Nightforce NX8: Review and Buyer’s Guide

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With a significant share of the long ranges scopes, Nightforce has been one of the industry pacesetters. From the NXS to the popular ATACR FI series, the company has been consistent in quality. Although these previous releases have had a bit of a challenge measuring up to scopes like the March F series, their Nightforce NX8 is a true game-changer. It was unexpected.

After its launch, it didn’t take long before it became the talk of the town. Currently, three models of the NX8 have already been launched: the 1-8x24mm, the 2.5-20x50mm, and the 4-32x50mm. But is it worth the hype? And most importantly, how can it be used for hunting? Here is all you need to know before you buy it.

Key Features of the Nightforce NX8

This long scope comes packed with loads of impressive features. Some of the notable ones include the following:

Reticle and Illumination

NX8 has a reticle in the first focal plane (FFP), making the reticle’s sub tension accurate at any level of magnification. Another incredible aspect of these scopes is that they use Mil-C reticles, which, if you didn’t know, are perfect for general use and competitive shooting. It also includes red and green illumination. The same button that controls the brightness can be used to switch between red and green illumination. It does have excellent daylight illumination that compares well with Kahles K318i.

Image Quality

Perhaps one of the most impressive features is the image quality of this scope. It has great contrast, an impressive resolution with the eye perfectly centered, true to life colors, and commendable handling of CA.


Overall, the build quality and ergo has been pushed to the limits. The scope does not just have an attractive finish but also can withstand shocks and a harsh working environment. Although it can conquer anything from mud to snow, you will have to keep the built-in caps closed and also clean the lenses as soon as possible.


Nightforce uses extra-low dispersion (ED) glass in their NX8, which is also featured in the ATACR line but going at a price that is well below the ATACR. There are additional glass elements in the 2.5-20x50mm model, which helps correct for the aberrations in its ultra-short design.

What type of hunting is the NX8 good for?

The Nightforce NX8 is perfect for night hunting. The red and green illumination is particularly excellent when you are hunting at night for animals like hogs. Its magnification makes the shot range even greater for stealth hunting.

If you’re interested in knowing more about how to hunt for hogs you really ought to check out our massive beginners guide for hog hunting here.

You will also find this scope useful for stand hunting and still hunting even during the day. It allows you to bring your target into focus quite well and give you accurate shots even at different elevations. If you are good with your firearm, then even shooting an animal in motion shouldn’t be a problem as it allows you to deliver an accurate shot. However, the results are not as impressive as still hunting and night hunting.

Who should buy the NX8?

This scope is suitable for those hunting tricky game like deer, hogs, and turkey. Allowing you to get a perfect shot from incredible distances makes your hunting stealth and gives you better results.

Now that it has been in use by the military forces for some time, it might be time to buy it if you are a soldier and had no idea it was this good. It will take your shooting to the next level.

Target shooters can also benefit from using this scope. It will give you a competitive edge when you use the scope.

What are the user complaints about it?

Despite the incredible features, the NX8 doesn’t lack shortcomings. Users have complained of the following issues:

Depth of Field

The DOF on the NX8 could be better. Although the March scopes have the same issues, many better scopes are more forgiving when it comes to the level of depth. It is not that bad, but you will have to tweak the side focus somehow more to get far and near objects in proper focus.

Brightness Control

A button on the parallax/side focus is not as good as a dial control would have been for this scope. Switching between brightness levels is challenging because you have to click in every time to adjust.


The scope is finicky with parallax forcing you to set it just right with very minute adjustments to get its reticle to be free of parallax.

NX8 in Action

The NX8 is quite popular, and you will find a host of videos on YouTube explaining it in use. One of the best videos is the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20×50 F1 (Review) by Mark and Sam. Take a look.

The Difference between the NX8 and the Mark 5

  • Tube size: NX8 = 30mm vs Mark 5 = 35mm
  • Ergonomics: NX8 has narrow mount options unlike the Mark 5 which is shorter but limited mount options with 35mm tube
  • Illumination: NX8 includes red/green illumination while the Mark 5 charges a premium for illumination
  • CA control: NX8 has minimal CA throughout mag range while the Mark 5 has heavy CA
  • Turrets: NX8 has “soft” turrets while the Mark 5 has distinct clicks with a clever locking mechanism which is better
  • Image Quality: NX8 has edge distortion which ties with the Mark 5 that struggles to deliver resolution
  • Reticle: NX8 has Mil-C and Mil-XT while the Mark 5 has old-style TMR or Horus style
  • Warranty: Nightforce has a Lifetime warranty with good customer service which is better than Mark 5

Where to Buy NX8

You can order your NX8 from Amazon and other retailers, I think the price is pretty much the same everywhere but I didn’t find anyone cheaper than Amazon so head over and take a look!

Final Thoughts

One thing remains clear, Nightforce really outdid themselves when it comes to their NX8. It is a combination of being feature-rich, highly functional, and sturdy at the same time. Although it may have a couple of issues, according to some users, it outshines quite a number of long-range scopes on the market today. Let me know how it works for you.

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