Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nikon Monarch VSD initial impressions

For Christmas, my wife got me the Nikon Monarch VSD that I'd been eying since I started the build process for the AR. Unfortunately, Nikon regards the VSD as a special order item, so the sight did not arrive until the weekend before last.

I installed and zeroed it to correlate with the c0-witnessed iron sights. I used a 1/2" Yankee Hill Machine riser, which put the dot just above the front sight. I took it to the range and was quite pleased with the results.

The sight is a relatively standard 1x red dot, with the additional feature of a variable-size dot. Sizes include 1, 4, 6, 8, and 10 MOA. There are 11 brightness settings, suitable for a range from low light to bright sunshine conditions.

A bit of commentary here about the dot sizes: I would have preferred an intermediate dot size between 1 and 4 MOA. I would have preferred dot sizes in 1, 2, 4, 8, and 10 or 1,2,4,6, and 10 MOA, as granularity in the smaller dot sizes is far more useful than with the larger sizes. While the 1MOA dot is suitable in most conditions, it gets difficult to see in very bright sunlight. The 4MOA is just a little big for precision, so a 2MOA would have probably filled the gap there.

Other than the missing 2MOA dot size, I don't have any complaints about the sight. I've put a couple hundred rounds through the gun since mounting it, and it appears to be holding zero nicely. It comes with 2 lens caps bungeed together to protect the optics when not in use. I'm going to see if I can find a set of flip-up caps that will fit it, as they seem more practical.

I'm going to try and get some shots of the reticle next time I'm at the range, so I'll see if I can get something posted soon to give you a good visual of the sight in use.

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