Nightforce vs Leupold

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by TriggBaker, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. TriggBaker

    TriggBaker Well-Known Member

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    I know this topic has probably been brought up a lot but Im going to bring it up again. Im in the process of building a 6mmAI, it will be long range hunting setup. I just trying to figure out what scope to go with. Im a die hard Leupold guy but was thinking about a Nightforce. I was looking at a NXS 5.5-22x56 with MOAR reticle. But with that being said....is a Nightforce worth the extra $1000 or so? People are going to say if you can afford the Nightforce then buy it. Well I can afford it but I just dont know if I want to lol. Any info would be great, Thanks guy!
     
  2. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    Among the Long Range scopes that I own are a Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20X50 (Mil-Dot Reticle) and a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56 (MOAR reticle). Both of them are, IMO, excellent scopes. I wouldn't part with my Long Range Leupold but, in all honesty, I find that the Nightforce has better glass, is more rugged in design, has crisper feel in windage and elevation knobs, and its focus/parallax adjustment has a broader range and is more sensitive when I need a critical long range image.
    None of those things make the Leupold bad. For hunting and long range F class shooting the Leupold serves me well. When I reach out to 1000 yards or more in a silhouette target for my tactical competition reach for the Nightforce with the MOAR.
    Leupold doesn't offer a reticle that will allow me to fox in the target when I can't quit make out its precise center through the scope like the Nightforce MOAR does. For hunting I'd say the Leupold is right at the top of the heap. For competition shooting I'm gonna choose my Nightforce.
     
  3. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I was in a similar boat last year-decades of Leupold exclusively. I broke off and bought the ATACR-good enough I pre-ordered the F1 4-16x before it was "on the shelves".

    I like the Leupold TMR reticle, if I was keeping the weight down Leupold is the way to go, I haven't had to use Nightforce service so I can't say how service compare.

    I haven't some of Leupold's newer top of the line products, but the ATCR's are both worth the money over the Mark 4.

    I did buy another Leupold between the NF, because it suited the rifle better than anything else.
     
  4. WapitiBob

    WapitiBob Well-Known Member

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    The machining tolerances between the two are vastly different.
    I've had Leupolds and now have Nightforce. I'll stick with Nightforce.
     
  5. Garycrow

    Garycrow Well-Known Member

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    It depends upon what you definition of a long range hunting setup is. How heavy a rifle are we talking about, what ranges are you planning to use it for and what are you planning to hunt with it?

    I have a Nightforce and several Leupolds. The Nightforce is a great scope, the turrets are great and the repeatability is spot on. Mine's an 8-32 NSX, the glass is decent but I'll disagree that it's better than Leupold VX3 glass, it's about the same. A buddy has an ATACR and that glass is a step up. My nightforce resides on my 6mmBR which I use for prairie dogs and long range targets so you could say it's a hunting rifle.

    However, it's too heavy and big for any big game rifle of mine. I'm not one that sees myself shooting big game at over 800 yds and I'm not going to carry around a 12+ pound rifle that it would take to make consistent shots on game at that range. I wouldn't put a nightforce on a sporter weight rifle, they're just too heavy for that. If I were going to build a heavy 338 for a 1000 yd elk rifle then it'd wear a nightforce, but I don't see myself doing that. A 6mmAI isn't going to throw any bullet that I'd consider using on big game past 600 yds. A 6mmAI isn't adequate for a long range big game rifle in my opinion, you can't shoot enough bullet out of one. If you want to shoot prairie dogs or coyotes at 1000 yds with one then by all means nightforce.

    It all depends upon your use for the rifle. If it's a big game rifle then I'd have a good leupold on there for the weight savings alone. You've gotta carry it.
     
  6. TriggBaker

    TriggBaker Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to try and keep it around an 8 lb setup with the optics. It will be mainly a varmint gun and maybe antelope but nothing bigger than that. Thanks for the info so far guys.
     
  7. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I use both Leupold Mk4s and NF NXS. I prefer Mk4s.
    But to clear something I have to say there is absolutely no difference in glass between them. Neither are anywhere close to that of something like Swarovski, and I consider them mid-grade glass-wise.

    NF offers better reticles, they have true zero stop, but they are way too heavy & bulky, the eyepiece turns with power adjustment, and they don't offer flip-up lens covers(likely because of the turning eyepiece).
    The Leupold Alumina covers are the best that have ever been available. The Mk4 8.5x25x50 is very light, smaller, and it's adjustments are in actual moa (NXS scope adjustments are not).

    I do not like other Leupold scopes and believe they need to get rid of ~90% of their lineup and focus instead on better glass & reticles. I also don't like NF scopes other than NXS.
    I use NXS for bench guns, but for hunting the Mk4s are superior overall.
    I'll try March next, not interested in sightron, vortex, or the musty old dead end brands with stupid reticles. Not interested in european scopes, even with their fantastic glass(hate MILs & FFP). There is a lot more to good scopes than any single factor.
     
  8. jonthomps

    jonthomps Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, I'd stick with NF. Scopes are like cars: Range Rovers cost more than Toyotas for a reason. I've had several NF's and never had a hiccup. They have great products, excellent customer service, and an awesome reputation concerning repairs. I had the illumination crap out on one of my NF scopes. I sent it in and had it back in a week - no charge, smooth as glass. Love it. Your scope is a piece of machinery, and, like all machines it will break down at some point so my advice would be to bite the bullet and buy accordingly.
     
  9. scrmblr1982cj8

    scrmblr1982cj8 Well-Known Member

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    I've gone from a diehard Leupold guy to a diehard NF guy. The things are build like a tank. Try as I might, I am not the most gentle person, and not as easy on my equipment as I could be. I've got total confidence in the NF to take a beating. I can't say that about the Leupold's that I've owned.
     
  10. Marine sniper

    Marine sniper Well-Known Member

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    I have several Leupolds; all the way up to a 8.5x25 Mk4. I also have 3 NF's. IMO there is no comparison between the two. The NF are much nicer scopes in every way- except one---they are REALLY heavy. I would not have one on a rifle I plan on packing around much.

    For a long range hunting rifle check out the Leupold VX6 3x18 with a side focus.
    Leupold Optics VX-6 3-18x44mm (30mm) Side Focus CDS - | Leupold Optics

    I have three VX-6 scopes- very nice glass for the price. The 6x power zoom is very handy on a hunting rifle. They come with a free custom ballistic turrent. My primary hunting rifle has one of the 2x12 models on it.
     
  11. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

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    NF scopes are mechanically superior to Leupold. The adjustments are more accurate and durable. Leupold is good for a lightweight hunting rifle where you use the reticle for holdovers. But for any other application, NF is the better scope.
     
  12. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    You've never tested NXS click values..
    Leupold Mk4 is one of few that actually adjusts in true MOA increments.

    I don't know about the rest of either makers line(other than Mk4 & NXS).
     
  13. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

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    In theory.

    In practice, Leupold is an inconsistent mediocre optic. They hold zero well. That's about it.
     
  14. Rogmay

    Rogmay Well-Known Member

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    918v, have you actually taken nightforce, leupold, swarovski, vortex and ziess out at the same time and compared at low light levels at the end of the day, I have, and I can tell you IMO leupold had better than "mediocre" optics! I do believe nightforce is at the top of that list, swaro maybe second, but I'd put the VX-6 right behind but damm close!