Whether one is a competitive, recreational or professional shooter or a hunter looking to put meat on the table, one common trait we all share is looking for the next advantage. Whether its slightly more accurate ammo, a tougher optic or better camouflage, an edge is always sought after. After spending some significant time with Nikon’s LaserForce binocular/rangefinder combo, I have a pretty good idea whether or not this is an advantageous piece of gear.
Here’s the tech specs, courtesy of Nikon.
- 10x, 42mm objective lens
- Lead- and arsenic-free glass
- Rubber armored body
- Waterproof, fogproof and highly shock resistant
- 30.9 ounces
- Central focus system
- adjustable eyecups with long eye relief
- 10-1900 yard range
- ID (incline/decline) correction technology to +- 89°
- Cr123a battery
- Spot mode and scan mode
- Two-button interface
As the above specs read, this is a pretty straightforward mash-up of binoculars and rangefinder. To test it out I took the LaserForce out for a few long-range shooting sessions as well as a couple deer hunting trips in the coastal mountain range here in Oregon. While normally the western half of the state is pretty densely forested, the alpine regions have much longer sight lines. It was on the winding trails near the hilltops overlooking vast clearcuts that the LaserForce really shone.
That’s not to say it didn’t perform well at 200 yards and under. I have used the LaserForce extensively during my range days testing out rifles, ammo, and optics. It has been useful for lasing target ranges as well as acting as spotting glass when shooting paper with a low magnification scope. In the few opportunities I was able to test out the rangefinder’s accuracy against a GPS, it produced results within the margin of error for the GPS. I don’t have access to many places with sightlines past 1000 yards, so my testing was mostly limited to that as a maximum.
As far as functional usage related to user interface, the LaserForce is excellent. Between the easy-to-use focus knob and the highly adjustable eyecups, this is one of the most intuitive and comfortable sets of bino’s I’ve ever used. The glass is crystal clear and the colors pop out when compared to other sets of binocs. It’s like the difference between an HDTV and a 4K UHD TV with HDR color range. One is good, the other is a full head above.
The controls for the rangefinder are dead simple. There’s one button you can either press or hold depending on your desired mode of spot range or scanning. The other button is for changing the few settings options available. These are options like yards versus meters and horizontal distance versus angular distance. Press the “mode” button to change the settings you’re looking at, then press the “power” button to change the value of that setting. Simple.
While I’ve enjoyed my range days with the LaserForce, out on the hunt is really where it shone brightest. Scanning the woodline for the slightest movement and getting an accurate range at the same time makes for an easy time mentally plugging in data to figure your bullet drop correction on the fly. While the LaserForce isn’t cheap at $1199.95, f you’re looking for hard-use gear that will give you accurate results, look no further. This is glass you can bank on.