There is naturally a lively thread on the Hide. Noone has seen the scope yet and opinions are already very... passionate, but I like threads like this. It gives me an idea of how people look at these.
Still, I would not make too many early conclusions. Nightforce has a reputation for testing their design very thoroughly before introducing them and I expect that they spent a lot of time ironing out the kinks in the design. I generally like ATACR scopes and while I may not always agree with the design choices they make with these products, it is a matter of personal preference to a significant degree. These are very good scopes and I expect the new 4-20x50 to be very competent as well.
The new 4-20x50 is interesting in that at $3k, there aren't all that many high end scope of similar configurations that compete directly against it money-wise. The only one I can think offhand is March 3-24x52 which is more of a crossover design with significantly broader range of FOVs and much lower weight. I have one of these and like it quite a bit. It probably has shallower depth of field than the new Nightforce, but that remains to be seen. Both focus very close and both have a lot of adjustment range.
March 3-24x52 is within $50 of the new Nightforce. Kahles K318i is about $300 more. ZCO is about $600 more. New March 4.5-28x52 (which will be a VERY strong competitor) is also about $600 more.
US Optics FDN 17x 3.2-17x50 is about $300 less. I know US Optics has a spotty history with all the ownership changes, but I kinda like this new scope and it has not given any problem in quite a few months that I've had it (full review coming shortly). Almost comparable adjustment range to the NF, but not nearly as close of a focus though. USO is longer, but lighter. Elevation turret is very good.
I have both the 3-24x52 March and the 3.2-17x50 USO. USO tunnels on low power, but the new Nightforce probably does as well. March does not, so the FOV range is notably wider. March is 10 ounces lighter than NF and USO splits the difference between them.
Everything else with a 50mm or thereabouts is either a significantly more expensive (Schmidt, Tangent, ZCO and the new 4.5-28x52 March) or a lot less expensive. In this case, I am viewing price difference of ~20% as significant.
There are really three fundamental "high level" so to speak questions to answer:
1) Why would you buy the new Nightforce over the direct competitions (March, Kahles, USO)??
2) Why would you buy the significantly more expensive scopes over the Nightforce? ZCO, S&B, Tangent, 4.5-28x52 March?
3) Why would the new Nightforce over the increasingly competent $1500-$2000 options like the Nexus Element 5-20x50, Bushnell DMR II Pro 3.5-21x50, EOTech Vudu 5-25x50, Vortex Razor Gen 2 3-18x50 (it is an often underlooked scope because of the weight, but it is a very competent design). Burris XTR III 3.3-18x50, Nightforces own NX8 4-32x50, etc
Dedicated Nightforce fanboys (every brand has a few of these and Nightforce has many) will buy the scope sight unseen and will never question themselves.
The majority of potential customers will, however, consider all of these questions in some detail.
In the last year or so, I find that new designs in the $1500 - $2000 range are getting so competent, that once we get into the $3k+ range, I essentially want perfection, so we will see how the new ATACR does.
I gave it a couple of days and figured it is time to do a live show on intermediate magnifications in LPVOs and a couple of other updates.
I am budgeting 30-45 minutes for this, but it might go to a full hour depending on how it goes.
I'd like to do a quick overview of how the hog hunt went, the gear I was looking at and why I love doing this stuff.
Let's aim for tomorrow (Tuesday, October 12th) at noon Mountain Time.
Here is the wrap up of the Steiner M1050r LRF bincoulars that I have been playing with for a quite a while now.
Observation optics is a pretty involved subject as is, further complicated by the fact that most observation optics are not made for shooters. Here is a live show I did on observation optics that touches on this:
This binocular is decidedly not intended for birders. As the name implies, it is squarely aimed at military and law enforcement applications. It is a very competent overall design, but there is a feature that is sorely missing.
Let me know what you think once you watch the video. The binocular in question is the Steiner Military 10x50r LRF: https://bit.ly/2WA88hY
It is a solid design overall with excellent optics and good LRF performance. There is, however, one critical feature missing.
The registration for SHOT 2022 is finally open and I am in the process of making something resembling a schedule for it. The way it usually works, I make a detailed schedule and it goes to hell in a handbasket eight minutes after the show starts. Still, I have to make plans.
Interestingly, the Safari International event is in Las Vegas this year and overlapping with SHOT.
SHOT is Tuesday through Friday and SCI is Wednesday through Saturday.
I normally do not go to SCI given that it is more of a hunting oriented event. However, given that I am gearing up for my4th hunt this year (aoudad sheep in April, spring black bear in Alaska in June, hogs in Texas two weeks ago and New Mexico elk coming up in December), I can no longer say that I am not really a hunter with any sort of honesty.
I may not be a good hunter, but I am a hunter. Apparently.
With all that, I may be able to sneak over to the SCI show on Saturday. I always run out of time at SHOT, so I doubt I will be able to give up...
Folks, I am going to do another livecast tomorrow focusing on LPVOs and FIxed Power scopes when both are equipped with an offset RDS.
Matt of Everyday Marksman and Jacob of Pro-gun Millenial will join me tomorrow.
Yesterday's livecast, once we got done with the original topic of discussion veered a little bit toward other aspects of shooting quickly with conventional riflescopes and the topic of OEGs (Occluded Eye Gunsights) came up. I figured that I should probably write a short article on how they work when I realized that I already have and that Guns and Ammo makes this one available online.
It went into the 2019 Retro issue when they asked to write a little bit about OEGs since they were famously used in the Son-Tay raid.
It did make me want to re-visit the subject, so I pinged the good folks at Armson USA to see if I can borrow a modern OEG form them and go over the subject in more detail.