Nikon Monarch Rifle Scope Review – A good scope for hunting?
Setting the bar higher for scopes all over, the Nikon Monarch Rifle Scope series is made up of truly multipurpose scopes that will provide you with all you can possibly require in a scope. A great mixture of unrivaled image quality, great precision adjustment tools such as parallax correction and the amazing BDC system, as well as featuring high strength materials and rugged construction, the Nikon Monarch Rifle Scopes are all-in-one scopes that are designed to perform in any scenario without compromise.
- 1 Nikon Monarch Rifle Scope Features
- 2 Magnification, Field of View and Resolution
- 3 Objective Lens Diameter
- 4 Eye Relief and Precision Adjustments
- 5 Optical Coatings and Water/Fog Proof
- 6 Optional Accessories
- 7 Pros and Cons
- 8 Nikon Monarch Rifle Scopes For Sale
- 8.1 Nikon Monarch 3 Riflescopes for sale
- 8.1.1 BDC Reticle (click on link for more information)
- 8.1.2 German 4 Reticle (click on link for more information)
- 8.1.3 Mildot Reticle (click on link for more information)
- 8.1.4 Nikoplex Reticle (click on link for more information)
- 8.1.5 BDC Distance Lock Reticle (click on link for more information)
- 8.1.6 Custom XR Turret Variant (click on link for more information)
- 8.1.7 Fine Crosshair (with and without Dot) Reticle (click on link for more information)
- 8.2 Nikon Monarch 5 Riflescopes for sale
- 8.3 Nikon Monarch 7 Riflescopes for sale
- 8.1 Nikon Monarch 3 Riflescopes for sale
- 9 Conclusion
The series is divided into three specific scope lines which are Monarch 3, 5, and 7. Each series has a number of magnifications that target the rifle scopes to specific hunting and shooting needs.
The Nikon Monarch 3 series is mostly designed for the day-to-day hunter that needs a reliable scope for shorter ranges which won’t cost an arm and a leg. The scopes in the Monarch 5 series target hunters and shooters that typically shoot varying distances, typically in the mid-ranges. Lastly, the Monarch 7 series is specifically designed for long-range shooting (Choosing the Best 1000 Yard Rifle Scope – Editor’s Picks).
Nikon Monarch Rifle Scope Features
- Extremely accurate riflescope with a wide range of magnification levels and varying objective diameter (20mm, 32mm, 42mm, 44mm, 50mm, and 56mm)
- Fully multicoated, ultra-high-performance lenses deliver flare-free, high-contrast images
- Lens coatings and high-quality glass providing excellent light transmission for low-light situations
- Side focus adjustments
- Based on the model you can get a Bullet drop compensating (BDC) reticle, Nikoplex, Mildot, Fine Crosshair with or without a dot, and even illuminated Mildot reticles. All provide quick, simple aiming points for accurate shooting.
- Unique zoom control with rearward-facing numbers; quick focus eyepiece
- Spring-Loaded Turrets with Instant Zero-Reset
- A variety of finishes ranging from matte black to silver
- Nikon lifetime warranty
Magnification, Field of View and Resolution
When Nikon describes the Monarch Rifle Scopes as all-purpose scopes, you can be assured that this latest iteration from one of the most respected optics manufacturers is bound to be something special. For starters, consider the variable magnification setting that allows users to adjust the zoom depending on the model – Nikon Monarch or Prostaff Rifle Scope – Which is Better?.
Magnification levels available range overall from 1x to 30 times! Therefore, not only are long-range shots surprisingly easy, but close-range shooting with high powered rounds is also possible with surprising accuracy. This is partly down to being able to adjust the zoom to get the most suitable field of view, another advantage of variable magnification.
The field of view is the distance you can see in the scope from left to right. Generally, the larger the field of view, the better is the scope’s shooting performance mainly because being able to see more in the scope makes spotting and targeting very easy, particularly when tracking a moving target. The field of view ranges based on the magnification and then also on the series of Monarch scopes you’re looking at – What is the Rule for Rifle Scope Magnification vs Distance?.
To give you a comparison we show the field of view for the three different series for somewhat comparable magnifications:
- Monarch 3 4-16×42: FOV @ 100 yards is 25.2 – 6.3 feet
- Monarch 5 4-20×50: FOV @ 100 yards is 24.7 – 5.1 feet
- Monarch 7 4-16×50: FOV @ 100 yards is 29.6 – 7.4 feet
As can be seen the FOV for the Monarch scopes is quite impressive. The Monarch 7 outshines the other two series which is not surprising considering that this series is targeting the long-range market. Overall, the field of view ranges shows that they are designed as all-purpose rifle scopes as it gives you the large field of view at the minimum magnification setting needed for close-range shots as well as the narrower field of view for shooting static targets at long range.
Lastly, consider the third important component of any scope: image quality. Being a Nikon product, the Nikon Monarch rifle scope series has to meet very high expectations in this department mainly because of the manufacturer’s famed optics quality.
So, it comes as no surprise that the Nikon Monarch rifle scopes offer one of the best image quality characteristics in scopes, with a very bright image with high contrast colors and great resolution, allowing you to easily distinguish targets from their background.
Whether you look at the Nikon Monarch 3, the Monarch 5, or the Monarch 7 series, the optical capabilities are outstanding. The light transmission is world-class on any of these scopes and makes shooting during dusk or dawn more successful.
Objective Lens Diameter
Perhaps one of the most important components of any scope, the objective lens diameter represents what many consider the most important number in the description of any scope: the size of the objective lens – How does Objective Lens Size affect Shooting?. The objective lens is the lens that is farthest from the eye and closest to the eye.
It is the first lens in the series of lenses to receive light reflected off the target. Hence, its quality and characteristics are of prime importance, particularly the size. Generally, the larger the objective lens the greater is the amount of light entering the lens leading to a brighter image with high contrast. However, size alone is not the only determining factor because the quality of the lenses, as well as the quality of the ultra clearcoat optical system, plays an equally important part in determining the image quality.
The Nikon Monarch rifle scopes come in sizes that range from 20mm through 56mm objective lenses (Buyers Guide to Finding the Best Long Range Rifle Scope) which are quite large as most of the scopes in Nikon’s range rely on much smaller objective lenses. The large lens helps to allow more light to enter the scope, whereas the high-quality materials and coatings help to give the scope the maximum possible light transmission ration of 95 percent, which happens to be the theoretical maximum for scopes and one of the biggest achievements in Nikon’s portfolio. So all in all, the Nikon Monarch rifle scopes have image quality well covered with no flaws worth reporting.
The Monarch 3 series (also have a look at the Nikon Prostaff scopes) has the lower lens diameters and comes in 20 mm, 32 mm, 42mm, 44mm and 50 mm. The next level up is the Monarch 5 series which sports diameters of 42mm and 50 mm. The Monarch 7 series is available with lens diameters of 50 mm and 56 mm. The 7 series also has a 30mm tube while the other two series come with a 1-inch tube.
Eye Relief and Precision Adjustments
Next, we consider some of the relatively smaller details, starting with the eye relief. The Nikon Monarch rifle scopes have a long eye relief of 4 inches, which is quite an achievement when you consider the fact that they do so while maintaining an impressive field of view. The eye relief is an important number for those concerned with safety as it represents the distance you have to keep your eye from the scope to see the image fully focused. The reason for designing the scope in such a manner is to ensure that the scope does not hit the eye during the sharp recoil of the gun, leading to a nasty cut or bruise above the eye, a phenomenon called scope eye. However, with 4 inches of eye relief, you can rest assured that you will be safe using this scope even with high-powered rifles and rounds, another reason why it is advertised as a truly multi-purpose scope (What is the Difference between Nikon Prostaff and Buckmaster Rifle Scopes?).
In addition to eye relief, many people are concerned with precision which is one of the most important features of any scope. The Nikon Monarch rifle scope series has this front well covered too, featuring target-style windage and elevation adjustment knobs that allow you to quickly adjust the scope depending on wind conditions and elevation. The turrets are spring-loaded with an instant zero-reset capability. These spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets make it a breeze to adjust and reset the scope for any shooting situation. In addition to these, the scope also features a side focus parallax adjustment knob that allows you to account for parallax error due to eye movements in long-range shots. The side focus adjustment for parallax is located on the side of the scope tube so you have three turrets on the Monarch 3, 5, and 7 rifle scopes. You can effectively compensate for parallax error by using the side focus turret when you dial out to high zoom for long-range shots.
The Monarch series of rifle scopes give you the choice of Nikon’s proven BDC (bullet drop compensation), Nikoplex, Fine Crosshair with or without a dot, Mildot, or illuminated Mildot system. The BDC reticle gives you a great estimate of how much the bullet will drop over the range, hence allowing you to adjust for gravity in long-range shots when the bullet drop becomes noticeable. So you can rest assured that with any Nikon Monarch rifle scope, the bullet will go exactly where you want it to.
The reticle on all Monarch scopes is located on the second focal plane, also called the rear focal plane. This second focal plane is the typical positioning that you find on many scopes that are used for hunting for short-range to medium-range distances.
Optical Coatings and Water/Fog Proof
Obviously, a good scope is useless if it is not reliable. The Nikon Monarch rifle scopes continue their impressive list of features by offering you unmatched ruggedness by being completely waterproof and fog proof. The scopes have been sealed with O-rings that help to keep water out, and also purged with oxygen and filled with nitrogen, giving them their fog-proof qualities.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the Nikon Monarch scopes have some of the best image characteristics in the scope market; one of the most important reasons for this is the use of Nikon’s Ultra ClearCoat optical system that allows them to transmit 95% of light. This is on the top of the scale for any scope available with regard to light transmission. The lenses themselves that the scope comes with are of the highest quality and covered with anti-reflective compounds that help to improve contrast and give the scope flare-free viewing. The result of all this effort: the Nikon Monarch rifle scopes set a new benchmark for image quality.
When you consider buying a high-quality scope, it is important to get the necessary accessories to complement its performance. For example, a laser bore sighter is a good addition to your collection, helping you to sight in your scope without wasting any ammunition. Another good addition would be the right types of mounting rings to keep your scope safely mounted – Guide to Choosing the Best Types of Rifle Scope Mounts.
Pros and Cons
The Nikon Monarch rifle scope series manages to hold true to the manufacturer’s claim of being completely multipurpose scopes, but what is truly impressive is that they do so without any serious compromises. All the right boxes are checked, giving you a great mix of precision, high-quality image characteristics, and ruggedness. Add in the competitive price and Nikon’s lifetime warranty, and you have one of the best scopes in the market.
Depending on your shooting needs you should have a look at the different series. If you are hunting on shorter distances then the Monarch 3 series is right for you. For lovers of variety, the Monarch 5 is the right fit while for long-distance shots the Monarch 7 works best.
Nikon Monarch Rifle Scopes For Sale
There are a few different models in the Nikon Monarch riflescope series. You typically find the lowest prices for those scopes on Amazon. We collected the different models that are available for you to check the price and evaluate the customer reviews left.
Find a list of the scopes that are available in each of the different Monarch lines below. We’ll keep this list up-to-date so please check back regularly to find updated/new models.
Nikon Monarch 3 Riflescopes for sale
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 1-4×20
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 2-8×32
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 2.5-10×42
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 2.5-10×50
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 3-12×42
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 4-16×42
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 4-16×50
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 5-20×44
- Nikon MONARCH 3 BDC Riflescope 6-24×50
- Nikon MONARCH 3 NP Riflescope 2-8×32
- Nikon MONARCH 3 NP Riflescope 2.5-10×42
- Nikon MONARCH 3 NP Riflescope 2.5-10×50
- Nikon MONARCH 3 NP Riflescope 3-12×42
- Nikon MONARCH 3 NP Riflescope 4-16×42
- Nikon MONARCH 3 NP Riflescope 4-16×50
- Nikon MONARCH 3 NP Riflescope 5-20×44
- Nikon MONARCH 3 NP Riflescope 6-24×50
- Nikon Monarch 3 SF FFP M BDC Rifle Scope 3-12×42
- Nikon Monarch 3 SF FFP M BDC Rifle Scope 4-16×42
- Nikon Monarch 3 SF FFP M BDC Rifle Scope 4-16×50
- Nikon Monarch 3 Custom XR Turret Riflescope 3-12×42
- Nikon Monarch 3 Custom XR Turret Riflescope 4-16×42
- Nikon Monarch 3 Custom XR Turret Riflescope 4-16×50
Nikon Monarch 5 Riflescopes for sale
- Nikon Monarch 5 2-10×42 ED SF Advanced BDC Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 2-10×50 ED SF Advanced BDC Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 3-15×42 ED SF Advanced BDC Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 3-15×50 ED SF Advanced BDC Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 4-20×50 ED SF Advanced BDC Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 5-25×50 ED SF Advanced BDC Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 6-30×50 ED SF Advanced BDC Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 3-15×42 ED SF NP – XR Turret Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 3-15×50 ED SF NP – XR Turret Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 4-20×50 ED SF NP – XR Turret Riflescope
- Nikon Monarch 5 5-25×50 ED SF NP – XR Turret Riflescope
Nikon Monarch 7 Riflescopes for sale
- Nikon Monarch 7 SF Advanced BDC Rifle Scope 2.5-10×50
- Nikon Monarch 7 SF Advanced BDC Rifle Scope 3-12×56
- Nikon Monarch 7 SF Advanced BDC Rifle Scope 4-16×50
- Nikon Monarch 7 SF Advanced BDC Rifle Scope with Dot 3-12×56
- Nikon Monarch 7 SF Advanced BDC Rifle Scope with Dot 4-16×50
Nikon’s latest versions of the Monarch series which consist of the Monarch 3, 5, and 7, offer great capabilities at good prices. Having three distinctively different series for a variety of uses provides a large range of scopes.
If you are going to do long-distance hunting or if you often hunt during dusk or dawn then the Monarch 7 series is a great choice. The larger lens diameters and the large tube allow for better low light performance (Best Scope for Low Light Conditions – Reviews and Buying Advice).
The Monarch 3 series offers scopes for shorter distance hunting. They are on the low end with regards to price yet offer good quality at the same time.
The Monarch 5 series is the best of both worlds. Not as capable as the Monarch 7 yet more versatile than the Monarch 3. In our opinion a great scope for many uses.
No matter what kind of hunter or shooter you are, you will find a match from the different Monarch lines. Please also check out our other rifle scope reviews to find the best available scope for your hunting and shooting needs.