Nightforce vs. Swarovski Riflescope

Dixie07

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I had asked about feedback from the Swarovski Z5. I am building a lightweight hunting rifle chambered in 7mm LRM. I am now considering the Nightforce NXS. The only thing that would really be stopping me is the fact that it is almost double the weight of the Nightforce. What are some of you guy's opinions on this? Which would have better glass? I know that the Nightforce is going to have better repeatability, but is that really worth 14 ounces to pack into the backcountry? I appreciate any and all opinions. And if there is some other scope you prefer, I would like to hear that as well. Thanks!
 

shaun

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For a backcountry rifle I would go with the lighter of the two 14oz is almost a full pound. I love NF but for a backcountry rifle weight plays a large factor
 

merch

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I was faced with the same dilemma for my 280 build. The swaro Z5 3.5-18x44 has excellent glass, the magnification range is great and the dail up has proved repeatable with the scope mounted on my 300 win. The Leupold ultra-lights are proven mountain scopes, but they just don't work for my eye. I decided to try the Nightforce 2.5-10x32 compact. Proven design, tough and ultra reliable. The compact at 19 oz is heavy and some may feel the small objective limits light gathering ability, but for the potenial abuse this rig may see I am willing to try it out.
 

Whisky

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NF and lightweight don't go hand in hand together...

NF are great scopes. But the glass in the Swaro will be noticeably better, at least for my eyes. There are many Leupold VX3 models that would work well for you too. And Zeiss released some new scopes recently that look very promising.

http://sportsoptics.zeiss.com/hunting/en_us/riflescopes/victory/ht.html

If weight wasn't a factor, I'd absolutely look at NF. But not for a "lightweight hunting rifle", as you put it, at least not for me..

Whisky
 

merch

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Those zeiss look very nice, but the large objective makes me concerned and the scope weight is listed at over 18 oz. I had a VX-3 with a 50mm objective on my 7mm, didn't like the high mounting required. A VX-3 4.5-14x40 CDS at approx 14.5 oz is always an excellent choice. If only swaro made the Z3 with dial up and the 4W reticle in the 3-10x42 at the 12oz listed weight.
 

Matt Cashell

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merch,

you can get the 4-12X50 Z3 with the reticle and turret if you wish. It is only 14.5 ounces, and with its slender profile mounts pretty low for a 50mm scope.

If you are open to reticle-based elevation correction, the BRH reticle is field-worthy and available in the 3.5-10 Z3. I have this reticle in the 4-12, and it is actually pretty precise with it's half-mil subtensions out to around 800 yards. The windage bars are pretty "coarse," but in practice, have been pretty usefull for me as well.

I have similar experience with the Rapid Z reticles from Zeiss, but prefer the BRH's calibration at max power to the Rapid Z's "optimized" magnification setting, somewhere in the magnification range of the scope, depending on load.
 
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Dixie07

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Whether I want to or need to dial is yet to be determined. This is my first true long range capable rifle. My goal is to be able to take a deer/antelope/elk sized animal out to 600 yards.

Do you need or want to dial? What is your max range?
 
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Dixie07

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My buddy has the Zeiss conquest rifle scope and it is a nice scope, but I really like the glass a lot more in the Z5, the ballistic turret, and the swaro warranty.

Those zeiss look very nice, but the large objective makes me concerned and the scope weight is listed at over 18 oz. I had a VX-3 with a 50mm objective on my 7mm, didn't like the high mounting required. A VX-3 4.5-14x40 CDS at approx 14.5 oz is always an excellent choice. If only swaro made the Z3 with dial up and the 4W reticle in the 3-10x42 at the 12oz listed weight.
 

Matt Cashell

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Dixie,

I really prefer a reticle system for hunting situations 600 and in.
 
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joelbiltz

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Hold off a week or two. From what I hear Nightforce is going to be introducing new hunting scopes. My guess will be at the shot show. But if you can't wait look at the 2.5x10 compact Nightforce. It's perfect for a lightweight rig. I would go with Nightforce over swaro any day.
 

Shrek

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Swaro glass is far superior to nightforce and will make a real difference at the primetime's of dawn and dusk. Yes the nightforce has better dial repeatability and is tougher but for under 800 yrds a bullet drop and drift compensating retical is faster , easier and has no repeatability issues. Imo go with the swaro line. If you have the bucks for nightforce and the willingness to carry nightforce weight then get the z6 swaro and have far superior optics.
 

Jay Kyle

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Leupold Mark 4, solid pedigree, repeatable dials, tough, they come in at ~16 oz. It's about the only Leupold I trust anymore.
 
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Dixie07

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I have plenty of time. I just want it by the May time frame (when I am expecting my rifle to be complete). Thanks for the heads up.

Hold off a week or two. From what I hear Nightforce is going to be introducing new hunting scopes. My guess will be at the shot show. But if you can't wait look at the 2.5x10 compact Nightforce. It's perfect for a lightweight rig. I would go with Nightforce over swaro any day.
 

Matt Cashell

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I have used both methods of correction while hunting, and they both work, if you put your time in. I have found the reticle systems faster in the field, and liked not having to remember to dial down during a hunting situation. I also like how much easier a slender, smooth scope without bulky exposed turrets goes in and out of a pack or scabbard.

I still have and use tactical style scopes on hunting rifles, but my favorite setup for hunting right now is my Swaro BRH. I make reticle diagrams with my drops and tape them to stock, so I can quickly reference what crosshair to use.
 

shooten

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I use an NXS(3.5-15x55) for long range precision and tactical rifle (1000 yards and less). It's a tough reliable scope with excellent glass. It is also very heavy. I lugged it for 30 miles in New Mexico two years ago. That was enough. For hunting I prefer lighter equipment. I'm generally not going to shoot at anything over 400 yards in the field anyway. It will be interesting to see what NF comes out with in a hunting line. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 
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Dixie07

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Thanks for sharing your experience. I think you hit it. For lugging around the mountains when I have been trying to keep everything else lightweight on the rifle, it just doesn't make much good sense to put a heavy scope on top. Generally, speaking as well, I do not see myself shooting over 400 yards while hunting either.

I use an NXS(3.5-15x55) for long range precision and tactical rifle (1000 yards and less). It's a tough reliable scope with excellent glass. It is also very heavy. I lugged it for 30 miles in New Mexico two years ago. That was enough. For hunting I prefer lighter equipment. I'm generally not going to shoot at anything over 400 yards in the field anyway. It will be interesting to see what NF comes out with in a hunting line. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

Whisky

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I have used both methods of correction while hunting, and they both work, if you put your time in. I have found the reticle systems faster in the field, and liked not having to remember to dial down during a hunting situation. I also like how much easier a slender, smooth scope without bulky exposed turrets goes in and out of a pack or scabbard.

I still have and use tactical style scopes on hunting rifles, but my favorite setup for hunting right now is my Swaro BRH. I make reticle diagrams with my drops and tape them to stock, so I can quickly reference what crosshair to use.

BB,

I dont have a ton of experience holding over for shots, some, but not a lot, at least not at extended ranges. I've always thought, if you have the time to dial, that should be first option. Generally if you're shooting at an animal 400+ he's not aware of your presence you should have plenty of time to get your wind call correct, drop, dial the turrets and shoot. I practice a lot, but I will admit, not a lot in the holdover department.

I've been coyote hunting a lot this Winter and for that I have realized holding over is the only way to go, unless you catch one sleeping and sneak up to him. Because of that, I will be looking to swap scopes out on my 22-250 and get more proficient at holding over in hunting situations. It may or may not carry over to my big game, I don't know.

Your Swaro is a SFP scope. In my mind, at least, I'd feel that on a gun that I'll be doing quick holdovers with, I'd want a FFP. What are your thoughts on that? You ever hindered by having to be on a certain power for your scope to subtend correctly?

Once Spring hits I do intend to do more practice holding over. I'll be just using regular mil and moa has reticles though, which serve the same purpose.
 

Whisky

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Thanks for the input, Bitterroot. Right now that is what I am leaning towards. To me, the ballistic turret is very attractive as well.

While I'm willing to give certain reticles a shot, and doing more holdover shots, I will never use a ballistic turret. It's best to learn either the MOA or Mil system and use that. It acts in the exact same manner as a ballistic turret, except, you are not limited to only that load with MOA or Mil turrets like you are with a BDC. Also, atmospheric conditions will affect you. I live in flat ND. So if I was to get a ballistic turret made using my current elevation, and then take that rifle to the high country for a hunt 4 years later, my BDC turrets would be way off. At least with a MOA or Mil system I could mess around on a ballistics calculator ahead of time and get an idea of what changes I can expect in my dope. Or better yet, use my Kestrel and ballistics program on site to be more exact.

I know many people use the BDC system with success. But I personally feel you're better off learning a MOA or Mil system.
 
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