Nikon Monarch Series Riflescopes

By Suzanne Wiley published on in Gun Gear

The cornerstone of Nikon’s riflescopes is their Monarch series. Nikon® has four different models of Monarch riflescopes: the Monarch, which is the first in the series, Monarch X, Monarch Gold, and the newest model, the Monarch African. They range in price from a little under $300 to over $1,000. At the pinnacle of the Monarch series of scopes is Nikon’s Monarch Eye Box technology, which gives users a 4-inch constant eye relief at every magnification and their UltraClearCoat™ optical system, which allows each Monarch riflescope to have a 95 percent light transmission. With these two features, every Monarch riflescope gives you a clear, bright, and precise image of your target.

Monarch

Nikon Monarch Riflescope

Nikon Monarch Riflescope

Nikon’s standard Monarch is the company’s “flagship” riflescope. The Monarch also offers the widest variety of offerings. It comes in 2.5-10x42mm with a Nikoplex, Mil-dot, or BDC reticle, 2.5-10x50mm with Nikoplex or BDC reticle, 2-8x32mm with Nikoplex or BDC reticle, 3-12x42mm with Nikoplex or BDC reticle, 4-16x42mm with Nikoplex, BDC, or Mil-dot reticle, 5-20x44mm with Nikoplex or BDC reticle, 6-24x50mm with Nikoplex, Fine Crosshair, Fine Crosshair with dot, or BDC reticle, and 8-32x50mm with fine crosshair with dot reticle. None of the standard Monarch riflescopes cost more than $750. The basic Monarch model riflescope has a 1-inch tube and is sunshade-adaptable, while the Monarch X and Monarch Gold have a 30mm tube and include a sunshade. Like all of the Monarch series riflescopes, the standard Monarch has a smooth zoom control, enhanced mount ring spacing, interchangeable turret capability, one-piece main tube body, locking side focus parallax adjustment, and is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof with a nitrogen fill and an o-ring seal.

Monarch Gold

Nikon Monarch Gold Riflescope

Nikon Monarch Gold Riflescope

With the addition of the German #4 reticle, also available on the Monarch African, the Monarch Gold is designed with the hunter in mind. Along with all the standard features on the Monarch series scopes, the Gold has a larger internal lens, and a quick-focus eyepiece. The Monarch Gold is available in 1.5-6x42mm with a German #4 or Nikoplex reticle, 2.5-10x50mm with a German #4, BDC, or Nikoplex reticle, and 2.5-10x56mm with a German #4 or Nikoplex reticle.

Monarch X

Nikon Monarch X Riflescope

Nikon Monarch X Riflescope

The Monarch X is the tactical model in the series, which comes at a higher price tag. Nikon has finished off the Monarch X scopes with a tactical, matte black finish. Nikon removed the gold logo and embellishments from the Monarch X for a more low-profile look. The most expensive of the Monarch is a Monarch X with an MSRP of $1,299.95. The Monarch X has a glass-etched reticle, turret adjustments, and easy-to-grip knobs. The Monarch X has fewer offerings in variety, but also the only scope in the series that has the choice of an illuminated reticle. It is available in 2.5-x10x44mm with a Nikoplex, illuminated, or Mil-dot reticle and 4-16x50mm with either a Nikoplex or Mil-dot reticle.

Monarch African

If hunting dangerous game is your objective, than the Monarch African is the scope you need to look at. Only available with the German #4 reticle, the Monarch African is “designed specifically for dangerous game hunting in Africa.” The Monarch African comes in two different objective ranges: 20mm, and 24mm. There is one 1-4x20mm scope with a German #4 reticle and a 1.1-4x24mm version with an illuminated (green) or non-illuminated German #4 reticle. The Monarch African boosts winning an NRA Golden Bullseye Award and ½ MOA click adjustments, while the other models have ¼ MOA.

Ruggedness, light transmission, and optic quality are the top priorities when choosing a riflescope and the Nikon Monarch series has all three. For a lower price, you can get one of the standard Monarchs without sacrificing any quality. Unless you specifically are looking for a dangerous game scope or a 30mm tube, then you will be completely satisfied with the standard Monarch. If not, Nikon offers a lifetime warranty.

Reticle Guide

BDC: available in Monarch and Monarch Gold. The BDC reticle is a good, all-around reticle. It has see-through ballistic circles for long-range shooting and a standard cross hair for shorter ranges.

Nikoplex: available in Monarch, Monarch Gold, and Monarch X. The Nikoplex has heavy outer posts on the crosshair for quick target acquisition.

Fine Crosshair: available in Monarch only. The Fine Crosshair reticle is for precision shooting in higher magnifications.

Fine Crosshair with dot: available in Monarch only. The fine Crosshair reticle with dot is the same as the Fine Crosshair, but with a ¼-minute center dot.

Mil-dot: available in Monarch and Monarch X. Traditional Mil-dot reticle for long-range precision shooting.

German #4: available in Monarch African only. The German #4 reticle is for dangerous game and is good in low contrast, brushy shooting situations.

BDC Finecrosshair  Finecrosshairwithdot German4 Mildot Nikoplex

Specifications and Features

Note: Exclusive features to each model are in bold.

Monarch

  • Ultra ClearCoat optical system
  • Monarch Eye Box technology
  • Smooth zoom control
  • Enhanced mount ring spacing
  • Interchangeable turret technology
  • One-piece main body tube
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed
  • Sunshade-adaptable
  • Locking side focus parallax adjustment on Long Range models
  • 1” tube
  • Eco Glass lenses

Monarch X

  • Ultra ClearCoat optical system
  • One-piece main body tube
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Monarch Eye Box technology
  • Hand-turn, ¼ MOA windage and elevation adjustments
  • Glass-etched reticle
  • Side focus parallax adjustment
  • Easy-to-grip adjustment knobs
  • Matte black anodized finish
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed
  • 30mm tube

Monarch Gold

  • Ultra ClearCoat optical system
  • One-piece main body tube
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Larger internal lenses
  • Monarch Eye Box technology
  • Hand-turn, ¼ MOA windage and elevation adjustments
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Matte black anodized finish
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
  • Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed
  • 30mm tube

Monarch African

  • Ultra ClearCoat optical system
  • German #4 reticle
  • One-piece main body tubes
  • Precise hand-turn 1/2–MOA click adjustments
  • Enhanced mount ring spacing
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Waterproof, fogproof, shockproof
  • Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed

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Comments (2)

  • Big John

    |

    C’mon people, get with the parade!!

    The Nikon Monarch line is fabulous in my opinion! OK, so no one knows me nor my experience. That’s OK. Go to your local scope retailer and compare head-to-head a Leupold Vari-X III in 3.5-10×50 with a Monarch 2.5-10×50–you know the rig I’m talking about where two scopes can pop into a rubber holder one over the other.

    Take this info with you: Nikon claims light transmission “up to x%’ and Leupold claims a figure 1 or 2 percent higher, both are above 95%. Please don’t tell me you can discern 1% difference between one scope and the next at that level of transmission. The two scopes are about 2oz different in weight, not enough to worry about. If total weight is a concern maybe you should lose 20 lb in order to offset the scope weight (your wife won’t complain if you did).

    I used the said Leupold on top of an ’06 for sniper school twenty years ago and guided my dad toward buying one for his BAR last year–great scope then and now. Bought a Leupold Mark AR when I decided to scope my AR. When I had the chance to buy a like-new Savage M11 LRH with the Nikon noted above on top I took the deal without much of a second thought because of my research stemming from the professional opinions by a colleague in the guide business.

    What seals the deal for me is the price. The Leu v Nik scopes mentioned above, same finish and same/similar reticle, there is about $200 difference–guess which one is lower.

    Oh yeah, that M11, got it and taller rings for $950 plus tax (didn’t like the rings on it). It was like buying the rifle and (almost) getting the Monarch for free–a tremendous way to get introduced to the product line. The first five 3-shot groups averaged 1.1 inches.

    Reply

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