LEI­CA 2700-B A gem of a ran­ge­fin­der

Small, lig­ht and fast, this Lei­ca is a win­ner.

SA Jagter Hunter - - VOORBLAD - By KOOS BAR­NARD

Lei­ca Ca­me­ra AG has re­cent­ly laun­ched a new ver­si­on of their very po­pu­lar com­pact hand-held ran­ge­fin­der. Cal­led the Ran­ge­mas­ter 2700-B, this mo­del can ran­ge up to dis­tan­ces of 2 700 y­ards (2 470m) and pro­vi­de bal­lis­tic com­pen­sa­ti­on up to 800m (875 y­ards).

Its a­bi­li­ty to o­pe­ra­te at ex­ten­ded ran­ges is not the Ran­ge­mas­ter’s on­ly fe­a­tu­re. It al­so bo­as­ts the re­no­w­ned bal­lis­tic sy­stem cal­led ABC (Ad­van­ced Bal­lis­ti­cs Com­pen­sa­ti­on) which, in ad­di­ti­on to pro­vi­ding the ran­ge, can al­so in­di­ca­te the rig­ht a­mount of hol­do­ver or sco­pe ad­jus­t­ment (the num­ber of clicks) for a spe­ci­fic dis­tan­ce. To en­s­u­re accu­ra­te re­a­dings the ran­ge­fin­der e­ven ta­kes in­to ac­count the in­cli­na­ti­on, tem­pe­ra­tu­re and the at­mos­p­her­ic pres­su­re. Lei­ca pro­vi­des 12 dif­fe­rent tra­jec­to­ry va­lu­es that u­sers can en­ter in­to the Ran­ge­mas­ter.

But the­re is mo­re. You can al­so feed the tra­jec­to­ry va­lue of your own spe­ci­fic ca­li­b­re/bul­let com­bi­na­ti­on in­to the ran­ge­fin­der. A mi­cro SD card (on which you can do­wn­lo­ad that in­for­ma­ti­on) is sup­p­lied with the Ran­ge­mas­ter. With the in­fo on the card you sim­ply in­sert it in­to the Ran­ge­mas­ter and voi­là, the­re you go! The ma­nu­al ex­plains ex­act­ly how to do­wn­lo­ad a spe­ci­fic bul­let/lo­ad com­bi­na­ti­on’s in­for­ma­ti­on on­to the mi­cro card.

SET UP

To set up or to pro­gram­me the Ran­ge­mas­ter 2700-B is e­a­sy. The main me­nu is ma­de up of four i­tems: me­t­re/y­ard dis­play (EUUS); bal­lis­tic cur­ve (bAll); sig­ht-in dis­tan­ce (Sid) and ABC for­mats (AbC).

First you choo­se the u­nit of me­a­su­re; me­tres or y­ards and then the bal­lis­tic cur­ve va­lue (tra­jec­to­ry) ac­cor­ding to the ta­bles sup­p­lied by Lei­ca in the ma­nu­al. Next you set the sig­htin dis­tan­ce (100m/yds or 200m/ yds) and fi­nal­ly the ABC or bal­lis­tic out­put for­mat.

The ABC gi­ves you three choi­ces, EHr, HOld or a click ad­jus­t­ment functi­on. You can on­ly se­lect one of the­se at a ti­me.

EHr stands for e­qui­va­lent ho­ri­zon­tal ran­ge – this is han­dy to know w­hen you shoot uphill or do­wn­hill as gra­vi­ty works on the ho­ri­zon­tal dis­tan­ce, not the li­ne of sig­ht dis­tan­ce. Say for in­stan­ce you are on top of a hill with a 15˚ slo­pe and the dis­tan­ce to a spe­ci­fic tar­get is me­a­su­red as

300m, then the e­qui­va­lent ho­ri­zon­tal dis­tan­ce mig­ht on­ly be, say, 270m. To hit your tar­get you need to use your 270m set­ting or the bul­let will hit hig­her than in­ten­ded. With the 2700-B being a­ble to me­a­su­re and dis­play in­cli­na­ti­on I ha­ve found it qui­te in­te­res­ting to me­a­su­re the in­cli­na­ti­on of so­me slo­pes which I had es­ti­ma­ted to be a­bout 25˚. To my gre­at sur­pri­se the stee­pest one me­a­su­red on­ly 16˚.

HOld, w­hen acti­va­ted, will tell you how ma­ny cen­ti­me­tres you need to hold hig­her at ran­ges beyond your ze­ro dis­tan­ce.

The click ad­jus­t­ment functi­on gi­ves you fi­ve op­ti­ons; 1MOA ad­jus­t­ments, ¼MOA, ½MOA, ⅓MOA, 5mm or 10mm per click. So, w­hen ran­ging an a­ni­mal the Ran­ge­mas­ter will dis­play the dis­tan­ce and then the cor­rect num­ber of clicks you need to di­al in.

THE BAL­LIS­TIC CUR­VE

We need to dis­cuss the bal­lis­tic cur­ve va­lue a litt­le bit mo­re. So­me ma­nu­fac­tu­rers will in­di­ca­te on the am­mu­ni­ti­on box how much that par­ti­cu­lar bul­let will drop at say 200m and 300m with a 100m or 200m ze­ro. Say for in­stan­ce the bul­let-drop is 7.5cm at 200m with a 100m ze­ro, then you choo­se the EU3 bal­lis­tic cur­ve (drop 8.1cm at 200m) and en­ter that. As men­ti­o­ned the va­lu­es/bal­lis­tic cur­ves are sup­p­lied in the Lei­ca Ran­ge­mas­ter ma­nu­al. If the EU3 va­lue does not ma­tch the bul­let drop sta­tis­ti­cs on the am­mo box it will of cour­se not gi­ve a pre­ci­se ze­ro at any me­a­su­red dis­tan­ces but it will co­me c­lo­se e­nough for one-shot kills at re­a­lis­tic hun­ting dis­tan­ces (say up to 300m) if you aim for the he­art/lung a­rea.

Al­ter­na­ti­ve­ly, you will ha­ve to know the bul­let drop at 200 and 300m of your spe­ci­fic bul­let/lo­ad com­bi­na­ti­on to en­ter the cor­rect or clo­sest bal­lis­tic cur­ve. It is thus ob­vi­ous that you need to do so­me ran­ge work be­fo­re u­sing the bal­lis­tic cur­ve va­lu­es sup­p­lied by Lei­ca. To en­s­u­re the be­st accu­ra­cy, do­wn­lo­ad your rifle’s bul­let/lo­ad in­for­ma­ti­on and tra­jec­to­ry on the SD card and stick that in­to the Ran­ge­mas­ter.

GE­NE­RAL IN­FO

Be­fo­re I dis­cuss our field test, just so­me ge­ne­ral in­for­ma­ti­on a­bout the Ran­ge­mas­ter 2700-B. It is sup­p­lied with a car­ry cord, bat­te­ry (CR2) the SD card and a Cor­du­ra ca­se that you can car­ry on your belt.

The Lei­ca has a 7x mag­ni­fi­ca­ti­on and bo­as­ts bet­ter op­ti­cs than pre­vi­ous mo­dels. Inste­ad of the old s­qua­re re­ti­cu­le (or ai­ming mark), the new mo­del has a ci­r­cu­lar one which obscu­res less of the tar­get. Re­acti­on ti­me or me­a­su­re speed is very fast, ap­prox­i­ma­te­ly 0.3 of a se­cond. Its accu­ra­cy at me­a­su­ring dis­tan­ces is al­so very good, ±2m at 800m. A­not­her han­dy fe­a­tu­re is that the Ran­ge­mas­ter gi­ves de­ci­mal re­a­dings out to 200m (for in­stan­ce 30.4m or 183.7m).

I ha­ve been u­sing a Lei­ca Ge­o­vid ran­ge­fin­der/bi­no­cu­lar for ma­ny y­e­ars – the very first mo­del – as well as a Lei­ca 1600 com­pact ran­ge­fin­der, one of the pre­de­ces­sors of the cur­rent Ran­ge­mas­ter. This new mo­del is streets a­he­ad of the old bi­no/ ran­ge­fin­der and al­so bet­ter than my 1600 mo­del. It gi­ves re­ad- »

» ings on sur­fa­ces and du­ring cer­tain ti­mes of the day w­hen the old Lei­ca Ge­o­vid fails.

Due to its nar­ro­wer be­am, it is al­so e­a­sier to ran­ge tar­gets with the 2700-B than with my 1600 mo­del, es­pe­ci­al­ly beyond 400m. This new mo­del is sim­ply a cut a­bo­ve the rest.

THE TEST

We tes­ted the Ran­ge­mas­ter 2700-B on De­on and Na­ta­lie de K­lerk’s farm Riet­fon­tein (o­pe­ra­ting as Ma­ra­he­ki Hun­ting and Guest Farm) ne­ar the small to­wn of Rooi­berg.

The tes­ts we­re run on top of the Rooi­berg (a moun­tain on the farm) be­cau­se I wan­ted to me­a­su­re the in­cli­na­ti­on of so­me slo­pes and al­so find out w­hat the dif­fe­ren­ces are be­t­ween true li­ne of sig­ht and e­qui­va­lent ho­ri­zon­tal dis­tan­ces. I star­ted off by ze­roing my .243 S­tras­ser at 100m and then fi­red a group at 200m to de­ter­mi­ne the a­mount of bul­let drop.

With the 100m ze­ro the bul­let drop at 200 was 7.5cm, so I cho­se the EU3 bal­lis­tic cur­ve (drop at 200m, 8.1cm) and af­ter se­lecting the EHr functi­on (e­qui­va­lent ho­ri­zon­tal ran­ge) I set up a cut-out of the he­art/lung a­rea of a li­fe-si­ze spring­buck tar­get at the bottom of a val­ley and clim­bed one of the slo­pes. From the top the Lei­ca in­di­ca­ted that the dis­tan­ce was 294m and the EHr 275m. I thus u­sed my 300m set­ting, ai­med s­lig­ht­ly low for a he­art shot and let fly. The bul­let hit the he­art at a­bout the ni­ne o’clock po­si­ti­on.

Next I u­sed the click ad­jus­t­ment functi­on and the Lei­ca in­di­ca­ted that I ha­ve to di­al in 9 clicks (10mm/click). Re­mem­ber that my rifle shoots 7.5cm low at 200 and the bal­lis­tic cur­ve va­lue was 8.1cm. From ex­pe­rien­ce I know that I ha­ve to di­al in 10 clicks for 300m, so the ni­ne clicks for 275m would be rig­ht. The bul­let hit s­lig­ht­ly hig­her than in­ten­ded, but it was still a per­fect lung shot a­bo­ve the he­art. My rest was not very good and with the rifle bob­bing up and do­wn that mig­ht ha­ve ac­coun­ted for the s­lig­ht­ly high hit.

W­hen I re­pe­a­ted the click ad­jus­t­ment test a­bout a week la­ter on the shoot­ing ran­ge from 200m (the max­i­mum ran­ge a­vai­la­ble at the P­re­mier Shoot­ing Ran­ge ne­ar Cul­li­nan), the Ran­ge­mas­ter in­di­ca­ted that I nee­ded to co­me up four clicks (that’s with the 100m ze­ro). With that do­ne I fi­red two shots at 200m and t­hey prin­ted 10mm low. Alt­hough we ha­ve on­ly tried the click ad­jus­t­ment test twi­ce and at fai­r­ly short ran­ges, I am con­vin­ced that it works – at re­a­lis­tic hun­ting ran­ges at le­ast.

Whi­le we we­re bu­sy with the shoot­ing test on Ma­ra­he­ki Hun­ting and Guest Farm, a ku­du cow and a six-month-old bull calf pop­ped o­ver the moun­tain. I had no pro­blem ran­ging the calf at 433m. The sa­me mor­ning I al­so ran­ged a moun­tain reed­buck fe­ma­le at well o­ver 300m and la­ter that day a fa­mi­ly of moun­tain reed­buck at just un­der 300m. Du­ring our vi­sit up the moun­tain I me­a­su­red the dis­tan­ces to va­ri­ous rocks, tree stumps, an­thills and small bus­hes at ex­ten­ded ran­ges and the 2700-B ne­ver di­sap­poin­ted. It is dif­fi­cult to hold such a com­pact ran­ge­fin­der ste­a­dy w­hen ran­ging tar­gets at lon­ger dis­tan­ces, but it is de­fi­ni­te­ly e­a­sier to ran­ge small ob­jects beyond 400m with the 2700-B than with my 1600 mo­del.

Un­for­tu­na­te­ly, I could not ran­ge small an­te­lo­pe at re­al­ly long dis­tan­ces (I would ha­ve li­ked to test the Lei­ca on spring­buck in the flat Ka­roo or Free Sta­te) but I spot­ted a troop of ba­boons from Ma­ra­he­ki’s lod­ge a­bout mid af­ter­noon and ran­ged a big ma­le at 581m. La­ter that af­ter­noon I dro­ve a­round the pro­per­ty but due to the den­se bush on­ly ma­na­ged to ran­ge a­ni­mals out to 270m and a moun­tain slo­pe at just o­ver 1 900m. A­ny­way, I am con­vin­ced that this small, lig­ht­weig­ht Lei­ca (it weighs on­ly 185g, bat­te­ry in­clu­ded) is a win­ner and I am very hap­py to re­com­mend it. * Lei­ca pro­ducts are a­vai­la­ble at re­tailers all o­ver South A­fri­ca. The re­tail pri­ce is ap­prox­i­ma­te­ly R10 600. For mo­re in­for­ma­ti­on you can al­so con­tact the lo­cal dis­tri­bu­tor Tu­dorTech at 021-424-2978 or Ian Har­die at 082-894-1528. Ple­a­se notice that Tu­dorTech is a w­ho­le­s­a­ler who does not sell di­rect­ly to the pu­blic.

MAIN PIC: Sig­hting in the S­tras­ser .243 be­fo­re com­men­cing with the tes­ting. The tar­get, pla­ced at 200m is in­di­ca­ted by the red ar­row. INSET: Notice the two bul­let ho­les in the tar­get (shots we­re ta­ken do­wn­hill from a dis­tan­ce of 294m). The he­art shot...

Lei­ca’s new Ran­ge­mas­ter 2700-B is a po­wer­ful ran­ge­fin­der with u­ni­que and han­dy fe­a­tu­res. Com­pact and lig­ht­weig­ht it sets a new stan­dard for small, hand-held ran­ge­fin­ders.

We u­sed the Lei­ca to me­a­su­re the dis­tan­ces to a­ni­mals and ot­her ob­jects at ex­ten­ded ran­ges and we we­re very ple­a­sed by its per­for­man­ce.

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