Do Nikon Scopes Have a Lifetime Warranty?

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Ever since Nikon Optics announced that they were exiting the rifle scope industry, there have been a ton of questions about the exit and how it impacted past and, potentially, future customers. At my day job, one of the most common questions that I’ve been asked since Nikon made the announcement, have been related to the Nikon scope warranty. The specific question I’ve been asked more than others is: do Nikon scopes have a lifetime warranty?

Do Nikon Scopes Have a Lifetime Warranty?

Now, if you had asked me that question before Nikon exited the scope industry at the beginning of 2019, I would have answered yes. However, now that Nikon is no longer producing rifle scopes, the answer is a bit more complicated. Now, my answer is yes, no, and maybe.

Let me provide a little background and an explanation of that completely non-helpful answer.

Original Nikon Scope Warranty

Prior to Nikon opting to get out of the rifle scope part of their business, they actually had what I would characterize as a good to very good warranty. Their warranty was called “No-Fault Repair Policy”, and it was basically a lifetime warranty on the optics with very few exceptions.

I had the opportunity to engage their No Fault warranty on more than one occasion and was very pleased with the results. In one instance, an older Japanese made Monarch scope I had would not hold zero. I sent it back in with a note explaining the issue and had the repaired scope back in my hands in just under 3 weeks.

I also used that warranty program on an Nikon M308 scope where a portion of the reticle had separated from the main vertical crosshair. In that case, Nikon shipped me a brand-new replacement model in about 4 weeks.

Current Nikon Scope Warranty

In September of 2019, Nikon sent out the following message to all Nikon dealers:

We wanted to make you aware of a change that will take place regarding Nikon Inc.’s Sport Optics product warranty program. After review, we have decided to make some program adjustments that will require changes to in-store, online and other marketing materials.

PROGRAM CHANGE: Nikon Inc.’s product warranty is changing from the current product warranty to the following:

Lifetime limited warranty for the optical system of Binoculars, Fieldscopes and Riflescopes;

Seven-year limited warranty for non-optical system components of Binoculars, Fieldscopes and Riflescopes;

One-year limited warranty for electrical components of Binoculars, Fieldscopes and Riflescopes.

The Five-year limited warranty on all components for Rangefinder and Red Dot/Reflex sight products remains the same.

Please note that going forward we are ending our No-Fault Repair Policy. Therefore, the new warranty program will not apply to any SRO product that is subjected to misuse, alteration or accident or for damage caused from unauthorized replacement parts, will require consumer proof of purchase from an authorized dealer/reseller and will not be transferable from one consumer to another.”

You can read Nikon’s existing rifle scope warranty here.

A few weeks, in late December of 2019, Nikon announced that its rifle scope division would cease operation and production of scopes effective January 1st, 2020.

So, what does the new “Lifetime Limited Warranty” mean going forward?

It means the following:

  • Any Nikon rifle scope purchased after November 1st of 2019 falls under the “new” Lifetime Limited warranty program.
  • Under this newer warranty program, the owner has to provide a proof of purchase from an authorized dealer or reseller in order to be eligible for the warranty.
  • Under the new warranty any “non-optical system components” are only covered for 7 years from the purchase date.
  • Under the new warranty program, the warranty is no longer transferable.

So, let’s answer the question: do Nikon scopes have a lifetime warranty?

If you have a Nikon scope that was purchased before the warranty change, and can prove that it was purchased before the warranty change (if needed), then the answer is yes, your scope basically has a lifetime warranty under the original Nikon No Fault warranty program.

If you have a Nikon scope and:

  • It was purchased after the warranty change, or;
  • You cannot prove when it was purchased or it is not clear when the scope was purchased, or;
  • You are not the original owner and cannot prove when the purchase was made, or;
  • Your Nikon scope was purchased after the warranty change, and you are not the original owner;

Then your Nikon scope does NOT have a lifetime warranty.

Nikon Buckmaster Scope

My take here is this new, modified warranty was part of the plan that Nikon adopted when they made the decision to get out of the rifle scope business. Not only is their exit from the scope industry unfortunate, this warranty change is equally unfortunate as it certainly isn’t customer friendly.

But, since Nikon is out of the business, I don’t think they really care at this point. I suspect they are banking on the fact that only a small portion of their rifle scope customers are also buyers of their other (and substantially larger market) optical products, which is primarily cameras.


Here are some frequently asked questions that I’ve been seeing related to the Nikon scope warranty:

Will Nikon still warranty scopes, now that they are out of business?

First, its important to clarify that Nikon is not out of business as a company. They just decided to get out of the rifle scope market.

In speaking to several Nikon reps both at my day job and at various outdoor shows, it sounds as though Nikon will be honoring the original warranty that was in place when the Nikon scope was purchased. However, proving the date of that purchase may be a challenge. As a matter of fact, on a personal note, I’m pretty certain I no longer have all the receipts to the various Nikon scopes I own.

However, if you purchase a Nikon scope after the warranty change was introduced, then your scope will only be covered under more restrictive circumstances (must have receipt, must have purchased from authorized Nikon dealer, etc.).

Can you do a Nikon scope warranty review?

Honestly, it’s hard to actually review a warranty as its more the experiences that you had when the warranty was engaged.

As I mentioned previously, my experiences with the Nikon No Fault warranty were very good. Granted, I can only recall using it twice, but both instances were positive in my opinion.

I have not used the newer Limited Lifetime warranty, so I have no firsthand experience with it. However, it looks to be far more restrictive than the No Fault warranty and there seem to be quite a few “loopholes” built in, giving Nikon an out from having to repair or replace the scope.

Can you compare the Nikon vs Vortex warranty?

There’s not really much to compare here.

While Nikon’s original No Fault warranty would potentially give the Vortex warranty a run for the money, the Vortex warranty is clearly better in my opinion. And, compared to the newer, more restrictive Nikon warranty, the Vortex warranty blows it away.

Vortex may its faults here and there, but their warranty is one of the best in the business. Period.

How’s the Nikon scope warranty without a receipt?

Honestly, it seems like a bit of a gray area at this time.

If you have an older Nikon scope that was obviously purchased under the original No Fault warranty, then you most likely won’t need a receipt.

However, if you have a newer one and there’s a question as to when it was purchased to determine which warranty applies, then you may have an issue. If the scope clearly falls under the new warranty program, then you have to have a receipt in order to even start a warranty claim.

As I come across new questions or information about the Nikon warranty, I’ll update this page.