NF NX8 or Mark 5HD

General RE LEE

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2020
Middle Tennessee
I've already got 2 Leupold Mark 5 3.6-18x44 scopes for a 7mm STW and 6.5 Creedmoor. I am going to add a Mark 5 HD to my Tikka 308 but I'm considering doing a NF NX8 2.5-20x50mm SFP.

Anyone shot both scopes and have a preference? I've heard many say the Leupold Mark 5HD has better low light glass. Would I really gain anything with the NF outside of SFP? I found the FFP MOA reticle in the Mark 5HD at 5x plenty for hunting and I got the illuminated version.
I tested the Mark 5 for the entire 30 minute period from sunset till dark. Excellent bright glass and the PR1 illuminated reticle is a perfect duplex reticle at low power.
Personally id suggest the nx8 4-32x50 over a 2.5-20 as the top 20% of magnification gets pretty dim unless you're in good shooting light which isn't the norm for prime hunting. The 4-32 is great up to 26x. I do feel the eyebox and parallax as less sensitive on the mk5hd and I like the locking elevation turrets. If willing, try the 5-25 mk5hd, it's only 2oz heavier than the nx8 and has better glass usually than the 3.6-18x44. It's physically larger but minor weight penalty. I'd run more of these mk5hd if leupold had a pr1-mil reticle as I really like the moa version but I'm a mil shooter.
Having owned both, My personal preference Is the Nightforce 2.5-20 NX8 in 2nd focal plane. Both have good glass, & build quality.
I like the turrets, & reticle better on the NF.
I also opt for 30mm tube, 50mm obj. & 2nd
Focal plane.

i am a fan of the nightforce as I like the glass and how rugged they are. I own several models all the way up to the atacr 7-35. That's why I lean that way. That being said I believe the March is 4-6ounces lighter and it's on a lightweight build. Plus has more top mag. I've never owned a march but that 1/4lbs weight may be worth it.
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