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Old 11-30-2019, 09:47 AM
ditto1958
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Thoughts on Nikon



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I was initially very surprised to hear that Nikon is exiting the rifle scope business. After letting the news sink in for a bit, though, I guess Iím saddened, but not all that surprised.

Nikonís riflescope business seems to be a casualty of the tacticool craze that has descended on the shooting market in recent years. While Nikon didnít ignore it, they certainly didnít embrace it. Newcomers to the game, such as Vortex and Nightforce, to name a couple, have capitalized on it and have prospered.

I knew little about scope makersí lineups a few years ago when I snagged a nice 3-9 Buckmasters scope on sale. The ďoldĒ totem pole had been Prostaff, Buckmasters and Monarch. Doesnít sound too tactical, does it? The excellent mid-level Buckmasters line had been discontinued. A little while later, it came back as Nikonís economy model. Hmmm... should have been a sign to me and everyone.

Meanwhile, an unscientific survey of YouTube videos will tend to reveal that the scope companies who have won in todayís tacticool world did so in part by aggressive product placement. YouTubers have for the past several years featured a heavy representation of optics from those brands. Yet, a closer look at their videos reveals that the scopes they actually own tend to be Leupolds and other more traditional brands.

Optics doesnít change all that much, since itís controlled by physics. The tubes and knobs scope manufacturers design to enclose the glass changes with the demands of the market.

Donít be surprised if Nikon returns in the future. Any halfway serious photographer knows how good Nikonís Nikkor lenses are on cameras. They have been one of the leaders in lens making for decades.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:35 AM
Bradical
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Yup, it was Nikon's reputation in making excellent camera lenses that led me to check them out for scopes. For my squirrel rifles they were the best value by far.

I hope they decide to get back in the game. They make excellent products.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:51 AM
ditto1958
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Originally Posted by Bradical View Post
I hope they decide to get back in the game. They make excellent products.
Letís hope so. The tacticool craze has caused scope makers to leave rimfire shooters out in the cold. Try to find a small 2-7 scope in a store. Sure, theyíre still made, it you usually need to order them. Thereís no room on the shelves for anything smaller than 3-9x40, and even they are being crowded out by scopes that look like the Hubble Space Telescope.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:09 AM
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Agreed. I couldn't find anything but 3x9-40s priced below $150. For close quarter Eastern Pennsylvania squirrel hunting 7x is all the magnification needed.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:14 AM
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I've been taking advantage of the sales right now since I might not see these scopes available in the future. I ordered a variable pistol scope I've been eyeing for years. Opticsplanet keeps pushing the shipment date back so I'm thinking it won't happen. I also ordered a P-tactical scope which should arrive soon.

I'm curious if Nikon will honor their lifetime fix/replace warranty? Many of my rimfire and centerfire rifles sport Nikon. They're bright, clear, and accurate. I haven't had any issues.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:20 AM
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You might want to examine the Nikon variable pistol scope in person or verify the specs. The one I looked at had a dramatic change in eye relief with change in power.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:07 PM
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As another "old guy" who likes the uncluttered, smaller then the Mt. Palomar telescope, type scopes I am sorry to see Nikon go.

The big "tacticticool" scopes have a place given the current shooters market. I have a couple my self but..... I don't squirrel hunt with them nor do I put them on lighter sporter/squirrel guns. It has gotten harder and harder to find what I want lately. Now that Nikon is leaving I really feel like there will be a real "gap" in the scope market at their price points. They were a quality brand.

Just me thinking.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:11 PM
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You might want to examine the Nikon variable pistol scope in person or verify the specs. The one I looked at had a dramatic change in eye relief with change in power.
Yep I know what you mean. I have pistol scopes on a 44 magnum revolver and two others on XP100 in 7mm Br and 260 rem. I was interested in the BDC aspect of the Nikon since my others don't have that option. Since I've been using the BDC in the rifle scopes I've found it to be of great assistance in the elevation gestimates for these old eyes.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:34 PM
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I only have one Nikon but I liked it enough to consider more. I also have Nikon binoculars. I'm a Canon guy when it comes to cameras. I don't think they ever made rifle scopes.

Nikon likely decided they needed to concentrate on other aspects of their business. A lot of people are making scopes. Sad to see them leave the space as they are pretty darn good with optics.

Maybe I'll see a deal soon at the same time I have extra cash. May be a buying opportunity for us shooters as supplies are closed out.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:31 PM
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The Buckmasters scope that I have is outstanding for the price. I also have a Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 that I paid about $100 more for. Itís excellent, too. The view through each scope is... different? Donít know how to describe it. I canít say one is better than the other.

Both have been discontinued, which is sad, as they both do their job. For me a scope is like the officials in a football game. If you never think about them, theyíre doing a good job.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:33 PM
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Nikon is in some financial trouble. They have been loosing market share to Cannon for years. That being said, since my first Nikkormat I'm a fan through and through. I love their scopes and have more than a few.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:16 PM
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I wonder if Nikon is simply playing the Politically Correct mode of not wanting to be associated with the Firearms world in general?...such as Dick's Sporting goods, and others have chosen?, or is it simply financial?.... No clue. i really like their photography equipment.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:27 PM
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I have 4 Nikon's, 4x, 3x9BDC, 4x12BDC, and 3x9EFR. Rest are Vortex and Burris. I would say the Nikons are the clearest and brightest scopes I have used. The EFR is a real deal comparing price versus what you get for it. I have that on my Ruger 77/22 with a trigger job and it is a deadly combo. I also hope they make a return to the game.
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