Nikon ProStaff Shotgun Hunter 2-7X32mm Scope

By Ed Turner

ProStaff Shotgun Hunter 2-7X32mm
Illustration courtesy of Nikon USA

It is such a great feeling when you try a new product (new individually, anyway) that seems to be so close to what you were looking for as to be almost spooky. Such is my satisfaction with this fine, moderately priced Nikon scope.

I have been so impressed with this all around competent scope that I now have no less than 5 of them on an assortment of rifles used for deer hunting. The size and power of this particular scope fits many different types of rifles very well. As a matter of fact this scope is all but a clone (in size and shape) to a Leupold VX-l or VX-ll 2-7x33mm, and that is associating it with a scope for which I have nothing but high praise. Nikon's specs for this scope are as follows.

  • Finish: matte or Team Realtree camo
  • Power: 2-7
  • Objective diameter: 32mm
  • Exit pupil: 16/4/6
  • Eye relief 3.9 - 3.8"
  • FOV @ 75 yards: 33.4' (at 2x) and 9.5' (at 7x)
  • Tube diameter: 1"
  • Parallax: set at 75yds
  • Length: 11.2"
  • Weight: 12 oz.
  • Adjustment graduation: 1/4"@100yds
  • Adjustment range: 80 MOA

As these number show us this is a fairly trim and lightweight scope, made to fit a large cross section of rifles, shotguns and muzzleloaders. It has plenty of magnification to easily sight in your rifle at 100 or 200 yards and a very large field of view at the lowest setting. Its optics are multi-coated to minimize glare and its aluminum tube is nitrogen filled with O-ring seals to make it water and fog proof.

As I mentioned before, I have put this trim scope on 5 rifles that I currently use. These rifles range from a muzzleloader (CVA Optima/ stainless/ camo with a 2-7x32 camo ProStaff on it) to a Kimber 84 Classic with a 2-7x32 matte Prostaff. I actually removed a more expensive scope from the Kimber, a Bushnell elite 2-7x32 with rainguard, and replaced it with the Nikon. This was done purely for aesthetics as the Nikon's front objective bell housing taper seems to fit the Kimber supplied mounts and Millet engraved rings I put on the 7mm-08 Kimber a bit better. I may have given up a tad in rain protection, but as of yet I can see no discernable difference in optical quality.

Another scope I have no difficulty comparing with the Nikon is a Leupold VX-l in 2-7x33, as I own several of those scopes as well. I will not flatly claim the Nikon ProStaff to be the equivalent of the Leupold, but will say that in 98% of hunting conditions I would not feel "outclassed" by the Leupold. Possibly on a wilderness hunt far away from civilization, where weather conditions might be severe, could be reason for me to mount a VX-l or VX-ll on the rifle I chose. But based on my experience, it would likely not be necessary.

I also have a ProStaff 2-7x scope mounted on a Remington Classic 8mm Mauser and on a Remington model 7400 carbine in .280 Rem. Every one of these scopes was a breeze to mount with almost 4" of eye relief available and the moderate size of the objective. I can also say that after simple bore sighting all of these scopes, plus another I had previously mounted and since replaced, all sighted in very easily.

I have never claimed to be a bench rest competitive shooter, but I do know how to sight in a big game rifle in fairly quick order if all the pieces and parts are working correctly. And, apparently, the ones in these scopes were. All 5 of these rifles sighted in quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

I normally shoot 1 round (after bore sighting) to get on paper and "rough" adjust the scope to the rifle. Then shooting at 50 yards, I'll use 3 shot groups (sometimes only one such group) to fine adjust to where I want to have my bullet striking at 100 yards. The final adjustment comes, of course with 3 shot groups at 100 or 200 yards. I always "tap in" my adjustments using the plastic handle of a screwdriver, or something similar, and rarely see a change after setting my changes in this manner.

The adjustment of the ocular lens to focus the crosshair to our eye is of the "American" type, and requires multiple turns of the ocular bell. The windage and elevation click adjustments for changing the point of impact require a coin, screwdriver or similar tool. Both are tried and proven systems, but I may have become somewhat spoiled by European type fast-focus oculars and fingertip adjustable windage and elevation knobs. When I see that my VX-l's use exactly the same type of systems, I know that this is a small price to pay for a reasonably priced, value laden scope.

A note here about this scope's apparent connection to shotgun "slug gunning." It has been my experience that one of the fiercest rounds (recoil wise) any of us will ever encounter is a 12 gauge shooting a one ounce slug. If a scope is built to withstand a shotgun shooting slug's recoil, then it should, in my opinion, be able to withstand most any rifle's recoil.

The fact that the parallax is adjusted at 75 yards (instead of the usual 100 yards) in this scope seems a moot point to me. Many of the deer I have harvested were shot at ranges even less than 75 yards. It has no bearing at all in my selection and shooting of this scope at ranges out to 200 yards at a rifle range, so it should not effect our game shots either.

If given the opportunity to mount either a Leupold VX-ll 2-7x33 or a Bushnell Elite 2-7x32 as a "no cost" option I likely would, as these are both absolutely outstanding scopes of a size I think suits most big game hunting situations. But, since Ed (me) is the one footing the bill for the scopes on my dozens of deer rifles, I have happily settled with this great value.

Most of our major retailers including Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops and even Wal-Mart sell this scope for around $129, whereas the other two scopes mentioned normally run somewhere in the $190-$290 range. A significant saving, and being backed by a lifetime warranty makes the Nikon Eagle emblem look even better on some of my rifles.

I have performed my own dusk and dawn tests with this scope, and was very pleasantly surprised. Nikon's claim of 90% light transmission seems well in line with the terrific clarity and brightness I have found in actual dusk and dawn conditions. In simple English, on a full overcast day I had no trouble seeing the crosshairs clearly well after legal shooting time.

I saw a bright sharp image that did indeed impress me. I have been successfully using my Nikon ProStaff scopes, having collected three 8 point (Eastern count) bucks this season with three shots from rifles with these scopes mounted.

Nothing in the mounting, sighting in, and performance in the field of my Nikon ProStaff 2-7x32mm scopes has given me reason to do anything but heap high praise upon them. They are absolutely one of the finest values in a scope available, period. End of story. And this is no faint praise from a man who owns no fewer than 45 scopes ranging from a Zeiss to several Leupolds, several Weavers, several Bushnell Elites and assorted other fine quality scopes mounted on a wide assortment of rifles used for deer hunting. A score of no less than "A" is fully deserved here.

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Copyright 2006, 2010 by Ed Turner. All rights reserved.