Gun World - - Scope-eye Chronicles -

On the sixth day, God cre­ated man and the an­i­mals … and the Le­ica Geovid laser-rangefind­ing binocular.

For years, the su­perb Geovid was the only game in town that com­bined these two pieces of equip­ment. God truly must have had a part in its birth, be­cause us­ing one bor­ders on a spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ence—with the ex­cel­lent op­ti­cal per­for­mance and de­li­cious color sat­u­ra­tion ex­pected from an op­tic that costs a cou­ple of thou­sand dol­lars. Alas, the Geovid was not part of the equip­ment equa­tions of most shoot­ers and hunters be­cause of the ex­pense. Nev­er­the­less, not hav­ing to carry around an extra piece of equip­ment is ex­tremely de­sir­able for most of us.


Us­ing both de­vices gen­er­ally means you have two straps around your neck—one for your binocular and one for your rangefinder. I of­ten put my rangefinder in an ac­ces­si­ble coat, shirt or pants pocket and some­times in the waist pocket of my back­pack. How­ever, it reg­u­larly has to be plucked out at a mo­ment’s no­tice. In a deer stand with a ri­fle, it’s not too much of a con­cern, but rangefind­ers around your neck are no friends of bow­strings. One less piece of equip­ment with no re­duced ca­pa­bil­i­ties is, in­deed, quite sat­is­fy­ing.

There have been some new­com­ers to the binocular/rangefinder game in the past few years. Off the top of my head, I know of about 10 es­tab­lished man­u­fac­tur­ers that The RV1 make with themthe 3XP an­dand of­fer

#78 A.R.M.S. mount are op­tions for var­i­ous sizes, mag­ni­fi­ca­tions, ca­pa­bi­pleit rifecst maant­des.prices.

Nikon’s LaserForce is a late en­try to the game, and it’s priced low enough so that many av­er­age shooter/hunters can pur­chase one.

The pre-pro­duc­tion LaserForce used for this ar­ti­cle was the same sam­ple used at the Jan­uary 2017 SHOT Show in Las Ve­gas, where it was fon­dled by thou­sands for a week and then shipped to me for a few days of test­ing be­fore hav­ing to go back to Ja­pan.

The LaserForce is a 10x42 binocular with the same ED glass as the Monarch 7 line of glass, but the de­sign is com­pletely new. It’s no­tice­ably heav­ier, hav­ing the com­po­nents nec­es­sary to also act as a laser rangefinder. It eas­ily read over a mile on large re­flec­tive tar­gets as eas­ily as it read 25 yards. To crudely test more of its rang­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, I draped a deer hide over a tar­get frame and placed it at var­i­ous dis­tances.


It was hit or miss past 700 yards, sim­ply be­cause a deer presents a very small tar­get so far away. The LaserForce read the dis­tance fine, but the ques­tion was if I was tar­get­ing the deer hide or some­thing be­hind it. Just be­cause a rangefinder has a spec­i­fied ca­pa­bil­ity, it doesn’t mean you will al­ways be ca­pa­ble of us­ing it to its stated po­ten­tial. Nev­er­the­less, in most cases, you can get very close true read­ings from im­me­di­ate sur­round­ing ar­eas near the ac­tual tar­get.

Hold­ing the ac­ti­va­tion but­ton puts the binocular in “scan” mode, and the chang­ing yardage read­ings as you move the op­tic make it eas­ier to de­ter­mine if the laser pulse re­turn­ing to the binocular ac­tu­ally pinged on what you wanted it to. The unit is tri­pod adapt­able, but for long dis­tances on small tar­gets, it’s re­ally nec­es­sary to hold it still.

The ac­ti­va­tion buttons are well placed but felt al­most nonex­is­tent to my cold fingers, and I couldn’t find the buttons at all with gloves on. The menu is sim­ple to nav­i­gate. The OLED dis­play is ex­cel­lent and has four in­ten­sity lev­els, fed by a sin­gle CR2 bat­tery—good for around 4,000 ac­ti­va­tions. It dis­plays in .1-yard in­cre­ments to 100 yards and 1-yard in­cre­ments over 100 yards.

Auto power shut-off af­ter eight sec­onds helps save power. Mea­sure­ment range is listed from 10 to 1,900 yards; of course, it might vary be­cause of size, re­flec­tiv­ity, type of sur­face and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.

The LaserForce is wa­ter­proof, so you can feel con­fi­dent us­ing it in heavy rain or snow. How­ever, this could re­sult in a false read­ing. Rangefind­ers re­quire a straight shot to the tar­get for the laser to shoot out and re­turn, count­ing the time it takes to com­pute dis­tance, and pre­cip­i­ta­tion of­ten skews this time.

This rangefinder also has Nikon’s ID Tech­nol­ogy, which al­lows you to read hor­i­zon­tal dis­tances as well as line-of-sight. Pro­jec­tiles are af­fected by grav­ity on a hor­i­zon­tal plane only, not by el­e­va­tion. As a re­sult, in some in­stances—in­clud­ing moun­tain hunt­ing—this can be a cru­cial fea­ture. Eye­cups are stan­dard multi-click twist-out, and there’s a gen­er­ous 15.5mm eye re­lief that eye­glass wear­ers will ap­pre­ci­ate.


The Nikon LaserForce has a lot go­ing for it. The binocular has the same op­ti­cal per­for­mance as the re­spected Monarch 7 se­ries binoc­u­lars, and the pow­er­ful laser rangefinder of­fers enough tech­nol­ogy to be em­i­nently use­able. Not hav­ing bal­lis­tic pro­grams em­bed­ded into the unit keeps the price down and al­lows it to sit within the fi­nan­cial grasp of many hunters who ap­pre­ci­ate com­bin­ing two im­por­tant pieces of hunt­ing equip­ment into one.

The LaserForce is also cov­ered by Nikon’s No-Fault Re­pair/ Re­place­ment pol­icy. This in­cludes the op­tic and the rangefinder. This is ex­tra­or­di­nary, be­cause most com­pa­nies in the in­dus­try do not in­clude elec­tron­ics in their life­time war­ranties. GW

The LaserForce uses the same ED glass as the Monarch 7 se­ries of binoc­u­lars, but the de­sign is new.

The LaserForce is a high-tech recipe for meat!

The wa­ter­proof LaserForce is at home in the out­doors.

The ac­ti­va­tion buttons are well placed but hard to find with cold fingers or gloves.

There are two diopter ad­just­ments. One is for the op­tic; one is for the OLED dis­play.

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