Nikon Monarch 3 4-16x42mm BDC Riflescope Review

Nikon Monarch 3 4-16x42mm BDC Riflescope Review

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- Spring-loaded zero reset windage and elevation turrets
- Hand-turn windage and elevation adjustments
- Outstanding image quality


- Non-illuminated reticle
- No focus lock
- Rings not included

Hi there, and welcome to my review of the Nikon Monarch 3 4–16x42mm BDC Riflescope. Nikon is well-known for its scopes, so I eagerly got my hands on the Monarch 3 to see if it would fall into the “hot” category or the “not” niche. Without further ado, let’s evaluate this scope and see how well it performs.

What Are the Scope’s Dimensions?

This scope is a bit of an odd duck, with a 42mm objective lens. It works great, though, as you’ll see as we move through our review. The only real downfall here is that the objective bell is almost two inches in diameter.

The eye relief is a comfortable four inches, plenty of room to prevent the eyepiece from striking your eyebrow or forehead with most high-caliber, high-recoil rifles.

When you look through this scope, you’re viewing your target through an exit pupil that ranges from 2.6mm to 10.5mm, depending on your magnification level.

How Much Magnification Do I Get From the Monarch 3?

Speaking of magnification, this scope has it in spades. Zoom ranges from 4X to 16X, letting you get up close and personal with targets no matter what the range. The three C’s, crispness, clarity, and contrast, are all top-notch, making the image almost HD quality.

How is the Optics Quality on the Riflescope?

The optics are fully multicoated, allowing for the most possible light transmission from the objective lens to your eye. The generous eyebox and the quick focus eyepiece allow you to get on target quickly and easily, letting you make those anticipated shots that slower focus mechanisms could rob you of.

The scope’s reticle features Nikon’s patented BDC technology, with open circles that allow you to see through them so your target isn’t obscured even at long distances. The reticle is compatible with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Technology, which takes the guesswork out of figuring elevation and bullet drop compensation by giving you the ranges for the dots based on your particular ammunition and load.

What’s the Light Gathering Capability Like on the Scope?

With this scope’s 42mm objective lens and fully multicoated optics, you’ll enjoy the most possible transmittance, theoretically. 95 percent light transmission is nothing to joke about, since it means you’ll have a nice, bright image even in low-light conditions. I just wish the reticle was illuminated.

How Wide is the Field of View?

Any high-magnification scope means a less-than-generous field of view, and this model is no exception. You’ll only be able to view 6.3 feet to 25.2 feet of terrain at 100 yards.

How Easy is the Scope to Mount?

Thanks to its standard one-inch maintube, mounting your Nikon Monarch will be an easy process. You will, however, need to buy a set of scope rings when you order the scope – they don’t come in the box.

Any Tricks or Tips About Mounting the Scope?

Since the objective bell is almost two inches in diameter, you might find that you need medium-profile rings to mount the scope. Other than that, everything is pretty straightforward.

How Easy is the Nikon Monarch 3 4–16x42mm BDC Riflescope to Sight In?

Sighting in your scope might sound daunting, but Nikon makes it easy. Start off with any laser bore-sighting tool, then head out to the shooting range to fine-tune the windage and elevation adjustments. Hand-turn 1/4 MOA windage and elevation adjustments are easy to use, and the scope holds zero like nobody’s business.

Parallax is adjustable from 50 yards to infinity, allowing you to ensure a near-perfect target image at any range.

How Durable is the Scope?

Nikon has nitrogen-purged the optics chamber on the Monarch 3, and the lenses are sealed with O-rings. This means you’ll be getting a scope that is both waterproof and fogproof, and the rugged design makes it relatively shock-resistant, too. The full lifetime warranty will leave you confident of excellent performance and longevity.

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Nikon Monarch 3 4-16x42mm BDC Riflescope Review Summary

Thanks for reading through my review of the Nikon Monarch 3 4–16x42mm BDC riflescope. This is a great choice for any long-range shooting application, with a couple of caveats. There isn’t any way to lock the focus mechanism, and the scope doesn’t come with rings. Finally, I wish the reticle was illuminated.

Conclusion Rating
Optics: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating
Ease of Sighting-In: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating
Durability: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating
Value: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating
Jeff Byrnes

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Hi there! I’m Jeff, an avid outdoorsman and hunter who really likes exploring new technology. I’m especially into hunting optics, which is why I’m writing these reviews! I hope you find my articles helpful in your own shooting and hunting.

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