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January 6th, 2022

Leica Geovid LRF Binoculars — Hunting Field Test

leica geovid laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

Leica Geovid 3200.COM 10×42 Rangefinding Binoculars

Field Test and Hunt Review by Colton Reid
Dawn breaks. It’s a brisk 28 degrees. I sit concealed amongst a grove of fallen trees near the edge of a steep decline where I can see the canyon below and opposing hillsides. Snow blankets the mountainous slopes with patches of fir and naked aspen woven into the landscape. The soft glow of sunrise brightens southeastern slopes and illuminates a solitary statue of orange and green on an adjacent ridge. His presence alerts an already wary elk of the danger that moved in the night before.

It is second rifle season in Colorado and I have a cow elk tag in hand. I would love to say this is not my first rodeo, but in many ways it is. I’m on my first hunt in pursuit of an elk and my first hunt in Colorado. It is, however, the second test of my newest piece of hunting equipment — Leica’s latest, state-of-the-art Geovid 3200.COM 10×42 rangefinding binoculars.

Early morning light in Colorado, on a hunt for elk…
leica geovid laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

These laser rangefinder binoculars I purchased for myself from the good people at I should note that I am not sponsored by EuroOptic or Leica. I happen to know a few people at EuroOptic and they are a knowledgeable friendly group who use the gear they sell.

When I evaluate optics I have a clear priority in how I rank them. At the top of the list is optical quality. That is, how clear is the optical image? How crisp are the edges? Can I resolve and distinguish similar small items? Anyone who has been hunting in the great American West knows that most of your time is spent behind optics of some sort, so it is best to buy optics that make it easier to spot your target and are easy on your eyes.

Second on the list is a combination of weight and durability. I tend to hunt rugged backcountry terrain, so weight is a big consideration for my trips. But if something is feather light but breaks when you sneeze? That isn’t good either. So a combination of a robust rubberized body with modest additional weight is desired. And since the Geovid 3200.COM is a combination optic, i.e. it includes a laser rangefinder, then that helps with weight since I don’t need a separate LRF.

Third on this list is the rangefinder’s performance. By performance I mean mostly accuracy and precision of the measurement. I can live with a max of 500 yards, as long as the measurement is correct and repeatable to within a handful of yards. If, however, the measurement is off by 10% (50 yards in the case of a 500-yard reading) or measurement to measurement varies by say 20 yards, then that will dramatically affect my ability to make an ethical shot.

The Geovid’s laser ranging beam showed excellent precision. Here it picks up a single male pronghorn (not broadside) at nearly 400 yards. The return was immediate.
leica geovid laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

Other considerations such as ergonomics or comfort are less important to me because they start to move away from “functional” requirements. That is, they don’t make a big difference when it comes to spotting and harvesting an animal. So while I do think about “nice to have” features when selecting equipment, they are of lower consideration than the functional requirements.

With my framework for evaluation laid out then, here is my assessment. The Leica Geovid 3200.COM 10x42s are high-quality rangefinding binoculars — well made, with good materials, and a thoughtful design. They weigh a mere 34.6 ounces (about 2 lbs.) and are built to withstand more than a few falls. They also come with both objective and ocular lens caps. Even though they are built tough, I would not take these into the field without some sort of binocular case. I personally use a Badlands Bino case (see top and bottom photos) but there are plenty of other good options.

This 6-minute Leica factory video shows the technical features and operations of the Geovid 3200.COM series of rangefinding binoculars. Worth watching:

The glass is amazing — remarkably good (and I have high standards). The image is extremely crisp, noticeably better than my tried and true pair of Swarovski Habicht 10×40 Porro prism binoculars. This matters because the exaggerated hand motion observed in higher power optics, aka “shake”, initially made me dizzy. Leica does offer a lower power unit, the Geovid 8×42, for those who prefer less magnification. One could argue that the optics being too sharp means they aren’t a good fit, however, my philosophy is to get the best gear possible and figure out how to use it to the max potential. My solution here was an ultralight tripod to stabilize the image when glassing or if weight is a factor I place my arms on my knees while leaning against a tree or rock. Scouting with these binoculars over long periods on a stable platform is a pleasant experience. Shown belong is the Geovid mounted on my tripod.

leica geovid laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

The Geovids present a bright, crisp image, with excellent distance distinction (pop out effect) — all characteristics of high quality optics. The image at the edge of the field of view is less sharp, but that is typical, even for scientific glass. Because the binocular image quality is so good, the image quality change when I go to my spotting scope is a much shorter jump than with previous binoculars. That means I can resolve more items with the binoculars and therefore only go to my Swarovski spotting scope when I really want to clarify something. Overall A+ optics.

Over 950 yards — yes that is what we were looking for…
leica geovid laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

The rangefinder is top shelf. One innovation I like about these rangefinding binoculars is that Leica put the laser source outside of the optic tube. That means the source is unimpeded by additional optics allowing for more power transmission and reflection. They also implemented the patented Perger prism which incorporates the rangefinder into the base optical design as opposed to using extra optics to “modify” a non-laser rangefinder configuration. As an engineer I love the idea of function integration and minimizing components. It usually makes for a more efficient and superior performing design.

One other impressive feature is the ability to link to a rangefinder program. The Leica website explains: “Thanks to Bluetooth® connection, [the Geovid] can be paired to either the Leica Hunting App to adjust and manage quickly and easily on the fly, or to a LINK-enabled Kestrel windmeter to get results from the Kestrel right in your Range Finder[.] In addition, users will benefit from various integrated atmospheric sensors, such as temperature, air pressure and inclination sensors, producing angle-compensated distance measering for shooting uphill or downhill with maximum precision.”

Testing Laser Ranging Performance
To test the Geovid’s laser rangefinder I did my usual measurement of different objects near my house and checked the accuracy with Google earth. I was able to consistently range larger objects (trees, hills, rocks) out to about 2200 yards, which is longer than I would ever shoot, but good when planning where to move for my next vantage point. I was also able to range a large reflective target (pedestrian overpass) out to a staggering 3300+ yards (see below).

In this video, the Geovid ranges a concrete pedestrian overpass at distance of 3334 yards.

I suspect the max range I can consistently get with large, non-reflective objects is somewhere around 2400 yards, but didn’t have the opportunity to test that specific distance. The rangefinder had some trouble at shorter distances and through thick branches. Around 25 to 45 yards I would get several yards variation when ranging tree trunks. Tall grass and a nest of tree branches would also interfere with the measurement. I would either get a slightly incorrect reading or no reading at all. This might come up if I am trying to range a buck bedded in tall grass. That is a drawback for me because that is a typical situation in archery. My workaround was to range nearby objects and estimate the handful of yards separation between the ranged item and target.

Summary: Geovid 3200.COM Rangefinding Binoculars Are Excellent
In summary, the Leica Geovid 3200.COM rangefinder binoculars are excellent in all key respects. The glass is top-notch and the rangefinding performance is very impressive. The modern Bluetooth connectivity is a plus. These Leica Geovids offer a slightly better price point than their equivalent competitors and are the optics I bought with my own money. I doubt you will be disappointed.

leica geovid laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

New for 2022 — Leica Geovid Pro 32 RangeFinding Binoculars

Smaller, Lighter, with Applied Ballistics and GPS Mapping Integration
Trading on the success of the Geovid 3200.COM series, on 1/6/2022, Leica announced a new smaller, lighter version, with enhanced software — the Leica Geovid Pro 32. Weight 30.6 ounces, this is about 4 oz. lighter than the original, and 0.83 inches shorter. With notably smaller objective lenses (32mm for the Pro 32 vs. 42mm with the Geovid these new Geovid Pro 32s should be easier to hold for extended periods, but they may give up a bit of low light capability compared to their bigger brothers.

leica pro 32 new 2022 geovid laser ranging rangfinder binoculars colton reid field test

The other big news is enhanced software in the Pro 32: “Leica Geovid Pro was built ground up to combine the on-board atmospheric sensors with NEW on-board Applied Ballistics[.] The Geovid Pro comes standard with Applied Ballistics Ultralight … upgradable to Applied Ballistics Sportsman or Elite. The Geovid Pro 32 now also offers advanced GPS tracking connectivity, Leica ProTrack, to guide the user to the target based on the last ranged measurement. The Geovid Pro 32 is the first premium rangefinder to feature GPS mapping integration through BaseMaps, Google Maps and Garmin mapping.”

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January 6th, 2022

Cheap Tricks: Measure Shoulder Bump Using a Pistol Case

.45 acp pistol case bump gauge headspace tool

Here is a simple, low-cost way to get reliable readings of case headspace when you “bump” the shoulder back on your 6BR, .243 Win, or .308 Win brass. Credit Boyd Allen for this tip. First, you’ll need one .45 acp case (.40 SW works too), with primer removed. Make sure the pistol case is trimmed square and that it is round. We recommend you first size it, trim it and chamfer. Next, take the .45 acp (or .40 SW) case and slip it over the neck of a fired, unsized rifle case with the primer removed. Align the two cases between the jaws of your calipers and note the length from rim to rim (See photo below, with striped case).

OK, now you have the length for a fired rifle case BEFORE sizing. Next, take a full-length sized rifle case (without primer) and do the same thing, placing the pistol case over the neck of the FL-sized case (Bottom Photo). The difference between the two numbers is the amount of “bump” or set-back you are applying to the shoulder. Here the difference is .0015″. The amount of bump you need varies with your chamber and your load, but .0015-.002″ is a good initial setting. By using this simple tool, you can avoid bumping the shoulder too much. This will also help you set-up the depth of your full-length die to get the proper amount of bump each time.

Other Pistol Brass Types Work Too: Some folks have used this method but they prefer to work with 10mm or .40 SW brass rather than a .45 acp, because slightly smaller-diameter pistol cases may conform to the shoulders of their sized rifle cases a bit better. That works fine — use whatever pistol brass case works best for your rifle brass. We got very repeatable results with .45 acp brass but the method also works with 10mm or .40 SW brass. Just be sure the pistol brass has been sized, trimmed, chamfered, and de-burred.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »