It’s almost embarrassing to bring my muzzleloader over to the family firing range these days. All of my cousins and uncles can only shake their heads as I pull out my Thompson Center .50 caliber, which has seen its fair share of dings and scrapes. Sitting atop is a shiny, gorgeous scope emblazoned with the Nikon logo.

The Nikon Omega 1.65-5×36 is much, much more than a pretty scope, however, and this is actually what has my family in their present condition. You see, we all have always known that there is no good reason to put a high quality scope on your muzzleloader. Why? Well, after just a couple shots, you have to sight them in again, so you might as well throw a scope on there that you don’t mind letting take a beating.

Nikon, however, has changed the name of the game around these parts. After getting this scope in the mail, I have to admit I thought that I’d be wasting it on my black powder season. At first glance, the optics were as clear as any scope I’ve ever owned, and the bullet drop compensator–which is just referred to as the BDC everywhere else you see it referenced–is an innovative design I have only on one other scope I use, which is mounted on my deer rifle.

This scope, I thought, is going to take an unnecessary beating on my muzzleloader instead of being mounted on a nice rifle where it belongs.

But, true to Nikon’s claim that this scope can take a thumping without losing its capabilities, I found out otherwise. This scope was born for muzzleloaders. It feeds off of the challenge of keeping a dead-center shot no matter how many times you fire it.

Using 150 grains of powder and a 250-grain bullet, I sighted this rifle in to dead center at 100 yards. I only had to make three adjustments, out of the box and for a left-handed shooter, to get it there. Since that first day, I’ve taken this scope not only to the range, but out hunting as well. It was jostled around in my truck for nearly two weeks as I hauled it back and forth to my favorite hunting spot. When the snow got too deep to traverse the old logging road, I switched to a closer location and strapped this muzzleloader to the back rack of my four wheeler and beat the snot out of it going back and forth throughout the remainder of the season.

This is the type of treatment you should never give your scope. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes a reality. But how did the Nikon Omega handle the off-road abuse? Like a champ, of course. On the second to last night of muzzleloading season I had a slew of does crisscrossing the area around me, each and every one of them acting spooked despite the low-wind conditions. With about 20 minutes of legal shooting daylight left, I caught one doe wheeling and darting away from an area to my right. I lifted the scope, unsure of exactly how clearly I would be able to see, and was more than pleasantly surprised. Not only did the Nikon bring out a clear picture of the scene before me, the optics–which allow up to 92-percent light transmission thanks to Nikon’s famous multicoated lens–allowed me to count the number of points on my new visitor’s rack.

But the real test was when I squeezed the trigger. The Nikon was dead on at about 150 yards using the bullet drop compensator, which features small target circles down the vertical axis of the reticle. The cross hairs in the reticle represent the 100 yard dead center while the first circle down is for 150 and the next is for 200 and the next for 250. Since I’ll likely never take a 250 yard shot in the woods I hunt in, I haven’t tested it out for accuracy. However, at 150 yards, my bullet hit home, sliding in right behind the front shoulder and through the heart of the deer.

And the best part about it? Not that I shot a buck to feed my family, or that the Nikon was so crisp to look through and so dead accurate. It was that in my haste to get a shot off, I didn’t end up with a scrape over my eye as the gun barked and shoved the scope backward toward my face. The Nikon Omega has a full 5 inches of eye relief, allowing you to make that shot without having to hug the scope in order to aim correctly.

The Nikon Omega is one of the best scopes I have ever used. I am quickly finding myself to be a convert to the optics company and am considering trying to find a Monarch scope to replace my current deer rifle scope with. The low-light capabilities that Nikon has presented, as well as its shockproof durability, is turning me into one of the faithful.

And, if that weren’t convincing enough, the other day, at the range, my family laughed when I took a $5 bet that the Nikon was still dead on after being knocked around during after-season cleaning and then stored for the past three months.

With 150 grains of powder, my trusty 250-grain bullets and one pull of the trigger, I was $5 richer.

Looks like I’m a bit closer to that Monarch now, hey?


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