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:
- USSOCOM Select Nightforce for Ranging – Variable Power Scope
- TFB Review: Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 SFP + SPUHR Mount
- Nightforce Introduces Four New SFP NX8 Scopes
- Nightforce Optics Selected as SOCOM’s Precision-Variable Power Scopes
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.
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.
|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|
|Power Throw Lever||Standard|
*Specifications Courtesy of Nightforce Optics
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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