You never forget your first, and the first piece of nice glass I ever peered through was a Nightforce scope. I was sold right up until it came time to whip out my credit card, at which point cooler heads prevailed. Nightforce glass is many things and expensive being one of them.
Nightforce scopes are also optically precise giving one of the best images I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Beyond that, I love the precise clicks of the turrets, the way everything feels in your hands, and the fact that their scopes can take a tumble off the side of a mountain and still keep working.
Durability notwithstanding, the Advanced Tactical Riflescope (ATACR) line is Nighforce’s flagship; stout, reliable competition and tactical duty optics. New for 2017 is the 7-35×56 F1 model that brings a few new features to the table.
As a whole, the optics industry in America seems to be embracing the first focal plane in a way that our European brethren did several decades ago. While the merits of first versus second focal plane warrant another article entirely, it’s encouraging to see that Nightforce isn’t sitting back, relaxing, and counting their cash. They’ve put together a high magnification first focal plane scope at the request of the consumer.
The 7-35 model allows parallax adjustment from ten yards to infinity for those competition stages that require very close and very long shooting. With a 34mm tube and 56mm objective, the new 7-35 model ensures that you’ll have maximum range of elevation adjustment (100 MOA/27.3 MILs) along with excellent light gathering ability.
Most importantly, MAGNIFICATION! The big boy ATACR offers a borderline benchrest level whopper of 35X magnification for those that really, really, really need to see what’s downrange. While I personally don’t love that much magnification, I appreciate that it exists. Included with that much magnification is an illuminated reticle of your choice paired up to the turret adjustment system you select.
All of the ATACRs offer zero stops for the elevation turret and this one is no different. At a street price of ~$3500, the big magnification ATACR isn’t a cheap date, but then again, it goes to 35X and can be tossed down a hill and still work.
Ever so slightly more affordable is a new entry in Nightforce’s line of Competition optics, the SR Fixed 4.5X24, designed for the competitive service rifle shooter looking to work within the confines of the rules presented to them.
The new SR Fixed offers a fixed 4.5X magnification range along with a parallex set at 200 yards for the new 2016 rules issued by the CMP on optics in service rifle competition. Those optics must be fixed at 4.5X power, have an objective no larger than 34 mm, and optics equipped rifles must weigh no more than 11.5 lbs. Real world pricing on the new SR Fixed scope seems to be hovering at a shade under $1900.