Nightforce 1-4 Power CQB and Medium Range Rifle Scope Review
US Made and ready for work!
If you have spent any time around US Navy Spec War Types, The NRA scoped rifle classes, Bench Rest or Tactical Shooting areas, you have heard about Nightforce. In the last fifteen years or so, Nightforce has come on strong as a leader in fine optics. Standard with great glass, lots of options and rock tough construction Nightforce has quickly become a favorite scope of many including the writer.
Now over the last ten years I have tested many scopes for Close Quarters Battle work. Many of them had excellent optics and made precision shooting easy, but few had the ability to use as a true Close Quarters Battle site. It seemed I would test a scope and love how it worked 50 yards and out, but when it came time to test as an entry weapon, it would be so slow that I would end up looking around it. I quickly learned the only power that worked up close was 1 to 1 not 1.5, or 1.2 or 1.3 to 1. It had to be, as seen with naked eye. I ended up using my old Aimpoint for CQB and switching out for a scope when I needed longer range use. That was a pain, added extra weight, increased error as zero was for ever changing but it worked better than iron sites alone
About six months ago, I tested a Schmidt and Bender CQB scope and it was excellent but frankly I can not justify a Day Only site costing nearly as much as the best NVD on the market. That site, although excellent, just does not seem worth the money to me. Bets price on this scope tends to run $2000.00 USD, or more than I paid for my first car.
I just about gave up on the CQB Medium Range combo, when I was talking with Jeff Hubber, of Nightforce. Jeff asked if I had tried his 1-4 NXS. I replied that I had not seen or used one. He offered to loan me a test piece. I agreed to give it a try. I said if I liked it I would purchase one but not before ringing it out and making sure it worked well. I was intrigued to hear this NXS is made completely in the USA and in use by some pretty elite US Military units. While waiting for my loaner to arrive I was talking with a friend who knows more about Spec War Optics and weapons than just about anyone on the planet. I told him I had a loaner coming and his reply was short "Just call Jeff back with your credit card number. You will not let it get away after using it"
The test piece arrived and like a Kid in a Candy Store I ripped it open. First impressions are not always right but most times close. First impression of this scope was. Small, ruggedly built, Clear Optics, Lots of eye relief, well designed knobs and compact. Just what I was looking for, if it tested well?
Over the next few
weeks I used this scope with three different mount systems:
1) The NXS one piece 20 moa AR Flat Top mount
2) The La Rue throw lever mount
3) Leupold QD throw lever rings (Inexpensive solution to quick on and off)
The La Rue throw lever was quick on and very useful for this scope and short carbine. It did mar the receiver after being put on and taken off a few times. The LaRue rules when it comes too easy on and off but the finish mar bothers me. The Leupold QD Throw lever rings where inexpensive and worked but they would not stop rattling. The NXS mount was my favorite and I plan on ordering several for AR10 Platforms. It was, in my opinion the best all around of the flat top mounts I have used. Two 9/16" bolts hold it to the receiver with a recoil lug built into the one piece light weight 20 moa mount. Basically as good as it gets when it comes to AR type mounts.
The scope performed flawlessly. Tracking was perfect and correct. Optics are second to none I have seen in this class. The scope is small but tough and easy to use.
The 1-4 NXS Specifications listed in NXS
Catalog are as follows
Objective Diameter 24mm
Tube Diameter 30mm
Exit Pupil at 1x is 16mm
Exit Pupil at 4x is 6mm
Eye Relief 3.5"
Internal Adjustments 100MOA both Windage and Elevation
Ocular diameter 33mm
Overall length 8.8"
Click Value .25 moa and elevationng24mm technique.
The FC-2 reticule is shown above. It offers ability to quickly engage movers and precisely engage distant targets. It is rear focal plane (Reticule subtends different distances on different powers) but frankly in a 1-4 power scope a Front Focal plane reticule I don't find all that useful. I prefer the rear focal plane in this range because the reticule appears the same size at all powers. With Front Focal Plane the reticule gets too small for my old eyes to see on 1 power. The Front Focal Plane reticule is great for snipers with higher power scopes (12x plus top end) but for small scopes I don't like the Front Focal Plane reticule as much. The SxB Short Dot has a Front Focal Plane Reticule. While I like the Short Dot SxB I prefer the NXS. Not only did I like the design features better, but use and cost where better also. I looked around and found these NXS's going for less than half what SxB Short Dot Scopes do. In my opinion it gives up nothing to the SxB Short Dot and even if cost was the same I would still pick the NXS.
I found the NXS very easy to use and learn with.
I started running speed drills from 1.5 yards and worked out to snap shots at 50 yards. The reticule was fast and easy to pick up. For close work I just turned lit reticule power up and used like an Aimpoint. After getting used to the reticule I taped off several rooms to practice room clearing and shooting. Once again it worked as well as my AimPoint for this. In other words it worked very well.
After I was convinced of the up close performance, I set up speed drills to 100 yards. Snap shots where easy at these distances. The scope worked from muzzle contact to 100 yards distance with ease.
Satisfied with zero to 100 yards, I went to 150, 200, 250, 300 and 350 yards testing. The power was turned from 1X to 4X and a stable position was made. Once again the scope was easy to use. I checked adjustments for accuracy and found them dead on.
The NXS 1-4 is the first scope I have used that works for CQB and Medium Range, at a price a working man can afford. It is also the first choice no matter the price for an AR Carbine Optic Platform. No need to carry two separate optical devices on my AR Carbines anymore. This is the finest CQB to medium range scope I have used. I called and gave NXS my credit card. This one is mine all mine!