Meopta Scopes vs Nikon Scopes

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With all the different scope brands on the market these days, making an educated buying decision can be a real challenge when it comes to rifle scopes. Many shoppers focus more on scope brands or scope manufacturers versus scope features or power ranges. At my day job, I’m frequently asked to offer an overview of different sporting optics brands, and an opinionated based comparison of brands. One such comparisons that I’m asked is a Meopta scopes vs Nikon scopes comparison.

Meopta scopes vs Nikon scopes

Now, before I get into the meat and potatoes of comparing those two brands, it’s important to note that, at the time of this writing, Nikon withdrew from the rifle scope business at the beginning of 2019, so this comparison isn’t really a true head to head comparison only one of the two brands is still manufacturing rifle scopes.

That being said, there are still plenty of Nikon scope models that are still for sale in the market, and they can be had for some excellent deals (and I’ll include some links to deals below).

Let’s get started looking at a Meopta versus Nikon scope comparison using 5 of the most common comparison aspects for rifle scopes:

Optical Quality

In this comparison, its an easy win for Meopta.

Nikon used glass sourced from Japan and the Philippines (depending on the model), and the Japan based glass is decent but not great (IMHO). I have an older Nikon Monarch that was made in Japan, and the optical quality on that scope is significantly better than the optical quality on the most current Monarch and Monarch X scopes that Nikon offers/offered.

Meopta scope glass quality

Meopta manufactures their scope lenses from Schott glass, which is a very popular source of glass in rifle scope brands that are based in Europe. Even on the lower end Meopta scopes, the optical quality (clarity, edge to edge clarity, resolution, etc.) is significantly better than even the higher end Nikon scope models.

Reticle options

Prior to Meopta introducing the Optika6 line of scopes in 2019, I would have named Nikon as having a larger number of reticle options, and more user-friendly reticle options.

However, with the introduction of the Optika6 scope series, Meopta somewhat leveled the field between the two brands as a far as reticle options go.

At this point, I’d say it’s an even tie with the reticle options as both brands now have a very similar reticle offering that includes reticles for most every need.

Focal Planes

Given the rising popularity of first focal plane scopes, it only makes sense to include the focal plane as a comparison point these days.

In this area, I’d name Meopta as the winner as they offer a nice mix of first and second focal scope options for most every shooting or hunting scenario.

While Nikon did introduce a few first focal plane (FFP) scope models in 2018, those models did not do all that well in the market and were met with a lukewarm reception by the long range hunting and shooting community.

Not having a first focal plane selection of scopes limits the market for any scope brand, especially in the long range shooting and long range hunting markets as FFP is gaining a foothold in those markets.

Power Magnification Range

Nikon has always offered a variety of rifle scopes with a wide range of magnification power as they were more focused on the hunting and tactical sub-markets. The one thing I will say about Nikon in this respect as I always felt that they had some serious overlap in their scope magnification choices as their line seemed to be made up of 4 or 5 main scope series, with each series consisting of models featuring very slight changes.

For example, the Nikon Monarch scope series is just an upgraded variation of the Nikon Buckmaster scope series, with better glass and side focus. Rather than spend the time to design and test new scope models, Nikon just took an existing scope model, made a few tweaks, and introduced it as completely new series.

Nikon Buckmaster Scopes

That’s what I mean when I talk about overlap with a scope brand.

With the inclusion of the Optika6 line of scopes, Meopta really opened up their scope offerings in terms of the magnification ranges.

That being said, I’d give Meopta the upper hand in this area as they offer a wider and more versatile range of power magnifications compared to what Nikon offered.


As I get to talk about the scope warranty topic quite a bit at my day job, I’ve noticed that there seems to be cost factor involved when a scope’s warranty becomes part of the buying decision. In my experience, that number seems to be around the $400 price point.

With scopes that cost less than $400, the brand warranty is important, but a not so great warranty won’t be a deal breaker.

With scopes costing over the $400 price point, the quality of the warranty seems to play a much more important factor in the buying decision.

And to be honest, that makes perfect sense to me as the quality of the warranty is important for me as well. Who wants to drop $500 of their hard earned cash on a nice scope that isn’t covered under warranty when you and your rifle fall into a creek three years after you purchase it? (and yes, I speak from experience) The answer is no one.

Meopta offers a “limited lifetime” warranty that requires a registration to be valid and appears to cover only manufacturer or product defects. Their warranty is transferable to another person, but that person has to register the product with Meopta as well.

Prior to getting out of the scope industry, Nikon actually had a very good warranty program called their “No-Fault Repair Policy”, which basically repaired most any scope regardless of how or why they were damaged.

It was a good policy and I engaged it twice that I can remember. In both cases, the scopes were sent in, and repaired with no fuss and in a timely manner.

However, in September is 2019, Nikon made some sweeping changes to their warranty program that were most definitely tied to the upcoming exit from the scope business. In that change, Nikon discontinued their No Fault warranty program for any scopes being sold after November 1st, 2019. Any Nikon scope sold prior to that date is supposedly still covered under the No Fault warranty.

Any scope sold after the November 1st date is covered under a “Limited Lifetime” warranty that states the following:

“Lifetime limited warranty for the optical system of Binoculars, Fieldscopes and Riflescopes; Seven-year limited warranty for non-optical system components of Binoculars, Fieldscopes and Riflescopes; One-year limited warranty for electrical components of Binoculars, Fieldscopes and Riflescopes.”

Honestly, it’s not the worst warranty program I’ve seen, but it certainly isn’t best.

Taking into consideration the current warranty programs of both brands, I’d lean towards Meopta as having the better warranty between the two.

Value versus Cost

It’s very difficult to offer an honest assessment of the value to cost of each brand as its not an apples to apples comparison. Since Nikon is no longer manufacturing rifle scopes, most vendors who still have an existing inventory of Nikon scopes are selling them at deeply discounted prices.

So, if you happen to be a Nikon scope fan, you may be able to find some really good deals on new Nikon scopes these days.

However, in a head to head comparison, the Meopta offers the better value in my opinion for the following reasons:

  • The Meopta scope optical quality is significantly better than Nikon’s optical quality, and optical quality is important in my book.
  • While Meopta’s warranty program isn’t the best on the market, it’s still better than Nikon’s new modified warranty, and Meopta is still manufacturing rifle scopes.
  • From a strictly features standpoint, Meopta has better features like a side focus with short range parallax, illuminated reticle options, FFP and SFP scopes, etc.

Now, that’s not to say that Nikon is not a good scope brand as they are/were, but I think Meopta is a better value in today’s market.