Power Variability: Variable
Objective Diameter: 40 mm
Length/Weight/Tube Diameter: 14.1 inches/14.3 ounces/1 inch
Field of View: 7.3 - 23.6 ft/100 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 3.7 inches/3.3 - 10 mm
Adjustment Info: 1/4 MOA/Click
Optics Coatings: Multicoated
Finish: Black Matte
Parallax Setting: Factory-set 100 yards
Airgun rated: No
Illuminated Reticle: No
Mounting Rings Included: No
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting
Nikon Prostaff Rifle Scope Review
The Prostaff 4-12X40 BDC has more bells and whistles than it should for its price. It's the ultimate hunter's versatile optic that makes adjusting for bullet drop a breeze while getting you the maximum light transmission possible (up to 98%)!
Other hunters and consumers obviously agree, because there's no way this economical rifle scope would have a near perfect rating if it wasn't so. Nikon pumps out a quality product, again, and consumers can't get enough.
Out of all the Prostaff models available, why was this one chosen for a review? All over the internet, the 3-9X40 versions are being touted about, while enough can't be said about the Nikon Buckmaster and Monarch series. But, the Prostaff 4-12X40 has consistently high reviews all across the board, even after being on the market since 2011.
Out of hundreds of reviewers, loads of them gave it the perfect score. There is nothing but good to be said of this model, and it's consistently being compared with other world-class known brands like Leupold's Rifleman 4-12X20.
The Prostaff 4-12X40 holds a strong and solid reputation among hunters who want to spend about $200, but want a darn nice scope at the same time.
Need to know more? Below we answer some of the common questions about this popular Nikon, but first, the pros and cons:
- Zero reset turret
- Finger adjustable turrets
- Weather/Shock proof
- No parallax control
Prostaff 4-12X40 Matte BDC Q&A:
What is BDC and does this model have it?
The Prostaff 4-12X40 does have the BDC feature, and it is an acronym for Bullet Drop Compensation. The reticle has the cross style cross hairs with three small aiming circles below the center point.
What does this mean for you? If you match your ammo and your rifle to this scope, using Nikon's Spot-On technology, you'll be given the exact holdover points in order to avoid any misplaced shots.
Since all ammo drops differently at varying distances, each aiming circle on the BDC would serve as your dead center point.
What is the image quality like on the Prostaff scope?
This optic has a multi-coated optical system that allows for up to 98 percent of light transmission. The large 40mm objective lens and the extra chemical coatings make for a bright and crystal-clear image, even when the clouds are rolling in or if dusk is approaching.
You wouldn't have to worry too much about low light conditions since the scope will collect as much light as possible for you to stalk on. For a scope to offer such optical quality while still being so budget-friendly, is rare.
Are special tools required to make scope adjustments?
The easy-to-use and positive-click scope adjustments of the Prostaff riflescope does not require you to have to go out and separately purchase any special tools to make these adjustments. All you need are your squeezing fingers to get the job done. The knobs on the adjustments also protect them from any weathering and rust.
Can this Nikon zoom in and out?
The Prostaff 4-12X40 model has a variable magnification range. It can be as low as 4X or as high as 12X. This makes it a great scope for all types of hunters who need a lower range for dense, forest areas or those who prefer the higher range for large stretches of open fields. Really, anywhere between 3X to 12X, or even 16X is a great versatile range for all types of hunting calibers and outdoor activities.
Is there a model of the Prostaff that doesn't have the BDC reticle?
Not every hunter appreciates the BDC feature, and may sometimes find that the cross hairs may be a little thick for their tastes. There is the exact same Prostaff 4-12X40 model without the BDC feature - the Prostaff 4-12X40 Matte Nikoplex.
- Compact riflescope with 4 to 12x magnification and 40mm objective lens
- Fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98 percent of available light
Can the rifle scope be used for close range distances?
While rifle scopes are excellent and they perform best in mid to long range distances, this model's closest range is 4X. Your image is still going to be four times magnified than what you see. If this still isn't close enough for your shooting activities, say turkey hunting with a shotgun, this scope isn't for you and cannot perform well for closer ranges.
Instead, you might want to consider the 2.5-10 or 3-9 models if you still wanted versatile ranges for diverse conditions. Some of these Prostaff scopes offer the exact same features but vary in magnification range. For even closer ranges, you may need to look into zero or one power scopes such as a red dot or a holographic.
- Fast focus eye-piece for speedy and easy focusing
- Nikon's BDC reticle for dead-on holdover points at extreme distances
- Multicoated lenses allowing up to 98 percent light transmission for bright and pristine images
- Zero-reset turret with spring-loaded adjustment knobs for fast and quick adjustments
Our Verdict on the 4-12x40 ProStaff
According to the bull's-eye, the Nikon Prostaff 4-12X40 scope is a decent, trusty, and reliable optic. The price is just the cherry on top. Its simple and easy-to-use features makes it a favorite rifle scope, but its image quality, user-friendliness, and durability makes it a scope above the rest. Although it goes over 10X power, it doesn't have a parallax control. No biggie, it's been factory set at 100 yards, and a good cheek-weld method will do the trick.
If your budget can stretch to double the price, you have to check out the ProStaff 7 4-16X42 rifle scope. It's slightly cheaper than the Monarch 3, but it also has an adjustable objective for correcting parallax at longer distances like at 16X power. You may as well get the best of the best, right? We give you permission to splurge.
Nikon takes pride in their optics. They have to or else they wouldn't be in business. When you buy from them, you're buying quality, their reputation, and their service. Whether you're spending into the thousands of dollars or just a couple hundred, that penny makes you a part of the Nikon family - Welcome!
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.