Nikon Buckmaster vs Vortex Diamondback – Twins Not So Similar

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Nikon Buckmaster vs Vortex Diamondback

Are you planning on joining other shooters this hunting season? Then you must check out this review of Nikon Buckmaster and the Vortex Diamondback to start you off in the right direction. 

While most scopes look a lot similar externally, they are designed with varied parts that make their performance stand out from one brand to another. It is these minor details that make the riflescope what it is and give it the acclaim that it may have in the market.

I happen to own these two scopes and while I have a great appreciation for the Vortex brand, I just had to get myself the Buckmaster when it came out. their weight, length, reticle, magnification, and lens size all match but their optics and functional performance varied greatly.

Here is my experience with these two awesome riflescopes.

What are the differences between Nikon Buckmaster and Vortex Diamondback?

Model
Nikon Buckmaster
Vortex Diamondback
Reticle
BDC
Dead-Hold BDC
Magnification
4-12x
4-12x
Objective Lens Diameter
40mm
40mm
Eye Relief
3.7 inches
3.1 inches
Field of View
23.6-7.9 feet/ 100 yards
32.4-11.3 feet/ 100 yards
Weight
13.6 ounces
14.6 ounces
Length
14 inches
12 inches
Availability

Nikon Buckmaster vs Vortex Diamondback – How do they compare?

Focal Plane

This Buckmaster scope is a 4-12 power first focal plane scope which means that as your magnification increases, so does the size of your reticle. This allows you to use sub-tension in a quick aim. It features a BDC reticle on it with different markings for 200 to 600 yardage which eliminates elevation guesswork. The eyepiece is lockable and is fitted with Rapid Target Acquisition for fast target identification and tracking.

The Vortex Diamondback is a second focal plane scope which means that the reticle size does not change even with zoom adjustments. It has a fast-focus eyepiece in the rear that works smoothly and holds the position you set it to. This Dead-Hold BDC reticle is ideal for shooting and hunting at varied ranges specially where estimating hold-over would be a concern.

Buckmaster’s reticle is better than that of Diamondback because it offers more than just a BDC property by giving users a ballistic circle view for long range shooting with adjustments up to 300 yards and sharp aim for shorter ranges.

Field of View

Nikon Buckmaster has fully multi-coated lenses with maximum light transmission suitable for twilight hour hunting making the images bright and with great resolution. They offer 3.7 inches of adjustable eye relief.

The Buckmaster adjustments are ¼ inch per click and they are both tactile and audible and they maintain your setting even with repetitive recoil. The glass is very bright and brings in a lot of light. However, the quality of imagery is crisp and clear but could be better.

The Diamondback has MOA sub-tensions to match the turret sub-tensions and corrections. It doesn’t have parallax adjustments or illumination and the eye-relief at 3.1 inches is quite low which causes some stress.

Nikon Buckmaster is limited in the field of view as compared to Diamondback but it provides users with more comfortable eye relief. 

Turrets

Buckmaster allows impressive picture sighting within a fixed range. Adjustments have been simplified by the use of the spring-loaded instant-zero reset turrets and once you sight in your 100 yards, you only need to lift the knob, rotate it to zero, and reengage the knob. It is parallax free meaning it is fixed to 100 yards meaning it is perfect for this range and not very good at any further

The turrets on Diamondback are MOA with ¼ inch finger adjustments and they are easy to re-zero by pulling up the turret tab slide it over to zero and drop it back down. Some reset tensions don’t line up properly so you could lookout for that. There is no ZeroStop function but there is a revolution counter under the turrets which is handy.

Nikon Buckmaster has reliable turrets with ZeroStop function which is lacking in the Diamondback scope.

Nikon Buckmaster vs Vortex Diamondback – A Comparison Overview 

Nikon Buckmaster Review 

The glass is very bright and brings in a lot of light. however, the quality of imagery is crisp and clear but could be better. It is parallax free meaning it is fixed to 100 yards meaning it is perfect for this range and not very good at any further.

The turrets are its best feature and re-zero adjustments are as simple as lift, twist, and drop. They are also quite audible in their clicks and they feel quite tactile and firm to the touch. The point of impact does not change even with a change in magnification. This scope offers up to 80MOA internal adjustments in elevation and windage.

Eye relief provided is 3.75 with a more traditional focus eyepiece but it works when you in screw it and use the locking ring. The Bullet Drop Compensation is really effective but it could do better in thickening the crosshairs for better visibility in all light conditions.

Pros

  • Good glass quality
  • Good eye relief
  • Holds zero
  • Tracks well

Cons

  • No parallax adjustments
  • Lacks a side focus

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Vortex Diamondback Review 

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA) with Baseball Hat
  • The Diamondback 3.5-10x50 riflescope is one of multiple configurations in the Diamondback lineup and is...
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over...
  • Lenses are fully multi-coated for crystal clear, bright images from dawn till dusk The fast focus...
  • Metal on metal precision turrets offer the ability to zero reset after sight-in A precision glide erector...

This is a second focal plane scope. It is made of standard aircraft-grade aluminum and it is water-proof, fog-proof, and shockproof. It has no issues shifting zero after firing. The magnification ring has numbers printed on the back of the crown which makes it easy to see when you are behind the gun and it is quite stiff even after months of use.

The glass quality has some mirage but gives bright images with no issues identifying targets. The reticle has some discoloration in the edges but very crisp within the image and accommodates bullet drop compensation. The reticle has MOA sub-tensions to match the turret sub-tensions and corrections.

It doesn’t have parallax adjustments or illumination and the eye-relief at 3.1 inches is quite low which causes some stress. To overcome that, you could mount it on a rail to help move it back a little bit for some comfort.

Pros

  • Printed magnification rings
  • Matching sub-tensions
  • Fast focus eyepiece

Cons

  • Short eye relief
  • No illumination

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Conclusion 

Nikon Buckmaster is very sleek in build and resilient to water, fog, and shock. Its clear multicoated optical system is optimized to give excellent imagery and quick target focus and tracking on all your hunts.

Vortex Diamondback is designed for shoppers looking for a lightweight scope which will keep the entire setup within the good capacity and one that has great optics that work perfectly within 500 yards

Final Verdict: So, which is better? Nikon Buckmaster or Vortex Diamondback?

Nikon Buckmasteris better than the Diamondback. This is because it offers good eye relief, ZeroStop functions, and super clear optics with reliable magnification. They are sure to satisfy your needs if you like the convenience of hunting in any weather or time of day.

FAQ

Is this scope suitable for use on a shotgun?

No, it is not. It is better suited for long-range guns like the .223 or a savage 270 with the correct scope rings.

Will the Vortex Diamondback hold up to a AR 10 308 rifle?

Yes. I have used this scope on the 5.56, 6.5, and 308 Creedmoor riffles and I have had no issues with it. It is adequately resistant to the effects of shock and recoil.

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