Leica 800 CRF and 1600 CRF Laser Rangefinder Review

The last three generations of Leica rangefinders have all been built on the same chassis, and only improved their reputation as one of the premium manufacturers of sporting rangefinders.

Most optics companies offer a maximum distance value that can be difficult for a regular person to achieve in realistic environments. More often than not, a rangefinder that advertises a thousand yards on the box might only do 400 yards in the real world.

Leica however, does not do this. When you buy a 1200 yard Leica, that means you can hit 1200 yards with confidence, and 1400 yards on a good day.

The generations of Leica units break down like this:

Gen 1:
Lieca 900 CRF
Leica 1200 CRF

You must choose when you purchase whether you want a Metric model or a Yardage model. These units only measure direct distance. There is no ballistic or incline compensation. However they are some of the fastest, most reliable rangefinders on the market.

Gen 2:

Leica 800 CRF
Leica 1600 CRF

These units allow switching between meters and yards on the fly, and improve the already substantial range. I personally have used a 1600 model to ping 1854 yards off of a building, freehand without a tripod. The 1600 model also adds an inclinomter, barometer, and temperature readings.

Gen 3:

Leica 1000 CRF
Leica 1600B CRF

The addition of the ballstics engine in a Leica unit address the one advantage that Zeiss had in the previous generations of rangefinders. The Zeiss Victory had been the only 1000+ yard range finder that also provided a ballistic output that was commonly available. When the Leica 1600B entered the market it was smaller, faster, brighter in its display, and equally priced with the Zeiss Victory. These handheld units are the pinnacle of personal rangefinding technology, designed for F-class shooters and the most ambitious of sportsmen.

 

I’ve owned multiple Leica units, having spent most of my time with CRF 800 and the CRF 1600. They are sleekly built, easy to use and maintain, and have fantastic battery life. Over the course of three years I changed the battery in my unit once. Unlike other rangefinders I have never had the frustration of “blank readings” coming back when the unit cannot pickup.

A Leica unit will range your target quickly, accurately, and reliably.

But it does come with a price tag. Leica units are on the expensive side. And many shooters will not use their long distance capabilities. The furthest distance I have ever shot was 880 yards, and I was on a marked range. It is rare indeed to meet a shooter who makes shots on the fly at distances beyond a thousand yards. But if you meet such a person, it would be a safe bet that they have a Leica laser in their pocket.

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