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If you’re looking for a versatile scope with around a mid-range budget and want something that is quality but not too expensive, then this Prostaff 3-9x 40 riflescope is worth checking out. It’s from Nikon who manufacture superb lenses for all types of applications and one of the standout features is the brightness of the optics due to the high quality lens production.

This scope surprised some customers with the glass quality and the fact its BDC reticle was useful for a variety of ammo types.

Nikon Prostaff 3-9x 40 BDC Review

There’s another very similar product that has been reviewed on this site that’s better designed for using on AR15 rifles and if you need something for precision shooting then you can find the P-223 BDC scope by using the sidebar.


Variable Power

This scope has one of the most common magnification ranges and being from 3-9x means it is useful in close quarters and out to around 600 yards depending on the rifle you have. It also saves you having to buy two fixed power scopes if you want to hunt over many different ranges.


Fully waterproof and fogproof and with a lifetime warranty, it will stand up to the wear and tear of being on the hunt. Nitrogen purged and sealed so it resists fogging up in changing temperatures.

Bullet Drop Compensating Reticle

The BDC is not configured specifically for any type of ammunition but you can get a printed guide that gives you estimations of bullet drop and where the aiming points and marked lines actually translate into a range.

Quick Focus Eyepiece

Parallax free up to 100 yards which allows fast focusing on any target within that range as you don’t have to be too concerned about head positioning.

Bright Optics

Designed for use in low light conditions this scope is known for particularly good performance in the worst of conditions. Brightness is ensured by using quality glass and coatings.

98% Light Transmission

For similarly priced products there is no real comparison from another manufacturer in matching the high light transmission achieved by this scope. This is due to a combination of anti reflective coatings that allow a much light as possible to pass through.

Zero reset turrets

You can save your zero point and reset the turrets to those setting with a simple spring loaded adjustable mechanism.


Holds up to the recoil from large guns and has been reported to hold zero for over a 1000 rounds fired from an AK.


  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Type of Reticle: BDC
  • Objective Lens Size: 40mm
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 inches
  • Field of View@100 yards: 33.8/3x 11.3/9x
  • Windage and Elevation Graduation: ¼ MOA
  • Total Internal Adjustment: 80MOA
  • Length: 12.4 inch
  • Parallax Set: 100 yards

What Comes in the Box?

  • Riflescope
  • Lens Caps
  • Elevation and Windage Turret Caps

Customer Pros

Quality Glass

New users of this particular scope, especially those stepping down from higher priced models were really surprised by the clarity and quality of the glass lens. Considering Nikon is primarily a camera and lens manufacturer it will offer high quality glass in all its products.

BDC Performs On Point

Customers found the BDC to be accurate once they had tried and tested it out on the range. It is not just some adjustment only for the highest magnification setting either but functions correctly across the entire range.


Scope was larger than expected

Although described as compact in the description on both Nikon’s own website and Amazon it was found to be much longer than some customers expected. Luckily it is only a problem if using a particularly short barreled rifle and it may not be compatible with custom iron sights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Type of Rings Needed

1 inch rings are needed and you will have to buy mounting equipment separately.

Scope cover size

Butler Creek sizes it at #19 and #31

Will this stand up to recoil?

It will handle recoil extremely well and is designed to be shock proof. See more customer reviews about what they’ve put it through and how it has held up.

Where is this scope manufactured?

It is manufactured in the Philippines but this can change based on cost of production.

What kind of rifles has this scope been used on successfully?

A wide range of guns have used this, from AR’s to AK47’s as well as Winchesters and .308 caliber rifles it is a very versatile scope and not designed for one particularly type of weapon in particular.

Other Related Scopes

If you are looking for a precision shooter designed specifically for the AR-15 then you should check out the P-223 equivalent of this. It has many of the same features but a better BDC and is also newer so the quality of the lenses is slightly improved.


It is slightly cheaper than the new specialist scope the P-223 about $10 difference in the price. If precision is not hugely important to you then I would recommend this model due to its versatility and you can interchange it between firearms without too much hassle and it will remain useful.


This is a slightly cheaper version of the new P-223 that sacrifices a bit of performance for a lot of versatility. The Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 has been around for nearly 3 years and has favorable reviews throughout the entire time it has been available. If you would like to see more reviews about what other customers thought then check them out at Amazon.