Buyer's Guide 2003 - Riflescopes

Lighter, shorter and more streamlined scopes.

Field & Stream Online Editors

1. Nikon | Monarch Gold 1.5-6x42
A crisp, bright field of view is practically distortion-free with the Monarch Gold. At just over 17 ounces, this is the most compact of Nikon's first 30mm scopes. The Gold offers a very useful power range and 4 inches of eye relief. The 1.5-6x42 model is a great all-around big-game sight, but there are also 2.5-10x50 and 2.5-10x56 versions. Low rings work for most barrel contours. _$500; 800-645-6687; www.nikonusa.com _

2. Burris | Black Diamond 6-24x50
Always looking to improve its products, Burris has managed an intelligent overhaul of the Black Diamond line. For 2003, the scopes are lighter, shorter, and more streamlined. The 6X¿¿¿24X and 8X¿¿¿32X feature turret-mounted parallax adjustments and can be ordered with Ballistic Plex reticles. The eye relief is 31/2 inches plus, which can save you some stitches if you're shooting heavy loads. $1,076¿¿¿$1,237; 970-356-1670; www.burrisoptics.com

3. Meopta | Artemis 3000 3-9x42
In a world awash in 3X¿¿¿9X scopes, the Artemis is often overlooked. But it is a great value, with very good optical brightness and clarity for the price. Even with a 30mm tube and an objective lens that delivers a 6mm exit pupil at 7X, the scope weighs less than 15 ounces. The reticle is in the second focal plane, so its appearance remains constant. $471; 303-979-4578; www.meopta.com

4. Zeiss | Conquest 6.5-20x50 MC
This new scope is the most powerful entry in the Conquest line from Zeiss. It features a huge 45-inch elevation range and, at 6.5X, almost a 17.7-foot field of view at 100 yards. A turret-mounted parallax adjustment and target-style windage and elevation knobs complement a quick-focus eyepiece. The rear-plane reticle won't change apparent size. Weighing in at 21 ounces, the scope provides 31/2 inches of eye relief. $800¿¿¿$830; 800-441-3005; www.zeiss.com