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Nikon Prostaff Rifle Scope Review

The Nikon Prostaff scope line competes against other quality budget/entry level scopes series like the Leupold Rifleman, and Redfield Revolution. However, the Prostaff has a wider variety of models and options when compared to others scopes in the category, offering more finishes, and reticle options than most of its competitors.


Features – Prostaff riflescopes are listed as waterproof/fog proof and have been purged with nitrogen. Even though they are technically an entry level scope they still carry Nikon’s Full Lifetime Warranty against workmanship and material defects. Finally, many models are available with a BDC reticle which can be customized to a shooter’s particular cartridge and load by using their Spot On website.


Improved – These Nikon riflescopes received a major update in 2011. The most significant changes were the application of better lens coatings to improve light transmission, and the inclusion of zero rest turrets to easily allow the shooter to reset the scope to the zero mark after sighting in. Other updates included the addition of fast focus style eye pieces and updated magnification ring designs on variable power models.


Nikon Prostaff Comparison Chart







Picture Nikon Prostaff 4-12x40mm Nikon Prostaff 3-9x50mm Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40mm Nikon Prostaff 2-7x32mm Nikon Prostaff 4x32mm Rimfire


$219 $209 $169 $149 $109
Length 14.1" 12.5" 12.4" 11.5" 11.5"
Weight 15.9 oz 17.5 oz 15 oz 13.9 oz 13.1 oz
Eye Relief 3.7" 3.6" 3.6" 3.8" 4.1"
Field of View 23.6' - 7.3' 33.8' - 11.3' 33.8' - 11.3' 33.4' - 9.5' 11.1' at 50yds








BDC 200




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4-12x40 – The highest magnification model and longest scope in this series, the Nikon Prostaff 4-12x40 is available with either a BDC or NikoPlex reticle. The one thing that is immediately noticeable about this model is there is no parallax adjustment method; neither an adjustable objective nor a side focus knob is available. While it is not uncommon for an entry level scope in this magnification range, the lack of a way to correct parallax adjustment should be considered when looking at this scope.


3-9x50 – While over an inch and a half shorter than the 4-12x40 model, the 3-9x50 model has the distinction of being the heaviest scope in the Prostaff lineup weighing 17.5 ounces. Like the above model this unit can be had with the BDC or NikoPlex reticle and comes in a matte black finish. Big game hunters looking to maximize the first and last minutes of daylight are prime candidates for this model. As always it becomes a matter of personal preference as to whether the added weight and expense is an acceptable tradeoff for the increased performance.


3-9x40 – As usual for a scope lineup the 3-9x40 configuration generally has the most available options. The Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 is available with four different reticle options, three finish choices including a Realtree camo pattern, and two models in the Prostaff 3-9x40 are designed for use on rimfires. Compared to the 3-9x50 versions in this line the 3-9x40 scopes offer a wider selection of choices, lighter overall weight, and are more budget friendly.


3-9x40 Rimfire – The most well known model of the rimfire 3-9x40 scopes is probably the one equipped with the BDC 150 reticle, which is the same reticle used in one the new Nikon P-22 scope line. This scope is calibrated to accurately shoot the 22LR out to 150 yards and can be customized for different loads like other BDC style reticles. The other scope option is the Target EFR model that features an adjustable objective than can focus on objects as close as ten yards out to infinity. This model features a fine duplex crosshair with a small dot in the middle, and can be use for target shooting or small game hunting on either air rifles or rimfires.


2-7x32 – The 2-7x32 scope is offered in two models: one designed for standard centerfire rifles and the other for use on shotguns. The Shotgun Hunter model, as Nikon calls it, features a special BDC 200 reticle designed for use with slugs and is set to be parallax free at 75 yards. In contrast, the standard 2-7x32 model features a NikoPlex reticle and is set free of parallax at 100 yards. Both versions of this scope are noticeably smaller than the 3-9x40 models in this series, making them more suitable for use on shotguns or compact rifles.


4x32 – For many years the 4x32 rimfire scope with a duplex reticle was the go to choice for many rimfire shooters; Nikon still makes a 4x32 model in their Prostaff line with a NikoPlex reticle for those that prefer this configuration. Like many other rimfire scopes, this one is set to be parallax free at 50 yards do to the shorter ranges that most rimfire firearms are used at when compared to centerfire rifles. There is a real shortage of rimfire scopes in this $100 price range, and the Prostaff 4x32 fills the gap nicely between the cheap air rifle/rimfire scopes out their and the more expensive .22LR calibrated scopes that have recently become so popular.


While the Nikon Prostaff scopes have long been a popular option for those seeking a quality rifle scope at a fair price, the recent updates to the Prostaff line has really turbo charged the popularity of these scopes. While, the whole series in known for being a good value, the 3-9x40 BDC version stands out as offering a lot of features not even found on higher end scopes, like zero reset turrets and a customizable specialty reticle. The updated Prostaff series seems to be succeeding in its intended purpose of offering shooters a lot of scope for the money.


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