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Thoughts on Nikon

This is a discussion on Thoughts on Nikon within the Optics forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; 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, ...


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Old November 30th, 2019, 06:45 AM   #1
 
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Thoughts on Nikon

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 November 30th, 2019, 07:12 AM   #2
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Too bad as Nikon has made some fine glass over the years. Like a lot of other areas China has made glass that is acceptable (I guess) at a lower cost. I prefer a step up and my last 4 scope purchases have been Leupold or Zeiss. I think Nikon was caught in a squeeze and couldn't figure out who they were.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 07:14 AM   #3
 
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I wasn't aware Nikon was withdrawing from the scope market. i've had a couple of their mid-level scopes and found them very good.

I also have one of their "P-Tactical Spur" red dots and, while it's fine, I never heard much about it elsewhere and it doesn't seem to have caught on compared to Vortex, Burris, etc., etc. They gave it a unique "footprint" which didn't help either.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 07:45 AM   #4
 
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I think Nikon was caught in a squeeze and couldn't figure out who they were.
Terry, excellent point. Nikon did not ignore the tacticool craze, and in fact offered some excellent products to meet the demand. But I think they were overwhelmed by newcomer brands that went tactical on steroids.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 08:17 AM   #5
 
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As I have mentioned on another post, I am disappointed with their decision. I have a couple of their monarch scopes and a monarch Ed spotting scope that is amazing. However most of my scopes are of the Leupold variety and part of that is that Nikon let their line lapse, especially in the price and feature range that I was looking. For a while the Monarch line was non-existing with no clear replacement. But itís too bad because I always liked their glass, I always felt my monarchs are clearer than my vx-3ís. I am not going to call it a boycott, but at this point I am not going to buy any more of their products. I need a scope and a new set of binoculars but have taken them out consideration. At least Nikon did not try to make some kind of political statement about it and is just exiting quietly. I think itís just a business decision based on their offerings the last decade probably and lack of focus and commitment to the market.


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Old November 30th, 2019, 08:31 AM   #6
 
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I have two of their M-223 series and they are great scopes and the price point was great also. Sad to see them go................
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Old November 30th, 2019, 09:02 AM   #7
 
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With them dropping out of rifle scopes I guess the next 'Natchez' catalog will only be half as thick. Seemed like half the book was listings for refurbished Nikons. I can't say that gave me a warm feeling about the brand.

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Old November 30th, 2019, 09:16 AM   #8
 
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I don’t see the deletion of the scope line hurting them, if it did they’d stay in it. Their flag ship and money maker are their cameras. I view it as a business decision made to keep the company profitable.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 09:56 AM   #9
 
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I've had Nikon scopes for 30+ years and always found their quality to be high, especially for the price. I guess we can look forward to a lot of blow out sales on Nikon scopes.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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I think Nikon is much like Dick's Sporting Goods …. they succumbed to world wide camera customers that are offended by guns and gun accessories. This includes customers that use Nikon cameras, lenses, and camera accessories along with bird watchers that use Nikon binoculars or telescopes. In other words, the profit gained from selling rifle scopes does not offset the sales lost from camera customers offended by firearms.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 11:47 AM   #11
 
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Iowegan, I disagree.
I think Nikon didn't catch onto the "tacticool, adrenaline charged" marketing for their tactical line. Also, hunting rifle sales have declined in past years and I think that may have been the anchor of the product line.
Personally, I like Nikon scopes. I have (2) 3-9x 40mm ProStaffs and a 2-7x 32mm ProStaff.

Still have 1 3-9x NIB. think it'll go on the CZ-527 lux .22 Hornet.

I bought 2 "Tactical" scopes on closeout last month: 5.56 and .22
Now I know why.

BTW: 1 3-9x is on my Weatherby Vanguard S2 .270 Win. It does what I need it to do @ a decent price.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 02:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireEscape View Post
With them dropping out of rifle scopes I guess the next 'Natchez' catalog will only be half as thick. Seemed like half the book was listings for refurbished Nikons. I can't say that gave me a warm feeling about the brand.

Bruce
Isn't that the truth, they do have a thick catalog, that comes with EVERY order. Might save us on shipping due to reduced weight.. I can say that I have a few refurbs from them, and they have worked just as good as the new ones, at sometimes 100's less sometimes they are almost the price of the new ones though. Did that with a 6x24x50 fine crosshair monarch III, great scope on my custom ar 10 in 243 winchester.


I am sad to see them discontinue them, gonna buy a few more before I can't anymore. After that vortex will be my main scope, athelon, and few others.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 05:13 PM   #13
 
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Seemed like half the book was listings for refurbished Nikons. I can't say that gave me a warm feeling about the brand
Those refurbished scopes don't necessarily indicate a lot of defective products. Most manufactures refurbish and then sell at a discount products that were used as displays at trade shows, sportsmen's shows, salemen's samples, and similar that can't be sold as NIB but are still first quality products. I expect Natchez was Nikon's exclusive outlet for these scopes.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 08:06 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
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I think Nikon is much like Dick's Sporting Goods Ö. they succumbed to world wide camera customers that are offended by guns and gun accessories. This includes customers that use Nikon cameras, lenses, and camera accessories along with bird watchers that use Nikon binoculars or telescopes. In other words, the profit gained from selling rifle scopes does not offset the sales lost from camera customers offended by firearms.


Usually if a company decides to bow to the perpetually offended types, they canít help but announce it and proclaim how virtuous they now are. I have seen nothing from Nikon about this, which makes me think it is just a routine business decision.

Iíve been thinking about getting a scope for my AR15, maybe I can find a deal on a Nikon now.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 08:49 PM   #15
 
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My only Nikon scope is a Prostaff Rimfire 3-9x (version 1) I bought 5 years ago on sale. It is a great scope for the $100, probably the best I could buy. Glass as good as models that cost twice or 3x as much, very nice finish, looks expensive and works great. Still perfect.

I've been buying other brands since then (Vortex, Sightron, Weaver GS) and just never found a Nikon that grabbed me. One of the problems here is that the market is saturated; last time I checked Midway for scopes it showed over 1000 and that's only what they sell.

I don't know about their more expensive Nikons but I like the under $300 models I've looked at and they are already showing up in the Black Friday sale ads I've gotten.
I think I'll grab some as spares.
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