Greetings. You must be wondering if Nikon P-308 is the right scope for you. Don’t worry, I’ll try my best to cover all the decisive features, pros/cons, then sum it all up so that you can make informed decisions whether to use or not.
In this Nikon P-308 Review, I used the 4-12×40 model to review. Note that there is another option of the Nikon P-308 4-16×42 which is similar but has higher magnification range and larger objective lens.
|Overall Length||13.5 inch|
|Tube material||Aircraft grade aluminum alloy|
|Exit Pupil Diameter||3.3 – 10mm|
|Field of View||@100 yards, 12x magnification = 7.9 feet
@100 yards, 4x magnification = 23.6 feet
not illuminated reticle
|Reticle Focal Plane Location||Second|
|Tube Diameter||1 inch|
|Eyepiece Outside Diameter||44 mm|
|Finger Adjustable Turrets||Yes|
|Turrets Resettable to Zero||Yes|
|Adjustment Click Value||1/4 MOA|
|Maximum Windage Adjustment||60 MOA|
|Maximum Elevation Adjustment||60 MOA|
|Fast Focus Eye Piece||Yes|
|Parallax Setting||Fixed at 100 yards|
|Lens Coating||Fully Multi-Coated|
|Spot On Custom Turret||Yes|
Can Nikon P-308 4-12×40 handle my rifle?
There are 2 things to consider:
- Can the scope hold zero?
- BDC 800 reticle matching your aim
Can the scope hold zero?
According to the manufacturer, “As long as the round you are using does not exceed 50 caliber, you’ll be able to use the scope on any rifle.”
BDC 800 reticle matching your aim
Since the reticle is designed specifically for the trajectory of the .308 WIN/7.62 NATO round with 168-grain Hollow Point Boat Tail match bullet at 2680 feet per second. If you use other ammunition and/or different bullet speed, the reticle will not match your bullet trajectory.
But there’s a remedy for that. Use Nikon Spot-On app or website which supports different ammunition and reticles combination. Here’s the link.
Admittedly, each dots and marks are not going to be spaced beautifully in 50 yards interval. But at least you get to be accurate.
Packaging : What’s included and what’s not.
So I ordered the scope from Amazon for $220. (Amazon price varies by seller and time. If you want to know current price, check here.) It arrived in an original package. Inside the package are :
- The scope
- Lens covers
- Warranty info
Rings and other accessories are not included.
“Range Ready Kit” which adds “P-SERIES AR Riflescope Mount” and “Spot On Wind Meter” is not recommended. Because it’s even more expensive than buying seperately at the time of this writing. (Weird marketing tactics!)
Important note :
- There are cases of defects and/or missing warranty info. To avoid this kind of surprise, order from a reputable authorized dealer and check your product when it arrives.
- In case of defect, contact the retailer (Amazon, Cabela ,etc.), the dealer or Nikon.
Manufactured from where ?
This scope was made in Philippines. Unfortunately you don’t support American manufacturers by buying this scope. But rejoice, you still support American retailer by buying from Amazon, Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop.
Mounting the scope
The scope tube diameter is 1″. So make sure you get rings for 1″ diameter and applicable base type.
I personally mounted the scope on my Remington 700 SPS with “Nikon P-Series Mount for 1 Inch Tube” which fits nicely. If you want to use the Nikon P-Series mount, see price here.
Some people prefer Quick Detach mount for versatility.
Glass and Reticles
Under normal light conditions, the scope revealed a crisp and clear image suitable for Nikon’s name as a lens manufacturer. Field of view is good. There’s a slight blur on highest magnification but the clarity is more than enough for hunting. The reticle crosshairs are easy to see and don’t obstruct your view. Some people complained that the BDC 800 is too cluttered but I personally don’t have any problems.
In low light conditions, the image and the reticles are much harder to see. But it is to be expected for scopes in this price range. If hunting in low light is your thing, you should invest more in higher end scopes.
Eye relief of 3.7″ is decent.
I think Nikon P-308 4-12×40’s vision in normal lighting is on par with Leupold VX-2 3-9×40. But the Leupold is lighter, more rugged and better in low light conditions. Some people mentioned that a Vortex Diamondback offers slightly clearer image. However the vortex eye relief is only 3.1″ which is quite lacking.
I went to the range to try it out. Obviously, I used the .308 caliber to see how good the BDC reticle really is.
Zeroing in on 100 yards is quite easy. The turrets are finger adjustable, with positive click adjustments. Plus you can reset the turrets back to zero easily by pulling the cap up, turn it to zero and put the cap down. The downside is that there are no turret locks. Even though the turrets are solid, it can probably move if it’s caught on to something in the woods. The chance are slim, but I would prefer if there are turret locks.
There’s a diopter adjustment near the ocular lens. But there’s no parallax adjustment which is fixed at 100 yards. It’s not really noticeable up to 300 yards or lower than 70 yards though.
After that I tried shooting at 200 and 300 yards range. The BDC reticle turns out to be as good as it claims. For people who use different ammunition try the Nikon Spot On app. It allows you to discover all of the exact aiming points on your scope’s reticle at various yardages for your specific ammunition and load.
Durability : Will this scope last?
There are some cases where windage and elevation adjustments stop working or snapping off after a few months. This is a defect and is not the general case. You can claim for warranty and has Nikon repair/replace your scope.
Generally, Nikon’s scopes are solid and can last longer than 10 years. I am still testing this statement!
Nikon’s Full Lifetime Warranty
Nikon also offers full lifetime guaranteed to compete with leupold and other brands. From my experience, Nikon stands behind their warranty policy (even though Leupold warranty is still better).
3 Things you should know about Nikon’s warranty
- Warranty for US is higher than in other countries. (Only 10 years warranty in Australia). So if you’re in the US, make sure you get US warranty from your dealer.
- You must keep your Warranty info and receipts because there are cases where Nikon ask for it (As stated in their website).
- It’s advised to register your product in Nikon website so that they can send you information about future updates or service issues that may arise.
Note : If you happen to buy from Amazon, you should look for Amazon prime or “Fullfilled by Amazon” so that you definitely have the option to return the scope within 30 days of receipt. If not, don’t forget to check with the seller their return policy.
The verdict : What I think of Nikon P-308 4-12×40
I vote Nikon P-308 4-12×40 as the perfect starting scope for long range shooting. It’s a value scope around $220 (price varies with time and promotion) which is reliable up to 600 yards. If you want to shoot at +600 yards or in low light regularly, get a higher end scope.
There are cases of defects but Nikon full lifetime warranty will see to that.
Pros and Cons Table
|✓ Crisp and clear image||✗ Not great in low light|
|✓ BDC 800 reticle||✗ Not great for +600 range|
|✓ Easy to adjust turrets||✗ Fixed parallax|
|✓ Nikon’s Lifetime Warranty|
|✓ Nikon Spot On app support|
1. Leupold VX-2 3-9×40
Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 has similar image quality to Nikon P-308 4-12×40 in normal lighting conditions. The Leupold is also lighter, better warranty and better low light image. However, it has lower magnification range and no BDC reticle.
If you value lighter weight, better warranty, hunt in low light and doesn’t mind loweer magnification, go for Leupold VX-2 3-9×40
2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 has a smaller eye relief of 3.1″ and smaller eyebox. But it has slightly better image quality and is lower priced than Nikon P-308.
If you don’t mind smaller eye relief and a bit tight eyebox. Or you have a tight budget. go for Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40