Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC Review

Maintaining a safe distance from animals is important when you’re hunting. The quality of your rifle scope makes a difference in your success rate too. One of the most effective rifle scopes that’s also affordable is the Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC. It not only fits on most rifles but works well with them. Both lightweight and heavy recoil rifles are good to use with this scope. It comes with a generous eye relief and 40mm lens that protect your brow if the rifle recoils.

Nikon is a reputable company to buy from. They are a multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo that specializes in optics and imaging. Nikon is well-known for their cameras, but they also sell spotting scopes, rifle scopes, microscopes, measuring instruments, and binoculars. You can learn about the pros and cons of Nikon’s Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC by reading our review below.

Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC Pros and Cons

Nikon Prostaff 4 12x40 BDC


1. BDC Reticle

Nikon’s BDC reticle enables you to hold dead-on at farther ranges during hunting. The conventional medium plex crosshair has four hollow circles under the center. These hollow circles help hunters transition between distances with greater ease. You won’t need to click different elevations with your scope turrets. Nikon advises shooting range numbers on their website for the BDC reticle. This is helpful for those who are unsure which range to use.

2. Versatile Magnification Range

The Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC has a versatile magnification range, giving hunters more flexibility. You can use it for virtually any type of hunting due to its versatile magnification range. The magnification is superb for long-range shooting. It also works well for mid-range hunting.

3. Bright Sight Picture

Sight pictures are bright and high-resolution with this scope, even in less-than-desirable hunting conditions. Bright sight pictures allow hunters to shoot with higher accuracy.

4. Durable Scope

The Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC is fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof. You can use it in various weather conditions because water won’t damage it. Fog won’t obscure your vision either. Even if you accidentally drop the scope a few times, it will still work because it’s shockproof. Of course, this doesn’t mean the scope is invincible, so we still advise treating the scope as you do your other scopes.

5. Lifetime Warranty

Nikon includes a lifetime warranty with the Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC. It’s unlikely you’ll ever have to redeem the warranty, but it gives one peace of mind knowing it’s available.

6. Precise Hand-Turn 1/4-MOA Click Adjustments

You can zero in on your target faster thanks to precise hand-turn 1/4-MOA click adjustments in this Nikon scope. The setting sticks better as well, even if your rifle has a heavy recoil.

7. Multicoated Optical System

This rifle scope has a multicoated optical system that increases light transmission up to 98%. Similarly priced scopes don’t have multicoated lenses. It’s easier to hunt in low light conditions when the lenses have better light transmission.

8. Good Eye Relief

The Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC provides 3.7 inches of eye relief. This means you’ll be able to see the full picture 3.7 inches from your scope. And your brow stays safe from the rifle’s recoil.


The 12 power setting is sometimes too high for hunting purposes. As long as you keep the scope on lower settings, however, it’s an excellent hunting scope. The reticle indications are too imprecise at 12 power too. Nikon offers ranging software on their website to improve reticle indications, but it’s still too imprecise at 12 power. The ranging software is more useful at 4X to 6X on this scope. Another problem encountered at 12X is poor light gathering, which is to be expected of a 40mm. The crosshairs become too thick at 12X as well, decreasing your precision.

According to a negative customer review on Amazon, the scope is sensitive to parallax distortion at different eye angles. She said it might not be good for hunting squirrels for that reason. Her eye movement left, right, up, and down would change the crosshairs location.

It’s not a good scope for bench shooting. The Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC works better for hunting and military purposes. Bench shooters who have tried this scope experienced several frustrations, such as the crosshair lines being too thick. At 100 yards, a customer said that the crosshairs covered his target, which was a two inch piece of adhesive paper.

Who Is This Product Best For?

Nikon Prostaff 4 12 rifle scope

The Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC is best for hunters and military service members. Hunters can switch between distances quickly and with ease thanks to the conventional medium plex crosshair. Sight pictures are in high resolution regardless of weather conditions, a benefit for both hunters and service members. It works for a wide range of hunting types in varying conditions. Although the Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC can be used on any rifle, it works best on higher performance rifles.


This rifle scope is excellent for mid to long range shooting. It has a generous 3.7 inch eye relief to keep your brow safe while shooting the rifle. You’ll have an advantage shooting long-range due to the see-through ballistic circles. When shooting shorter range, you still have a good aiming point via the crosshair. A durable product, the Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC is shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof. It’s compatible with use of a sunshade in case you want extra protection from the elements. On the off chance that your rifle scope is damaged, Nikon has you covered with a lifetime warranty.

The Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC is weak when it comes to bench shooting. It wasn’t designed for shorter range shooting. You may be unable to see the target clearly because of thick crosshair lines during bench shooting. Overall, the Nikon Prostaff 4 12×40 BDC is a great scope for most mid to long range shooting activities. What do you think of this rifle scope? Let us know in the comments below.