Nikon has just announced a new product that has caught our attention. Over the past few years there has been some dramatic improvements to the small and affordable handheld laser range finder (LRF) market. The Sig Kilo 2000 & 2400 series seemed to get the ball rolling on getting manufacturers serious about this market segment which caused some others to make improvements to their own products. Now Nikon has joined in on the fun.

The Nikon Monarch 3000 is a small handheld LRF with a few unique features of their own. First is a powerful laser that Nikon claims can reach to 3000 yards in .1 yard increments. They do not indicate whether this is a reflective target or not, but we are going to assume that it is, meaning the real world performance is likely to be around the 2000-2400 yard capability like the Sig. But they do offer another feature that will likely help that performance, and that is image stabilization that is built in. It helps stabilize the image to prevent jerkiness from hand and body movements when trying to laze a target. This will no doubt help improve getting readings on small targets.

Beyond those two distinguishing features, the Monarch 3000 has incline/decline value for angled shooting as well as two different ranging modes to set target priority levels between first target and distant target. The optics have a 6x zoom magnification and are fully waterproof and fogproof. The list price for the Monarch is a very reasonable $419.95. We are anxious to get our hands on one for test and evaluation.

 

3 Comments

trueblue

Members and Guests,
Thought this RF would fit the bill for my LR hunting and shooting needs, based on the specs (950 yds for a tree / deer as well as 3,000 yds for reflective targets) and particularly due to Nikon’s image stabilization technology, with which I have had great results using their photographic equipment over the years.

In that my normal go-to vendor for photo equipment, B&H Photo, did not even have them listed, I ordered directly from Nikon USA.
Received it yesterday and began testing it today (03/17.18).. Here are the results:
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
Altitude: 5,800 ft.
Time: 3;00pm MDT
Atmospheric Conditions: 60 degrees F.; Clear sky; Daylight; target front and top lit.
Targets:
1. Tree: Ranged dark green front lit cedar tree at 880 yds – SUCCESS.
2. Deer: No deer would cooperate so attempted to replicate deer coloration ranging front lit vertical of tan dirt cliff face – FAILED at distance over 450 yds (used my 12 year old Bushnell RF, which still ranges perfectly to 500 yds, to confirm result).
3. This is the big one. Nikon claims 3,000 yd range for reflective targets. I attempted to range our enormous community water tanks that sit alone on a hill (have a photo but not sure how to upload it) that were front/top lit in direct sunlight, They are an off-white color which stand out like a beacon and should have absolutely ranged:
Ranging attempt at 2,200 yds (1.25 miles): FAIL
Ranging attempt at 1,760 yds (1,0 mile): FAIL
Ranging attempt at 1,400 yds (0.8 miles): FAIL
Distances determined by auto odometer.

Final comments:
1. Recommend you do not waste your time or money on this product.
2. I am not looking forward to having to deal with Nikon’s notoriously hostile and poor customer service.
3. In any event I will be looking for a legitimate RF

TrueBlue

1. Trees: Ranged dark

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