Next up is Nightforce, whose NXS line of scopes has become very popular with the long-range crowd
because of their large elevation adjustment range, thin reticle choices, and reputation for
withstanding the extreme recoil forces produced by large magnums equipped with muzzle brakes. The
NXS models most appropriate for long-range shooting are the 3.5-15x50 mm, 3.5-15x56 mm, 5.5-22x50
mm, and 5.5-22x56 mm. The larger objective size adds bulk and weight, but helps low-light
performance and enlarges the exit pupil approximately 10-percent. The 3.5-15 has 110 MOA of total
elevation adjustment and the 5.5-22 has 100 MOA, which should be enough to get .308 to 1000-yards
with a level base. The elevation knob has 10 MOA per turn with fourth-MOA clicks. An inclined base
is still required for 1400 yards and further for calibers that can make it that far, such as the
.338 Lapua Magnum or .50 BMG. To match angular systems, the NP-R1 and NP-R2 reticles are popular
with their hash marks every several MOA. The NXS series is also available with mil-based knobs.
In this configuration, the elevation knob has five mils per turn with 0.1-mil clicks.
The new first focal Nightforce 3.5-15x50 mm with zero stop looks and feels like the Nightforce
models you're used to, but has extra features helpful for practical field shooting.
Due to military demand, Nightforce added two key features in 2008: a first focal-plane reticle and a
zero stop on the elevation knob. These features are available at extra cost on the 3.5-15x model
and fill two of the qualitative gaps that had separated the NXS line from the top-of-the-line US
Optics and Schmidt & Bender scopes. With almost all the ideal features of a scope for practical
long-range rifle shooting, the Nightforce 3.5-15x50 mm with first focal-plane reticle and zero stop
offers a solid scope with good options for practical long-range shooting.
For 2010, Nightforce has added a many-click elevation for less turns are required to get to a given
range (not pictured).