I stopped by the Monstrum Tactical booth at SHOT Show and was introduced to their new 1-10×24 Banshee LPVO. It is an upgrade in magnification power from the Specter but retains the same T1 reticle. I recently reviewed their Spectre 1-6×24 LPVO and was pleasantly surprised by a bump in optical quality over their offerings from just a few years ago. I hope to get one soon to compare it with the Spectre.
Southern California based Monstrum Tactical is one of the most underrated brands in firearms. Largely lumped together with budget brands like CVLife, Feyachi, and the plethora of random clone brands. I would agree that 8-10years ago, their red dots and rifle scopes were heavier knock-offs of name brand optics. But their new products look radically different.
In the last couple years they’ve quietly been improving the quality of their optics and glass. They still need to improve their turret quality and reticle options, but they’re putting out decent scopes for the price. And their mounts are some of the best for the price.
At SHOT Show 2023, I stopped by the Monstrum booth and was introduced to Cyborg, their new line of prism optics. The Cyborgs will be released with 1x, 3x, and 5x models with ACOG style horse-shoe reticles, shake-awake activation, and digital brightness controls. Overall, they look similar to their boxier Gen2 Marksman prism line which are nearly half the weight of their previous Gen1 Marksman prisms.
Southern California based Monstrum Tactical is one of the most underrated brands in firearms. Largely lumped together with budget brands like CVLife, Feyachi, and the plethora of random clone brands. They make some of the best value scope mounts, with features like recoil lugs in their bases. But their red dots and rifle scopes looked like Nightforce and SIG optics but were heavier and with budget level glass.
In the last couple years they’ve quietly been improving the quality of their optics. Their newest designs no longer look like knock offs but are uniquely styled. Their glass has gotten better. They still need to improve their turret quality and reticle options, but they’re putting out decent scopes.
Cyborg Prism scopes are available on the Monstrum Tactical website using my Affiliate link: https://alnk.to/5ud6d8E
Chances are if there’s a scope on an AR at the range, that scope is going to be an LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic). LPVO’s are a cross between a traditional 6-10x magnified rifle scope and a red dot because LPVO’s have a low end of 1x, 1.2x, or similar. An LPVO allows you to use them with both eyes opened to quickly engage targets up close at 1x and crank up the magnification to engage targets at 200yrs or more (and especially helpful for older eyesight).
Monstrum is a Southern California based importer and designer of tactical accessories and red dots. I’ve helped install one of their scope rings on a friend’s rifle and was impressed that it had features like Torx screws and recoil lugs. I was aware of the Monstrum brand but didn’t know much about it so I was surprised when Monstrum reached out to me and offered to have me test and evaluate their newest LPVO, the Spectre 1-6x24mm.
The Spectre ships with some nice accessories like flip up lens caps, a kill-flash filter, and one of Monstrum’s excellent cantilever offset mounts. The scope has a 30mm tube, is made of 6061 aluminum, and is nitrogen purged. On initial inspection, the body and components appeared solidly constructed and well made, though I did find some nicks and rough edges on the magnification wheel which was disappointing.
The other big disappointment was that the elevation turret’s MOA markings didn’t line up with the the scope center indicator. This is common with budget scopes and has even been known to occur with better known scopes but it’s always disappointing when it happens. The windage was spot on to the zero so it’s not like Monstrum’s factory couldn’t make better built turrets.
The turrets are 1/2 MOA per click and the clicks were moderately audible and tactile positive though soft. There was a bit of slop in the elevation clicks but when pushed down, they did lock solidly. Both turrets are resettable with a coin.
The magnification dial turned smoothly but was difficult to turn. An LPVO’s central benefit is that it is the word “variable” so not being able to change you magnification easily is beyond frustrating. Thankfully it does have a large fin that helps assist in leveraging the dial but only time will tell how quickly it will loosen up?
The scope has an illumination knob opposite the windage. It is CR2032 powered with 5 brightness settings in red and green which illuminates the center octagon and dot of its MX1 Reticle. The reticle has thick outer T-style hunter crosshair lines a very thin and fine central crosshairs with MOA hashmarks. I found this central reticle structure too faint to use for action shooting without full illumination.
The scope itself performed quite well in my range tests. It has a decent 4″ eye-relief and the forgiving eye-box typical of lower power scopes. It returned to zero in my box test and probably passed my nipple-twister turret test but my results were not definitive.
In target testing at 25yrds it was able to hold its zero after being subjected to repeated hits from my polymer ammo can to simulate heavy recoil. In practical tests with rapid fire on steel plates, I was able to quickly and accurately place my shots (any misses were entirely shooter error). But as mentioned earlier, I found the reticle was too thin to use without illumination.
I came in with low expectations because I really didn’t know Monstrum’s optical products. In overall build and performance the Spectre lives up to the quality and value of Monstrum’s scope mounts and accessories. If you’re hesitant of trying a Monstrum because of their lack of reputation in optics, consider that the Spectre has a street price under $200 and a lifetime warranty from a US based company, and don’t be afraid of this monster value.