Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56mm Tactical Rifle Scope review
Nightforce is one of the most respected manufacturers of scopes in recent years, having been established back in 1992. Their new Nightforce NXS 5.5 -22x56mm scope w/NP-R2 reticle and zero stop has been gaining a lot of notice recently.
This is a very impressive scope that features a very impressive price as well. Nightforce is a USA-based company that produces higher-end rifle scopes and their products are considered quite good and certainly some of the best on the market.
The Nightforce NXS 5.5 is considered on the larger end in terms of overall size, but not the largest of its class. The aluminum that makes up the 30mm tube is roughly 2 to 3 times denser than most other scopes of this caliber. The thickness along with the matte finish makes this a very durable scope that will absorb the punishment that typically occurs to scope over the course of their lifetime while being more scratch-resistant.
The eye piece does rotate and there is a locking ring to help keep it in place. In fact, this is a fairly standard part of most scopes. The power selection ring is very well designed and has indicators written in white so they are easy to spot. The eyepiece itself is still quite rugged and durable with large knobs for easy mounting.
The zero stop features helps keep track of the elevation range so that you can identify your initial reference point quickly and easily when moving. Basically, adjust the scope to the range you want and set the knobs to zero, and then you can move around and still know where to come back when you want.
The windage knob also allows for precise settings and has good clicks along with set screws so you can get even more precise measurements out of this feature. This particular knob has marks on the underside as well so that you can help track the wind properly.
There is the option to use a single MOA per click and combine it with the .5 MOA per click on the windage as well, which allows for even more precise controls. Overall, you can get 40 MOA per revolution in terms of elevation and add another 20 MOA for windage as well. It seems that this particular feature is certainly one that will come in handy for its overall precision.
A bit larger and taller than the elevation or windage knobs, but otherwise it looks the same. Although there are no numbers with the indicator marks, infinity is at the top end so figuring out where to go is easy. Overall, the focus was quite sharp and easy to achieve which was expected.
There is also the on/off switch for the illumination reticle on the focus knob as well. All you need to do is pull out the knob to activate it. However, controlling the actual illumination level is rather fiddly since you have to remove the knob and the battery to adjust the screw. While relatively simple, it arguably could have been handled in a different way.
The NP-R2 is calibrated for MOA and not Milradians, so you will have to use the Mil relation formula. It is a very clean design that works quite well in doing what it does. The lack of clutter is a real plus in this case.
It is true that Nightforce offers a wide array of reticles for your needs which are tough and quite durable. In fact, the philosophy of the construction of the reticle by Nightforce meets and exceeds US Army standards of back in the day.
This is where the Nightforce really shines by using the best optics possible in their scopes. This may explain in large part the high price, but it is certainly well worth it as it easily rivals, if not surpasses many other scopes in the same class. You will note the excellent sharpness and brightness that is achieved with this particular scope.
The Nightforce NXS 5.5 was put through its paces and mounted on a Tactical Operations X-Ray 51 for shooting trials and other challenges. The performance was not only gauged during the early part of the test, but for a long period of time as well to see how it would hold up under different conditions, windage adjustments and the stress of being worked for an extended period of time.
The result was certainly impressive as the Nightforce NXS 5.5 repeatedly held up and met every challenge. The optics was particularly impressive and allowed for great accuracy which made this scope one of the best tested in the field. In addition to the overall performance, the rather large scope was also fairly easy on the eye as well with little fatigue reported throughout the day.
Of particular note was the tactile feel of the knobs which made adjustments very easy and almost intuitive to make when sighting in the scope. Nightforce should be commended for the overall job it has done by building a rugged, durable scope that offers excellent features that are laid out in a very intuitive manner. For the shooter who is just getting familiar with the scope, the learning curve is quite small and achievable in the first few minutes.
There are naturally the few little quirks such as the illumination adjustment, but that was rather small and certainly did not detract from the overall performance of this particular scope. While the price is certainly rather high, the results were also in the top range of the scopes that are currently available. All in all, if you are looking for a scope that offers great performance, high durability and excellent optics, then the Nightforce NXS 5.5 is certainly one to consider.