Every hunter knows that a quality scope can be the difference between a beautiful trophy mounted on your wall and going home empty-handed. But if you’ve looked at the vast array of different scopes on the market, it can be quite confusing.
Not only are there many different companies making quality rifle scopes, there are also many different models offered by the different brands. We’re here to help sort this out for you by featuring one the best brand names in hunting rifle scopes.
Click the item in the table below to go directly to your most pressing question, or continue to read the whole review.
- 1 Three Important Factors to Consider When Selecting a Rifle Scope
- 2 What Is the Nikon Prostaff Scope?
- 3 What Are Some of the Different Nikon Prostaff Models?
- 4 What Is Nikon’s Warranty?
- 5 Conclusion
If you are familiar with high-quality cameras, then you’ve likely heard of Nikon. But Nikon isn’t limited to just making some of the top camera lenses on the market. They’re also known for making some of the best lenses for hunting scopes you can find. Our Ultimate Nikon Prostaff Scope Review will look in depth into the Prostaff series of Nikon scopes and give you all the information you need to determine if this is the right scope for you.
Three Important Factors to Consider When Selecting a Rifle Scope
The first thing you need to consider is the actual level of magnification the scope is going to provide you. When you look at a scope description, you see numbers like “3-9×40.” Those first two numbers are the magnification range of the scope. One nice thing about scopes that you do not get with just a standard set of binoculars is that you can adjust the magnification.
In the case of our example (3-9×40), a scope with this description would be able to magnify from “3 times” to “9 times” the actual image. In other words, when you look through the scope, it will appear 3 times bigger than it does with the naked eye, or 9 times, or wherever you set the scope in between.
You should consider just how much magnification you are going to need depending on the kind of hunting you will be doing. Depending on which scope you choose, it can give you a nice range so that you do not have to choose between a long-range scope and a short-range scope.
The objective size refers to the physical dimension of the lens closest to the object you are viewing. The objective lens size is the third number in a scope’s description. If the scope is listed as 3-9×40, this means that the objective lens size is 40 millimeters.
The general idea here is that the bigger the lens, the more light gets through to your eye. Now, this might make you think that bigger is always better. But there really are disadvantages when the objective lens size gets too big.
Most hunters agree that the “sweet spot” for objective lenses seems to be somewhere between 40mm and 44mm. This is not to say that you shouldn’t consider a larger objective size, but there are a couple things you should keep in mind.
First, the increased light hitting your eye is really only going to make a difference in the lowest light settings. Unless you are constantly hunting where there is only a little light, big lenses (like upwards of 70mm) are probably not worth it.
Second, as the objective lens size increases, it can actually force you to reposition from a natural shooting posture. This is because large objective lenses have to sit higher off the rifle and you may not be able to keep your rifle firmly on your shoulder and look through the scope at the same time.
The reticle is the crosshair that a scope displays which allows you to aim at the target. Different manufacturers offer different options for how these look and function. You should consider the color, ability to adjust for distance and elevation, and whether the tube is illuminated when deciding on the reticle feature you want.
What Is the Nikon Prostaff Scope?
The Nikon Prostaff line is intended to be a high-quality series of rifle scopes that are not as extensive in features as the Nikon Monarch line, and not quite as expensive either. They are a great “Goldilocks” line that will be perfect for most average hunters. They provide you with most of the functionality you will need, but won’t break the bank.
What Are Some of the Different Nikon Prostaff Models?
This Prostaff 5 model features Nikon’s BCD reticles. These are small dots beneath the center crosshairs which allow you to calculate the overhead for targets further away. Using Nikon’s “Spot On” technology you can customize for your exact rifle and ballistics to know exactly which dot to use to compensate for distance. You do not need to guess how much over the target you need to aim to hit the bull’s eye. It is also fully illuminated so that you will never have to struggle to see the crosshairs.
The advantage of using the BCD reticle is that you can shoot for longer range without needing a greater magnification or objective lens size. At 40mm, this model will let in plenty of light (around 95%) and the lenses are fully multicoated for superior clarity and durability.
With magnification levels ranging from 4.5 times to 18 times, you will be able to shoot long-range distances without much trouble. And with the BCD reticle, it’s even easier.
The spring-loaded turrets allow you to quickly focus the eyepiece without having to make any awkward movements which might startle game or otherwise cause you to lose sight. The turrets also have a click function as it is adjusted to make it easier to go back to previous settings and to remember ideal positions. The lenses are also fully waterproof and fogproof to keep them working in all conditions.
Many hunters consider this an ideal scope for almost any situation. It has a great range of zoom magnification so that you can adapt it to your particular situation.
The 3-9×40 rifle scope is very popular among hunters. It is versatile and will work excellently for “close” (less than 10 yards) to “medium” range targets (around 400-425 yards).
This model features a standard reticle crosshair, but they have a metallic sheen to them that will help them stand out in lower light. They will also appear dark black against a brighter light. This reticle’s style is great for anyone who doesn’t want to have to struggle with zeroing in on their target. This model does not, however, feature the BCD reticle of the other Prostaff models, so it may be more difficult to compensate for long-range targets.
And you get plenty of light with the 40mm objective lens (around 98%) which is fully multicoated to protect the lens and increase clarity. The scope is also purged with nitrogen and sealed so that it is both waterproof and fogproof. This is great for those early morning hunts when you still have fog or when the cool weather threatens to steam up your scope.
The spring-loaded turret makes it easy to adjust so that you do not have to struggle with getting the crosshairs on your target and possibly miss out on big game.
This is a great model for those needing a short to mid-range scope with good magnification and eye relief.
The Prostaff 7 is the higher-end of the Prostaff line. These scopes come with a few more features than the Prostaff 3 or 5, but keep all the great features at the same time. This makes the Prostaff 7 a popular choice because you do not have to sacrifice essential functionality for some added features.
This is a long-range scope (3 to 12-times magnification) with lenses housed in a 30mm tube for superior light gathering. Adjustment knobs on the side of the scope make it easy to dial in your settings without losing your target. These knobs also come with a housing cap to protect your settings from being disturbed. These side adjustment knobs allow you to factor in for elevation and windage.
The scope is fully nitrogen purged and sealed to make it fog proof and fully submersible in up to 3 feet of water. The fully multicoated lenses will keep dust and particles from gathering, providing you with crystal clear images.
The model weighs in at less than 20 ounces and at around 13.6 inches you will hardly notice it mounted on your rifle. This makes it excellent for travel and holding the rifle when you are not able to steady it.
It also features the BDC reticle for easy calculations and aiming at targets much further away. And like other models you can use Nikon’s Spot-On technology to customize the BDC for your rifle and ballistics.
Less expensive that other comparable models, the Prostaff 7 offers an excellent value for the money. This is a great scope for those wanting a bit more range and the ability to calculate for elevation and the wind.
This model, like the previous, is an excellent model for longer range targeting. It comes will all the same features as the 3-12X42 model, but with increased zoom capabilities. Offering zoom up to 16 times, this scope is a great option for those who hunt game that will be further off. And with the BDC reticle and Spot-On technology, it will be even easier to hit those far away targets.
With a 50mm objective lens, this Prostaff 7 will let in quite a bit more light than the other models. This is the largest objective lens size that Nikon offers in the Prostaff line. If you really need to have more light coming through the scope, then this model is your best option.
It comes with all the same features and functionality as the other Prostaff 7 models on our list, but might be good for those who have some eyesight trouble and need the extra light to help them see the target.
For those that might be hunting primarily at dusk or dawn, this model might also be a good option. Though, with the diminished light, you will not be able to see quite as far either. So it is a trade-off you’ll have to consider. But if you have low-light issues, then this model will help solve those problems.
Like the 4-16×50 model, this version of the Prostaff 7 will really let in the light. But with a magnification of 7.5-20x, this model is best suited for the longest-range targets.
If you know you will be shooting upwards of 500 yards on a consistent basis, then this model is one you should consider. This is especially true for those that need the great light intensity offered by the 50mm lens.
What Is Nikon’s Warranty?
Nikon offers a very generous warranty on all their rifle scopes. They are fully warrantied for life against any manufacturer’s defects. Of course, if you drop it off a cliff, they won’t cover it, but any problems resulting from faulty craftsmanship will be covered for the life of the scope.
Known far and wide for their superior lenses, Nikon has put together an excellent series with the Prostaff riflescopes. You should be able to find the perfect scope within this line to fit your needs. Don’t leave setting your sights on that big game up to an inferior scope. If you want to be sure that you can rely on your scope, a Nikon riflescope will not let you down!