Many at times we go hunting and come back empty handed or disappointed with our efforts – and mostly both! Luckily enough, technology has its roots deep in to making our hunting easier, more fun and even more productive!
This has been made possible through the introduction of rangefinders which enable us to block out all other objects in the way, focus solely on our target object (or animal, in this case) whether distant or close, and shoot precisely without missing.
- Range up to 1500 meters (1600 yards)
- Integrated ballistics system
- Easy-to-read LCD display
- Barometric pressure, angle of incline and temperature display
- Extremely precise and fast measurement results even in low light and poor visibility
- Require 0.3 seconds to display exact distance to target from 10 to approximately 1,600 yards away
- 115-Meter field of vision and 7X magnification
Some natural factors like temperature, barometric pressure, among others may change slightly, which may affect our shots no matter how accurate you may have perceived it. And the Leica CRF Rangefinder does this wonderfully.
Rangefinders have been integrated with laser monoculars that enable you to measure all factors involved between you and your target, and enable you to find a more perfect and accurate spot and timing for making your shot.
Making the right choice for a rangefinder monocular can mean the difference between the success and failure of your hunting trip. If even one element is wrong, you may not end up with accurate measurements or weather conditions; this is not only a downer on your trip, but in some cases could be dangerous.
There are some key areas of consideration to look into such as weather suitability, efficiency, extra features and practicality. Depending on your requirements, you should take the time to see if the rangefinder you want can match up to what you need.
If you just require a garden or if you want something that will increase your production; a little knowledge will really be a benefit.
For those with outdoor hobbies and budget constraints, this monocular is the best choice for you, considering its features. It’s precisely the best investment in outdoor essentials.
Imagine being able to view your target clearly, and be able to shoot and kill from more than 1000 yards away, whether in broad daylight, harsh weather conditions or even poor lighting conditions! The Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600 is a great option for hunters who are seeking a basic, inexpensive monocular that is easy to use.
Leica Camera AG is a company that has set some high standards in production of range finding equipment for the past eighteen years. Their main goal for production has always been “to deliver better images”, which they have comfortably succeeded in through the help of their three divisions – Hunting lenses, Photography and Nature Watching.
They are well known for their great optics. Let’s take a look at their approximately $700 rangemaster and find out if it is worth the extra cash against the competition.
With long distance ranging capability and angle compensated readings, the Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600 rangefinder offers fans of the Leica series no unnecessary extra features but a more affordable option. But does this more basic Leica 1600 rangefinder still bring enough to the table to appeal to hunters and long range shooters?
The Leica 1600 rangemaster is a premium 7 times magnification laser rangefinder with a built-in laser monocular which is integrated with a ballistics system and an easily readable LCD display. It is a bright 7 power monocular that is easy to carry around and seamless to operate.
Whether in bright sunshine or very low lighting conditions, with its powerful optics it produces some accurate and precise measurements.
This rangefinder comes in a waterproof casing that is unique in its own way, since its housing is made up of a plastic material that has been reinforced with carbon fiber, with a soft matte finish and interior aluminum structural base framework.
The rangefinder is powered by nitrogenous batteries, so fogging is not an issue to reckon with. It is also water–tight for about 30 minutes, up to one meter.
During shipping its weight slightly increases to about 2.1 ounces due to all the accessories that Leica provides with it and also all the wrapping material required to ensure its safety. It is packed including a CR2 lithium battery, a carrying strap, a Condura nylon case and also a limited two – year warrantee.
Design and durability
The Leica 1600 rangefinder is specifically designed to assist hunters and other outdoor hobbyists prepare for long distance or poor weather shots with an accurate measurement of distance. It is a compact, lightweight unit that can easily fit into your shirt, jacket or even trouser pocket, and even more comfortably in your palm during use.\
It is powered by a single 3V CR2 battery, which is able to produce more than 2000 readings from one such battery. This is facilitated by the working mechanism of the rangefinder where it powers down about 6 seconds after you have stopped pressing the main button, which is enough time to allow you to quickly take the range reading and make your shot.
The CR2 batteries are however not readily available especially in the rural areas where the hunting takes place. It is therefore advisable to carry an extra battery while going hunting, just in case!
Leica have made some effort to minimize the weight of this rangefinder. It measures 1.3 by 4.5 by 3 inches and weighs about 7.8 ounces, which is way smaller than its predecessor, CRF 1200.
Its compact nature makes it easily fit in your palm during use, and just as easy in your shirt or jacket pocket while carrying it. Though not the lightest rangefinder monocular, it is neither exceptionally heavy. This is a good, moderately light gadget.
The Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600 has HDC fully multi – coated optics that are abrasion – resistant to protect the exterior lens surfaces and anti – reflection to improve light transmission and contrast. It has 24mm objective lens which provide 7 times magnification, a compact roof prism with P40 phase – correction prism coating which improves color rendition and contrast.
These AquaDura lens coatings repel water, oil and grime to always keep the lens clean for clarity of images registered.
Use and Handling
The Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600 is ergonomically designed for use with one hand, favoring both right hand and left hand users. With its advanced features, it is still considered easy to use regardless of the measurements needed. It requires you to be aware of the use of its secondary button when in need of these advanced readings.
Simpler range measurements only require a one button click. Otherwise the rest of its operations are automatic, like increase and decrease in brightness of the LED display to favor easy and accurate reading according to the light of day, and also its integrated ballistic calculation and display mechanism.
Light Gathering Capability
It has clear and effective light gathering capabilities, with an LED display that is easily readable in all conditions of light. The in – view LED display appears in red light, for easy viewing in all light conditions. It has a rubber eyepiece cap that can be adjusted depending on eyesight capabilities, where it can be pressed down for use with glasses, or left up for those without corrective lenses.
The sharpness of the reticle can also be adjusted to suite different eyesight. An ambient light sensor adjusts the LED display brightness automatically so that you can clearly and comfortably read the information without straining or overloading your vision.
The Leica 1600 CRF can easily range as far as 1800 meters in low light at first attempt. Is there some bright sunshine? No big deal! This rangemaster can range anything beyond 1200metres in bright light, depending on the object and conditions. It also has a measuring for temperature and atmosphere, together with an added button for measuring angle of elevation.
The Leica 1600 rangefinder calculates the exact distance to a target after considering all conditions involved, and displays after about 0.3 seconds for targets from 10 to about 1600 yards away. It is held vertically, making easy to use and adjust for both right and left handed individuals.
Its 7 times magnification provides more precision especially at longer ranges, and is generally the preferred power for this type of extreme range compact rangefinder. It also has an automatic alarm system that warns the user, alerting him or her when the battery is getting low so that they know that the unit has about 100 ranges left before the battery dies.
Value for money and Guarantee
Leica founded their company with the goal of creating high-quality products without a high-end price tag. In the case of the Laser Rangefinder, they’ve succeeded amazingly.
It performs well when faced with harsh, wet weather and provides some reliable measurements. The cost of approximately $683 is far less expensive than many multi – tasking laser rangefinder monoculars on the market, making this a very appealing choice.
All Leica products come with a specific guarantee. Should your product arrive with any defects or missing parts, Leica will replace them at no cost to you. To take advantage of this, just send them an email with a description of the issue. They will only make the replacement if you alert the company before you use the product though, so make sure to contact them straight away.
They however admit that their products will degrade over time due to weather exposure or even poor care. This is normal for any item, especially those used in the outdoors.
Leica use what they call a ‘common sense’ policy when it comes to their warranties, fulfilling claims against faulty construction but not normal wear and tear. If you have any issues with the monocular, get in touch with the company directly and they’ll let you know whether you are covered by the warranty.
It is advisable to look at a variety of options when deciding on a piece of outdoor equipment. Shopping around allows you to reach an understanding of your true needs and the different options available to you. Have a look at these products before deciding which monocular is right for you.
Leupold RX – 1200i TBR Compact Digital Laser Rangefinder
The Leupold RX – 1200i TBR Rangefinder has almost similar features as the Leica 1600 CRF. Though slightly heavier, it comes with a case and lanyard that could be very useful while carrying it. It has an eyecup that helps block out ambient light, three intensity settings for varying light conditions and also a ballistic calculator that displays distances in both yards and meters.
This rangefinder has been available in the market since 2014 from about $400. Too many buttons on this unit make it a bit complicated to use, especially when in harsh weather or poor lighting conditions.
You however have to press its button twice for it to capture a range reading – the first time to turn it on then the second to get the reading. If you are looking for a cheaper option to capture clarity of stationary targets, then this is your best option.
Leica Rangemaster CRF 2000
Being the latest Leica model, the CRF 2000, in the range finding market, it has all the features present in the Leica 1600 CRF together with more features like the ability to read as far as 2000 yards and high precision ballistics that display distances correct to one decimal point.
It is even lighter, produces high contrast images and has an outer waterproof shell. This is the best finder for steep terrain or long range ethical shot placement. It is however more expensive, going for about $800.
Bushnell G–Force DX ARC 6x21mm Laser Rangefinder
The Bushnell G – Force ARC is a more powerful and cheaper version of the laser rangefinder system with a precise and accurate reading from 5 to about 1300 yards. It requires lithium metal batteries (which often wear out and can easily be replaced by purchasing new ones) for it to operate.
It however has a lot of issues getting a reading especially in bright light and rarely ranges off of anything that is black in color. It requires a manual adjustment using the four brightness settings buttons in order to read in different lighting conditions – this may be cumbersome and confusing while trying to operate in low light.
Overall, the Leica CRF 1600 Rangemaster is an excellent rangefinder. It is a little less accurate than its competition, but its improved features such as ability to check for different atmospheric conditions make up for that.
However, more features could be added to make it much more efficient; for example including the ability to display the angle of the shot, which would really appeal to long range shooters.
Having looked at all its desirable features, no product is perfect, so let’s have a look at the factors for and against this monocular.
- Bright and easy to read LED display
- Range up to 1600yards
- Easier to carry due to its small body and light weight
- Integrated ballistics computer system, which offers a choice of ballistic curves
- Clear optics
- Is waterproof up to about one meter, allowing the user a little more insurance that it could handle an unexpected drop or fall into water
- Ability to provide true horizontal ranges from 10 – 1200 yards (making it more suitable for bow hunting)
- Quick and efficient measurement even in poor visibility and low light
- Displays angle of inclination, temperature and even barometric pressure
- Easy to operate since only two buttons are involved
- Is expensive
- Product does not come with instructions of use
- Temperature measurements are not as accurate compared to electronic thermometer
- The button for measuring elevation is small and thus not easy to notice when it is pressed
As with all rangefinders, it is important to define what you want from a unit. Many hunters have two simple criteria for a rangefinder – long distance ranging capability and angle compensated distances, and the Leica Rangemaster CRF 1600 does both of these very comfortably.
Also, the ability of this unit to give these angle compensated readings as close as 10 yards opens up the door for archery hunting with this unit.
If you want accurate holdover or click adjustment values that compensate for angle, temperature and pressure, then the Leica CRF 1600 – B makes a lot of sense and the higher cost of this unit is justified. However, for those not utilizing the advanced ballistic calculations, or using the temperature and pressure readings, there are cheaper options with comparable ranging power.
Those not planning on using these advanced features but are fans of Leica should check out their newest unit, the Leica CRF 1600 – R which still offers equivalent horizontal distance capability and 1600 yard ranging ability but sells for about $200 less.
Furthermore, unlike the Leica 1600 – B, this new model Leica 1600 – R can make angle compensated distance readings down to 10 yards making it suitable for bow hunting as well. The bottom-line is to “know what information you need from your rangefinder and shop accordingly.”