Nightforce Optics announced the introduction of its new NX8 1-8×24 riflescope.
The 1-8×24 riflescope is part of the company’s NX8 rifle scope series. The series offers a range of scopes including a 2.5-20×50 and a 4-32×50. This scope line will cover the majority of the magnification needs that shooters and hunters need.
In this article, I take a look at the Nightforce NX8 1-8×24 scope.
The trend in 1-8x24mm rifle optics is the natural expansion on the original 1-4x optics that took the market by fire several years ago. Those 1-4x optics were a perfect combination of the benefits of red-dot optics, and low magnification fixed scopes like the Trijicon ACOG.
With the enormous growth in 3-gun and other shooting competitions, these optics were bound to be popular. Next came the 1-6×24 scopes offering better mid-range precision shooting. Now the 1-8×24 scopes are offering a near-complete package in one scope – close-quarter reflex shooting ability, combined with very good medium-long range precision.
So, let’s dive in.
The New NX8 Scopes
The new Nightforce NX8 family of scopes are based upon the already proven NXS family of rifle scopes. Like many Nightforce optics, the NXS scopes have received very good feedback for their durability and ruggedness in the harshest terrains.
The first scope in the NX8 family is the NX8 F1 1-8x24mm scope. The NX8 F1 is only 8.75 inches long and weigh only 17.0 ounces, but provide shooters the benefits of a 30mm tube. The compact and lighter-weight design is particularly beneficial for shooters with more dynamic shooting in mind and was a key spotlight for Nightforce at SHOT Show 2018.
I like variable, low magnification optics and wrote our Best 1-4x Scope Guide. Adding additional reach, as the NX8 does, increases your potential precision at longer ranges. I’m a fan of the idea.
A 1-8x rifle scope provides outstanding performance from close quarters distances to moderately long-range distances as well. With the manufacturing excellence of Nightforce, the NX8 scopes offer some of the best technological advancements in rifle glass, as well as a full range of features enhancing shooter confidence and function. Though these scopes have been highly popular on the AR-platform rifles, they can easily provide outstanding use on traditional bolt-action or lever-action rifles.
Nightforce NX8 scopes offer true 1x magnification, ensuring the best results in true reflex shooting situations. Nightforce combines the true 1x magnification with an illuminated, daylight visible, center red dot for fast target acquisition. Shooters desiring more long-range shooting are able to quickly adjust magnification with the Power Throw Lever (PTL). Once on target, Nightforce shooters have their choice of the FC-Mil or FC-MOA reticle.
Both reticles offer the advantages of a first focal plane adjustment clarity. First focal plane designs enlarge the reticle as the magnification increases. This allows shooters precise hold-over aiming points that remain consistent and accurate no matter what the magnification is set on. Second focal plane scopes keep the reticle size the same during magnification but lose precision hold-over marks except at the magnification the scope was zeroed. Though very popular for keeping the sight picture cleaner (smaller reticle), there is a lot of benefit to the first focal plane.
Here is a great video explaining the difference between the First and Second Focal Plane:
The Nightforce NX8 1-8x24mm rifle scope comes with a daylight visible illuminated center dot surrounded by a broken outer circle. The 1.25 MOA (0.35 Mil) center dot provides precision shooting to distance, while the 8.0 MOA (2.0 Mil) broken outer circle allows for rapid sight alignment for close-in targets.
Nightforce included a focusing lens on the LED illuminating the reticle providing for around 90% efficiency. This is much better than most non-focused LED illuminated reticles, and something Nightforce boasts is the brightest reticles on the market. There are at least nine illumination settings (not listed yet) allowing for ideal brightness at various shooting light conditions. In between each brightness setting is an “off” setting as well. This is particularly nice when the shooter needs an un-illuminated sight picture while having the ideal illumination only one click away.
Both the Mil-Radian and MOA reticle offers a T-crosshair design, with bold pointed lines at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. The crosshairs on the NX8 scopes is centered in the scope glass’s middle third and does not fully extend to the edges of the glass. The crosshairs are larger on the outside edges and come to a point before going into a fine line crosshair with sub-tension markings. This design naturally draws the shooter’s eye to the center aiming point of the reticle, without obscuring too much of the target.
The magnified examples of the reticles below exaggerate the size of the outer edges of the reticle, which are actually very reasonably sized. Here are the two reticle options for the new Nightforce NX8 F1 1-8x24mm rifle scopes:
Nightforce NX8 scopes come with ZeroStop elevation adjustments, an excellent feature allowing shooters to rapidly dial down to pre-set zero without worrying about over-correcting. The ZeroStop feature stops the turret at the designated zero with a firm and solid stopping point and is excellently facilitated with the addition of the Power Throw Lever (PTL). This is particularly nice for military, law enforcement, or competition shooters facing more dynamic shooting situations than simple target or hunting shooting.
Adjustments for the NX8 F1 1-8x24mm scope are true to .2 Mil-Radian or .50 MOA, depending on reticle selection. This adjustment range is very consistent for rifle scopes of this design (1x to higher magnification). Though many precision rifles have .1 Mil-Radian and .25 MOA adjustment features, the adjustments for the NX8 scopes still provide respectable accuracy adjustments for the ranges and types of shooting these scopes see most.
The Nightforce NX8 scopes can be mounted with traditional 30mm ring mounts, or with various integral scope mounts like the Burris AR P.E.P.R.. The NX8 scopes ship alone, but Nightforce does offer their own X-Treme Duty Ultralight 30mm rings, or their titanium-alloy X-Treme Duty Ultralight Unimount[/easyazon_link] as mounting options.
- Compact, lightweight design
- 30mm tube diameter for greater light transmission
- First focal plane reticles
- Mil-Rad and MOA reticle options
- Center dot aiming point (1.25 MOA/.35 Mil)
- True 1-8x magnification
- 2-piece locking diopter
- Magnification Power Throw Lever (PTL)
- Zero-Stop technology
- Capped windage turret
- 125-yard pre-set parallax
- Magnification: 1-8x
- Tube Material: Aluminum
- Tube Diameter: 30mm
- Focal Plane: First
- Overall Length: 8.75 inches
- Weight: 17.0 ounces
- Optic Lens: 40mm (outer)
- Objective Lens: 24mm
- Field of View (FOV): at 100
- Exit Pupil: 1x – 7.9mm; 8x – 3.0mm
- Eye Relief: 3.75 inches
- Adjustment Range: 100 MOA; 30 Mil (elevation and windage)
- Adjustment Click Value: .5 MOA; .2 Mil-Rad
- Parallax: Fixed at 125m
- Illumination: Daylight visible, externally adjustable
- MSRP: $2,000
We have had the opportunity to shoot several Nightforce scopes, and have found each of them remarkable. Nightforce is well-regarded as one of the finest rifle scope manufacturers in the world, and they continue to impress with their new offerings and ability to seize the movement of the shooting market.
The new NX8 1-8x24mm rifle scope is an impressive optic for the professional shooter. The quality of materials and the purpose-built features cannot be understated. The NX8 scope will provide excellent target acquisition and sight pictures for the lucky shooter using one.
The one drawback to any Nightforce optic is the price tag. At $2,000, the new NX8 1-8x24mm scope will likely be out of the range for many law enforcement agencies and individual shooters. That is too bad because this is a really fine rifle scope.
For those of you that have the means, this is a top-tier optic that will deliver the performance you want.
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