Skip to main content

What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

Good-looking, well-built and optically superior, Nitrex is an optics brand to be reckoned with.

Not that many years ago, I fell in love with a cardboard box. She was slender, had a sunny complexion and snuggled nicely where other boxes felt awkward. As has often followed my infatuations, this box left me. I got over it eventually, but the name stayed with me: Nitrex.

Made to fit the pocket, the slim yellow-and-gray Nitrex boxes held five bright, nickeled cartridges at the ready. A while back, Speer dropped the Nitrex brand of big game ammunition because, I'm guessing, the Federal brand made rifle ammunition from Speer redundant as both are now owned by ATK.


This year ATK has resurrected the Nitrex name, but not in ammunition. It's now the call sign for a line of imported riflescopes and binoculars. All models feature fully multicoated lenses to deliver the brightest images allowed by their exit pupils.


ATK offers four Nitrex scopes: 1.5-5x32, 3-9x42, 3-10x50 and 6-20x50 AO. The AO scope's dial is the traditional front-end ring, not a turret-mounted knob. Parallax for the other three is set at 100 yards.

Windage and elevation adjustments are finger-friendly knobs that move point of impact 1/4-minute per click. The 6-20X has eighth-minute clicks for finer adjustments. The 6-20X has a finer TrexPlex reticle than its siblings too, and it can be fitted with a three-inch alloy sunshade.


As is customary in scopes for the American market, ATK kept the reticle in the second focal plane.


Nitrex scopes have European-style fast-focus eyepieces. Eye relief ranges from 3.3 inches to 3.6 inches. One-piece tubes are nitrogen-purged to eliminate fogging. Matte black is the standard finish, but you can also specify a black gloss or silver 3-9X, a black gloss 3-10X or a silver 6-20X.

I installed a 3-9x42 Nitrex on a Remington 700 Ti in .30-06. Its profile allows me to use low rings, and there's plenty of tube for perfect placement, fore-and-aft. The matte finish is as dull as you'll want afield and seems durable.

The eyepiece and power dial move smoothly but with due restraint. I was pleased that eye relief did not seem to change from low power to high and remained generous. A session running the windage and elevation dials with the rifle secured in a Caldwell Steady Rest showed routine return to zero. Optically it was bright and sharp, with a flat field and little color fringing.

There's no more useful scope for big game hunting than a 3-9X, and this one has about as much light-hungry glass up front as you can fit into a low-mounted tube. Mechanically and optically, it's a better scope than the $300 price suggests. You can buy a 3-10x50 for about $330, a 6-20x50 for $400.

ATK also imports its Nitrex binoculars. The 8x42 and 10x42 weigh 25 ounces and feature tripod adapters. The rubber armoring on these center-focus, roof-prism glasses makes them easy to grip in cold and wet weather. Phase-correction coatings enhance image quality.

If you travel light, the Nitrex 8x25 or 10x25 should suffice. Each weighs only 11 ounces.

A 10x42 Nitrex binocular I examined delivers bright, razor-edged images. I'm not as keen about eyecups that pull straight out instead of twisting (they're easily compressed), and I'd as soon have smooth barrel contours instead of ribbing and the Nitrex label in bold relief. But these are minor criticisms. I do like the click-detent diopter dial--and the price, just $290.

ATK has done its homework. These Nitrex scopes and binoculars perform well and won't prevent you from snaring that next sub-prime mortgage.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

RifleShooter Magazine editor Scott Rupp breaks down all the features of the Mossberg Patriot Predator rifle chambered in 6.5 PRC.

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense's New Precision Bolt Action Rifle

Those looking to explore precision rifle shooting without going broke will be well served by Daniel Defense's new Delta 5.

Ruger Launches New American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Grendel

Ruger Launches New American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Grendel

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Ruger's Matt WIlson kick off SHOT Show 2018 by taking a look at the Ruger Predator.

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The handloading question: With large availability factory ammo on the market, why bother with reloading? Craig Boddington offers a few answers.Reloading Ammo – Why? Reloading

Reloading Ammo – Why?

Craig Boddington - March 26, 2019

The handloading question: With large availability factory ammo on the market, why bother with...

Practical rifle marksmanship depends on following these five fundamentals.5 Fundamentals of Rifle Marksmanship Shooting Tips

5 Fundamentals of Rifle Marksmanship

Jospeh von Benedikt - August 13, 2020

Practical rifle marksmanship depends on following these five fundamentals.

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield.New 30-06 Springfield Elite Match Ammo from SIG SAUER Ammo

New 30-06 Springfield Elite Match Ammo from SIG SAUER

Rifleshooter Online Editors - April 03, 2019

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield.

The Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin is a handy, powerful rifle capable of taking down elk, moose, hogs, black bear and deer.Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin Lever-Action

Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin

J. Scott Rupp

The Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin is a handy, powerful rifle capable of taking down elk,...

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

A look at riflescope mounting setups, past and present.Rifle Scope Mounting Set-Ups How-To

Rifle Scope Mounting Set-Ups

Layne Simpson - December 20, 2019

A look at riflescope mounting setups, past and present.

When it comes to riflescopes, little things make a big difference...Simple Steps to Setting Up a Scope How-To

Simple Steps to Setting Up a Scope

Wayne van Zwoll - December 01, 2016

When it comes to riflescopes, little things make a big difference...

Your local gyms are closed and you aren't supposed to hit the running trails anymore, but that doesn't mean you have to retreat to your sofa. In this lesson Hollywood Weapons host and former Green Beret, Terry Schappert will talk about the importance of keeping your body fit and some tips on achieving that goal, even if you don't have the equipment already.Shelter in Place - Home Gym

Shelter in Place - Home Gym

Outdoor Channel Public Service Announcement - April 11, 2020

Your local gyms are closed and you aren't supposed to hit the running trails anymore, but that...

During those months without an open season, use that time to do some prep work with this to-do listTo-Do List for the Rifleman During the Offseason How-To

To-Do List for the Rifleman During the Offseason

Craig Boddington - March 10, 2015

During those months without an open season, use that time to do some prep work with this to-do...

See More How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the RifleShooter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All RifleShooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now