Nikon Prostaff BDC Rimfire 3-9×40 Review


The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire series is becoming one of my favorite new scopes on the scene in the 22 market. Nikon has finally filled a niche that they have long missed in this market. I have a hunting buddy who has this scope on his Marlin XT-22 and I recently had an opportunity to shoot it for this review.

Nikon Prostaff BDC 2

This scope is manufactured in the Philippines and offers another competitive option in the rimfire market. The parallax for this scope is set at 50 yards as most rimfire scopes are. If sighting in at 25 yards or closer you can expect some blurring as the parallax is not adjustable. It can be difficult to overcome on the target range, but it the woods you won’t be as focused on it when you’ve got a squirrel lined up for a shot. The fast focus eye piece is a added feature for this scope in this price range.

Nikon Prostaff BDC 1

Your color and reticle options are limited here, but that’s ok as I like the combination. Color is matte black and your reticle is the Nikon BDC (Ballistic Drop Compensator). Nikon has a program (Spot-On) online and for some smartphones that will allow you to plug in your zero for the ammunition of your choice and you will have corresponding yardages for the circles below the crosshairs.

BDC @ 3 Power

Nikon Prostaff BDC 3 power

Now we actually tested this out with CCI Mini-mag 36 grain hollow point, and for a 50 yard zero the next circle was 61 yards, then 81 yards, 97 yards, and 122 yards. We tested this to see if it was accurate and we found it not to be. The next circle down from the crosshairs ended up being 75 yards for us. The following circle was 100 yards, after that we didn’t continue testing. I was impressed that we could actually lay down a group using this system. However, 60 yards is about my limit with a 22 on a squirrel, and that’s pushing it. The BDC reticle is not really my thing, but I could shoot this scope with no problem.

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BDC @ 9 Power

Nikon Prostaff BDC 9 power

The power ring is smooth as it should be. The glass on these scopes just blows my mind at the price point. Whatever they are doing to there glass it makes it seem like a higher priced scope. You won’t be sorry dropping $140 on a scope of this caliber. Light transmission was great. Clarity and sharpness all the way to the edges. The eye relief is great at 3.6 inches.

Here are the manufacturer’s specs:


The downsides for this scope are the same as its sister scope the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire EFR. The caps that cover the turrets are made entirely of plastic and those threads could strip out over time. Now Nikon may replace them, or you may be stuck without caps. I am willing to take the risk as the pros outweigh the cons. The turrets will also reset to zero, by simply lifting the turret and moving back to zero.

Nikon EFR turret cap

My only other concern comes with a bolt rifle and that is the rear ocular bell is oversized and bolt actions with high bolt throw will contact the scope with certain medium rings. (Rings used on my CZ 452 are BKL 257 mediums.) High rings are a must on certain bolt action rifles, and that can get your scope higher off the bore than you may want. Mounting on a semi-auto should be doable with medium rings.

Nikon EFR Elev 1

Nikon EFR Elev 2

Nikon EFR Wind 1

If you like the idea of the BDC reticle I don’t think you will be disappointed in the scope. All the attributes outweigh the cons to me. Nikon is back on board with affordable options in the rimfire scope world again!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>