TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-8×24 Scope

Matt E
by Matt E

Over the last year, I’ve looked at a number of options to replace my aging Leupold Mark 4 CQ/T on my 15.1 RECCE Rifle. Having a medium-range DMR style rifle with a quality optic can be an incredibly useful tool. Whether it’s shooting at medium distances or just hunting for small game, having a quality LPVO can make your rifle much easier to make hits on target with proper magnification. After looking around on the market, I decided to pick up a Nightforce Optics NX8 1-8×24 scope as the permanent option for my RECCE Rifle. Let’s take a closer look at the Nightforce NX8 1-8×24 scope.

Nightforce Optics @ TFB:
TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-824 Scope


The NX8 from Nightforce is a first focal plane optic that comes in either MOA or MIL reticle options. With a 30mm tube, almost all of the most popular rings as well as one-piece precision mounts are available for the NX8. The overall length is just under 9 inches making the NX8 a relatively compact option for an 8x power optic. Another feature of the NX8 is it comes with an illuminated reticle and a fixed parallax at 125 meters. Nightforce includes a power throw lever as well. This lever screws into the adjustment slide making quick magnification changes fast and easy.

TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-824 Scope

Having a compact optic that offers 8x power is a definite plus. The NX8 1-8×24 scope comes in just over 17oz which is less than the Vortex Razor 1-6 weighing in at 21.5 oz and the Razor 1-10 comes in at 21.5oz. Even the Kahles 1-8 optic weighs in just over 19oz so the NX8 comes in as one of the lightest options on the market currently. Having a lighter weight while offering high-quality glass is really the best of both worlds. MSRP on the NX8 1-8 is currently $1,750 and its bigger brother the ATAC 1-8 is currently $2,800.

Magnification Range 1-8x
Focal Plane First Focal Plane (F1/FFP)
Body Tube Diameter 30mm
Overall Length 8.7 in/222 mm
Mounting Length 5.7 in/144 mm
Weight 17.6 oz/499 g
Click Value .500 MOA or .2 MRAD
Internal Adjustment Range E: 100 MOA/30 MRAD W: 100 MOA/30 MRAD
Parallax Adjustment Fixed @ 125 m
Eye Relief 3.7 in/95 mm
Field of View @ 100 yd or m 1x: 106.0 ft/35.3 m 8x: 13.2 ft/4.4 m
Exit Pupil 1x: 7.9 mm 8x: 3.0 mm
Illumination Daylight visible, Externally adjustable
Elevation Feature ZeroStop
Power Throw Lever Standard

*Specifications Courtesy of Nightforce Optics

TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-824 Scope

Range Time

For the purpose of testing, I put this NX8 inside a Knights Armament 30mm one-piece mount. Riding on a 15.1 is a bit of an oddball since it’s in that middle of the road for close or long range. Adding the Alien Engineering AEM5 onto the rifle makes it an extremely quiet and enjoyable gun to shoot on the longer ranged targets. Having the suppressor off makes it much faster to shoot quickly at closer range which works perfectly testing out the 1x power that everyone always wants to know about. I took this setup out a total of 14 times since I owned it with roughly 850 rounds through the current setup. Let’s take a look at how this versatile little LPVO does.

TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-824 Scope

Close Range

The NX8 1-8×24 scope has a number of things going for it right off the bat when it comes to close-range shooting. Having an illuminated reticle with a dot in the center really does help make it feel more like a traditional red dot. The eye box can be tight at times but once you find the sweet spot and start getting used to the optic, it really does start to shine. NIghtforce included an adjustable illumination knob which helps out during low-light/no-light situations where you may need a flashlight. Having a real low illumination during those situations and low-light hunting situations make the NX8 have a ton of versatility in my opinion.

TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-8×24 Scope

One of the toughest things for me to do personally was shooting target transition drills quickly with the NX8. I caught myself having to readjust my eye while moving laterally and changing the target. It’s definitely not a deal-breaker at all but it does take a few reps to adjust your cheek weld and hold. Once I figured out where my cheek hold needed to be, the overall illumination, light collection and reticle are extremely usable. The NX8 does a great job as a jack of all trades optic like most LPVOs and isn’t as fast as a standard red dot optic, but it’s still a great option and extremely capable at close distances.

TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-8×24 Scope

Medium/Long Range

This optic really starts to shine when stretching its legs out to various distances ranging from 200-550 meters. The optic is extremely clear even though it is the entry-level Nightforce makes. Comparatively, I think the glass quality is exceptionally clear for its price bracket. The illumination and light collection in this optic are some of the best I have seen from a 24mm FOV. The reticle is very user-friendly even if you aren’t a professional at shooting long range. My NX8 has the MIL reticle which has .2 MRAD of adjustment for every click. The reticle has a three-prong crosshair with no markings in the upper section of the reticle.

TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-824 Scope. Diagram courtesy of Nightforce

The inner circle in the reticle is the illuminated section which at 1x power is a crisp red dot and on 8x power is a clear circle with a small dot in the middle. This gives you a clean dot to center your aiming at when on 8x power. There are a number of reticles out there from other companies that pack your field of view with hash marks and various information that typically becomes overwhelming when starting out. The MIL setup has hash marks for windage and elevation but nothing overwhelming like other optics. I love the fact it’s a first focal plane where the illuminated reticle is a simple dot at 1x and still remains small when at full magnification. After the 850 rounds, I have grown fond of this NX8 optic even if it has a couple quirks.

TFB Review: Nightforce Optics NX8 1-824 Scope

Overall Thoughts

So after all the range sessions and spending a good amount of time with my NX8 1-8×24 scope, what are my final thoughts? I believe that something with personality is unable to be perfect in every aspect. There has to be flaws to make something have a personality and this NX8 isn’t a perfect optic but its one of my favorites right now. It may not have the best eye box at 1x power or when moving around on 8x power but as a whole, it’s a truly fantastic optic.

Check Prices on Nightforce Optics NX8 1-8x24 Scopes

It is most certainly one of the smallest and lightest LPVOs on the market which is definitely a plus when other optics are almost double the weight and longer as well. The glass quality and illumination are impressive but that’s pretty much expected out of something from Nightforce. It may be the lower version of the ATAC 1-8 but this NX8 is a truly solid option for $1,750. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below. Is this NX8 a value with its size and weight along with the level of glass clarity? Id love to hear your thoughts below. If you have questions about optics or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.

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Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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2 of 14 comments
  • Fred Lead Fred Lead on Dec 30, 2021

    Did I miss the section on eye relief, eyebox tolerance, and FOV at different magnifications? That's what I am interested in knowing.

  • KsKLR KsKLR on Dec 30, 2021

    Wondering if you could do a review on the Athlon Helios 1-10 second focal plane scope. There's next to nothing out there. I have one and love it, but I don't really have enough experience with other optics of it's nature to make a subjective comparison.