Now in its 16th year, the NRA Golden Bullseye Awards represent the pinnacle of achievement within the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade.
In 2017, after years of record-breaking sales, many industry observers wondered what ingenious introductions might still be unveiled. After all, any product worthy of our gold standard must meet or exceed American Hunter’s expectations of innovation—and they absolutely must provide hunters with value for their money. But once again, we were surprised when we collected nominations and tallied our votes.
Optic of the Year: Nikon Monarch 7i VR
Every hunter who has struggled to obtain accurate readings with a laser rangefinder should appreciate Nikon’s Monarch 7i VR. It features the same Vibration Reduction technology Nikon uses in its VR camera lenses. It’s about half the size of a box of ammo, weighs less than 8 ounces and costs $400.
VR works with two angular velocity sensors that detect pitch (up/down movement) and yaw (left/right movement) every 1/1,000th second. Info is instantly sent to a microprocessor that sends directions to two voice coil motors that move a floating lens system to counter external movement. The Monarch 7i VR measures accurately from 8-1,000 yards, and it will range continuously across targets for eight seconds. Incline/decline technology compensates for uphill/downhill shots. Nikon’s Tru-Target technology lets users toggle through modes to range an object in the open or one that is obscured.
A drop test by Field Editor Jeff Johnston (“Hardware,” March 2017) proved the durability of the floating lens assembly and electronics: “[T]his thing will literally change the way you view rangefinders.”
For more information, go to nikonsportoptics.com.