September 23, 2010
By Terry Wieland
By Terry Wieland
Compared with other fine optics companies, Nightforce is very new--founded only in 1992. But for a company producing absolutely top-quality tactical riflescopes, those 16 years have been a fruitful proving ground.
Nightforce is located in Idaho, where it manufactures "the world's finest riflescopes" at a small but ultra-modern facility. There are currently 10 scopes in its line, all with aluminum alloy 30mm tubes machined from solid bar stock. Nightforce scopes are designed to be as rugged as it is possible to make them, to withstand the stresses of combat and the recoil of long-range tactical rifles, and at the same time deliver optical quality second to none.
Military, police and long-range target applications are Nightforce's chosen markets. To give you an idea of how good these scopes are at their jobs, the current world record for a 1,000-yard ten-shot group, 3.835 inches, was shot by Cody Finch with a Nightforce-equipped scope. Nightforce shooters have won the Wimbledon Cup the last two years, and its scopes have set more records in long-range benchrest than any other make.
Nightforce's optical glass comes from Japan, where Nightforce has a contract with one of that country's finest glass manufacturers. Some of the models--those marked "Made in U.S.A."--are completely assembled in Idaho, and every one of the company's scopes undergoes extensive tests there before being shipped.
The smallest Nightforce scope is the 1-4x24 NXS; the largest is the 12-42x56 Precision Benchrest. In between lies a range of sizes and magnification levels, but Nightforce does not pretend to provide a scope for every shooter and every purpose. First of all, they are expensive--anything this well-made will not be cheap. From the beginning, Nightforce aimed for the most serious markets, where money is a secondary consideration. And since they are selling every scope they can make, there is no pressure on them to reduce quality or prices. For the serious tactical shooter, that's a good thing.