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NightForce NX8 Rifle Scope Review

Last Updated: 06.12.21

Main advantage


The Nightforce NX8 is a full-featured rifle scope that is compact and light enough for hunting. This model closes the gap between tactical optics and hunting because it allows shooters to get better performance out of a smaller and lighter package. 

According to the manufacturer, this is accomplished without compromising functionality, optical clarity, or durability, which are features that made these scopes so sought-after. The 2.5-20×50 F1 model offers MOAR and MIL-C reticles, creating a package that blends an impressive zoom range with a compact scope body. 

At the same time, the unit provides tons of features for traveling, refined First Focal Plane reticles, as well as close parallax adjustment. The innovative Nightforce MOAR reticle is a major step forward in precision shooting. A precise aiming point is provided by a floating crosshair two MOA wide and two MOA tall. It works even better on smaller targets for longer ranges. 

Compared to conventional reticles with coarser markings, one MOA elevation and windage spacings offer more precise rangefinding as well as hold-offs. Nightforce’s MOAR has thicker line subtensions than traditional reticles, and it is marked with 10, 20, and 30 MOA elevation indicators and 10 and 20 MOA windage indicators. 

Therefore, the view under field conditions becomes much faster and convenient. Furthermore, the MOAR design is far more intuitive, easier to spot in low-light conditions, as well as more clear over dark backgrounds and in shadows, compared to other MOA reticles. 

In order to obtain greater target acquisition and speed, users will find the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock posts to be a great asset. The MOAR was developed from the NP-R1 which was also a bestselling reticle from Nightforce, and it is setting new boundaries of accuracy and ease of use for any long-range shooter. 

The MIL-C reticle is designed to meet the requirements of modern precision rifle competitors, as it allows accurate and fast shots on target. The MIL-C reticle has a plain center dot that makes a fine aiming point at the center, and the main lines feature .2 Mil-Radian holds. 

Each full MilRadian is numbered for quick reference, even under very stressful conditions. Furthermore, the MIL-C reticle features the inverted T Mil-Radian ranging scale that made famous Nightforce’s MIL-R reticle. This allows simple and logical estimations that can go as low as .05 Mil-Radians if the situation requires it.


Main disadvantage


The parallax adjustment can be a bit picky. It might be because it is a by-product of an 8X erector in a quite short-bodied scope. Even though it is very easy to adjust and get razor-sharp details, the parallax adjustment may be a bit sensitive. 

This long-range rifle scope comes with a parallax adjustment that makes it easy to see the target clearly. To adjust it, you need to get all the way to infinity, aim the rifle at a subject set at a fixed distance, get a sight picture through the optic, and adjust the knob back until the reticle becomes crystal-clear. 

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Main features explained 


ZeroStop elevation adjustment

The NightForce NX8 Rifle Scope C623 is designed with an exposed ZeroStop elevation adjustment. This enables a fast return to zero, even after you have dialed for extended range shots. Once the zero is established, the ZeroStop and the elevation dial can be set to zero. Besides this useful feature, adjusting the elevation is very simple. 

All you have to do is follow a few steps. First of all, while holding the adjustment dial, you need to loosen the two set screws on the top of the dial using a 5/64-inch Allen wrench. At this point, the dial should rotate freely, and you should not notice any clicks. Now, you can remove the adjustment cap with an upward twisting motion. 

The next thing you should do is loosen the four set screws on the upper clutch face without removing them completely. You should then rotate the upper clutch face in a clockwise direction until it stops against the lower clutch face. 

Afterward, you need to tighten the four set screws back to four inch-pounds, in an X pattern, and then put the cap back and turn the dial to 0, until it is aligned with the zero-reference marked on the tube’s body. The last step is to hold the dial and tighten both set screws to four inch-pounds. 

This feature allows you to set a positive mechanical stopping point, at the zero point of your choice. Regardless of how many elevation adjustments you make from then on, turning the elevation knob down to ZeroStop will be made by feel, even in darkness.

Windage adjustment

In the firearms language, windage is a term used to define the sight adjustment that is used to compensate for the horizontal deviation of the projectile trajectory. This is from the intended point of impact due to the Coriolis effect or wind drift. It is important to adjust the windage correctly, or else you risk your bullets not ending up where you want them to. 

The windage adjustment on the NightForce NX8 Rifle Scope C623 is designed from the factory with a protective, screw-on cap. What is more, the windage adjustment on this model is waterproof and can also be used without the cap. After establishing your zero, you can reset the windage dial to zero as well. 

The process is quite simple. As you are holding the adjustment dial, you need to loosen the set screw on the top of the dial using a 5/64-inch Allen wrench. You should see that the dial rotates freely, and there should be no clicks. Then, you can rotate the dial until the 0 from the dial is aligned with the zero reference mark on the tube’s body. 

Once you are done, you should tighten both set screws to four inch-pounds, while holding the dial at the same time. In case you do not have a torque driver available, you can use the 5/64-inch Allen wrench by holding the short end, and tighten until it shows resistance. Once you are done, you will be able to adjust it easily whenever the situation requires it.


Diopter adjustment

This model also comes with one user-adjustable optical setting and that is the reticle or diopter adjustment. This changes reticle focus in order to coordinate with the shooter’s eye prescription. That is why this model is a perfect solution for users who wear vision correction optics. 

However, you can set the focus while wearing corrective lenses, so there is a lot of flexibility in this sense. If you record the number of turns made on the eyepiece from the factory setting, you will be able to return to it if the case requires it. 

The factory setting of the Nightforce riflescope is fixed for 20/20 vision which means -3/4 diopter, so it is possible that this adjustment will not even be necessary. You may also experience the reticle fading in and out of focus or your eyes may hurt after prolonged shooting sessions; this is an indicator that the diopter could be out of focus. 

Still, it is very easy to adjust the diopter. First, you need to adjust the highest magnification setting, then take the eyepiece with one hand and the locking ring with the other, while rotating the eyepiece in counter-clock direction. You will feel it loosening from the lock ring. 

You should then look through the scope at a background that is light-colored like a white wall or overcast sky, in order to eliminate any background clutter that can distract your eyes. That is how easy it is to set the diopter to your requirements.


Ease of installation

We have done a lot of research where riflescopes are concerned. One of the things we have stumbled upon is the many complaints regarding the installation process of various models. It is not the case of the NightForce NX8 Rifle Scope C623 which is quite easy to mount. There are just a few considerations you should keep in mind. 

Some of them can also vary depending on the rifle. If you are using a removable scope base, you need to ensure that the base is attached to the receiver solidly. The mount or mounts and bases need to be installed according to the manufacturer’s indications and using the adequate torque. 

Another thing you should consider is to position the rings in such a way that they do not come in contact with the adjustments, power zoom ring, or the objective bell from the rifle scope. In order to keep the cross bolt in tight contact with the forward surface of the cross slot from the base, you need to apply forward pressure to the mounts while tightening them into place. 

The riflescope needs to be set to the highest magnification level for installation. Another thing you should do is to check for the eye and head position so that the riflescope is positioned in the most appropriate location for the multiple shooting positions behind the rifle. 

On heavily recoiling rifles, it is recommended that the scope should be mounted with as much eye relief as possible. Also, you should ensure the rifle and the reticle are perpendicular to each other, in order to benefit from precision shooting.


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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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1 year ago

That wasnt a review at all: it was a write up of some specs and how riflescopes generally work. I’m much more interested in an assessment of image quality, edge distortion, depth of focus, and mechanical soundness, etc. Protection Status