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A Tale of Two Sights

By Paul Evancoe

Technical Evaluation of the Nightforce ATACR™ and NXS™ Model Riflescopes

Nightforce riflescopes are nothing less than sophisticated simplicity in thoughtful design, uncomplicated operation and reliable performance. If you’re looking for these attributes in a long-range riflescope, Nightforce’s ATACR™ or NXS™ model is the one to own.

Two new Nightforce rifle scopes were technically evaluated during December 2017 for the purpose of ascertaining the following: design features and technical advantages, ease of use (user friendliness), overall effectiveness and functionality, manufacturer’s support availability and sustainability (life span). The two models evaluated were the ATACR™ 5-25x56mm F1 (34mm tube, 1 Mil-Radian, Mil-R, CW, Digillum PTL) and the NXS™ 8-32x56mm (30mm tube, 25 MOA, MOAR-T™).

Like most modern scopes offered on today’s market, Nightforce optics are fully coated to prevent fogging. Their scope tubes are gas-filled to further prevent internal optical distortion from climate extremes. The scope’s adjustment knobs and optics are O-ring sealed, ensuring the scope is weatherproof and will not internally flood when exposed to wet/damp environments, heavy rain or even brief water submersion. Likewise, the scope’s optics are internally shock-mounted using a proprietary bedding process to survive the G-forces resulting from heavy caliber recoil and tactical abuse.

To the casual observer, these two scopes differ only slightly in outward appearance. However, on closer examination, their features certainly are distinctive. Common to both scopes is their overall elegant yet robust design. These two riflescopes have some subtle advantages over similar scopes in their class that can easily be overlooked at first glance. Reticle focus and parallax adjustment are extremely easy to accomplish, especially if you wear corrective lenses or have a weak target eye.

Reticle focus is achieved by first setting the power zoom ring to its highest power setting. Then, the parallax adjustment is set on the infinity setting. The next step is to loosen the scope’s eyepiece locking ring. You now look through the scope’s eyepiece at a light-colored background like a white wall or target-draped white sheet—even a cloudy sky will suffice. The key here is to ensure that the background you choose is bright and uncluttered. While...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N5 (May 2018)
and was posted online on March 23, 2018

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