Nikon 800 and 1200 lasers

Ian M

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
Sask. Canada
Anybody using one of these units. Interested to hear about performance compared to Bushnells, Swaro, Leica etc.
I have the nikon monarch 800 yarder. It is very compact and durable. The glass is not really that great compared to the others listed above. I'm not bashing it, I just am not to crazy about the glass. You also must have really steady hands to range out long distance targets.
Hope this is good info,
I've had an 800 for a month or so, but I have limited experience with LRF's.

Ditto Ducks response.

I can range large dogs (no I'm not shooting at them!!) out to around 500m (550yds I think or thereabouts). Larger animals to 550m. Both are freehand. Black labs are harder than lighter coloured breeds and go about 350m max. That's all on clear sunny days.

I'm struggling to find animals around here standing still enough for the purposes of ranging, so a tripod didn't add distance. The scan function works fine on running dogs etc. if you can stay with them.

What has surprised me is that I can seldom really range anything much beyond 650yds - buildings etc., irrespective of colour, angle of surface - all from a tripod.

Generally I can't range bushes beyond 300m, but a nice clean treetrunk will range further.

On one occassion I did get a few 700+ ranges on large light coloured buildings and roadsigns.

The guys I bought it from claims it has ranged Springbok (small South African buck) to 500m and from what I've seen I believe that.

It has ranged further in the dark on the same objects that it won't range in the day (it has a backlight for the display).

I was considering taking it back to get the 1200, but I like the size as I hunt handgun too and it can just pop in your top pocket.

It seems quick relative to some of the others I've tried. The 6X is maybe a little limiting.

I've had a few bs readings, but not many. It would switch from 500m or so to 800m+ on the same object.

I've played with a Swaro and in the end just couldn't justify the price for my purposes (ok I just couldn't afford it!). The Nikon's not near that class on range or glass, but seemed quicker.

I still can't decide if I'm disappointed in it. I don't think my expectations were reasonable. I'll play a bit more and find some cows and report back.

Do a search, there are some other comments about the Nikons here that I found useful. They were quite positive - which is why I bought one.


I managed to get to an elevated spot in a mall parking lot and rested the Nikon 800 on the little wall (after adjusting the unit to "yards"). It was clear and sunny.

A large light coloured 4 storey building fairly square to my position went 846. A few others went around 600.

Some trees with lots of light green foliage (almost like a lime green colour) went 600 to 630. Darker trees ranged inconsistently, if at all.

What's the deal on ranging off people? I'll be able to get you some feedback way sooner - there are more people than cattle in JHB.

I know these things are apparently "eye-safe", but I'm not sure I'd like the idea of being "ranged"..... (particulalry by traffic officers!!). And I've never seen anyone here refer to having ranged his neibour at X yards.

It seems that the diffences with ranging are more subtle than I could ever have thought - with regard to angle, shape, colour etc. with similar looking ad signs seemingly next to each other giving totally different results. One may range consistently, the other not at all.

Maybe I should ask someone like you who knows far more than me to explain it better so I know what to reasonably expect in a separate thread.

I like my Monarch 800, had the Bushnell 1000 yardagepro before this and like the Nikon better. For steadyness I use this setup.

I have and use the nikon buckmasters 800. My dad bought it about 3 years ago I think. It works really well out to about 700 yards. I dont have any complaints except for bright sunny days, in real open flat ground or fields, it has a hard time picking up coyotes. There probly 500-600 I'm guessing. I have got elk out to 900, trees and brush out to 900 as well. All this was done with me sitting down and resting the unit on my knee. Careful breathing and a couple attempts was all it took. The glass is not that bad. Pretty decent in my opinion. My dad upgraded to the nikon monarch 800. It does not read any better then the older buckmaster. If anything, I think its harder because of the way you have to hold it. I like the way you hold the buckmasters. For hunting deer, elk, or rocks out to 800 yards, as long as your not out in the flat open dessert or prairie when its bright and sunny, you shouldn't have a problem getting a reading.
I have been moaning and groaning about LRFs on various threads. I decided that my 1000 yard back yard range was only one test location and narrowed the ranging opporturnites more than is appropriate.

Yesterday I spend the day at a girls camp and led a hike for several hours. It was a beautiful mountain setting with varied conditions of sunlight and features.

Of course I took my Leica 1200 Scan LRF with me.

The only downer was that I received a few comments that it looked like a flask /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

The high point was when one of the parents, kind of an overeducated know it all type when asked "how far is it to that tree over there?" responded with 115 yds and I was confidently able to respond with "well its 'actually' 1111yds". WooooHoooo /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I'd pretend there was a buck in a spot then range it. Was successful about 90% of the time on the first shot.

I was able to range out to 1157yds repeatedly.

Items of note:

1) Angle of the sun made a difference. As the sun moved certain spots became more reliable to range or less reliable depending on I have no idea what. I was stationary for an almost 2 hours (not on the hike /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif) and trended the trend.

2) It was really amazing to have it clearly revealed that the tree or rock or bush that was about 100yds behind a closer tree was actually at as much as 900 yards behind the tree. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

3) Angle compensation would be a GOOD thing.
Conclusion: renewed faith in the Leica. Love the optics and the diopter adjustment.

Rifles should be arriving shortly so I'll shutup about LRFs and try to bring 'the system' together and get some meat on the table.
I've had the bushnell 1500 and nikon 1200, the nikon reads much faster and is more ergonomic, optics are poor on both with really small objective, Did not compare max range ability, kept the nikon. The lecia 800 I played with didn't range worth a darn, but the optics were much nicer.
I receiced a camo 800yd nikon from Jon at the optic zone the other day and took it out for a tryout.
Wanted to find an open space so i went to the beach behind where i ate breakfast.This is florida so it's the beach or the side of the highway.
I lasered a boat on a lift at 503.5 yards three times over a 15 minute span.
Two early morning seacows at 343yds twice.
A condo wall across the bayou at 962 yds.!
A truck w/ the camper shell exposed at 761yds.
And a man in a sea kayak at 475-485ish -i forget.
Holding the unit steady offhand was hard but once i propped up on a picnic table it shot consistant readings on a pole down the bayou at 646yds.
It's truly a pocket size model ,i like it but don't have any expierience w/ others to speak of.
I guessed some of the distances then lasered them and was way off on many,but the water seems more deceiving than land to me.
I think it'll come in much or handy in colorado when i get moved there in a year--oh how time drags by.Mike
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