If you want to lock your target every time you’re shooting, you need the right rifle scope. We’re going to look at the Nikon ProStaff and Buckmaster series to find out which one is better suited to make your hunting experience great.
The Nikon ProStaff
With around 40 different models in the series, the ProStaff is pretty diverse including both the budget-friendly and premium options. The price range is estimated between USD100-600.
The bigger your lens and range of magnification, the higher the price will be. The average price of a ProStaff is around USD 300.
The ProStaff range has 3 series: The ProStaff, which is the low budget option, the ProStaff 5, which is a little pricier and the ProStaff 7, which is the premium priced option.
The different models in the series provide different features for different types of hunts by offering varying magnification ranges, different levels of light transmission and so on. Some are multifunctional and can be used with many different types of rifles.
The major issue arises based on your budget. The earlier models, such as the ProStaff 2 and 3 are relatively cheaper, but the later models like 4 and 5 offer better light transmission and other additional features such as being waterproof.
Here are some of the basic features that are common to all the ProStaff models:
- Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC): Nikon offers riflescope models, which have BDC. This basically means that the scope’s reticle has 3 aiming circles in addition to the basic crosshairs, which allows you to take better aim and reduces the chances of missed shots.
- Scope Adjustments: The rifle scope offers scope adjustments for, which takes away the need for additional accessories to adjust the elevation, windage and parallax error. These adjustment knobs have an additional coating to protect them from being damaged.
- Image Quality: The light transmission in the ProStaff series is pretty high and go up to 98%! This means that despite being in an area with poor lighting, you will always get a clear, sharp image. Make sure you check the light transmission of the model you purchase since the ProStaff 4 has light transmission up to 98% whereas the ProStaff 5 offers 95%.
- Magnification: The scopes in the series have varied magnification ranges going up to 12X so it doesn’t matter where you are- whether it’s a small nook or an open field, you will always be able to aim properly. Different models offer different levels of magnification, so you can select the one best suited to your job. Whether you’re close range shooting or high range shooting, you can find a scope with the level of magnification that works for you.
The Nikon Buckmaster
The Buckmaster series was launched after the ProStaff and in some ways, it is the refined version of the ProStaff and budget-friendly at the same time. The Buckmaster line has a range of scopes in the Buckmaster 2 and 3 series with an average suggested retail price range of USD100-200.
Some key features of the Buckmaster include:
- Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC): Similar to the ProStaff, the Buckmaster reticle also features BDC.
- Scope Adjustments: Scope adjustments are included for elevation, windage and parallax so it doesn’t matter where you are or what your target is, your aim will always be accurate.
- Image Quality: The average light transmission is around 92%, which provides a very sharp and clear image, even in situations with compromised lighting.
- Magnification: The Buckmaster series provides a vast range of magnification from 3-9X all the way to around 6-18X making it ideal for both short and long range shooting.
Differences between the ProStaff and Buckmaster
Let’s take a look at the core differences in the two series to find out which ones come out on top.
Before making any purchase, we always have a budget in mind. There is quite a major difference in the price points of the Buckmaster and ProStaff with the Buckmaster’s maximum suggested retail price is around USD 200 and that of the ProStaff is more than double at USD 600. Many of the features in the ProStaff are also present in the Buckmaster, so if you’re working with a limited budget, the Buckmaster II range is a better option.
Both models have been designed to withstand high-pressure situations and are water-resistant, don’t fog up and they’re also shock-proof.
Both series come with a lifetime warranty so you don’t need to worry about repairs expenses. If there’s a problem with your scope, Nikon will even replace it for you, or repair the scope if the damage is minimal.
Dealing with Eye Relief
Whichever scope you use eye relief is always a key factor to consider. The general amount of eye relief is adequate for any type of hunt, but there are some technicalities to consider for the more experienced shooter.
For a sturdier rifle, the premium option, that is the ProStaff 5 should be one of your first options. For a more basic weapon, the Buckmaster II series will be good enough.
You may even choose to consult the manufacturer to find out which scope works best with your rifle. On average, the Buckmaster series has an eye relief of around 3 inches, and the ProStaff offers around 4 inches.
The ProStaff V comes with a focus eye piece so that you can lock your target with greater accuracy, no matter how fast-moving it may be. The Buckmaster doesn’t have this feature and is more suitable for hunting whereas the ProStaff is better suited for competitive shooting.
In simple terms, parallax occurs when the cross hairs of your reticle and your target are not aligned. There are some models in both series which offer parallax adjustment, but not all of them have it. This feature is particularly useful for long-range shooting.
The image quality and sharpness is better in the ProStaff because it offers 98% light transmission as compared to the Buckmaster’s 92%. For closer distances, both scopes offer a similar view, but with long range shooting, the ProStaff clearly offers the better image.
If you’re a novice or a short-range shooter, the Buckmaster offers a range of features that will be perfect for you. With certain models that even cost less than USD 100, it’s quite pocket-friendly, so you can start out with this and overtime, once you become a pro you can opt for a more premium scope.
The ProStaff is a better choice if you have a larger budget and if you want something that is a little more diverse. With the better light transmission and more durability, the ProStaff (particularly the ProStaff 5 series) offer the right features, including a wider magnification range which is ideal for both short and long range shooting.
The scopes also allow for quicker aim and are suitable for competitive shooters and those dealing with moving target. It also has a better glass coating which gives you a high-quality image and keeps your lens scope intact for a long time. If you’re looking for something even more premium however, then you can check out the Nikon Monarch range.
Whichever scope you settle on, make sure to consult with a professional before making your purchase. Both the Nikon series are great options, but there are minor differences in the specifications and major differences in price, which will end up helping you determine the one to buy.