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Nikon Monarch: my Impressions

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 19:07
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Important Note: I wasn't pleased, SWFA took care of me!  If you are thinking of a Monarch, weigh my one experience against the 100+ great experiences here.  Every maker of stuff, from the most expensive on down, makes a rough product from time to time; I was the lucky recipient of this one.  My scope seems to represent the very, very small minority of issues with Nikon optics.Spend $2,000 and you might get one of S&B's very few bad scopes, it's a function of statistics and human error, not of inherent scope value.

 

And the Monarch prices here are at least $150.00 lower than anyone else i've seen - and I've looked.

 

 

After so much praise and headline space, I gave in to peer pressure and bought a Monarch UCC 3.5-10x50 illuminated reticle.

Before going further, SWFA have never been anything but helpful, fair, and very professional. I will continue to do business with them for many years to come.

Now, the Monarch: first, when I look through it, I see ghosting around the entire perimeter of the field of view. It closely resembles begin too close or too far, but rather than being a dark halo, it's a light halo.  Any way you put it, it sucks.

Next, the reticle, though sharp and clear, has lines large enough to hide a champion buck or entire squad of terrorists - depending on your frame of reference.  I'm accustomed to my NightForce or USO or Zeiss, these reticle lines are at least 5 times the size of anything I've seen before.  And that, too, sucks.

As for light gathering and image resolution, both are fine, very workable; but who cares if the target is fully obscured by the reticle lines and the entire image is lit with an ethereal glow from what must be stray light bouncing around the tube of my brand new Nikon Monarch UCC.  yea, I got a great deal, and yea, I immediately cut out the UPC and sent it in for my free mil dot master.  AS such, I now have a used scope, 1 week old scope, and it functions just slightly better than a toilet paper roll mounted atop my great firearm.

I don't blame SWFA for offering to buy it back as used, I'm the tard who cut out the UPC barcode before mounting and shooting the thing.  So, my advice to Nikon buyers, don't scratch the finish, keep the box, and shoot the thing before you even think about collecting your free mil dot master.

I can't be the only one noticing these issues, with all the praise everyone is throwing on the Monarchs, surely some of you are owners?

 



Edited by Rancid Coolaid
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 19:41
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WOW

And I was fixin to buy one!

Thanx,

Ranc

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 20:00
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Wow, I didn't think that at all. I was looking at ordering a 4-14x40 or 6-18x40 Buckmaster as a hunting/target scope, but wasn't sure if the 6x was going to be too much of a 'low power' or the 14x wasn't enough 'high power'. So, I stopped up at Gander Mtn, took a look at some scopes, and thought the Buckmaster was OK. Was a world of difference looking through the Monarch UCC. Now, I haven't gotten the chance to use it on a rifle yet, but if they didn't want so much for it, I'd have got it then & there. BTW, there was a better one that they had, that I saw some advantage over the Monarch, but they wanted $900 for it, so it was way out of the range of what I'm looking for.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 20:12
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You have to spend big dollars for a nice illuminated scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 21:15
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Well, for hunting, I would think that a thick reticle is an advantage in low light (one of the reasons why I prefer reticles in hunting scopes).

However, that ghosting around the perimeter of the field of view does not sound right at all and ghost images absolutely should not be there. Perhaps, you should consider calling Nikon customer service.

Are those images there with the illuminated reticle on or off? or both?

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 21:19
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Maybe it's just mine, maybe all the rest are great with no halo and thinner lines, maybe it's just my bad luck.

 

Everyone else says they are great, perhaps I got the one bad one in the lot.

 

Chris, go pull one off the shelf and tell me if you see the halo (3.5-10x50 illuminated reticle - #6609.)  Sorry, I'm not trying to throw anyone under the proverbial bus, but with SS's out there for less  and Conquests and Kahles for just a few hundred more, I was expecting somthing...else.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 21:20
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Koshkin,

 

It isn't really an image, just a halo of light. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 21:57
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"Maybe it's just mine, maybe all the rest are great with no halo and thinner lines, maybe it's just my bad luck."

 

Maybe.  Got a Burris Sig for Christmas and noticed a black spec on an internal lens.  Sent it back.  The second one had your halo in the top right corner.   Sent it back.  Maybe those were the only 2 of millions that were bad. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2007 at 23:02
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Quote from Rancid:

...and yea, I immediately cut out the UPC and sent it in for my free mil dot master. "

------------------------

I guess I am not familiar with this offering....where is this Mil Dot Master offered?

 

Would appreciate being clued in..!

Thanks,

Ron

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 04:48
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I have the same lit Mil Dot on a 6.5-20 Monarch and I love it.

I hate to hear anyone disliking theirs.

 

I have had my Monarch out at all times of day and night for 2 months and I don't have any of the issues you mentioned.

 

No halo as you mentioned or flaw in the glass anywhere.

The lit Mil Dot even works well. Better than I expected, lets say. 

 

I'll compare my SS Mil Dot to the Monarch Mil Dot when I get home tonight.

 

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 07:58
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i think you got a bad one, rancid. - 

 

mine is crystal clear and quite sharp, edge to edge - no halo - 

 

and the other monarchs i have seen have been suppurb.  hate that you got a bad one.

 

guys/gals - this is NOT how a monarch should perform. He has a dud.

even the buckmasters are better than the above review.

 

send it back to the factory and good luck.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 09:12
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Sending it in for service means a month without a working 300 win mag.  In that month, lots o' hogs need kill'in, lots o' targets need puncturing.

 

It shoots accurately, seems to hold zero, shoots a nice box, so the mechaniscs are fine.  I"ll live.

 

What doesn't kill me makes me stronger.  And pain is weakness leaving the body.  Or so my Drill Instructors said as they beat the living hell out of me.

 

Mine is probably the bad one.  If you want a Monarch UCC, don't despair over my review.  Get it, look through it (Don't cut off the UPC barcode!) and see what you think.

 

As for me, this was my foray into lower-priced scopes.  And it weren't a screaming success.  So the advice I've given to Cowboy Up, save a few hundred extra, and buy the better scope; I just proved it true for me forevermore.

 

Eventually the Monrach will come off and a Zeiss or Kahles will take its place.  Anyone wanna buy a Monarch UCC 3.5-10x50 illuminated reticle?  Hardly used, with mil dot master!

 

Later tonight I'll take a picture through the scope and post it; maybe someone will recognize the problem. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 09:21
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I just bought a Monarch 6X42 non-illuminated from SWFA.......and have the opposite problem as yourself !!

 

Mine is very clear and great in low light but the recticle is so thin that I can't see it in real low light !! My deer target in my backyard is very visible... way after legal shooting times.......but the recticle gives out way before then !! My only complaint about the scope !! If it had a thicker recticle that could be seen in exteme low light............heck.... it would be close to as good as my Diavari 3x9x42 !!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 09:43
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i agree. not a fan of the thin reticles.

 

i bought the 4x40 Monarch UCC and am very pleased with the optics - very bright and clear. very nice scope.

 

i don't have a HUGE problem w/ the 4x40's nikoplex reticle,

i am just spoiled by my #4 reticles on the other scopes that adorn my rifles.

 

i wish everyone would just get the idea that #4 is popular and needs to be an option on most big game scopes.

 

my 2 cents.

 

J

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 09:55
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I had a Monarch 5.5x16.5 44mm model that I sold about a year ago.  I still kick myself for liquidating that scope!  Great optics & tracking.  I'm very surprised to hear your problem.  Send it back to SWFA & I'm sure they'll take care of you.

 

I'd buy another Monarch in a second.  Problem is that I already have an IOR without a rifle .  Can't justify buying ANOTHER scope just quite yet...

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 13:44
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Update:

 

It now seems quite obvious that my scope is an anomaly and not the norm.  In all fairness, those considering Monarchs should take a look for themselves and don't assume my experience will be yours.

 

Also, the price is unbeatable here (assuming all works as expected) - which is why I bought initially.

 

And, more importantly: Customer Service!  Chris is taking the scope back and sending me something else, not because he knew about this thread (he's been out and hasn't yet read this) but because their Customer Service is actual Customer Service!

 

I could be happier with the scope, I couldn't be happier with the service!

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 14:09
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Just checked my two Mil Dots. 1) A Nikon  2) A SS 10x.

 

I see what you mean about the bars surrounding the Mil Dot being some bigger than other makes.

The SS's Mil Dot "lines" are a little thinner and the posts are quite a bit slimmer.

Dots look to be the same.

 

I knew the Nikon's were thicker, but I didn't realize how much until now.

 

So sorry about your Monarch.

Glad SWFA took care of you.

SWFA are the Gold Standard of optics vendors....No doubt.

 

 



Edited by cheaptrick
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2007 at 17:31
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

In that month, lots o' hogs need kill'in...

 

Don't worry Rancid, I plan to kill your portion this weekend, and I'll do so in honor of you!

 

Sorry 'bout your troubles with your scope.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2007 at 08:13
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What is the " free mil dot master offer" ???

 

where can I find info on this, I just bought 2 monarchs. I don't have any problems with my 2 monarchs.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2007 at 08:30
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i dont have an ill reticle but i have a monarch and i love it, i own 3 nikon scopes and i like them all.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2007 at 08:33
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I have a 6 X20 Monarch and a 4X 14 Buckmaster from SWFA and no problems , I think you need to call Nikon for a new scope or fix that one. Nikon is saying they have improved customer service time to test it.

 

Duce

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/04/2007 at 10:02
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Originally posted by Jsimoneaud Jsimoneaud wrote:

What is the " free mil dot master offer" ???

 

When you order a Nikon with a Mil Dot reticle, there wll be a mail in voucher accompanying the scope in the box for the M.D. Master. 

Normally, you would pay $30 for the Mil Dot Master, but mail in the voucher and $4.95 S&H and they are supposed to mail it out to you.

  

I haven't done it yet, but I will.....

 

I'd stop procrastinating, but I keep putting it off......... 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/02/2007 at 15:25
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Sorry to hear bout your trouble Rancid, Please get it taken care of.  I think if you get a monarch that is up to snuff you won't be disappointed. I got a NiTac 2.5-10x44 from the sample list and can't believe how crisp it is. My hunting bud liked it so much he just ordered a monarch 4-12x40 from the sample list. I'll give my impressions when it arrives. best of luck, M223
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2007 at 11:32
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Rancid, I do not want to state the obvious, but regardless of whether you sent in the UPC code, you should have just called Nikon or SWFA afterwards and they would have taken care of you in a very short period of time, as obviously you have a defective scope (instead of wasting on this time and multiple posts regarding this matter).  I am not trying to be mean and I know you want to keep hunting, but at some point you were finally going to realize that the good money you spent was not to be for a defective product and you were going to want to replace it sooner or later, at some point disrupting your shooting.  If you wanted, in the interim period of time, I will bet that SWFA, probably would have sent you something to use, while taking care of that scope.  Or you could have purchased and inexpensive scope to use in the meantime, as a back up scope is always something good to have, especially if you are going to travel to a distant location and hunt.  By the way, my Nikon Monarch 5.5-16x 44mm AO BDC reticle mounted on a Steyr Mannlicher .260 Remington, shot for the first time yesterday with handloads, is the model of perfection and is probably my favorite scope now, over my Bushnell Elite 4200 and Sightron SII.  Just to let you know, I have compared many a German scope next to many of the Japanese models and I just refuse to pay the nose bleed prices for the former scopes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2007 at 16:51
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Is it true that the Nikons off the sample list only have a30day warranty, as opposed to a brand new one? It seems that other brands seem to still carry a lifetime.
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