Testfire: Nikko Stirling Metor 2.5-10x50By Mark Haynes
- 12th Oct, 2020 Oct 12, 2020, 1:04 PM
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Nikko Stirling have been producing hunting scopes since 1956 and are positioned in the New Zealand hunting and shooting scene as manufacturers of good quality, price-point optics.
Nikko have recently upped the anti and new models such as the Metor, featured in this review, and the Nikko Diamond 4-16x44 HMD tested previously by NZGUNS, appear to be major additions to the current range. In fact, Nikko have introduced several new and updated models covering most hunting and shooting disciplines.
Removing the scope from the box, I was presented with a very nice-looking optic. It’s black matte finish and low-profile turrets giving it a no-nonsense appearance.
The Metor 2.5-10x50 features a 30mm tube with a No.4 dot reticle (SFP) along with MOA windage and elevation adjustments.
My initial impression of the Metor was that it was quite bulky. However in saying that, it certainly felt like it was tough. With its solid, one-piece aluminium tube, and short length, the Metor is a robust looking unit. For testing, I installed the scope on my Ruger Precision Rimfire.
Once on the rifle, it was much easier to see how everything worked. The windage and elevation turret caps are made out of aluminium with grooved knurling for additional grip. The adjustment knobs don’t require a screwdriver or a coin to turn them and a well-defined notched edge, along with audible clicks, makes for easy operation.
“The magnification ring has plenty of grip and the movement is firm and positive. The magnification numbering features large bold numbers as well as arrows indicating the zoom you are at.”
Getting the illuminated central dot up and running is simple. Just undo the serrated cap, pop in the battery, do it back up and it's done. The ring on the electronic dot adjuster is larger than the battery cap so there’s no chance of undoing the latter by mistake.
Turning on the dot with the larger ring requires a wee bit of effort and you will need positive movements for this operation. The red and green colours have five different levels of brightness, and the direction you turn the knob determines the colour.
Adjusting the zoom from 2.5 to 10x is also easy. The magnification ring has plenty of grip and the movement is firm and positive. The magnification numbering features large bold numbers as well as arrows indicating the zoom you are at.
I did notice some changes in clarity through the glass as I dialled up the magnification and had to refocus at times while making the adjustments (see note at bottom of article). The rubber coated focusing ring provides plenty of adjustment and is firm to turn. I doubt whether it would accidentally move when you're out on the hill.
ON THE RANGE
From the bench, it took only a few shots to get sighted in. The clarity of this scope combined with the 50mm objective made target acquisition easy.
To see how the Metor performed I set up some targets at both 50 and 75 metres. I shoot Winchester 40gr PowerPoint ammo through my Ruger. A rifle and ammunition combo which performs very well.
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To test how well the scope tracked, I took the elevation cap off and used it like a dial up scope - up 15 clicks - 75 metres - a bit high but not by much.
I put 10 rounds into the target, no sweat. Beyond that was the 100m gong. I had to have a go, so up another 15 clicks - a first-round hit, I fired nine more and they all hit. Mint!
I brought it straight back down - 30 clicks – back to the 50m target: five shots into the target, right where they should be. I tried the same operation with the windage turret (a box test).
No problems there and everything returning to where it should have. I simply took note of how many clicks and adjusted left and right. The scope tracked back and forth like it was supposed to, I was happy with that.
IN THE FIELD
The next thing was to take it out for some hare and rabbit hunting. I put my gear into the truck and headed for the lucerne paddocks to try my luck. After a half hour’s drive, I was where I wanted to be. Unfortunately, the hares weren’t there in the numbers I’d seen previously and for some reason, they were very touchy.
I finally found one crouched down 50 metres away and managed to drop it with a clean head shot, this was a good start. I moved onto the next paddock and began walking. They were skittish but I managed to score another couple at further distances. I did miss a couple though and wished I had my bipod on the rifle.
To be honest, I’ve had better mornings, but I did get a few, and I was happy with the scope’s performance. The dot reticle was a real pleasure to use. Off to another spot, but again the hares were scarce.
“The next thing was to take it out for some hare and rabbit hunting. I put my gear into the truck and headed for the lucerne paddocks to try my luck.”
As I was cruising along in the truck, looking around but not really watching where I was going - this country had just been developed from heavy manuka - I saw a stag scrape that took my attention. Bad move - straight into a wet swampy bit of ground!
I was going nowhere and my first thought before I called for help on the radio was, this is going to cost me a couple of boxes of beer! To add to the insult, while I was sitting there waiting for help to pull me out, guess what pops its head out of the manuka about 300 metres away?
The sika stag that could have made the scrape was having a laugh at my expense! Up came the Ruger. He looked very nice through that large lens. If the Metor had been on my centrefire rifle and not the .22, he might not have been so lucky!
While I was waiting for a tow, I headed off for a walk taking with me the rifle and range finder. I sat on the edge of a river that runs through this area and scanned the other side, looking for any 100 metre plus shots. Hopefully, something would appear in the manuka. Sure enough, patience paid off.
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A couple of hares came mooching along in the scrub. Out with the range finder - 110 metres. Off came the elevation cap - up 30 clicks and a very steady rest - first one down, its mate didn’t know what happened. The second hare stopped, down it went as well. I was very happy with the result. Not long after, I heard my rescuers approaching, all with big grins on their faces.
Next up was to try the illuminated centre dot which also presented an opportunity to take the kids out for a spotlight. We went for a walk up the drive looking for a possum or two.
We soon found a couple and dispatched without too much trouble. I tried the reticle on red and green, and both colours presented well. The green seemed to light up the posts better than the red at night.
To be able to turn the brightness up and down to suit yourself is a great feature and it didn’t hinder shooting at all. I also found you can use green during the day for shooting. I think it may become the colour of choice if you want to use this feature during daylight hours.
“I brought the steel gong in to 75 metres for the boys to try their skills. They had a great time and really enjoyed both the scope and the shooting!”
A day or two later I went back to the range to let the kids have a turn with the Metor and learn some more drills on shooting and gun safety. I used the elevation adjustment again as I would with a dial up, and everything tracked as it should. Excellent consistency.
I brought the steel gong in to 75 metres for the boys to try their skills. They had a great time and really enjoyed both the scope and the shooting!
My first thoughts on the Nikko Stirling Metor was that this is a solid, aesthetically pleasing scope that feels like it would survive a knock or two. The low profile windage and elevation turrets give it a sleek and streamlined appearance. Dialling adjustments were positive and spot on.
The clarity is as good as a lot of other scopes that cost a lot more, and the centre dot is a nice addition to an already clean and crisp reticle. I found it great for hunting small game.
- Machined out of a single piece of aluminium
- Large 50mm objective lens
- Excellent optical clarity
- Low profile turrets
- All adjustments were positive and correct
- Reticle is illuminated
My one and only negative comment is that while changing magnification from 2.5 to 10x, I did notice that I had to refocus the scope to gain the clarity back. This was mainly when on 10x.
Note: Parallax on the Metor scope is fixed at 100 yards, so a target at 50 yards would need different focusing on 10x than it would on 2.5X. At 100 yards, the target shouldn't need focus adjusting on different powers. This may become more noticeable with the scope on a rimfire rifle where the majority of shots would be under 100 yards.
I didn’t get to try it out in the rain (the drought continues…) so I’m not sure how it would go. I would hazard a guess that judging by its performance, moisture shouldn’t pose an issue. And of course, the product is guaranteed.
Overall, the Metor is a very nice unit with all the features you need in a scope and more. Priced at around the $400.00 dollar mark, the Nikko Stirling Metor 2.5-10x50 is excellent value for money.
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