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Advice needed: first rangefinder

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Stud Duck View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
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Joined: May/20/2005
Location: WV
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    Posted: November/21/2012 at 14:00
I've come to the place where I have decided to purchase a rangefinder. I've never owned one before, so I'd like to solicit some input from you guys prior to purchase.
I hunt predominately in WV, the terrain is varied; dense brush, standing hardwoods and long open fields. Anyhow......
1. Do you prefer RF's that can be used with one hand? I assume for an accurate reading, one would need to use both hands to stabilize the RF.
2. Will the LRF read through/past brush/fore-ground clutter to range a deer on an opposing hillside?
3. How important is the "Incline/Decline" features?
With a budget of $300 or less, I'm currently considering the older Leica LRF 800 & 900, Nikon RifleHunter 550 and the Bushnell Elite 1500. Is there anything else worthy of mention within my budget?
Any additional information you could provide me prior to my purchase is appreciated.
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supertool73 View Drop Down
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Joined: January/03/2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/21/2012 at 14:11
1.  For longer distance even the small units you sometimes need to hold with both hand to stabilize them or you cannot get a reading.
2.  No.  It is a reflecting laser, so whatever it hits it reflects right back to the unit and will give you the range of the object it reflected upon.
3.  I had a Leupold that had that feature but never used it.  I guess it could be beneficial if you are shooting up or down steep inclines that would affect distance.
4.  I would buy the Leica.  I had the CRF 1200 and the Geovids binos.  Both had great glass and a great laser in them.  The glass in the Nikon and Bushnell will be quite hazy vs the Leica units. 

It is worth it to spend a little more and get a good unit, even if you have to save a little longer.  Other wise you will just lose money when you have to sell the first one to buy a better unit. 

If you are willing to save a little more, this one will meet all your need.  http://www.samplelist.com/Zeiss-8x26-Victory-Rangefinder-DEMO-B-P59328.aspx

The Zeiss is much faster than the Leica, it is very noticeable.  When ranging long distance the Zeiss is almost instantaneous when the Leica takes a bit to get the reading back. 
Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service don't mean a thing when your gun fails during a zombie attack.

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don't own."
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