Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Review: An Affordable Choice

If you are looking for an affordable scope for your rifle, then the Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 is the scope for you. It is nitrogen-filled with an O-ring sealed housing to make it fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof. Its 3.6-inch eye relief will keep your brows safe, even if using lightweight rifles, heavy recoiling cartridges or severe shooting angles. With a parallax setting of 100 yards, a 40 mm objective diameter lens, and a lifetime warranty, the price point on this scope is hard to beat. The Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 is a great choice where you are a hunter or shoot targets.

Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 riflescope

Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Pros and Cons


1. Durable and Easy to Use
Starting off with the first thing you see out of the box is the matte black finish. A perfect scope for any rifle, the design is both classic and simple. But don’t let this simplicity fool you. The Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 gives top-of-the-line performance. Its durability and strength help the scope maintain its zero on rifles like the 308 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield which are high-velocity rifles. Positive click precision hand turn MOA click adjustments allows you to zero in faster and maintain the setting even when using equipment with heavy recoil.

2. Easy Focusing Lens
Whether you are target practicing or out for game, you want a scope that focuses quickly and this scope comes through. With glass that is very bright and sharp, quick focusing is easy. Light transmission is up to 90 percent, making the scope easy to use in low light conditions. The magnification adjustment is smooth and the lens gives a 33.8 feet field of view at 100 yards on the 3X setting. At 9X it drops to 11.3 feet, making the Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 a perfect scope for hunting when the target appears a lot closer than you are expecting.

3. Bullet Drop Compensator
The Bullet Drop Compensator circles are a great feature. Nikon offers an app called Spot On which teaches you how to use the BCD based on the loads you are using in your rifle and your target distance. Because rounds fired from a high-velocity rifle arc, the BCD helps the shooter calculate where the round will drop and actually hit the target. By manually adjusting the scope based on the BCD information, you know you’ll hit your target whether it is 300 or 600 yards away.

4. Price
For a Nikon scope, with these features, reliability, lifetime warranty, and ease of use, the price makes this scope a winner.

5. Firm Feel
The Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 scope offer firm clicks when making adjustments. Other scopes can feel too soft or too tight when trying to adjust the knobs of focus. The firm feel of the scope makes it perfect for anyone who needs to make quick adjustments.

Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 scope and rifle


1. Size
Its ruggedness means its size is a bit bigger than comparative scopes with a 40 mm objective. This may make it harder to fit some rifles and require using higher rings, or even extra higher, to accommodate the scope.

It is hard to argue with a lifetime warranty but the rugged outer housing also adds to the weight of the lens. At about one pound, some shooters may notice the difference after it is mounted to their rifle. Still, when compared to similar scopes, the weight is not out of line.

3. Bullet Drop Compensator
Yes, this is also listed in the Pros. But some shooters find the BCD circles distracting and not helpful when shooting small game. At more than 150 yards, the BCD circles cover the entire body of small game like a prairie dog or groundhog. Plus, they can be hard to see and use in low light conditions.

4. Scope Caps
The caps that come with the scope do serve their basic function of protecting the lens but are a bit inconvenient to use. They don’t just flip up or down. When are removed, they must be stored in a bag or pocket. For some shooters, this can be annoying.

5. Adjustments
The inset adjustment controls are more difficult to set than, for instance, finger-adjustable click knobs. This makes initial adjustments of the scope cumbersome.

6. Lens Distraction
The internal workings of the lens, including screws and mechanisms, are apparent if your eye moves from the field of view.

Who Should Buy the Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40

This classic looking scope is perfect for someone who collects and shoots older rifles. It is great for target shooting. For the hunter, you get the option of using Nikon’s BCD circles instead of the crosshairs. Its price makes it affordable for the beginner who is looking for a good entry level scope.

The Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 provides you value for your money. The technology from Nikon is state of the art. It has Nikon’s adjustment technology and patented coated lens. With the BCD circles, hunters find they can get accurate results at greater distances than they thought possible. And the scopes spring-loaded adjustment knob gets you back to zero in no time, ready to fire that next shot. With a lifetime warranty and a scope that brags 90 percent light transmission, it will be harder to find a better scope in this price range. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a great rifle scope, you don’t need to look any further than the Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40.