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B&L Balvar vs. Japanese Pre-Monarch Nikon

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2010 at 13:31
cj17 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
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Joined: April/19/2005
Location: United States
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Points: 81

I am considering purchasing either a B&L Balvar 2.5-10x40 or Nikon 3-9x40 scope to complete a dream project of mine that I couldn't afford when these scopes were new on the market.  Both of these scopes are from the time frame when they were made in Japan and prior to Nikon naming the Monarch line and B&L evolving into the  Bushnell Elite line.

The Balvar's tend to cost more than the Nikon's if in similar condition.  I was just wondering if anyone had any input as to the quality of these two scopes relative to the other.  I know that there are better scopes available now but like I said these are the two I coveted for this rifle (a .243) back when I was a poor teenager and this is more about getting what I want then getting the best available for my $
 
Thanks for your input.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2010 at 07:34
magshooter1 View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
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Don't know much about the B&L Balvar but, I still have a "Pre" Monarch Nikon (3x9x40) and have no problems with it.  It's sitting on top of my daughter's Model 70 Featherweight 6mm Rem.  Dang good scope too.  I had another "Pre" in 4x12x40 AO that I had to send in because it had some kind of film on the inside of the objective lens.  Wasn't noticable when looking thru the scope just when looking at the objective.  Less than 10 days later I had a brand new Monarch 4x12x40 AO.  So I guess I'm partial to the Nikons.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2010 at 16:14
smithrjd View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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I had a Balvar in 2.5X10X40 on my Sako AV. In its day it was a high end scope. I paid $280 for it in 1984. Used it for 25 years and never had any problems. Glass was good, better than many scopes in its day. I have never had the early Nikons, but do have a Monarch UCC the B&L was at least as good. Not up to a Zeiss or Kahles, but better than Leupold Redfield of its era. The Balvar became the Elite, then became Bushnell Elite then 4200 series.  HTH 
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