Need a new rangefinder...Leica vs Bushnell 1600

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by 6.5shaggy, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. 6.5shaggy

    6.5shaggy Well-Known Member

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    I am looking at a Leica 1600b or a Bushnell 1600 ARC.

    If anybody has used both (on game preferrably), please share your experience. I know this has been covered somewhere before; but, humor me.

    I have a Leica lrf 1200scan. I like it generally, but it is lacking on game past 750 in most conditions. I DO NOT WANT A SWARO. I have used 2 separate units and the inconsistancy due to the huge aiming circle is unacceptable. A G7 or Terrapin is out of my price range. I use a Nightforce NSX and a proven drop chart, so inernal ballistic calculation is unnecessary.

    So, the question is, which would you recommend and why?

    Thanks,
    Shag
     
  2. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    I have the ARC 1600... pros and cons...

    My ARC 1600 does range well, and if the target is reflective it'll go beyond 1600 yards... I got a hit on a farm tractor once at something over 1700 yards.

    The unit uses the CR123 battery, which is easier to find than the smaller battery the 1200 Leica takes, but I think the Leica 1600 may use the 123 also?

    If you're used to the Leica glass, you won't be a happy camper with the Bushell, I don't think. While the Bushnell is plenty adequate in the glass department, the Leica glass seems sharper (my shooting partner has the 1200 Leica, like yours).

    The display is very dim on the ARC 1600... even on the highest brightness setting (setting number 4), you still sometimes have to point the unit toward some dark background to see the number that has just popped up.

    On one occasion, I somehow inadvertently got the unit set on ARC mode when I didn't want it to be. We host long range shoots, and move our targets around to keep things exciting... and I have to know the lasered distance--not the angle compensated distance. I fiddled with the thing a bit (because I didn't have the manual with me, and had not memorized it)... and ended up taking out the battery for a few seconds and putting it back in, in order to get the thing off the ARC mode.

    My friend's Leica 1200 seems to laze everything I'm able to hit with the ARC 1600. I don't know if he's just got an exceptionally good Leica 1200, or if they're all that way. His unit gets regular readings over 1300 yards when conditions are right.

    If you decide on the Bushnell for some reason, Bruno's Shooters Supply gave me the best deal on one... I got mine for just under 450 dollars.

    Good luck. You've already got a great rangefinder... you might want to keep the 1200, even if you do get a bigger one. It may turn out that you wont' find that much gain in practical use. The Leica 1200 is a sweet little unit...

    Dan
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Shag, smart decision I am glad to see more shooters using their equipment enough to find the short comings of the large beam units and being aware of it's inconsistancies. Sooner or later there will be more reports of misses due to large beams. I know I had mine back before I discovered the problem in 2008.

    That said you have answered your own question between the two units you mentioned. Have you compared the beam divergence?

    As for the field use of the 1600 CRF. I have used it alot in the field and I feel it would do you well to 1000 plus on game in most lighting conditions. Just remember this. Keep the fingers away from the front of the unit where the laser exits. And, Get the unit solid on bags if you can. Solid and steady wins the race with a small beamed unit.

    Jeff
     
  4. Armored Transport

    Armored Transport Well-Known Member

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    Check out the Bushnell Fusion ARC 12X50 Bino's. I have gotten well over 1200 yds on farm animals and if you check out youtube there are a few out there at just over 1600yds I think on a cow as well. :cool:
     
  5. Mikiedem

    Mikiedem Well-Known Member

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    I had the Leica 1200 and loved it, but upgraded to the Leica 1600 and wow!! I love it! Have ranged rocks at over 1900 yards in the mountains, but out on the desert it is tuff to get past 1000 yards. The temp and angle is also a very nice feature of the 1600.
     
  6. 6.5shaggy

    6.5shaggy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all for your input. It's dang more than $.02 worth. My Leica is the OLD square version. I didnt know if the new version was that much better or not. My scope has good glass for the shot, but the range has to be on. The LRF I have is flawless out to 750ish on dark Texas hogs, but it's not much help past that unless they are standing next to a tree, and in winter a small bare mesquite isn't very reflective.

    Two buddies have Swaros, and on steel the other day, with the units on bags, they would give readings of + or - 30 yards at a target that was supposed to be 850. My leica said 845-847 every time. This was the trend out to 1160 yards. But at first we didn't try the Leica and we were getting misses, 25yards off and it's a miss, the bullet dont lie. The other guys thought their charts were off, but I knew mine is proven so I checked the ranges and found the culprit.

    The Swaro is supposed to have a small beam, but that huge aiming circle is impossible to be consistant with. I have not seen a Bushnell other than the Fusions, and I'm not fond of the price for glass that weak, but if the plain LRF was good at ranging for $ 450 ish, I would try it. That said, if the Leica 1600 is marginally better at ranging and has better glass, then that would be the wise choice. In my opinion, an accurate rangefinder is just as important as your rifle or scope in a hunting situation where you get only one shot.

    Please do not let this be the end of this discussion. Any and all further input will be very helpful and greatly appreciated.
     
  7. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    I sold my Bushnell and bought a Leica, I wish I would have done that a long time ago. I've had two or three Bushnell units that just quit working when they get three or four years old. My uncle has a Leica that is over 10 years old and works like the day he bought it. I figure I ought to get at least 10 years out of my new Leica 1600.
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Shag, I assume we are talking about the Swaro 8x30 Laserguide? If so that beam is among some of the largest. Like 6'x6' at 1000 yards . The Leica is much smaller especially in height which helps alot over flat terrain. Your experience with those mis-ranges on the targets is comparable with the experiences I had with the 5 Swaro's I owned in the past. Also with the testing I have done with the Zeiss Mono RF, the G7-Br2 and some others. Just got to watch them large beams. It is worth while doing a search for specs and finding the Beam Divergence of a unit and compare with others before you buy.

    PS: the newer Leica CRF 1200 and CRF 1600 are far better than the larger flat box Leica 1200 scan Rangemaster you have. A person needs to watch for old data and threads on the net. If a Leica RF is refered to as a "Leica 1200" I would be questioning if it is the older unit or the newer CRF unit as they are much difference in performance. At least mine are.




    Jeff
     
  9. 6.5shaggy

    6.5shaggy Well-Known Member

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    Broz,
    Thanks a ton for you input. I know from following you here that your input is more than mere thoughts or personal opinion, it's always backed by some sort of scientific evidence, and is well respected.
    As far as beam divergance, I've seen the specs on most of the models available. I guess I just misplaced the facts on the Swaro 8x30 in my mind. The Leica 1600 is the only unit I was considering other than the Bushnell 1600 Elite. If the Leica CRF series is that much better than my LRF series, I am sure I will be very satisified. I shot this evening out to 1164 yards and the LRF and my rifle were flawless. But that was under overcast skies and ranging steel, if I can only get a rangefinder to work like that in full sun and on game, it would be a perfect world.
     
  10. madman

    madman Well-Known Member

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    I have a Leica crf 1200. Jeff and I compared notes a week or so ago, and my Leica was spot on out to 1200 yards. We didn't try ranging beyond that, but I have seen ranges in the mid 1300s. With my new rifle and its long rang ability, I find myself wanting the crf1600 or perhaps saving my pennies for a Vectronics Terrapin.

    You will be much happier with the CRF compared to the LRF.

    --md
     
  11. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    Earlier I had written...

    "If you're used to the Leica glass, you won't be a happy camper with the Bushell, I don't think. While the Bushnell is plenty adequate in the glass department, the Leica glass seems sharper (my shooting partner has the 1200 Leica, like yours)."

    I need to correct that statement... after (sheepish as all get out here)... :eek: ... I found the FOCUS wheel on my ARC 1600. I'd been using the thing over a month without realizing that they do have a focus wheel on them... :eek:

    Anyway... when I focused the ARC 1600, the Leica had nothing on the Bushnell glass.

    Just an update...

    Dan
     
  12. Jordan Smith

    Jordan Smith Well-Known Member

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    I've used the Leica LRF 1200 beside the Fusion 1600, and the Bushnell beat the Leica, hands down. The "brush" and "bullseye" modes in the Bushnell mitigate the larger beam divergence, compared to the Leica 1600, to some degree. The CRF does range a bit better than the LRF, but the Bushnell beats both 1200 versions, IMO. The Fusion will hit evergreens out to just shy of 1900 yards, IMO, and animals like deer and cows to at least 1300 (I've not had the chance to try it much beyond that). The RF in the Elite 1600 is supposed to be identical to the one in the Fusion.

    I have no experience with the CRF 1600, but in the $700 range, you have to decide if you want a monocular RF like the CRF, or a RF bino like the Fusion. I would suggest that the Leica 1600 would be marginally better than the monocular Elite 1600 or the bino Fusion 1600, but the Elite 1600 is $450 compared to $700 for the Leica. Worth the extra coin? Your call.
     
  13. 6.5shaggy

    6.5shaggy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks men. Keep on with your experiences.
     
  14. Tracker12

    Tracker12 Member

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    Well I have had two Bushnells and now am on my third Leica. I first had the LRF then went to the CRF 900. After 7 years of hard use it finally started giving me trouble. 15 days in the CO dust this SEP on an elk hunt is what caused the probelms. I sent it back for repair and I just received a brand new CRF 1000 for Leica at no charge. I had the option to upgrade to the 1600 but have no need for my applications to go that route.