Nikon is Exiting the Rifle Scope Business

nikon rifle scope

Courtesy Nikon

One of our intrepid readers who’s in the retail end of the gun business told us of notification he received from one of his distributors. They were letting him know that Nikon will be exiting the rifle scope business and that once current inventory is gone, it’s gone.

TTAG spoke to Nikon’s advertising agency who confirmed the news. We’re told that this is a business decision Nikon has made based on their position in the highly competitive optics market.

Nikon isn’t getting out of the outdoor optics business, though. The good news is they will continue to produce their excellent spotting scopes, rangefinders and binoculars.

Courtesy Nikon

In the mean time, there are a number of good deals on Nikon rifle scopes out there as sellers reduce their inventories. Get ’em while you still can.

comments

    1. avatar Splain says:

      Most Nikon scopes sucked. As far as I’m concerned Nikon never entered the rifle scope business.

      1. avatar Billybob says:

        You suck

        1. avatar Splain says:

          Sorry you bought a Nikon scope, but don’t blame me. Just buy a Leupold and get on with your shallow life.

      2. avatar Mr White says:

        You’d have to spend thousands on a Leica to get the same level of clarity you can find in a sub $1000 nikon. What a shame they are going away.

        1. avatar TP11 says:

          You are right. Splain doesn’t know shite so he thinks more $ = more better.

  1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Hmm. I have to wonder if Nikon is ending rifle scope sales because they want to ensure that they will not be on the receiving end of anti-hunting or anti-firearm ire.

    And that is too bad. Nikon became my favorite rifle scope company. For the last three years, I have only purchased Nikon scopes because they seem to have hit the sweet spot of incredible performance and incredible value. Now I have no idea which scope company will be their successor.

    Oh, and I also wonder now what will happen if my (four or five, I lost count) Nikon scopes ever need warranty repairs.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      That’s a possibility nowadays. Personally, I use Leupold and have never used a Nikon, but I imagine they must be good due to their many decades in the optics industry.

    2. avatar Joatmon says:

      I don’t think Nikon is bowing to anything anti-gun or hunting. I think the scope market is crowded also. Primary Arms, Nightforce and so on seems to be what’s selling and part of the reason is that’s what is being used on the YouTube Tactical channels. Seen a Nikon on any of the AR’s?
      I’m sure Nikon will also honor warranties. Article says they will still be producing binoculars and range finders.
      I checked Nikon’s website and there’s some deals already. I have never had a Nikon scope but I’ve never heard anything bad about them either.
      Might be time to upgrade a few rimfire scopes.

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        Wouldn’t surprise me to find out a lot of that is who’s paying to get their scopes on top of guns. Nutn always seemed to like Nikon Scopes he had more than a few over the years. Not that I’m much into “youtube gun channels” these days except the odd reloading stuff trying to figure something out or maybe Forgotten Weapons.

      2. avatar raz-0 says:

        I doubt it is anything anti gun or anti hunting. Rifle optics is a VERY crowded space at the moment. Additionally, the camera market is getting the snot beat out of it right now. Lots of folks are circling the wagons and reassessing their business strategy in that segment. Nikon was always a tier two brand in rifle optics and they have failed to react fast and keep up with the brands that invaded that space and raised the bar.

      3. avatar MuleMan60 says:

        We were notified that all warranties in the rifle scope line are void.

        1. avatar John says:

          Who notified you of that?

    3. avatar Jros says:

      Probably a contributing factor. They’re a solid optics company but their rifle scopes weren’t sexy enough for todays market.

      The good news is that the brand is old and established so once the optics market has calmed down they could easily come back.

      1. avatar Geoff "Run, Bloomie, run!" PR says:

        “They’re a solid optics company but their rifle scopes weren’t sexy enough for todays market.”

        That makes sense. Their marketing department probably wasn’t interested in ‘tarting-up’ their scopes in aggressive shapes to be ‘tactical’…

      2. avatar How_Terrible says:

        It’s been years since I last heard anyone get really excited over a Nikon scope. Honestly Nikon is probably better off putting its resources into things that people still get excited about.

    4. avatar Xaun Loc says:

      As many have mentioned, the rifle optic market is VERY crowded. Nikon produced fine rifle scopes but they weren’t at the very top for quality and they weren’t the very bottom for price. For most buyers, they weren’t in the “bargain” or even the “economical” category; and for those shooters who lay down the big bucks Nikon wasn’t really there either.

      I’m confident that Nikon was turning a profit on their scopes, but they probably weren’t making enough profit margin to subsidize development of new products to move forward and their current product lines wouldn’t remain competitive very long without development of new products. Shooters already expect more versatility in optics — including more than the 3x or 4x magnification range of nearly all Nikon scopes. Even their 1-6×24 Black Force 100 is hardly pushing frontiers in the LPVO category.

      Nikon produced multiple lines of solid quality scopes, but that’s not quite enough in today’s market.

      1. avatar WILLIAM ORR says:

        NIKON is/was still a good quality scope and I have a Nikon FX Black 1000 is a pretty scope as well as a Prostaff 7 in 3-12×42 BDC and Its far better than people think.No its not as good as my Athlon Cronus BTR 4.5-29×56 or my Valdada TX Raider 3-25 but its not supposed to be with the price difference.
        In todays market a scope needs to have a lot because the long Range Shooting requires it.
        However there is a place in the market for Nikon optics at the $300 to $500 range.Not everyone is a Scope Snob and had$2,000. to $4,000. scopes on 8 to 10 rifles.
        Most deer hunters dont need but a 3-9 Scope.
        Vortex and Arken Opticshas put a big dent in the real big Scope companies pockets with Vortex’s real good warranty and good Glass.
        Thats my 2 cents on it anyway..LOL

    5. avatar Lynn Helton says:

      Probably just a name change.

    6. avatar Lynn Helton says:

      Probably just a name change.My guess it’s just a name change.

    7. avatar Joe Silha says:

      Vortex scopes are the best value…made is Wisconsin…best warranty in the world!….total no brainer…

      1. avatar Jack Reacher says:

        Thats correct IF by “made in Wisconsin” you mean “Made in China”.

    8. avatar Sam Hill says:

      Nikon getting out of scope business simply because it’s no longer profitable. And be assured they will maintain their scopes in or out of warranties the latter will cost you but they’ll fix it.

  2. Looks like ATN and Vortex will be doing a lot more business.

    1. avatar Jason D says:

      Not really. Nikon is getting out because they didn’t have a huge share of the market to begin with.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Yeah I guess the optics bizness is competitive. In a whole helluva lot of flavors,quality & pricepoints.Trying to determine what scope and/or 3-6X magnifier to get is a daunting task for an AR15 novice! Especially with over 65 fading eyesight. I have no opinion about Nikon except they get little buzz on YouTube & Fakebook…

  4. avatar GunnyGene says:

    OMG!! Panic in the streets! Better stock up on Nikon scopes while you can. Buy 10 of every model just to be safe when the zombie apocalypse arrives. 😉

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      You probably don’t own one.

      1. avatar Rick James says:

        You spelled “can’t afford” wrong

        1. avatar WI Patriot says:

          Oh yes, because the more you “spend”, the better you are…GFY gun snob…

        2. avatar WILLIAM ORR says:

          And whats wrong with a good SCOPE SNOB ? They usually are the 1st to kn ow about a good new scope and help keep them on their toes. REX TIBOR is one and knows more than most people about good optics..You get what you pay for..Most of the time anyway..LOL

      2. avatar WI Patriot says:

        Another fanboi…and actually, I own 2…so GFY…

        1. avatar Ron Peregrim says:

          Triggerd much? Lol.

        2. avatar BoG 2.0 says:

          “Another fanboi…and actually, I own 2…so GFY…”

          OK, Boomer!

      3. avatar Jason D says:

        If he didn’t own one that would be an *indication* it was no loss. Their product doesn’t fit his needs.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      WI Patriot,

      I think it is a loss. Have you deployed their Pro-Staff series, which cost on the order of $220, on a rifle? Images are clear to the edges (at least at lower magnifications), bright, and high-contrast. Are there better scopes out there? Sure, if you want to pay three times more for a barely measurable increase in contrast, brightness, or clarity (at high magnifications).

      I have other scope brands and none of them at the same price point are as good as the Nikon Pro-Staff series.

      1. avatar Mr White says:

        Touche.

        Nikon is the leader when it comes to bang for the dollar spent and are the best quality glass for under 1000 dollars. Nikon is one of my first choices.

  5. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    with a plethora of chicom products available, if you’re forced into that more accessible segment, why buy nippon?
    leuopold’s takeover of redfield (the u.s. made stuff) is appealing.
    i put old texas weavers on my rimfires.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Tsbhoa.p.jr,

      I have Redfield, Weaver, Swift, Burris, and another lesser known brand and, while they are all very good and have served me well, they are not as good as the Nikon Pro-Staff series.

      I am truly disappointed.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        i have the four you mentioned, older, bought used. the swift is not so good.
        the pro- staff being better is a shame for our industry.
        nikon obviously does a lot of glass.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          tsbhoa.p.jr.,

          Nothing prevents us from designing and making great and affordable optics in the United States. I have no idea why it doesn’t happen.

          Most of making a great scope is fairly simple. Use top-quality glass. Apply top-quality multi-layer anti-reflective coatings on all glass surfaces. And put some internal baffles in the optical tube to further reduce stray light (which improves contrast and clarity). The only part that is potentially difficult is designing the lens system: how many lenses? What shape at which location? That takes some serious art and know-how. Once that design is finished, manufacturing the lenses themselves should be fairly easy.

        2. “Nothing prevents us from designing and making great and affordable optics in the United States.”

          It already does. Leupold designs and manufactures the bulk of their line right here in Oregon. I’ve toured their factory. It’s very impressive.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Oh wow, I was not aware. That is really nice to hear. Thanks for the education Dan!

          I will have to look into the Leupold line of scopes: my impression historically has been that they were excellent — and considerably more expensive than other popular brands that had very good and affordable scopes.

        4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          While I’m certain there are other quality brands, I grew up exclusively with Leupold due to our family’s multi-decade use of the brand.

          There was the day I accidentally dropped a new scope from chest height onto the concrete garage floor when taking it out of the box. Losing that scope was like losing a puppy.

        5. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          it’s why i mentioned redfield. i think the scopes are made in the same factory now.
          their rangefinders, spotters and ‘nocs are not.

  6. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Well Bye.

  7. avatar TommyJay says:

    I agree with uncommon_sense. Nikon scopes are a great value. Pity.

  8. avatar MMurcek says:

    My problem with the closeout “deals,” is, waht do you do after the warranty is up. Awfully expensive item to just toss out if it breaks.

    1. Nikon isn’t going anywhere. They’ll still be very much in business and honoring their warranty.

      1. avatar Buckstalker says:

        Their warranty has completely changed in the past months to only include manufacturers defects, no accidents are covered on ANY of their products, similar to Leupold in that regard, read the small print folks. ( https://en.nikonsportoptics.ca/service-and-support/warranty page) I am in the industry and have been told by sales rep that Nikon was terrified of having one of their scopes used in an “incident” (human conflict) occurring using one of their scopes.

        In the end, they made decent stuff, but are a conflicted company trying to promote hunting and shooting in one division of the company and green peace in the other division.

  9. avatar GS650G says:

    I like my slug scope on my 391. I wanted to try another Nikon and will get on the web today to do so.

    Shame of it they make a good product.

  10. avatar TommyGNR says:

    They don’t make anything worth caring about.

    1. avatar Geoff "Run, Bloomie, run!" PR says:

      “They don’t make anything worth caring about.”

      You obviously have never had a camera with Nikkor ED glass…

      1. avatar Mrlyle says:

        Or Nikon digital lenses for eyeglasses. No distortion and so clear they are nearly invisible

  11. avatar Timothy V Noecker says:

    I Was Looking To Purchase a Nikon Black Series Riflescope, I Ended Up Purchasing a Leupold VX-R Patrol Series Instead, Maybe That Was The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back? LMAO…

  12. avatar bart says:

    It is all public perception IMHO. They had a share of the market, sellable scopes but irked a lot of 2A folk’s by pulling out of NRA Show 2 years ago and not even going last year. Pulling out of SHOT Show months ago was writing on the wall to me. They make some decent scopes, I have a bunch, but they were not hunter/veteran-friendly in my book. It’s too bad, this day and time we need all the shooting sports support we can muster. If you don’t want to support those who support you, good riddance.

  13. avatar possum says:

    Nikon makes som nice cameras

    1. avatar KatMan53 says:

      Nikon camera glass is top shelf. Their new S-series 58mm f/0.95 lens tops anything in its class in the market. If Nikon wanted to make Schmidt & Bender level scopes, they well could… but you’d be paying the same price as an S&B. Nikon’s “focus” has never been sport optics.

      1. avatar Kenneth Drake says:

        A serious piece for their poor Z cameras. And priced for collectors that have no use for an auto-focus lens. For astronomy or work on a tripod, really nice but I think they made that glass just for show.

  14. avatar bryan1980 says:

    Dang, hate to hear that. I always thought the Monarch line (scopes and binoculars) was very solid, especially for the money. I always thought the eye relief was very good, very important if you’re an eyeglass wearer.

  15. avatar captainlouisrenault says:

    Its interesting to note that when ignorant people claim they only buy German scopes because of the quality of their lenses or only buy American made because of patriotism that they really do not own what they think they own.

    The shocking truth is that since at least the 1960’s optics companies bought mass lots of lens from the cheapest sources and that was usually Japan which made some of the finest optics in the world so your German made scope or American made scope probably had Japanese lenses in it. In recent years Japan moved its optical production to China and I once watched a Chinese news program and on the same street there was Nikon and Cannon making Chinese lens not only for scopes but for copiers, cameras etc, etc. Japan of course still owns these companies. I might add most scopes now have Chinese made lenses in them although few companies make this known to the consumer.

    I might add when I bought my Hyundai car everyone laughed at me for buying a car made in Korea but I laughed at them and told them Hyundai’s first car, the pony, had a Japanese power-train. It turned out to be one of the most reliable cars I ever owned and I have been laughing at my friends ever since. Yes we live in a global economy like it or not and even if most people know little about how everything interrelates.

    I might add I own a Sig Sauer P228 that has German internal parts and an American made frame.

  16. avatar Randall G Patterson says:

    I own a couple of the Monarch series rifle scopes and I have no complaints. I always thought Nikon’s entry into the scope market was a bit of a leap for the company. I’m sure Nikon is making the best business decision for the company as a whole. However, when it comes to camera glass there is no second.

  17. avatar MLee says:

    It’s economics. There just isn’t enough market share to justify being in that area of the market. Indeed, Nikon has likely been in the red when it comes to the rifle scope market or close to it. If it was a fat cash cow, they wouldn’t get out of the market.
    I have their binoculars which aren’t $1,000 dollar quality but they are the 10X50 Action and so far good it has been far good enough for my use and needs and I like them just fine.

    1. avatar Someone says:

      There is not enough market in scopes? Someone should call SIG!

  18. avatar Northern_Michigan says:

    I wonder if it’s some sort of smart move anticipating the release of future perfected lenses now that the magic equation has been discovered.

  19. avatar Jim Warren says:

    Seriously, there are so many other brands at the same price point of comparable quality that there will not be a void to be filled.

  20. avatar Brian says:

    I have never had a Nikon scope on a deer rifle. Not sure I care.

  21. avatar doesky2 says:

    Their 3-9 Rimfire BDC was a great buy at a $85 fire sale.
    I’d imagine that they may be headed to sub $70.

  22. avatar Biggus Belliest says:

    Scopes are not a consumable quantity. They can last for generations. I’ve got a 6X non-variable Redfield that has got to be at least 40 years old.

    Still works great. That and no marketing ploy like bullet drop compensator or the like.

    Binoculars and spotting scopes have other markets like sports and bird watchers. Probably not a good thing to bring a scope mounted rifle to a NFL football game. 😎

    I suspect Nikon is not the last to get out of the rifle scope business.

  23. avatar Jamie says:

    Owned Nikon for Yrs, Binoculars, Scopes, all different Price Ranges and I’ve loved all them never had any Problems with them, Sad to see that not sure what I’ll buy now

  24. avatar Rincoln says:

    I have multiple Nikon AR, and rim-fire optics. They hit a sweet spot with great glass at a reasonable price point. There are plenty that have equal glass at a higher price, but none with an equal or lower price.

  25. avatar jason baney says:

    https://www.eurooptic.com/Nikon-Tactical-Closeouts.aspx?utm_source=eoic2017&utm_medium=JAB

    You posted a brownells link, but the prices are much better here

  26. avatar Juan Rudy VERDIN says:

    Wow that’s unbelievable

  27. avatar Clark N. says:

    If Nikon does stop production, I’ve been told that Vortex is the next scope you should try.

  28. avatar Geoff says:

    I have 2 Nikon scopes because they were about $300 each and I wanted them for my AR15 and AR10. Bought many years ago, a P-223 and a P-308. My other scopes are Crosman CenterPoints for long range and a couple AXEON RBG Dot 1X and Trinity Force 1-4X for 50 yards or less. Looking for something that I can put on my 20 Gauge shotty that can handle the recoil.

  29. avatar Brian says:

    I own a few of Nikon scopes and all of them at the time of purchase was the best you could buy for under $300. I can also tell you Nikon stood behind there no fault lifetime warranty 100% , my home was destroyed in a tornado and 1 of there scopes was bent into horse shoe shape. I contacted them about it , fully understanding if they didn’t cover natural disasters. I got no hassle just send it to us and we will repair or replace it , few weeks later brand new scope shows up.

    Now most companies I have dealt with wouldn’t of did that , because I’m sure there was something in that warranty clause to get them out of it.

    So you guys can bash Nikon for not being an elite scope all you want but if we are losing a company that stands behind there products , that produces an affordable product the masses can enjoy. We have all lost out.

    I also wonder how much there pricing has lowered the prices of Leupold and other similar companies. Because a few years back you couldn’t touch Leupold for less than $500 and it seems they produce quite a few scopes under that now.

  30. avatar Patrikt-2000 says:

    Sad to hear .. they just lost my support but let’s hope they have some Honor left to stand by the warranty on existing scopes ..
    They will probably claim this and that about profits but bottom line .. political correctness

  31. avatar Seth Moore says:

    Vortex killed them. That simple.

  32. avatar G Hock says:

    What about the spot on app that I use for my buckmaster II 4x12x40 for the BDC bullet drop compensation will it be kept updated with different grained bullets ?

  33. avatar Mike says:

    2 Words.

    China

    Tariffs

  34. avatar allan says:

    Yeah right I’m going to purchase sooner of their other optical products after they’ve done this with their rifle scopes ! They’ll just default on them to they might as well get out of the optical business !

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