Nikon Prostaff vs Buckmaster: Which Is Better For You?

Nikon Buckmaster & Prostaff

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 two Nikon rifle scopes.

Table of Contents

What’s the Difference Between Nikon Buckmaster & Prostaff?

The differences between Nikon Buckmaster vs Prostaff lie in how different their purposes are. For longer range shooting, the Prostaff 5 is better suited because it has a slightly higher-end optic. In comparison, Buckmaster II is an excellent hunting 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 optic will serve you well.

Comparison 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 Warranty

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 Warranty

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 performance. After purchasing, your optic 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 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 optics, especially that they are incredibly close in design.

When it comes to price range, the Nikon Buckmaster 2 is typically the cheaper one 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 models are more costly than the Buckmaster.



Patrons are quite happy to know that Nikon offers a No-Fault Repair and Replacement Policy and Warranty for its scope lines. But for one, rifle lovers must still consider the issue of durability. Our team tested the durability 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. Their Objective Lens is about 40mm with an Exit Pupil of 4.4-13.3mm, field of view of 11.3-33.8 ft @ 100 yds, 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 has a marginally longer of 3.6 inches to 4 inches. The Prostaff 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 vs Prostaff Warranty

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


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

The current line of Nikon Buckmaster II features two ranges of magnification, which are the Nikon Buckmaster 3 9×40 and the Nikon Buckmaster 4 12×40, while the Nikon Prostaff 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 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 focus eyepiece that lets you get on target quicker, unlike the Buckmaster 2. No matter how fast-moving your target is, with Prostaff’s quick focus eyepiece, you can lock your target with greater accuracy. If you are into hunting, not having this kind of 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 focus & clarity, the Prostaff takes the lead.

Nikon Buckmaster & Prostaff Range

Our team took these optics into a test. At 200 yards, the Prostaff shows more vivid colors. It also has a better shape and design recognition.

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

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


Eye Relief

With a 3.6-inch comfortable eye relief, The Buckmaster 2 features a great field of view throughout the magnification levels. It is also perfect for most full-powered calibers, like the .30-06. The Prostaff 5 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 waterproof and fog-proof performance and have a BDC reticle. However, the Prostaff 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 a similar view.

light transmission

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

Parallax Adjustment

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

This feature is useful for remote shooting for it features field adjustments and easy wind/elevation calls. Some models in both series offer parallax 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 it 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 is also the right choice. Depending on your shooting styles, price range, and preferences, either scope will be a good buy.

Prostaff Highlights:

  • wider magnification range
  • quick-eye focus
  • parallax adjustment
  • better light transmission
If you’re a big fan of rifles, check out Thomas Center Compass vs Ruger American. You’ll like it for sure!

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