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Optic Of The Week : NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56mm

NightForce optics need no introduction or explanation, everyone above 5 years old knows who they are and how good they are. So lets get to it.


The NXS is a pretty big optic. But you get a lot for that size. Now its no doubt considered old and past its prime compared to new designs coming out nearly ever month, it’s still first class in my opinion.

Color:Black
Magnification:5.5 – 22 x
Tube Diameter:30 mm
Reticle Focal Plane:Second Focal Plane (SFP)
Illumination Color:Red
Eye Relief:3.9 in
Exit pupil:2.5 – 10.2 mm
Adjustment Type:MOA
Adjustment Range:100 MOA
Field of View, Linear:4.7 – 17.5 ft at 100 yds
Length:15.2 in
Weight:32 oz
Finish:Black

AS the specs from NF say above, the NXS turrets adjust in 1/4 MOA clicks. I know its “obsolete ” to use MOA instead of Mils now a days but I like it. I been using 1/4 adjustments for 30 years, I am comfortable with it, I know it and it works very well for me. The turrets can be loosened and reset at zero like most modern tactical scopes.

The left side parallax knob also functions as the illumination control for the reticle. You pull out to turn it on and push it back in to turn it off. The cross hairs light up red but are not day time brought. There is no brightness control though it can be done, I wouldn’t really mess with it with out much care.

The reticle is the now discontinued NP-R1 reticle. ” 1 MOA elevation spacing and 2 MOA windage spacing are ideal for precision long range shooting, benchrest and all-around use. The fine reticle subtensions are effective for rangefinding objects of various sizes. NP-R1 reticles in Nightforce 5.5-22x, 8-32x and 12-42x NXS models show 20 MOA scale below centerline (at left). In the 3.5-15x, an additional 10 MOA scale below center is indicated on the reticle. “ I find it to be very useful and it’s just what I wanted for what I use the optic for. Not as sexy as current Xmas tree crosshairs but perfect for me.

The rear power ring is knurled for easier gripping. The entire rear turns with the power ring to make it even easier. That is the one thing I would change if I could. I rather the power ring turn and nothing else. But I got over it pretty quick.

I can’t recommend the NXS enough. Howard can tell you, I wanted one for years. I have not be disappointed. They are tough, repeatable, super clear glass and come in a variety of reticle choices. They can take a helluva lot of punishment and shrug it off. As much of a Leupold man as I am, I hold NF in the same regard. it is a bit of a more specialized optic though, so make sure you know what you are going to use it for, It’s not something you stick on an M4 for general do it all use.

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2 thoughts on “Optic Of The Week : NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56mm”

    • There are plenty of people who have phased out the older 3.5-15 and 5.5-22 NF scopes for the latest and greatest. So sometimes you can find a good deal on a used one. I’d recommend saving some cash and finding a use one.

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