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50 or 56mm Nightforce

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Unread 10-02-2007, 10:19 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hatchet City, AB,Canada
Posts: 232
50 or 56mm Nightforce

So I've pretty much decided I'm buying a Nightforce.. now how much of an advantage is the 56 over the 50mm objective.

Should I get the 3.5-15 or the 5.5-22.

Or my other option is a 3-18X42 IOR.

What are the pros and cons of these options...

The rifle is a 300 win mag necked down to 6.5mm. I'm hoping to reach 1000yds with this rifle it is a 24" varmint weight barrel.

The IOR is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper but that isn't really enough to really swing my decision but your guy's opinions definately can...

Any questions just ask.. I'll try to lay out my situation...

Thanks for the help.
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Unread 10-03-2007, 12:31 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Mukilteo, WA
Posts: 1,092
What is your intended use and which features to you prefer?

Are you planning on shooting very long range in really low light?

Do you carry the rifle, hunt in thick stuff?

Do you care about the size/weight at all?

Do you prefer FFP or SFP?

Are you in a big hurry to get it?

Many different features that could sway you one way or the other--not because one thing is better than the other but you just may want something more.

For example if you want FFP, IOR is the only choice--for now, at least, I've heard rumors Nightforce is working on it. That's probably the biggest one.

There's a pretty big size difference between the 3-18 and a 5.5-22X56. This may matter to you or it may not. I guess if it mattered much to you you probably wouldn't be considering both.

If you plan to use the reticle mostly you may not care, but I mostly click elevation and really like being able to get to 1300-1400 yds on a single turn of the knob.

Nightforce has one hell of a reputation for toughness. Not that IOR's rep is bad, but I'd say not as good yet.

Anyway, to me it's about getting the features you want. I think Nightforce scopes are absolutely wonderful. But I just really want FFP for many reasons which means they weren't in the running for me (when spending that much money). I'm just happy we have such choices now in this price range.
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Unread 10-03-2007, 07:00 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hatchet City, AB,Canada
Posts: 232
I do hunt in some low light but I ussually wait until I can see when calling coyotes...so it isn't really long range...

This will go into the truck and be carried some to call stands.. but I would ussually use my 204 for that.. so I guees mostly truck and bench work..

Not to wooried about weight.. I am short and wide.. meant to carry heavy loads over long distances..LOL...

Not in a big hurry..My dies aren't here yet.. and I think I'll throw on a 3-9 until I find a load that groups half assed well...

I was looking @ the SH I.O.R. but getting it into canada seems to be a problem...

I like the idea of a FFP reticle

Thank you for your time
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Unread 10-03-2007, 12:50 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 153
I was in the same boat as you NXS 3.5-15x50 or the IOR 3-18

I finally went with the nightforce mainly because i didn't like the 35mm tube on the IOR and the NPR1 reticle on the NXS looked amazing to my eyes in the side-by-side comparisons i did between the two.

I can't offer anything on 50 or 56mm objective but I my opinion the 3.5-15x50 looks pretty big on my sendero but if weight and the ability to carry it isn't a big deal maybe the 56 would be better

no matter which way you go I bet you'll be happy as they are all good scopes, happy shooting!
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Unread 10-04-2007, 09:43 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Jayess, MS
Posts: 294
I can't give any advice on the 50mm, but I do own 3 Nightforce 56mm and they are great.

I have a 3.5-15x56 w/NP-1RR recticle on a 6mm AI custom Rem 788 (varmint/target but really wish it was a 5.5-22x56. The extra power would do more justice to the gun. I've owned this scope for 8 yrs.

I also have a 5.5-22x56 on a 7mm Rem Mag 700 w/a 30" Hart barrel. This scope also has the NP-1RR reticle. This set-up is great for 1K shooting.
I purchased this scope in 1995 for $600 new.

Last year I picked up a 8-32x56 Benchrest at Sportsmen's Warehouse for $1100. It had the NP-1RR, but I just sent it back to the Nightforce shop to have the reticle changed to the NP-R2 reticle. This reticle has verticle references every 2moa and windage references every 5 moa. I purchased this scope for my next long range gun. Which will be built by Kirby.

On all of the scopes I have a quick reference card for shooting various ranges. You won't go wrong with the Nightforce.

Hope this helps
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Unread 10-05-2007, 06:02 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 912
I asked the exact same question to everyone about 3 months ago and ended up going with 56 5-22 NXS because it aint much bigger and would fit in the same height rings. Also its on a Shawn Carlock 338 edge that has been built to hit big animals at extended ranges in less than ideal light conditions. I went NPR1 because of all around 1 moa hash marks.

Good luck
With each step in the bush, you are a step closer.
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Unread 10-11-2007, 01:52 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hatchet City, AB,Canada
Posts: 232
Thanx guys.. if the 50 and 56 both run the same rings then I'll be going with the 56mm.. Same height above bore and larger objective just makes sense to me...
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