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Need help choosing a Nightforce model!

 
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  #1  
Old 02-02-2009, 12:19 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sabinal, TX
Posts: 48
Need help choosing a Nightforce model!

Hey there guys!

I am having a lot of trouble settling on a Nightforce scope and I'm hoping some more input from y'all can help me make a decision.

I am torn between the 3.5-15x50 NXS, the 3.5-15x56 NXS, the 5.5-22x50 NXS and the 5.5-22x56 NXS. And I don't know whether the "Zero-stop" feature is worth the added cost.

Here's the thing. Because they're so expensive, I can only afford to buy one scope for the time being so this scope will have to do "double duty" riding both on my .308 and my AR15. The AR is a custom built (LaRue) rifle built as a light and relatively compact predator rifle. While I am trying to start 'stretching my legs' in terms of long range hunting, I am currently doing a lot of shorter range (50-350 yard) hunting. I'm trying to select a scope that will allow me to grow and extend my range, I will always need a scope that will enable me to shoot at shorter ranges.

I really like the idea of having a scope that can reach 22 power, but I'm concerned that the minimum power of 5.5x will make short range hunting difficult; especially because of the smaller field of view. That's why I like the 3.5-15 power line- it powers down to a good magnification for brush hunting.

Can I get some input from folks who are using the 5.5-22x50 NXS or the 5.5-22x56 NXS (or a similar powered scope) on what it's like for closer-in work? Is it as limiting and difficult as I think; or is really no big deal?

Which scope would y'all recommend for a more all-around scope that will allow me to work towards some really long (800+) range shooting but NOT limit me for more traditional distance hunting? Would the 3.5-15 series be the more versitile scopes? By far?

Would the 5.5-22 series of scopes be too long or too heavy for good mounting on a AR platform rifle? I talked to LaRue and they make a QD mount for ALL the models I'm considering- 1 mount works for all of them.

What about the "Zero-stop" feature- is really worth spending an extra $200-$250 on?

I realize there isn't any perfect scope that will be correct in every situation; and I, also, know I can't afford a scope that's SOLELY designed for long-range hunting, because I don't yet do enough of it to justify having a LR-specific scope. But I want to buy a scope that'll let me do some pretty serious distance shooting. I guess I'm wondering if the 5.5-22 power series of scopes are really only meant for long range hunting- not any short range hunting?

I hope I'm explaining this right. Sorry if I was really redundant, but I need to get this figured out and I don't know where else to turn.

Thanks so much!

Nick
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2009, 09:28 AM
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Re: Need help choosing a Nightforce model!

Nick,


I have both (several of both powers), the 3.5-15 will do anything you want I practice on my 10" disks out to 1150 yards with mine. Only going to 15x is not an issue, you can shoot a long way on 15x. The 3.5x is much nicer for close in work like some predator calling situations. For long range shooting it is my opinion that the zero stop is worth every penny. Also if you get the NF Unimount it will fit your AR flat top and a pic rail on your other rifle as long as you have a cheekpiece.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2009, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
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Re: Need help choosing a Nightforce model!

Nick, I wrestled with the same question and there will be advantages and trade offs with either. The guy who sold it to me talked me into the 5.5x20x50. He also has one. The 3.5x15 is obviously going to be better in close. With the 5.5x22, a deer size body will fill the scope at about 15 yds. Set on 10x I think I can easily sight and shoot on game @ 1K, however the higher 22 magnification is nice for counting points and checking legal vs non-legal bucks/bulls and alos nicer for shooting varmits and smaller targets. It's also nice for checking bullet holes on your target at the range.

Scince you are shooting a 308 and AR I would say go with the 3.5x15. My personal huniting limit with a 308 would be 500 - 600 yds.

As for he 50 vs 56 objective. I went with the 50. This scope is already a little bulky and the 50 is a lot more friendly for carying. This past winter during extended elk season, I had no trouble scoping a cow elk 30 min after sunset on the East slope of a hill, looking East on a cloudy evening on 22x with sunshade still attached. There was plenty of light and contrast. IMO, I dont need a 56mm objective.

Whatever you get, you'll be happy.

Mark
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2009, 01:21 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
Re: Need help choosing a Nightforce model!

I use a nikon monarch 5.5-16.5 x 44 for deer hunting and I can safely say that I wouldn't get a scope with a low higher than 4.5 power for the low if I intend on using it for close or moderate range hunting. Target aquiring gets hard at close range with 5.5 power. I would also suggest that 50 mm bell. the 56 will get more bulky than what you may want on a compact rifle.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2009, 02:15 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sabinal, TX
Posts: 48
Re: Need help choosing a Nightforce model!

Thanks a lot y'all! You helped me eliminate the 5.5-22 power scopes, which saves me a lot of money. It's a relief to know that y'all think 15x is plenty of magnification for some pretty long range shooting. I really can't imagine shooting out past about 800 yards, at most- I simply don't have much access to hunting that would present a longer shot than that here in Texas and there isn't even a 1000 yard range anywhere near where I live. As much as I'd love to get into shooting that far, I don't think the opportunity will present itself any time soon.

Now, I just need to decide if I want to go with the 50mm or 56mm objective. I WANT to go with the 56mm simply for the increased light gathering and larger exit pupils- I do a lot of night hunting for hogs and we prefer not to use a spotlight, but to depend on moonlight alone. So, the 56mm would sure be an advantage; but, I've been using a 3-10x50 Burris LRS with a fair amount of success and I think the increased qualty of the glass in the Nightforce scopes will provide SIGNIFICANT improvement over the Burris, even in the same objective lens size. I only really need about a 10-15% improvement in low-light shooting ability to be positively deadly on hogs under a 1/2-full moon- based on my past performance. I'm wondering if just jumping up to the better glass will give me a significant enough bump in low-light capability or if I'll need to go up to the larger 56mm?

Thoughts anyone?
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2009, 01:29 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Texas
Posts: 106
Re: Need help choosing a Nightforce model!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Carlock View Post
Nick,


I have both (several of both powers), the 3.5-15 will do anything you want I practice on my 10" disks out to 1150 yards with mine. Only going to 15x is not an issue, you can shoot a long way on 15x. The 3.5x is much nicer for close in work like some predator calling situations. For long range shooting it is my opinion that the zero stop is worth every penny. Also if you get the NF Unimount it will fit your AR flat top and a pic rail on your other rifle as long as you have a cheekpiece.
Great.....not to hijack, but now Shawn has me thinking about my next purchase. I was going to go with the 22X.......now I'm starting to consider the 15X as max...LOL.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2009, 11:50 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sabinal, TX
Posts: 48
Re: Need help choosing a Nightforce model!

Quote:
Originally Posted by txlongrange View Post
Great.....not to hijack, but now Shawn has me thinking about my next purchase. I was going to go with the 22X.......now I'm starting to consider the 15X as max...LOL.
Yeah, you can save quite a bit by staying with the 15x- I think I'm going to use the extra $$ to upgrade to a "Zero-Stop!" So far, I can't find a better price than on www.OpticsPlanet.com They've got the 3.5-15x50 NXS with Zero-Stop and $1740 for the same scope with Zero-Stop & 1.0E and .5W MOA Those are TYD SHIPPED!

Does anyone know a place to get a BETTER price than that?

Nick
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