Nightforce ATACR Scope Review

This is probably a good time to talk about illuminated reticles. Hmmm, well, to be quite blunt, I have no use for them. The cool factor is definitely there but even with the intensity adjusted down they brought nothing to this shot. The illumination only helps to reduce the resolution of the target picture. I have heard it said for FFP scopes where the reticle becomes hard to see in dark areas, on lower magnification settings, "Turn on the reticle." Well, all it did here was make things harder to distinguish. I can imagine the tiny reticles that are hard to see becoming a red blur when illuminated. There may be a use for this option in total darkness, but for shots in dim light I see no advantage. It actually hinders the situation.

The MOAR reticle. This is a very appealing reticle that will make many moa shooters very happy. You may have heard me complain before about thicker reticles and have stayed away from this one due to its thickness of .140". Now .140" is twice as thick as the very popular NP-R1, but still thinner than many on the market. The things the MOAR brings to the table I feel outweighs anything lost in thickness, for most shooters. Now, me being an ELR shooter, I will still put my plug in for the MOAR reticle with the floating cross reduced to .062". To me this would be the "cat’s meow" of moa reticles. Thicker lines to direct you to the middle and a very precise aim point that covers little target at those ELR distances.

Next up is the fun stuff!! We are going to stretch her legs! For this I called in another LRH member and seasoned ELR shooter. "MontanaMarine" lives not far away and we often shoot together. So off to one of our regular shooting spots where we can actually see farther than we can shoot. First victim was a 4 moa rock at 1721 yards. 12 degrees up. Dial up was 52.5 moa. Wind was light at 2 to 3 mph 3 oclock. Spin drift and coriolis was included in the dope. First shot landed upper left corner. I made the correction and sent round 2. It landed in the lower right corner of the rock. Came back 1/2 of the correction and landed one a little left of center.

I feel the reason my corrections were overestimated was due to the bullet coming in at a pretty steep angle combined with the angle of the face of the rock. The good news is the Nightforce ATACR made corrections that were consistent and dialed right in. Next up it was Shane's turn. He sent his first one to the rock at 1721 and the windage was perfect but it landed 1 moa high of center. He felt the rear bag gave way to recoil, so he firmed up the bag and sent number 2. This one landed perfect for elevation and 1/2 moa left of center mass. We had just put all 5 hits on a 4 moa rock at close to a mile and once dialed in they were grouping under 1 moa. with two of the 5 under 1/2 moa from point of aim, and this rock was officially dead.

MontanaMarine at the wheel.

Then we moved to the next hill over right. Shane found a rock hiding just to the right of a burned tree. This guy was at 2077 yards and much smaller 1/2 moa x 3/4 moa. So 10" x 15". Once dialed up to 72.75 moa I sent one and it landed about 1/2 moa left and another that landed just off the upper right corner. Then the wind picked up a bit and my next 2 were a good moa off the rock. So we called it good and were pretty happy with the consistency at 2077 yards.

Two good friends burning some ELR powder.

In summary, I can't find much to complain about with the Nightforce ATACR scope. I can wish for that thinner floating reticle, but will be fine with the MOAR until refined, if Nightforce decides to do so. The MOAR is a great reticle for many purposes. My new LRKM in 338 Terminator will be wearing a new ATACR and I am glad to have this option. The new NightForce ATACR is for sure a top choice for any ELR shooter and will complement the 1000 yard hunting rifle very well.

To the crew at Nightforce: Good job, and thank you!

Jeff Brozovich is a long time big game hunter who has become proficient at long range hunting, shooting and training. He also has a passion for ELR and is often stretching the distances well over 2000 yards. If Jeff is not out shooting you will often find him in his reloading room setting up a long range rifle, fine tuning a precision load or testing bullets. Jeff enjoys hunting with family and friends as well as riding horses in the beautiful mountains of Montana.