Nightforce power range at DUSK??


Well-Known Member
Sep 25, 2002
I typically see many more shots available at dusk then any other time. I have a 4-16Burris which will do great on 6x+/-, up to say 12x at this time of day. I now have a Nightforce 8-32x NXS scope, and would like to know what MAXIMUM power you guys have been able to get them dialed up to, before they went dark on you? I will probably be using them both on several heavy rigs, which will most likely always be planted on the bench, when I shoot crop damage permits, so I will be stable, and stationary. That being said, if I am looking at one corner at about 330yds, what kind of power can I expect to use with a good clear sight picture just before dark?

let's say at 100yds, 200yds, 300yds, 500yds.

Thanks for any input.
Can't answer your question directly, but I think I can offer some input with a similar situation.....

Last year we had a "night match" at the NC 1,000yd Benchrest Club that lasted up until midnight. We had dim lights at the benches so you could see what you were doing to get setup then the rheostat(sp?) was turned way down when firing began. Then the only lights you can see were out on the targets. With this setup at 1000yds I used a NightForce 12-42X on my HG and a Weaver "T" model 24X power and looked through most other brands of scope up/down the line to "see" how well you could see the clay pigeons we were shooting at. The NightForce scopes were the hands down winner for seeing. I'll admit my Weaver scope on my LG did really good also and I easily spotted my own impacts with 6.5 caliber bullets. But that big 56mm lens gathered more light and you could see better with the NF scope better than the others. Don't get me wrong the other shooters could see and fired during the match. It was simply a matter of how well one could see over the next.

Now during actual firing with my HG (w/ the 12-42X NF scope) at 10pm I had my scope set on mid 30X power range. That gave me the best view of the impact area. Higher and I lost light. I could still see but I thought I could see better at mid 30 power range. Can't remember the exact setting though. I did put it on 36X once to compare it directly with a Leupold 36X 1 for 1. But I backed it down a little before shooting though.

I'll try to post a picture of the target area I took when it was all lit up, so you can see what I was looking at.

Hope this helped somewhat.

Here's the pic of the target area I took. So there was dim light at the firing line so you could see to load and shoot and for safety reasons..... then complete darkness from 0 -> 995yds... And then the targets all lit up from lights mounted on telephone poles on each end of the impact area and smaller flood lights in between each target about 20 ft in front behind railroad ties.


thank you for that info S1. I will keep that formula for my reference.

I was out yesterday evening & set up for coyotes. Although I didn't see any dogs, there were about a dozen deer at varying ranges, & several hundred ducks & geese.

After the sun was down but still a little light, I found a group of whitetails to the SSE & ranged them at just over 900 yards. Although I could make out shapes at @ 40X, they were dark & indistinct. AT 22X they were easily clear enough to range & shoot.

The scope was a Nightforce 12-42X56mm BR version with an NP-1RR reticle. Hope this helps....
I have used my 8x32 nightforce for fox hunting at night with snow on the ground and no light I could see excellent but did not turn the scope up at all.
Crow Mag
speedbump and crowmag, thanks again. I was looking for a hunting situation as you described. I can see at night, and during the day, but you know when that sun gets down just beneath the horizon, and the sky is still lightly blue, it plays havoc on your scope.

It sounds as though speedbump was ranging with his, just at the time I will be doing 90% of my shooting on crop damage permits during the summer months.

I have the 8-32 NXS's, so I am hoping I have both the low power and high power angles covered.
I have used my 8x32 in those low light hunting conditions you are talking about I don't have a problem seeing The lighted cross hair helps, I turn it on just so you can see the cross hair better.
Crow Mag
crow mag, I take it you dialed your rheostat down so that the crosshairs are just barely lit?

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