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The Best Nikon Scope Reviews in 2020

For several years, Nikon managed to stay on top by constantly creating high-quality products, especially in the field of scopes and optics. Nikon is also known for heavily investing in scope development, thereby ensuring that their products are incredible in terms of performance.

With the guaranteed quality and reliability of the products and items offered by the brand, it certainly helps to shop for the best Nikon scope, one that is sturdy and helps you move and shoot on the field accurately.

Nikon scope reviews

To help you decide, here are short reviews of the capability of various Nikon scopes. Fortunately, all the scopes from Nikon mentioned in this article suit various handguns and rifles.

Quick Answer: The 8 Best Nikon Scopes for 2020

  1. Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm BDC Riflescope
  2. Nikon ProStaff Rimfire II 3-9X40 BDC 150 Riflescope
  3. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 Riflescope
  4. Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 BDC Riflescope
  5. Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 BDC Riflescope
  6. Nikon ProStaff 5 3.5-14×50 BDC Riflescope
  7. Nikon P-Tactical
  8. Nikon M-Tactical

First, let’s take a look at the top-rated nikon scopes, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.

Best Nikon Scope Reviews of 2020

#1 Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm BDC Riflescope

Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm BDC RiflescopeThe first Nikon scope review in this article is for the brand’s Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Riflescope. I consider this as the best Nikon riflescope for the money because of its high level of accuracy and clear vision. Both the mentioned benefits can be attributed to the BDC reticle used in it as well as the additional sunshade.

I like the bullet drop compensation (BDC) reticle used in creating this scope as it aids in both short and long-range shooting. This capability promotes ease in adjusting the scope to a max of 300 yards. I am also impressed with how effective this scope is in collecting a sufficient amount of light.

As for the presence of the additional sunshade, expect this to be truly essential because it is built to be adaptable, which also boosts the clarity of vision and the level of accuracy of each shot. This means that the sunshade contributes to shooting your target without issues.

I like the optic system used in this scope from Nikon, too, because it is completely multicoated. This multicoated optic design sort of guarantees users that the scope is indeed capable of transmitting more than 98 percent of available light within just a few hours of use.

This riflescope for various rifles, the AR-15 and .30-06 rifles, is also highly durable as it is built to withstand various shooting conditions. It is mainly because of its fog-proof and waterproof features. It is shockproof, too.

All these capabilities instantly transform this Nikon scope as an outstanding choice for anyone serious about paying for a good-quality scope from this famous brand.

One thing I dislike in this scope, though, is the lack of parallax adjustment.
Pros
  • Ideal for short-range and long-range shooting, thanks to its BDC reticle
  • Multicoated optic designed used
  • Highly durable with its effectiveness in withstanding shooting conditions
  • Promotes clarity of vision and high level of accuracy
  • Can withstand various shooting conditions, as it carries fog-proof, waterproof, and shockproof features
Cons
  • Lacks parallax adjustment
Despite that, I have no room regretting my decision to pick any of the scopes from Nikon as each one is affordable and full of highly useful features while carrying the Nikon brand quality, which is popular to everyone.

#2 Nikon ProStaff Rimfire II 3-9X40 BDC 150 Riflescope

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire II 3-9X40 BDC 150 RiflescopeWhether you are searching for a good Nikon scope for 300 Win Mag or any other Nikon scope for other guns and rifles like the .30-06 rifles, Ruger 10/22, and the 7mm-08 Remington, I am certain that the Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II with 3-9x magnification will not fail you in terms of performance.

It is also a good Nikon scope for 22LR that provides a lot of promising features and benefits. I am delighted that I can use this scope for not only indoor adventures with its 100-yard capability but also long-distance shooting outdoors. I also discovered that sighting in using the scope while I am in the field is easy and hassle-free.

It is mainly because of the ¼-inch adjustments at 50 yards as well as the instant zero-reset turrets that are spring-loaded. I am also glad to say that this scope is optimized to be used with the brand’s spot-on ballistic match technology containing plenty of ballistic information for over five thousand various loads.

With this, it is possible for you to get exact aiming points at a certain range on the scope’s BDC reticle. The overall structure of this Nikon riflescope is also amazing as it is built in a way that it can withstand a wide range of harsh elements. For instance, the optics chamber is nitrogen-purged while the lenses are O-ring sealed.

This allowed the scope to showcase a fog-proof, shock-resistant, and waterproof structure. This option for the best Nikon rimfire scope has a decent field of view, too, while continuously satisfying users with how easy it is to mount the scope.

One downside I discovered upon using this scope, though, is its somewhat short eye relief.
Pros
  • Can be used indoors and for long-distance outdoor shooting
  • Weatherproof, thanks to its nitrogen-purged optic system and O-ring sealed lenses
  • A decent field of view guaranteed
  • Easy to mount
  • Guarantees ease in sighting in
Cons
  • Somewhat short/limited eye relief
Considering all the promised benefits and features of this riflescope, anyone can safely conclude that it is indeed an incredible choice for those who want to use the best Nikon rifle scope for deer hunting or any other shooting or hunting application.

#3 Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 Riflescope

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 BDC 600 RiflescopeYou can also go for P-223 3-9×40 Riflescope, which is a dependable Nikon scope for 17 HMR and other popular kinds of rifles and guns. This amazing Nikon scope for 223 makes use of a BDC 600 reticle, which is capable of providing open-circle aiming points showcasing 100-yard to 600-yard markings.

Combine such reticle with tactical-style turrets and the scope’s zero-reset capability and I am sure you will enjoy its simplified field adjustments. Another positive point about this riflescope that I would like to highlight is its fully multicoated optical system. Such optics can maximize the transmission of light while providing optimal brightness.

This scope from Nikon is also capable of offering a decent performance when used for whatever hunting and shooting application because of its truly strong structure. It is built to be both O-ring sealed and nitrogen-filled, proving its fog-proof and waterproof structure.

I am also pleased to say that this scope has a built-in ballistic match technology. This assures users of a high level of accuracy even when used for long-range shooting and hunting. I think that it also perfectly suits situations that require shooting with a high level of accuracy because of its high-quality ammunition pointing and loading.

The thick and multicoated lens offered by this scope also promotes incredible sighting speeds. It also showcases great light transmission capability, making it perfect for tree stand hunting, range shooting, or any other shooting or hunting scenarios.

Furthermore, I am glad of this scope’s shockproof structure as it supports rugged use while also removing heavy recoil.

However, it does not feature flip caps that some users find useful for security purposes.
Pros
  • High level of accuracy even for long-range shooting, thanks to its ballistic match technology
  • Thick and multicoated lens, which promotes great sighting speeds
  • Guarantees great and impressive light transmission capability
  • Low risk of experiencing heavy recoil, thanks to the scope’s shockproof structure
  • Lightweight and easy to use
Cons
  • Lacks flip caps
Still, this riflescope carries a lot of amazing and incredible features, which is the reason why it continues to be one of those Nikon scopes that receive positive feedback and reviews from the public.

#4 Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 BDC Riflescope

Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 BDC RiflescopeAnother incredible choice for anyone searching for a good scope from Nikon designed for different kinds of guns, rifles, and ammunition, like the .450 Bushmaster, the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 7 mm Rem Mag, is the Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 BDC Riflescope. It boasts of its magnification range of 3-9x that perfectly suits various landscapes.

These include thick trees and wide planes. I am also impressed with the long-range shooting accuracy of this riflescope especially when used at a distance of around 5o to 200 yards. This scope is suitable for big game hunters, deer hunters, as well as other games and hunting scenarios that require more zooming and magnification.

I am glad that this scope has a multicolored lens as it assures users of increased light transmission (max of 98% guaranteed), thereby maximizing brightness whether you are using it during the day or at night. I am also greatly satisfied with the scope’s BDC reticle as it promotes ease in game hunting.

This reticle is ideal for long-range shooting due to its see-through ballistic circles. The 3.6-inch eye relief is also decent enough that it prevents straining your eyes excessively and potentially damaging it along the process due to strong gun recoil. Other strengths of this riflescope include its portability and lightness.

The lightweight and portable structure of the scope promotes speed, especially when used in scenarios that require you to change your position regularly or chase your target.

One issue, though, is that it does not have a mounting ring. You have to purchase it separately from local stores.
Pros
  • Suitable for game hunting and long-range shooting, thanks to its BDC reticle
  • Lightweight and portable, promoting ease of use
  • Decent eye relief guaranteed, thereby preventing possible eye strain and damage
  • Boasts a multicolored lens that promotes excellent light transmission
  • Features smooth, ergonomic, and easy to use control knobs
Cons
  • Not equipped with a mounting ring
For its price, Nikon ProStaff Black Matte 3-9×40 BDC Riflescope carries with it several nice features and benefits that will surely let you use it in any hunting scenario and distance regardless of the weather.

#5 Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 BDC Riflescope

Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 BDC RiflescopeYour’re searching for the most reliable and compatible scope for your 7mm-08 Remington or any other rifle or gun, then the 6729 ProStaff 4-12×40 Riflescope offered by Nikon would be a good choice. It has tons of incredible features that make it suit the shooting and hunting styles of different users.

It boasts of its nice and rugged-looking black matte finish. I am impressed with the patented multilayer coating used by Nikon for all its outer glass pieces and lens. I think that this coating contributes a lot to obtaining the highest transmission of light without the need for target illumination.

Another strength or benefit guaranteed by this scope is its ability to provide high-resolution and clear images of your targets, even in conditions with minimal or imperfect lighting. I like the BDC reticle utilized by this scope as it allows easy and quick target sighting at various distances, specifically 200, 400, and 600 yards.

The reticle also has easy-to-identify bubbles that serve as the marking for your target distances. Such aids in compensating for bullet drop. It is equipped with windage and elevation turrets. It has built-in turret caps that work in protecting your equipment while on transport.

This scope also takes pride in its zero-turn reset, which I find useful in getting back to zero settings without hassle since it does not involve messing around with turrets.

One thing I do not like about this scope, though, is the lack of parallax adjustment.
Pros
  • Compatible with the different shooting and hunting styles of prospective users
  • Provides high-resolution and clear images of targets regardless of the lighting condition
  • Easy and quick target sighting guaranteed by the BCD reticle
  • Features turret caps to keep equipment protected during transport
  • Great light transmission guaranteed by its multilayer coating
Cons
  • Do not come with parallax adjustment
With all the features and benefits of the Nikon 6729 ProStaff Riflescope combined, I am certain that it is a reasonable investment for anyone looking for a high-resolution scope that can withstand a wide range of environments and conditions.

#6 Nikon ProStaff 5 3.5-14×50 BDC Riflescope

Nikon ProStaff 5 3.5-14x50 BDC RiflescopeAnother great-performing riflescope offered by Nikon is the PROSTAFF 5 3.5-14×50. I truly like this scope as it carries with it a few technology upgrades designed to keep even those demanding and serious hunters completely satisfied. It comes outfitted with a unique and patented BDC reticle, which suits various hunting scenarios.

I am also pleased to announce that this riflescope is appropriate for use on the spot-on ballistic match technology unique to the Nikon brand. This compatibility is beneficial as it gets rid of the guesswork linked to bullet drop compensation. I am also delighted that you can adjust the scope even when you are in a shooting position without hassle.

It is because of the convenient eyepiece, which is quick to focus with the help of its 4x ratio. Ease of adjustments is also guaranteed with the spring-loaded, zero-reset turrets, hand-turn reticle adjustment, and new and bright optical system integrated into this Nikon scope.

The ProStaff 5 also takes pride in its simple and secure design. It also boasts of its matte finish, which you can expect to blend well with various rifles. I am also glad to announce that it has a low risk of suffering from shocks or experiencing damage or harm due to fog or water because of its O-ring sealing.

Since it is nitrogen-filled, it is also possible for it to neutralize all potential air impurities penetrating the scope, thereby resulting in a much better aim. It has an easy-to-use and long eye relief, providing a clear view without the need for eye protection.

However, the lens cover included in this product does not perform as efficiently as a high-quality flip cap.
Pros
  • Unique BDC reticle used, which makes it appropriate for all hunting/shooting environments or scenarios
  • Easy-to-use and long eye relief
  • Nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed, making its structure as strong as possible
  • Easy to adjust
  • Equipped with a quick-to-focus eyepiece
Cons
  • The included lens cover is not as efficient as a high-quality flip cap.
Even with such drawback, no one can deny how good and efficient this Nikon riflescope is, allowing it to deliver a truly incredible performance no matter where you decide to use it.

#7 Nikon P-Tactical

Nikon P-TacticalThe next Nikon scope for 308 that I am going to recommend is the Nikon P-Tactical 4-12×40 BDC800 Reticle. I am happy with all the built-in features of this riflescope as I noticed how effective these are in maximizing your overall hunting or shooting experience.

It allows you to achieve a great experience when shooting or hunting no matter what platform you decide to mount the riflescope on. I am also greatly satisfied with the fully multi-coated optic system delivered by this scope. Such an optic system is housed in a 1-inch tube constructed from the rugged, aircraft-grade aluminum material.

Due to the full multi-coating of the scope’s optics, it is greatly possible for it to deliver more than enough brightness even during unforgiving and dismal conditions and environments. I also like the exposed turrets because it maximizes readability while guaranteeing repeatable and smooth adjustments.

It has a flexible 3x zoom ratio, which is capable of offering a good field of view while also being highly detailed, thereby satisfying the majority of shooting demands. You can also expect crisp reticle focus as well as the rapid acquisition of targets from this riflescope, thanks to its smooth-turn aluminum ring, which also features a rubberized eye guard.

The strong and shockproof construction is also a major help in preventing hard recoil and the possible damaging effects of extremely harsh and rugged use. I like the O-ring sealing added to this scope as it also ensures that moisture does not penetrate its body.

One issue I have with this Nikon scope, though, is the lack of audible clicks for its turrets.
Pros
  • Offers a good field of view with its 3x zoom ratio
  • Guarantees quick target acquisition
  • Strong and shockproof construction, which helps prevent hard recoil
  • Fully multicoated optics that promote clarity and brightness in all possible settings
  • Rugged and sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum material used in its construction
Cons
  • Lacks audible clicks for the turrets
Such is just a minor flaw, though, especially if you compare it to the outstanding performance of this Nikon riflescope as well as the numerous functional features that it holds.

#8 Nikon M-Tactical

Nikon M-TacticalThe last scope from Nikon that I would like to suggest using is the Nikon M-Tactical .223 4-16x42SF BDC600 Riflescope. I am so happy with the overall structure of this Nikon long-range scope because it has a good mixture of great optical design, innovative material, and superior glass quality.

I can assure the ability of this scope that can deliver high-contrasting and bright sight pictures with the aid of its multi-coating technology and proprietary glass quality. It also utilizes the BDC600 reticle, which works appropriately for long-range shooting. It can handle long distances while still being on target.

Another benefit of this riflescope is that it has ergonomically designed zoom rings and turrets’ knurling, promoting a more comfortable function regardless of the size of your fingers. I am also pleased with the 4x zoom promised by this Nikon scope as I noticed how it works in boosting the versatility of the scope regardless of the range.

Another advantage is its shock-proof and waterproof construction, which contributes a lot in lengthening the service life of the scope. It is also nitrogen-purged, thereby preventing it from fogging because of temperature shock. I am also pleased with the directional indicators integrated into the scope as such support fast adjustments.

The quick-eye focus also plays a vital role in the rapid acquisition of target and in properly focusing the reticle.

However, it is heavier compared to most Nikon scopes presently accessible in the market.
Pros
  • Great combination of amazing optical design and superior glass quality
  • Multi-coated lens, providing adequate brightness in most environments and settings
  • Shockproof and waterproof construction for durability
  • Can prevent fogging caused by temperature shock
  • Supports quick adjustments, thanks to its directional indicators
Cons
  • Heavier compared to other Nikon scopes
For its reasonable price, you can enjoy plenty of amazing and valuable features from this Nikon tactical scope, which proves its reliability and sturdy structure.

Buying Guide

About Nikon Brand

Nikon scope quality

The Nikon brand has always been synonymous to top quality optics – be it for cameras or scopes for rifles and other firearms. There are only a few other companies that can match the quality and performance of Nikon scopes and even fewer can match their cost-effectiveness.

If you are looking for high-quality optics at affordable prices, then the products offered by the brand should be checked out first. Nikon, as a company, has been around for more than a hundred years and has contributed in many different industries all over the world.

The company came to be what it is now due to the merger of two of Japan’s biggest optics manufacturers, Optical Instruments Department of Tokyo Keiki Seisakusho and Reflecting Mirror Department of Iwaki Glass Manufacturing, way back in 1917.

The company adopted the name Nikon back in 1946, originally as a brand name for their compact cameras. Some of the company’s most notable contributions are for the medical field. Nikon is one of the companies that have direct involvement in the development of high-powered microscopes.

Nikon’s world headquarters has always been in Japan and most of their products are also produced in several factories found all over the country. However, some Nikon factories can be found in other countries, like China (which was unfortunately closed in 2017) and in Thailand.

However, most of the products still come from Japan. Nikon has made riflescopes and other scopes for different firearms for quite a while now and they are some of the most cost-effective optics in the world right now.

Although some rifle owners have their biases against Nikon, most Western firearm owners are notorious for not liking the brand’s optics just because they are not made in the USA. If only they would give Nikon scopes a try then they will surely change their minds.

Nikon scopes vs Leupold scopes

Nikon scopes vs Leupold scopes

If you are on the fence on which to choose between Nikon and Leupold scopes, perhaps this short comparison might sway you to one side. When it comes to quality, Nikon and Leupold are almost the same.

However, since Nikon also has a factory in Thailand, most people automatically assume that quality control is a bit lacking, but in reality, that is not the case. Leupold scopes, on the other hand, are all made in the USA, which when seen in the tag might seem impressive.

When you closely examine the two brands of scopes, their build quality is almost identical, especially when you go to the higher-end stuff. The kicker here is that Nikon’s scopes are much more affordable compared to the ones made by Leupold.

The “made in the USA” tag is almost always a seal of quality, especially when it comes to guns and gun parts, which is why many people usually choose Leupolds over Nikons. True gun enthusiasts look beyond the brand of the scope and will base their judgment on the performance.

If you have a tight budget, but you want to get a scope that is high in quality, then you definitely should check out one of the many offerings by Nikon.

Factors to Consider when Buying a Nikon Scope

best Nikon scope

If you are currently on the market for the best Nikon optic but you have no idea what to look for because this is your first time making this kind of purchase, here are some of the characteristics that you should keep an eye out for:

Objective lens size 

The objective lens is the one in front of the scope. The job of the objective lens is to gather ambient light from the environment so that the sight picture at the other end of the scope is clear and sharp.

The bigger the lens, the more light it transmits into the scope but do keep in mind that glass is heavy. This means that if you want a bigger objective lens, you have to be prepared for the additional weight.

Lens coating

This pertains to the anti-reflective film that is layered on the lenses of scopes. This film is important because it improves the light transmission capabilities of the objective lens. Aside from that, the anti-reflective film also prevents your prey from knowing your location.

Even the smallest amount of light can reflect to the eyes of the prey. When choosing a scope, look for the ones that are “fully multi-coated”. These are the scopes that have both the objective and focal lens covered with multiple layers of anti-reflective film.

Magnification

The magnification power of your scope will depend on the type of ammunition of the rifle it will be mounted on. For instance, if you will be installing a scope on a low-powered rifle, something that has a maximum effective range of just around 150 yards, then you should not put a high-powered sniper rifle scope on it.

It is because aside from it being overkill, it is harder to aim when the target is fully zoomed in. Just the slightest shake will be magnified when seen through the scope.

Eye relief 

The eye relief is the maximum distance between your eyes and the focal lens that will still give you a clear sight picture. This is a safety feature that is quite useful especially when you are using high caliber rifles, the ones that have a strong recoil.

When you squeeze the trigger on your rifle and your eye is way too close to the focal lens, the recoil from the bullet getting expelled from the barrel will push the end of the scope into your face, causing considerable injuries. If you will be using relatively recoil-less ammunition, you do not need a scope with long eye relief.

Reticle

The reticle, also known as the crosshair, is the image that you will see inside the scope when you take a peek inside. If this is your first riflescope, then you should just stick with the Duplex reticle.

This is the classic reticle design that has all of the necessary information that you will need, like elevation and windage. The only thing that you need to remember is to choose the scope that has the most visible reticle design so you will have no problem aiming.

Compare Nikon Scopes

ProductReticleMagnificationObjective Lens DiameterEye ReliefTube SizeLengthWeight
Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm RiflescopeBDC Reticle4-12x40 mm3.7 inches1 inch14 inches13.6 ounces
Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9x40 RiflescopeBDC 150 Reticle3-9x40 mm3.6 inches1 inch12.3 inches13.1 ounces
Nikon P-223 3-9x40 RiflescopeBDC 600 Reticle3-9x40 mm3.6 inches1 inch12.40 inches17.1 ounces
Nikon ProStaff Black Matte 3-9x40 BDC RiflescopeBDC Reticle3-9x40 mm3.6 inches1 inch12.4 inches13.7 ounces
Nikon 6729 ProStaff 4-12x40 RiflescopeBDC Reticle4-12x40 mm3.7 inches1 inch14.1 inches14.3 ounces
Nikon PROSTAFF 5 3.5-14x50 RiflescopeBDC Reticle3.5-14x50 mm4 inches1 inch14.3 inches19.4 ounces
Nikon P-Tactical 4-12x40 BDC800 RiflescopeBDC 800 Reticle4-12x40 mm3.7 inches1 inch14.1 inches17.5 ounces
Nikon M-Tactical .223 4-16X42SF BDC600 RiflescopeBDC 600 Reticle4-16x42 mm3.6-3.9 inches30 mm13.6 inches20.6 ounces

(Source: [1], [2])

Conclusion

Hopefully, the information you find in this article can help you shop for the best Nikon scope. It is already hard enough that there are many different kinds of scopes that Nikon is selling as of now. It gets even harder once you find out that every scope that the brand has made is of high quality.

That is why we provided you with a couple of helpful Nikon scope reviews so that you can find out which one fits you the most. However, avoid letting the opinion of others become your only point of reference when making a decision. Observe the characteristics that make a scope great and choose the ones you think is better for you.

6 thoughts on “The Best Nikon Scope Reviews in 2020”

  1. I have a Nikon monarch3 2.5-10-50 and a P3 3-9-50 and the P3 is just as clear and durable as the monarch P3s r excellent hunting rifle scopes I’m so glad to own some of nikons best hunting rifle scopes in the world

    Reply
  2. I will use this until I find better than really useful in price and quality. I am open to your suggestions if there is better. I have read and purchased from this site.

    Reply
    • The Nikon P3 3-9-50 is one awesome hunting rifle scope every rifle hunter should have one r two of them let’s get nikon back to building their quality rifle scopes

      Reply
  3. The Nikon P3 3-9-50 is one awesome hunting rifle scope every rifle hunter should have one r two of them let’s get nikon back to building their quality rifle scopes

    Reply
  4. Get u a Nikon P3 3-9-50 nikon plex rifle scope u may be like me and never look back great scope that u can find for less than $200 find one snatch it up

    Reply

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