LEICA 2700-B A gem of a rangefinder
Small, light and fast, this Leica is a winner.
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.
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.
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.
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.