Opinions on hunting weight of NF NXS Scopes

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by captainjoe, May 27, 2011.

  1. captainjoe

    captainjoe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50 F1 ticks all of my boxes. The only thing I am concerned about is the weight. In general I prefer a heavier rifle for carrying in the bush. I like the way it tames the recoil and in general it just feels more stable to me.

    That being said, are there any hunters that use the Nightforce scopes in a similar way to what I describe and do you mind the weight? Does the weight make your rifle 'top heavy' or do you find that it at least for you doesn't matter? Being that a NF scope isn't exactly cheap, it would be helpful to hear from views on both sides of the coin when it comes to hunting weights.

    The Vortex Viper PST FFP in a similar power range is lighter, but I have heard mixed reviews of the glass. I suppose that I don't need optics made strong enough to run a Sherman tank over, so if I had a bit less weight that would be fine.

    Thoughts? Opinions?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  2. midgetorama32

    midgetorama32 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    I'm having the exact same debate. My gun is not being built for light weight but I am hoping to keep it under 10# with scope. Adding an NXS adds 2# and will put me over the 10# mark but I want something tough and repeatable and the NXS certainly has that reputation.

    I just don't know what other scope is equal to an NXS but without the weight.

    Interested in hearing from others on this as well.
     

  3. captainjoe

    captainjoe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    The only other scope that I know of is the Premier 3-15x50 Lightweight Tactical. I know very little about the company or the product.

    On the other end of the price spectrum, I have looked at the Weaver Tactical - Weaver Tactical Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 3-15x 50mm 1/10 Mil Adjustments Side Focus First Focal Illuminated Enhanced Mil-Dot Reticle Matte - MidwayUSA My concern is durability. I don't expect my scope to be perfect after falling 1,000 ft off of a cliff, but I do want it to hold zero and track well despite the beating my magnum will give it. What good is a scope that doesn't hold zero or track well? I know the NF is famous for this ability.

    I have Googled around on this topic. It is clear that there are hunters using the NF F1 similarly to what I do and don't mind the weight. I am considering going ahead and giving it a go. If it's too heavy, I'll sell it on or maybe put it on another rifle, though that means i need to find some more coin to buy another scope... which is what I am trying to avoid! :)
     
  4. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,665
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    I use both the NF NSX 5-22x with a 56 mm objective and have switched to a 50 mm for weight. However, if you are really concerned with weight, Leupold makes a great Mark 4 6.5-20x Tac scope that is much lighter. I have several of these, and they work very well, but they don't have the zero stop, which I really like. If they had the zero stop, I might use these only.

    The NF is built like a tank, but weight is a factor. I don't mind it for now and I walk a bunch while hunting. My rifles with this scope weigh in a little over 12 lbs with the NF. You can sure feel the difference with the rifles of equal weight that have the Leupolds on them.

    Just my two cents.
     
  5. captainjoe

    captainjoe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Captain,

    Many thanks for the advice. 12 pounds is about my limit, so this fits in my criteria. Additionally, I tend to carry a small day pack of hunting gear/survival stuff and a heavy revolver as well. So I'm not too weight sensitive. (probably not smart, but it doesn't bother me for some reason)

    I have read a few claims that the NF makes the gun feel a bit 'top heavy'. As you don't mention it in your comments, I assume that you haven't seen it as a factor, but I thought I would ask just in case.

    Many thanks again.
     
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    The main consideration for me was the toughness of the NF. I fully expect my rifles to be unaffected by roughs and bumps.

    Way back when hunting chucks I fell. The rifle across my back prevented falling into a major crevice in the lava. Gouged the barrel, both ends of the stock and the end bell on the Leuy VX-II. Worried the squat out of me. Next shot opportunity was a 150 yd chuck. Bang-flop! Zero never changed.

    I expect the same from the NF.
     
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    I am running the 6-20x50 mark4, specifically because of weight saving 22 oz. So far very happy with mil,ffp,tmr scope. It has been on a 7 lb 338 norma for 160 rnds. I made it a zero stop, do a search on this site and there is a picture, took about 30 minutes and a allen scew I had kicking around.
     
  8. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    I believe this is dependant on the weight of the rifle. A NF NXS on a 6-7# Remmy 700 BDL sporter.......yes, top heavy and way overboard IMO. Also, an AR-15 type rifle, they seem top heavy to begin with. But a NF NXS on a 9 or 10 lb bolt action varmint rifle........doesn't seem top heavy at all.

    With a 12 lb total weight (rifle and scope), the extra weight is more managable to carry if you get a wide elastic type sling, such as the Butler Creek Comfort Stretch or similar. It will spread the weight over more area, and each time you take a step, it will "stretch" a little and relieve the pull on your shoulder.

    From a supported field position, the extra weight is actually good to have and makes the rifle easier to hold steady IMO. From an unsupported, quick field position I personally prefer a lighter scope/rifle. The buck in my signature would've never been tagged if I were shooting a heavy, hard and slow to manuver rifle that day.

    In contrast, many 500+ yd coyotes would've gotten away without the extra weight and stability of the VSSF and a Nightforce scope........Not saying it couldn't have been done with a Leupold or lighter scope, but what I like about the NF's is the choice in reticles. Coyotes don't give us much time usually, and I'd rather use the time they do give me to get the bipod legs out, read the wind and get a steady position; I use the reticle to hold over (600 or less). That way I can watch the coyote while I am getting ready. If I try and take the time to look down at a chart and then dial the knobs too, the coyote is out of sight and probably moving for too long. Leupold doesn't have the reticles that NF does.

    Sorry to be so windy, but IMO it really depends on the type of shooting you're going to do, and the weight of your rifle. If you expect quick shots, possibly moving or running shots, or if you expect to have to move your shooting position frequently, then maybe NF is too heavy. If you expect to set up with a stable rest on a bipod or other support and have time to do so, the heavy rifles are great.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  9. captainjoe

    captainjoe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Sbruce - thanks for your thoughts. Very helpful. I was looking at the new Weaver Tactical 3-15x50 mil/mil FFP, arguably a lot of glass for the money. Weaver Tactical Rifle Scope 30mm Tube 3-15x 50mm 1/10 Mil Adjustments Side Focus First Focal Illuminated Enhanced Mil-Dot Reticle Matte - MidwayUSA Looking at the weight though, it is only one ounce less than the Nightforce. Weight does add up quickly if you aren't careful!

    My max weight is 12 pounds, preferrably near 10. I guess I am trying to straddle the sporter lightweights and the heavier varmits rifles.
     
  10. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,665
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    I also agree with the assessment made by SBruce.