Nikon strengthens its line of sport optics for outdoor enthusiasts with the introduction of the Spur Reflex Sight. We took it turkey hunting for this review.
The Nikon Spur is a reflex sight with an illuminated single red dot, perfectly suited for the turkey hunter. Most of my previous experience with reflex sights left me skeptical in using them for turkey hunting applications due to the strong blue tint in the lens that distorts color.
The timing of this review could not have been better, as I had just inked the dates for two separate turkey hunting trips to Nebraska and southern Colorado. These trips allowed me to field-test the Spur in a variety of conditions.
Nikon Spur Reflex Sight: First Look
Brand new for 2018, the Spur is Nikon’s first attempt at an illuminated red dot reflex sight. The Spur has 10 brightness settings. The first two are night-vision compatible, and settings 3–10 are for daylight applications.
Nikon rates the Spur to be shockproof and waterproof up to class IPX7 protection. This means it can be used in areas of high humidity and rain, but the brand recommends it not be used in running water. The spur is a compact and lightweight optic. It measures 1.8-by-1.1 inches and weighs 1.1 ounces.
How to Mount the Nikon Spur Reflex Sight
Mounting the Spur was incredibly user friendly. Nikon includes the needed Allen wrench for mounting. This was the only required tool to mount the Spur to my Picatinny rail on my turkey hunting shotgun.
For those whose shotguns do not have a Picatinny rail, there are a couple aftermarket options. For example, you can use a gunsmith drill and tap a Picatinny rail in place, or purchase a rear-mounted chamber saddle that piggybacks a shotgun and requires no modification.
Pistol mounting the Spur is also achievable. Remove the Picatinny attachment and secure to most handguns. I’ll enjoy the dual this dual operation this summer at the pistol range.
Nikon Spur: Sight Adjustment
The elevation and horizontal adjustments are well marked. Every click of the adjustment screws is 1 inch at 100 yards. I ranged a distance of 35 yards, which meant each click would move the point of impact approximately 0.33 inches. I decided to use a few 2.75-inch rounds to get myself on paper before I really dialed it in with the heavier 3.5-inch loads.
It took fewer than 10 total rounds to know that any tom within 50 yards was going to be in big trouble. Afterward, I double-checked the tightness guide mark on the mounting hex screw to confirm the sight did not loosen due to the recoil. Rock solid.
Nikon Spur: Red Dot Illumination Settings
The 3 MOA illuminated red dot has 10 intensity settings that are adjustable using the plus and minus buttons located on the lower-left side of the sight. I found it easy to turn on the sight and adjust the brightness even with a gloved hand. The first two settings are for night vision, which I obviously didn’t test during my midday turkey hunts.
Settings 3–10 are for daylight. I found it necessary to change the intensity settings throughout the day based on low light and bright midday conditions. Again, I found myself struck at how visible the red dot was during the brightest part of the day.
To turn off the sight, hold the minus button down for three full seconds. On a few occasions, I didn’t hold the button down for long enough and left the sight turned on. An automatic 12-hour shutoff assist is built into the optic to help battery conservation in times like these.
Nikon claims the battery life to be 15,000 hours at the lowest setting. A lithium battery comes with the Spur and easily installs without removal of the sight or changing the settings.
Nikon Spur Durability
The Spur underwent a full field-testing regimen and the river bottoms of Colorado gave ample testing. Nikon has the Spur rated at the IPX7 standard, showcasing the optic’s durability against shock and waterproofing. I didn’t experience any precipitation but tested the rugged durability with full turkey loads.
It was able to withstand numerous 12-gauge 3.5-inch magnum rounds and hold its zero. It certainly held up better than my shoulder. The Spur also stood up to me crawling, dragging it around, and accidentally dropping it on a rock while navigating to my stand in the dark. The optic maintained superb accuracy during hunting and my other testing.
Hunting in Nebraska
During my first hunt in Nebraska, I had a great spot and stalk opportunity. The third day of the hunt, I closed the distance to 25 yards on a giant double-bearded gobbler. I knew I would have only a split second to make the shot. With the 1X magnification and parallax-free design, I was able to keep both eyes open as I prepared to pull the trigger.
I was amazed how natural it was to pinpoint the head of the old tom with the dot at a midrange setting. I was fortunate to catch movement before I was detected, and harvested the largest tom I have ever taken.
Unfortunately, my second hunt didn’t go as planned. The weather was hot and dry, and the birds were wary and silent. I put Nebraska in the rear view for 2018, going one for two, and was looking forward to hunting my home state of Colorado.
Hunting in Colorado
It wasn’t long before I found myself on a sought-after section of the Arkansas River covered up in turkeys. Birds were responding to calls from morning to night. I had the opportunity to pass on multiple jakes and even a pair of toms on the first evening’s hunt.
This gave me multiple chances to watch birds through the Spur from faraway distances to within a few yards. The ability to follow the vital zones of the turkeys’ necks and heads with the Spur became as natural as using the fiber optic pin I was used to.
The penultimate morning of the hunt, I set up and had a mature bird walk to me from more than 200 yards, bringing all his hens with him. I put the hammer to him and finished my turkey season on a high.
Nikon Spur Reflex Sight Review
Overall, I was surprised how much I liked the Spur. Its ease of mounting, optical clarity, wide field of view, and durability definitely won me over to the use of a sight on my turkey gun. I was able to harvest two birds under two totally different sets of circumstances. The Spur performed as advertised under each set of circumstances.
Pistol mounting the Spur is also achievable. Remove the Picatinny attachment and secure to most handguns. Additionally, Nikon provides a five-year warranty and a rubberized protective hood that keeps the lens protected.
Considering all of the features, uses, and craftsmanship, the P-Tactical Spur is a great value. The Spur can be found on Amazon for $216.95.