Leica 1600/Keep it or upgrade?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by C.O. Shooter, Jun 16, 2019.


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  1. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    I currently have a Leica 1600, really like it, and it works great. I was kicking around the idea of letting it go. The new SIG BDX 3000 has caught my eye. It seems to get pretty good reviews. I like the binocular aspect of it. The onboard solver is a nice feature to 800 yards and if you want more, you need the kestrel. That being said, it would be close to 2000$ for the pair (ouch). I like the G7 BR2500 as well, just more $$$$. Any thoughts?
     
  2. gr8fuldoug

    gr8fuldoug Official LRH Sponsor

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  3. catorres1

    catorres1 Well-Known Member

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    CO, I have or have had both of these, as well as a few others. Am currently working on a review of the 3k.

    In terms of helping you on this decision, I guess the most important question is how you plan to use your RF. Is it primarily hunting? Do you do PRS or something like that? Trying to get out to a mile on rocks?

    Also, what scope are you using, and what binos do you currently run?

    Obviously, the CRF's are lighter and smaller. The binos are probably at least as heavy as a CRF/regular bino combo, so I don't think you are saving weight. But the workflow is different, so there are benefits to consider there.

    One big upgrade if you are shooting over probably 600 yards is that the newer RF's (Leica 2700b. 2800.com, Sig 2400 BDX or ABS, 3k BDX etc.), all allow you to enter in a custom curve, as opposed to being limited to the presets. This pays dividends as you stretch the distances.

    Anyway, feel free to put up more info here, or PM me directly if that helps. I have a few reviews up covering the 2700b, the 2800.com and the 2400BDX that might help, as well as one that covers the BDX scope integration. Should have one up for the 3k hopefully sooner than later, as well as an update to the 2800 review (the original was a pre-pro unit). Hopefully, these will help you a bit in determining what features and price ranges work best for you.
     
  4. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I believe I read your Leica review. I am currently running Nightforce on both customs and regularly shoot out to 1000 + yards. I have a pair of 12.50 nikons, nothing special. Primarily a hunter and a recreational shooter.
     
  5. catorres1

    catorres1 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so regularly shoot past 1k....do you use or are planning to use a Kestrel with AB or Foretrex 701?
     
  6. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    That’s the downside to the Sig. kinda forced to purchase one or the other. I have a kestrel 3500, however, that won’t work.
     
  7. catorres1

    catorres1 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, one thing you can do is buy the cheaper kestrel, which has the elite, but is limited in terms of how many profiles it holds and a few other things (like target cards IIRC). In the future, if you want to expand it's capability, its just a firmware upgrade for the cost difference. So there is that.

    But lets assume for a moment that you will not be using a Kestrel with Elite or the Foretrex 701, and as you are shooting NF, you are not interested in BDX scope connectivity. I'm going to stick with Sig and Leica because I like their onboard ballistics, though I think Zeiss might have a good system as well, I am not familiar with it. G7 is there as well, but it's pricey, and Vec X needs a Kestrel too. Gonna generally stay away from the 2k+ choices, so no Leica HDB's etc.

    Leica 2700b: Ranges as far as the 2800b...which is about 2800 yards in good conditions on rocks etc..allows you to input a custom curve so your have a pretty good solution out to 1k. You'll probably need to tweak the BC and maybe velocity a bit to get it where it's right way out there, but you can get it to within .1 MOA of agreement with AB...IF you disregard coriolis and aero jump. That's where there will be some additional error introduced. So basically, it's just like your 1600 but it allows for a custom curve via SD card, so is more accurate way out there....and ranges alot farther. Runs in the $700 range IIRC. Talk to Doug at Cameraland NY, great guy.

    Leica 2800b: Same unit as the 2700 but ads bluetooth connectivity for app and connection to a Kestrel. Other than that, it's a 2700, so if you are not using a Kestrel, there is no benefit here, though the app is nice and allows for firmware updates and easier curve loading. Runs about $1100.

    All the sigs also take a custom curve, loaded via bluetooth connection to the app and will also connect to the Foretrex, where the Leica only connects to the Kestrel at this time:

    Sig 2400 ABS: These units can sometimes be found on sale for under 1k if you keep your eyes open, but regular price is running 13ish. App connectivity, but no Kestrel, but it's not needed. Full AB onboard, full environmentals. Runs behind the two Leicas a bit on some targets, particularly small steel ones, but not on reflective where it really reaches out. Divergence is much larger, sensor to reticle alignment is not as precise, so it can be harder to get a range than the two Leicas mentioned, even though I think it has the power. But it will range and give you a full AB solution all the way out there.

    Sig 2400 BDX: Same basic ranging engine and optics as the ABS, but needs a Kestrel for it's full solution. Lacks onboard enviros, gets it through connectivity to the app, either manually entered or automatically sourced via cell connection using local station. Onboard ballistics are AB ultralite, which, like Leica's app, does not use coriolis, aero jump etc. in it's solution. Unlike the Leica app, it uses G7's (Leica uses only G1's). Limited to 800 yards. Runs around 6-700 IIRC

    Sig 3k BDX: Obviously, you get binos out of this one, and while they are no Leicas, the glass is actually pretty good considering the price point, think Vortex Viper probably. Works just like the 2400 BDX, so no enviros, needs Kestrel for a full solution or any solution beyond 800 yards etc. What you get beyond the obvious bino part is a pretty serious upgrade in ranging. Sig lowered the divergence to just below what Leica offers, with the same smart sensor orientation. Coupled with a lot of raw horsepower and the larger receptor, this is the most powerful RF I have personally used, but I've not used the older Vectronix stuff etc. It's only issue, IMO, is that like the other sigs, the sensor reticle relationship falls short...that is...large reticle and broad sensor alignment latitude...such that you need to figure out exactly where your sensor lies and realize that is may extend outside the reticle. Once you figure out how it all is setup, though, you can really reach out and touch some stuff. If Sig would adopt Leica's much smaller reticle and stricter sensor alignment standards, that would be major, but as it is, the 3k really performs nonetheless. (Yeah, the diopters are too lose, but that's an easy fix).
    These binos are somewhat heavy compared to standard binos, but probably about the same as other RF binos. They run in the 1200 range IIRC.

    That's the quick and dirty (okay, maybe not so quick)...hopefully help you find the right spot for your needs and budget. I currently have the two Leicas and the 3k, had the 2400 BDX for a while too, and usto have a 1600b. They all have their strong points depending on what you are doing. None of them are perfect, but they are all pretty awesome, so don't think you can make a wrong decision here, just the best one for you personally. Let me know if you need any more help, glad to jump on a call with you if that would be useful.
     
  8. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to provide the great info. Greatly appreciated!
     
    tony d willIiams and catorres1 like this.
  9. chparatrooper88

    chparatrooper88 Member

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    Great write up. Thank you. Feels like grad school.
     
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  10. crawdad3

    crawdad3 Member

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  11. DavidleeCole

    DavidleeCole Well-Known Member

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    Keep the Leica it's pure German engineering and worth every cent. I have one and love it use it instead of my binoculars to scout it that good.
     
  12. geo4061

    geo4061 Well-Known Member

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    Keep the Leica. Add a Kestrel and your golden.
     
  13. Hard Cast

    Hard Cast Member

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    C.O. Shooter, I went through a similar thought process a couple of years ago. I chose to sell the Leica range finder and purchased Geovid 8x42 so that I could carry one combo bino/range finding unit with shooting solutions included. I have mixed feelings about my choice yet I can't ignore the benefits of my decision. I’ll explain.

    I really don’t like carrying the extra weight of the Geovids (I carry them on my chest and they are pretty heavy) yet I must admit that I use them way more than I ever did when I carried binos and range finder separately. I now glass for long periods of time because the glass is so nice and I find myself constantly ranging objects at distance because this range finder is the only one that I have owned - and I have owned several including a couple of other Leicas, that actually ranges further than advertised. So, like everything in life, there is no perfect solution. I suppose a guy just needs to decide what values are most important to him.
     
  14. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    2700B - 900$
    2800.com - 1100$
    SIG 3k BDX - 1199$ + 599$ KE
    G7 BR2500 - 1599$

    I understand prices are going to/can be had for a little less with some shopping. 9/10 times, I do carry a spotter. That being said, I could forgo the bino/finder. I secretly like the G7 for the ranging capabilities and ballistic outputs.
     
    Rum Man likes this.