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?...no, 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.