..at least, when it comes to their scopes, that is.
I never used many Nikon scopes — from memory, I only ever owned two — and I don’t think they were ever a force in the scope business, so this doesn’t strike me as big news. I suspect that Nikon weren’t making much money in that department, despite their price premium over other brands, and as their camera business is probably under strain because of the ubiquity of phone cameras, this seems to be purely a business decision.
That said, I would point Loyal Readers to the Nikon Black FX1000 model, which I have used before, and which was excellent: clear, rugged and easy to use in the field. Consider these two: 4-16x50mm and 6-24x50mm (don’t necessarily buy right now… just monitor their prices in the near future and if they dip substantially, buy either of them without hesitation).
Well, that sucketh. It has long been my opinion that Nikon scopes had some of best quality glass for the money in their scopes. I have had this Nikon on my varmint rig (Win M70 in .223)–
–for a couple of decades. Not mentioned in the listing is that this scope has 1/8 MOA adjustments.
I was in the market for another scope about a year ago, and would have bought another one if they still made it. Alas, no. As I began to peruse online, I was a bit taken aback as my list of wants turned into a list of don’t wants–
Don’t want FFP
Don’t want illuminated reticle.
Don’t want Buck Rogers reticle.
Don’t want to finance a loan to purchase.
So I settled on a Vortex Viper HST Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 4-16x 44mm VMR-1 MOA Reticle . It’s a decent scope and I have shot with it, but it is still Chineseium, including the glass. Then Midway had a sale on the Nikon BLACK X1000 Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 4-16x 50mm for $299. Bingo. Even my tired old eyes can see the difference. It is slight, but it is there. Now I have a Vortex scope for sale.
I can’t speak about their rifle scopes because I don’t own one. However, I do have several pair of binoculars. One of them is a Nikon brand that I got for my 10 year anniversary with the company I worked for. When I compare the Nikon pair with the others, the Nikon pair is, running away, better. They’re brighter, sharper, and just overall a better build. They were so much better, that when my 20 year anniversary came up, I went looking through the awards catalog to get another pair. Alas, the awards people had downgraded to a different “chineseium” brand. No thank you. (I got my wife a diamond pendant instead.)
Nikon scopes have much better glass than most others. They share the tech with their camera division.
Way back when, for SLR glass, it was Nikon, Minolta and Pentax, with the exact order in close dispute.
Natchez Shooters Supplies has always done quite a few closeout optics – and sure enough…
I’m betting they’ll get marked down more. I have one Nikon Monarch which has been quite a nice scope. Not a huge fan of their BDC reticle, but it doesn’t get in the way.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on SWFA’s Samplelist.com site. It’s where they dispose of returns, demos and trade ins. I’ve bought 4 scopes/binos from there – descriptions of condition are accurate, and there are some screaming deals if you don’t mind buying used.
Seems like an odd choice but perhaps with all the electronic doo-dads that seem to be mounted on guns these days, a plain, old fashioned optical scope can’t compete.
I put a Nikon Pro-Staff on my old (pre-WWII) .30-06 Winchester Model 70 and absolutely loved it. In fact, so much so that my dad and brother (my hunting partners) went out and got their own Pro-Staffs immediately after. It has the “range finding” reticle which you zero at 100 or 200 yards and then it has little circles for 300 and 400 so you can “hold over” perfectly. Since we hunt antelope in Wyoming where you’re LUCKY to get “just” a 200 yard shot, it’s pretty darn useful.
I haven’t counted how many antelope I’ve sent to Antelope Valhalla with my pro-staff but it’s more than a few.
What I liked about the pro-staff is that it gives good quality without an outrageous price. Yes, I know the “REAL” hunters out there spend more $$ on their glass than they do on their bullet-launcher but the Scotsman in me just can’t bear the thought of a $1000 scope on a $500 rifle.
“…the Scotsman in me just can’t bear the thought of a $1000 scope on a $500 rifle.”.
We sir, are two of a kind, and for the same reason. I could be rightfully accused of your last, as I have a Swarovski scope on my late model M70. However, I bought it a few decades back on a year end closeout, so what I paid was about the same as for the rifle.
I have to wonder how Nikon plans to stay solvent. Their camera business isn’t doing too great either.
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