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Optic of the Week: Nightforce NX8

Nightforce NX8 1-8X Model C598


I love this scope. I highly recommend it off my initial first impressions of it.

But I have to add the caveated that it has a very unforgiving eye box like the NXS 2.5-10X24, or 4x ACOGs. So if you have used the ACOGs or the NXS scopes and like this, this is an awesome. If you are upgrading from a reflex sight or other brand of scope, you may find this one hard to use.

NXS 2.5-10X24 on top. NX8 on the bottom.

The old NXS is considered a small and lightweight scope, the NX8 is shorter.

This 1-8X has massive turrets that make it look larger, but it has the same 30mm tube as the NXS.

Let us talk numbers:
This 1-8X scope is 8.75″ long and 17 oz.
It is available in MOA or MIL. Adjustments are 1/2 MOA or .2 Mil respectively.
Built in, removable, throw lever.
Zero stop and daylight bright reticle illumination
100 minute or 30 mil of adjustment range
3.7 inches of eye relief

I have four NXS 2.5-10X24 scopes. While I love those scopes, I don’t need four so I traded one for a NX8 in mil adjustments. I loose 2x on the top end and finer adjustments, but I get a shorter scope that goes down to 1x and has a daylight bright illumination.

I took one of my other NXS scopes out of a LT139 mount and threw the NX8 in its’ place. I put that on my Colt/PredatAR bastard gun and I love that setup.

1x at illumination 7

I really struggle to get good photos with my Samsung S20+. This photos do not do the scope justice.

8x illumination 7

On my NXS scopes, the magnification adjustment ring is quite stiff to turn. On the NX8 it is easy to quickly move between 1 and 8x with an 180 degree adjustment.

The windage knob is capped, the elevation knob is uncapped. Positive clicks when adjusting made adjustments easy.

Unfortunately while I bought Allen wrenches with me to the range, I didn’t bring the right size to us to zero the knobs. The elevation knob has an adjustable zero stop that can be set by removing the cover and loosing some Allen screws.

I really enjoyed shooting with this optic.

That said, the center dot of the reticle felt huge. I think people attempting to shoot the tightest groups at 100 yards or meters are not going to like it.

That center dot might cover up what you are aiming at.

If I were going to be shooting for groups, I’d dial in a mil adjustment and use the 1 mil hash mark for the point of aim. I might even dial in a 2 mil adjustment just to get the whole circle section of the reticle out of the way.

I’d prefer to dial in a half mil adjustment and use the top of the post, but because the adjustments are a coarse .2 mils, that is not possible.

At higher brightness setting the illumination bleeds across the reticle. I don’t really feel this is an issue because at that point you are using a higher brightness setting than appropriate for the background you are aiming at.


Pros:
Small and Light
Daylight bright reticle
1x for close distances
8x longer distances
usable at intermediate powers

Cons:
Large illuminated circle dot at 1x. About 6.75 MOA.
Large center dot in the reticle (about 1.7 MOA on the mil model, 2 on the MOA model)
Coarse adjustments
Tight eyebox


When I see used 1-X power scopes for sale online I expect they are being sold because the buyer expected they could buy this one scope that would be just as good as an Aimpoint up close and just as good as sniper/precision scope at distance.

The early 1-X power scopes I got to try where nice scope but I felt they were not good enough at either role for me to want one. Now, newer models like this NX8 do either job in a passible manner. The limited eye relief and tight eye box of the NX8 is going to make it slower than an Aimpoint, but it is still fast and function. .2 mil adjustments make for about .7 moa clicks. That combined with the 1.7ish moa center dot makes this scope far from ideal for shooting groups at 100 yards.

If you are willing to accept that it is not absolutely perfect for those roles, this is an awesome scope.

I might have to get another one.

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