Nikon EER Scopes
By Chuck Hawks
Nikon, the famous manufacturer of professional cameras and lenses, has also built a fine reputation in the telescopic sight field. Nikon products generally reflect solid design, high manufacturing standards and rigorous quality control combined with optical excellence. So it is with Nikon scopes, specifically their extended eye relief (EER) handgun scopes that are the subject of this article.
At this writing Nikon markets two EER models, both part of their deluxe Monarch line. There is the fixed power 2x20mm EER and the variable power 2.5-8x28mm EER. The main tubes of each are 1 inch in diameter. Both are sealed and nitrogen filled to be waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. Both also feature high resolution optics, fully multi-coated lenses, 1/4-MOA adjustments and a full lifetime warrantee. The supplied Nicoplex reticle it typical of the type, easy to see and precise with which to aim. Nikon scopes transmit a high percentage of the available light (the 2.5-8x28mm claims 95%, for example) and the power ratings on their variable power scopes are quite accurate. Handle a Nikon scope, look through it, and the quality is obvious.
The fixed power Monarch 2x20mm EER comes in black lustre (#6560), black matte (#6562) and silver (#6565) finishes. The specifications are as follows. The actual magnification is 1.75x, the exit pupil is 11mm, the eye-relief is 10.5-26.4 inches, and the field of view is 22 feet at 100 yards. Parallax is set for 100 yards. The adjustment range is 120 MOA, and the adjustments "click" in 1/4 MOA increments. Physically, the scope is 8.1 inches long and weighs 6.6 ounces.
A fixed 1.5 power or 2 power scope is all that most shooters need for big game hunting or plinking. Such a scope gets the target and the point of aim into the same plane of focus without unnecessarily magnifying gun movement. Magnified gun movement is the most common complaint handgunners have about scopes, and it can indeed be very distracting. Also, fixed power scopes are lighter than variable power scopes and therefore have less effect on the gun's balance. Any scope, of course, makes a handgun feel top heavy.
The variable power Monarch 2.5-8x28mm EER comes in black matte (#6567) and silver (#6569) finishes. The specifications of this scope are as follows. The actual magnification is 2.5x-8x, the exit pupil ranges from 11.2-3.5mm, the eye-relief is 12-30 inches at 2.5x and 9-13 inches at 8x, and the field of view is 13.1-4.1 feet depending on the magnification. Parallax is set for 100 yards. The adjustment range is 40 MOA; the adjustment knobs turn in 1/4 MOA "clicks" and can be turned by hand. The scope is 9.6 inches long and weighs 10.9 ounces. There is a quick focus (European style) eyepiece ring, and turning a knurled ring just forward of the ocular bell changes the magnification.
Nikon feels that this scope will appeal to a wide range of hunters and competitors. Like all variable power handgun scopes, it is bigger and heavier than a fixed power scope. The eye relief and field of view are good at 2.5x, but restricted at 8x, as is typical of high powered EER scopes. This would seem to be an appropriate scope for the handgun varmint hunter who also does some big game hunting with the same gun. Most shooters will probably leave the power ring at the low end unless they actually need the extra magnification for a long shot at a small mark from a braced position.
Based on my experience I would certainly give Nikon EER scopes a positive recommendation. The recoil acceleration of magnum handguns is very high, so the high quality and solid construction of these Nikon scopes is very important to long term owner satisfaction. The are not inexpensive, but they are a good investment.
Copyright 2003, 2005 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.