Are Refurbished Nikon Scopes Any Good?

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Even though Nikon has stopped producing riflescopes, I still get many Nikon scope related questions at my day job. One that seems to come up quite a bit is this one: are refurbished Nikon scopes any good?

There seems to be quite a bit of misinformation floating around about factory Nikon refurbished scopes, so let me provide some context about that topic.

Are Refurbished Nikon Scopes Any Good

When most people hear the word “refurbished,” they automatically think that this means the product was sent back to the factory, repaired, and is now being sold again as new, refurbished, or reconditioned.

Nikon’s refurbished scope program is a little bit different as hardly any of the scopes sold under the refurbished program were sent in for repair or were previously damaged.

Some of the models on the refurbished program are returns that came back due to issues like a shipping error or ordering error.

Most of the Nikon scopes being sold as “factory refurbished” are models that were one of the following:

  • A store demo model
  • A review model that was sent to a writer or gun magazine for review
  • A show model that was used for hands-on display at various outdoor shows
  • A representative model that was used by Nikon rep for demonstrations

 Why are they called “refurbished” then?

The refurbished label associated with these scopes means that they were returned to the Nikon facility, tested and inspected for proper function, and then reset to the original factory specifications when that particular scope was new.

According to our Nikon representative, any scope that doesn’t pass the inspection and testing process is removed from the refurb program and either scrapped or used for repair parts.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Nikon Refurbished Scope


The single biggest reason to buy a factory refurbished riflescope is the price. In the case of Nikon, most of the refurbished scope models sell for a significant discount. While the discount amount varies, it can be 45% to 50% or more less than the typical MSRP pricing. For example, using those numbers, a $500 Nikon scope would sell for around $275 (or less)

The deep discount on refurbished models is the main draw on this type of scope.


For the most part, there are two cons or downsides to buying a Nikon refurbished scope and they are:

  • The refurbished models are not covered under the original Nikon warranty and usually have a 90-day warranty from the date of purchase.
  • The refurbished models may not have all the original items that came with the scope when new.

Let’s talk about the warranty issue first:

With refurbished scopes from Nikon, the company does not honor the original warranty that came with the scope originally. Nikon traditionally offers a 90-day factory warranty on refurbished scopes.

While that limited warranty can be an issue for some shoppers, the upside is the discounted price to acquire the scope. The risk comes in if the scope malfunctions outside the 90 day time period.

Refurbished Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Scope
Refurbished Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Scope

Let’s talk about the potential missing parts issue:

First, not every scope model in the refurbished program is missing some of the original parts or paperwork.

For the models that may be missing parts, the parts or accessories are usually items such as:

  • Warranty card or warranty information
  • Original manual
  • Scope cover
  • Sunshade

To me, all those are minor items as the manuals can be downloaded online, and the sunshade or scope covers can usually be purchased separately as well.

One of the Nikon refurbished models I bought a few years back didn’t come with a manual or sunshade, but I got such a deal on it, that neither of those issues bothered me in the slightest.

So, are refurbished Nikon scopes any good?

To answer that question, I would say the following:

  • If you are a budget-based shopper and don’t mind the risk of not having an extended warranty, then the refurbished scopes can be an absolute steal of a deal on a good optic.
  • If the warranty is a vital part of a riflescope purchase for you, then a refurbished scope probably isn’t for you.

Personally, I’ve had great success buying refurbished scopes and haven’t had any issues with any of those purchases, but those are my own experiences.

Where’s the best place to find refurbished Nikon scopes for sale?

Every now and then a refurbished Nikon scope shows up here or there. If you don’t see any listed below, then I haven’t come across any recently.


Here are some other frequently asked questions that I’ve seen regarding Nikon refurbished scopes:

Are factory refurbished Nikon scopes and refurbished Nikon scopes the same thing?

If you’re shopping for a refurbished model, you may see the scopes listed as factory-refurbished Nikon scopes or see them listed as refurbished Nikon scopes. Even though the terms are slightly different, they mean the same thing.

All Nikon riflescopes listed as factory refurbished or just refurbished have gone through the refurbishment process at a Nikon facility.

What do you think of the refurbished Nikon monarch scopes?

I have not personally purchased a refurbished Nikon Monarch scope. However, I know some customers from my day job who did buy one, and I mounted a few on rifles for customers.

All the refurbished Monarch scope models I put my hands on looked like new models, and I didn’t hear any customer complaints about them.

How about the Nikon refurbished scope warranty?

I discussed the warranty situation for the Nikon refurbed scopes above, but I’ll touch on it again.

The refurbished scopes are not covered under the standard Nikon warranty, and most have a limited 90-day warranty.

The 90-day warranty starts on the date of purchase. If you made a purchase and needed to engage the 90-day warranty, you would be required to provide the receipt of purchase as proof of the date of purchase.

If I buy a refurbished Nikon scope and it breaks outside the 90-day warranty, what do I do then?

In that scenario, you have two choices:

  • Contact Nikon support and pay out of pocket to have the scope repaired
  • Contact a 3rd party scope repair facility and pay for the repair out of pocket

Between the two, I’m betting that calling Nikon for support will be the least expensive option.

Do you have any experience with the refurbished Nikon Prostaff scopes?

I bought a refurbished Nikon Prostaff 5 two years ago and was very pleased with it. I mounted it on a long-range set-up and ended up selling the scope as part of a package deal for the rifle and scope.

Honestly, if it had not been sold as a refurbished model, I would have thought it was a brand-new model.

I’ll update the FAQ section as I come across additional questions and answers.