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Nightforce Scopes - Hard Use Optics

There have been two new additions to the Nightforce scope line for 2016. The first is a SHV 4-14x50 F1 model which is a first focal plane addition to their entry scope line. The second new addition is a target scope with a new 42x44mm fixed power model being added to the Nightforce Competition series of scopes. Also of note is the full size NXS series now consists only of 2nd focal plane models, all of which are equipped with ZeroStop elevation turrets.



Nightforce is the only company that we can think of other than Schmidt & Bender that focuses almost entirely on riflescopes. Nightforce has also chosen to focus on high quality and therefore high dollar scopes, with the least expensive models selling for over $1000.


While good glass is pretty much a given at this price level, durability is not. Nightforce has earned a reputation for building some of the toughest scope available at any price.


Another way Nightforce has been able to distinguish themselves from other manufactures is by offering a number of unique reticle options, most catering to the extreme long range shooting crowd both hunting and tactical. Furthermore, many of these reticles are available with illumination an important aspect if these optics will be used for serious tactical applications.


Nightforce Scopes Comparison Chart

Model Nightforce

NXS Compact

Picture Nightforce SHV Riflescope Nightforce NXS Riflescope Nightforce NXS Compact Riflescope Nightforce ATACR Riflescope Nightforce BEAST Riflescope
Est. Price $899 - $1299 $1899 - $2300 $1399 -$1999 $2299 - $3299 $3799 - $4399
Configuration 3-10 x 42mm
4-14 x 50mm
4-14 x 56mm
5-20 x 56mm
3.5-15 x 50mm
5.5-22 x 50mm
5.5-22 x 56mm
8-32 x 56mm
1-4 x 24mm
2.5-10 x 32mm
2.5-10 x 42mm
4-16 x 42mm
5-25 x 56mm
5-25 x 56mm


Nightforce SHV - The new SHV (Shooter Hunter Varminter) is an entry level Nightforce with the two non illuminated versions of this scope selling for under $1000. As the name implies this is more of a high end high scope than a tactical scope. Currently there are four unique models all in a 4-14-x56 configuration built on a 30mm tube.


Nightforce NXS - Long the go to scope for long range hunters and tactical shooters alike, the NXS series are built on 30mm main tubes and offered in variety of different configurations. The selection of reticles is also impressive with some versions having 11 different reticle options to choose from.


Nightforce NXS Compact - Like the NXS series the Compact versions are also built on a 30mm main tube, but are available in magnification ranges 1-4x, and 2.5-10x which are more suitable of close to intermediate range targets. Nightforce also has some special reticles to match the ranges these optics will generally be used at.


Nightforce ATACR - The Nightforce Advance Tactical Riflescope, ATACR for short, uses ED (extra low dispersion) glass and is built on a 34mm main tube as opposed to the 30mm main tubes found on the NXS series. Some ATACR models also feature Digillum reticle illumination which allows for red or green illumination at various brightness settings. The ATACR is available in 4-16x42 and 5-25x56 models with a first focal plane, and the 5-25x56 model is also offered in a second focal plane version.

Nightforce BEAST - The BEAST which stands for Best Example of Advanced Scope Technology is in many ways similar to the ATACR in that it also utilizes ED glass, a 34mm main tube, and some models are available with Digillum illuminated reticles. However, one feature unique to the BEAST is a throw lever on the elevation turret that allows for the shooter to make large elevation changes quickly and with throw of the lever a more refined adjustment. Currently the BEAST is only available in 5-25x56mm first focal plane models.

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