Nikon Coyote Special Impresses During Review

Posted by admin On September - 14 - 2010

Frankly, it’s just too darn bad that good looks can’t kill coyotes. If that were the case, the Nikon “Coyote Special,” a fairly new addition to the line-up offered by the world-class optics company, would slay them dead the second they stepped into view.

The Coyote Special is a gorgeous scope, so much so that I was more careful mounting it to my Savage .243 than I have ever been with any other scope on any other gun. The scope comes in two different camouflage patterns, and both of them are just about perfect. The only decision you have to make is which one looks best on your rifle, or best matches the pattern in the area in which you hunt.

When it comes to lenses and optics, there are few companies that I would never even doubt and they include names like Leupold and, yes, Nikon. My old 35mm film camera and all of the optics that went with it was a Nikon, and my DSLR cameras have all been Nikon, as have the lenses that accompany them.

But no amount of taking photos prepared me for when I first lifted the scope to my eye to peer through. Instead of being greeted with the traditional crosshairs, I was met with a peephole-style reticle instead. I’ve noticed a growing trend in this style of scope in the past year or so, but I have to admit I was honestly surprised to find it on a scope designed specifically for predator hunting.

I went about mounting the scope on my .243 Savage and grabbed a box of Winchester 100 grain shells and hit the shooting range out back.

After getting my rifle and scope set up for some accurate shooting, I went to town on 100- and 200-yard targets. I noticed almost immediately that the peephole style didn’t bother me nearly as bad as I thought it would. In fact, like open-site peepholes, the design focused my eye and centered me on target quicker than crosshairs.

Unlike open-site peepholes, however, the scope version doesn’t require you to line up any rear and front sites. That part is done simply by placing the circle in the scope on the place you want the bullet to go.
While I admit that at first it was strange to center my shot on target simply using an open circle, the prospect of it quickly grew on me and it wasn’t long until it felt as natural as lining up the intersection of a crosshair reticle.

My shots at 100 yards were dead on, and my shooting at 200 yards were within the diameter of a tea-cup saucer, which is easy to line-up thanks to the scope’s range settings. The reticle actually features three circles, each smaller than the other. You zero your scope in at 100 yards using the top circle, which is the largest. For 200 yards, you simply line up your target at the spot where the top two circles intersect. The middle circle is set for shooting 300 yards and the bottom circle is for 400 yards. Since my shooting range doesn’t have that kind of yardage, I wasn’t able to test that aspect out, though the concept makes complete sense, especially with the accuracy of the circle at 200 yards.

Needless to say, after shooting in a group the size of the palm of my hand at 200 yards, I was confident I’d be dropping coyotes at that mark without much problem, and that was within 20 minutes of shooting with the adjusted scope. Another reason I feel confident in that ability is simply the way your eye automatically centers itself through the open-peephole, giving you remarkably quick target acquisition, which we all know is key in predator hunting since they tend to not like to sit still too often.

Nikon didn’t mess around with the design of their scope. Not only did they place some high-end optics in the tube, but they brought in well-known predator hunter Gary Roberson to assist in the design and functionality. And talk about functionality. I will openly admit when I first got the scope I was a little skeptical about its light-transmission capabilities.

Much of my predator success has been in low-light situations. With the new peephole reticle, I wondered just how well I’d be able to see come the darker hours. Well, Nikon didn’t disappoint. Using a special multi-coated lens, Nikon has managed to pull 92-percent light transmission out of its optics. That’s a pretty impressive number, and one that you don’t have to be a scientist to see the benefits of while pulling the scope to your eye at dusk.

If I wasn’t sending this scope to a predator-hunting friend of mine, I would no doubt mount it over the Leupold I currently keep on my .243. The Nikon doesn’t have nearly the price tag that my current scope has, but it outperforms it in my opinion.

In the end, I have to say that this is the scope I would recommend to any predator hunter. Heck, I wouldn’t hesitate to mount it on my deer-hunting rifle if I had the chance.

Nikon is a relative newcomer to the hunting optics game, but there’s no doubt that every other optics company should be taking note of the products they’re putting on the market. Simply stated, they’re amazing and well priced.

If you’re in the market for a new scope, or looking for an alternative to one you’re already using, don’t think twice about picking up a Nikon Coyote Special. I seriously believe you’ll be as impressed as I was.

You can snag the scope at Kittery Trading Post for price tags of around $270 and $350, depending on which you choose, or you can see more about them on Nikon’s site where you can see additional pictures of both styles of camouflage available.


One Response to “Nikon Coyote Special Impresses During Review”

  1. MainerJoe says:

    Just got mine last week and should have it mounted soon. Looks to be a fine scope, can’t wait to try it out!