I'm looking for a new scope for my .264 Win mag. I'll use the scope for general hunting ,long range hunting, and ocassional 1000 yard competition. Is there anything that makes the Nightforce a lot superior to the Leupold long range target? Is there enough of a difference for what I'm doing to justify the extra cost?
I have both scopes and yes I think it is most deffinitly worth the extra cost of the Nightforce. They are the clearest scopes I have ever used. I have a 3.5 x 15 and with it I can see a pop can and tell what kind it is at 1100 yards. I also have a 8 x 32 and it is even better at a 1100 yards. It makes a coke can look like a one gallon milk carton. You won't be sorry for buying the Nightforce.
That is a tough one since there is a fair difference in dollars and in the individual's ability to assess optical qualities. To my eyes the Nightforce is definitely sharper and brighter than both the Vari-X lll LR's and the MK4's. But I have talked to some guys who don't see much or any difference. Seems that the Leupold 8-25 is kicking butt these days with LR shooters, partly because of price.
There are other considerations such as eye relief and turret accuracy that are important. I like the NXS turrets better than the MK4 turrets and my NXS scopes have excellent eye relief whereas the MK4 is one fussy scope, particularly in 16x.
Let's face it, Leupold makes some very good scopes and they back them up completely. Nightforce does also, and their scopes are of more recent design. They spec out top quality components from a top manufacturer in Japan and assemble the scopes in the US.
Many shooters are awaiting a Vari-X lV or a Mk5 design from Leupold, would be nice to see something new in their LR/tactical models. Perhaps they are so busy making scopes that they don't see the need to replace those older lines.
NXS made of steel? Not sure what you mean as NXS's are aluminum bodies (catalog says 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum), got a rock-nick on one last autumn and it sure looks like aluminum. You are correct that they are heavier, maybe that has to do with the "innards", plus the tube is quite thick like a MK4. Good point about adjustment lattitude, NXS has lots, only Leupold close is the MK4 16X I believe.
I have the 3.4x15x50NXS and like it but I did notice the windage was a bit sticky yesterday. I forgot I had 1.5moa left wind in for my first shot and put it 1.5" out to the left,, so I dialed back to zero and the next shot was 1" to the left. Next shot was dead center, as well as all my other shots of the day. I'll dial past my come up and windage and go back from now on. Minor complaint, but for $1200 it shoud be right the first time. Oh, and I can only dial 97 actual MOA from bottom to top. Another very minor point, but 13 moa is 13 moa.
I also shoot a VariX III LR in 3x10x40. I like it very much also, and unless I was extremely comcerned about the light at dawn or dusk, I don't see where the nightforce is giving me that much of an edge. I've shot both to 1K several times. Both get me into the 190's.