Leica 1200 RF problems

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Boman, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Boman

    Boman Well-Known Member

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    Gentleman,
    I purchased a Leica 1200 Rangefinder last year. I haven't used it too much in the field. But over the last few months I have. I'm having a heck of time ranging Anything over 600yds. Sometimes I can get out to 800yds but only once over 900. This is on Buildings, cars, trees, rocks and animals. Most of the time during the day its sunny, but I've done this on cloudy and overcast days too. Is this normal and if so why? If this isn't normal I'm guessing I need to send this one in for repair. Anyone else have this problem?
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Boman,

    Send 'er back!!!

    I took mine out last night chuckin' with the 270 Allen Mag. Got a chuck at 1098 yards thanks to getting four consistant range measurements in a row with my 1200 Leica. Got several ranges in the 1200-1250 yard ranges as well(no hits though /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif) but this was against a rock side hill.

    This was also in pretty bright sunlight so yours should be working much better then it is. I would change batteries and try it again but I suspect it will need to go back for replacement.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  3. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    I hate to see them put those numbers on the lasers since there is so much variation in performance. In my opinion the numbers create expectations that are rarely met.

    Bright sun is a killer on all of the small, handheld eyesafte laser rangefinders. In my experience your laser is working about as well as our Leicas average, but there are days when they just don't perform, period. I have accepted that 60-65% of the rated yardage is a good average for field use, anything above that is almost a bonus. There are days when I cannot get 50% with any of the units I use, although I might add that the Swarovski gets readings farther than the other models almost every time we compare.

    This might not help much, I always check the lasers by taking a reading, then moving one long step forward or backwards and taking another reading. Should be one yard difference. Not sure how else you can check to see if they are working -- range determination varies so much that longest distance read is not a constant.
     
  4. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Kirby's sugestion to put fresh batteries in is a very good one - that makes a difference. Kirby, you are getting great performance, I have had three Leica 1200's to compare and they did not all give similar performance. Perhaps there is a range of performance that is "the way it is" and not much can be done about it.
     
  5. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Ian,

    Realize I was ranging into large flat, bare hill sides so these are about as quality as you can get for a ranging target. I was not ranging the chucks, just the flat area around them.

    The angle of the face of the hill was not perpendicular to me but it was a very steep angle. This is the reason for the great readings.

    On targets out in open areas or flat terrain, I would agree with your experience totally, roughly 800 yards is where I start loosing consistancy.

    For that reason I ordered a Swar RF. Should be here soon!!

    Your testing results are right on in my opinion but I will say that Boman should be getting over 600 yard readings consistantly with this RF.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  6. Kenster-Boy

    Kenster-Boy Well-Known Member

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    AHHHHHHHHH

    Man this is the last thing that I wanted to hear! I was under the impression that the leica 1200 was about the best rangefinder on the market now for ranging over 1000 yards. Now I am left wondering. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gifI was just about to buy one too. So what is THE best one in your guys opinion? Swaro or Leica? And is the Swaro worth the price diff? (I don't know how much they are but with the name it tells me they are expensive)
     
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    After reading of Kirby's experience on that Idaho hunt I did some serious testing of my own with my own Leica 1200.

    Had ranged 3 doe individually in tall grass at 625, 635 and 640. Was repeatable. Later they moved into the sage brush and ranged the one I could find at 695, though it may well have been sage brush that I was actually ranging. Dunno.

    At 445 it wouldn't range a black stock cow no matter how many attempts. However would range a railroad tie just in front of the cow.

    Would range other cows in the herd regardless of color just so it wasn't black, out to 700 yds and a bit beyond (thats as far as they were away).

    Would range russian olive trees and bushes out to 970 if the sun was right.


    Ranges rock chucks and such really well as they are always on big piles of lava rock.

    As stated above stamping an number on the unit is a bit ambitious.

    Where there are trees etc, such as mountain sides and the like there is no problem. But, if there is only large flat sage brush spaces with no Cedar trees it's a bit of a guess.

    So far the Leica 1200 is plenty sufficient for my "long" range 270 Win, I'm figuring 700 yds max.

    When I step up with something 'really' long range, 900 to 1500 yds I think I'm in trouble.

    Just my own experience.

    7mmmag man, I'd say that the leica is about the best out there in the price range though I do hear good things about the Bushnell 1500 but I bet is not 100% at that 1500 number and can't see how it would be as good as the leica. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  8. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    7mmag man,

    There have been extremely few times that the leica 1200 has left me wanting for more range finder. unfortunately, one of those times was with a world class Mouflon ram at around a half mile out.

    For the money I would say the Leica is hard to beat. If you want to step up to $800, the Swarovski, from what I am hearing from very trustworthy sources is the rangefinder that is setting the pace currently. For shooting out to 700 to 800 yards the leica 1200 will be hard to beat!

    My issue is that the Allen Mags have quickly outgrown these range limitations and needs something more.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  9. gonehuntingagain

    gonehuntingagain Well-Known Member

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    If you move at all while trying to hit something at 600+, you will not get a good reading.
    If you have a steady rest (tripod, truck, etc.) then you can get into the longer ranges. I tried to range an elk that was bedded down, but could not, even when leaning against the truck with my arms on the bed. When I set the rangefinder on the bed rails, thus creating a dead rest by taking me out of the picture, I was able to range the elk at 1148 yards - every time I hit the button.
    Too bad it wasn't during hunting season! (like I could have hit it anyway /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif)
     
  10. Kenster-Boy

    Kenster-Boy Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    How can you say that? You obviously haven't whitnessed my shooting! IT IS HORRIBLE.
    But good news is that I am getting a handle on it. A couple of weeks ago my max range was about 300 yards now I am FAIRLY consistent at 600. Who knows maybe deer will die at 800 hundread yards come deer season.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  11. Boman

    Boman Well-Known Member

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    Gentlemen,
    Thank you ALL for your responses. I changed batteries about 3 months ago. But I'll change them again. That could be an easy fix although i doubt it. I want to go do some more shooting this weekend so I'll try it out again before i send her back. I wish I could afford the Swarovski unit but I'm saving up to buy a rifle from Kirby.

    One thing that has got me thinking is the problem could be me? One of you mentioned that when you put the rangefinder on the tripod it worked. I hadn't considered that. I'll try that too and see if it helps.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  12. Geoff Seymour

    Geoff Seymour Member

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    I have a LRF12OO that is also playing up, the first reading it gave me on a tree trunk at about 100 yards came up way out, the second and third readings were fine. This has happened three or four times, sometimes it is correct first go. I intend to try a new battery and see. If I was buying a rangefinder today I would look very closly at the Lieca Geovid rangfinding bino, I have heard some very good things about them. Expensive yes but you only buy quality once. I have not yet seen Swarovski's rangefinder, their scopes and binos are excellent though.
     
  13. Chester Evans

    Chester Evans Active Member

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    Ian,

    Have you ranged a coyote with the Swaro or Leica yet? We hunt large open fields where the coyotes roam so we need to be able to range the coyote not a tree or hillside.

    Can these units on a good day get a reading from such a small animal?
     
  14. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Tac,
    I have ranged many coyotes with the lasers, one comes to mind on an overcast winter day across a huge irrigation flat, 1091 yards for three consecutive readings according to my notes - that was with the Leica 1200. Have also had 1000+ readings on "good" days with the Swarovski, last time we threw dirt on a yote at 1025 with my .300 WSM - bullet hit just under his chest. These situations happened on flat, overcast days and I would not get anywhere near those readings in bright sun, particularly in winter. 5-600 is very doable in winter tho, and that is a long shot on a yote. Have a coyote killing buddy who hunts commercially, he uses his Leica on most shots if he is calling. You do NOT have to range the yote, get some good distance info off rocks, trees, posts or whatever so that you know accurately how far out he is in case there is no time for a laser reading. I actually draw a little sketch, mark in the distances, put the laser away.