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View Full Version : Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 3-9x40mm BDC Review and Range Report (Pics of Scope Added)


Izzy43
04-05-2012, 12:45 PM
So I set out today to test this scope. My objectives were to evaluate the scope in the following areas. Clarity, brightness, operation of the turrets, usefulness of the Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle, and what I like and don't like about the scope.

Equipment and ammo. Scope mounted on my Kimber 82G, my most accurate rifle, Aguila Pistol Match (1080fps), shot from a homemade bench, Caldwell Rock BR front rest and rabbit ear rear bag.

Environment. Temp 55 degrees, elevation, 4500ft, bright sunshine, wind was gusting 5-10mph left to right (weather guesser said calm to 2-3mph, didn't happen). Shooting area was flat.

Set up: Placed targets at 50, 77, 99, 120 and 142yds for distance shooting. Set targets at 50 yds for initial zero and 25 and 50 yds for group testing. Set target at 50 yds for box test. (more on that later)

Initial settings on scope were way off for 50 yds. Had the scope zeroed within 10 shots.

Performed box test with a red dot as the aimpoint. (see photo) Moved elevation up 12 clicks (3") and took second shot, moved windage 12 clicks (3") right and took third shot, moved elevation down 12 clicks and took fourth shot, moved windage left 12 clicks and took fifth shot. The scope returned to within less than 1/4" of first shot. Very good, the 1/4" difference could have been wind, ammo or me. High marks for the box test.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7129/6902439444_0a96a41125.jpg

Print out of BDC reticle using the "Spot On" program at Nikonhunting.com. The reticle is calibrated for the Aquila Ammo, temp, humidity and 4500ft elevation where I shot. Note that there are points indicated on the printout that correspond to the distances that I shot. The top of the reticle in the printout is the crosshairs, the bottom is where the crosshair becomes thicker. Wish they had shown that in the printout.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7105/6902443872_5b0a76b538.jpg

Next I shot at the various distances to evaluate the usefullness and accuracy of the "Spot On" program and reticle. Photos below show the results. Keep in mind that I was battling the wind gusts and trying to shoot when the wind was at its lowest velocity. Some targets have more than one hit but I did hit each target with the first shot. On the 142yd target I shot multiple times to see if I could hit it again. I thought I had only hit it once until I walked out to retrieve the targets. To my surprise I hit it 4 out of 5 times. Worst target is the 77 yd target which I can only blame on the wind and me.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7140/7048526813_f52230ff8a.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7241/7048523271_00f61c5ec9.jpg

I then shot 2 sets of groups @ 50yds and then 2 more at 25yds. Group sizes are indicated on the photo. Before you ask, yes the lower, right 25yd group is 5 shots.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7118/7048533739_8fe4d736d7.jpg

I have never shot beyond 100yds with a .22 before today so I can't compare this with anything that I have done previously. I was pleased that the scope allowed me to hit each target on the first shot. Due to the wind conditions I am not disappointed in not hitting the center of the bullseye on each target, not really what I was trying to accomplish anyway. In any case I am fairly pleased with that 3 shot group in the center right of the 142yd target.

What I like about this scope.
1. The reticle and program actually work together.
2. The scope is clear and bright with no change from 3-9X
3. The elevation and windage adjustments are precise, no backlash and return to zero.
4. Fit and finish is excellent
5. Good for long distance shooting and short range target work (25-50yds)
6. The markings on the elevation/windage are actually in 1/4" steps and when moved 4 clicks, the turret is marked with a "1", 8 clicks "2" and so on.
7. Scope is not heavy or excessive in length. Looks nice on a .22 rifle.

What I don't like.
1. Turret caps are plastic with threads in the plastic. One crossthreading and the threads might be chewed up.
2. Targets @ 25yds are blurred but this is to be expected as the parallex on this scope is 50yds. At 50yds on out the targets are clear.

What I would like to see.
1. Metal turret caps.
2. This scope with an adjustable objective (AO) down to 10yds. This would increase the price of the scope but I for one would be willing to pay for it. The Target EFR model of this scope has an AO but not the BDC reticle.

I am very pleased with the overall quality and performance of this scope. For me I think it is well worth the $$$ even without the rebate. I have been through a lot of inexpensive scopes and this one beats them all hands down. I have read many times that a person should sacrifice magnification for quality of glass in a scope. This scope proves that. Better to see a clear, bright target @ 9X than a blurry, dark target @ 24X.

Thanks for looking:taz:

bman940
04-05-2012, 1:11 PM
Iz., Very nice job, Truthful and unbiased.Kudo's to you, I hope other's get a chance to see your post and it helps them with their decision.
A lot of work in your write up and pictures, thank you again for passing along your thoughts!
Hopefully I'll get one tot he range soon and paas my thoughts on as well.
Bart

walletclan
04-05-2012, 2:04 PM
Great review. I have never seen the box method before, but that is great. I ordered the 4x32 Nikon with the rebate deal and am looking forward to put on my 10/22 TD.

What rings our mount are you using?

Quinc
04-05-2012, 2:09 PM
Great Review!

covingtonhouse
04-05-2012, 5:14 PM
Great range report!!! Thanks.

Dirtbikindad393
04-05-2012, 5:16 PM
Great review and write up. Helped me with a lot of my questions about scopes and to learn more about the factors going into it. I was thinking about the 4x32 that Walletclan bought but I am now thinking the BDC or maybe the target as my first scope to go onto my Ruger 10/22 TD that I will be picking up soon. Now my big question is like walletclan what components do you recommend to mount the scope?

Do I use a rail and rings?

Off to use the search function to see if I can get some answers. I need to buy the scope before the rebate ends but would like to purchase from Cabelas while I can get 1.89 shipping.

Izzy43
04-05-2012, 5:48 PM
Great review. I have never seen the box method before, but that is great. I ordered the 4x32 Nikon with the rebate deal and am looking forward to put on my 10/22 TD.

What rings our mount are you using?

I used these rings, no other mount. Rings mount directly to the dovetail on the receiver. I think these rings would also work on a semi-auto and would not creep due to the two mounting bolts on each ring. They clamp very tightly. I also use them on a .22WMR bolt action and they never creep even with the additional recoil of that round.

http://www.amazon.com/AccuShot-Premium-Mid-Profile-Airgun-1-Inch/dp/B001WJ4TKK/ref=pd_sim_sg_3

If mounted on a bolt action, ensure that you have enough room for the bolt to clear the rear of the scope. Not a problem for most bolt action .22 rifles but could be an issue on CZ rifles.

Edit: Those rings are also available for Weaver/Pictanny type mounts.

facn650
04-06-2012, 7:51 AM
Izzy,
thanks for taking the time to post the review. Can't wait for mine to come in and test it out.

Dirtbikingdad, these are the rings for the weaver style and they are also see through and might allow use of iron sights(can't confirm)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001WJ67S2/ref=oh_o00_s00_i01_details

facn650
04-11-2012, 1:48 PM
Izzy,
when you say the targets are blurred at 25yards, is this a full magnification? Would the 4x32 suffer from the same thing since the parallax is also set to 50yards on that scope?

HilaryForPresident
04-11-2012, 2:15 PM
These are great value scopes. My friend has a similar one, the clarity surprised me.

Vacaville
04-11-2012, 2:16 PM
Thanks for the input. I've been thinking of getting one for my Marlin 795.

sholling
04-11-2012, 3:10 PM
That's a shame that it's blurry below 25yds and completely unacceptable for a rimfire scope. I'd actually considered buying one but I'll go with the Weaver RV7 instead. Thanks for the review you've saved me some money.

Izzy43
04-11-2012, 3:29 PM
That's a shame that it's blurry below 25yds and completely unacceptable for a rimfire scope. I'd actually considered buying one but I'll go with the Weaver RV7 instead. That's for the review you've saved me some money.

I guess the EFR Target model would be a better choice due to the AO but I think the 1/4" @ 50yds elevation/windage adjustments really takes it out of the realm of a true target scope.

I mounted the BDC model on my CZ UltraLux yesterday and due to the mounting height required for the bolt to clear the scope, the farthest I could zero the scope was 40yds with the elevation at maximum. For a scope that has 80 moa of adjustment I believe that is unsatifactory.

Still I do like the scope on my Kimber and shoot it primarily at 50+ yds. I did call Nikon Technical support and was informed I needed higher rings to zero at longer ranges. Won't be calling them again. A Weaver RV-9 is on my short list.

sholling
04-11-2012, 3:48 PM
I guess the EFR Target model would be a better choice due to the AO but I think the 1/4" @ 50yds elevation/windage adjustments really takes it out of the realm of a true target scope.

I mounted the BDC model on my CZ UltraLux yesterday and due to the mounting height required for the bolt to clear the scope, the farthest I could zero the scope was 40yds with the elevation at maximum. For a scope that has 80 moa of adjustment I believe that is unsatifactory.

Still I do like the scope on my Kimber and shoot it primarily at 50+ yds. I did call Nikon Technical support and was informed I needed higher rings to zero at longer ranges. Won't be calling them again. A Weaver RV-9 is on my short list.
I have the RV9 and it's great for casual target shooting (not enough magnification for serious target shooting) but I'd like something faster (non-AO) for a survival rifle and in that situation the shooter may need to take a rabbit or tree rat from 10-75yds. For comparison purposes my old $50 Bushnell 3-9x32 rimfire is in focus from 10 yards on. I'm really sad because I wanted the Nikon.

facn650
04-11-2012, 4:07 PM
I'll have to try it out this weekend since it gets here on Thursday.

I'd like the ability to focus at 15-100 yards

AR22
04-12-2012, 7:31 PM
Thanks for the review..I have known for a long time about the quality of the Nikon Prostaff line..I see all these people that laugh when you use one on a AR15 and such.I have the Prostaff line on everything from my kids AR22 to my High powered rifles and they are great..Sorry if this offends the guys that buy a 1000.00 scope but I can shoot just as good with my 150.00 Prostaffs.Sorry spending 1000.00 on a scope does not make you a better marksman or your rifle shoot straighter:)

facn650
04-12-2012, 10:32 PM
3-9x40 came in, it's mounted and I answered my own question about blurred image at 25 yards...

Even at 10 yards the image is not blurred at all and in focus if I'm at the 3x setting, even at 4x it's still clear. At full 9x magnification it's blurred at 10 yards but I won't be shooting at 9x unless 50 yards or so. This was all done indoors and in poor lighting conditions. Amazing how clear the image is even with poor lighting. I already like it and haven't even shot with it yet. Won't get a chance until Sunday since I'll be shooting my 22/45 tomorrow :)

Izzy, thanks for posting about the scope and the rebate.

htfan
04-13-2012, 7:36 AM
Great review! Good information with pics. I'm going to bookmark this one.

Izzy43
04-13-2012, 8:08 AM
3-9x40 came in, it's mounted and I answered my own question about blurred image at 25 yards...

Even at 10 yards the image is not blurred at all and in focus if I'm at the 3x setting, even at 4x it's still clear. At full 9x magnification it's blurred at 10 yards but I won't be shooting at 9x unless 50 yards or so. This was all done indoors and in poor lighting conditions. Amazing how clear the image is even with poor lighting. I already like it and haven't even shot with it yet. Won't get a chance until Sunday since I'll be shooting my 22/45 tomorrow :)

Izzy, thanks for posting about the scope and the rebate.

Great info for me and others with this scope. I didn't even think to try it on lower magnification @ 25yds and less. Thats good news. Don't forget to try the Spot On program at Nikonhunting.com and print out the reticle for your ammo, works pretty darn good.

morthrane
04-13-2012, 1:58 PM
I am very pleased with the overall quality and performance of this scope. For me I think it is well worth the $$$ even without the rebate.
I got the same scope on my 10/22 a week before the rebates started, got boned by opticplanet on a coupon and amazon on shipping, and even after all that... I'd agree, well worth the $$$.

With a rebate, coupon, and free shipping, no brainer if you don't have a 4x or higher scope for a rimfire rifle already.

BigStiCK
04-13-2012, 11:25 PM
3-9x40 came in, it's mounted and I answered my own question about blurred image at 25 yards...

Even at 10 yards the image is not blurred at all and in focus if I'm at the 3x setting, even at 4x it's still clear. At full 9x magnification it's blurred at 10 yards but I won't be shooting at 9x unless 50 yards or so. This was all done indoors and in poor lighting conditions. Amazing how clear the image is even with poor lighting.

Noticed this as well when using mine on a 25yd indoor range. Thought it was just me, now I know.:cool:

ljgrasso
04-13-2012, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the great review. I ordered the EFR Target model for my 10/22 TD being picked up on Tuesday. Sounds like a good match.

sholling
04-13-2012, 11:59 PM
Even at 10 yards the image is not blurred at all and in focus if I'm at the 3x setting, even at 4x it's still clear.
That's better and the way it should be. You're usually at 3x at 10yds anyway. What's the focus like at 6 or 7x at 25 yards? Just for reference another good test is for point of impact shift when zooming from 3x to 9x and knowing Nikon it'll be dead on but I've seen some scopes shift POI pretty bad. I'll be giving the Prostaff some thought again now.

Jack L
04-14-2012, 9:45 AM
Just bought one after reading this review. With the $50 rebate they are only $100 to the door with the free shipping. Glad I saw this as I needed a scope for my new 10 22.

Izzy43
04-14-2012, 12:12 PM
That's better and the way it should be. You're usually at 3x at 10yds anyway. What's the focus like at 6 or 7x at 25 yards? Just for reference another good test is for point of impact shift when zooming from 3x to 9x and knowing Nikon it'll be dead on but I've seen some scopes shift POI pretty bad. I'll be giving the Prostaff some thought again now.

I set up yesterday @ 15yds and the sight picture was pretty clear so I suspect it will only be better @ 25yds. I was just a tad blurry but not like it was on 9X @25yds. I'm going to check it @ 25yds on Monday because I'm snowed in for the weekend.

Smin
04-15-2012, 11:35 AM
Awesome review. I was thinking about getting one of these for my Sig522 until a friend of mine is loaning me a Trijicon ACOG for a while. Your review has sold me on them though. Will definitely pick one up once I'm ready to get my own.

Izzy43
04-15-2012, 2:06 PM
Awesome review. I was thinking about getting one of these for my Sig522 until a friend of mine is loaning me a Trijicon ACOG for a while. Your review has sold me on them though. Will definitely pick one up once I'm ready to get my own.

Get it before 28 April, the rebate expires then.

marine1775
04-15-2012, 6:21 PM
Very helpful review! I just bought a ProStaff 4-12x40 to mount on a new CZ 453 .17HMR. I'm hoping this will be a good match for long range ground squirrel shooting.

Smin
04-15-2012, 10:02 PM
I thought I would just wait since I'll have an ACOG for a couple of years.


Get it before 28 April, the rebate expires then.

Izzy43
04-16-2012, 1:17 PM
Took the scope (BDC model) out today after I removed it from my CZ and remounted it just to make sure I did not have a mounting problem. Apparently I did as the scope worked perfectly today. One issue that I wanted to resolve was the poor focus @ 25yds and closer. Well for some reason that issue also disappeared. At 25 yds a 2" bullseye was very clear and I could pick out individual blades of grass as well. However, near the edges of the scope it was blurry but maybe that's to be expected with a scope that's set to be parallex free @ 50 yds. I would say the scope is very useable at 9x @ 25yd distance. Closer than that and the scope needs to be at 6x or less for a decent focus.

My other concern with the scope was the 1/4" per click @ 50 yds elevation/windage adjustments. I think its a none issue at least with my CZ as after zeroing @ 50 yds I was shooting bullseye targets with a 1/4" bull and putting 8 out of ten rounds in the bull. This combo of rifle/scope shoots better than I can so I am satisfied with the results.

Gonna order the 4X32mm for my Henry Frontier lever rifle. She's just a plinker.

frdman
04-16-2012, 8:14 PM
Gentlemen, what scope covers would fit on this scope?

Nevermind, I found the answer: http://www.schoupartner.no/sitefiles/26/dokumenter/ButlerCreekScopeCoverChartBrochure.PDF

Zartan
04-17-2012, 5:25 AM
Well, wheres the picture of the rifle with the scope mounted?

Izzy43
04-17-2012, 10:03 AM
Well, wheres the picture of the rifle with the scope mounted?

Here you go.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7224/6941726856_5dc5aa8df2.jpg

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5340/6941725326_7a8581672c.jpg

:taz::taz::taz:

orthopod
04-18-2012, 12:40 AM
Here you go.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7224/6941726856_5dc5aa8df2.jpg

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5340/6941725326_7a8581672c.jpg

:taz::taz::taz:

I just got my google offer for $25 for $50 on optics planet so that with the $50 from Nikon will be $75 off. Now I just need to decide which one of the three. My local ranges go out to 100 yards so I will be doing target shooting from 25-100 yards. One of my local ranges has silhouette shooting which I would like to try but from my online research those guys use higher magnification than 9x? Will that be an issue? Also Izzy where do you live. That view is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. I am definitely buying a house in a location like that when my medical training is over.

Zartan
04-18-2012, 6:10 AM
SWEET! and nice backyard!

Izzy43
04-18-2012, 6:27 PM
I just got my google offer for $25 for $50 on optics planet so that with the $50 from Nikon will be $75 off. Now I just need to decide which one of the three. My local ranges go out to 100 yards so I will be doing target shooting from 25-100 yards. One of my local ranges has silhouette shooting which I would like to try but from my online research those guys use higher magnification than 9x? Will that be an issue? Also Izzy where do you live. That view is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. I am definitely buying a house in a location like that when my medical training is over.

I am not a silhouette shooter but from what I have read most of those shooters use higher powered scopes than 9X. One critical issue with the scope is that the elevation adjustments are used extensively so it is recommended that a quality scope is used (read no-Chinese scopes). Were it me I would be looking at a Weaver, Nikon or other mid grade scope at a minimum if you intend to shoot silhouette often.

I live in Idyllwild about 20 miles east of Hemet up the mountain @ 6000ft elevation. My avatar it a picture of the home my wife and I have been building for 4 years (not contractors except for the foundation).

Here's a couple of pics of the winter view just 30 days ago from the back deck.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7192/7090394299_e3ee022641_c.jpg

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7267/7090401805_51c051faba_c.jpg

Smin
04-18-2012, 7:18 PM
Man that is such a sick view...

Erik_J
04-19-2012, 8:18 AM
I hope to have a view like that one day....he is one lucky dude.

Izzy43
04-19-2012, 8:34 AM
Thanks for the comments on the view. Great to wake up to every morning to that view.

facn650
04-19-2012, 10:29 AM
I grew up and lived in a place like that(3000ft) until I was about 20. Now I'm in the city but my plans are to go back to a setting like.

Beautiful setting, Izzy.

Is that an Ultra Lux that the scope is mounted on?

Izzy43
04-19-2012, 10:39 AM
I grew up and lived in a place like that(3000ft) until I was about 20. Now I'm in the city but my plans are to go back to a setting like.

Beautiful setting, Izzy.

Is that an Ultra Lux that the scope is mounted on?

Yes its a UL, great rifle and a real shooter. Its my favorite rifle and I only mounted the scope for a trial, it has already gone back to BRNO Target aperture sights as it shoots nearly as good with those as it does with a scope.

The Prostaff is about as perfect as you could get for this style rifle as they are difficult to scope due to the hogback (European Style) stock. Its really designed for iron or peep sights. Can be hard to get a good cheek weld with a scope.

facn650
04-19-2012, 10:45 AM
Good to know.
I had been eyeing them for a while and finally pulled the trigger on one on Monday. If I didn't get one now it was going to be difficult later on since they're running out. I'm not sure if a 455 version will become available either.

Back on topic now :)

Izzy43
04-19-2012, 11:15 AM
Good to know.
I had been eyeing them for a while and finally pulled the trigger on one on Monday. If I didn't get one now it was going to be difficult later on since they're running out. I'm not sure if a 455 version will become available either.

Back on topic now :)

If you decide on the BRNO Target Aperture sights the gentleman who sells those is member "BRNOMAN" over on Rimfirecentral.com. He lives in California and can get all things BRNO and CZ. I understand he has had some medical issues of late so might be a little wait to get ahold of him. He is one outstanding guy and loved over at Rimfirecentral.com in the CZ forum.

For questions/ordering contact him at "ajakubec@aol.com" but might be a bit of a wait right now. Hoping his health issues are over soon.

Smiling Bob
09-01-2012, 10:27 AM
Izzy43,

Sent you a PM

Smiling Bob

Izzy43
09-01-2012, 11:18 AM
Izzy43,

Sent you a PM

Smiling Bob

PM answered.

roushstage2
09-01-2012, 12:55 PM
Since this got bumped and I missed the pics before...what a horrible view from out back Izzy! :p

Beautiful! :)