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Nightforce was kind enough to invite TTAG to their first media/dealer product release event held recently at the CORE Shooting Solutions facility in Florida. In this two-day event, representatives from Nightforce teamed up with Accuracy International and Daniel Defense to allow members of the media and select dealers to get some first-hand shooting experience with their new products (both 2016 and 2017 releases).

Instructors from CORE provided detailed courses of instruction on long-range marksmanship and also set up PRS-style stages featuring targets from 100 to 1050 yards.

ATACR 4-16×50 (SFP)


In 2015, Nightforce released the excellent ATACR 4-16×42 F1 riflescope. Following up on its success, Nightforce is now releasing a similar 4×16 ATACR model with a less expensive second focal plane reticle, a high-profile elevation turret, and a 50mm objective, the ATACR 4-16×50 (SFP).  

This scope is primarily intended for the law enforcement market, but would be equally at home on any rifle where it’s important to balance weight with magnification, while still maintaining military ruggedness. For example, this optic would be ideal on an AR-10, a SCAR, or a light weight hunting rifle.


This new model features a 34mm main tube, a 50mm objective, side parallax adjustment, and an illuminated reticle.


It also comes with a very handy removable power throw lever.


The scope is very compact at 12.6 inches, and is relatively lightweight at 33.3 ounces. Three reticle options are available (1) MIL/R, (2) MOA/R, or (3) Horus TMR 2. This scope is made at Nightforce’s Idaho factory using ED glass sourced from Japan. MSRP is $1,950.00.



Focal Plane:                                Second
Magnification Range:              4-16x
Objective lens diameter:         50mm
Tube diameter:                         34 mm/1.34 in
Internal adjustment range:   Elevation: 110 MOA or 30 Mil
Windage :                                   60 MOA or 16.4 Mil
Click value:                               .250 MOA / .1 Mil-rad
Calibrated Ranging Power:    16x
Parallax adjustment:              45 yd–8
Exit pupil diameter:               4x: 9.5 mm / 16x: 3.17 mm
Eye relief:                                 89 mm/3.50 in
Field of view @100 yards:    4x: 26.9 ft;  16x: 6.9 ft
Objective outer diameter:    59 mm
Eyepiece outer diameter:    45 mm
Overall length (in./mm):     13.1 in/333 mm
Weight (ounces/grams):     33.3 oz/944g
Mounting length (in/mm): 6.32 in/161 mm
Front/Rear Mounting Length: 2.00 in/2.53 in
PTL (Power Throw Lever): Standard
Reticles available:                 MOAR™  /   MIL-R™
Illumination:                         DigIllum™ digital reticle illumination
Elevation Feature:               Zero Stop


 SHV 5-20×56


Nightforce’s Shooter Hunter Varminter (“SHV”) line of scopes was primarily intended to fulfill the needs of hunters who wanted to experience Nightforce quality but in a more streamlined and affordable package. These scopes aren’t “overbuilt” like the NXS and ATACR lines, and therefore offer considerable weight savings.

This year, Nightforce has included a long range scope to the SHV line: the 5-20 x 56. It features a 30mm main tube, a 56mm objective, and second focal plane reticles.

What impressed me the most about this scope is that it didn’t get dim at the higher end of its magnification range, which is a problem that plagues many scopes in this price range. Also, the current production models features larger diameter turrets than when originally released. The street price of this scope is around $1,200 – $1,300, which makes it a real value given its quality.


The side parallax adjustment turret also does double duty by housing the illumination adjustment. While this arrangement does widen the profile of the scope, it eliminates the need for a separate illumination turret, which can appear quite awkward and less streamlined.


As shown in the photo above, the windage turret is capped, but is also designed so that the shooter can easily dial windage adjustments under field conditions.



Focal Plane: Second
Magnification: 5-20x
Objective Diameter: 56mm
Exit Pupil Diameter: 5x; 8.7mm, 20x; 2.5mm
Field Of View: 5x; 17.9ft, 20x; 5.0ft, 5x; 5.46m, 20x; 1.52m @100 Yards/100 Meters
Eye Relief: 3.14in-3.54in (80-90mm)
Internal Adjustment Range: 80MOA elevation 50MOA windage, 21.8Mil elevation 13.6Mil windage
Click Value: .250 MOA
Tube Diameter: 30mm (1.18in)
Ocular Diameter: 43mm
Mounting Length: 6.5in/165mm
Weight: 30.5oz/865grams (illuminated); 29.1oz/825grams (non-illuminated)
Overall Length: 15.2in/386mm
Reticles: MOAR, IHR
Illumination: Center Illumination on Select Models
Parallax adjustment: 25 yds to infinity
Elevation Feature: ZeroSet


Competition SR 4.5x


NRA and CMP service rifle matches have been gaining in popularity in recent years. In in an effort to respond to trends in military marksmanship training, the CMP enacted new rules in 2016 that, for the first time, permitted AR-15-type rifles to have optical sights (fixed power or variable) with a maximum magnification of 4.5x and an objective lens no larger than 34 mm. See CMP Rule 6.1.1.

Recognizing a need to service this shooting community, Nightforce quickly released their Competition SR Fixed 4.5 x 24 riflescope in in the summer of 2016. Weighing in at 15.5 oz., this fixed-power 4.5 x scope is made in the USA and features 100+ MOA of elevation and windage adjustment. It also features zero-stop turrets and provides 20 MOA of adjustment per each turret rotation.


The scope comes standard with Nightforce’s new “SR-1” reticle, which was designed specifically for service rifle competition use in mind. It is a non-illuminated reticle featuring heavy posts at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions, and a 10 MOA center circle with 8 MOA crosshair. The design is intended to be visually intuitive for shooters who use iron sight.


To complete the package, Nightforce has also introduced the new Unimount SR. This a lightweight mount provides a “nose to charging handle” positioning, which is preferred by many service rifle shooters. Many military vets will recall this technique from their basic training days. Of course, the Unimount SR will fit any 30 mm scope, and offers 20 MOA of taper in a lightweight package.


Focal Plane:                                                       Second
Objective outer diameter:                               24mm
Exit pupil diameter:                                         4.5x:5.3mm
Field of view @100 yards:                              4.5x: 23.2ft
Eye relief                                                           95mm/3.7 in
Internal adjustment range (MOA/Mil):      e: 100 MOA w: 100 MOA
Click value:                                                        .250 MOA
Parallax adjustment:                                       Fixed 200 yd
Tube diameter:                                                 30mm/1.18 in
Eyepiece outer diameter:                                40 mm
Overall length (inches/mm)                          9.9 in/251 mm
Weight (ounces/grams):                                15.4 oz/437g
Mounting length (inches/mm):                    6.6 in/168 mm
PTL (Power Throw Lever):                             N/A
Reticles available:                                             SR-1
MSRP                                                                  $1,950, street price about $1,850


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  1. I have read in a few places that anything over 15x is actually a detriment for anything other than pure benchrest shooting. Is this true?

    • Shhhh! The gear snobs haven’t bought these all up yet! They don’t know they’re training to be bench rest shooters and not riflemen!

    • No. F class which is shot prone sees up to 55X (maybe more). Although some would say F class is prone benchrest. One of NF’s most popular scopes is the 5.5-22X and the 8-32X. They are both quite handy for any kind of shooting from 100 to 1000yds.

    • I use a pair of fixed 24x and a 36x standing up doing offhand shooting up to 500m in competition. Depends entirely on what you’re doing. Most of the time it’s a detriment to use more than just enough magnification. The 36x I use from 30-100m and it’s wildly difficult to use if you’re not ready for it. The 24’s are used in 200-500m and are almost as hard to use for the uninitiated. Once you learn to get natural point of aim then huge magnification doesn’t present as much trouble as it might for someone who’s still at the muscling the gun phase of their learning curve.

  2. “Nose to charging handle”, there’s the cause of many problems with iron sight marksmanship. BRM teaches as many little Johnny Soldiers how to qualify at the least expensive cost of instruction time. Don’t patronize mistakes, correct them.

    Try shooting with iron sights while moving your head back on the stock, you’ll notice there is less space in your rear aperture. This change will make it easier to keep your front sight centered in the rear objective, enabling you to hit what you’re aiming at.

    Thank you, rant over.

    • All good points. I just took the scope off of my boy’s 10-22 and put irons on. At 9 years old it’s too early for him to learn bad habits, reinforced by silly video games.

    • You the Man. Nose on charging handle….that took me to summer of 1980 on an Island. Never failed 18 out of 20 at the 500 yard line.

      20/15 at the time, now wearing glasses, need all the optics I can get.

      • Eye changes and disabilities aside, I instruct Soldiers that have many bad habits from their training and lack of training. I’m not trying to say that someone should be stuck with irons, I’m just criticising this blog post for perpetuating a stumbling block to higher proficiency in marksmanship.

        Training scars need help, not re-opening.

  3. The new 4-16x “relatively light at 33.3 oz.” I trust that was sarcasm. I don’t care how great the glass is, 2 lbs of scope on anything other than a benchrest rifle is too damn heavy to be useful.

    • Light (ie, low mass) scopes with heavy magnification would likely come apart under recoil, or they’ll have such a small objective lens that you can use them only at high noon in a desert.

  4. I like how this post comes right after a 1000 yds / $1000 post.

    I’m still trying to work my way up to dropping $1250 on the SHV F1.

  5. Where did you get the shv 5-20 with the oversized un capped turrets. Everywhere that sells it that I can find only has it with the capped turret.

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