Nikon is a big company that manufactures a lot of products with glass in them. Cameras and lenses, binoculars, and riflescopes have all been part of its product line for more than 90 years, so the company knows a thing or two about quality optics.
Recently, I had the chance to get my hands on Nikon's newest scope, the Monarch 7. When I picked it up and looked through it, I could tell that this scope comes from a company that knows how to make quality glass. I don't know how many scopes and lenses Nikon makes, but the clarity of the Monarch 7 is exceptional.
The Monarch 7-series scopes all come with one-piece 30rnm maintubes, which give them more internal adjustment for those seeking to reach out to very long ranges. The 2.5-10x5Omm model I tested had 84 MOA of elevation adjustment and 116 MOA of windage adjustment. Coupled with the ballistic reticle that comes in the Monarch 7, I can't think of a realistic scenario where I'd need that much adjustment.
The Monarch 7 has a side-focus knob and an elevation turret that don't require tools to zero. Side-focus knobs allow us to focus the reticle to the same focal plane as our target, a process crucial to accurate shooting past 300 yards. Failing to set parallax greatly increases our chances of a miss because it induces some shooting error unless our head is in the exact same place behind our scope every time we shoot. Small changes in head placement equate to big misses as the range to our target increases.
The elevation turret is super easy to zero. Once we have our rifle sighted in, we lift up on the elevation turret (it's held in place by spring tension) and twist it until the zero lines up with its index mark. The turret spins freely once it's lifted away from the scope body, so twisting it won't mess up our setting.
The reticle in the Monarch 7 is laser etched, so it will never break, and we won't experience variations in subten-sion from one reticle to the next. The reticle that came in the model I tested is Nikon's BDC model, which consists of crosshairs with four aiming circles descending from the crosshair intersection.
Ballistic reticles like the BDC used to be a pain to work with unless we had the exact rifle and load for which the reticle was developed. Nikon now has an excellent program called Spot On that allows us to input our rifle and load information into its website. If we don't have the specifics for our pet load, a library of factory loads is available.
The website is easy to use and does a great job of communicating the range values for the aiming circles in any Nikon scope. I used this Monarch 7 as an example and put it on a notional 6.5 Creedmoor. The program generates accurate distances at which the aiming circle will hit point of aim to point of impact. It will even generate yardage values at each magnification (not being a first-focal-plane scope, the reticle subtension changes with the magnification). For my test rifle with a 100-yard zero at the crosshairs, my four circles were on at 226, 334, 431 and 574 yards.
The Monarch 7 is a lot of scope for the money, especially if you favor ballistic reticles. With the support Nikon offers and its excellent Spot On computer program, the Monarch 7 is at home atop just about any hunting rifle.
Nikon Monarch 7 2.5-10 x 5Omm Power: 2.5-10X Objective: 50mm Tube Diameter: 30mm Focal Plane: Second Focus: Side Zero Stop: No Reticle: Nikon BDC Length: 13.7 in. Weight: 1 lb., 7 oz. Eye Relief: 3.8 in. MSRP: $999 Manufacturer: Nikon Optics, 800-645-6687 nikonsportoptics.com