I’ve always had a bit of trouble with binoculars and rangefinders. It seems that no matter how hard I work at it, the image seen within is never half as stable as I’d like it to be for comfortable and effective glassing: enter the Nikon Monarch 7i VR. The VR stands for “vibration reduction” and it proves to be an invaluable addition to this unit.
The Monarch is a light (7 oz), compact (3.9″ long) and powerful (8-1000 yards) little product. The 6x glass is plenty to get a good look, especially with the 7.5 degree field of view. This petite handheld unit also boasts waterproofing and is powered by a single CR2 battery. It’s software features include horizontal/angular distance differentiation (up to 89 degree angles), first/furthest distance options and the aforementioned optical vibration reduction technology which is said to reduce shaking by 80%.
I took this rangefinder up to a spot in the hills where I like to shoot longer distances which includes some good target backdrops at increments from 400-900 yards. This is a great spot for me to really stretch the legs of my .308 bolt gun. I’ve ranged out targets here before, but it’s been a while and all that’s left are my scribbles in my shooting book. All of my estimates were within 50 yards of true, but I’ve found at 800+ yards that can make a big difference in trajectory.
The Monarch picks does a fine job lazing targets. The VR technology really adds a big improvement to the rangefinding game. I feel a great deal more comfortable and confident I’m getting a reading from just the right spot and no other. When you’re nearing the transonic threshold of a bullet, knowing your hitting at 841 yards instead of the 875 you estimated, is the difference between an emphatic hit and a near miss. I had no trouble picking out non-reflective targets out to 799.9 yards. I didn’t have good perpendicular targets past that, just the many waves of treetops swaying in the wind. While the Monarch doesn’t give the fastest result I’ve ever seen, it does give me a reading I feel most confident in trusting. The VR technology and readings down to a tenth of a yard lend themselves to great accuracy.
Nikon’s Monarch 7i VR is a mighty nice rangefinder in a small, durable package. Quality glass, waterproofing and an active little gyroscope inside combine to make this product into a real asset whether you’re at the range or on the hunt. The Monarch runs $399 on the Nikon website. Check it out!