By Craig Reinolds

This month, I wanted to take a look at the Monarch 7 Advanced BDC series of scopes recently released by Nikon. The specific model I was shipped for this review was the Nikon Monarch 7 Advanced BDC 2.5-10X50. When I received the scope for testing and review, I did not have much prior experience with Nikon products so I decided to start my review process by researching the history and catalogue of Nikon. I discovered Nikon’s impressive, world renowned history of producing quality optics for almost a century.

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Who is Nikon?

Nikon has been and continues to be, a leader in developing and manufacturing the highest quality riflescopes. Nikon does not only manufacture riflescopes, they are also known for high quality spotting scopes, range finders, binoculars and many other products. They have been well established in the outdoor sports communities for over 90 years. During 2017, Nikon is celebrating their 100th year in business. Their pioneering technology in multi-coating lenses has improved the lenses to a point of 95% light transmission and that is the maximum light transmission for a well-balanced color contribution. It seems regardless of your budget, Nikon has a quality scope to fit your preferred price point and get you on target. No matter if you are a shooter, hunter or in the tactical community, you can get it done with Nikon. The Monarch 7 is a perfect example of how Nikon stays in the top ranks of the optics community.

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Opening The Box

When you open Monarch 7 factory box, you immediately get a feel for this companies attention to detail. The scope is professionally presented and features items such as the standard fully multicoated optics, quick focus eyepiece and generous consistent eye relief. The interchangeable turret technology, wide field of view, and glass etched reticles are all held together with a 30mm diameter one-piece main body tube ending in a 50mm objective bell. Additionally, the Monarch 7 is listed to be waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof. Included in the box along with the scope is a sunshade and an extra set of turrets and caps; you choose the size and design you prefer.

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Specs

  • Magnification Range – 2.5×10
  • Objective – 50mm
  • Eye Relief – 3.7”-3.8”
  • Field of View – 11.8’-47.4’@ 100 yards
  • Main Tube Size – 30mm
  • Overall Length – 13.7”
  • Overall Weight – 22.8oz
  • Parallax- 50yards – Infinity
  • Adjustments – ¼”
  • Reticle – Advanced BDC

Testing Summary

My first impression of the Monarch 7 as I began my review was very positive as I was impressed with the sharp overall look of the scope. I decided to mount the scope on my M4 rifle chambered in 5.56 for range testing. This was the perfect rifle for me to gather my data and opinions on the Monarch 7 for many reasons. First, the reticle has an Advanced BDC or Bullet Drop Compensation suited for the 5.56 standard 55 grain load. I found the lines of the reticle to be crisp and well thought out. The lens and 1” erector tube has a way of funneling your eye right to the cross hairs. Secondly, the concept of already having predetermined hold over and windage built in is very appealing to me given the various distances I find myself taking shots in the field.

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The other appealing feature to me is the 2.5 starting point on magnification. I like this feature because on the M4 platform you can still get a quick acquisition of your target at close range. This may not be as fast as a true 1x red dot, but it is very functional from a tactical stand point with the option of 10x’s on magnification for going out to longer ranges. The magnification dial is ergonomically effective in its design, as it is very easy to dial up and down while observing your target. There is also a side focus that can be locked; this is instrumental in clearing your image at varying distances.

The scope comes with two different styles of turret adjustment knobs to fit your personal preference of adjustment display to the BDC and windage turrets. Nikon also provides caps for whichever knobs you choose. I would use the larger turrets if I had mounted this scope to a long-range bolt-action rifle, another example of the versatility of the Monarch 7.

XR Turret Product Specifications

http://www.nikonsportoptics.com/en/nikon-products/product-archive/riflescopes/monarch-7-2.5-10×50-sf-bdc-xr-turret.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-TechSpecs

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Nikon included a objective lens shade to screw on if you so choose to block out extreme bright sunlight. There is also a lenses cloth and flip open dust covers. The only negative experience I had was one of the flip open covers would not stay shut. I am sure I could get them to swap it out for one that had a more positive latch.

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Once the scope was sighted in and zeroed, I found it extremely durable and accurate. Going online to the Nikon website you can use the Spot-On ballistic calculator to come up with specific round, zero and hold over options for whatever combination of rifle, round and scope match up you decide to put together. This is a very useful tool even with just switching between bullet weight options for your rifle.

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I kept this rifle in my truck for weeks, working and driving to the shooting range and the hunt club. Trust me, it was banged around plenty and still kept its accuracy. I found it to be a very tough and dependable scope during the time I was testing it. I would not hesitate to consider this scope on my next build. I think it would function well on a medium to long-range rifle. The Monarch 7 is a sharp looking versatile scope that would add plenty of character to either an AR platform or a bolt-action hunting rifle. Nikon did a great job assembling these features in such a distinguished scope. The list price is around $849 USD, which is a reasonable price considering the premium features the Monarch 7 comes with. The Monarch Series scopes come in five different designs, which give you options on designs and price points. Be sure to go to 1800gunsandammo.com to find the one to fit your needs.

Spot On Ballistic Calculator

Having a scope with an online tool such as the Spot On Ballistic Calculator is a priceless feature. Being able to choose your scope, caliber, grain and all the other variables on the fly is a tremendous tool in your toolbox. Being able to make adjustments and print out a shooting card makes confirming the accuracy at different yardage a wiz. The Spot on Ballistic Calculator is just another example of Nikon’s commitment to today’s modern shooters.