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Old April 22, 2012, 09:14 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 4,811
I have the Nikon Monarch 2~8X32 with the BDC reticule & I'm 100% happy with it!

My one complaint was with the retailer who advertised the tall target type turrets as being on a 10-day back-order 2 years ago. They are still on a 10-day back-order as of last week. If the tall turrets make a difference then that might factor into your decision. Personally I find the turrets that came with it perfectly adequate, so I just gave up & got a refund on the tall ones.

When I looked at buying a scope I wanted something a bit less bulky than a full sized 3~9X40 so I looked at the Nikon Monarch, Leupold & Burris scopes & did a fairly stringent side-by-side comparison inn the store before buying.

I found the Burris to be the most compact, but did not like the way the whole eyepiece rotated when setting magnification for the zoom. I use flip-up type caps & that feature made it very difficult to position them in such a way I could use them with the scope.

The Leupold was a nice scope, no doubt about it, but I found that it had an annoying issue with the reticule, & one that was not shared by the Nikon. The reticule can shift from matte black to shiny gold, apparently at random, in use. The Nikon stays dead black all the time. Optically (even in adverse conditions such as back lit) they were both really good, zoom controls, focus for eyesight & so on were very similar as well. The Nikon has a fast focus type eyesight adjustment, the Leupold has the old fine screw thread.

The Nikon's turrets as supplied are good, the settings are precise & well-defined clicks & they do hold zero & box well. If I set up a zero at 8X & zoom back & forth it does not shift. The scales in the turrets are hand resettable so you can set a zero, unscrew the scales with a dime, reset the scales to zero & either replace the turret covers or leave them off, making adjustments as needed & returning to zero by simply dialing "00" into the scales without tools.

I'd get another one any time & yes over the Leupold. Not because the Leupold is a bad scope, just I prefer the way the Nikon operates & there is practically zero difference in optical performance. Check out the BDC reticule as well, it's not as obtrusive as many & gives you a choice between dialing in a range or holding off to a definite point for varying ranges. Nikon's website has an app that lets you put in your exact load data & get a printed table of the exact ranges the index will be set to for your exact load, thus removing a big objection to "generic" BDC reticules. The reticule was actually very close to published 100, 200, 300 & so on BTW, when I put in the load data for me .303 with a 150 Gr bullet at 2500fps it was really close & it seems to actually translate into the field this way as well.

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