Nightforce or Mark 4? PLEASE help me decide!

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by SouthTXBowhunter, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. SouthTXBowhunter

    SouthTXBowhunter Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys!

    I THOUGHT I had made my decision and was settled on a Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50 with NP-R2 reticle and Zero-Stop. But today I ran into a Leupold rep while I was shopping at Cabelas and he got me thinking about the Mark 4s again- specifically, the Mark 4 4.5-14x50 M1 with illuminated TMR reticle!

    I love the Nightforce scope (expecially the Zero-Stop feature) but the Leupold is about $450 cheaper- I found it on "www.rifle-scope-store.com for under $1200. That's a whole lot of 'scratch' to save and I could put the money into some reloading gear. I'm just not sure if the Zero-Stop feature and the improved glass is truly worth the money. Do y'all think that there's a significant, noticeable and practical difference between the two scopes- in terms of extreme low-light capability, ability to have the illuminated reticle barely lit, target clarity out to 800 yards and in terms of one reticle being better than the other for LR shooting? What percentage of improvement do you think the Nightforce would have over the Leupold Mark 4- 10%? 20%? 30%?

    I don't mind spending the extra money for the Nightforce IF I'm going to see a marked improvement in low-light capability and if the Nightforce will make it easier to be accurate out to around 800 yards; BUT, I don't want to spend the extra money just because Nightforce is 'the latest-greatest' winner of the popularity contest. That's a BIG price difference!

    One of the things I REALLY like about the Mark 4 is its compact size and light weight! It's a full 2 inches shorter than the Nightforce and a HALF-POUND lighter! Whether it's a mountain elk hunt or a south Texas hog hunt in brush country- riding a long gun or a SPR AR15- shorter and lighter is awfully nice.

    I will be using the scope I buy for BOTH LR hunting and traditional distance hunting; but it's unlikely that I will be doing any extreme long range shooting in the forseeable future. None of my hunting opportunities offer me shot opportunities over 800 yards and most of them are 600 or less. I will, however, be using the scope extensively for extreme low-light shooting- including hog hunting by moonlight, without the use of any spotlights. So, light transmission is a big issue for me in picking a scope. Since I just can't afford 2 scopes right now, and it's going to be a WHILE before buying a second scope is an option, I'm looking to y'all for some practical advice on which scope to buy.

    I'd sure like to hear y'all's suggestions on which scope would be the better option, for the money, for me and my purposes!

    Thanks so much!

    Nick
     
  2. Scottish Mag

    Scottish Mag Well-Known Member

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    Nick,

    I am a huge fan of the Mark 4. I believe it is a fine piece of glass for the application you speak of. I have 2, and both are fantastic. I regular shoot out to 600-800 yards with my Mark 4 8.5-20 50mm. The adjustments are crisp, and I have had no issues with the reticles or being on adjustment.

    I use one on a 7MM Sendero, and the other on a 300 WM.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I am the wrong guy to ask. I love them both and use them both.

    $$ and weight no object, I will go with the NXS every time. $$ and weight an object, I go for the Mk4.

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. JPRITT

    JPRITT Well-Known Member

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    I love my 4.5-14 X 50 LR. I had the TMR reticle and tall turret put on. I may consider a NXS but they are a big peice of equipment and carry a big price. One thing to consider that I believe NF has over Leupold is the TMR is a MIL reticle with MOA turrets. the NF has a MOA reticle and MOA turrets. less math for simple folk like me is a good thing.
     
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Bowhunter, lets get back to apples and apples. The NSX 3.5x15x50 goes about $1425 w/o the zero stop. the Mark 4 is $450 than the zero stop scope, not the w/o zero stop. The Mark 4 is a good scope. I think the NSX is better and that's not meant to knock the Leupy. there is no doubt in my mind that the NF is tougher and I also believe it has a better, simpler retcle. The question is, is it worth the diff in $$$ to you?
     
  6. long range dogr

    long range dogr Well-Known Member

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    I know that i am new to this forum but i am not new to long range shooting.

    I have used both of these scopes and they are both high quality!

    If money is an issue then go with the lupy..If not then go with the nxs.

    I personally give the edge to the nightforce.But thats just my personal prefferance.
     
  7. Down Under Hunter

    Down Under Hunter Well-Known Member

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    THat is a excellent point.

    There would be no way I would buy a scope with a mill reticle and yet 1/4 moa click values ? Is that right ? I'm sure the TMR reticle is mil radium ?

    Both good scopes. Have used both but just like the big NF better.

    By the way why wouldn't you be buying the 56 mm front for better light transmission ? It is the undisputed king in that dept .

    Cheers

    DUH
     
  8. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Given your predisposiition to wander around in the dark shooting at pigs, I would agree with DUH


     
  9. SouthTXBowhunter

    SouthTXBowhunter Well-Known Member

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    I miss-typed when I listed the Nightforce scope- if I go with the Nightforce I'm going to get the 3.5-15x56 NXS with Zero-Stop.
     
  10. kocoa88

    kocoa88 Active Member

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    Here is a simple test for you to determine which scope is superior to the other. Look into the objective end of the scope. If you can see your reflection the scope is not transmitting light but rather reflecting it. Regardless of the size of the objective end.

    The quality of the glass and the coating on that glass (not only the objective lens but the internal lenses as well) determine the light transmitting capability of the scope.
     
  11. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    That is why I use an NXS with MLR (mil- reticle) and Mil turrets. 1 click = 0.1 Mil. Talk about simple!
     
  12. TheReeper

    TheReeper Well-Known Member

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    Buy the Nightforce NXS. The Nightforce NXS is a much better scope and worth every penny.
     
  13. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    Soth texbowhunter asked a question i have been wondering also. Great thread. To go further if i may, and not to sound stupid i have never heard of night force until i joined this site. I have been considering the nf can afford it but dont care to spend the money if it is not for me. Just looking and listening it sounds pretty complicated, is this true. Do you need the zero turn to be able to return to your original sight in? I still dont uderstand all the moa!. Then with the leupolds will they return to original point? Im in Md and hunt mainly pa. dont have many 800 plus places to shoot and at the time not capable of doing so. I would love to learn though. I was looking at next scope purchase for my new current build to be something for longer range especially because i plan to go west soon and want to have the equiptment. So if your going to throw the money in would you go with the high power such as the 5-22 and the 6-20. I currently have a 4.5 -14 leupold on my one whby. Any suggestions/
    Mike
     
  14. 7mmrowland

    7mmrowland Well-Known Member

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    The eye relief wins hands down in the NF it seems to stay constistant on power adjustment, the loupold while a fantastic scope its eye relief seams to change more drastic with power. Probly important on a larger recoiling rifle. I own a 3.5-15 X 50 NSX would'nt trade it for anything for short to medium range hunting say to 800 yds then I'd step to a 5.5-22. Just my 2 cents.