How Could We Improve the NEW A.T.A.C.R. From Nightforce

Discussion in 'Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR)' started by Broz, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I realize none of us have had one of these in our hands yet. But from what you see and from what you have read what would you change about this scope? Please lets leave price out of the opinions. I feel they took it pretty easy on us with the slated MSRP of around $2350.

    Here is a link for those that have not read about it yet.

    ATACR | Nightforce Optics, Inc.

    I look at the ATACR as a serious boost for us ELR shooters. This was surely what Nightforce was targeting with this scope. I have had a few conversations with Shawn Carlock and we both share the excitement of a little more top end power, ED glass, and the 120 MOA of elevation. But!!!! Why the thicker reticle?? That is surely not what we as ELR shooters will prefer. Four inches plus of target cover at 3000 yards is not my idea of a precise hold.

    I just had a very informative conversation with Mark Benelli at Nightforce about the new ATACR and BEAST. The first thing I wanted to discuss was the possibility of a thinner reticle choice for the ATACR in MOA. The answer, it is not slated at this time, but Mark being an ELR shooter welcomed my views, and agreed, that a thinner reticle would be more desirable for ELR. He also shared his experience from using the MOAR reticle this past season. He says it may not be as bad as I expect, but did admit in a recent match he could not center the reticle on a 1" orange dot at 400 yards. It simply blocked the dot out. He also stated he was going to go back to the RP-R1 to see for sure if the R1 was indeed better for his needs. We also talked about the glass the new line will be sporting. In an independent study the BEAST was tested by a independent German firm and the BEAST was given a 10 for clarity and brightness and definition. The S&B PM2 in 25x was given an 8+. So this glass will be something to behold I would say. The ATACR does not sport this same glass as the BEAST, but does have new ED glass. Mark says although he has never seen fault with the glass we know so well in the NXS ( I agree), the ED glass in the ATACR is very noticeably better especially for definition and depth perception. Also the ED glass gave a better image all the way across the field of view even at the edges. I hang on to hope that added definition will make up for some of the target picture we loose with the thicker cross hairs, and will aid in precise hold at ELR. We talked about a new MOAR option. The MOAR "Thin" with .062 sub-tensions. Although this is not slated at this time I got the feeling if enough of us requested it, it could one day become a reality. That would be the icing on the cake for the new ATACR as far as I can tell form this point anyway.

    My main interest was in the ATACR since I only want Second Focal Plane , so I asked about the added 20 moa of elevation. He told me they were actually getting a little over 120 in most units. But the advertised and target adjustment was 120 moa. I found that very good news.

    Mark was very helpful and we talked for 35 minutes. Never once did I feel I didn't have his full attention and he was in no hurry to get me off the phone even though I did whine a bit about the reticle choice for the ATACR. He represents his company well and a great company it is that has time and interest in every customers questions and requests.

    As indicated in another thread I have on here.
    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f116/5-5-22-nightforce-my-only-choice-99362/

    This was my wish list.

    * Minimum top end power of 22 x but a little more would be nice.
    * Sub-tensions to be no wider that .070 ( Like the NP-R1 thinner would be fine)
    * Second Focal Plane only (tried the FFP and hated them)
    * .25 MOA Turrets and MOA Reticle (MOA only for me)
    * Minimum of 100 MOA total elevation ( more would be great!!)
    * A zero stop of some sort is something I really like.
    * Price not to exceed $2500 or so.

    As seen above, they pretty much gave me all I asked for. But, I still feel the need to whine a little about the sub-tension thickness.:) I have spoken for one of the current ATACR's as soon as we can get one, and will be waiting to replace either the scope (with another ATACR) or swap out the reticle for a thinner option if ever offered.


    Jeff
     
  2. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I was salivating all over my computer this weekend when I saw the new Nightforce optics, I think the MOAR "thin" would be awesome cause over all the reticle looks great just a little chunky. Even then that thing will be outstanding on a LRKM!!!!

    Remember a time when 2000 yards was almost unreal and now your worried about how much the reticle will cover at 3000 yards, man how things change, kinda cool though!!!! Maybe I'll be able to break into some Nightforce glass when guys upgrade to these newer one's :D
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I suggested another option of just decreasing the floating cross in the center of the MOAR to 1/2 the thickness of what it is now. That would give us the finer aiming point we all seem to like along with thicker lines around it for those that want quicker target acquisition. Even though all thinner would be my first choice, this would be a compromise I would be happy with.

    Jeff
     
  4. rick523

    rick523 Well-Known Member

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    This I think would be an ideal choice I have an MOAR on my current long range rifle I choose it as strictly a hunting reticle. I have only used it out to 1200yds thus far and it works for me. That said I would also prefer thiner floating cross beyond the range I'm at now. I'm in process of another build when it is finished hopefully this change will have been made and I can top it off with one in this model, other wise an npr1 it will be.:rolleyes:
     
  5. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Jeff,

    Thanks for sharing the info you received from NF regarding their new optics. Good info. I want to see a BEAST even more now with that glass report!

    The problem ELR shooters are up against is that they are on the cutting edge of LR shooting and that comes with a very small market share. I am afraid you are going to have a hard time finding exactly what you want because it doesn't fit any regular Joe hunter's needs and isn't even necessary for LR hunting. The reality is that NF was the original thin reticle manf. and they have pretty much moved away from it in everything but the BR models for the last few years. There were lots of complaints about the thin reticles in the beginning, not because they didn't offer fine aim points but because guys continually lost them in dark or timbered hunting conditions. From a business standpoint I am sure it just doesn't make sense.

    The harder I think about adding an LRKM to my collection the more this issue is going to have to be addressed by me as well. I wonder if they would think on one of your suggestions, MOAR "thin" or a thinner center crosshair, if you were able to start a ELR fund from all the ELR shooters interested that would fund the creation of the new reticle. Maybe they would be more up for it if they knew they didn't have to front the money for the reticle on such a small market share condition. Of course I don't know what the cost would be for such an undertaking with NF. I do know the cost of a reticle creation with US Optics and Premier ( back in the day when they did them) ran from $600-1200 for the creation of it. There would be other costs too I am sure as NF isn't the specialty manufacturer that US or Premier is/was. It would also go to show the kind of interest in the reticle there is as well as the dedication to NF products. That alone may help move the process forward.

    Just thinking out loud.

    Scot E.
     
  6. Rocky Mountain

    Rocky Mountain Well-Known Member

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    Well put Scot E we will just have to hope NF will offer a thick and thin option I know I'm crossing my fingers.
     
  7. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Scott we did discuss the Market for such a reticle and I understand what you are saying. But, if this is the case, how do you explain why the thinner NP-R1 has been their best selling reticle?

    Also you stated "and isn't even necessary for LR hunting." Well, please remember we are talking in the ELR forum. I feel your statement is directly related to distance. Maybe not necessary for lesser distances, but surely you agree better for the longer shots past 1000. And also lets remember that the 120 moa of elevation was surely not refined for shots at 1000 or less where 20 to 25 moa would be a normal dial up. Even if a "0" cant base was used (and who would do that?) the 60 MOA that would be available from the ATACR would get a standard 338 Lapua with a 300 Berger to a mile. Now who wants a thick reticle for that type of shooting? I know of no dark timbers that will support a mile shot. I also feel that most responsible long range hunters will be requiring the best of condition for a shot at these distances and loosing the reticle in fading light would not be an issue. That said the RP-R1 has served me well for years of hunting during legal hours and truly it is not that thin of a reticle, it covers a nice 3/4" line at only 1000 yards.

    Jeff
     
  8. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    I feel that the MOARs biggest downfall is by far the reticule thickness. I know for me personally if I was dropping that kinda coin on a rifle scope, it wouldnt have that thick of a reticule. I know that there are other great points about the scope, and I dont know if there is another scope in that price range that can compete, but It is a Long range scope first. In fact it is an industry leading LR scope, and i think that it should have the best that the minds at nightforce could come up with, the MOAR just doesnt cut it for me.

    I would also like to see a reticule that has substensions farther out for fast hold over corrections (so that you have an exact hold point for windage and elevation ie, 4 over and 4 down). I think that this is going to eventually be a must for ELR. You need to hold your body position as close as possible to the originall shot and want to make a correction as fast as possible before conditions change.

    my hat is off to nightforce for further pushing the envelope on this scope and the BEAST, i just think that they have a little tweaking before its the ultimate riflescope.
     
  9. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Jeff,

    I would say that the NP-R1 has sold so well in the hunting arena in spite of its thin reticle, due to the fact that it is a very well designed reticle in a very popular line from a very good maker of scopes. I would guess that the MOAR will be far more popular now, in part because it is thicker which fits the larger hunting market, and also because it is an even better designed reticle IMO.

    You missed the point of my "and isn't even necessary for LR hunting." comment. My comment wasn't about LR vs ELR. The basis of most of my post was from my perception of how NF is looking at this . . . . from a business perspective. When a thin reticle isn't a necessity for any normal gun hunter (it is actually a detriment) OR even LR hunting, it by nature is going to hold a very small market share, thus a very low priority for them.

    Also I know the ATACR seems to fit what an ELR shooters would want but I seriously doubt that market was their primary target. Even the name implies this. NF has and probably always will be a military and LE manufacturer first. My guess is that is where the majority of their sales come from. Then tactical competition may be their next biggest niche which puts us hunters at the bottom of the pack. In tactical circles there are still a ton of .223 and .308 matches as well. When you look at these facts it makes a bit more sense why this new scope may have been designed the way it was.

    You are right though, with a small tweak it would open up another market, albeit a pretty small one. Interestingly the biggest complaint being mentioned on the Hide is that the ATACR didn't come with an option of FFP. Of course this is from a mostly tactical competition crowd which makes sense.

    Scot E.
     
  10. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Well Scott I simply was trying to discuss what some of us here prefer and need for ELR. I guess I should not consider that, as it is not the largest market on earth.

    I guess if the largest market is all that matters, then all scope manufacturers should make 3x9 x40's and call it good. But they might have a problem getting those hunters to pay over 2K for a scope for their 30-06 or 30-30 brush beater.

    Hell, I should have just read the threads on sniper forums and called it gospel.

    By the way this is not a FFP thread and hoped not to stray that way. I knew I could count on you though. But NF did debut the BEAST at the same time. So what the heck is anyone complaining about that wants a FFP. It has better glass, and all they could ask for. Even the price they all seem to be willing to pay for something I and many others would never want for real long range.

    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  11. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Well stated Angus, I agree and was looking to see what other like us felt could be done to improve the scope for ELR.

    Thanks
    Jeff
     
  12. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Goodness Jeff, You really need to find some way to chill and quit taking everything I say so personal. I swear I feel like we are in JR High.

    My intent from the beginning was simply to try to say that you are likely going to have to find a way to sweeten the pot to get what you want and then gave proof why I believe that to be true. Believe it or not I was actually trying to help and give you facts as to why you didn't get what you wanted. I believe you asked that in your original post but maybe I misunderstood your point. "But!!!! Why the thicker reticle?? That is surely not what we as ELR shooters will prefer. Four inches plus of target cover at 3000 yards is not my idea of a precise hold."

    The fact is they weren't thinking of ELR. If that isn't obvious by the facts I gave, the name of the scope, and the fact that you didn't get the thin reticle then I don't know what to tell you. They were catering to tactical and that is why you didn't get what you wanted. That was my point. If you want them to hear you, my suggestion was to maybe find a way to sweeten the pot which will also show how big and dedicated this market share is, which may cause them to take a second look. You have to be creative when you want something and you are in a small market share. That is a fact I thought may be helpful as it has worked for me in the past in some of my desires for specialized archery products.

    Sorry I mentioned FFP. I realize this is a hot point for you, I just didn't realize how hot. My point was that even the tactical guys, who this scope was designed for, aren't completely happy. You know, as in "you can't please anyone for trying!" :D

    Ok, note to self. "Don't respond to any thread that Jeff has posted to or especially initiated if it has to do with reticles, scopes, focal plane, or scope calibration because he will always take things I say in the worst possible way despite the logic or facts submitted. :rolleyes:

    As an aside, what exactly do I have to do to be allowed to post to the ELR forum? Is it just shooting past 1k at targets, taking game that far, never shooting under 1k, having 1k as my zero, or maybe a tattoo of "The 1K Club" on my hinee? I read the ELR rules Len posted but evidently missed an update somewhere. Evidently my qualifications don't quite cut it yet. :rolleyes:

    I will kindly bow out of this thread and let those in the know try to figure out a way to get what they don't have.

    Scot E.
     
  13. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah you are right Scott. We always argue about reticles and focal planes. I guess that is what blows your skirt up as you seem to be determined to initiate it all the time. Lets just write it off to 180 degree opposite view of things. I don't care how many times you have shot past 1000 either. No proof needed for me. But I do like to talk about shooting the other side of 1000 once in a while and the reason this ELR forum is here. I don't feel I am a bit more touchy about ELR than you are about wanting to voice your views on reticles and focal planes. I just wanted to hear what other people were thinking of the scope, not the price, market share or economics. Just the scope for their intended purpose. I thought I was clear but I guess not.

    .
     
  14. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Ummm . . . . . a quote from my first post. Does this sound like I am arguing a 180 degree position from you.

    The harder I think about adding an LRKM to my collection the more this issue is going to have to be addressed by me as well. I wonder if they would think on one of your suggestions, MOAR "thin" or a thinner center crosshair, if you were able to start a ELR fund from all the ELR shooters interested that would fund the creation of the new reticle. Maybe they would be more up for it if they knew they didn't have to front the money for the reticle on such a small market share condition. Of course I don't know what the cost would be for such an undertaking with NF. I do know the cost of a reticle creation with US Optics and Premier ( back in the day when they did them) ran from $600-1200 for the creation of it. There would be other costs too I am sure as NF isn't the specialty manufacturer that US or Premier is/was. It would also go to show the kind of interest in the reticle there is as well as the dedication to NF products. That alone may help move the process forward.

    It's strange but to me it sounds like I am acknowledging that I am soon to be in the same boat as you and am also suggesting ways to get NF to add a thinner reticle for ELR purposes. I don't know though, maybe there is some hidden conspiracy code in there some where if you read what I wrote upside down, in Russian, after a few drinks at the local pub. :D

    Ok just to interpret, that last sentence was said in fun with a little sarcasm thrown in to boot. I DO NOT think you are dyslexic or a Russian spy, nor am I accusing you of being an alcoholic. Well, the last sentence I guess has to be interpreted now too. DOOOH, this will never end! :D

    On a serious note, I would encourage you to reassess the lack of importance in looking at this from a business and marketing standpoint. I can assure you they are in the scope business to remain profitable. And when we are talking about a very small market share there are going to be upfront costs and likely even volume order issues that may come into play that makes the business side a very real part of their decision making process. If you really want something done when they aren't planning on doing it, I think you need to understand why and then how to overcome that obstacle. Just one crazy guy's opinion though.

    Ok back to topic. This is how I feel, written as plainly and simply and de-coded as I can.

    I am thinking about buying a dedicated ELR rifle, most likely an LRKM, and I really want the ATACR scope with a thin, read as .0625 line thickness, MOAR reticle. So I too am interested in any other thoughts as to how we can get NF on board with this idea. But coming up with a pool of money to help push them in our direction is not a very good idea and needs to be scrapped all together.

    OOOPs, just a bit more sarcasm snuck out there, but I am done now I promise! :D

    And I will read only and not respond any more to this thread in an attempt to keep the peace since we think 180° of each other (except for this topic, which we completely agree on, hmm, even I am confused now) starting . . . . . .now!

    And seriously, this is a good topic and thread so please don't shut it down. I just had to let out a bit of fun to ease the pain but now we can all move forward in a REAL attempt at figuring something out.


    Scot E.