Nightforce released their new NX8 line about two years ago, and it has taken the precision rifle world by storm. Never before has the rifle optics industry seen a high-end optic with an 8x magnification range, top of the line glass, perfect tracking, and Nightforce durability all wrapped up into a package that’s only 12 inches in length. After a year of hearing my fellow hunters and long range shooters talk so highly of the NX8, I decided to pick one of the 2.5-20x50 models for myself.
The first rifle that got to wear the NX8 was a 22 Creedmoor I had set up for PRS/NRL style matches. Two days after mounting and zeroing the scope, I travelled to Western Montana to participate in a match. At the match, the first thing I noticed was the elevation turret was extremely easy to read. There is ample spacing between each 1/10th MIL mark, which may not seem like a big deal at first, but it makes a big difference in high pressure, time sensitive situations. The second thing I liked about the NX8 was the generous eye box. The match I was shooting had plenty of positional shooting, and I hardly ever found myself adjusting my head from its natural position to get a good sight picture. In my opinion, this is something that is often overlooked when evaluating optics. A generous eye box will allow you to achieve a proper sight picture without compromising your cheek weld on your rifle. In other words, it helps eliminate scope shadow. The scope tracked perfectly throughout the entire match, and the magnification range was perfect, even on the 1300-yard targets.
That NX8 now resides on my 28 Nosler, and I believe it is the best scope for a western hunting rifle on the market. It is compact and lightweight, making it perfect for backpack hunting. It has been dropped, banged around in the truck, and strapped to my pack for days on end without ever experiencing a zero shift. When hunting thick timber, I can turn the scope down to 2.5x, turn on the lighted reticle and I essentially have a red dot on my rifle. If I find myself in a situation that requires an 800-yard cross canyon shot, I can crank the power up to 20x, dial my DOPE, and be confident that my bullet is going to impact wherever my reticle is centered. The low light performance has been superior, even on higher magnifications which is vital when the animals you’re hunting might only be active during the first and last 30 minutes of light.
I have been extremely impressed with the Nightforce NX8. It’s the perfect solution for somebody who needs a scope that can do everything from long range precision shooting to hunting the thick vegetation of the Western Rockies. With all this performance in such a small package with the durability reputation that Nightforce carries, what’s not to like?
written by: Max DeMarco