Setting Up The Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF BDC Rifle Scope On My X-Bolt

Mounting the Scope on my X-Bolt
Browning X-Bolt Four Screw Per Base Scope Mounting System One Piece Alloy Bases and Rings, R-Rear, F-Front
View of the four screw per base scope mounting system on the Browning X-Bolt. The one piece alloy bases and rings manufactured by Talley for Browning have a F-Front and a R-Rear base.
X-Bolt One Piece Alloy Bases and Rings on X-Bolt Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC Rifle Scope with lens cloth and fog eliminator.
Top view of the bottom piece of the one piece alloy bases and rings on my X-Bolt. Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC Rifle Scope comes with cleaning lens cloth, fog eliminator, and some pretty nice lens caps.
Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC rifle scope lens caps block bolt's movement with the standard low bases.  
The scope comes with some pretty good flip-up lens caps however the lens caps block the bolt's movement with the standard low bases I'm using. I'll use a neoprene scope cover and clearance won't be a problem.  
   
At the Range

Michelle Shooting my Marlin 39A Octagon Barrel 22 Rifle

Adjustable Objective on the Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC Rifle Scope

Michelle (My wife) shooting my old Marlin 39A octagon barrel 22 rifle while I was sighting in my X-Bolt. This was my first rifle I purchase as a young kid. I earned money mowing my grandparents lawn to get the rifle. It's had many a thousand rounds through it over the years.

Adjustable Objective on the Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC Rifle Scope. One of the main reasons I chose this scope was the generous amount of adjust-ability this scope offers to be able to fine tune the parallax of the range I am shooting at.
Adjustable Objective on the Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC Rifle Scope Windage and Elevation Turrets on the Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC Rifle Scope
View of the side focus adjustable objective knob and the one piece bases and rings. Caps off the windage and elevation adjustment turrets on the Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC rifle scope.
Browning X-Bolt with the Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC Rifle Scope Nikon SpotOn Holdover Chart
Nikon Monarch 4-16xSF BDC on my Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker at the range. Nikon SpotOn Ballistic Chart of my X-Bolt 270 WSM, shooting 140g Nosler Accubond handloads, with a 200 yard zero, at 8,000 ft. above sea level.

Tuesday while lying in bed sick with fevers from what I later learned was Strep Throat, I decided I wasn't as happy as I wanted to be with the Bushnell Elite 6500 scope on my X-Bolt. Fevers weren't going to stop me from getting the scope I wanted and I was able to navigate midwayusa.com with my little N810 pocket computer and get a Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF BDC rifle scope ordered. I had been studying various scopes, features, prices and comparing in hand different scopes pretty extensively over the past week and decided that the Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF BDC was the rifle scope I wanted for my X-Bolt and the big country I would be hunting with this rifle.

After being completely down for only a few days thanks to a shot from the doc, I made it out to purchase some new bases and rings at the employee store on Thursday. I opted to go with the standard height (low), matte finish set of the lightweight one piece Browning bases and rings that are manufactured by Talley. The scope had also arrived Thursday and I spent some time that night getting the rifle setup to shoot on Saturday.

Friday evening I spent a couple of hours working on mapping where I wanted to sight-in the zero distance of my rifle and achieve the desirable yardages for the additional aiming points in the BDC reticle. I laugh now but I set my rifle up on a table and set out a target through my garage and into the back yard at 50 yards so I could measure the distances between the aiming points in the reticle. I had the aiming points pretty well mapped out calculating the hold over distances and I had drawn up the cross-hair in Illustrator on the computer so I could print it out and place it on my rifle, when I found Nikon's Spot On ballistics program. What an awesome program! Kudos Nikon!

Using Spot On I was quickly able to load my bullet's information and print out various hold over charts and information. I can laugh now but I spent a good couple of hours fiddling with manually figuring out what Nikon has made a breeze. Now in my defense I hadn't really spent any time looking at Nikon's ads or website or I would have already noticed the Spot On information. I had made up my mind to purchase this particular Nikon BDC scope based on looking through one that's in the office for a photo prop.

I decided to sight my rifle in with a 200 yard zero. I normally go with a 300 yard zero, with a two and a half inch point of impact at 100 yards. With the 200 yard zero giving only a one inch high point of impact at 100 yards the fourth aiming circle in the BDC reticle is still an amazing 724 yards at 8,000 ft in elevation, with this flat shooting load.

Download a text file of the 270 WSM 140g Nosler Accubond handload shot from my X-Bolt to be used with Nikon's Spot On ballistic software. Just save the text file on your computer and then on Step 2 in the Spot On software click the "Customize Load..." button then click on the "Open Load" button to find this handload data file.

After setting up my X-Bolt with this Nikon scope I found that it caused problems with shell ejection that took some tinkering to fix.

For a few years now I have enjoyed using this scope on my X-Bolt. In 2013 I decided I wanted a change and passed down the Nikon Monarch to Dallen's A-Bolt 223 Rem. I am now using a Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16x50 with a picatinny rail on my X-Bolt and love it.

Related Journal Entries

X-Bolt 270 WSM Accuracy at 300 Yards, Elite 6500/4200 Rifle Scopes & 243 WSSM Partition Reloads

X-Bolt 270 WSM 300 Yard Three Shot Group

X-Bolt 270 WSM 300 yard three shot group with 140g Nosler Accubond handloads.

I've been spending a lot of time at the range the past month or so, mostly working on my 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload. Today I shot more 243 WSSM 95g Partitions test loads and I also shot my X-Bolt 270 WSM on paper at 300 yards for the first time. I have this rifle sighted in at 2 1/2 inches high with 140g Nosler AccuBond handloads going 3300 fps and as you can see from the target it is dead on at 300 yards. My three shots are just 1 3/8 inches across... now that's darn accurate if I may say so. My first shot hit the black dot I colored and I could not see the hit even with a spotting scope... kind of thought I missed the whole darn target at first. After my 100 yard groups and now my 300 yard group, I'm completely sold on the accuracy of my X-Bolt and my 140g Accubond handload combination.

With the ballistics of this bullet and this rifle, at right around 170 yards the path of the bullet reaches about 3 1/2 inches high. So from zero to nearing 300 yards I hold for a low shoulder shot and at the 400 yard range I hold for a high shoulder shot. Zero to 400 yards and no hold over. The 270 WSM gives me near 400 yard max-point-blank range hunting.

Some Bushnell Elite 4200 and 6500 Rifle Scope Thoughts
This was my first time shooting this rifle and the Elite 6500 at paper beyond 100 yards. In doing so I found that the adjustable objective settings of my Elite 6500 are a little different from that of my Bushnell Elite 4200 rifle scopes.

 

Bushnell Elite 6500 Rifle Scope Side Adjustable Objective

Bushnell Elite 4200 Rifle Scope Side Adjustable Objective

Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x Rifle Scope Side Adjustable Objective. Objective is set for no parallax at 300 yards.

Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x  Rifle Scope Side Adjustable Objective. Objective is set for no parallax at 100 yards.

Since I had one of my Elite 4200 rifle scopes with me, on my A-Bolt 243 WSSM Stainless Varmint Laminate rifle, I started comparing the clarity and parallax adjustment and found the the 4200 has excellent clarity, in my opinion a little better than the 6500 and a larger range to fine tune the adjustable objective (see photos). The increments on the 6500's adjustable objective go very quickly from 100 yards to infinity. On my Elite 4200 rifle scope there is twice the distance for this adjustment range. With the adjustment distance being so small on the Elite 6500 it is a little trickier to adjust the objective for longer shots.

I looked around the web to see what others were saying about the Elite 6500 scopes. I read that the 6500 rifle scopes have the same glass as the Elite 4200 rifle scopes with extra lens thus making them heavier and generating a little less light transmission than the 4200 scopes. I really like the 6500's extra eye relief over the 4200 and the ability to go down to 2.5x is nice but not necessary for my style of hunting. I think the 6500 scopes are excellent rifle scopes but for my style of hunting in the wide open country I really don't need the lower range of optical power and would prefer the slightly higher clarity at long range that I feel the 4200 scopes offer.

After playing around with the scopes today I am thinking I might switch up some scopes and maybe try something different on my X-Bolt. I really been wanting to try one of the long range bullet drop compensating reticles. I have always wanted a good Leupold with the Boone and Crockett reticle... of course Nikon makes some great scopes with their BDC reticle at more affordable prices, get great comments in the online reviews and I love my Nikon Buckmaster 1x20 muzzleloader scope. Hmm...

Update Sept. 25, 2010: I purchased a Nikon BDC scope for my X-Bolt. You can read about it in my Setting Up The Nikon Monarch 4-16x42SF BDC Rifle Scope On My X-Bolt journal entry.

 

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition Retumbo Test Handloads

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition Test Handloads

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition Retumbo test handloads.

243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition Test Handloads.

243 WSSM Test Handloads
I also shot four more test loads of the 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition load I have been working on. I have burned through one box of 50 bullets and into my next box trying to narrow down the load I like most. Once again I am finding that at least in my 243 WSSM rifles the powder burn rates of the powders, that are recommended in the powder and bullet manufacturer's load data are often too fast of powders. Even though their recommended powders are slow burning powders they just aren't slow enough. I just get too high of pressure with them unless I back way off on filling the case to capacity.

For this bullet it looks like I will be using Hodgdon's Retumbo and believe it or not, it's not slow enough to fill the case to capacity and keep the pressures down where I like them... there aren't many powders much slower than Retumbo(you can see powder burn rates on reloadingbench.com)... maybe I could try 50 BMG powder. My favorite load right now that is probably 6 grains below a compressed loads capacity yet it is still going 3250 fps, does not have excessive pressures and has shot sub MOA. I just want to get a few more groups on paper to verify it's accuracy and I'll post this 243 WSSM 95g Nosler Partition handload on the handload page.

Boots, Blisters & Liner Socks — What I Use to Keep my Feet Going Up The Mountains

Merrell Hiking Boots and Polypropylene Liner Socks

My Merrell Perimeter hiking/hunting boots and some Browning 8396 polypropylene liner socks .

Last fall I bought a pair of expensive "hiking" boots for hunting. As with all my hiking boots I usually wear them around the office, off and on for a couple of weeks before I go on any extended hikes. This practice has always worked fine in getting whatever pair of boots I was going to be hunting/hiking with ready.  I took this particular pair of boots on a couple of different hikes and hunts and could not keep my heels from slipping and creating friction and blisters on the back of my heels when I climbed steep terrain.

I have never had any problem like this before so I started researching the problem and the solutions. Here are some of the things I learned to keep my feet happy and going up the mountains.

First: Getting a boot that fits your foot is a key factor in keeping blisters off the heels. I have a narrow foot and if there is too much movement in my boot, blisters are going to happen. In my case I bought a different pair of boots that fit better. I ended up trying on a couple of different high end hiking and hunting boots. And when trying them on I walked up some stairs to see if my heels slipped against the back of the boots.

Heel Blister From Hiking

One of my nasty blisters or what's left of a blister after a three or so mile hike this summer with the scout troop... I learned my lesson after this hike, that's for sure.

You might ask "why would you let a blister get this bad?" Well it was such a short easy hike on an improved trail, with the scouts, so I didn't come fully prepared to doctor my heels nor did I want to look like a sissy in front of the boys.

Second: I now wear polypropylene liner socks against my feet. These socks wick moisture away from my feet and stay snug on my feet, like panty hose. With the thin liner socks snug against my feet I then wear a pair of wool or wool blend socks on top of the liner socks. By wearing this two sock combo if there is any movement and friction in my boot the friction is between the slick liner socks and my wool socks. If I only have a pair of wool socks on, the friction would be between my skin and the wool socks. After so long that friction is going to turn into blisters that can ruin a hunt real quick.

Third: I like to tie a surgeons knot before I start lacing the upper half of my boots. This helps hold my foot down and keep my heel in place.

The problem pair of hiking boots I used this past summer where taller, I think 8" tall. I have gone back to the shorter standard height of hiking boot. In particular I am using the Merrell Perimeter hiking boots. With my style of hunting I am finding that the taller boots are just more difficult to keep my heel secure and from slipping around in the boot. I also like the comfort and lighter weights of the standard height hiking boots. Of course the major drawback to the shorter height of boots is in the snow and water. When I have to hunt in the snow I will just where a pair of gators around my boots and I'll also try real hard not to fall into creeks.

As an extra precaution I am now also packing some Molefoam padding that I can cut to place on or around hot spots on my feet. And I carry some white athletic tape that I can use to tape-up and protect problem areas on my feet if any should arise.

Additional information