ORDER BY PHONE
ORDER LINES OPEN
9:30am - 5:00pm
EXETER: 01392 354854
DORSET: 01935 83099
NEWPORT: 01633 250 025
We accept the following cards
Nightforce NXS: Lost in Elevation
Pete Moore looks at the Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x56 scope with Zerostop.
Though Nightforce optics offer a number of compact models, which I really rate, there are best known in the UK for their big scopes. You know what I mean – entry level is 3.5-
15x50 with top end specs up to 12-42x56. Add in a good choice of reticules, and their well respected reputation and you do have some classy, longer range glass.
For me the true long range stuff like the 8-32 and 12-42 is a little wasted, so what I have here is the highest spec I could make use of – the NXS 3.5-15x56. I have a similar format in my old and trusted Leupold 4.5-14x50 LRT, so the chance to contrast and compare would be interesting. However Nightforce also offers what they call a ZeroStop elevation turret, which very much solves the age old problem of getting lost in elevation with a target type, external dialling turret.
I have been using the NXS for about five months on various rifles and that includes an ATN Night Spirit night vision, rearmounted monocular set-up. There are no real surprises on the build, though a couple of features are a tad different from the majority of scopes of this nature. However, Nightforce optics do seem to be used by riflemen who are looking for the ultimate and I know they are also prized by the military and police market too. But then again so are Leupold, Schmidt & Bender, Vortex etc. We are in the high end, high price bracket here, so you pay your money and takes your chances… The build goes for a 30mm, 2-piece body tube with a generous saddle area. The eyepiece bell uses a lock ring focus system and when you dial in the magnification the whole unit moves and not just the zoom ring. Moving forward; on the left is the combined side focus and rheostat drum. Sensibly it’s not marked with pre-set ranges just a series of lines and 8. This I find is more sensible, given the fact that believing the distance figure is debateable.
Fully Lit Ret
On a more tactical level the reticule is fully illuminated, as opposed to just the centre as on more sporting/target optics and does not offer any brightness adjustment. This has doubtless been done to aid range finding with Mil-Dot. On that point mine came with a 2nd pattern (round dots), skeleton Mil-Dot ret, set in the 2nd focal plane. Nightforce now offer the 1st focal option (F1) too. Turrets are target/tactical types being externally dialled with no covers. In terms of movement they are excellent with firm, readable and audible clicks that resist accidental operation very well. The 3.5-15x56 offers .25 MOA clicks with 40-clicks (10 MOA) per turn and 12 full rotations before ZeroStop setting in elevation, giving a top to bottom of 120 MOA. Drums are marked in 1 and ¼ MOA and the saddle has a line-up pointer, though there are no horizontal stadia on the fixed section of the turret. Windage offers eight full turns (80 MOA) though the turrets are marked 0 then 1-5 either side in 1 and ¼ MOA as befits this plane of adjustment. The fixed section shows stadia marked from 1-8. Both drums can be slipped to zero position via twin Allen screws.
Solving the Problem
Optical quality is excellent with Nightforce using the best in glass and coating technologies to achieve top sight pictures and light transmission. The 3.5-15 is not a small scope at 14.8” long and weighing just under 2 lbs, add in the 56mm objective and you need to be considering your mount and base heights and barrel contour. In terms of a medium/long range optic the 3.5-15x56 is a nice option with good low light ability, precise and sure adjustments and a wide choice of reticules, some of which might appear a little radical. In that it’s not a lot different to other target/tactical-types scopes of this class and ability. If I had one niggle it would be the lack of rheostat control when illuminated. I can live with the pattern being fully lit, which in some cases is essential as I have found it to be a tad on the fine side, but being able to adjust its brightness would be more practical. What really separates the players is ZeroStop! How many times with this sort of turret have you forgotten where you are in elevation? This has happened to me and by using the horizontal stadia on the fixed section of the turret as a reference; it’s all too easy to be a full turn out with disastrous results.
Back to base
ZeroStop is simple, elegant and fool proof. With the top drum removed there’s a stop plate secured by four Allen screws that sits around the central spindle. These are slackened off and you zero using a screwdriver slot in the top of the spindle. Once set the plate is rotated to its stop position and the screws tightened and the drum put back on and set to 0. You now have a base setting that you can dial up from using your ballistic data for drop/range. If for any reason you get lost in elevation then it’s a simple matter to wind the drum back until it stops and you are back at base zero. It’s not rocket science but it works 100%. Where items like ballistic reticules - though useful - can be a bit of a gimmick, I would consider ZeroStop an essential on a longer range optic of this sort. This technology is available on the following Nightforce scopes NXS 1-4x24, 2.5-10x24, 3.5-15x50, 3.5-15x56, 5.5-22x50 and 5.5-22x56. It’s further possible to retrofit the system to the above if they were bought without it. With or without ZeroStop the NXS 3.5-15x56 is an excellent scope and a spec I favour, but its addition really is the icing on the cake! GM
Specifications of the Nightforce Scope used for the article
- Model: Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x56 with ZeroStop
- Body Tube: 30mm
- Illuminated: Yes (non-adjustable)
- Side Focus: Yes
- Click Values: .250 MOA or .1 Mil-Radian
- Clicks per turn: 40
- Full Revolutions: Elevation 12, Windage 8
- Weight: 32oz
- Length: 14.8"
- FOV at 100 yards: 27.6 - 7.3ft
- Price: £1564 (.250 MOA) or £1641 (Mil Radian)
Thanks to Pete Moore and Gunmart for the article. Click here to view hundreds more gun reviews online at www.gunmart.net
Like this article?
View 360 Images of our Stores
Sign up for our newsletter
Steyr HS .50 M1
REVO Tactical Pistol Grip PA
Steyr AUG-Z .223 Rem
Winchester SXP Black Shadow 12G
GAMO PX107 Co2
SPORTSMAN GUNCENTRE NEWS
Go Game Shooting
A new & easy way to find game shooting in the UK
Go Game Shooting is a simple and effective way to find game
shooting within the UK. The website allows users to locate all types of game
shooting they are looking for...