As technology marches forward, the limits of what was once thought barely possible have been pushed farther and farther forward. One mile shots were once a thing of legend (or fantasy) but are now within the envelope for many shooters. Long range hunting used to mean 200 yards for many hunters, now we have marksmen routinely taking big game at three to four times that distance. Technology has been at the core of much of this progress, whether in the form of ballistic calculators, precision machined parts and ammunition or…. rangefinders. Once, range-finding was an arcane art mastered by few. Now, it’s packaged in durable, affordable and highly potent commercial units like Nikon’s Monarch 7i VR. Today, I’m reporting back on range results from even more cutting edge tech: the 3000 yard capable Nikon Monarch 3000.
Much like the previously reviewed Monarch 7i, the Monarch 3000 (hereafter, 3k) carries a lot of power in a small product. With measurements of 3.8″ x 1.7″ x 2.9″ and a weight of under 7 ounces, there’s little reason to leave the 3K behind on a long hike.
There’s plenty of incentive to bring it along. The 6x magnification (and excellent glass, as usual for Nikon) offers a good look at your surroundings. Waterproof and fogproof inside of a rubberized body, the 3K is built to hang tough on any hunt. While the rangefinding capability (8-3000 yards!) is the reason for the 3K’s existence, that’s not the feature that steals the show.
Once you kick on the 3K, it’s the gyroscopic stabilization that grabs your attention. Until recently, this kind of this was only found in $5000 nautical binoculars. Gyro stabilizers are finding themselves shrunk again and again, then being pressed into service in ways heretofore undreamt. Going back to my old rangefinder, I’m having trouble figuring out how I ever got by. Once you go stabilized, you won’t want to go back! It makes a huge difference when you’re glassing a clear cut, looking for the flick of a bucks ear. All those micro shakes and wiggles from your hand are suppressed, leaving the image much clearer. Not to mention your range finding will be more accurate as you can stay precisely on target.
Between the 7i and the 3K, I’ve been spoiled for long-range shooting. I like taking my bolt-action .308 out to a spot where I have 500-900 yards to shoot. As you near 1000 yards, many .308 loads start to plunge almost vertically. Accurate range estimation (or, range finding) is essential as even small errors in estimation are enough to push the round off target. The 3K keeps me on.
Nikon has invested some serious money in their manufacturing and design, and has been producing very under-rated products. This includes their recent line-up of scopes as well, which have become regular staples on my guns. The Nikon Monarch 3000 runs ~$369. They may not spend as much on advertising as other companies, but their products certainly deserve a long look when you’re shopping. Check em out!
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