You will agree with us when we say that finding an appropriate scope for your rifle is not an easy task.
To solve this problem, our team has compiled all the information needed to choose the best Nikon rifle scope.
All the best products we were able to find are reviewed and also a buyers’ guide and FAQs section is included.
Nikon ProStaff 3-9 x 40
It is the best long and short-range riflescope having consistent eye relief, precise BDC reticle, waterproof and fog proof body with high-quality lenses.
Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm
It is your best shot if you’re up to hunting, especially deer-hunting. It has long-range features such as high magnification, BDC markings, and elevation adjustment making it most suitable for hunting.
Now that we have gone through the 3 best Nikon rifle scopes, let’s have a detailed look at all 5 of our top picks.
Best Nikon Rifle Scopes – Top 5 review
Nikon’s rifle scopes are considered one of the best in the market at the given price. Nikon has introduced different models for the different needs of its users.
#1: Best Eye-Relief Nikon Rifle Scope – Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600 Review
Nikon P-223 Mate has a generous and consistent design that makes shooting comfortable and safe. Its eye relief structure makes your brow safe from bruises or injury.
It has got a ¼ minute angle hand-turn that helps quick aiming, and a decent range of .223 Rem/5.56 NATO.
100-yard parallax settings minimize parallax error. The body of the riflescope is O-ring sealed and Nitrogen-filled making it water and fog-proof. One possible disadvantage is that the colors at night may not be very bright.
Features of Nikon P-223 Mate
- Polymer material
- BDC Reticle 600
- .223 Rem/5.56 NATO trajectory with 55-grain polymer bullet
- Hash marks and aiming points
- ¼ minute of angle design
- Zero-reset turrets
- Nitrogen filled
- O-ring sealed
- 100-yard parallax setting
- Consistent eye-relief
- Swift change of angle
- Parallax correcting
- Sharp hash marks
- Brightness at night may not be very great
- BDC markings are not precise
Overall, it can be a great option for hunting during day time.
Best Eye-Relief Nikon Rifle Scope
The best Eye-relief Nikon riflescope is Nikon P-223 Mate because of its eye-relief design, long-range, and fogproof lens.
#2: Best Deer-hunting Nikon Rifle Scopes – Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC Review
Nikon Buckmaster II is meant for long-range shooting. It has a multi-coated optical system to maintain the brightness of the scope.
As the name suggests, it is most apt for deer-hunting and can be your best shot for it. It works well for both long-range and short-range targets.
Like other Nikon scopes, it has a recoil-buffering system and a ¼ MOA turn-around design that makes it shockproof.
Features of Nikon Buckmasters II
- 1.4 pounds of weight
- Multi-coated lenses
- Positive-tap reticle adjustment
- ¼ MOA turn-around
- See-through ballistic circles
- 100-yard parallax range
- Lifetime warranty
- Recoil-absorbing system
- Bright colors in both day and night
- Quick BDC reticle adjustment
- Works for both long and short ranges
- Parallax error correction
- Fogproof and waterproof
- Quick turn-around
- Not apt for bolt-action guns
- Not great for adjustments
Overall, it is one of the best scopes for recreational hunting.
Best Deer-hunting Nikon Rifle Scope
The best deer hunting Nikon rifle scope is Nikon Buckmaster II because of its bright colors, hunting features, and shockproof design.
#3: Best Optical Quality Nikon Rifle Scope – Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II 3-9X40 BDC150 Review
Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II has almost all the features of great rifle scopes. With a 150 BDC reticle and a magnification of 3-9x, it works fine for short as well as long ranges.
It weighs 1.3 pounds lighter than other scopes making it quite handy. Like other Nikon scopes, it has a 100-yard range and ¼ MOA adjustment.
Its most distinguishing feature is its optical quality and precision. It would be a great choice if you are a long-range hunter or shooter.
Features of Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II
- Weighs 1.3 pounds
- BDC 150 reticle
- 3-9x magnification
- 12.3 in. long
- Eye relief: 3.5’’
- Zero-reset turrets
- 80 MOA internal adjustment
- 50-yard parallax settings
- Optically sharp
- Quickly adjustable
- High focus eyepiece lens
- Low parallax adjustment
- No adjustable objective
Overall, Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II is best for long-range professional shooting.
Best Optical Quality Nikon Rifle Scope
The best optical quality Nikon rifle scope is the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire II because of its sharp optical quality and precision.
#4: Best Quick-focus Nikon Rifle Scope – Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600
Nikon P-Tactical Matte has a range of .223 Rem with a weight of 1.7 pounds. The model is great for shooting in dismal climates.
MK-1 MOA Reticle is used which increases its precision. You can calibrate the scope with your gun using Nikon Spot On app.
The scope has elevated windages and zero-reset turrets handy to change the angle. It has thin hash-marks on the reticle which may be difficult to see. You shouldn’t go for it if you’re not an expert at locating hash-marks.
Features of Nikon P-Tactical Matte
- Spring-loaded zero-reset turrets
- BDC 600 reticle
- Open-circle aiming settings
- MK-1 MOA reticle
- Calibratable with Spot On
- 12.4 in. length
- Weighs 1.7 pound
- Adjustable for long-range targets
- Consistent Eye-relief
- Elevation possible
- Difficult to see BDC hash-marks
- BDC marks are not well-calibrated
Overall, Nikon P-Tactical is best for long-range shooting.
Best Quick-focus Nikon Rifle Scope
The best quick-focus Nikon rifle scope is Nikon P-Tactical Matte because of its elevation features, eye-relief, and quick focus eyepiece lens.
#5: Best Affordable Nikon Rifle Scope – Nikon P-Tactical .223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine Review
Nikon P-Tactical Carbine is sort of an economical dealas it has relatively fewer features than other Nikon rifle scopes.
It has an overall length of 8.2 in. and a weight of 12.7 pounds. Unlike other scopes of the P-Tactical series, it has only 3x magnification.
It is fog proof, waterproof, and has an MK1-MOA reticle. It gives a bright-color view both day and night.
Features of Nikon P-Tactical Matte Carbine
- 200 yards range
- Hash marks at 400 and 600 yards
- Zero reset turrets
- Scope caps included
- Weighs 12.7 pound
- Callibratable BDC Carbine
- Elevation adjustment present
- Wide field of view
- Low magnification
- Not made for short-range shooting
Overall, it is the best piece for recreational hunting or shooting at an affordable price.
Best Affordable Nikon Rifle Scope
The best Nikon riflescope is Nikon P-Tactical Matte Carbine because of its affordability, lightweight, and calibration.
It always helps to know what qualities experts of the field seek in a product. In the case of a Nikon scope, you should know:
- What to expect from good rifle scopes?
- How to differentiate between a good and a bad quality scope?
- What Nikon rifle scopes are best for your purposes?
- Which features to look for in Nikon rifle scopes?
- What do terms like the field of view, MOA mean?
We have tried our best to answer all these questions.
Here we have mentioned some virtues a great scope should always have.
- Lens Brightness
A scope should have a multi-coated internal body which allows less absorption and high reflection. This allows it to transmit more light and give a bright and multi-color view both day and night.
The focus eyepiece lens should also be in a sturdy protected structure to avoid damage to it.
- Waterproof and Fogproof
A good quality scope shouldn’t fog up from inside. It has a nitrogen-filled tube which avoids fogging by not having moisture.
A compact and tightly assembled body is needed to make it waterproof. The scope should have an O-ring, otherwise, it may take in the water some time.
Your scope should have a recoil-buffering system. Otherwise, it can hurt your brows while firing (commonly referred to as ‘scope bite’).
The first time, you should look for a scope with built-in shock-absorbers. To avoid a scope bite, you also need a perfectly fitted scope on the gun and some professional training.
- Eye Relief
A longer eye relief allows you to have a look at the target without bulging your eye into the rifle scope. Generally, eye comfort decreases as magnification increases.
Longer ranges give low eye relief whereas short ranges have higher eye comfort. Eye relief also depends on the scope model. For first-time, the general rule of thumb is the more generous eye relief is, the better it is.
- Adjustability and Elevation
Always look for an easily adjustable rifle. A rifle scope needs several adjustments. Lens adjustment, windage adjustment are some of them.
Check the product for too technical adjustments. Elevation and windage settings are key to adjust the aiming point to crosshairs. They may vary for short and long-range shooting. Be careful in selecting between them the first time.
Precision matters most in choosing a quality scope. Precision is represented by the minute of angle(MOA). It tells the size of shot dispersion at 100 yards. The smaller it is the better.
Usually, scopes have an MOA of ½ or ¼. All the Nikon models we have mentioned have an MOA of ¼.
- Magnification Range
Your scope should be balanced between eye comfort and magnification. Long-range and short-range scopes have different magnifications.
Nikon scopes generally have 3-9 time magnification which is enough for both long and short-range shots. Some relatively cheap models also feature 3x magnification.
- BDC Marking
BDC markings should match that of your rifle. Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) helps you to anticipate the drop in the bullet due to different factors.
They come in different ranges depending on long-range or short-range use. Nikon has introduced its Spot On software which helps you to calibrate your scope according to the condition.
Parallax settings absolutely increase the precision of your shot. Parallax error is the appearance of the object at a different location than it is due to the optical system setting.
Most of the Nikon scopes have a parallax adjustment for 100 yards. The P-Tactical series, however, has a parallax adjustment for 50 yards only.
- What are the best long-range Nikon rifle scopes for?
Nikon P-223 can be your best shot if you’re looking for a long-range scope. It has a range of .223 Rem/5.56 NATO and an MOA of ¼. It has a BDC range of 600 allowing you to accurately make a long-range shot.
For long-range hunting, Nikon Buckmaster II will do the job. It works best for deer-hunting. Both of them have 3-9x magnification making them apt for long shots.
- Is MILs better than BDC markings?
A rifle reticle comes in different types: BDC and MILs. You can choose a suitable reticle for your needs and rifle. If you don’t want to calibrate it manually, you can simply go with BDC but it may not be very accurate.
Although for MILs you will have to do calculations, the results are much more accurate than BDC markings. All adjustments are made by zero-reset turrets.
- Can Nikon scopes be used for hunting?
Absolutely, yes. The main uses of Nikon riflescopes are hunting and training. Their features are well-suited for hunting. Nikon Buckmaster II is specially designed for deer-hunting. Their magnification, elevation, MOA, and precision all are most apt for long-range and short-range hunting.
- Are Nikon’s scopes better than other scopes?
Nikon’s scopes are better than others in many ways. They have a balanced feature set at an affordable price. Different scopes have uses in different conditions and ranges.
Some of them work well for hunting, some for long-range shooting, and some for short-range ones. Nikon provides you a variety of different models optimized for your needs.
- Is parallax adjustment in rifle scope necessary?
Although it is not necessary, parallax adjustment can help you greatly to improve your shot’s precision. Parallax error occurs when you see the target at different places when you move your eye.
Parallax error can be adjusted using the parallax adjustment dial on the zero-reset turrets of the rifle. Some Nikon rifle scopes don’t have parallax adjustments. Keep an eye on it while buying one for your rifle.
- How much magnification my scope should have?
For a long-range rifle scope, 10x magnification is ideal. Different range scopes have different magnification ranges. A normal optical system working for both long and short ranges has a magnification range of 3x-9x.
Short-range scopes have a lower magnification of 3x. It depends wholly on what is your requirement.
After sorting out a great number of products, our team has come to the conclusion that Nikon P-223 is the best Nikon rifle scope if you’re looking for a long-range hunting scope.
It offers all desirable features at an affordable price. It has a range of .223 Rema and a ¼ MOA, with a magnification of 3-9x. The model has a generous and consistent eye-relief with a 100-yard parallax setting.
Considering all features, Nikon P-223 is the overall best pick.