View Full Version : Leupold Vari-XIII or Nikon Monarch?

January 17, 2000, 11:27 PM
5.5-16.5 x 44, A/O, The Nikon is about $100 less expensive. Everyone says the Leupold Vari-XIII is the best thing since sliced bread. My reasoning is that a savings of $100 on the scope would cover the cost of my rings and base. The scope is for a Rem. 700 PSS, in .308, and will be used mainly for paper punching. Any expierences with either of these scopes??

January 17, 2000, 11:55 PM
Every scope I own is a Leupold so I'm a bit partial. I have 2 Vari-XIII's and just love em. I've read up on Nikon's, looked thru them, but never shot under one. I'm sure they make excellent optics also. You usually get what you pay for. :)

January 18, 2000, 01:52 PM
I just put a Nikon Monarch UCC 6.5-20X44 on Rem 700 PSS. I spent an hour looking at scopes at my dealer last week. I've owned nothing but Leupold scopes in the past and you can never go wrong with them but when I compared the Nikon side by side with one, I ended up buying the Nikon. The optics are crystal clear, it has great light gathering abilities and it looks awesome on the PSS. I think in low light it actually looked a little clearer than the Leupold, IMHO. Lifetime guarantee and $100 cheaper didn't hurt. I haven't had the chance to sight it in yet but I'll post here when I do. So far it is the first time I can say I would recomend buying anything other than a Leupold.

January 18, 2000, 01:59 PM
MOLEXEY, what did the Nikon cost you? May be my next scope. thanks....

gun control is bullet placement

January 18, 2000, 04:10 PM
The price on the Nikon I'm looking at is $359.95 and $8 shipping from riflescopes.com
My local gun store has the same scope available for about the same price. Molexey what did yours set you back? I do understand that as manification gets heavier, your wallet get lighter!

January 18, 2000, 05:49 PM
I have read some bad things about Nikons warranty on another web site. Seems they charge for any and all repair work. That $100 you are saving now, you will spend later! Hugh

January 18, 2000, 06:40 PM
Just looking in riflescopes.com. Nikon's 6.5x20x44 A/O matte is about $60 less than Leupold's 6.5x20x40 A/O matte. I have NEVER had a problem with any of my Leupolds, so I don't know how their customer service is. I can't imagine shelling out $390 for a scope then sending it in to have it worked on. :mad: Is this common? Having to send riflescopes in for repairs? If it is, I'll stick with my Leupolds. They have an excellent track record, with me anyway. Anyone have any comments on reliablity of Nikon scopes?

bullet placement is gun control

Bottom Gun
January 18, 2000, 07:30 PM
I've had my 3x9 Nikon for 8 years and it has done everything a scope should without a single problem. It's a good sharp, clear scope with good light gathering ability and has always kept it's zero. The power adjustment is smooth as silk.
Bottom line: It's a nice scope and I'd buy another.

January 18, 2000, 10:16 PM
MULESHOE/Dikylis: It was $412.95 at my local dealer for the matte finish 6.5-20X44 with adjustable objective.

January 18, 2000, 10:51 PM
MOLEXEY: Is the Niko-plex reticle the same thing as Leupold's Duplex reticle? Have you shot it yet? It looks like an awesome set of optics.

bullet placement is gun control

January 19, 2000, 06:42 AM
The Nikoplex is the same as Leupold's Duplex. I bore-sighted it yesterday and hope to make it to the range Sat. morning( if I can't slip away from work early one afternoon). I'll let you know how it goes.

January 20, 2000, 11:35 PM
I own 3 Leupold and 2 Nikon scopes. The Leupolds feel a little more solidly built and I believe that they are. Leupold's service is outstanding in my experience. They reset the parrallex on a 1.5x5 within two weeks for free.
The Nikons probabley have the better glass. If you hold a Leupold Vari-X III and a Nikon side by side and look through them at a bright incandescent light bulb, you will probably see that the Nikon has less internal flare. This is a good quick test for any optic, both for original quality and for detecting optics that need internal cleaning, which is common in camera optics, which are not normally sealed as are rifle scopes. The Vari-X III glass is now "obsolete", which does no mean that it isn't just fine for our purposes. It is old single coated "bluish" glass. All the very best optics now use multi-coated "greenish" glass which passes a higher percentage of the light through to your eyes and less to image degrading flare. Leupold now has multi-coated glass in its new LPS series, but look at the limited choice and the cost of these!!!! The cost of the Nikon scope is even more astonishing if you realize that the glass they are giving you is probalby just as good as Leupold's LPS line. I don't own one of these, so this is just my guess.
I have never sent a Nikon rifle scope in for repair, but Nikon's camera service is slow and expensive. There will be no freebies and it is unlikely that one of their products will need service during the warrenty period.
The only reason these scopes from Nikon can be sold so cheaply is that they are being assembled in Thailand. Nikon has opened a Thai plant to cut the cost of selected optical products. It seems to be working out well for them. If these scopes were made entirely in Japan, they would probably cost more than the Leupold Vari-X III series.
These are all great scopes, not junk products. You won't go wrong with either.

Long Path
January 21, 2000, 03:46 AM
I read all the above with interest because I'm in the market for a new scope for my Sendero. Guys, there's a lot more to scope quality than just how clear it is and how good the light gathering is. I have a Simmons on my rifle, and while the optics are great-- very clear, good light, nice resolution, the scope is not honest and repeatible in its clicks, and not particularly strong; it flexes. I've got those rings as far apart as I can, and the bell still flexes toward the barrel. I get some nice groups, but I'm looking. The Vari-X III is the one I'm looking the hardest at, because I can't afford Swarovski.

Gale McMillan
January 21, 2000, 09:36 AM
When you buy an import scope like a Nikon 20 percent of the cost is duty. That means that if the import and the US made scope sell for the same price you are actually getting a 20 % less scope when you buy a import. As for the optics the lens are for all intents the same so the manufacturer has to cut cost on metal work and quality control Because of the duty an American scope is the best buy. The mark up goes something like this. The Manufacturer sells the scope to the importer for 100 dollars.Uncle Sam adds 20 pecent to that price. the importer markes it up 100%and sells it to the dealer who marks it up 50% and sells it for 360. Whith a made in America scope ther are two mark ups missing. That of the importer and Uncle Sam

January 21, 2000, 10:17 AM
Gale, good to have you back. The Nikon scope I am looking at is about $390, it's Leupold equivalent is $450. Your formula puts the Nikon at $110 from the manufacturer and the Leupold $300. Is this correct? Does this mean there is almost 3 times the quality in the Leupold? If so, that $60 seems a small price to pay.

bullet placement is gun control

January 21, 2000, 04:18 PM
Gale, have you had, or heard of any bad experiences with Nikon in particular? I noticed in your post you just mentioned import scopes in general. The Nikon I purchased looks and feels like quality equipment. I am a big fan of Leupold and I really didn't purchase the Nikon to save money. I purchased it because I was impressed with it when I handled it at the dealer. I guess time and abuse(unintentional), will tell if its up to the task. As to the issue of true and repeatable adjustment, I intend to find out soon and will post here with my results.

Peter M. Eick
January 22, 2000, 05:07 PM
As a diehard Leupold owner I will say right now I am biased, but I have 3 vari-x III's, 2 4.5x14's and a 6.5x20. They are great, made in usa, and never ever have a problem. Why buy a foreign made product when we can support craftsmen here in the USA for approximately the same cost and possibly better quality?

Gale McMillan
January 22, 2000, 06:35 PM
Nikon is a sub contract scope. I even was in negotiations with them but couldn't or wouldn't get my price low enough. The QC of Leupold is better than most contract scopes as that is one of the places imports can cut cost. The Nikons I know anything about were made in South East Asia. I believe they are made by Light now which would be a big improvement.. The way the Contract scope companies cut cost is to have the metal work machined in China and their work leave a lot to be desired. The oriental scope designs leave a bit to be desired and most use the same design. Things like rubber pivot point on the erector cell. When I had the day portion of my day and night scope made by Light I had them build it to my specification and they will tell anybody that it was by far the best scope they ever built. Of coarse the objective was 80 MM and my cost for the lens alone was 750 dollars. I am not anti import but just be sure you realize that you have to give up something to get lower prices. It is very hard to take two scopes that have within pennies the same money in glass within a few dollars in machine time in the metal work and be able to sell for substantial amount cheaper unless you give up something somewhere. Train your self to look into the objective lens and focus your eye on the center of the scope and see if you see any trash on the inner lens. On cheap scopes you will see all kinds including fingerprints. Having said this I can tell you that it is amazing how good all scopes are considering what they cost.