Re: Is The 5.5~22 Nightforce my only choice?
I've had a number of IOR scopes over the past 15 years or so. In the end, I had issues with so many of them I finally sold off all but one, and have not felt confident in trying another.
The one I still use is an old 6-24x50 with the 30mm tube. It is a fine cross hair and .25 MOA turrets. It has been a great scope on the 22-250. The ones that broke, a couple 2.5-10's and a 4-16, were all mounted on .300's.
Currently I am using a S&B 4-16x50 with Hollands ART reticle and .25 MOA turrets. I gotta say I am pretty impressed with this scope. We all know about the S&B's, so won't bother raving about that, but I am equally impressed with this reticle. 1.5 MOA hash marks and the reticle alone has 30 MOA of elevation. The reticle is fine enough I have had no problem shooting at tennis ball size targets at 1400 yards, even though this is a FFP scope. This scope is about a grand more than you mentioned, but to my eye, it has far superior image quality than my NF.
He lists a 3-12x42 S&B Klassic that, if I am reading it correctly, features .25 MOA turrets. I have an email in to verify this. If this is correct I will most likely sell my new-this-summer NF 2.5-10 and replace it with this scope and reticle.
He does offer this reticle in Leupold scopes. I spoke with him about the leuy and turret accuracy and repeatability compared to NF. He speaks very highly of them, and also offers a custom .25 MOA turret he says is as good as anything out there.
All that aside, I think if NF offer the MOAR in a fine reticle, it would be a really super scope for ELR. Glass may not be that of S&B, but it is definitely good enough for the task.