Nikon Buckmaster II

8.9 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.9)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
Editor rating: 9.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 6 user ratings
1 star
2 star
3 star
4 star
5 star
Add your Rating
Nikon Buckmaster II Review Facts

The majority of hunters have a no-nonsense, no-fuss mindset and appreciate the high-quality simplicity of the Buckmaster II. The Nikon Buckmaster II is an accurate scope. Its best aspects include ease of use, its simplicity, and affordability. The scope does what deer hunters need it to do. It tops the charts with the made in the U.S. status, eco-friendly glass and coatings. At a price tag under $200, it is worth consideration. Nikon delivers high-performance optics in simple packages at the right price. It also has features found in some of Nikon’s higher-end rifle scopes. They include spring loaded reset to zero turrets, generous eye relief, and Nikon’s patented BDC reticle. It has various magnification levels. These are features rarely found in scopes of this price. Hunters can hold ‘dead on’ at ranges that exceed those formerly thought conceivable.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • BDC reticle
  • Excellent warranty
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Price
  • Weatherproof
  • Mounting rings are not included
  • Some blurred images at close or mid-range

Basic Features

The Buckmaster II lacks tactical features and is rather plain. The scope arrives in a cardboard box with warranty information, instructions, and additions. It comes with protective dust covers. The box Nikon uses protects the scope well. Cardboard inserts are used to hold the optic in place and prevent bouncing around.

Light transmission increased for 92 to 98 percent from the original to the Buckmaster II. There is a coating that allows the 98 percent light transmission of the scope. Added resettable turrets are an improvement over the original

Resetting the turrets is tool-free and straightforward. The spring-loaded turrets need only be pulled up to reset. The turret top can be rotated back to zero. They are fingertip adjustable. Levers and nubs make everything easier.

With precise positive click turret features, the adjustment is a quarter inch to 100-yards. The new Buckmaster II incorporates a spring-loaded re-zero turret that allows the user to switch handily between bullet weights.

One click equals a quarter inch. Each turn of the turret can be felt, unlike cheaper scopes that are turned as the user hopes for the best in a shoot and turn, shoot and turn method. The turret does not guarantee the accuracy, but the users get tactile feedback as the turret is rotated.

The turrets provide minimal feedback. It is easy to turn more clicks than necessary. Adjustments must be made carefully or turrets will be a bit too smooth. The 100-yard parallax eye relief setting keeps the brow safe even with severe shooting angles, lightweight rifles, and the heaviest recoiling cartridges.

Advanced Features

Nikon offers Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. On their website, choose the rifle scope and reticles, ammunition, and site-in and target distances. Spot On does the work. All possible shots are shown before the trigger is pulled.

Precise aiming points are provided for a specified range for all Nikon BDC reticle rifle scopes. Instant reference for sighting is provided. The reference tells where to set sights based on the information provided. There is a Nikon app that can be used for the same purpose for those who prefer more technological options.

The information provided is surprisingly accurate. At 490 yards the setting may be a few centimeters off but is suitable for hunting. Serious target shooters likely have a manual method of their own for bullet drop. For most people, the information provided works.


The optics focus on quality color distribution and contrast every detail is distinguishable. There are two magnifications - 3-9X40 and 4-12X40. One is a scope with three to nine variable powers. The other far-reaching four to 12 model has a 40-millimeter objective lens.

There is a little nub on the top of the magnification rings. It gives a non-slip grip and grip and makes changing the power of the scope easy. It has a simple crosshair and bullet drop compensator reticle. Usually, bullet drop compensators are reserved for a specific barrel length, bullet weight, and particular caliber. The BDC is universal for those who take time to learn how to use it.

The unique BDC see-through ballistic circles offer the benefit of long-range shooting and allow normal sight images for shorter-range shots. The crosshair is the aiming point. The anti-reflective compounds aid in boosting light transmission, improving contrast to pull game out of the surroundings, distributing flare-free and color rendition viewing, and boosting the overall image quality.

The optic is crystal clear and presents an excellent sight picture. Top notch light transmission makes the optic noticeably better than others tested by reviewers. The wide eye box is easy to use. It accommodates generous eye relief. There is ample room for heavy coiling caliber compensation to make dynamic shots.

The simple scope has see-through ballistic circles on the BDC reticle that up the ante for long-range hunting. The BDC reticle see-through aiming circles allow viewing the target through dots.

Another feature of the BDC reticle is allowing a range marker to be placed. If something bothers the user or there is a need to reload, the target is not lost. The trajectory-compensating system is designed and calibrated to provide simple, fast points for various shot distances.

Not much detail is seen through the circles. It is a feature that provides a positive vital zone acquisition improvement. There is a quick-focus eyepiece on the scope for fast, smooth action by achieving pristine eyesight focus.

Like any feature of any product, one reviewer felt the only flaw in the scope was the eye box. The reviewer thought it was a bit limited, but could be compensated for with the incredibly easy to use quick-focus eyepiece.

The well-built magnification is easy to adjust. At max power, it may lose resolution. Nikon’s Spot On Technology optimizes the reticule use to maintain accurate shots for a variety of distances, ammunition, and loads.

While Nikon is a reputable brand that uses quality glass, those buyers who experience lack of image clarity report blurred images at close to mid-range. The 3.6-inch eye relief listed for the scope is reported to be generally shallow by some users. Those who wear glasses may want to reconsider that aspect when purchasing.

Primary Use

It is designed for hunting, not sniping. The scope is best for bolt guns. Following the ballistic information, given on the Spot On website or app, other rifles can be zeroed in with ease. The Buckmaster II is for centerfire rifles. It suits many rifles, even those with heavy recoil force. Even though it might be ‘too much’ for .22 rimfire rifles, it still works well.

The Buckmaster II scope is an affordable option with all the features to pair with a deer rifle. A field of view is crucial when hunting deer. It influences the results of the hunting season. The Buckmaster II scope provides a generous view of over 100 yards.

The 3-9x40 is among the best scopes on the market. Deer hunting is challenging because bucks are nocturnal and tend to show themselves only in low light situations near dawn and dusk. The scope was designed to ensure high contrast and light even in poor conditions.

For that reason, Nikon designed fully multilayer-coated lenses that allow maximum light transmission that provides an edge in low light. The role of the multi-coated optics is to maximize all available light to give a very clear image.

More powerful scopes are available on the market, but the Buckmaster II is ideal for deer hunting purposes. The magnification range is from 3X to 9X. That magnification is more than needed to hit deer in vital organs from decent distances. One reviewer compared the advanced magnifying level to an HD television.


Like all Nikon products, the Buckmaster II is very resistant. It is a versatile, durable scope. An implemented change in the Buckmaster II is lenses that are fully multi-coated. The coating serves as lenses protection and helps in light transmission and optics clarity. Protection caps are used instead of locks.

The Buckmaster II is fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof. O-ring seals and nitrogen gas purging accomplish fog proof integrity. It can withstand the inevitable field abuse. The scope built for the toughest hunting conditions.


Mounting can be tricky for the inexperienced. It is not a complicated process, but there are a few tricks to make it easier. Mounting rings are not included. After attaching rings, dial the scope to the highest power see through the reticle and get the use of the eye relief. Remove the top of the rings. Move as necessary, so the scope sits nicely on the rings. Allow enough space between the moving parts of a rifle and the scope.

Put locktite on the screws of the rings when they are set as desired. Do a finger tightening then finish with a flathead screwdriver. Level the gun and the scope before replacing the tops of the rings.

Be careful not to jar the scope to disturb the levelness. When replacing the top of the rings, the top and bottom are not going to touch. It is necessary to alternate on the screws. Put locktite on the front screws to hold them tightly in place.

Tighten the screws with an Allen wrench, Allen key. A screw is put into each side loosely with locktite. Alternate tightening the screws making sure the scope remains level. Do not tighten entirely before moving to the back ring and repeating the process.

Clean any excess locktite. Tighten all the screws in much the same way as putting on tires. Alternate screws until they are evenly tight, then finish with a ratchet. When finished, put on the dust protectors and dial back to the lowest power. It is ready to go.


The body of the Buckmaster II has a matte black finish. It is longer than the Buckmaster I.The eye relief in the original is 3.6 inches. The length of the scope is 14 inches. The original was 13.1 inches. The tube diameter is one inch.

The scope is professionally made. It has a 40mm objective lens that enhances the light admission on the inside of the scope. The 40mm is a suitable dimension. The scope is quite manageable.


The Buckmaster II is three ounces lighter than the original without a drop in quality or features. It weighs 13.6 ounces which is light for a 12-power scope.


Nikon is likely the world’s most expensive optics company. Optics include not only scopes, but spotting scopes, binoculars, phone lenses, and much more. Nikon rifle scope prices range from a budget-friendly price of approximately $100 to expensive high-end scopes with laser range finders built-in.

The Buckmaster II falls on the budget-friendly end of the spectrum at an MSRP of $149.99. Nikon seems to have a knack for providing what the masses want. Despite its low price, the Nikon Buckmaster II is a lifetime keeper.

The cheap price makes one wonder if the scope is a piece of junk or a lemon. It has withstood criticism of the skeptical market and the test of time. The Buckmaster II has an excellent warranty.

The warranty is a Limited Lifetime Warranty defined as No-Fault Repair/Replacement. If a product arrives damaged or defective, Nikon covers it with no problem. A lost or stolen scope is excluded from the warranty.

Key Features

* Compatible with Nikon’s Spot On Match Ballistic Technology
* Designed with deer hunters in mind
* Fully multi-coated lenses
* Generous, consistent eye relief
* Parallax-free @ 50 yards
* Patented BDC reticle having see-through aiming circles
* Precise hand-turn ¼ -inch @ 100 yards
* Spring-loaded turrets with instant zero reset
* Versatile magnification range
* Used for mid- and long-range hunting
* Weatherproof with multiple anti-reflective compound layers.

Bottom Line

The Buckmaster II is an excellent optic that provides hunters with a high-quality and affordable option. It may not be a good as more expensive scopes but excels as a basic hunting optic.

For the $150 suggested price point, the scope has an impressive set of optics. They are more than sufficient for hunting in decent light and target shooting. The user is provided with a clear bright sight picture and can use the BDC reticle easily.