Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Riflescope Review
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- 98% light transmission
- See-through reticle dots for pinpoint shooting at long ranges
- Constant crisp, clear target image across all magnifications
- No illuminated reticle
Guides: mounting, sighting-in, maintenance
Welcome to our review of the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope. Nikon is a big name in sport optics, so I was excited about the chance to review the ProStaff. I was even more excited to see the regular selling price of the ProStaff, since its price puts it well within the budget range that’s friendly for most hunters. How well does the ProStaff stack up to the competition, though? Let’s check it out and decide for ourselves.
What Are the Scope’s Dimensions?
The Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope is 12.4 inches long and weighs in at exactly one pound. This isn’t the lightest scope on the market, but it is far from being the bulkiest or heaviest. The scope features a 40mm objective lens, so bear that in mind when you are ordering rings to go along with the scope (because it does not include rings).
How Powerful is the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope?
The Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope‘s 40mm objective lens offers magnification ranges from 3X to 9X. Resolution and clarity is fantastic across all magnification levels, allowing you to get a good view of your subject before taking that crucial shot that you hope will put a healthy amount of venison in the freezer.
How Good Are the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope’s Optics?
The optics on the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope are fully multi-coated, the barrel is nitrogen-filled, and the lenses are O-Ring sealed. This means you have a scope here that is waterproof, fogproof, and dustproof. It also means the image clarity is fantastic, allowing you to practically count the hairs or feathers on your target from more than a hundred yards away. Nikon has included its patented BDC reticle in the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope. This reticle provides range compensation markers that allow you to shoot at a variety of ranges without ballistic “guesswork.”
The really nice thing about the Nikon BDC reticle is the fact that the range compensation markers are see-through circles instead of solid dots; this allows you to actually make more precise aiming adjustments than you could otherwise, since you can see exactly where your shot should go and aim accordingly. Eye relief on this scope is a generous 3.6 inches, allowing you plenty of room between your eye and the scope to prevent knockback injuries. I can’t express how nice the eye relief is on this scope, having popped myself in the eye countless times by scopes with shorter eye relief. The only drawback to this scope is that it is not illuminated. I would love to see this scope with illuminated reticles, simply because the light transmission is so good that it would be a great scope for use in the pre-dawn minutes of the hunting day if the reticle was more visible during those crucial minutes.
What’s the Light Gathering Capability Like on the Scope?
Nikon advertises the light gathering capability of the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope as being 98%, and I think they’re right on the money there. This scope transmits more light, leaving a brighter, more detailed picture, than most of my other scopes. Honestly, the light gathering capability of this scope puts my binoculars and rangefinders to shame, along with most of my illuminated scopes. It’s a shame Nikon didn’t choose to capitalize on this fantastic, bright scope by illuminating the reticle, but the scope is still highly useful even during lower light conditions.
How Wide is the Field of View?
At 3X magnification, the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope allows you to see a field of view that is 33.8 feet wide, and the linear field of view with 9X magnification is a generous 11.3 feet. This scope is very nice to use in the field, with its wide field of view offering a generous look at the landscape so you can locate your target and then dial in close for the kill shot.
How Easy is the Scope to Mount?
Once you have the right set of rings, the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope is very easy to mount. It takes just a few minutes to attach the rings and then mount the scope on the rail of your gun. Once mounted, you can adjust the scope to get the perfect view, and then you’re ready to sight it in.
Any Tricks or Tips About Mounting the Scope?
With the 40mm objective lens, you might find that the objective rubs against your gun barrel if you don’t use medium- or high-profile rings. I made sure to mount the scope using medium-profile rings, and those rings provided the perfect amount of clearance on my .30-06.
How Easy is the Nikon ProStaff 3-9X Riflescope to Sight In?
The first step you should always take to sighting in a scope is to use a laser bore sighting tool to get the scope on paper. This allows you to take care of what is often the most tedious and difficult part of sighting in your scope without ever firing a shot. Once you’re on paper, the scope is very easy to sight in to absolute zero.
To make the sighting in process and subsequent field adjustments even easier, Nikon has built the ProStaff with zero-reset turrets. You sight in the scope, then zero-reset the windage and/or elevation dials, then re-engage. After that, you can make minute changes for field conditions, and then set the dial back to your normal zero point when those field conditions no longer apply.
How Durable is the Riflescope?
This scope is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, and the scope is very durable. The scope is also waterproof and fogproof, allowing for a very rugged scope that is equally at home at a dry shooting range or in the snowy forest for deer hunting.