View Full Version : Which is the best laser range finder?
I'm looking at Leica, Nikon and Bushnell. I like the size and features (it's totally waterproof) of one of the Bushnell models however Bushnell doesn't have the same level of reputation for optics as Leica or Nikon. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Actually, optics aside, what you get in the better range finders is a more refined beam for better yardage calculation at long range and less interference problems with rain, objects not being scanned, mirage, etc.
If a BG hunter or general purpose varmint shooter a Bushnell or Nikon will serve nicely.
If you shoot prairie dogs at 800+ yards and want exact yardage-to-dog (not the stone in front of it) then Leica is the only way to go.
I've used a Bushnell for 6-7 years for all around use and it's done an admirable job. Never could bring myself to pony up the money for a Leica but a friend has one and it's in a class by itself. He's a dyed-in-the-wool varminter and considers it about as important as his rifle.
FYI if you do decide to go with the Leica call some of the big camera/optic houses in NYC. Most of the sales people I talked to were overbearing to the point of rudeness but they had Leicas down $500-800 from what they normally retail for in the intermountain west.
You don't get Nikon camera optics in their rangefinders. They subcontract that work out to the same folks who make the Bushnells.
Sounds like the Leica is the way to go. The best price I've found so far on the 1200 model is $394 HERE (http://www.hotbuysbinoculars.com/leica_lrf_1200_rangemaster.htm) and $395HERE (http://www.aaacamera.com/leica_lrf12.html). I haven't compared shipping cost but thats $75 less than several other retailers.
I've had great luck with my Nikon 800, but as WalterGA has stated, it is indeed the same thing as the Bushnell 800. Funny thing is, the Nikon costs more money then the exact same Bushnell, you can't tell me there is no such thing as "paying for a name"! I wasn't suckered in though, I only gave $150 for my NIB Nikon 800.
Follow up: I decided to purchase the Leica LRF 1200. I found two places with good prices that I linked to above. My first call was to HotBuys Binoculars (http://www.hotbuysbinoculars.com/leica_lrf_1200_rangemaster.htm) but the phone rang about 10 times with no answer so I called the second link. BIG MISTAKE! The second company is aaacamera.com and they were basically crooks in my view. They told me they had it in stock and it would ship out right away. After a month of waiting and several long distance phone calls that assured me it had been sent and we'll send another next day air I still didn't have the LRF so I cancelled the order. Then I called VISA and learned that aaacamera charged my card the day I placed the order so I had to contest the charge. Glad I at least used the VISA card.
I then placed the order with HotBuys and they had it in stock and shipped it out right away by FedEx ground. There was one caveat and that was there was an additional $15 charge for the case and lens caps. That combined with the shipping brought the total to $423.98. Upon inspecting the package the case came packed inside the manufacuturers box with the LRF and their were no lens caps. So I think the up charge wasn't exactly genuine. However I did receive the unit I wanted, in green, in four working days so all in all I'm happy with the purchase.
Having only used it a couple of times I can't say too much except that it works quickly and should be a handy device in the field for judging which shots I should or shouldn't take as well as gaugeing my bullet drop.
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