Looking for a good rangefinder


Mar 22, 2003
I'm looking for a new rangefinder,the old Bushnell 400 is,well, ahh kinda of obselete to say the least.

My range (yes money is an object) is no more than $650.
What do the pro's use? For less than $650 anyway.
Leica 1200
If not going that far, Leica 800 (max 965 yds). Many are now on sale as the 1200's are replacing them.

Either way, it doesn't get better in a handheld, eyesafe laser rangefinder.

I'm in the market for a new range finder myself. I'd like something in between the commercial rangefinders, and the Military type.

What is the difference between the Wild and the Barr and Stroud?

Which is better suited for coyotes and jackrabbits out to 1,000-1,500 yards?
I must agree with the Leica LRF. I had a Bushnell 20-500, sold and upgraded to 1000 and now sold the 20-1000 and upgraded to the Leica. Save yourself a lot of headache. Get the Leica 1200 from the start. It's what you will want after you look through it comparing to the Bushnell. The optics on the Leica is so much clearer compare to the Bushell. Leica is also half the size of the 20-1000 and much easier to read with the LED readout.

The Barr & Stroud and Wild are both about the same in 80 cm, the Wilds (the newer ones on the market now) are coated optics, made in the 60s and 70s. The Barr & Strouds are usually not coated (which may mean something to you) but not to a lot of others. The Wild has a small rectangular prism in the middle of the eyepiece where the objects are inverted (upsidedown)--the B & S the whole top half is inverted. They both work the same otherwise with about the same accuracy. The Wild is usually 11 or 11.5 power and the B&S usually 14 power. There are others that are good too Zeiss, etc. Nikon made a nice skinny 60 cm in 12 power which isn't bad but scarce. The old Bausch & Lombs and Goertz help win wars but it's hard to find them in good shape (glass etching, lens separation,etc). Wild (not the TMO) and B&L both made small ones but are real scarce. A good Wild or B&S are hard to beat.
If we beat the drums hard enough-maybe an American Optical Co. would make us one that was compact for a reasonable price, but it probably won't happen because of the small laser rainbow chasing. Seems like this would be more practical with old technology than 10 years that are lost with the new technology.

I have the Wild and the Leica LRF1200... If you want portability like you had with the Bushnell, you are going to want the Leica. It is very compact and mine works well on most days out to 900-1000 yds.
If you want to range further than 1000 yds, and do it under all weather conditions, you will need to have a look at the Wild. It is a Swiss Army surplus coincidence type rangefinder that is about 3 feet long and weighs about 30#.It is selling in several places like DuetchOptik for under $500.
If you want the Leica, give Alex Roy a call at (570)220-3159--he sells the LRF1200 for $400 plus shipping.
Or you could do like I did--Get Both...
Right now I'm leaning to the Leica 1200, It looks like Premiere Reticle has a pretty good deal on thier compensating reticle and rangefinder combination.

Has anyone had any problems in the snow with the Leica?
Thanks for all the input.

In hunting season this year, with lots of snow on the ground, I ranged 1220yds to a pine tree, with snow on it, handheld, through the windshield of an explorer, in bright sunlight with my Leica 1200.

That was the farthest I got it to go. I had no trouble getting 1150's all over the place. I would guess that the reason it won't range farther is because of the firmware in it. It ranges 1100 or 1200 yds as fast as 25, and won't go past 1220?

For the real "Up North" guys, they may like the bushnell better because of the LCD display. If you are hunting near dusk, the LED lights up and is difficult to see past to aim the unit. Some of the Canada and Alaska guys talk about hunting when light conditions are sub-par and I could see where that would be a problem. Forget about ranging anything at night unless it has a light on it. You'll never find the thing with the LED on.

My Bushnell YP 800 would not range 400 yds in daylight. My Newcon 1500 wouldn't go past about 650. I figure, the price per yard on the Leica is far less than the competition.
Steve i've had some problems in snow trying to obtain a reading from my 1200, but i was able to improvise and still get readings pretty well.
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