Nikon Buckmaster vs Prostaff Key Differences

Nikon Buckmaster & Prostaff
Alfred Mendoza

Hunters consider Nikon Buckmaster vs ProStaff as their best options for their rifle scopes. Nikon became a household name for hunters and shooters when it launched its high-quality rifle scopes after World War II. But the debate about whether which one is better to suit your rifle scopes needs is still tough to conclude. Let’s have an in-depth discussion about the differences between the Buckmaster and Prostaff Nikon scopes.

The differences between Nikon Buckmaster vs Prostaff lie in how different their purposes are. For longer range shooting, the Prostaff 5 rifle scope is better suited because it has a slightly higher-end optic. In comparison, Buckmaster II is a high-quality hunting scope line suitable for short to mid-range and is more affordable than Prostaff 5. When it comes to Nikon rifle scopes, you don’t have to worry because either scope optic will serve you well.

Specification Table

Nikon Buckmaster

  • Magnification: 3-9x and 4-12x
  • Low Light Capability: 98 %
  • Waterproof: Available
  • Fogproof: Available
  • Field of View: 11.3-33.8 ft @ 100 yds
  • Travel per Rotation: ¼-inch adjustments at 100 yards
  • Parallax Setting: Available
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 inches
  • Country of Manufacturer: Japan
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime 

Nikon Prostaff

  • Magnification: 2.5-10x, 3.5-14x, and 4.5-18x
  • Low Light Capability: 92 %
  • Waterproof: Available
  • Fogproof: Available
  • Field of View: 11.3-33.8 ft @ 100 yds
  • Travel per Rotation: ¼’ MOA per click
  • Parallax Setting: Unavailable
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 – 4 inches
  • Country of Manufacturer: Japan
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime 

Key Similarities

Manufactured by Nikon, these line products’ key similarities are mid-range in terms of the price level and high-range in terms of execution. After purchasing, your scope will have the protection of Nikon’s No-Fault Repair and Replacement Policy and Limited Lifetime Warranty, so it’s safe to buy one.

  • Water, fog, and shockproof
  • MOA Adjustments used in rifle books 
  • Easy wind/ elevation calls
  • Have hand-turned turrets
  • Patented BDC scope reticle

In-Depth Comparison

Buckmaster & Prostaff Price

First, let’s talk about their price. Price ranges can be significant in deciding which one is better between the two scopes, especially that they are incredibly close in design.

When it comes to price range, the Nikon Buckmaster 2 is typically the cheaper scope in terms of the brass tacks. Back in the day, the Buckmasters used to have a higher price than the older Nikon Prostaff models. But now, the Prostaff series models are more costly than the Buckmaster series.



Patrons are quite happy to know that Nikon offers a No-Fault Repair and Replacement Policy and Guarantee for its scope lines. But for one, rifle lovers must consider the issue of durability over cost. Our team tested the toughness of these optics by going back and forth. We decided to give this battle a draw, for both optics do not only have similar designs but also bear the same durability level.

Optics Design

Nikon Buckmaster vs Prostaff lines are nearly similar in many ways that you will only notice slight differences while looking through them. Their Objective Lens is about 40mm with an Exit Pupil of 4.4-13.3mm, field of view of 11.3-33.8 ft at 100 to 150 yards, and their Tube Diameter is 1 inch. They slightly differ in Eye Relief, where the Buckmaster scope only has 3.6 inches while the Prostaff 5 scope has a marginally longer up to 4 inches. The Prostaff scope also weighs a bit heavier with 13.7 oz than the Buckmaster with only 13.1 oz, although they both have the same length of 12.3 inches.

optics design

Nikon Buckmaster & Nikon Prostaff Warranty

Nikon’s commitment often attracts shooters. If the defect or your rifle scope is not under the company’s  guidelines, you can still send it to them for repair or replacement. The lifetime warranty of Nikon might be limited but lasts a long duration for typical wear and tear problems and other defects of your optics. In this scope department, the result is another tie.


Both series have an outstanding showmanship in shooting. In one way or another, the Prostaff scopes outrank the Nikon scopes Buckmaster in its performance in the hunting scene because the choices that Nikon Buckmaster II offers are more limited.  

The current line of Buckmaster 2 features a couple of ranges of magnification, which are the Nikon Buckmaster 3 9×40 and the Nikon Buckmaster 4 12×40, while the Nikon Prostaff 5 only has three, including 2.5-10x, 3.5-14x, and 4.5-18x.


The team found out that the Prostaff line offers more options compared to the Buckmaster 2 options of 3 9x and 4 12x. Thus, making the Prostaff vs Buckmaster more versatile and adaptable to different situations.

For more scopes great for hunting, we recommend scopes from Nikon and Vortex.

Focus & Clarity

The Prostaff 5 offers quick focal point eyepiece that lets you get on target quicker, unlike the Buckmaster 2. No matter how fast-moving your prey is, by looking through Prostaff’s quick magnification glass eyepiece, you can lock your target with greater accuracy. If you are into hunting, not having this kind of glass scope feature would make your shots take a bit longer. The Buckmaster 2 is more suitable for hunting while the Prostaff is more suited for competitive precision shooting. In terms of clarity, the Prostaff takes the lead.

Nikon Buckmaster & Prostaff Range

In comparing these optics, our team took them into a test. At 200 yards, the Prostaff scope shows more vivid colors. It also has an impressive shape and pattern recognition.

It seems better for small target locking. Although the Prostaff scope option gained another win in this section, its advantage percentage isn’t much of a difference.

Either way, both optics would still be exceptional for deer hunting.


Eye Relief

With a 3.6-inch comfortable eye relief, The Buckmaster 2 scope features a great viewing expeience throughout the magnification levels. The product is also perfect for most full-powered calibers, like the .30-06. The Prostaff 5 scope has a slightly longer than the Buckmaster 2, which is 4 inches that gives you good access to larger, further shooting calibers like the .338 Lapua Magnum.

Light Transmission

Both optics are Nitrogen-filled with O-ring-sealed housing for water and fog-proof execution and have a BDC-compatible reticle. However, the Prostaff series has a fully multi-coated optical system that provides a light transmission up to 98 percent, which makes the image quality and sharpness better than the Buckmaster’s, which transmits only 92 percent.  

When the team tried both optics for a closer distance target locking, we barely saw their light transmission difference because both scopes offer the same view.

light transmission

But when tried with long-range shooting use, the Prostaff series provided a better image and clear light transmission percentage than the Buckmaster.

Parallax Adjustment

In this category, the Prostaff product wins over the Buckmaster II. The Prostaff 5 and Prostaff 7 models both provide control. However, unlike the 2.5-10x model of the Prostaff, the Buckmaster isn’t equipped with this control, that allows long-range scopes to be used in close quarters shooting.

This product feature is useful for remote shooting for it features field adjustments and easy wind/elevation calls. Some models in both series offer this control, but not all of them have it.

You might also want to check out a similar comparison with Leupold and Nikon scopes.

Buckmaster Pros & Cons



Prostaff Pros & Cons



Nikon Buckmaster vs Nikon Prostaff: The Final Verdict

For the final verdict, we recommend Nikon Prostaff over Nikon Buckmaster because the product provides the right features such as a wider magnification range ideal for short and long-range target locking, quick-eye focus, more extended eye relief, better light transmission, parallax adjustment. 

But if you have a budget restriction for your rifle scope, the Buckmaster 2 is also the right choice. Depending on your shooting styles, price range, and preferences, either scope will be a good buy.

If you’re a big fan of rifles, check out Thomas Center Compass vs Ruger American. You’ll like it for sure!

nikon prostaff

Our #1 Recommendation

Nikon Prostaff

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