Nightforce 5.5-22 or 12-42 NXS??


Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2002
I am trying to decide between these two scopes. I want it for shooting out to 1000 Meters. The 5.5-22 has more adjustment range, but I don't see why a tapered base couldn't be used with the 12-42. I think being able to crank it up may allow me to shoot through mirage, etc. I know the 5.5-22 was in favour with the 1000 yard guys, but with the advent of the 12-42 NXS, it seems I'm seeing more of these higher power versions in the winners circle lately. Am I wrong? Either way, I'm sure I'll be very satisfied.
if you go with the tapered base you will not be able to shoot at 100 might have to start at 500 or so .on the other hand you can shoot at 1500 plus maybe save all of your moa for the up adjustment,thanks,keith

I wasn't aware that Nightforce had internal taper in any of their scopes. If they are standard type erectors and center in the middle of the adjustment range a 20 MOA base should work fine.

I use a 3.5x15x50mm NXS on a Badger Ordnance 20 moa base with my 6.5x284win. My 100yard zero is +42.25mao from the bottom stop.(I'd have lost 62 MOA without the tapered base!!) That leaves me with about 50 moa up. I get to 1K with 24.5 moa. The additional 25moa could get me way out there, much farther than I'd ever be able to shoot anyway.

Have they started putting internal taper in their lineup or am I missing something?


We had a guy shoot a 199 score at 1K with 10X scope and three guys shoot 200's with 15X or less Sunday afternoon, in moderate mirage. I find that the worst the mirage is, the less you want an extremely high power scope. My NXS on 15X allows me to clearly see the 2" X in the center of the bull at 1000 yards. For F class, this works well. I can't comment on how the lower magnification would work for BR or LRH.


[ 08-28-2002: Message edited by: FatBoy... ]
Keith. I usually bottom out my scope and mount it so that I can shoot it at 100 yards and yet still have all of my up adjustment left. I can't why a tapered base should cause problems here, as there must be enough down elevation to get there on a scope of this type. I appreciate your heads up though.

Fatboy. F-Class is exactly what I had in mind, although I'd like to see some 1000 yard BR matches start up here. I find prone shooting a pain in the neck. A couple of bad neck/back injuries saw to that. I also know of a couple people who swear buy a 10X tactical and shoot very well. That being said, the Canadian champion last year used a Leupold M4 in 16X I believe. That scope has a lot of adjustment! I have heard of some people using a technique that involves zooming in on the target and framing it with the mildot reticle. I don't know how much it would help, but it sounds like something else to put in your bag of tricks. If the nightforce scopes are as consistent as people say, this shouldn't be a problem.

Anyway, thanks for your comments.


I use a standard Nightforce 12-42X56mm with a 20MOA base. It is @ 9" high @ 100 yards & I won't get POA/POI until @ 550 yards. That's fine for getting out to 2,000, but I have to hold UNDER anything less than 550.
The tapered base raises the rear objective considerably, so depending on your physique & the scope objective size, you might have to have/add a raised cheek rest.

Unless you're wanting to go out well past 1,000 meters, you probably do NOT need the tapered base IMHO.
I just traded DC a 12-42x BR Model NF because with a 20 MOA base I was zeroed at 100 with about 5MOA left in down adjustment. That only left me 35 MOA to play with and I ran out of adjustment at about 1300 yds with my 6.5-284. I am using a M721 action with 20 MOA NF bases and NF Rings. Funny how it works out differently on different guns....I'm going to the same Base/Ring setup with a 8.5-25 LR Leupold.

Imagine running in to you here! I have a 8-32 NXS I would probably part with, it has a MIL dot reticle in it. We should have a 5.5-22 in the shop any day now for a customer that you could look at as well. They are first class scopes, clicks are awesome. I won the Provincial F class with it this year, last year I won it with my MK IV 16X and the year before won it with my BR-24D. All good winning scopes. I'm going a different direction with my optics and would give you a pretty good price.


That's surprising. I figured you'd get out alot farther than that with a 6.5-284. I guess it's in the base & rings (to a lesser degree). Anyone have a theory @ how one 20MOA base can let a fella get zeroed at 100 with 5MOA to spare, & the next one won't get BELOW 550????????????

I'm using a 20MOA base from Champion's Choice (can't remember the manf.) & Badger Ordnance rings on a Remington long action. Caliber is 7mmRUM. Scope is the same - NF 12-42x56mm with NP1-RR reticle.
i have there old style benchrest scope 8x32x56 and with a 1/2 min tapered base the lowest i could zero for was 225 yards at 15 inches the chart it came in about 500 yards or so.i put a zero degree base on it with a nrp-2 zero it for 100 at the top crosshair and i can count the min.and shoot past 1000 yards with out touching the turrets,thanks,keith

Is that what your usin' to go deep? The 7 RUM?

I almost have my rounds loaded up and ready to go. The scope is mounted and bore sighted.

I also have a 20 MOA tapered base...but I believe the scope has an unreal amount of verticle adjustment - 40 mm tube.

We'll see...hopefully next week, when I'm done with all these dang papers.

[ 09-05-2002: Message edited by: Magnumdude ]

Yep, the RUM is the one. Recoil isn't bad, but is noticeable with a sling only for support & no brake.....

Hmmmmmm, 40mm tube, eh??? Tricky. I'll drop you a note Monday & try to hook up with what I have left from the IL LR championships this weekend. I should have a few oddball rounds left.

Saturday & Sunday at New Windsor, near Rock Island. It's the only 1,000 yard range in Illinois, & it's in a cow pasture... literally! Nice place though, with even nicer folks.

Saturday is iron sights, Sunday is any sights. I'm heading out in the AM (after a funeral in M'boro)
& will be gone 'til Monday.

On a positive note, I did find a place today that has @ 20,000 acres (yep, twenty THOUSAND) to coyote hunt on.... Interested??????????
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