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I was given the chance to trade in my old issued 2.5-10x32 NXS NF toward an NX8 mil/mil and decided that given out recent shift in becoming very search warrant heavy, it would be a good idea.  I had zero initial intent on getting into the NightForce 1-8's on my own dime.  Given that wasn't the case, I took a chance on the optic.

Simply put: The NX8 is the mini-van/grocery-getter of the LPVO world.  

By that, I mean that it's the smarter, cheaper, better-handling option that has just the right options where you practically need them and nothing more.  Is it great?, but it checks off all my requirements.  It does nothing better than anything else other than being small and 8x for under $1500.  I'm reminded of my peers when they started pumping out crotch midgets said "I'll never have a mini-van...I'm gonna have a Tahoe/Suburban."  Likewise, a dude can run with a CQBSS or S&B or ATACR if they can make it work (cost/weight/balance wise), but most can't swallow that pill.

When I received it, I mounted it up in a 1.93 mount to clear my IR laser.  I think this was critical even though I've never liked the higher mounts on other optics.  On 1x, the optic is forgiving enough and I had no issues with speed/ready-up.  I think they did well with the low end of this optic.  The center has excellent visibility and brightness to spare.  Though it does not appear to be a perfect dot (given the outer circle surrounding the dot), it's about like an RDS for anyone with slight astimatism.  

I did not spend much time on 8x.  This is where things begin to catch up with the optic.  At 8x, things narrow up quite a bit; I don't know if this is mechanically possible with FFP and magnification, but it seemed that my eye box was a bit more cramped.  It could be that I used this in prone shooting where taller mounts are a hindrance.  

I'm not a fan of the reticle for precision shooting.  Zeroing was a pain as the center was about the same size as a B8 x-ring center and with 0.2 mil adjustments, I had to settle for a zero just a hair low with 75gr Gold Dot.  I had an easier time getting down into position at about 6x on my pack.  At the higher magnifications, there is a bit of a flicker with the illumination and not being perfectly behind the optic.  The higher you go in magnification, the more sensitive it becomes.  

Would I recommend it?  I've said before why I like certain FFP 1-8's for what I do specifically.  Would I recommend this over a Kahles or Razor HD 2-E for the average guy's LPVO?....hell NO!  6x is plenty for most, but I'm coming the other way in that I'm already losing 2x down from 10x, but I've gained everything at 1x...and my rifle still maintains function and balance.

Initial feeling:  "meh"

The next outing for this setup will be shooting at distance.  

Original Post

I came to one of these from the opposite direction as Pointblank. I got mine a bit ago but haven’t really rung it out yet...I like it. Coming from years of T-1’s the eyebox is pretty similar, and if you’re cognizant of your head position you’ll have no issues running and gunning / clearing rooms with it. It is less forgiving than the K16i I checked out for a week or so, I’d say that is the market leader for a forgiving eyebox on a variable.

I’m not a precision guy and I zeroed mine with Fiocchi 69gr Sierra Match King at 50 Y and it was capable of nearly shooting a one hole group at that range (my hits were completely covered by the center dot with 4 cloverleafed and 1 just off of that). The reticle is perfect for my uses,  3 gun / something to use like a red dot with solid capabilities (shooting & PID) on man size targets out to 500-600 yards as well as a decent zoom for small / low percentage targets closer in. 

All things considered it’s probably the best thing on the market taking into consideration it’s capabilities: weight, footprint, reticle, magnification & price. Is it perfect, no. If I could change anything right off the bat I’d make the center dot a bit smaller (1/2 MOA? 1 MOA? 3/4 MOA?) for a bit better potential precision at higher magnification. At 1x you’ll never notice the difference but at 6-8x it’d make it a better reticle. 

I’m still not sure if this is “the one” for me but it’s probably the best option currently. I still prefer my T-1’s and when I throw a magnifier behind them I get 70% what I want and I’d bump that up to 85% if we’re talking about 200 yards and in.  Outside of that range the reticle really makes a LPVO a much better choice and the NX8 is a great choice. I think once I spend some serious time behind it I’ll be able to make a better evaluation of its potential to completely replace the T-1’s on all but maybe one of my rifles & I really think it could.

Also, even in full midday AZ sunlight on a cloudless day the illumination is crazy bright. I’d say on 7 it’s as bright as my T-1 on 10. Anyone got a good read on battery life for these things yet?

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After a few months with it now, I don't really care for the NX8, and I'd rather a better 1-6, but because it's not mine I'm stuck with it until I give up my position.  I don't have problems with the low end like others, but I think the top end magnification with the reticle SUCKS.  I HATE their circle dot.   We did some work on 8" circles the other day from elevated position @ 180y, 240,  320, and 410y respectively from a catwalk.   I struggled on the farther 2 which was never a problem prior to my optic switch.  I've had a few other times when looking through it that I thought "well...this isn't ideal" in that respect. 

But everything on that particular rifle/setup is a compromise and I'll continue to do my job with it, and it will likely be fine.  That said, I will NOT be buying an NX8 or ATACR with my personal funds.  Some guys out there love 'em and that's cool; I've been doing my scoped rifle semi-auto thing now for nearly 25 years and I know what I like to see and which features I prefer.

Breaking it down, I've never liked the daylight illuminated reticle for LPVO's; I much prefer the Aimpoint/LED/Flash Dot tech used by S&B, Kahles, Razor HD.  You don't get the shimmer/flicker out of the later

As far as what I'm seeing, Kahles and anything S&B with "CC" have offered me the best image as close to naked eye as I could get.  The Razor HD II E was a close second.  

As I've stated before, I'll take a higher-end optic at a lower magnification at work.  Time and time again, I've out-paced NF 10x's with an 8x  and mid-level 6x optics with a 4x.  The Kahles and Razor HD both give me a bigger, better image  and are far more forgiving than the NX8. 

senorlechero posted:

Good to know! 

That sucks because the size and weight of the NX8 are very appealing. 

Do you have time behind any of Leupolds LPVO? 

A little bit behind the CQBSS, but that's it.   Not a bad optic as the first legit 1-8x into the game, but behind the curve of today.

I don't much care for Leupolds due to past history/personal reasons.   To put it plainly, NF and Leupold sit at the opposite ends of the spectrum for me.  I don't like NF's feature set/user interface but I fully trust their internals/mechanics/build quality.  I like several features of the Mk 5,6 and 8 but I don't trust their mechanics to use my own money. 

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