Alternative to Nightforce NXS??

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
I have been seriously considering a Nightforce NXS 2-10x42 but just wanting to make sure that there's not something out there that I might like better in the same price range ($1000- $2000). Prefer 10x or 12x on the top end and won't exceed 15X. Want an MOA reticle. Dial turrets ok but not required as long as the capped turrets track well as I would uncap them and dial with them when target shooting.

I'm familiar with Vortex and Leupold but wondering if there is a brand out there that I may be overlooking.
 

Akaftermath

Private
Belligerents
May 14, 2013
118
112
49
The NXS series...I own 3...has a peculiarity that I cannot stand. I won't buy another. The zoom rotates the entire occular. Occasionally, when zooming the power, you will inadvertently change the focus for the reticle. Also, when you rotate the entire occular, your flip open scope caps can now be in the way of cycling the bolt.

Their SHV series has the "normal" zoom that is independent of the occular. I have an SHV and it is a very good quality scope.

I have a Zeiss I really like. I have a Kahles I really like. I have 3 Swarovskis that I LOVE. I have a couple of Leupolds I really like.

I don't ANY Vortex gear at all because I have never thought that buying Chinese and supporting that economy was a good thing for my country. We do our damndest to not buy Chinese made stuff.
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
Thank you for your thoughts- I thought that they changed the rotating occular issue in later versions? I could see where changing the focus would be a PITA. I don't like flip open caps so that part wouldn't bother me. I have an SHV that I like too but can't get both a lighted reticle and paralax adjustment on that line.
 

beretta_man11

Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 17, 2010
746
118
49
35
MS
Meopta optika 6 2.5-15x44? I have never seen one, but it may come close to what you're looking for?
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
Meopta optika 6 2.5-15x44? I have never seen one, but it may come close to what you're looking for?
Yes, they do look nice but unfortunately it looks like they don't have an MOA reticle. Seems like a lot of these manufactures like to have reticles that have hold over points for set yardages OR MIL reticles. I just prefer a MOA reticle like the Leupold TMOA or the NF MOAR.
 
  • Like
Reactions: beretta_man11

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
Check out the Leupold Mark-5 3.6-18x44 with a 35mm tube.
Thanks but want a maximum of 15x on the upper end. I just sold a VX6 in 3-18x that I really liked but just don't need that much power for my needs.
 

deersniper

Notorious
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Feb 22, 2007
6,818
6,894
219
Northeast
SHV 4-14 f1
Or
NX8 2.5-20. The 2.5-20 is my ideal hunting scope. 1-8 nx8 is also great if your shots are closer range or on larger animals.

Just because you have 20x doesn’t mean you have to crank it up that far.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nrspence

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
SHV 4-14 f1
Or
NX8 2.5-20. The 2.5-20 is my ideal hunting scope. 1-8 nx8 is also great if your shots are closer range or on larger animals.

Just because you have 20x doesn’t mean you have to crank it up that far.
Thanks. Maybe it's me but I just can't warm up to 1st ffp scopes. I like the idea of ffp but the reticles that they use for them leave something to be desired IMHO. It seems like they are either too fat on the upper end for precision shooting or completely dissappear on the lowest end especially in low light. That being said, you seem to make it work for hunting.....
 

Akaftermath

Private
Belligerents
May 14, 2013
118
112
49
Thank you for your thoughts- I thought that they changed the rotating occular issue in later versions? I could see where changing the focus would be a PITA. I don't like flip open caps so that part wouldn't bother me. I have an SHV that I like too but can't get both a lighted reticle and paralax adjustment on that line.
I’d have to check precisely which model I have but the reticle lights up and there is a parallax adjustment. If I remember correctly, the reticle lighting does 2 colors and several levels of brightness.
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
I’d have to check precisely which model I have but the reticle lights up and there is a parallax adjustment. If I remember correctly, the reticle lighting does 2 colors and several levels of brightness.
Well if you don't like it, maybe you want to sell it to me :).
 

ykrvak

Sergeant
Belligerents
The NXS series...I own 3...has a peculiarity that I cannot stand. I won't buy another. The zoom rotates the entire occular. Occasionally, when zooming the power, you will inadvertently change the focus for the reticle. Also, when you rotate the entire occular, your flip open scope caps can now be in the way of cycling the bolt.
this is incorrect. The 2.5-10x42 is a compact. The NXS compacts have a standard zoom ring not the rotating ocular of the full size NXS optics. I believe they even include a small stud to help with the zoom now. My two 2.5-10x32’s did not and can be stiff in cold weather.
 

-Time-

Mediocre Marksman
Online Training Access
Belligerents
May 6, 2017
162
45
34
this is incorrect. The 2.5-10x42 is a compact. The NXS compacts have a standard zoom ring not the rotating ocular of the full size NXS optics. I believe they even include a small stud to help with the zoom now. My two 2.5-10x32’s did not and can be stiff in cold weather.
This is true. I have a 2.5-10x32, and only the ring rotates. The stud is also the best throw lever system I’ve ever used, and I wish all scopes came with them like NF.
 
  • Like
Reactions: USMC_JA

EnXCess

Private
Belligerents
Mar 29, 2017
31
10
12
Thank you for your thoughts- I thought that they changed the rotating occular issue in later versions? I could see where changing the focus would be a PITA. I don't like flip open caps so that part wouldn't bother me.

On the NF Competition the ocular stays fixed. On the NXS and ATACR (at least, the ones I have) the ocular turns with the power ring. I don't find it a problem so long as you make sure the stop-nut is tight against ocular. It also helps if you grab the power ring (or throw-lever) and not the ocular itself when zooming. But I also don't like flip-up caps. One of those three models of NF is about all I buy any more. If someone likes some other scope, have at it. I consider NF to be the best buy out there, though they certainly are not cheap.
 

ykrvak

Sergeant
Belligerents
On the
On the NF Competition the ocular stays fixed. On the NXS and ATACR (at least, the ones I have) the ocular turns with the power ring. I don't find it a problem so long as you make sure the stop-nut is tight against ocular. It also helps if you grab the power ring (or throw-lever) and not the ocular itself when zooming. But I also don't like flip-up caps. One of those three models of NF is about all I buy any more. If someone likes some other scope, have at it. I consider NF to be the best buy out there, though they certainly are not cheap.
2.5-10x42 the ocular does not rotate as part of the zoom feature. It has a standard zoom ring with a PTL stud.
 

Runnineh

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 5, 2018
129
53
34
Check out trijicon for sure! I've got a mk 5hd as well, wouldn't be going wrong that way either.
 

deersniper

Notorious
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Feb 22, 2007
6,818
6,894
219
Northeast
This is true. I have a 2.5-10x32, and only the ring rotates. The stud is also the best throw lever system I’ve ever used, and I wish all scopes came with them like NF.
Have you used a RRS throw lever like I think the company is mkm makes. Might and day different. I have the old 2.5-10s and the nx8s with the nub. A real throw lever is awesome.

Only pic I have handy :
91D65E1F-D26E-4AFB-9AA9-D2FFBE81BDDD.png

The nub is terrible in comparison
E88539A5-CCA3-4BA1-A1FC-E40902F016D6.png
 

USMC_JA

Private
Belligerents
Dec 13, 2010
164
105
49
46
I have both the NXS 2.5-10x42 and Mk5 3.6. I like the glass better on the Mk5 a hair better. The footprint on the NXS is noticeably smaller though.
 

Missalot

Private
Minuteman
Jan 28, 2019
21
23
6
I just bought a SHV 4-14 2nd fp and it has variable focus to 25 yds, illuminated duplex crosshairs, and fixed ocular.
 

Akaftermath

Private
Belligerents
May 14, 2013
118
112
49
Well if you don't like it, maybe you want to sell it to me :).
Um...no, I like the SHV. And, as much as I hate the stupid rotating occular on my NXS scopes, I don't want to sell them at a loss just to replace them with a Swaro. NF makes great stuff, clear glass and darned near bullet proof. Their headquarters is up the Clearwater River from me about 40 miles. The customer service is great. I prefer a flip open cap on a hunting rifle where I might need to make a quick shot so that rotating occular thing just perturbs me. I mean, Swarovski, S&B, Kahles...you name the scope manufacturer and they all have had scopes with fixed occulars for decades. It has taken NF decades to see that light.
 

EnXCess

Private
Belligerents
Mar 29, 2017
31
10
12
Speaking of making a "quick shot" -- if your stop-nut is GNT there is no faster zooming system than the NXS's and ATACR's, where you don't have to find the ring or lever, you just grab and ocular and twist. That appears to be why NF has kept it. As for flip-up caps and quick shots, I can strip my bikini off at least as fast as I can trip two flip-up releases.
 

-Time-

Mediocre Marksman
Online Training Access
Belligerents
May 6, 2017
162
45
34
Um...no, I like the SHV. And, as much as I hate the stupid rotating occular on my NXS scopes, I don't want to sell them at a loss just to replace them with a Swaro. NF makes great stuff, clear glass and darned near bullet proof. Their headquarters is up the Clearwater River from me about 40 miles. The customer service is great. I prefer a flip open cap on a hunting rifle where I might need to make a quick shot so that rotating occular thing just perturbs me. I mean, Swarovski, S&B, Kahles...you name the scope manufacturer and they all have had scopes with fixed occulars for decades. It has taken NF decades to see that light.
What kind of covers do you have for them? The tenebrex covers allow you to spin them so the rotating ocular doesn’t really make the scope caps get in the way.
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
Speaking of making a "quick shot" -- if your stop-nut is GNT there is no faster zooming system than the NXS's and ATACR's, where you don't have to find the ring or lever, you just grab and ocular and twist. That appears to be why NF has kept it. As for flip-up caps and quick shots, I can strip my bikini off at least as fast as I can trip two flip-up releases.
I'm with you on the caps. I hate flip up caps for hunting- have to flip up two things and then they are hanging off of the scope with the back cap in the way of my dial and level. If the weather is nice, I don't use caps. If it is bad, I use bikini style covers. They come off fast and they are out of the way for shooting. Maybe I don't hunt it bad enough environments but with all of the modern scratch resistant coatings and lens brushes, I don't see the need to keep every bit of dust off my lens. Just my 2 cents....
 

Akaftermath

Private
Belligerents
May 14, 2013
118
112
49
The flip caps help keep the RAIN off the lenses. Dust really isn't much of an issue as you can still see just fine but with rain, well, you can try this for yourself on nice warm clear day at your range of choice...just pour some water on the lenses and peek through your telescope. Now, if it is chilly out and there is heavy moisture in the air, the problem is compounded. Try it.

I am able the level and cosine devices, the DOPE card and my elevation turret just fine using my left eye without breaking position. If I am going to move the windage turret, I am most likely either laying prone or supported in some other manner.

I prefer the flip caps. I used to like a bikini style cover made my Uncle Mikes but it is not being made anymore. It was basically two hard rubber caps cut to fit your scope attached to each other via rubber bands. It would attach to the scope, give the occular a flip and the whole thing would fall off. I always rigged it to fall off on the left side and hang there. No looking around for it after the shot, shoot and move. Shoot and move.

The other thing I do for the quick shots...which I most generally only do with Whitetails or coyotes...I have my 280Ackley (140 gr Berger VLD leaving at 3225 fps) zeroed at 272 yards. This gives me 3" high at 150 yards and 3" low at 317 yards. Makes for a very quick shot at the ranges I usually find whitetail deer here in Idaho.
 
Last edited:

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
The flip caps help keep the RAIN off the lenses. Dust really isn't much of an issue as you can still see just fine but with rain, well, you can try this for yourself on nice warm clear day at your range of choice...just pour some water on the lenses and peek through your telescope. Now, if it is chilly out and there is heavy moisture in the air, the problem is compounded. Try it.

I am able the level and cosine devices, the DOPE card and my elevation turret just fine using my left eye without breaking position. If I am going to move the windage turret, I am most likely either laying prone or supported in some other manner.

I prefer the flip caps. I used to like a bikini style cover made my Uncle Mikes but it is not being made anymore. It was basically two hard rubber caps cut to fit your scope attached to each other via rubber bands. It would attach to the scope, give the occular a flip and the whole thing would fall off. I always rigged it to fall off on the left side and hang there. No looking around for it after the shot, shoot and move. Shoot and move.
This is why I like snipers hide. Good discussions, differing opinions and always leaves me with something to think about :)
 

redneckbmxer24

Merica!
Belligerents
Jan 15, 2005
6,757
2,130
219
Gulf Coast, FL
Check out the VX5HD 3-15 with the Impact 29 reticle. Not tacticool but it’s reliable, has great glass, and tracks. Impact 29 is a great holdover reticle too.

I had one and my only complaints were that it’s not FFP and not mil/mil. Not sure if you are ok with SFP or not, but the MOA doesnt appear to be a deal breaker for you.

Mark 5’s are awesome too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bigwatchpilot

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
Check out the VX5HD 3-15 with the Impact 29 reticle. Not tacticool but it’s reliable, has great glass, and tracks. Impact 29 is a great holdover reticle too.

I had one and my only complaints were that it’s not FFP and not mil/mil. Not sure if you are ok with SFP or not, but the MOA doesnt appear to be a deal breaker for you.

Mark 5’s are awesome too.
Yes, I prefer SFP and MOA.
I looked into the VX5HD 3-15 and there was something small that I didn't like....maybe wasn't illuminated or something like that- don't remember now.
Thinking I may go with the VX6HD 2-12x42. Either that or NXS 2.5-10x 42. That Leupold zero stop is pretty nice. Basically not there (not going to accidently move it) until you need it and then it works great. The only reservation that I have with that zero stop is that it is held in place with only small set screws. If those come loose in the field, the dial would spin free. I never had a problem with the one I had but I kept an allen wrench handy and checked it frequently. A couple times it needed tightening. Probably good for hunting but I would never take it into a situation where my life depended on it.
 

redneckbmxer24

Merica!
Belligerents
Jan 15, 2005
6,757
2,130
219
Gulf Coast, FL
Yes, I prefer SFP and MOA.
I looked into the VX5HD 3-15 and there was something small that I didn't like....maybe wasn't illuminated or something like that- don't remember now.
Thinking I may go with the VX6HD 2-12x42. Either that or NXS 2.5-10x 42. That Leupold zero stop is pretty nice. Basically not there (not going to accidently move it) until you need it and then it works great. The only reservation that I have with that zero stop is that it is held in place with only small set screws. If those come loose in the field, the dial would spin free. I never had a problem with the one I had but I kept an allen wrench handy and checked it frequently. A couple times it needed tightening. Probably good for hunting but I would never take it into a situation where my life depended on it.
Illumination is not needed on a 3-15 SFP scope. Absolutely no benefit to it. I had no problem picking up the reticle in that scope right up to the point in low light that I could no longer make anything out either.

The zero stop knob with the button is nice. Yes it's held in place by set screws but that's how all of them are. On the VX5HD they would have to come loose and you would have to press the button to spin the knob free. Again, complete non issue. Unless a scope has splines for the turret then that's the nature of the beast and the spline ones often have issues with the markings lining up which is one of the reasons why I don't think you see them too much on high end scopes.

The VX6HD's are great scopes and Leupold made the 2-12 for a little bit with an Impact reticle but it was discontinued and other than that reticle their options kinda suck in that scope. The 2-12 also lacks parallax adjustment which IMO is far more important than an illuminated reticle. I had a standard duplex 2-12 model and the glass was great but not any better than the VX5HD. Definitely better than the previous VX5 non HD, those left a little to be desired in gas quality at the price point as it was optically the same as a VX3I. VX5HD's are solid all around though and are a bargain at their price point.

What is the scope going on and what are you doing with it? You may want to look into the Swaro Z3's too. The turrets (even the ballistic turret models) suck, but their BDC reticles are great for a simple BDC reticle since they're mil based. I know you're wanting MOA, but dope is dope regardless of which it's in. The BRX reticle is awesome in the 3-10 and 4-12 but I'd go BRH if it's going to be used for hunting at all. The BRH is the heavy version, but it's not heavy in the normal since of a heavy reticle, it's about the same thickness as your typical duplex. I've had a few and had no problem shooting accurately with them. The BRX is pretty damn thin though.
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
Yes, you are correct about the Parallax. I missed that-assumed all of the VX6 HD had it. I agree on the need for Parallax...well, that one's off the list and thanks for pointing that out!

Yes, I agree, I probably don't need illumination with the TMOA reticle or some of the others either. I just haven't had a scope without illumination for so long that I think I need it even though I have never ever used it in a hunting situation! Will take another look at the VX5 line. Thanks.
 

bigwatchpilot

Captain
Belligerents
Mar 16, 2012
402
265
69
Memphis, TN
VX-5HD in 3-15 with Impact 29 reticle. I think the glass on the 5HD/6HD is a tad better than my old VX-6. Light weight tracks and works well hunting also.
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
VX-5HD in 3-15 with Impact 29 reticle. I think the glass on the 5HD/6HD is a tad better than my old VX-6. Light weight tracks and works well hunting also.
I'm giving this one some consideration but thinking it may be higher power than I want or need. I just sold a VX 6HD 3-18 for that reason. If I want to use the holdover points, it has to be on top power and then the field of view gets smaller than I prefer for hunting. Ideally, I would have 10-12x on the upper end.
 

bigwatchpilot

Captain
Belligerents
Mar 16, 2012
402
265
69
Memphis, TN
I'm giving this one some consideration but thinking it may be higher power than I want or need. I just sold a VX 6HD 3-18 for that reason. If I want to use the holdover points, it has to be on top power and then the field of view gets smaller than I prefer for hunting. Ideally, I would have 10-12x on the upper end.
I just sold 2 VX6 2-12’s...talk about bad timing...I picked up the Leica Magnus 1.5-10x42 AMAZING hunting scope, simple reticle might not fit the bill but it has some of the best reviews I have read.
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
I will need a bigger wallet for that!
I have Leica binos and they are really good for their size ( or even if they were much larger) so I'm sure the scope is amazing as well.
 

Timo494

Private
Hessian
Minuteman
Nov 19, 2019
35
1
12
I have been seriously considering a Nightforce NXS 2-10x42 but just wanting to make sure that there's not something out there that I might like better in the same price range ($1000- $2000). Prefer 10x or 12x on the top end and won't exceed 15X. Want an MOA reticle. Dial turrets ok but not required as long as the capped turrets track well as I would uncap them and dial with them when target shooting.

I'm familiar with Vortex and Leupold but wondering if there is a brand out there that I may be overlooking.
 

USMC mustang

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 12, 2012
387
9
22
46
Northern Colorado
Check out the C622 Nightforce NX8 2.5-20x50 MOAR. Like a previous poster said, you don't have to turn it up all the way and the NX8 doesn't have the rotating ocular eyepiece. With ED glass and an illuminated reticle, they offer a lot of performance in a 12" package.
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
Check out the C622 Nightforce NX8 2.5-20x50 MOAR. Like a previous poster said, you don't have to turn it up all the way and the NX8 doesn't have the rotating ocular eyepiece. With ED glass and an illuminated reticle, they offer a lot of performance in a 12" package.
Yes, I have had a few people say that but FFP just aren't for me especially when is is an 8x spread. When I'm deer hunting, I have shot opportunities as low as 20-30 yards so I need the power all the way down. With it that low in low light, the reticle is virtually unusable without the illumination on.
 

Tikkablk

Private
Minuteman
May 21, 2018
11
27
18
I’ve been using a NXS compact 2.5-10x42 zerostop MOAR for a few years now, it’s a really nice hunting scope.
I recently took it off my 300 blackout and put it on my 338 edge, just to see how it go’s on a long range rifle, it shoots sub moa on steel out to 800m no problems.

Heres one of 4 deer I got the other week with the nxs compact / 338 edge combo. Straight on head shot at 550m.



And here’s the scope mounted on the 300blackout running subs, shes accounted for 291 deer with this rig so far.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2hoV4VG]
 

SWWI Shooter

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 30, 2018
540
133
49
Nice. Yes, I think the NXS 2.5-10 is what I will probably end up with if I can find one used. I'm really liking the SHV that I have on my coyote rifle but can't get the 10x with a adjustable parallax.
 
Last edited:

deersniper

Notorious
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Feb 22, 2007
6,818
6,894
219
Northeast
I have a pristine 2.5-10x32 for sale. Low use. I don’t think I ever dialed it. It was on a 10/22. Like new Moa with zero stop. $1300

07DC27F7-4CDC-47E3-A872-C06920E51085.jpegC7BA6C2F-FE08-4834-B4B7-E203891556BA.jpeg
 

XTREM HTR16

Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 19, 2011
1,409
324
189
Carmel, IN
Nice. Yes, I think the NXS 2.5-10 is what I will probably end up with if I can find one used. I'm really liking the SHV that I have on my coyote rifle but can't get the 10x with a adjustable parallax.
The 2.5-10x42 MOAR is what I was going to suggest, @Sendero_Man runs 2 or 3 of them and could weigh in. I think there are some used ones in the classifieds, good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sendero_Man