The Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40mm Matte BDC Riflescope Review


Nikon has been making premium quality optical products for all types of outdoor pursuits for over 90 years now. Consequently, this long history of engineering quality optics, aided by modern computer design, allows Nikon to produce optical systems that achieve an ideal balance of maximized light transmission, high resolution, and razor sharp, aberration-free, images.

Of course, to house these optimized designs, Nikon incorporates only the highest quality materials in their construction. In addition, they use their superior production capabilities and strict quality control to build and service their premium sport optics.

Light Transmission

In fact, Nikon has been a longtime leader in the development and utilization of multiple coatings on optics lenses in order to maximize light transmission.

For instance, Nikon was a driving force in genuinely bringing riflescopes up to an unprecedented level of 95% light transmission (the theoretical maximum limit) with the introduction of their popular, 10-lens surface, optical riflescope system.

Also, while it is true that reducing the number of lenses in a scope in an effort to increase light transmission is possible, the compromise would be less compensation of aberration (distortion).

Optical Resolution

Therefore, proper optical resolution can only be achieved through the utilization of quality optical glass in sufficient quantity to produce the optical composition that provides the optimum combination of maximized light transmission, high-definition contrast, and critical optical resolution that is absolutely crucial for getting your crosshairs on target in low light conditions.

The Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40mm Matte BDC Riflescope

Consequently, the Nikon Prostaff 3-9 x 40mm variable power rifle scope is a well-made, mid-priced, rifle scope for avid hunters on a budget and it features a one inch, nitrogen filled, tube with o-ring seals that make it both waterproof and fogproof and which provides an eye relief of 3 5/8” with a Field of View that ranges from 33.8’ to 11.3’ at 100 yards depending on the magnification setting.

[thrive_custom_box title=”” style=”light” type=”color” color=”#1d4f12″ border=””]Plus, it also features Nikon’s patented Bullet Drop Compensation Reticle, a large Exit Pupil (the size of the column of light that leaves the eyepiece of a scope), a Quick-focus Eyepiece (the bell that contains the Ocular Lens), Nikon’s “Brightvue” multicoating, and precise, hand-turn, ¼” MOA, “click” adjustments.[/thrive_custom_box]

The difference between the Nikon Prostaff and the Buckmaster models

For those of you who are wondering what the difference is between the Nikon Prostaff models and the Buckmaster models, the answer to that question is that the Buckmaster line includes 16 models compared to the Prostaff’s 30 models.

In addition, all Nikon Prostaff rifle scope models are thoroughly tested in the field by Nikon Prostaff members for clarity of their sight picture, their ability to deliver the bullet precisely and repeatedly on target, and for durability under harsh and/or rugged conditions.

[thrive_custom_box title=”” style=”light” type=”color” color=”#1d4f12″ border=””]However, the main difference between the Buckmaster and Prostaff lines is the difference in the quality of the internal optics and the type and number of lens coatings.[/thrive_custom_box]

Consequently, the Buckmaster line of rifle scopes is designed to transmit up to 92% of the ambient light that enters the Objective Lens (the one up front) through the scope tube and its various internal lenses, to the Ocular Lens (the one in the back) via the Exit Pupil (the size of the column of light that leaves the eyepiece of a scope) whereas, the Prostaff series is designed to transmit up to 98% of the ambient light according to the Nikon web site.

However, please note that 95% light transmission is the theoretical limit, through the scope tube to the Ocular Lens. Thus, the gist is that the Prostaff series has slightly better external and internal optics than the Buckmaster line does.

However, one thing that I really like about the Nikon Prostaff 3-9 x 40mm rifle scope is the suggested retail price of just $179.95.

[thrive_custom_box title=”” style=”light” type=”color” color=”#1d4f12″ border=””]At this price point, this scope is well within range of the large majority of hunters which makes it far more appealing than the excessively expensive German brands. So, although you may not be able to count the hairs on an Elk’s shoulder at six hundred yards with it, you can certainly harvest a deer at 300 to 400 yards with it without problem.[/thrive_custom_box]

BDC Reticle

Also, Nikon’s patented BDC Reticle enables hunters to hold “dead-on” at ranges exceeding those previously thought possible due to the BDC’s unique, see-through, ballistic circles which provide an incredible advantage for long range shooting and yet, provide the shooter with a normal sight picture for shorter-range shots where the crosshair itself is the aiming point.

Another excellent feature is the Quick Focus Eyepiece which enables the shooter to quickly bring the reticle into sharp focus.

[thrive_custom_box title=”” style=”light” type=”color” color=”#1d4f12″ border=””]In addition, the “Brightvue” multicoating optics deliver up to 90% light transmission for super sharp images even in low light conditions. Plus, precise, hand-turn, 1/4-MOA, Positive-click reticle adjustments get you zeroed-in more quickly and maintains your setting even under heavy recoil.[/thrive_custom_box]

Last, Nikon Prostaff 3-9 x 40mm scope includes lens caps and a 40mm to 50mm adjustable sunshade that is designed to eliminate glare in particularly bright conditions and keeps dust and rain off of the objective lens on rainy days or in dusty environments.

Furthermore, Nikon is well known and well respected in the photography industry for their superior optics and thus, it is obvious that they have incorporated that accumulated knowledge into the manufacture of their rifle scopes to provide the shooter with high quality, but affordable, rifle optics that deliver superior performance for the price.

Consequently, although owning a Nikon 3-9 x 40mm Prostaff rifle scope may not be as prestigious as owning a expensive European rifle scope that costs as much as a Mercedes-Benz, it is certainly a serviceable rifle scope that will definitely accomplish the goal of enabling the everyday shooter to humanely harvest a game animal in the most efficient manner possible within the range of his caliber and shooting ability.

Magnification:                                     3 – 9x

Objective Lens:                                   40 mm

Exit Pupil:                                           4.4 – 13.3

Light Transmission:                             Up to 90%

Field of View:                                     11.3 ft. – 33.8 ft. @ 100 yd.

Eye Relief:                                          3.6 in.

Eye Piece Outside Diameter:              39.3 mm

Parallax Setting:                                  100 yds.

Reticle:                                                BDC Reticle

Fogproof/Waterproof                          Yes

Overall Length:                                   12.3 in.

Weight                                                            13.7 oz.

Waterproof/fog proof                          Yes

MSRP:                                                $179.95

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