S&B PM II 5-25 vs. NF ATACR 7-35

Nik H

Constantly Learning
Jan 22, 2014
3,417
1,125
113
Rhode Island
Now that he is gone, we can get back to constructive dialogue. These are some of the things I have noticed being that I own both scopes in question

NF Positives
  1. Zero Stop - I love the fact that it can be set wherever you want it. No being constrained by 3-4 clicks below.
  2. Turret legibility - The DT turrets on my Bender have markings that are spaced too close together. The NF turret engraving is legible in all conditions
  3. Range of magnification - The S&B is really a 7-25 versus a 5-25. The NF is a true 7-35X. It is very nice to have when you need it.
  4. Illumination - Much nicer. No barnacle control and two colors.
  5. MIL C Reticle - Totally agree that reticles are a personal preference but this reticle is very well thought through. Much more usable than the Gen II XR on my Bender and I like that one as well.
S&B Positives
  1. Diopter setup and Parallax Adjustment - It is much easier to do. The NF diopter takes considerably longer and the parallax is much more sensitive than the Schmidt
  2. Image clarity and Contrast - I think it is DAMN close but I will give the S&B this one. Contrast is a little better and low light performance is a little better but as Frank points out, we are splitting hairs.
  3. Turret feel - The DT turrets are crisper than the NF. I thought this was a let down when I purchased the NF. I thought they would move too easily if bumped but that has not been the case. In the end, the S&B is crisper (tactile).
Hope it helps
 
Last edited:
Feb 14, 2017
158
29
28
Statesville, NC
Now that he is gone, we can get back to constructive dialogue. These are some of the things I have noticed being that I own both scopes in question

NF Positives
  1. Zero Stop - I love the fact that it can be set wherever you want it. No being constrained by 3-4 clicks below.
  2. Turret legibility - The DT turrets on my Bender have markings that are spaced too close together. The NF turret engraving is legible in all conditions
  3. Range of magnification - The S&B is really a 7-25 versus a 5-25. The NF is a true 7-35X. It is very nice to have when you need it.
  4. Illumination - Much nicer. No barnacle control and two colors.
  5. MIL C Reticle - Totally agree that reticles are a personal preference but this reticle is very well thought through. Much more usable than the Gen II XR on my Bender and I like that one as well.
S&B Positives
  1. Diopter setup and Parallax Adjustment - It is much easier to do. The NF diopter takes considerably longer and the parallax is much more sensitive than the Schmidt
  2. Image clarity and Contrast - I think it is DAMN close but I will give the S&B this one. Contrast is a little better and low light performance is a little better but as Frank points out, we are splitting hairs.
  3. Turret feel - The DT turrets are crisper than the NF. I thought this was a let down when I purchased the NF. I thought they would move too easily if bumped but that has not been the case. In the end, the S&B is crisper (tactile).
Hope it helps
Awesome feedback, thanks!
 

Safety_3rd

Safety_3rd
Aug 31, 2017
131
24
18
Austin Texas
To piggy back on Nik H, the nightforce magnification power adjust rotates the whole eyepiece so your covers rotate as you turn (or you take it off)... kind of a pain in the a$$. But the nightforce has a program that supports LEO and Military here in the US so that's why I went NF.
 
Feb 14, 2017
158
29
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Statesville, NC
I think big question for me was the "need" for 35 power. "Worst" case scenario I move the NF over to a .300 or 338 down the road if I get itch to go bigger once my Gradous 6.5CM has me sucked into the game.
I will post pics of my build/setup after I pick it up tomorrow!!
 

ICU22250

Perfectionist
Feb 13, 2017
1,137
98
48
WV
I think big question for me was the "need" for 35 power. "Worst" case scenario I move the NF over to a .300 or 338 down the road if I get itch to go bigger once my Gradous 6.5CM has me sucked into the game.
I will post pics of my build/setup after I pick it up tomorrow!!

You made a wise choice Imho...
 
Feb 14, 2017
158
29
28
Statesville, NC
I think big question for me was the "need" for 35 power. "Worst" case scenario I move the NF over to a .300 or 338 down the road if I get itch to go bigger once my Gradous 6.5CM has me sucked into the game.
I will post pics of my build/setup after I pick it up tomorrow!!
Didn’t make it down to Georgia today, hopefully next week. Anticipation killing me
 
Feb 16, 2017
146
14
18
34
Seattle / Montana
I have both and you can't go wrong. I would go with the reticle you like the best, or if you're not a reticle guy, the turret spacing you like best. Both track great, and are durable as hell. My honest feedback after running the PMII w/ H2CMR reticle for all of last season, and switching to the 7-35 w/ MIL-C this season is this: I really really like the MIL-C reticle. I don't dislike the H2CMR, but the center dot on the MIL-C is awesome. I like the click spacing on the ATACR better as well. I'm equally happy with how both turret clicks feel, but can look up on the ATACR and see where I'm at. With the PMII, I have to count each click past the whole or half MIL because spacing is too tight to visually glance and know. Optically, the PMII is better to me. It's eye box is definitely easier to get behind, and the parralax on the PMII is I think the best of any scope. It's just super easy. Colors pop out at me more with the PMII as well. That being said, I swapped them and am going to run the ATACR with MIL-C for this match season, and put the PMII on my Rbros .300 WM hunting rifle. For a match optic, the reticle and the spacing between clicks to visually identify where I'm at trump a more forgiving eyebox (it's not like the ATACR is bad, just not as great as the PMII) and parallax. The only thing I wish I could change on the ATACR is the entire ocular turning when adjusting power. I get the reasons why, I'm just not a fan. The only thing I wish I could change on the PMII are the click spacing. Go 10 MIL per rev, and have the perfect scope.
 
Likes: TipToeTango

Stag556

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 10, 2017
611
48
28
That was an interesting read....

To the OP, how is the Tremor3 reticle on lower powers? Is it easy to see and make out? I have one on the way and I'm just curious as this is my first Horus reticle. (Sorry if this was covered, there was a lot of stuff I started to skip over)
 
Feb 14, 2017
158
29
28
Statesville, NC
That was an interesting read....

To the OP, how is the Tremor3 reticle on lower powers? Is it easy to see and make out? I have one on the way and I'm just curious as this is my first Horus reticle. (Sorry if this was covered, there was a lot of stuff I started to skip over)
Limited experience just glassing..I can pick it up well. I’ve got pretty good, young eyes though
 
Mar 29, 2017
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I guess, number one, I feel that once you get to glass quality of, say, the NXS, and certainly the ATACR, there is no benefit to be had from "better glass," if it in fact exists.

Second, as soon as I have fired a shot on a cold day, or all the time on a hot day, the picture is wavy no matter what glass I am looking through anyway.

Today I was shooting at 0.5" bullseyes at 200 yards with my ATACR on 25x. As long as there was no mirage I could easily see well enough to drill the bull every time, if only I had had no pulse and if every bullet would have flown pertectly true to aim. I just do not see any need for "better glass," if there is any. Once I get to NF glass, my concerns go to other scope aspects.
 
Likes: TipToeTango

JL

Sergeant
Jun 18, 2005
716
18
18
http://tinyurl.com/2m9yv3
Parallax issues, tracking issues, RTZ issues, fogging issues, locking turrets screw right off, parallax knobs come off. If you run in the Gov circles where they are issued you know. And its not from deployment use. Majority issues are out of the box as issued. Sad to see the once gold standard going down the tubes. The only thing they have going for them are beautiful optics.
The issued NF's run strong; old and new. I hate to sound brand biased as I'm not....I'm biased for what works reliably!If NF starts to let me down, you will certainly hear about it.
Got my fifth PMII scope now if my memory serves me. Also running several scopes considered to be in top premium class, basically very happy with all of them. Also have something to do with GOV branches who use and abuse several type of sights and other optics, and having also personal perspective for 3-figure number of PMII:s (and many others) from past couple of years.

NF 7-35 has never been in my personal use, so wont comment on that. But old NXS has reputation of very strong scope, and I can agree/confirm it to be true. Surely NF still knows how to make durable scopes. But now when optics have gotten much more complicated, failure rate basically has to go up. Also very short scopes have their own unique challenges, dont believe NF is immune to these practical problems either. As they are starting with them too. Interesting to see what is situation after 1-2 years in field use.

From 5-25 PMII history i remember one case (out of 3-figure number) where any of turrets turret dropped. This was DT elevation turret on 5-25. Original reason was heavy impact on turret sideways, strong enough to flatten turret aluminum edge. Fog inside = zero cases. Parallax re-calibation = maybe 1 or 2 cases again in 3-figure scope amount. I have also seen +80% claim on "return to zero" fails with PMII series, with about 20 sample scopes. Which is odd because I have never seen it in practice, not with even one single tracking or return to zero symptom in 5-25 scope. And I do have collimator test bench to actually verify these reliably. Surely individual cases can exist- but such percentage with scopes from various lots is simply way, way too steep to believe.

All in all, what comes to basic construction and design, I honestly believe 5-25 has to be *one of the* strongest scopes ever made, by any manufacturer. But there are other good ones as well.


NF 7-35 got destroyed in a recoil test on a big gun, side by side with SB 5-25 which survived without sweat. Disassembled the damaged NF shows lots of use of plastic parts. I would recommend SB. Yes it was very big gun. I cannot share photos or publicize the test for specific reasons, so consider my statement as a rumor if you wish.
And for those who hype these new OEM -manufactured XYZ brand "new game changer" scopes, try this for few hundred
shots first before jumping into conclusions about durable scope.. :)
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
384
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TX
Parallax issues, tracking issues, RTZ issues, fogging issues, locking turrets screw right off, parallax knobs come off. If you run in the Gov circles where they are issued you know. And its not from deployment use. Majority issues are out of the box as issued. Sad to see the once gold standard going down the tubes.
The only thing they have going for them are beautiful optics.
The issued NF's run strong; old and new.
I hate to sound brand biased as I'm not....I'm biased for what works reliably!
If NF starts to let me down, you will certainly hear about it.

I actually am part of this so called "circle " you speak of. PM your info and lets talk your claims.
 
Oct 1, 2017
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I’ll have a 7-35x with a T3 ret for sale come the end of May if anyone is interested. I’m currently down range but will be home near the end of May. I need the money and I prefer lower magnification like a 3-18 or something of that nature.
 
Jan 5, 2010
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SE Georgia
Parallax issues, tracking issues, RTZ issues, fogging issues, locking turrets screw right off, parallax knobs come off. If you run in the Gov circles where they are issued you know. And its not from deployment use. Majority issues are out of the box as issued. Sad to see the once gold standard going down the tubes.
The only thing they have going for them are beautiful optics.
The issued NF's run strong; old and new.
I hate to sound brand biased as I'm not....I'm biased for what works reliably!
If NF starts to let me down, you will certainly hear about it.
Not the first time I've seen this. Have read the same thing from guys who test these scopes before any contacts are awarded.
 
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