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.

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:


  • Magnification
  • Objective Diameter
  • Exit Pupil
  • Field of View
    11.3-33.8 ft @ 100 yds
  • Tube Diameter – Other
    1 in
  • Eye Relief
  • Objective Outside Diameter
  • Eyepiece Outside Diameter
  • Overall Length
    12.4 in
  • Adjustment Graduation – Other
    1/4 in
  • Max Internal Adjustment
    80 MOA
  • Parallax Setting – Other
    50 yds
  • Waterproof/Fogproof

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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10 thoughts on “Nikon Prostaff BDC Rimfire 3-9×40 Review

  1. Hi Nate,
    I’m new to the gun community. I just bought a CZ 457 synthetic stock. It’s basically the CZ American but the stock is synthetic. I purchased the Nikon pro staff II 3X9X40. I have yet to buy rings. What rings do you suggest to mount the scope? As you know the CZ 457 now has a 60 degree bolt lever action instead of the 90 degree.


    1. The only 457 I scoped for a friend I used BKL 257mb’s for job. They work well for any CZ. The 60* bolt throw should allow you to mount your Nikon lower than the BKL’s will allow so you may want to try Warne 7.3 Mediums that will mount lower. Know though, they are a 70/30 split ring design that can be an aggravation to install as they require the ring to be clamped onto the scope body before you attach the scope to the bottom half of the ring. Those are the best two sets of rimfire rings I’d suggest, knowing what scope you are using. Hope that is helpful.

  2. Nate, I just received a new model 3×9 EFR. I have a 3x9BDC and a 4x12BDC. The new EFR has metal turret caps. I tried them on the other models with the plastic caps. They fit perfect. I just e-mailed Nikon to see if I can get two sets of the metal caps. Just wanted to pass that on.

  3. I just bought a CZ 452-2E tribal and thinking the Nikon Prostaff BDC 150 rimfire will be perfect scope. Should I do medium or high rings for this rifle, any particular brand that you would recommend? I saw you mentioned bolt clearance would be fine with medium rings, but seemed to still recommend high rings. I picked this up for 10 year to learn on.

    1. I know for a fact that the BKL-257m (medium) rings will fit that scope with bolt clearance. With these rings you’ll want to torque the bases in at 30-35 inch pounds to make sure they “bite” the rail. BKL rings are lightweight and cost effective for me. I really like them.

      1. Thanks for feedback.Will scope covers still slide on with medium mounts? I am actually getting the Prostaff rimfire II bdc 150. Seems to get very good reviews.

  4. I´m thinking about buying the Nikon Prostaff BDC Rimfire 4-12×40, my rifle is a Benjamin Discovery.

    I saw that the parallax is fixed to 75 yards, I only hunt birds and doves, so i don´t know if that is a good scope for my propose and for my rifle.

    The others to options to me are:

    Nikon Prostaff BDC Rimfire 3-9×40

    But i´m not sure, the distance that i shot goes from 10 yards to 50 yards,

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  5. I’ve enjoyed browsing your journal and thank you for sharing your squirrel outings through your writing and photographs.

    After a very long search, I finally acquired a lefty 452 American and have topped it with CZ rings and this very scope taken from another gun that was sold a year or so ago. I went with the factory CZ rings, which are tall, as I was concerned about the bolt handle clearance with the rear bell. I see that you have one of your 452 Americans with the Burris Zee Medium rings and the Clearidge scope. Do those rings allow decent bolt handle clearance with this Nikon scope?

    I am interested in picking up a scope with an AO for a little more precise shot placement near and far, (lots of shooting at 25 yds, some at 50 and less at 75) something akin to the Clearidge scope. What sort of bolt handle clearance do you get with the medium rings and the rear bell of the Clearidge scope?

    Rich –

    1. With Burris Zee Medium rings you won’t have the clearance you need for either the Nikon Prostaff BDC or EFR. The oversized rear ocular housing requires a higher scope ring. Bolt handle clearance is no issue with the medium rings and a Clearidge Ultra RM. I’d say there is close to one quarter inch of clearance between bolt handle and scope.

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