I'd like to solicit the advice of some on the board here to help me be realistic about my needs vis a vis a rangefinder. I noted there was a very good price on 1600b's here that I just missed out on, but it set me to thinking about what I really need, as opposed to want.
Some background...I am just getting back into shooting and have a family, so funds are very tight, otherwise it would be an easy decision.
I don't hunt at what many consider long range here, 500 yards is my hopeful eventual goal as my proficiency maximum on game. I do have a 1k range available to me for practice, but I don't need a rangefinder for that. I will be going to training to help me achieve that goal, but again, I will probably always limit myself to that distance when hunting.
Rifle wise, what I am shooting is not flat shooting, but it's what I chose for other reasons.
Given that information, I want to buy a 1600b. But I really question my need for it and wonder if I should just save the 150 or 200 and get the 1000r. I know I will be losing some significant range, but I am not sure I need the extra. More importantly to me, I will be losing the adjustments to the range based on temperature and pressure changes.
But do I really need that when I am shooting a max of 500 yards? Best I can tell, temp and pressure will probably make about 1-2 inches difference at that range, but maybe I am looking at this all wrong.
Just hoping to get a little perspective from some of the more experienced people here. I don't like to buy twice, but I can't afford to buy more than I need either.
My 11 year old keeps reminding me that every time I save up for something like this, it means I did not save up to allow us to go hunting instead. That's okay for a while, if in the long run, it is important to allow us to eventually do the hunting we want to do, but I sure don't want to be the guy so prepared for hunting around the world that he can never afford to leave his couch ;)
In the field I don't think you can be without one. If you can borrow one, take a road trip, and along the way estimate ranges, write those estimates in a log, compare with a rangefinder. Over the course of the day you'll be off more than on out to 500 yards.
It's always easy to spend other peoples money, but the Leica 1600 is a solid performer.
As technology changes frequently such things do appear as a good deal used.
Really? OP states an (eventual) max of 500 yards. I own a 1600B and consider it overkill for those ranges. Of course if an eventual goal of 1200 yards is in the cards, then things change, but you never need to buy way more than you need. Those saved funds would be best used for better scope optics. Just my opinion.
First, let's go to the question of need. Unless you have a scope reticle (MOA or MilDot) that provides a platform for ranging a target or, unless you can judge distances very accurately over a range of 500 yards, you need a range finder.
A 1 MOA error at 500 yards equals a five inch miss. If your standard for accuracy is (as mine is) to be able to consistently hit an 8 inch pie plate at your effective range or pass the target by, that could easily equal a miss or a wounded animal.
Like the others, I assume you're looking at the Leica Rangemaster 1600B. That's pretty nice. Quite frankly, the 1000 is pretty nice too. Based on their specs., the only real difference in the two is their reflective range. The 1600 with a 1600 yard range and the 1000 with a, you guessed it, 1000 yard range. So if money is tight and I had to make a choice I'd opt for the 1000 and understand that in a few years I might want to upgrade.
More importantly, if I had an eleven year old that might not get to go hunting with his dad because there wasn't enough money to buy a range finder or take a trip, I'd leave the commercial range finder on the shelf and make a rudimentary range finder out of a few scraps. It might even be a project the two of you could work on together. Wait too long and the eleven year old may lose interest in spending time with you.
All you need to do is take a tube that can be closed at both ends; cover one end with a solid material and cut a viewing hole in the center. Cover the other end with a piece of clear plastic. If the plastic is translucent rather than transparent, cut a long rectangular vertical slot in it. Get some info. on the animal you intend to hunt and learn what the distance is from top of back to bottom of chest. Make a "target' of that size and move it out to 100 yards. Mark the height of the top or bottom (which ever approach you want to use) on the vertical slot. Move it out to 200 yards and do the same thing. You can go as far as you like. With a little experimentation and some practice you'd be surprised how good you can get at making one of those.
Whatever you look at through the tube that is the same or nearly the same size as your sample target will line up with the yardage you marked on the front lense. It's not "dead on" accurate but it'll give you more accurate data than a look and guess. it's certainly good enough for hunting in the field if you combine it with good sense. Hunting, after all, is about the hunt; not about the kill.
I have a great woman, fantastic kids, a warm place to sleep and an accurate rifle. Life is good ..............
Hunter Safety Instructor - Rifle/Pistol Marksmanship Instructor
American riflemans triad - God, guts and guns. It built America and it'll preserve America. Abandon one and you lose them all.