Nightforce vs. leupold MK4.....need opinions

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by lovdasnow, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

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    Ok, looking for scope for 300 RUM.

    would just like to hear your opinions, and thoughts between the two.

    I have a mk4 4.5-14x50 on my .223 and like it. So, questions are get another one of these, which i don't really want to do, like the idea of owning different scopes, or...

    I was thinking mk4 6.5-20, or nightforce 5.5-22x50 NXS what do you think.

    Some things about them. weight is somewhat of an issue to me, so the leupold is about 10 oz lighter, but those nightforces are AWESOME!!! I would like to try a nightforce, as all I have are leupolds. They are big for carrying around all day hunting... obviously I can't decide, so please throw out some opinions and or ideas...is the 6.5 to high a power to hunt with? can't decide..thanks /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  2. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 5.5-22X56 NXS with the MLR retical. It is an awsome scope /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif. On the good side....the optics are bright, the target turret adjustments are dead on and repeatable, the side parallax adjusment is great, it is tough as boot, etc........

    On the bad side. They are expensive, heavy, and the target turrets stick up high and make it hard to carry in a scabbard.

    Never used a MK4, but have several other Leupolds, they are excellent scopes as well.
     

  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    If you want a scope as bomb proof and reliable as a NF, and weight is a concern try the original Mark 4 fixed power scopes. They are lighter due to less mechanical functions and smaller objectives, more reliable than variables and are more clear due to having simpler lenses without the variable power. They will cost you as much as a nightforce. I use them both and love them each for their indavidual qualities. They are both AWESOME scopes.

    If youre dead set on something new and weight is concerning you try the 3.5-15x50mm or the 5.5-22x50mm. Believe it or not that 6mm makes a big differance on bulk and weight.
     
  4. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

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    i don't really have access to nightforces, so not sure about turret size, do they stick up that much higher than the leupold mk4's turrets? didn't even think about that..

    good stuff, forsure want variable power!

    I am going with the 50mm bell, thanks for that heads up..

    do you guys think that the high quality aluminum rings would hold the nightforce where it's supposed to be with the 300rum?
    I could save some weight there, and go with the nightforce over the leupold..

    overall it sounds like you guys love the nightforce..
     
  5. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Michele on the 50mm versus the 56mm Nightforce. I will soon have another NF on order (as soon as Kirby gets my new rifle ready) I will be going with the 5.5-22X50mm this time rather than the 56mm.

    I think the turrets are going to be about the same for both the MK4 and the NF.

    Using the NF lightweight rings will cut some of that weight gain from the NF scope. The only negative to them is cost. They are the lightest rings I know of that I would reccomend to hold up a heavy scope with magnum recoil.
     
  6. bailey1474

    bailey1474 <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    I haven't use a NF but too many people have too many good things to say about them for them not to be as advertised. There is nothing wrong w/the Mark 4 though. I've got one and love it. If it's money your worried about, go w/the VX-III. Same quality as the Mark 4 but much cheaper. Probably not as tough, but do plan on abusing it?
     
  7. wildcat

    wildcat Well-Known Member

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    I own three Nightforce NXS scopes. One 5.5x22x56 and two 12x42x56. I also own two Leupolds a MK4 4.5x14x50 and the V1 4.5x14x40. BY FAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Nightforce NXS scopes are much better. Buy the Nightforce 5.5x22x56 NXS, and I bet you will never want another Leupold again. Nightforce optics are much clearer, and blow Leupolds away. Thanks, Wildcat
     
  8. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Scope clarity is in the eye of the beholder. Both scopes are good at clarity to my eye, but the nightforce is not 500 dollars better to me.

    One thing for sure is that there are hunting scopes and there are Benchrest scopes and they are not the same. The NF's currently don't have a long range hunting scope in their line-up. NF are heavy, bulky, and awkward. If you like abuse on the mountain, pack one of those 5.5-22x56 around for a day. You'll be cussing it all the way. Get a Leupold vxIII 6.5-20x40 long range and you'll have energy to go further up the hill. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  9. Desert Fox

    Desert Fox Well-Known Member

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    I owned a Tactical Vari-XIII 4.5X14X50 with mildot mounted on my 300 Win Mag and it served me will without a hitched. So when I build my 308, the choice was academic. Leupold it was. Here's the Mark 4 16X Longrange Mil-dot.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. bailey1474

    bailey1474 <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    GG,

    I knew you'd chime in on this one /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif.
     
  11. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    I put one of the MK4, 4.5-14x50 LR/T on my 300 RUM. I also looked through a NF, but they are about 400 bux more, plus I could not really tell the difference in clarity. They are both super clear scopes. They are both built really solid as well. Like others have stated, the NF seems to weight a ton more. Not literally, but you can really tell the difference. Like GG said, I dont think the extra price tag justifies the NF for a hunting rifle anyways. JMO.
     
  12. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the replys guys, so it sounds like the aluminum will hold up to the 300 RUM, not terribly worried about the price diff.

    the weight thing is an issue, I would really like a nightforce, and if they weighed the same this would be a no brainer. I guess it comes down to weight, I'll see what I can figure out, I think the differance is 9oz, don't know if I could tell the diff or not...but this thing will be packed around alot. sounds like I just need to build a hunting rifle and a heavy shooter.


    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    anyone out there packing nightforces up and down high elevation elk country? I was hunting 10-12,000ft this fall, and stuff gets heavy fast when you are climbing from camp at 9,900 to the top at 12,300! but not sure if I will do that very often??
     
  13. fourinone

    fourinone Well-Known Member

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    Hi; Badger makes aluminum mounts too...not sure about the weight?? If you buy the 50mm objective you may get by with their lowest mount, I think .823" Anyway it sounds like you want to have a Nightforce in your collection. You can always buy one and just use one of your other lighter scopes for that extra hard climbing hunt. These good scopes can be dialed in from one gun to another, just take good written notes so you can return to zero when switching back.
     
  14. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Lovedasnow,
    Sounds like the consensus is, both are great scopes you can't go wrong either way.

    As far as packing a NF in steep country......Yes, I pack mine for elk and mule deer. Total rifle weight is 18+lbs. In really rough or extended hunts I go with a different rifle that weights in at 12+lbs. I use a Kifaru "gun bearer system" that takes the weight off my shoulder and puts it on my hips.

    Talking about how heavy of a gun is too heavy is about like starting a thread on shooting SMKs for game /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif Everyone has thier own opinion and most are pretty adamant about it!

    As for me, ALL of my other gear on a hunt is selected with weight in mind. I would rather trim 4,5,6 or more pounds out of my gear and carry my heavy rifle.

    I don't think a lot of guys consider how much that extra jacket weighs or that flashlight, etc. I don't go into the mountains unprepared, but I chose my gear carefully. In some cases we spend a lot of money on hunts, rifles and optics but skimp in other areas. Lightweight gear is generally more expensive, but you will not think about the extra $$ at 12,000 feet!

    Lightweight layering clothes from Patagonia and others are very warm and weigh next to nothing. Cabelas XPG rain gear is almost weightless, not very tough, but good as a backup, etc. The difference between one (empty) pack and another can be 3 or 4 lbs. Some guys don't think twice about loading up a 64 or 96 oz hydration pack or two quart Nalgene bottles with water. You are talking 4 to 7 lbs there. If there is water in the area I carry only a quart at most and my MIOX water purifier which only weighs about 4 oz.

    I could go on with weight savings through careful gear selection, but I think your question was about scopes! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    Just think of your rifle (and scope) as part of your gear.........then work on your gear to get the TOTAL weight to something you are comfortable packing around.