Where are Nikon Scopes Made or Manufactured?

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The company that is known as Nikon was founded in Japan in 1917 when three of the leading optical companies in Japan merged to form one brand. Initially, the company was called the Nippon Company, but due to the success of its Nikon series of cameras, the company changed its name to Nikon Corporation in 1988.

Despite being more well known in the camera industry, Nikon quickly established itself as a major player in the sporting optics market and has been a major player over the last 20 years or so.

The Nikon line of rifle scopes is a popular brand at my day job, so I’m relatively familiar with their rifle scope products. One of the more common questions that I’m asked about Nikon scopes seems to be this one: Where are Nikon scopes made?

Where are Nikon scopes made

And, as I’ve mentioned before on this site, I completely understand the desire to learn where a scope is produced or manufactured as the country of origin (which is the fancy name for where it was made) can play a role in its perceived value, expected quality, and expected performance.

Plus, the desire to buy American made products is still alive and well in the US, and that also drives the interest in knowing where a rifle scope is manufactured.

Before I get into actually answering the main question, it’s important to mention that, officially speaking, Nikon is no longer in the riflescope business. They officially stopped producing and selling rifle scopes on January 1st of 2019, so the question really should be worded as where were Nikon scopes made?

If you happen to be a fan of Nikon scopes, there’s a glimmer of hope for you as there is still a significant quantity of new Nikon scopes that are still available for sale in the at various sources at some deeply discounted prices.

That being said, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this post:

Where are Nikon scopes made?

Below is an overview of the Nikon scope offerings by scope family:

Nikon Prostaff Rimfire Scopes – The Prostaff Rimfire series was produced in two versions: an original Prostaff Rimfire series and a 2nd generation series called the Prostaff Rimfire II series. The 2nd generation series came in two configurations, a 3-9×40 and a 4-12×40. Both of these scope series were initially produced in China, but this series is now/was made in the Philippines.

Nikon Prostaff P3 Scopes – The Nikon Prostaff P3 series of scopes consisted of 20 scope models that ranged in power magnification starting at 2-7×32 and going all the way up to 6-18×40 configurations. This series also included some specialized scope models that were manufactured for muzzleloaders, shotguns, and crossbows. This series was initially manufactured in Thailand; then, production was moved the Philippines. When Nikon stopped producing scopes, all the models in this series were being built in the Philippines.

Nikon Prostaff P5 Scopes – The Nikon Prostaff P5 series was a step up in optical quality and features over the Prostaff P3 scopes. The P5 scope series consisted of 8 scope models with a magnification range starting at 2.5-10×42 and maxing out at a 6-24×50 model. The P5 scope models were manufactured in the Philippines.

Nikon Prostaff P7 Scopes – The Nikon Prostaff P7 series of scopes was the first of the P series to be introduced by Nikon, and it was discontinued when Nikon rolled out the P3 and P5 scope series. The Prostaff P7 scopes were made in China.

Nikon Buckmasters and Buckmasters II Scopes – The Buckmasters line of scopes feature the original first-generation series of the Buckmaster series, and the 2nd generation series called the Buckmasters II series. The original Buckmasters series was discontinued when Nikon rolled out the upgraded Buckmasters II series. At the time that Nikon exited the riflescope market, the Buckmasters II series was still available. The Buckmasters II series is/was made in the Philippines.

Nikon Monarch Scopes – For the longest time, the Nikon Monarch series of scopes was considered to be Nikon’s flagship scope series. When the Monarch scopes were first introduced, they were manufactured in Japan (I have a Monarch that is marked as being made in Japan). Later, Nikon had them manufactured in Thailand, and eventually, they were made in the Philippines.

In my opinion, the Japanese made Monarch models were higher quality and had better glass than the Thailand and Philippine-made models. At the time that Nikon got out of the riflescope business, the Nikon Monarch scopes were being manufactured in the Philippines.

When Nikon stopped producing rifle scopes, they were on the Monarch M5 series. This version of the Monarch scope series consisted of 7 scope models that were offered in a magnification range that started at 3-12×42 and topped out with a 5-20×50 model.

Nikon Monarch X Scopes – At one point, Nikon introduced the Monarch X scope series as a class above the standard Monarch scope models. This series was very impressive for the cost, and they were manufactured in Japan. I was always impressed with the quality of this series compared to the price.

Nikon Monarch Gold Scopes – At one time, the Nikon Monarch Gold series was marketed as being Nikon’s flagship line and was considered to be a step up above the standard Monarch and Monarch X series. This scope series was also made in Japan and was also an exceptionally good piece of glass for the money. Unfortunately, this model was priced at the very top end of Nikon’s scope offerings and ended up being discontinued after a few years.

Nikon P-Tactical Scopes – The Nikon P-Tactical scope series consisted of 12 scope models that started with a red dot model called the P-Tactical Superdot and went all the way up to a 4-12×40 model. This series was more of an entry-level series that was geared towards tactical shooting and featured scopes with caliber specific BDC reticles in .223 and .308 configurations. When the P-Tactical series was initially introduced, it was manufactured in China. They were manufactured in the Philippines when Nikon stopped production.

Nikon M-Tactical Scopes – The Nikon M-Tactical scope series also focused on tactical shooting and was one step up over the P-Tactical scopes. This series offered better optics and features over the P-Tactical scopes, along with a higher price tag. This series featured 5 scope models with a magnification range from 1-4×24 up to 4-16×42. Like the P-Tactical scopes, the M-Tactical series also featured BDC reticles calibrated to the .223 and .308 calibers. The M-Tactical scope models were manufactured in the Philippines.

Nikon Black Force 1000 scope – The Nikon Black Force1000 scope series consisted of only one scope model that was offered in a 1-4x24mm configuration. This scope was built on a 30mm tube and was designed for use on an AR platform. The Black Force1000 was manufactured in the Philippines.

Nikon Black X1000 Scopes – The Nikon Black X1000 series of scopes was marketed as a second focal scope made for long-range shooting on an AR platform. This series consisted of 5 scope models with a power magnification range that started at 4-16×50 and topped out at 6-24×50. The Black X1000 scopes were manufactured in the Philippines.

Nikon Black FX1000 Scopes – The Nikon Black FX1000 series of scopes were built on a 30mm tube. They were configured as first focal plane (FFP) scopes designed to target the long-range shooting market, where the FFP configuration has become an extremely popular option. Similar to the Black X1000 scope series, the FX1000 series was offered in 6 models with a power magnification range that started at 4-16×50 and topped out at 6-24×50. The FX1000 Nikon scopes were also manufactured in the Philippines.

As you can see from the information above, nearly all of Nikon’s riflescopes were manufactured in the Philippines as Nikon was rumored to have a facility there that was under contract just for Nikon.

Nikon Black FX1000 FFP scope

While you may or may not be a fan of optics from the Philippines, I’ve found that some of the Philippine-made glass is pretty good for the money. I think the Japanese made optics offer a higher optical quality, but some of the higher end Philippines made scopes are pretty close to Japanese made optics in optical quality.


Here are some of the frequently asked questions that I’ve either been asked or seen asked regarding where Nikon scopes were manufactured:

Are Nikon scopes made in the USA?

At the time that Nikon withdrew from the riflescope market, nearly all their scopes were manufactured in the Philippines. Nikon is headquartered in Japan, and, to my knowledge, never produced any rifle scopes in the USA.

Where are Nikon Prostaff scopes made?

While some of the Prostaff scope models were initially manufactured in China, Nikon eventually moved the production and manufacturing of all the Prostaff scope models over to the Philippines. When Nikon exited the scope industry at the beginning of 2019, all Prostaff scope models, regardless of the P series number, were being manufactured in the Philippines.

Where are the Nikon Black scopes made?

As mentioned previously, all the scopes in the Nikon Black series are/were manufactured in the Philippines.

I have a Nikon scope that is marked as being “made in the USA,” so not all the Nikon scopes were made overseas.

I’m not saying that it’s not possible given the ever changing rules regarding the Country of Origin requirements, but, in my 15+ years working in the optics industry, I’ve never seen a Nikon scope that was marked as being made in the USA, and I’ve seen a bunch of Nikon scopes during that time. Again, not saying it isn’t possible, but I’m a bit skeptical of that claim.

Can you really tell the difference in the glass on the Nikon scopes made in Japan versus the ones made in the Philippines?

To me, the Japan made Nikon glass has higher quality optical performance compared to the Nikon scopes made in the Philippines. Now, I’m not saying that the Philippines made glass is “bad,” I’m just saying that where I look through a Japanese made Nikon scope vs the Philippines made Nikon scope, I think the Japanese made glass is better (even when I’m looking through both scopes not knowing where it was made).

I have a Japanese made Nikon Monarch that is at least 15 years old, and, when I compare it to a current Monarch model made in the Philippines, the difference in optical clarity is noticeable.

Where are Nikon Buckmaster scopes made?

The first generation of the Buckmasters scope were made in China, and I’ve seen a few that were marked as being made in Thailand. The second generation of the Buckmasters scope, called the Buckmasters II models, were being manufactured in the Philippines.

As I come across new information regarding the Nikon scopes, I’ll update this page.