Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm Review – A 2022 Guide

Standing its ground on the civilian and professional market for more than a decade now, the Nightforce NX8 is a very trusted, acclaimed, and sought after brand of riflescopes. While NF is known for their long range scopes, they’ve also tried to fit a high zoom ratio and low minimum magnification into a compact package. We’re talking about the NX8 2.5-20x scope. Let’s find out what this scope has to offer, and how it can be helpful. 

  • Illuminated FFP reticle and wide parallax settings
  • Zero Stop turrets and integrated power throw lever
  • Unique 2.5 - 20 x magnification combination scope
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  • Durable Build Quality
  • Wide Choice of Tactical Reticles
  • Absolute Clarity, Contrast, and Resolution
  • The Uncommon but Useful 8x Zoom Ratio


  • Small Eyebox
  • Slight mounting and ergonomic issues
  • Mushy turrets and Very Fine Parallax Adjustments

Eye Relief: 3.5 inches

Adjustment Options (Parallax, windage, elevation): W - 80 MOA / E - 110 MOA. P - 11 yards to infinity

Type of Reticle: Multiple F1 options

Image of Reticle:

Magnification: 2.5 - 20 x 

Focal Plane: First Focal Plane

Objective Lens: 50 mm 

Field of View: 41.8 - 6.8 ft at 100 yds

Weight: 28.3 oz. 


The NX8 is an amazing series of scopes and has many amazing features to offer. From build quality to the exit pupil. Let’s find all the good this scope has to offer. 

The Uncommon But Useful 8x Zoom Ratio

The designers of this NX8 scope have come up with a miraculous strategy to give a scope with low magnification an 8x zoom ratio. This 8x ratio doesn’t seem to be offered at a substantial compromise in design in function. But the only one which is the ‘eye box’ (more on that later in the cons). Combined with the price point that is quite less than the other famous Nightforce scope series, the NX8 offers a good value for money.

Durable Build Quality

The NX8 is not a simple aluminum tube housing designed to reduce the weight of the overall scope. It has the durability of a hammer, even with a compact and relatively lightweight design. The interior setup has been meticulously designed to make the scope absolutely impervious against shock, recoil, and inclement weather. The scope tube is almost 3x as thick compared to other similar scopes. This can be your common go-to scope for long range precision shooting applications.

Absolute Clarity, Contrast, and Resolution

The NX8 2.5-20x scope offers an absolutely perfect contrast when your eye is perfectly aligned in the eyebox. The resolution is also amazing, given your eye is properly aligned. All these factors related to the clarity of the image are connected with the eyebox, which is quite small. The NX8 scopes use the extra-low dispersion (ED glass) which is renowned for its clarity and brightness projection. Additionally, the use of ED glass has not made the price of this scope too crazy. 

Wide Choice of Tactical Reticles

The NX8 offers seven different reticle types to choose from. Including their proprietary digillium technology reticles. All these reticles are FFP and illuminated with an option to switch between red or green color. These illuminated reticles feature hash marks for trajectory estimations, and some variants are so intricately detailed that you won’t even have to touch the turrets for many consecutive shots at varying range. 


The NX8 features a condensed and uncommon design. Perhaps designed with utter care and dedication, it is still prone to some drawbacks. 

Mushy Turrets and Very Fine Parallax Adjustments

A very minor but notable problem, or rather we may call it a design drawback, was the slightly mushy turrets. The turrets aren’t very crisp, especially when compared with other similar scopes. However, the turrets are still very precise and also capped to prevent misdialing.

Another consideration to keep in mind is that this scope offers parallax adjustment from 11 yards to infinity. With such an extensive adjustment scale, you have to be very precise while dialing to ensure your already small eyebox doesn’t get affected. 

Small Eyebox

While the NX8 tries to condense an 8x erector zoom ratio inside this scope. It does have a drawback. The zoom ratio has a direct effect on the eyebox which is too small and requires you to maintain a perfect cheek weld and hold the position. This can be an issue when you have to shoot from odd positions. 

Slight Mounting and Ergonomic Issues

The gap between the turret and the objective bell on this NX8 scope is quite small. The total mounting length of the scope is just 5.4 inches and given the eye relief and small eyebox. Positioning this scope on certain rifles can be a bit challenging. 

Best Uses For the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm

This NX8 is a versatile and almost an all-purpose scope for your rifles. The magnification combination is quite uncommon and allows you to accurately hit targets at close at well as long range. The constant 3.5 inches of eye relief is a good feature for hunters and scouts, as long as you respect the eyebox limitations. 

Even with such a revolutionary design, the scope lacks a quick diopter adjustment feature which can make quick acquisition matters slightly finicky. Additionally, the exact use of this scope depends upon the type of reticle you choose. 

If you opt for a basic reticle with only windage and elevation hash marks, it will be a good option for hunting and practice. Whereas if you opt for more sophisticated reticles like the Digillium Horus Tremor, you can very well use it for real-life tactical applications. 

The scope itself is very durable and suits rugged applications. So you may very well take it on hunting trips in the field. Facing rain, dirt, sun, or snow, and even hammering nails with it won't disturb the zero. 

Is the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm Compatible With Any Rifle? 

The Nightforce NX8 2-5-20x scope will work with any rifle that has appropriate space to get it mounted. As already discussed, the turret has been pushed a little bit forward, making the space between it and the objective bell slightly scarce. 

The scope is good for short as well as long range and will work best with mid-sized calibers like .223, .243, and .308. High caliber rifles are also viable to some extent. But given the eye relief and small eyebox, you may want to think twice. 

What Do I Need to Know About Mounting the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm?

Nightforce scopes are always accompanied by a comprehensive and easy-to-use manual. It’s better if you keep it safely with you for future reference. As with this scope, due to the compact size, the scope will consume less rail space. However, the position of the scope is very crucial. The small eye box and less forward mounting space will require you to make some iterations when mounting the scope. 

You’ll need a 5/64” allen wrench to reset the windage and elevation dial to zero after establishing zero on your scope. This key can also be used to remove the PTL (Power Throw Lever).

The illumination, brightness settings, and color change buttons are located as a branded push button on top of the parallax adjustment dial. You’ll also find the battery compartment upon unscrewing this dial. This NX8 scope uses a CR2032 battery. The scope is solidly built and impervious to most damages. However, ensure proper cleaning at regular intervals for optimal performance. 

What Makes the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm Stand Out From the Competition?

The biggest differentiating factor that makes this NX8 scope stand out from the competition is its 8x erector zoom ratio and that too packed in a compact package. Additionally, the inclusion of smart tactical reticles makes this scope usable for extreme precision applications. The NX8 is also a winner for its durable build quality and utter clarity even under low lighting conditions. The parallax adjustments are very fine and the scope allows you to adjust it beginning from 11 yards. 

This combination of variable magnification is unique, and a good experiment to suit very short and long range uses. 

Nightforce NX8 vs ATACR - Comparison Overview 

The NX8 and ATACR series are gems of the Nightforce line of scopes. The things you’ll find absolutely common in these scopes are the build quality, ED glass, FFP reticle, warranty, and basic setup (turrets, battery compartment, etc). Plus, the things you’ll find very different are the price, weight, and size. The ATACR is the big guy.  

The ATACR is considered to be a better choice if you have some extra money to spare. One major drawback that limits the NX8 in comparison is its small eyebox. Which somewhat limits its application in certain situations. 

The ATACR offers a comparatively better overall performance in terms of long range precision and ease of handling. But the NX8 is not far behind. Conclusively, both scopes have their own place and neither of them can be called an incompetent scope. Eventually, it all drills down to your personal preference. 

When rightly compared, the ATACR is a scope to be mounted on a hunting or competitive rifle. Whereas the NX8 is more of an SHTF riflescope. 


The Nightforce NX8 2.5-20x offers a unique combination of variable magnification, making the scope suitable for short and long range use. The scope offers an illuminated and tactical FFP reticle in red or green colors. This is a rugged scope best suited for short/medium range hunting, competitions and bench rest shooting practice. 

People Also Ask

Before you invest your money into the NX8 scope, check out these common queries that’ll help you evaluate your purchase and also handle the scope better. 

What Kind of Warranty Does the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm Come With?

The NX8 2.5-20x scope is covered by a limited lifetime warranty. This warranty covers all manufacturing and workmanship defects on this scope. The warranty is transferable without the need for any receipts. 

Can You Use the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm in Low Light?

Yes. The NX8 scope can very well be used in low light. The scope has a big 50 mm objective lens to gather a good amount of light. Plus, the illuminated two-color reticle also helps with shooting targets during dawn and dusk. Or even in the night with night vision accessories. 

How Long Does the Battery Last on the Nightforce NX8 2.5-20X50mm?

As claimed by the company. A fresh battery on the Nightforce NX8 will work for about 29 hours on the brightest illumination setting. So, it’s better if you carry an extra battery and also turn off the scope when not in use. 

What is the Nightforce NX8 MOA?

The Nightforce NX8 is a line of rifle scopes suitable for different short and long range applications. The MOA stands for Minute of Angle and signifies the measurement of turret adjustment in the scope for windage and elevation. Or in simpler terms, to estimate the trajectory and point of impact of the fired bullet.


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