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Leupold VX6 Multigun CMR2 vs Nightforce NXS 1-4 FC3G


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Hey guys, I'm looking at optics for my newest build. It's a 14.5" BCM BFH Midlength with KMR 13 handguard and SJC Titan comp. The primary use of the rifle is shooting 3gun, but secondary (and equally important) uses include hunting and other general outside uses (SHTF, whatever). Our local 3gun matches are limited to 100 yds, so I've thought about putting an Aimpoint on it and just shooting in "factory" division. However, (1) I already have a 10.3" SBR with an Aimpoint and would like to have an AR with some more distance capability since it has a longer barrel and all, (2) Some of the 100 yd targets can be small/partially obscured and so a little magnification helps. Also, if I really get into this and want to go shoot a major match, it would be nice to have a setup I'm already familiar with and buy once/cry once.

So with all of that said, I think I'm down to choosing between these two scopes. I did consider the Vortex, but I've shot a buddy's and looked through several others (I work at a shop that sells Vortex) and it just never looks "right" to me. Also, it's heavy. The gun I've built is pretty light and nimble and I don't want to weigh it down too badly. On paper, the Leupold seems to beat the Nightforce in every aspect. Leupold is lighter, has longer eye relief, and has better FOV. I understand that the Nightforce is not daylight bright (and apparently neither is this version of the Leupold), but several folks seem to still highly recommend the NF and have done well with it. Looks to me like both reticles would still appear as a bold, black circle even if the illumination was washed out.

They are priced pretty much the same too. The only advantages I see to the Nightforce are that it's shorter and potentially more rugged. Then again, even Leupold's hunting scopes are pretty rugged.

Thoughts one way or the other? Hoping to pull the trigger in the next couple weeks.


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Yeah, I've got some thoughts. I'd strongly encourage you to go look through a Vortex Viper PST 1-4x TMCQ MOA (capped turrets). The URL to it on the Vortex site is here: http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/vortex-viper-pst-1-4x24-riflescope-with-tmcq-moa-reticle-capped-turrets. It's slightly north of 14 ounces with a wicked fast reticle; at least for the way my eyes work. I used that on a 16" barrel upper from Carbon Arms (a forum vendor) and blazed through a couple of shoot houses in a match at a training facility near Ft Bragg, NC. It was the first time I had been in a match like that, inside a structure blasting in just about every direction. It was wonderful fun.....anyway. Longest targets at that match were 200 yards or a tad more [the other stages :-) ]. Sounds like the typical use range you are expecting with the exception of an unspecified "major."

Put it in either an Aero Precision Ultralight mount (maybe the SPR one for a more forward position? Select one here: http://aeroprecisionusa.com/aspx/store/listing.aspx?catid=3)that clocks in at 3.36 ounces.That gets you on the rifle for a total weight of 17.8oz. But, don't forget the Vortex switchview lever for the complete package.

Or you could grab the slightly heavier Warne XSKEL mount, if you prefer.

In the end that saves you many hundreds of dollars that you could apply to the ammo, match fee, travel, food, and lodging to that unspecified major-match-someday.

If 1-6x is a deal-breaking need, then you shouldn't even mention the Nightforce and just drive on. I agree that the Leupold model you mention looks good and is an admirable weight. FOV specs look very good also. Then I look at the price and die a little inside. I am advocating for this particular Vortex because your candidate NF scope is 1-4x.

I see the Leupold for about $1300 online where the Vortex I propose is $480. Assume the mounts and levers are a wash between them. That's big money. However, compared to some other 1-6x scopes that seems competitive.

In the end, after consideration, I'd encourage you to reconsider the need for 1-6x. If you really think that is a likely need (not wanted, but actually likely) then that Leupold looks good on paper. I've never had the opportunity to use that or another Leupold like it. So then grab it and go. :cheers:

But, if after re-evaluation, you don't actually need that 6x at the top end, think about the Vortex I've mentioned. I've used it on multiple matches and it's a workhorse for me in that range. I shoot Open/Unlimited as a general rule, but that one is my 'go to' for a great 1-4x that matches how my eyes like circles with dots inside. For 1x speed on target I think it's truly excellent. Plus, you'll probably save money for multiple matches and a bunch of ammo.

Good luck regardless and I hope you enjoy whatever scope you select.

Best Regards,


Edited by michael1778
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I agree that I don't need the 6X top end, hence considering the Nightforce. The Nightforce is something I'd considered in the past, but ruled out due to lack of daybright illumination. I had a conversation with Erik Lund last night about what I'm doing, what matches I'm shooting, and best choices (Factory vs Practical division). He's local and is familiar with the matches I'm shooting. He's the one that recommended the Nightforce.

As I mentioned in my original post I work for a shop that sells Vortex and I've messed with the PST 1-4 before. I didn't really care for the reticle (looked too busy to me) and felt the glass had some distortion. I'll pick one up tonight and mess with it again, though.

As for the mount, I already have an Aero extended 30mm mount. I had the Bushnell PCL Throwdown 1-4 in it. Was a decent way to transition from the Aimpoints I'm familiar with, but the combination of not being daybright and FFP caused me some issues tracking the reticle.

Thanks for taking the time to respond and write so much!

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If you are considering a 1-4x, I would consider other options besides the Nightforce. The VX-6 is a different class of scope entirely - it is very light for a 1-6x, generous eyebox, and excellent illumination. Whether it is worth the $$$ is up to you - you could always look for an used VX-6 and switch the reticle. I have a VX-6 with the #4 reticle that is getting switched over to a CMR-2 as we speak.

The Leupold illumination is outstanding, as is the optic quality. I am sure the Nightforce is nice as well but I don't think it is the ideal scope for this game. Honestly though there are alot of great optics out there and it makes for a tough choice. There is also the Burris XTR II 1-5, which I would also put in contention just to muddy the waters a bit more...

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For your local matches and other intended uses, I would think daytime illumination would be of more importance than a BDC with marginal or non-existent daytime illumination. I believe you would be better served with the VX-6 with their circle dot firedot reticle, and have the free CDS dial calibrated to your pet load and see how it works for you. The Circlre dot reticle is really bright and crisp with out clutter and has a very fine point for precision shooting. As far as the VX-6 being as tough as the knightforce, I think you'd have a hard time breaking it. Have you seen the video by Leupold, sledge hammering one out of a block of Ice then mounting it up and its still shooting straight? pretty impressive.

Oh yeah, and if you feel you gotta have the CMR2 reticle you can do it later.

Edited by mpeltier
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Out to 100 yds I would think daylight illumination trumps BDC. But, if that's the case, a RDS would likely fit the bill better anyway. Since you've ruled that out and want something for general purpose I think that brings back both illumination and BDC into the mix.

I'd echo the Viper PST as a viable option. I really like mine. I've only had the opportunity to go out to ~400 yds, but haven't had trouble picking up 3Gun steel at that distance. Sure, I'd like a 1-6, but >$1k isn't in the cards, at least for my purposes. And certainly not at the expense of illumination and a somewhat logical BDC.

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Thanks for the continued input guys. I took a look at the whole package and decided to just punt and put an Aimpoint T1 on the gun. Scored a used one with an ADM mount for $525 shipped. I mock mounted and played with a NF 1-4, a Leupold Mark 6 1-6, a Trijicon VCOG, and a Vortex Razor 1-6. Do to the range of my local matches mostly being room distance with a few (like 10 max per match) 75-100 yd shots thrown in, I think the up close speed is going to be the most important factor. All of the variables I tried were noticeable slower inside 10yds than the Aimpoint (no surprise there). I think the problem comes when guys talk online about "up close" defining what that really means. I think for some folks that means 25yds and for that distance I could see where the distortion on the low end of the variables would be cleared up. However, when we're running shoot houses with targets literally at 5-10 feet with hostages and headshots, that distortion slows you down; at least it does me.

The other component to consider is the shotgun. My Benelli currently has a Nordic +5 for an 8 round tube. If I were going to be competitive in Tacops/Practical, it would behoove me to have the ability to load more than that after the buzzer. Hence, I'm going to run what I've got with a T-1 on the rifle and shoot in Limited/TacIrons/Factory. I'm looking forward to it. For "general field use" or hunting, I'll just bring my bolt .308 with a 3.5-10 Leupold.

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