It is habitual for firearms and sports optics enthusiasts to have their eyes peeled at social media platforms and blogs at this time of the year. The reason for that is Shot Show which takes place in Las Vegas – at this fair, many manufacturers from the mentioned fields present their novelties. We went to Leica’s booth to find out what they have prepared for the market this year. In the rangefinding sector, two novelties have been introduced – Geovid 3200.COM and Rangemaster CRF 3500.COM. In this article, we are going to inspect the all-new Rangemaster (to learn about the new Geovid, click here).
.COM models feature Bluetooth connectivity. They are the upgraded version of the ‘B’ models. The first model in this series, 2800.COM, was introduced last year (2019). This year, Leica implemented the Bluetooth feature to the Geovid series as well.
The new model can measure distance to objects up to 3500 yards (3200 m) away, whereas the 2800.COM displays distance up to 2800 yards (2560 m). It is the first model to feature a powerful 3R laser which is said to provide the user with precise results even in poor weather conditions. For extreme, long-distance measurements it is advised to range highly-reflective objects in optimal weather conditions.
Everything else is the same as with the popular 2800.COM model.
The form factor of Leica’s Rangemaster is almost legendary – Leica hasn’t made any notable changes to the exterior in the last years. The elegant, all-black look with a subtle red-white Leica logo makes this device one of the most appealing in the optics industry. It features a universal 7x magnification, combined with a front lens that measures 24 mm in diameter. A carbon fiber-reinforced plastic material is used for the housing.
Let’s elaborate on its Bluetooth connectivity feature. To benefit from it, the user has to download and install Leica’s free hunting app on his or her smartphone (available in the Apple iTunes store for iOS users and Google Play store for Android users). Once installed, the user can manipulate the device’s settings via the app. The most noteworthy feature is the option of entering one’s custom ballistic data into the app and then transfer this information to the device. Based on the data, the device displays the correction either as a holdover or in the number of needed clicks. The correction can only be shown up to 800 m of distance, which is probably due to ethical hunt principles. Unfortunately, hunters are not the only ones who benefit from rangefinders; sport shooters who compete in long-distance shooting are eagerly waiting for a model without this limitation.
Long-range shooting enthusiasts will be excited to hear that you can pair this device with Kestrel Elite. Once connected via Bluetooth, values calculated by Kestrel Elite (Applied Ballistics software) are transferred to the CRF 3500.COM Rangemaster.
The user can activate Scan mode by holding the button used to measure the distance, which is especially useful when observing moving targets. The device is incredibly swift during this mode, providing updated readings every 0.3 seconds. Inclined shots shouldn’t be a problem thanks to the equivalent horizontal range (EHR) calculation option. It is important to note that EHR is only calculated to distances up to 1200 yards (1100 meters) to support ethical hunt principles.
The surface of the lenses is coated with the AquaDura® coating which repels dust particles and water droplets. It also grants minor protection against abrasion.
To use the rangefinder, a CR2 battery must be installed. Leica claims that it lasts for around 500 measurements at 20 °C.
In the menu or in the app, the user can select the unit that the measurements are displayed in – meters or yards. Distances up to 200 yards (180 meters) are displayed in decimal numbers.
The LED display’s brightness is automatically adapted to the environment to ensure that the target is obstructed minimally.
With the newest upgrade, Rangemaster maintains the position among the most advanced of rangefinders on the market. The versatility and state-of-the-art technology implemented into the CRF 3500.COM will satisfy the needs of the most demanding hunters/shooters out there. The recommended retail price is 1199 €, which is around 100 € higher than the price of 2019’s hit product Rangemaster 2800.COM.