The 4 Best Nikon BDC Scopes – Reviews 2019

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Photo by Tac6 Media / CC BY

The Nikon BDC BDC or Bullet Drop Compensator reticle has become increasingly popular as BDC reticles of all types have entered the marketplace. Designed to allow you to dial in your scope once, and then place shots at further known distances without adjusting your elevation, BDC scopes have strengths and limitations which we will discuss later.

However, if like many Americans and even the US Government, you are sold on BDC scopes, you have probably found yourself asking what the best Nikon BDC scope is. Well, the answer is simple. All of them. But we chose 4 that are most broadly suitable for folks, and hope you agree with our assessment.

Nikon ProStaff Rimfire BDC

  • Nikon PROSTAFF RIMFIRE II 3-9X40 BDC150
  • Price: $116.95
  • Price as of 06/17/2019 17:43 PDT
    (more info)
    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Rimfire rifles benefit from BDC reticles too, and this is the best Nikon BDC if you are shooting a .22 or other rimfire. Enjoy the enhanced accuracy potential of a BDC reticle or simply use a rimfire trainer in the same configuration and scope as your centerfire rifle. Either way, this marvelous scope is just the ticket for your favorite rimfire rifle.

Featuring 3-9 power magnification, a 40mm objective lens, this scope is not only “just right” for rimfire shooting, it mimics popular centerfire configurations as well. With a reasonable low price, it is a fine optic for most any rimfire shooter and should be at the top of your list for scoping your favorite .22.

Review: Nikon Prostaff Rimfire 3-9×40 BDC 150

Nikon P-308 BDC

  • Nikon P-308 Matte BDC 800 Rifle Scopes, 4-16X42mm
  • Price: $364.56
  • Price as of 06/17/2019 05:57 PDT
    (more info)
    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

It only makes sense to have a BDC reticle on a .308 scope, and what better choice than this dedicated scope by Nikon? Featuring 4-16 power magnification for long range shots, a generous 42mm objective lens, custom coated lenses, a rapid focus eyepiece and much more (see full specs).

This is a must have for .308 shooters, and is as much at home on an easy handling carbine as a long range precision bolt action rifle. Dedicated .308 scopes are hard to come by, and few are as feature rich as the Nikon, making it a real no brainer choice to buy. Bar none, it’s one of the best Nikon BDC scopes.

Nikon P-Tactical

  • Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
  • Price: $166.95
  • Price as of 06/17/2019 17:19 PDT
    (more info)
    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Of course, we are going to look at a .223 BDC scope. The Nikon P-Tactical is a constant favorite of ours here, and it is really no surprise why. There is an awful lot with a 3-9 power scope with a 40mm objective lens built around the .223 cartridge.

In fact, this is about the baseline standard for a good rifle scope. If you can’t put out a decent 3-9×40 optic, there simply is no point in bothering (see full specs). Fortunately, the P-Tactical rises above decent into the lofty realm of “excellent” and should be enjoyed as such. Ideal for hunting, target shooting, and even tactical sniping, there isn’t much this scope can’t do.

NEW FOR 2018 Nikon P Tactical

Nikon Buckmaster

  • Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC
  • Price: $85.00
  • Price as of 06/17/2019 15:29 PDT
    (more info)
    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Oh yeah. A generic BDC reticle scope by Nikon. A hunting rifle perfect 3-9 power scope with a 40mm objective lens, this is a decades-old favorite configuration by hunters all over the world, but updated with a 21st century aiming reticle.

Honestly, the Buckmaster belongs on basically any hunting or sporting rifle that you might even think about putting a 3-9 scope on. It’s simply that good, and that elegant a solution to easy long range shooting. Once you’ve got it dialed into your favorite round, you’ve got the best Nikon BDC scope for hunting just about anything that moves. Go for it. You know you want it.

Nikon Buckmaster 3-9×40 Rifle Scope – Unboxing and Review

Why Choose a Nikon BDC Scope?

The better question is why not? While using a BDC scope is as much art as science. They are only close to exactly precise when used with the same cartridge and barrel length as the scope was designed around. Also, while they offer precise aiming points, shooting rarely happens outside the range at such precise distances. However, with practice and a touch of skill, you can master your BDC scope and make it work quite nicely with your rifle and chosen cartridge.

Fortunately, Nikon recognizes these apparent “shortcomings” of the BDC reticle and offers a fantastic ballistic match program which you can install on your phone or run from their website (check it out here). The Spot-On program is as it is advertised and allows you to compute the proper settings for your scope based on various unique factors.

This really opens up the potential of the BDC scope to users who likely are not trained ballistics experts, or might not even fully grasp the mathematics involved. (Heck, I can’t. I’m a history major, not a math guy. This is why we have calculators!) Some Nikon BDC scopes are caliber specific, making fine tuning far easier. Their excellent rimfire scope has reduced distance aiming points to allow for the relatively low profile of rimfire rifles and can be dialed in for most any suitable round.

Choosing the best Nikon BDC scope then becomes first a matter of caliber, second a matter of rifle, and thirdly a matter of choice. While it is nice to go caliber specific, this is hardly a requirement, although I would stick with the dedicated rimfire scope if you choose to mount a BDC scope on a .22 or similar.

Beyond that, there are also non-caliber specific BDC reticles as we saw with the Buckmaster, which opens up a broader world of caliber and gun choices. Regardless, the Spot-On software Nikon offers ensures that regardless of caliber, you’ll be able to dial in your scope. This is perfect for hand loaders and those working with highly customized rifles.

Regardless the choice you make; and there are certainly plenty of them, you can rest assured that a Nikon BDC scope is one of the most advanced of their type, and is backed up by the kind of ballistic software that would have been a wet dream to many shooters just a few short years ago. We stand on the shoulders of optical giants, and a good Nikon BDC combines the best of old-fashioned and modern styling, engineering and design performance. They are truly an optic for the 21st Century.

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