Nightforce Velocity 1000 Reticle Review

By Scott Shreve

When I saw a chance to T&E the Nightforce Velocity 1000 reticle, I threw my name into the hat right away. I have ran the Nightforce 2.5-10x32 Compact scope with the 600 High Velocity reticle for years now on a lightweight 6x47 Lapua coyote rifle and relished the chance to try out the Velocity 1000 model. I already had the perfect platform in mind to test it on and was very excited when my name was drawn to test it out.

My first step was to get on the Nightforce website, and go the Velocity calculator tab, and enter all the data about my ammunition and atmospheric conditions. This easy online calculator guides you through the steps to select the right Velocity reticle to match your caliber, conditions and load. The calculator said that the 1000 UHV.5 was the best match for my rifle. With all the inputs entered and a 200 yard zero, my biggest deviation was at 1000 yards and was only a .12 difference from the reticle, which equals a mere 1.2” off at 1000 yards. This made me extremely excited to get it in the field! I choose a Nightforce NXS model in 3.5-15x50, feeling this would be well suited for a hunting platform rifle.

Upon receiving the scope from Nightforce, I got it unpacked and mounted up on my GA Precision 6mm Crusader that shoots the Hornady 105 Amax at 3300 fps here in Wyoming. I mounted the Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50 scope to the 20 MOA rail on my rifle with the 30mm NF Ultralite medium height ring set.

The rifle is a GA Precision chambered in 6mm Crusader, it has a Modified Tubb contour 26” Bartlein gain twist barrel, tuned old style Remington trigger, Templar action, Manners GAT stock, and M5 bottom metal. It is my go to coyote hunting rifle.

A quick trip to the local range to get it zeroed in at 200 yards proved very easy. I first focused it to my eye, then locked the ring in place and started to sight the scope in. The knobs have precise movements and the power selector is easy to turn, with nice serrations on it for ease of grip or movement. The power selector ring has nice white markings to show what power you are on, and it rotates the eye piece for adjusting through the power range.

The windage and elevation knobs are a decent height, exposed knob, with white numbered markings and serrations that are also on the power selector. The clicks have a great feel to them and can be felt even with winter gloves on. The high speed elevation knob allows for 20 MOA per revolution, ¼ moa per click: a great feature in my mind. Both windage and elevation knobs have a set screw that allows you to set them back to zero after your initial sight in.

The focus, or parallax knob, on the left is the same shape as the others and is clearly marked with lines on it. A tack-sharp image at all distances was easily obtained, just as one would expect from a top quality optic with a good, wide focus range. The parallax knob also controls the illumination feature of the scope by pulling it out from the body of the scope. All Nightforce NXS models have this same, easy-to-use feature.

I also choose the zero stop option on this scope when ordered, which returns the knob to your original zero or initial reference. It makes it very fast if dialing for elevation. I will explain more why I added this feature to the T&E scope later on.

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Nightforce Velocity 100- Reticle Review

Now, on to the main purpose of this article, discussion of the 1000 Nightforce Velocity reticle. The reticle is calibrated in MOA which allows precise shot placement to 1000 yards when matched with your ammunition and conditions. The windage is a hash style off the main yardage distances with hold-offs for 5, 10 and 15 mph winds. The reticle, as Nightforce puts it, “Eliminates establishing holdover or counting elevation adjustments. Matched to the specific ballistic profile of your chosen rifle and load. Vastly superior to “one size fits all” drop compensating reticles. The Nightforce Velocity 1000 reticle is tailored to the ballistic profile (muzzle velocity, bullet weight, ballistic coefficient, etc.) of your rifle and your load.”

If your loads change, or you want to use your scope on a different rifle, the Nightforce Velocity 1000 reticle will function as a “standard” reticle by using the main reticle intersection for your chosen zero point. A complete pdf document with all reticle specs can be seen here.

The reticle and knobs are both in MOA, so they are using the same units for adjustments. I apologize for the through-the-scope pictures, but I tried my best to get an accurate photo of the reticle. Rest assured, the scope is far clearer than the images show.

With the scope all mounted on the rifle, I began my testing on the 1000 Velocity reticle. After zeroing it in, I first shot a standard box test to check for tracking, accuracy of movement, reliability and repeatability. It passed with ease! My last shot landing right on my zero/starting point. Now, it was time to stretch it out and see how it did at distance with my main focus on running just the reticle and not dialing at all for elevation or wind.

I have a good friend that owns 400 acres just 12 miles from town and shoots steel out to 1000 yards on his land. He leaves the targets set up year around and gets to shoot right from his backyard. I made a quick call that evening to make arrangements to shoot the coming weekend to do further testing.

Nightforce Velocity 1000 Reticle Review

Saturday came and I had loaded up all my gear the night before anticipating a good morning of shooting. I drove out north of town, met my friend, and we got all set up to stretch out the Nightforce Velocity 1000 reticle. His range is set up perfectly, with steel at all 100 yard increments, the furthest being 1000 yards. I verified everything with my Vector IV rangefinder, checked the wind and got ready to shoot. We had a slight 5 to 7 mph out of the 9 o’clock and that fell right into what I had hoped for.

We started shooting from in close (100 yards) to out far (1000 yards), as much as I wanted to go right to the 1000 yard steel and see if I could get a first round hit with the new scope. With my 200 zero, I used the first hash mark above center and fired, first round hit at 100 yards. The good part of testing had officially started. I made sure the scope was on 15x power, as the reticle is made to run on the highest power, and lined up on the 200 yard steel. Direct hit! This went on all the way to 1000 yards and I am very pleased to say all shots were first round hits even with the wind changing a little on the further steel targets by the hill. I think the hold offs for the wind are very close for the load I was using and am excited to see what they do in stiffer conditions.

My friend trying out the Nightforce scope on the steel at 500 yards.

Steel at 987 yards from my shooting position.

Now I’ll touch on something I mentioned earlier in the article, the zero stop feature. Like must hunters, myself included, I like to travel and see other places. This leads me to a very important topic often talked about by shooters in the know. The big gripe with ballistic type reticles is everyone thinks they are for one rifle, one set of conditions, similar parameters and can’t be used without changing things up. In comes the zero stop. I set the zero stop feature so I had one MOA adjustment below my actual zero. This allows me to do a slight down correction if I travel to higher elevations and I can always dial up a quarter or half MOA from my zero if needed if I go to places that have lower elevation.
For example, I live in Wyoming at about 4650’ ASL. I like to go to Montana to shoot and hunt with a friend in Glasgow, which is 2600’ ASL. When we shot out to an 830 yard steel, I only needed .25 MOA up correction to put me dead on, which equals about 2 inches at that distance. (.25 X 8 = 2”) That shows what a small amount the reticle was off when I changed over 2000’ in elevation. Most shooters, myself included, and especially in a hunting type of situation, can’t hold .25 MOA.

Another drill I did back in Wyoming with the Nightforce 1000 Velocity reticle was to set up 6 random steel targets at various unknown distances from our shooting position. I then had a shooting buddy get his rifle out as well with the Nightforce R1 reticle in it and we decided to have a shoot off or contest. We had to range all 6 targets, engage them from left to right, and closest to farthest. First round hit scored 10 points and second round hits were 5 points. We also tried to time each other as accurate as possible. I ran the course in 41 sec, all first round hits for a score of 60. My buddy ran the course in 78 sec. or 1 min 18 sec. with a score of 50, having two second round hits. He attributed the misses to having to come off the rifle, dial for each shot and trying to hurry his shots when getting back on the targets, knowing he was up against the clock. He then ran the course again just trying to use the reticle but couldn’t get below 57 seconds with having to read his drop chart for every shot, and missed one target completely for not having good dope at uneven increments. (His chart was set for every 50 yards) This test or drill really showed what I had hoped for, that the Nightforce Velocity 1000 reticle did exactly what it was designed for.

Since getting this scope to T&E, I have now shot at steel in the field and out in actual hunting situations at various elevations and conditions. I am extremely pleased with the Nightforce Velocity 1000 reticle and its performance on known and unknown distance targets and animals. I think Nightforce knocked it outta the park with this reticle! I would not hesitate to and in fact would highly recommend it as a great reticle/scope combination to purchase.

Scott Shreve is a life-long hunter and avid predator caller. He is a Team FOXPRO member and enjoys taking his son, family and friends out calling predators. Scott lives in Buffalo, Wyoming and spends his free time hunting, shooting long range and reloading.