bit in Montana last month. Overall, I wasn't overly impressed with its performance but I think they'll get the job done for me (for awhile anyway).
Before I left I found the time to "go hunting in Yuppyville" one more time and found I could range houses out to 1200-1300 yds depending upon their color and if they had a wall that was close to perpendicular to me. It easily ranged the Whidbey Island Ferry out to 1350+ every time, while moving (it's really big and white).
It would range large rocks (sandstone color...because they were sandstone [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ) much like it would houses. If the rock had a large enough flat area perpendicular to me 1300+ was no problem. If it was smaller and/or rounder 1000 or so was pretty much the limit.
On whitetail deer the limit seemed to be about 800 to 950 depending on how the deer was standing. Deer standing broadside could be ranged farther than deer facing toward or away from me. That's provided they were standing in short grass.
In waist high alfalfa, it was more difficult. With only their heads and top halves of their backs showing, up to 600 was no problem. But beyond that it was difficult. They had to be standing perfectly broadside to get them out to 700 or so. Good thing there's no tall grass during hunting season. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] I had to be really steady as well. I didn't use a tripod for any of my tests (I'm sure that would have helped a bunch) since I won't be hunting with one most of the time. I was using rests, though, getting as steady as I possibly could.
All of the above was in bright sunlight.
Now for the wierd part--low light conditions. It should do better, right? It didn't. In fact, it did worse. Quite a bit worse as it started to get really dark. Isn't that the opposite of how it is supposed to be with laser rangefinders? I thought it was from what I've read but this is my first rangefinder. Could something be wrong with my unit?
Something else I noticed--keep a couple of spare batteries handy. I find when I'm glassing I keep pounding on that button to range EVERYTHING in sight...just because it's so much fun. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] There is a noticable drop off in performance even before you get the low battery indicator. If you can't range something that you could before, change the battery.
So, would I reccommend it? For about 99.9% of hunters out there (not long range hunters) most definately. It really showed me how impossible it is to accurately estimate range. A deer is 300 yds away. It looks like there's one 50 yds beyond it. That's not a long range shot, right? Wrong, it's really 490, you just don't know it. It's also small enough to be carried and doubles as a fairly decent set of binoculars that can be used for glassing for game at the same time...reducing how many things you have to carry.
Still a yes for those up to people with similar hunting styles/expectations as me. What does that mean?
A "walk around" hunter with neither the skill nor equipment to shoot at game animals over 600-700 yds. Somebody that probably won't have a rest more steady than a bi-pod or other "field rest." But somebody that has practiced a bunch and can reach out much farther than the average hunter and really needs to know if the critter is 475 away or 625. If you're going to shoot, you need to know exactly. For that, the LRB 7X50 should get the job done well. Of course I haven't tested the thing "when it counts" yet. We'll see how it does over Thanksgiving.
For somebody shooting from a benchrest or similiar set-up intending to shoot beyond 800 yds, no. You won't be able to count on the LRB 7X50 every time. You need the Russian laser, the Wild, etc.
This is WAY off topic but you laser-freaks might find it interesting.
Many years ago a company in the U.S. rebuilt Ruger Mini-14's for law enforcement use. They replaced the wood stock with a very large composite stock that had a butt pad that hinged open at right angles. Open the back and you put in a large rechargeable battery into the stock. Up front was a device that looked like a mag-light, permanently attached under the barrel only it was all steel. Had a little hole in the front plate. There was a heavy wire running back from the cylinder along the barrel into the fore-stock. The trigger was changed to a military two-stage pull c/w an electronic contact or switch. Taking up the first stage turned on a very powerfull laser that emitted from the maglight-like device. The beam was red as I recall, might be wrong as this was a long time ago. The workmanship on this rig was excellent, it was a nice rifle - more like an M-14 than a Mini.
Anyhow a beekeeper had this rig for shooting bears at night (not a good idea as the .223 is not a very good bear stopper). I was standing by a bee-hive late at night and the owner shot the laser onto the white box from a distance of over 100 yards. I could see a group of dots that composed the beam. We never shot any bruins with it but did zap a few in the face to see if it bothered them. No big deal, they continued doing what they were doing (did this at a nuisance grounds, the bears were busy opening garbage bags for midnight snacks).
When we put the laser dot on something the .223's would hit in a pattern around it, not a tackdriver by any means. Maybe a 6-8 inch group at 100 yards but you could really send them out there as you did not worry about sights and the rifle did not recoil. Was supposed to be developed for prison guards, badguys did not want that red dot on them...
Just a tale from the "olden-days" - first laser that I ever saw, this was back in the mid 80's.
Denny, I did see your Russian review, and I AM VERY JELEOUS! That's definately the ultimate.
Have you tried a Newcon during low light conditions at all? The more I think about this the more it bothers me. Working fine in the middle of the day is great for target shooting. But if it's worthless after the sun goes down (just when things are getting interesting during hunting season) maybe it will let me down when I need it (even from rather "normal" ranges).
Anybody with a commercial "eye safe" laser rangefinder:
Am I correct in my assumption that they should work better in low light conditions than they do at high noon?
Has anybody else experienced a drop-off in performance from their rangefinders in low-light conditions (not fog, snow or rain, etc but simply the sun going down on a clear day)?