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Yes the black cap comes off but a smooth knife edge
or cell phone "spud" tool might be needed to pry it
a little. Keep it coming straight off by not prying
too much on one side, then it just pulls off.
Batteries are held up in the black cap.
I had to pull everything out since it got flooded
and the rest of the guts came out by rappin it
with the opening down onto a counter.
There is a pad to make contact with the battery
and a tiny round piezo buzzer and then the end
of a very thin single sided circuit board slides out.
Once I got a bit of that out I was able to grab it
carefully with pliers and pull the rest out to
clean and dry it. Mine had two LR44 batteries.
I've had bad experience with cheap pill
batteries (short battery life) through eBay,
so you might do better to get name brand
LR44's for a much longer battery life.
How long do good name brand batteries
last in this thing?
The serial number does not provide a date code. The "100-" is the model of the laser (in this case a rugby 100) and the rest is simply the serial number.
On the bottom of the laser, in the space between the handle and the battery compartment there should be the serial number sticker, and it should day the manu date. If not, or if it's missing then that's it. You can try calling Leica, and give them the serial number, and they MAY have it logged, and MAY be able to tell you when they sold it to the dealer, but I wouldnt hold my breath. They are notoriously unhelpful.