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Nikon Monarch or Prostaff Rifle Scope?

Nikon Monarch or Prostaff Rifle Scope

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Nikon and their rifle scopes before. Over the years, the company produced some of the best rifle scopes you can lay your hands on.

The Nikon Monarch and Prostaff series are some of the best-known products they offer. Yet, one question to ask is: What are the differences between the two? And which one is better? So let’s take this one step at a time.    

Nikon Monarch or Prostaff Rifle Scope

The Nikon Monarch

The Monarch series has 7 different models that are offered. All of them are waterproof with the key differences lying in the objective diameter and the magnification.

Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16x42
Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope, Black, 4-16x42

Below we are focusing on the Monarch 3 4-16X42 BDC, which is the best seller in the series. It has a range of features, which make it ideal for any kind of hunting experiences:

  • Recoil: It is extremely versatile and can be mounted onto almost any rifle. Furthermore, it reacts very well to recoil and as long as it is well secured in the scope rings, it will hold up incredibly well.
  • Side Focus: The job of the side focus is to adjust your lens for parallax. This is required when your aim is not through the centre of the scope. For shorter shots, this is not a required feature. For long-range shots, these adjustments really come in handy. This is where the Nikon Monarch comes into play – apart from offering the side focus feature, it has a strong locking mechanism to avoid changing during recoil.
  • Reset Turrets: The Monarch has zero reset turrets, which allow you to make adjustments more easily. It’s easy to experiment a little with locking in on your target. If your target was initially at 500 yards and has now come to 200, you can reset the turrets to zero rather than re-sighting your entire scope.
  • Protective Lens Caps: This feature is somewhat bittersweet, as the Monarch does offer lens caps, yet they are of poor quality and don’t stay in place.

(Note: BDC refers to Bullet Drop Compensation, which allows for instant adjustments for bullet drops, regardless of the distance)

Why Choose the 42mm Model

The toss up here is between the 42 mm and 50 mm Monarch. The 42 mm lens provides up to 95% light transmission with extreme clarity.

The 50mm lens does provide a sharper and brighter image and is useful even in dimly lit situations. The 42mm lens is enough to shoot in low-light conditions. Even when the human eye has difficulty to adjust to the lighting.

Nikon Monarch 7 SF Matte Advanced BDC Rifle Scopes, 4-16X50mm
Nikon Monarch 7 SF Matte Advanced BDC Rifle Scopes, 4-16X50mm

The 42mm lens is obviously coming usually at a lower price than the large 50mm version. If you typically shoot in extreme low-light conditions, then pick the larger version as it is better for those situations.

For shots out to 1,000 yards you definitely need to pick a high magnification scope with a large objective. The Nikon Monarch 7 4-16×50 could potentially fit the bill but in many cases you’d need a higher magnification which the Monarch series does not offer.

If your budget is a bit tighter, the 40mm lens scope is also a great option with similar features at a significantly lower price!

The Nikon Prostaff

The Prostaff by Nikon rifle scope series comes in two variations. The P3 family has a 3x zoom ratio while the P5 family comes with a 4x zoom ration. The P3 series has 3 main models that are critically acclaimed, but for now we will focus on the Prostaff 4-12X40.

Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope (BDC)
Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12 x 40 Black Matte Riflescope ( BDC)

At a rather low price-point, this model has much to offer:

  • BDC: Similar to the Monarch, this model of the Prostaff is equipped with the BDC reticle. The reticle has cross hairs along with 3 aiming circles just below the centre. Essentially, this means that if you match your rifle to the settings of this scope, your chances of missed shots will be drastically lowered.
  • Image Quality: With a whopping 98% light transmission and a solid 40mm lens, this scope offers a sharp and clear image. Regardless of whether your surroundings are clear or hazy. It even allows proper visibility in low light situations, and at its budget-friendly price point, this scope should definitely be on you consider.
  • Scope Adjustments: The click scope adjustments make the job easy as you don’t need any additional accessories to do the job. The knobs for adjustment are also coated with a weather-resistant coating.
  • Magnification: The Prostaff offers variable magnification from 4-12X, so whether you’re in restricted spaces or open planes, you will be able to aim with greater accuracy. This magnification may be too high for close range shooting, in which case it might be better to opt for the 2.5-10 or 3-9X models.

Difference in Features

A major point of difference between the two is the price point at which they are offered. Despite similar magnification specifications, the Monarch costs around twice as much as the Prostaff.

One difference is in the quality of the glass. The Monarch uses premium glass to provide the clearest image possible. With the addition of coated prisms, the overall image contrast and resolution is also sharper.

The Prostaff models come with a 1 inch tube. All Monarch scopes come with a 30mm tube. The difference does not sound like much but it provides an overall better image. Additionally, windage and elevation adjustments ranges are usually larger with a larger tube diameter. This makes shooting over longer distances easier and more accurate.

The Monarch scopes all have 4 times zoom ratio. Prostaff 3 series models come with a 3x power and the 5 series offers a 4 times power level.

Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 3.5-14x50
Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope, Black, 3.5-14x50

The Monarch also comes in a larger variety of objective lens sizes. The larger the lens, the more light gets into the tube which typically helps in low-light conditions. With hunting often being performed during low-light times of the day, the Monarch is the better choice for that use.

The Prostaff offers a 3. 7 to 4 inch eye relief, which is a definite advantage for those who wear eye glasses. Their usage is multipurpose and they’re suitable for casual or high involvement hunts.

The Monarch is better suited for the serious hunter. They are highly weather-resistant and resilient and will survive in the toughest of hunting conditions.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, price is not the only factor to look at. The Monarch scopes offer a lot more for the serious shooter.

The Prostaff scopes are more entry-level scopes that perform well but don’t offer the capabilities that the Monarch scopes provide. Both scopes offer features that are suitable for different hunting situations.

If you’re serious about hunting then pick the Monarch as it provides better features for years to come!

Rifle Scopes Center Staff

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