Re: Leupold Mark 4 vs Nightforce NXS
They are both good scopes, last I checked the Mark IV was cheaper, but either one is likely to cost more than the rifle you are putting it on. (forget what you said you were putting it on, but I commonly see both these scopes on factory out of the box Rem 700's and the thought that they could have bought three more rifles, or a good custom rig, for the price of the scope they just put on that one always crosses my mind) Unlike Alan I like Leupolds MOA turret, mildot reticle combo. I want an MOA turret, that is what I am used to and comfortable using. I love a mildot reticle, and Leupold has one that looks the very best to my eye, but I don't use them for their intended purpose of ranging. I simply like them better than any other reticle I have ever looked through for actual sight picture, very fast acquisition if you happen to jump an animal need to take a running shot through the brush (no I don't need a Mark IV for brush hunting, but I might jump something walking in to where I am going to be glassing from, and a 4.5-14 turned down to 4.5 will work fine in such situations) and the finer center crosshairs of the mildot don't cover up long distance targets, while the dots are easily visible in low light or fast snap shooting conditions. Nightforce reticles are also very nice, but my personal preference is the Leupold reticle.
Of the two I have seen more tracking problems with Nightforce than Leupold, but both have excellent costumer service, and will either fix the problem or replace the scope with little hassle. It seems to be a quality control/testing issue, since I have never seen either develop such a problem over time, all such problems were present on out of the box scopes. I think Nightforce has the edge on Leupold on quality of glass, but it is slight. Where Leupold beats Nightforce like a red headed stepchild is in the weight department. And this would be the deciding factor in why I choose the Mark IV.
I live less than fifty miles from where Nightforces are made, but the majority of the LR scopes that people I know around here use are Mark IV's and weight and price are the two determining factors (although the way Leupold has been raising their prices the last few years this is becoming less of a factor). All in all I believe Nightforce might have a slight edge in quality if you don't mind strapping a boat anchor to the top of your rifle, but the edge is very slight, and if you are packing your rifle much, or are getting close to the legal weight limit in any areas you are going to hunt I would go with the Leupold Mark IV.