SGC Buying Guides

  • Beretta Open Day September 2018

    The Sportsman Gun Centre is proud to be hosting our first Beretta Open Day at our Exeter store on the 29th of September 2018!

    On the day there will be gun fitting, Beretta representatives, 0% finance and for every new Beretta bought, we will provide a free one-hour shooting lesson with one of our accredited instructors. The time and location TBC.

  • ATN X-Sight II HD - Big features, low budget


    Since discovering fire humans have been finding more and more ingenious ways to combat the dark. One of the coolest and most ingenious night-defying inventions of the last century is night vision optics.

    Although a staple of many a Cold War or spy movie, commercial night vision optics have long been the playthings of those with larger budgets, with most units costing thousands of pounds. Although some more budget-friendly options have entered the market in recent years, few have been as fully featured and as advanced as the ATN X-Sight II HD.

    This impressive budget-friendly digital scope features HD optics, a built-in Range Finder, an Advanced Ballistic Calculator, Barometer, Gyroscope, Compass, smart 1080p HD video recording including RAV (Recoil Activated Video), Bluetooth and WIFI connectivity all powered by the Obsidian Core and User Interface.

    The scope has three modes, day vision, night vision- green and night vision- black and white. These modes coupled with the two zoom model options, 3-14x and 5-20x, makes the X-Sight II one of the most versatile scopes on the market

    So how much does it cost to buy one of these advanced, feature-packed scopes? Much less than you think. The 3-14x scope is priced at £550.00 and the larger, 5-20x version, is priced at £599.99 which is better than half the price of most of it's competitors.

    So you know all the facts, but is the scope any good? Wel,l there are loads of videos on YouTube demonstrating just that, so we encourage you to take a look and see for yourself. But to save you some time, here’s one to take a look at. WARNING: This video contains footage of animal slaughter.

    You can find a list of the full technical specs below:

    Sensor HD 1080p ATN L130 Sensor
    Magnification 5 - 20 X
    Field of View 1000 yards 240 ft
    Angle of view 5 degrees
    Objective lens 85 mm
    Micro display HD Display
    Core ATN Obsidian II
    System Resolution 160 lp/mm
    Adjustment per pixel 1/8 "
    Eye relief 65 mm
    IP rating Weather resistant
    Video Record Resolution 1080p at 30 fps
    Microphone Yes
    MicroSD card From 4 to 64 GB
    Micro USB Yes
    Micro HDMI Yes
    WiFi (Streaming, Gallery & Controls) iOS & Android
    Bluetooth 4.1
    GPS (Geotagging, Elevation, etc.) Yes
    3D Gyroscope Yes - GS7
    3D Accelerometer Yes
    3D Magnetometer Yes
    E-Barometer Yes
    Smart range finder Yes
    Smart Shooting Solution Yes
    RAV (Recoil Activated Video) Yes
    E-Compass Yes
    Smooth Zoom Yes
    Reticles Multiple Patterns & Color Options
    Mount Picatinny, Interchangeable
    Compatible mounts A.R.M.S. 17 (single lever), A.R.M.S. 35, (double lever), LaRue LT270, American Defense (AD-170)
    Battery life (Li-ion) 8 - 12 hours
    Battery pack (16000 mAh) life (OPTIONAL) 22 hours
    Battery type 4 AA type batteries, 1.5 V (Lithium recommended)
    Dimensions 11.56" x 3.1" x 3.4"/294 mm x 79 mm x 87 mm
    Weight 2.15 lbs
    Warranty Two years

    Due to the power-hungry nature of night vision scopes, we recommend using advanced batteries such as the Kentli rechargeable AA batteries. They use the latest lithium-ion polymer technology to create a rechargeable battery with a huge output with the lowest possible input. They have a capacity of 3000Mwh which is more than enough to power your ATN X-Sight II.

  • ATA ARMS- A History of Innovation

    ATA ARMS have been producing innovative guns now for over 60 years. Their founder Celal Yollu, produced his first single barrel shotgun in 1955 and their first side-by-side in 1967. By 1973 ATA had released their first over-under shotgun, a gun which is still an ATA icon to this day.

    In 1992 ATA released their first semi-automatic shotgun, not only THEIR first, but the FIRST semi-auto ever produced in Turkey. Among other developments, they spent the next 21 years perfecting their over-under and semi-auto models.

    In 2013 they released their flagship semi-auto, the VENZA. The VENZA has a patented automatic gas pressure control system (GPCS) and moving barrel to reduce recoil and increase accuracy in serial shots. It feels like shooting a light load cartridge when shooting much heavier loads. It comes with a Grade 2 Turkish Walnut stock with a matte finish and is available in Fonex, camo and carbon options.





    VENZA features

    • Larger Gas Release Valves
      • Allowing gas to escape faster when firing heavy loads
    • Moving Barrel
      • When firing heavy loads the barrel recoils and opens the gas valves to reduce pressure from the forend, side vents and cap holes, this reduces overall recoil and minimises muzzle jump, which in turn increases accuracy
    • Bolt System
      • The breech bolt is machined from top grade alloy steel and is hard chrome plated to reduce friction and increase corrosion resistance
    • Receiver
      • Constructed from aircraft grade aluminium alloy to reduce overall weight
      • It is specially designed to provide a clear sight picture for accurate shooting
    • Choke System
      • 70mm choke tubes for a stronger pattern
    • Trigger System
      • Minimum travel for precise shooting
      • Easily removed for cleaning, simply remove one retaining pin
      • Safety button can be reversed making the VENZA suitable for both left and right-handed shooters

    The ATA VENZA and other ATA shotguns are available on our website.

  • Daystate announce the Red Wolf and limmited edition Serie Rosso PCP air rifles

    Of all the news and announcements to come from this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV, we think one of the most exciting came from UK Air Gun manufacturer, Daystate.

    Daystate officially unveiled its eye-catching Red Wolf pre-charged pneumatic air rifle. It’s a hi-tech multi-shot, based on the electronic action developed from the company’s flagship Pulsar.

    The Red Wolf launched with a connoisseur’s special edition model; the Serie Rosso. It is limited to just 200 worldwide, with each rifle individually numbered and issued with a factory Certificate. Presented in a hard case, the £2,499 Serie Rosso boasts a stunning red laminate sporter stock with fully-adjustable cheek and butt-pad, and specially engraved breech available in .177 and .22 calibres.

    The Red Wolf standard edition model is also dressed in coloured laminate – grey with red accents – with a walnut option, and both offer similar stock adjustments. Priced between £1,799 and £1,949 with carbon-fibre and steel bottle options, other common features are a digitally-regulated electronic action (with user-programmable shooting modes) and side lever cocking that auto-indexes Daystate’s time-proven rotary magazine. It’s available in .177, .22, .25 and .303 calibres, with power outputs from sub 12 to 70 ft/lbs.

    The Sportsman Gun Centre will be getting a small number of the limited edition Serie Rosso rifles, as well as stock of the Red Wolf standard edition in the coming weeks, check the website for more details.

  • Beretta White Onyx

    Beretta are known the world over for quality, accuracy and a touch of luxury. With shotguns reaching costs as high as £165,000 you would be forgiven for thinking that Beretta is not a brand for everyone’s budget, but you would be wrong.

    Beretta has a range of much more budget-friendly guns such as the 680 range. This range features models such as the Onyx, White Onyx and the Silver Pigeon 1 which are a favourite of sports shooters and wildfowlers alike!

    The White Onyx is a striking over-under shotgun built around an action that has become an unrivalled benchmark for over-unders. It features a dual locking-lug system that ensures both strength and sleekness: the dual lugs in the middle of the action dispense with the need of a cross-bolt on top, thus enabling the receiver to be thin and low-profile. The point of balance is right at the hinge-pin, meaning that this Beretta shotgun will shoulder and point better than other brands costing several times as much.

    Sometimes, you don’t need extra embellishing to bring out beauty. The 686 action is a perfect example of this. With its trim proportions and its lines, with its flawless contour and harmonious geometry, you get a sense of form following function, resulting in a truly classical object. Add to this the rest of the shotgun--with its components in harmonious proportion with one-another--and you see why the 680 line of sporting guns has become something highly prized in the gun-cabinet of the most discriminating collectors. Put another way: the 686 White Onyx Sporting is something you can brag about even when you are not shooting it.

    The White Onyx comes with barrels equipped with the Optimabore/Optimachoke system, to let you easily swap choke tubes to match the type of shooting you intend to do. Also, the cold-hammer forged tubes are super-resistant and with withstand any kind of shell you put through them. The single selective trigger further enables you to put two different chokes on the barrels, thereby tailoring each shot to the intended distance and purpose. Lastly, the 686 White Onyx is extremely easy to maintain, since Beretta has constructed it of highly-durable materials designed to last for generations.

    The White Onyx is available with a 30” barrel in 12 gauge Field and Sports specifications and with a 28” barrel in 20 gauge Field specification.

  • Le Chameau – The Rolls Royce of the wellington world

    Le Chameau has been producing exceptional quality handmade wellington boots since the company was founded in 1927. Originally called Monsieur Chamot, after the creator, it was renamed to Le Chameau (French for ‘The Camel’) when the production was moved to Morocco in 1949.

    Over the years, Le Chameau boots have been recognised for their quality and exclusivity, even recently by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They have been a staple for hunters, country folk and farmers alike due to their comfort, grip, longevity and build quality.

    We thought we would take a closer look at their two most popular Wellington boots; The Chasseur and The Vierznord.

    The Chasseur

    One of Le Chameau’s more pricy wellingtons, the Chasseur is first and foremost a comfortable, warm, waterproof wellington boot. This model is one of their premium range and as such is priced to match at £254.99 from The Sportsman Gun Centre.

    £254.99 may seem like a crazy amount for a wellington boot, but if you spend long days in the field, in the wind, rain and even snow, then you want your feet to be warm, dry and blister free. Enter the Chasseur.

    I must admit, I was sceptical, but after wearing a pair of Chasseur boots daily for a week this summer on a VERY wet, cold and muddy camping trip, my feet were the happiest they have ever been. The highlight of the Chasseur for me, though, was the side zip. While my friends were scrambling around trying to pull off slip on wellingtons, I would simply unzip and walk into my tent.

    The Chasseur Neo is a variation of the model that comes with a neoprene lining on the inside. These are great for the colder months. Neoprene, the material diver’s wetsuits are made from, is exceptional at retaining heat so for winter use, these boots are more than up to the challenge.

    The Vierznord

    The Vierznord is kind of the Chasseur’s little brother, although, only in terms of price and lacking a side zip! Much like the Chasseur, the Vierznord is comfortable, durable, warm and waterproof. In place of a side zip, they feature an adjustable waterproof gusset which can be adjusted using a quick release strap.

    At £148.99 the Vierznord are actually quite affordable, particularly in comparison to the Chasseur. This is perfect for people who are looking for a premium product but don’t want to break the bank!

    The lack of side zip may be a bit of a drawback, but the generous wide calf offered by the boot aids in removal, even when wet or muddy.

    The Vierznord is lined with neoprene which means it can get quite warm. The temperature rating for this boot is from 0c to -20c which makes it perfect for UK winters.


    What about accessories?

    You may have the best wellington boots in the world, but your experience can be made or broken by the accessories you use.


    Socks are almost as important as the boots themselves. They help distribute moisture, prevent rubbing, add an extra layer of insulation and even help reduce that ‘old boot smell’. A bad pair of socks can make even the best boots uncomfortable so it’s important to get it right. As a rule, we at Sportsman recommend wool or wool blend socks. The natural material is great for insulation but is also very breathable and distributes moisture very well.

    We love Pennine socks for wearing with wellington boots; they are also available in a variety of colours and styles. Check them out on our online shop or in store.

    Boot Jacks

    So you’ve got a pair of slip on wellington boots and you love them but they are a pain to get off at the end of the day? Check out boot jacks. Boot jacks dramatically improve the ease of removing slip-on boots, even when wet and covered in mud.

    We recommend the Le Chameau boot jacks which are also available on our online shop as well as in store.

  • Restocking with Boyds Hard Wood Stocks

    When most people think of aftermarket gun stocks, they think of Boyds. Since 1981 Boyds have been producing quality hardwood gun stocks for some of the world’s most popular rifles.

    Here’s Boyds in their own words:

     “At Boyds we use only top-grade hardwoods, because a hardwood stock performs! Every stock is dried to exacting specifications to ensure rigidity and stability, then sealed with chemical-resistant finishes for long-lasting durability and performance in all weather conditions.

    Boyds stocks are engineered to perfectly fit the gun. They’re tight where they need to be tight, loose where they need to be loose for superior performance and improved accuracy you can measure.”

    With this ‘perfect fit’ in mind, we sent one of the team to have a go at restocking everyone’s favourite .22LR, the Ruger 10/22.



    I would like to state that I am not a DIYer, I am not the kind of guy who has a shed full of tools and I don’t know how to rewire a plug, so when I was asked to restock a gun, I must admit, I was a tiny bit concerned.

    Ruger 10/22 before restocking Ruger 10/22 before restocking

    I was given a Ruger 10/22 and went to look at our Boyds selection to choose the stock to work with. At first, I was blinded by how many stock designs were available for the Ruger and the range of colours for each of those designs.

    I chose the Boyds Evolution Thumbhole laminate stock in Black Olive (light wood grain with green), although I came very close to choosing the same stock in Black Jack (pink and grey).

    With a little guidance, I got started. Although we NEVER keep guns loaded I did check thoroughly first. Giving it the all clear I started by removing the barrel band with a flat head screwdriver, I loosened it a little and slid it off and over the barrel.

    Ruger 10/22 barrel band before removal Ruger 10/22 barrel band before removal

    I was surprised to see that after the band I only had one screw to remove; the takedown screw. This is located on the bottom of the stock, just in front of where the magazine would sit. After removing this screw I gently lifted the front of the barrel and started to lift the stock away. The safety button got caught on the stock so I had to position it halfway between on and off and then it lifted off very easily. I put the old stock to the side and grabbed the Boyds.

    Removing the action from the Ruger 10/22 Removing the action from the Ruger 10/22
    Ruger 10/22 action with Boyd evolution stock Ruger 10/22 action with Boyd evolution stock

    The next steps were basically a reverse of the steps above. I placed the receiver and barrel into the Boyds stock, receiver end first. There is a notch in the receiver that lines up perfectly with a notch in the stock, once I was happy with its position I gently pushed the barrel down, holding the receiver in place with my other hand. It was a tight fit but this gave me some confidence in the quality of the stock.

    Turning the gun over, I replaced the takedown screw and tightened it. As the Evolution stocks don’t make contact with the fore end of the barrel, this was the only screw to replace, completing the stock replacement.

    Ruger 10/22 with Boyds Evolution stock Ruger 10/22 with Boyds Evolution stock


    Final Thoughts

    I can’t get over how easy it is to replace the stock on a Ruger 10/22 with a Boyds stock. Admittedly, this is down to the gun as much as it is the stock but restocking with Boyds is so easy and affordable that anyone could do it.

    I had used this rifle with its original stock at a range and was generally happy with it, but after switching to the Boyds stock I’m not sure I could go back. The Evolution is light, comfortable, ergonomically perfect (for me) and looks amazing. I was able to shoot for longer due to it’s lightweight and I found my scores even improved! I put the score improvement down to the comfort of the stock.

    This stock not only improved the aesthetics of the Ruger but also improved its performance and comfort and with such an easy change this makes Boyds stocks a very accessible upgrade to your rifle of choice. You can find our whole range of Boyds stocks on the Sportsman Website.

  • Hands on with the NIGHTFORCE SHV 3-12X56 IHR

    NIGHTFORCE optics are known the world over for their durability, quality and accuracy. Over the last 25 years NIGHTFORCE have been steadily releasing world class scopes for target shooters, hunters, varminters and the armed forces and in 2015 they released the SHV series.

    Now, the SHV may not be the newest scope on the market at time of writing but we think it is one of the most versatile. SHV stands for Shooter Hunter Varminter and is considered to be one of the best ‘all-rounder’ scopes on the market. It was designed with target shooting, hunting and pest control in mind and is built like it could take a shell from a tank. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of a guy throwing a NIGHTFORCE scope from one side of a field to the other, smashing it on a rock and whacking it against a fence before putting it back on his rifle and taking some pretty accurate shots.


    So what are our thoughts?

    We had to get a closer look at the SHV 3-12X56 so we sent one of the team into the warehouse to pull one out.


    Initial thoughts

    The scope feels a little on the heavy side – which in general is good thing, it tends to suggest quality components and a robust construction and places it a shade heavier than the equivalent Zeiss or Swarovski.

    It’s at a really good price point – It’s around one third of the cost of some of the high end equivalents

    The scope lets a lot of light in, even in the gloomiest part of our warehouse. This creates a bright, clear image

    The metal, deeply threaded turret caps feel very secure, there is no way you will knock your scope out of zero

    The zoom ring is quite resistant which will prevent any over zooming plus you could always clamp on a power throw lever if you prefer a quick zoom


    In a little more detail

    At The Sportsman Gun Centre we are currently offering the NIGHTFORCE SHV 3-12X56 IHR for £677.99 which places the scope right in the middle of the market. With low budget equivalent scopes pricing in at around £150-£200 and high end scopes reaching as high as £3000 the SHV sits comfortably at the bottom of the mid budget price range but offers quality that you would expect from higher budget.

    As we mentioned earlier and as you saw in the video, the SHV is a heavy duty scope. I would like to point out that the SHV is not a heavy scope, but it feels weighty for it’s size. It weighs in at 720g without mounts and caps so in comparison to your rifle it isn’t much and is very hardwearing for the weight.

    We found the visibility of this scope to be extremely clear and very bright (but not glaring) when zoomed out at 3x, the more we zoomed the more the optics impressed us. The visibility was as clear and bright at 12x as it was at 3x, something we don’t see too often in a scope of this price range.

    We already mentioned about the turret caps and it may seem weird that we are dedicating a whole paragraph to them but after experiencing some flimsy caps from a much more expensive offering we were very impressed. We started unscrewing them to take a look at the turrets but they just seemed to keep going. The only way you could accidentally knock this scope out of zero is if you forget to put the caps on!


    Final Thoughts

    Overall the build quality is very impressive. Now we didn’t throw this scope around like the guy in the video but by holding it in our hands we could feel that this piece of kit could take a beating and it is exceptionally well priced for its optical quality.


    What’s in the box?

    The scope comes in a NIGHTFORCE branded cardboard box and comes with an instruction booklet, bikini lens caps and a NIGHTFORCE branded cleaning cloth. See the below images for more information.


    Still not convinced?

    Check out this VERY American video from NIGHTFORCE, or just check out the tech specs below.



    Specifications SHV 3-12x56
    Focal Plane Second
    Objective outer diameter 65mm
    Exit pupil diameter 3x: 11.3mm; 12x: 4.7mm
    Field of view 100yd/100m 3x: 37.1ft; 12x: 9.3ft; 3x: 11.3m; 10x: 2.8m
    Eye relief 85-95mm
    Internal adjustment range e: 50 MOA; w: 50 MOA
    Click value .25 MOA
    Parallax adjustment Fixed 100 y/91.4m
    Tube diameter 30mm/1.18in
    Eyepiece outer diameter 44mm
    Overall length 14.8in/376mm
    Weight 25.4oz/720g
    Mounting length 5.8 in/147mm
    Reticles available IHR
    Illumination Non-Illuminated
    Elevation Feature Capped, Finger Adjustable
  • Spuhr Mounts Buying Guide


    We have the world's most comprehensive line of tactical scope mounts; it currently spans about 60 different models of various heights, tilts, lengths and ring dimensions. We have therefore compiled this short guide to help you choose the right mount for your needs.

    Picatinny or direct/dovetail mount?
    The first question is if the mount should be a Picatinny mount (models beginning with SP or QDP) or a direct attachment mount such as Spuhrs line of ISMS mounts for Accuracy International (SA,) Sako TRG/Tikka T3x (ST,) and Sauer SSG (SS)?

    The main reason for using a direct mount is to allow a stronger and lower positioning of the rifle scope. If there is no other need for a Picatinny rail Spuhr generally recommend direct mounts on these rifles.

    Please note that both Accuracy International and Sako are now making rifles that have Picatinny rails rather than their traditional dovetails, so make sure you check which style of mount is needed for your particular rifle.

    Cantilever or block mount?
    Most Spuhr mounts are standard block mounts as these will be the best choice for the majority of rifles on the market. There are some exceptions though…..

    AR15 rifles usually require a cantilever mount for a comfortable shooting position, and an AR15 with an adjustable stock will more often need a more extreme cantilever than an AR10/SR25 due to the difference in length of the upper receiver. As such, if your rifle has a monolithic upper we recommend using a standard block mount rather than a cantilever design, as a cantilever will be more susceptible to side forces than a non cantilever design.

    The height of Spuhr mounts is always measured from the top of the rail to the center of the scope. In the case of a tilted mount the measurement is made at the back plane of the rear ring.
    So which height do you need?
    First off you need to know the outer diameter of your objective. Please note that "3-12x56" does not mean that the scope has an outer objective diameter of 56 mm - only that the objective lens is 56mm in diameter. Different scopes have different outer diameters for the same lens diameters and it's not uncommon that different models from the same manufacturer feature different outer diameters even if the lens diameter is the same.

    Take the measurement above and divide it by two (2) to get the theoretical minimum height required if the optics will be mounted onto a flat rail that extends to and/or past the objective bell. This theoretical minimum height is theoretical for a reason. If the objective has a 62 mm outer diameter and you choose a 31 mm high mount the objective will be in contact with the rail. You will therefore need to add to the theoretical minimum height to get the practical minimum height.

    So how much do you need to add? That depends on your personal preference and on what kind of lens caps etc.,you want to use. Also, if you want to use a tilted mount/base you will need to add additional clearance.

    If you intend to mount the optics onto a bolt action rifle with Picatinny base you can often use a lower mount than the theoretical minimum height above. Just subtract the height of the base from the theoretical minimum height mentioned above. Depending on barrel contour you might be able to go even lower. But don't forget toleave some clearance for lens caps and/or sunshades!

    Night vision/thermal compatibility
    When combining the scope with a clip-on system such as PVS22 or NSV 80, to name a few, the height of the mount is not important. Also the instrument doesn’t have to be perfectly in line with the scope.

    If we have an offset of 10 mm in height between the primary optic and the NV clip-on the change in point of impact will be 10 mm on 100 meters as well as 10 mm on 300 and 1000 meters; thus the point of impact change is fully parallel.  Therefore it’s often unnecessary to have extremely high mounts just to facilitate in-line mounting of a clip-on systems. Various systems allow varying degrees of angular difference. A common maximum angular difference is 2 degrees. If you do want a perfect alignment we do offer the A-700 Clip-On Adapter that will fit onto any of Spuhrs SP-***1 and SP-***2 mounts.

    Tilted mounts are necessary when shooting at very long distances. We generally recommend as little tilt as possible as large amounts of tilt really may have a negative impact on the quality of the sight picture. In most cases 6-9 MIL (20-30 MOA) will have no negative impact on picture quality while still providing greater available adjustment range for long-range shooting.

    To allow for the greatest available range of adjustment choose a mount with a tilt that is half of the scope’s range of elevation. For example Schmidt & Bender 5-25x56 have a maximum elevation adjustment of 26 MIL (93 MOA,) you should therefore choose a mount with 13 MIL (44.4 MOA) in tilt. Doing so assures that you are able to adjust the sight out to very long distances.

    However, when mounted in this extreme elevation it’s common to experience optical phenomena such as an oval pictures when shooting at near targets, etc. We therefore recommend that when fitting a large elevation scope (such as 26 MIL/93 MOA) on a .308 rifle that will only be used out to 1000 meters, to choose a 6 MIL/20 MOA tilt as it’s more than sufficient for that use.

    Please note that using a degree of tilt that is more than half of the scope's elevation adjustment will make it impossible to zero the rifle at 100!

    Adding accessories
    Several years ago Spuhr developed our own interface system – the Spuhr Interface – for attaching accessories to a surface. As opposed to many other interface systems on the market the Spuhr Interface can be used not onlyon handguards but also on other products and parts of the firearm – such as their scope mounts – and in their production Spuhr use it for both application.

    The Spuhr Interface has outstanding repeatability and durability and it makes installation of accessories such as laser range finders and angle cosine indicators very easy. Installation is done using the same Torx 20 driver as for our rings and clamping screws.
    Adding a secondary optic

    Though originally more common in the shooting sports, adding a secondary non-magnified red dot sight to work alongside the primary optic can be very useful on long range rifles and on hunting rifles alike as to quickly transition from one target to another without having to adjust the magnification, or to engage targets that suddenly appear close by.

    On a heavy rifle that is primarily being shot from a bipod Spuhr recommend placing the secondary optic at the 12-o’clock position using one of our many Picatinny rails or RDS interfaces as it will easier to see over the primary optic than to cant the rifle to the side to use the secondary. On rifles that are primarily fired while standing Spuhr recommend positioning the secondary optic either at the 1:30-position.

    Document supply courtesy of Spuhr Mounts.


    Thinking of splashing out on an expensive new rifle scope but you're not 100% on what you need? Nightforce USA's very own Jerry Davenport steps up with everything you need to know about selecting, buying and mounting a rifle scope.

    Jerry Davenport is Nightforce Optics' International Sales Manager.




    When considering an optic for your rifle, it is important to consider the type of shooting to be done with the rifle.  For example, a hunter may want better light transmission and not need the extended magnification range a benchrest or precision shooter requires.  A benchrest/long range prone competitive shooter may not need a ranging reticle or certain mechanical features like a tactical rifle competitor requires.  Nightforce Optics offers a variety of optic and reticle options designed to fit a wide array of shooter types and applications.  Many popular applications include: varmint hunting, long range hunting, precision rifle and high power competition, target shooting, general hunting, and 3 Gun competition.

    Product Nomenclature:

    Example: ATACRTM 5-25x56

    All Nightforce Optics riflescope product names begin with their product family.  In this example, the ATACRTM refers to our Advanced Tactical Riflescope product family.  The numbers immediately after the product family name refer to the magnification range and objective lens diameter.  In this case, the riflescope has a 5x to 25x power magnification range and a 56mm objective lens diameter.


    Riflescope Technology – Budget vs The High Quality of a Nightforce

    Nightforce Scope

    While construction techniques differ among Nightforce models, they all have one thing in common: a fanatic commitment to absolute quality, the best possible components, and rigorous testing. Your Nightforce riflescope will be built right and thoroughly inspected before ever leaving the factory. This is so you won’t be left high and dry with a riflescope that fails at a critical moment.

    What separates a world class riflescope from a run-of-the-mill optic? Mostly, things you can’t see. It is easy to cut corners on construction inside a riflescope, where they will never be noticed…until, of course, it lets you down.

    A few examples of the care we take with our NXSTM riflescopes

    Tubes – machined from solid bar stock 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum alloy, not extruded or formed like those found on lesser scopes.

    Lenses - painstakingly bedded with our own proprietary Mil-Spec formula. Unlike methods used by other scope manufacturers, with our bedding process there is no glass-to-metal contact that can result in breakage, stress or misalignment over time.

    Adjustments - made with hardened silicon bronze to ensure a lifetime of wear resistance and reliable performance.  You should expect no backlash or hesitation in your adjustments.

    Screws - We machine the screw that controls NXS™ elevation adjustments to an unbelievable 110 threads per inch. It is so precise that it must be mated to its receiver by hand.

    Springs – The titanium spring that maintains pressure on our elevation and windage adjustments spends two weeks in a polishing tumbler before going into a Nightforce NXS™ riflescope, to assure there are no rough spots or burrs to interfere with perfectly smooth operation.

    Optical Elements - hand-bedded with our own proprietary Mil-Spec bonding agent, then cured at 160oF for 24 hours. Lenses are further secured with O-rings and machined metal lock rings, both fore and aft. This zero-tolerance lens securing method prevents any movement of the optical elements in any direction, under any circumstance.



    When considering a Nightforce Reticle there are several considerations determined by your preferred shooting discipline and applications.

    • Mil-Radian or Minute of Angle
    • Bullet Drop Compensating ability
    • Subtension measurements for estimating range
    • Dot, post or line based reticles for aiming references
    • Illumination requirements
    • First versus second focal plane

    Nightforce Reticles

    Only you, the user can determine the optical reticle for your shooting needs; there is no single best reticle for every person.


    Common Terminology:


    Parallax is the apparent movement of the reticle in relation to the target as the shooter moves his eye across the exit pupil of the riflescope, caused by the target and the reticle being on different focal planes. While keeping the rifle still and looking through the riflescope, a nod of the head up and down will quickly determine if parallax is present. If parallax has been eliminated, the reticle will remain stationary in relation to the target regardless of eye placement.


    the term “adjustments” on a riflescope commonly refers to the elevation and windage adjustments, knobs, or turrets.


    MOA stands for Minute Of Angle.  This is an angular unit of measurement, and the amount for each minute of angle increases as distance increases.   One minute of angle is 1.047 inches at 100 yards, 2.094 inches at 200 yards, etc..


    short for Mil-radians and also known as MRADs.  This is an angular unit of measurement, and the amount for each minute of angle increases as distance increases.   One mil is 3.43 inches at 100 yards, 6.86 inches at 200 yards, etc..

    ED Glass:

    Extra low dispersion glass.  ED glass, standard in the Nightforce ATACRTM and B.E.A.S.T.TM riflescopes, is the best glass available and provides the ultimate combination of image resolution, light transmission, and color rendition available in a riflescope today.


    calibrated reticle spacing(s) or increments at a given magnification.  Remains fixed with a first focal plane reticle, varies by magnification setting with second focal plane reticles.

    First vs Second Focal Plane

    A reticle gets its name due to the position of its placement in the erector tube assembly.  A first focal plane reticle (FFP) is in the front portion of the erector directly adjacent to the adjustment turret mechanism and a second focal plane reticle (SFP) is located in the rear portion of the erector tube near the power zoom ring.

    Since a FFP reticle is in front of the magnification element of the riflescope; the reticle gets magnified throughout the magnification range.  The reticle is able to remain in proportion to the target as the magnification is increased or decreased.  The reticle will visually decrease in size as the magnification is decreased, and increase in size with the target as the magnification is increased.  However, the reticle’s subtension (MIL or MOA line spacing) remains true on all magnification settings.

    A SFP reticle is located in the rear portion near the power zoom ring that is used to adjust the magnification of the riflescope.  Since it resides behind the magnification element of the riflescope, the reticle does not get magnified throughout the magnification range. The reticle will remain visually constant to the target as the magnification is increased or decreased. This means that visually, the reticle will remain the same size, but the target will appear to get larger or smaller when the magnification is increased or decreased. The subtension of the reticle can only be true at one magnification setting.   However, a formula to figure the correct reticle subtension at any power is:

    Calibrated magnification ÷ actual magnification = magnification factor.


    Mounting your Nightforce Optics Riflescope

    You will need the following:

    • The correct base and ring/mount combination for your rifle and optic
    • A stable stand which holds the rifle securely and level and preferable on a level working surface
    • Ring/mount and ring top installation tools
    • A sine bar or other method for ensuring the rifle is level with the riflescope

    ring-on-base3For initial fitting of the riflescope to the rifle, set the Nightforce riflescope to the highest magnification. Place the riflescope in the lower portion of the rings as far forward as possible. Install both ring tops. Tighten ring top screws with just enough tension to hold the riflescope where positioned, while still allowing smooth movement fore and aft and rotationally.

    2) Hold the rifle in your normal shooting position with the riflescope positioned fully forward in the rings, preferably while adjusted to maximum magnification. Place your head as far forward on the stock as you might position it in field use. Slowly move the riflescope back just to the point where the full field of view is obtained. It is recommended to mount the riflescope at this position with as much eye relief as possible (3.5”–4”) or slightly forward to ensure maximum eye relief.  Tighten the ring mounting screws to the manufacturers specified torque value.  Tighten the screws in an alternating “X” pattern.


    Zeroing your riflescope


    A quick way to get your first shot on target with a new installation is to first bore sight the riflescope. A simple yet reliable method is by looking through the bore at a round, high contrast target, approximately 5”– 6” in

    diameter, that can be seen clearly with the naked eye at either 25, 50 or 100 yards/meters, yet is small enough to “float” in the center of the rifle bore when viewed through the opened action. This can save you time and ammunition.

    1. Ensure that the rifle is unloaded and the chamber is empty. Remove the bolt and place the rifle on a steady rest.
    2. Looking through the bore from the action end, center the round target downrange so that it is floating in the center of the bore, then adjust the elevation and windage adjustments until the reticle is centered on the target while the target is still centered in the bore.
    3. If you feel confident in the bore sighting, proceed to live firing at 25, 50 or 100 yards/meters. To aid in the sight-in process, be sure your sight-in target is large in size, and offers a contrasting color (i.e., orange). After confirming point of impact, proceed to step four. Note: if you have sighted in at 25 yards/meters, you will need to move the adjustments four times more than you would with a 100 yard/meter sight-in. If you sighted in at 50 yards/meters, you will need to move the adjustments two times more than you would with a 100 yard/meter sight-in. If the first shot isn’t on target, recheck your bore sighting and/or move to a 25 yard/meter sight in distance.
    4. Without changing the adjustments, move the rifle to center the reticle on the target. Carefully turn the windage and elevation adjustments without moving the rifle, until the reticle is aligned on the center of the bullet hole from that first shot on the target.
    5. Fire at least a three-shot group at the desired close-range zero distance, then fine-tune your zero as needed.
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