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Leupold or NF

 
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  #1  
Old 02-10-2012, 08:12 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Natchez, MS
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Leupold or NF

I am in the process of putting together my first custom long range varmint/target rifle and am looking for some input on what scope to use. I am looking at two scopes in particular, a Leupold VX-3 8.5-25x50 Varmint reticle and a Nightforce NXS 12-42x56 NPR-2 reticle. Is the Nightforce that much better than the Leupold to warrent twice the price?
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2012, 08:37 AM
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Location: Rapid City, South dakota
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Re: Leupold or NF

I have both. I like both. With that said I will say this. My MK4 is sitting on my LR hunting rig and the Nightforce is sitting on my LR Prairie dog gun. That sucker is heavy. IF I am going to carry something, I need it light enough that I can carry it. I don't carry the 14 lb PD gun very far. I can carry my 11.5 lb hunting rifle for quite a ways. Another scope you might look at is the VX3 in that same power range as it now has the same insides as the MK4 and maybe a bit better glass than the MK 4 although I can't tell the difference but its cheaper than the MK 4 and I have one of those also.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:11 AM
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Re: Leupold or NF

I too have both the Leupold and a NightForce. In my opinion, the NightForce is definitely worth the money. It is possible to tie as much money in a Leupold as a NightForce. If I had to do it all over again, I would not buy the Leupold. Not that Leupold is not a good scope but, NightForce is that good. Of course this is just my opinion and everyone has one.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:35 AM
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Re: Leupold or NF

You'll always make better scope choices if you focus on the functioning, fit into your shooting system, overall value, and THEN price(dead last).

Like BillR I have both, and agree that weight is the biggest factor between them. -Weight is a show stopper for my hunting systems. Mk4 wins there.
-Another NF issue(to me) is the turning eyepiece. This buggers up the flip-up scope covers(which I must have), getting them in the way of bolt operation. I also don't like that NF hasn't produced their own flip-ups, like Leupold did with there awesome Aluminas. Mk4 wins again.
-NF reticles are fantastic, and IMO leupold has always failed in this regard.
NXS wins there.

The glass is equal between them, with neither dominating in resolution, nor brighter that I've seen. There is no advantage to 56mm(causing higher mounting) with this glass. Both scopes adjust/repeat perfectly. But there has been chatter about NF MOA not being 1.047"/100yds, while the MK4s definitely are.
I haven't tested this with NXS because they're too heavy for hunting anyway, so for use on my target guns only. But I test every MK4 to level the adjustments.

IMO Mk4s are superior to NXS.
But in the past couple years Leupold has caved to the tactical mob, and I don't know if Mk4 scopes are still practical for hunting.
As far as price? Well that's all being driven to stupid, again, by the tactical mob..
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2012, 09:44 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Re: Leupold or NF

I have a NF 8-32x56 Brenchrest model that's at least 14 yrs olds and the manual states MOA = 1.047. Don't know about the new models.
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2012, 09:53 AM
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Location: Townsend, Montana.
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Re: Leupold or NF

Weight does not bother me when I am talking about a long range rig where extreme accuracy is required. Weight is your friend when you need to make that long poke. I was anticipating a possible long shot a few days ago hunting wolves. I packed the 338LM weighing in at 16+ lbs for 2 1/2 miles and we gained over 1000 ft of altitude. It was a bit of a workout but I find this will slow me a bit and cause me to glass more often which is important.

I am very fond of the NF NXS. There could be and probably are better scopes but this is as much as my budget will allow on my LR rifles. I love the very positive clicks, really, the term "click" better discribes the Lupy as the turrets do have fine clicks. The NF has more of a thud and even Stevie Wonder would know where he is on the turret. I like that.

My problem with the last 8.5 x 25 VX3 I was it was very hard for me to get proper eye relief. Technically, I do not know why and do not care. All I know is do not have this problem with the NXS even on 22X which is comparable power.

Next I would question if the 12 x 42 is a good choice for you? That will depend on several things. Distance, weather condidtions (mirage) and caliber. I can tell you I tried the 8x32 once on my 338 LM and took it off to go back to the 5.5x22. Reason for this was amount of mirage and the loss of 35 MOA of elevation. I feel I could easily center my NP-R1 or R2 reticle on a prairie dog at 1000 yards with either of my 5.5-22's. So that might be something to consider.

Short answer to your question. Yes, the NF is worth twice the price of a 8.5~25 VX3. If you can swing it. At least it is for me.

Jeff
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2012, 09:54 AM
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Re: Leupold or NF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikecr View Post
You'll always make better scope choices if you focus on the functioning, fit into your shooting system, overall value, and THEN price(dead last).

Like BillR I have both, and agree that weight is the biggest factor between them. -Weight is a show stopper for my hunting systems. Mk4 wins there.
-Another NF issue(to me) is the turning eyepiece. This buggers up the flip-up scope covers(which I must have), getting them in the way of bolt operation. I also don't like that NF hasn't produced their own flip-ups, like Leupold did with there awesome Aluminas. Mk4 wins again.
-NF reticles are fantastic, and IMO leupold has always failed in this regard.
NXS wins there.

The glass is equal between them, with neither dominating in resolution, nor brighter that I've seen. There is no advantage to 56mm(causing higher mounting) with this glass. Both scopes adjust/repeat perfectly. But there has been chatter about NF MOA not being 1.047"/100yds, while the MK4s definitely are.
I haven't tested this with NXS because they're too heavy for hunting anyway, so for use on my target guns only. But I test every MK4 to level the adjustments.

IMO Mk4s are superior to NXS.
But in the past couple years Leupold has caved to the tactical mob, and I don't know if Mk4 scopes are still practical for hunting.
As far as price? Well that's all being driven to stupid, again, by the tactical mob..
You're correct in your comparisons and the Mark 4s are definitely practical for hunting.

I'm actually in favor of the tactical mob simply because it has forced Leupold to get back into the game of producing competitive high end optics. We now have factory produced mil/mil and FFP, which only makes sense. They are now working to produce an MOA reticle to match the M1 knobs and they are producing with better glass and coatings now. I actually don't mind the mil reticles with MOA knobs, but the math is definitely easier when dealing with whole numbers and it's easier to use a matching reticle for holdover shots instead of having to convert. Again, not a deal breaker, but it will be nice when everything matches.

It appears that things are looking up for Leupold if they choose to stay competitive in price.
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