New Leica LRF 1200 "SCAN"


Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2002
For those of you considering buying an LRF 1200, wait! The new models were introduced at the shot show and will be shipping next week. You can see them on the front page of the Leica website. You can now range moving or multiple targets by holding down the button. Better guts too apparently.

The 1200 I was sent to try out, was VERY disapointing to say the least.

It would not range over 750 yards on the day I tried to test it and it barely ranged that yardage. I used the thing in sunlight and overcast conditions ranging into one or two of the mountains surrounding Driftwood from my porch. It did not do very well at all with or without the use of a tripod and changing batteries two times.
I sent it back to the distributer after trying it for one solid day. At short ranges up to 500 yards or so, it worked fine. It began to get weaker it seemed as you went out past 500 yards and you would have to press the button two or three times at the same target to get a reading.

If your going to shoot inside of 650 yards, i might trust one, but further then that, I would not. As a matter of fact, it took several button hits to get the 750 yard range. My old optical Barr and Stroud or Wild would be MUCH better for me then the 1200 that I tested.

I guess the Military lasers have ruined me.

As an add on here, it was not the "scan" model I tested. If Leica has not added more power to their new scan models, I would have NO use for one of them. They have to be "much" more powerful from what I have seen from their first 1200 model.

[ 02-23-2003: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]
Hello Darryl,

Your report is disappointing, to say the least.

I use an LRF-800 and have had very good luck with it. Sometimes prairie dogs at 700-800 yards require a few stabs at the button to get a reading, but I always run multiple reads to make sure I'm getting the same result.

I watched a guy with one trying to range a jackrabbit at over 700 yards from an unsupported standing position in a 20 mph crosswind! Hope he wasn't serious

I believe I'll hold on to my 800 for a while longer before I consider the 1200 as I have heard another report similar to yours from a reliable source.

I compared my old Bushnell 1000 to my new Leica 1200. Believe it or not, the Bushnell beat the Leica, HANDS DOWN! I dumped the Leica even though the optic quality was much better. Besides, I always carry binos anyway. Rangefinders are for ranging.

I have noticed from comparing a few different Leica 1200 rangefinders to each other that some units will range farther than others. For example I was able to range a silluoette target consistantly at 900 yards with my 1200 but when I tried to range the same target with my friends it didn't pick up the target even once.

I think that some people are getting better results from variations in each laser.
I have used my YP1000 for quite a while now and have had good luck with it to about 650-750 yards in normal daylight conditions. It just gets better than that if conditions change. At dawn or dusk it will normally go to over 1200 yards on plenty of objects, and 1000 isn't a big deal on most anything... this is under ideal conditions at dawn or dusk.

For most hunting situations, it works extremely well, unless you are equipped and confident at your abilities beyond 1000 yards you should do all right with one. I have only changed the battery once since I have had mine, and it probably did not even need to be then. The target quality meter helps me out quite a bit. If the Leica had one, I would have tried it back then. I still see this as more important than the scan mode ever is, although it is a nice feature in certain instances.

At the rate things are going, I think there will be a good, consistant 1000 yard performing rangefinder on the market in a couple years for about the same price as we are paying for these 75% usefull models.
I hated my YP1000, two years ago I saw a 30+ in Mulie walking away from me at around 800 yards but I couldn't range it. I was so ****ed, It would have been a snapshot too. But my YP1000 wouldn't range past 500 yards at the time. My Leica 1200 blows my YP1000 out of the water. I can easily range waist high brush out to 700 yards.
I know someone with an 800 Leica, but I have not had a chance to really check out the 1200 yet. That sounds good from someone that has compared both of them for a while. I'll have to get over and compare them sometime.

Do you notice your YP working better at higher elevations?

Mine seems to prefer the mountains to the valleys. I don't know if the brush is just more reflective up there, or it prefers the slightly thinner air.

I have not had mine up real high to any degree; I mainly use it in the 100-1000 ASL range. Usually I am in the 100-200 ASL range, as I live in a BIG valley where I do most of my hunting.

Interesting though, I'll keep it in mind when I get up high next time.

I usually have an area mapped out on paper with yardages the evening or morning before the hunt, so it isn't as important to me to get a good reading in the mid day sun. This has screwed me before not doing so, but I always map a new area in the "optimum hour" at dawn or dusk well in advance now. The 1000-1200 yards this unit measures quickly in these conditions is plenty good enough for me at this point, my practice rarely extends past this range anyway, I just don't have the equipment or the practice that will give me any more range than this "yet". I will say, a Barr & Stroud would be very nice if my practice range was increased to 1500 yards and I became proficient there. Confidence in a first round kill would determine the range for me; I cannot usually see a spotter round's impact where I hunt.

When I can get 100% hits on a 12"x12" steel plate at 1000 yards I will consider moving out beyond there, staying within the kill zone on a moose might be possible then. Right now I can stay within the kill zone on a moose at 1000 yards without any problems, but don't have the accuracy to move out any farther than that yet, wish I did but that's reality.
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