Nikon is an established brand that manufactures a wide range of high-quality imaging and optical equipment.
The company has also made strides in the scope industry, with decades of experience producing notable scopes for different types of firearms.
While the company is a renowned Japanese brand, many are curious to know where are Nikon scopes made.
To help you decide if Nikon scopes are worth investing in, you might also want to know the answer to this question.
Before we get to the specifics, let’s talk about how the company became a staple in the optics industry.
Formation and Growth
The Nikon Corporation was founded in 1917 in Japan.
It is the conclusion of a merger between three of the most reputable optical manufacturers in the country.
Before it was called Nikon, it went by the name of Nippon Kogaku Tokyo K.K.
Early in its inception, it was already regarded as one of the world’s most fully integrated, comprehensive optics brands.
As decades went by, Nikon became one of the pioneers in producing optical lenses for cameras.
Other than cameras, the company has also established its presence in other equipment, such as microscopes, binoculars, and various inspection tools.
During the second world war, Nikon supplied its products to the Japanese military.
The enormous demand for optical equipment for the military became the catalyst for the company to expand its operation.
Post-World War II Operations
Like many other Japanese companies, Nikon gained exponential growth after focusing on consumer products after the war.
The performance of its optical equipment was highly regarded.
In fact, Nikon’s high-quality releases played a significant role in establishing global recognition for the “Made in Japan” notoriety that still stands today.
Its first product post-war is the Nikon 1, a camera released in 1948.
Due to the positive reception of this camera, the company later changed its name to Nikon.
A photojournalist named Douglas David Duncan made the Nikon lenses more recognizable when he used them during the Korean War in the 1950s.
Another product that further elevated the brand’s stature is the Nikon S camera, used by Life magazine to capture war images.
Before the end of the 1900s, Nikon was one of the world’s top optical companies, with its collection of cutting-edge lenses and cameras.
In 2006, the company announced that it would cease the production of film camera models.
This event marked the start of Nikon’s transition to manufacturing digital cameras.
To this day, its mid-range SLRs and full-frame cameras are still praised by amateur and pro photographers due to their speed, low-light performance, and ergonomics.
Nikon adapted to the growing demand for Mirrorless cameras, with the Nikon 1 V1 and the J1.
Besides cameras and many other visual imaging equipment, Nikon is also known for its photolithography products.
Released in 1980, the NSR-1010G is the brand’s first of its kind step-and-repeat photolithography tool.
Since then, there have been over 50 subsequent Nikon models categorized in photolithography.
Another notable line of products Nikon is known for is rifle scopes.
Its vast experience in making scopes goes way back to World War II when the company produced such equipment for the military.
Nikon offers a variety of field scopes for different purposes, from birding to hunting, with some models having digiscope capability.
Where Are Nikon Scopes Made?
Many Japanese companies capitalize on the “Made in Japan” mantra that generally implies top quality.
Nevertheless, it’s no secret that many established Japanese brands opt to have some of their production conducted overseas.
Nikon is no exception, so where are Nikon scopes made? Here are the most notable Nikon scope models and where they are made.
Nikon Monarch Series
The Nikon Monarch Rifle Scope Series raises the bar for scopes everywhere, comprising models that deliver the most desired features.
Considered as Nikon’s flagship, the Monarch Rifle Scopes are labeled as “all-in-one” scopes because of their capabilities in any situation without compromise.
Most of the models are known to deliver optimal image quality and exceptional precision adjustment tools.
You can expect features such as parallax correction and the BDC system.
Exterior-wise, Monarch scopes are made with high-strength materials and robust design.
Monarch scopes are manufactured in Japan.
Monarch X Scopes
The Monarch X and its subsequent iterations are the finest examples of Nikon’s penchant for rugged, durable, and precision bright optics.
As you can imagine, these qualities are vital for any shooter’s riflescope.
Generally, Monarch X scopes are excellent when it comes to the optical and mechanical aspects.
Depending on the model’s specs, the price can range anywhere from $650 to north of $1,000.
While most scopes that belong to this product line are not inexpensive, there’s no doubt that they are worth every penny.
Monarch Gold Scopes
With its superior components, the Monarch Gold scopes are regarded as an upgrade to the Monarch X scopes and other Monarch models.
Features such as the Ultra ClearCoat system and larger internal lenses are standard qualities, making the Monarch Gold scopes a cut above the rest.
However, primarily due to the high price tag, the Monarch X ended up as among the discontinued series by the brand.
Nikon Buckmasters Series
The Buckmasters Scope Series is essentially the Monarch’s successor.
Similarities between the two collections are pretty evident, but the Buckmasters are slightly more economical.
Most Buckmasters scopes are available in seven different configurations, while Monarch models usually have nine.
Also, you can purchase traditional and side focus for both Monarch and Buckmasters scopes.
Despite the similarities, you can easily distinguish one from the other via its lens.
While Monarch scopes are generally superior in terms of light transmission, Buckmasters models have decent performance in low-light environments.
Buckmasters scopes are primarily made in the Philippines.
Nikon Buckmaster I
The Nikon Buckmasters I is designed to withstand severe hunting scenarios.
You will like it for its weather resistance and many other features you will rarely find on scopes in the same price range.
For one, it has a multi-coated lens system that offers over 92 percent anti-reflective capacity.
As a result, you’d be able to experience optimal light transmission and optical clarity, which are both important in big game hunting.
Aside from enhanced light transmission, the multi-layered anti-reflective coating offers flare-free viewing, genuine color rendition, and overall better resolution.
Nikon Buckmasters II
Featuring the brand’s fully multi-coated lenses, the Buckmasters II offers numerous qualities.
Some of the most notable attributes are the parallax setting of 100 yards, generous eye relief, and the famous BDC reticle.
The BDC reticle enables you to hold “dead-on” at distances previously thought impossible.
To further appease your hunting appetite, multiple layers of anti-reflective coating are on every glass surface.
As such, you can expect the scope to deliver clear, vivid images and optimal light transmission from dusk to dawn.
Nikon ProStaff Scopes Series
Compared to the first two series we mentioned, the Nikon ProStaff Series are generally cost-efficient scopes.
These scopes provide hunters with the power and adaptability needed for most hunts.
While they may fall short on some aspects, the optical quality and precision of the ProStaff scopes are nothing to scoff at.
Similar to the Buckmasters Series, most scopes under the ProStaff series are made in the Philippines.
Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40
One of the most trusted scopes in the market is the ProStaff 3-9×40.
It boasts Nikon’s multi-coated optical system and adjustment technologies.
The result is a quality hunting performance that comes with a price that doesn’t break the bank.
Like other Nikon scopes, the ProStaff 3-9×40 can transmit up to 98 percent of available light, ensuring brightness from dawn to dusk.
Plus, you can take advantage of the zero-reset turret mounted in the riflescope to make field adjustments easier.
Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40
Regardless of the time of day, you can expect the Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 to deliver excellent images thanks to high-resolution imaging.
It also has a zoom range of 4-12x on a 40mm lens, allowing for shooting distances of up to 600 yards.
While the ProStaff 4-12×40 can be an all-purpose scope, it is ideal for long-range shooting.
Like the Monarch scopes, the multi-coated optical system on this scope can provide up to 98 percent light transmission.
In other words, you will be able to see even in the worst visibility conditions.
To top it off, the Nikon ProStaff 4-1240 is made to fit in most types of rifles.
Nikon ProStaff P5 4-16x42SF M BDC
The P5 4-16x42SF M BDC improves hunting riflescope performance by combining patented Nikon optical design, high-quality glass, and durable components.
This model features a one-inch main tube, a zoom ring, and other parts made with aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure maximum durability and minimal weight.
All controls have matched knurling that is ergonomically designed for visual appeal and increased grip.
Like other ProStaff P5 models, the P5 4-16x42SF M BDC has an adaptable 4x zoom ratio.
More than anything, this ratio allows you to get a wide field of vision required for close-up shots or moving targets.
For the majority of its releases, we learned that the Philippines is where Nikon scopes are made.
However, it is worth knowing that according to some sources, Nikon is seemingly out of the riflescope business.
With that in mind, it is safe to assume that we won’t get any new riflescope releases from Nikon anytime soon.