Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50 Review – 2022 Ultimate Guide

Nightforce’s NXS is a premium riflescope designed for accurate shots at 2000 yards and beyond.

While it’s a great scope overall, it’s too expensive to buy without being sure it’s the right scope for you. Here’s what you should know about this scope.

  • Long range SFP scope with large objective lens
  • Zero stop turrets with 100 MOA internal adjustment
  • Illuminated MOAR reticle and titanium internal springs
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  • Excellent Durability
  • High-Quality Glass
  • Improved Spring Pressure
  • Excellent Magnification Range


  • Pricey
  • Weighs 31oz

Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50 Specs

Eye Relief: 3.74 inches

Adjustment Options: 50 yards to infinity for Parallax, 100 MOA

Type of Reticle: Crosshair

Magnification: 5.5x to 22x

Focal Plane: Second Focal Plane

Objective Lens: 50 mm

Field of View: 4.7 feet to 17.5 feet at 100 yards

Weight: 31 oz


Here are the primary upsides of this scope.

Excellent Magnification Range

With a magnification range of 5.5x to 22x, this scope easily has one of the market’s broadest ranges. That makes it an outstanding choice for mid-range to long-range precision shooting. The manufacturer rates it for accuracy at 2000 yards or more with .50 BMGs.

As with most scopes, it can get a little fuzzy when you get past 20x. This isn’t a problem because few scopes are truly sharp in that range, even at the best of times. It’s still more than sharp enough to work well for most users, and in the end, that’s what matters the most.

Improved Spring Pressure

For those who aren’t familiar with the way rifle scopes work, most have a spring on the inside that pushes back against the adjustment knobs for windage and elevation. This helps the scope stay in place once you set it, but weak springs can make a scope fail faster over time.

The reason this matter is because the Nightforce NXS is a particularly expensive scope, and weak components aren’t acceptable. Nightforce knows this, which is why they use a titanium beta erector spring that delivers about three times as much spring pressure as other scopes have. That’s significantly better than the competition.


Durability varies widely between scopes. This particular option is made from 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum or, as we like to call it, “the normal rifle scope material”. We don’t give extra points to products for using the same material as most other products in a particular category.

That said, they use this material because it’s durable. This scope is functionally waterproof and weather-resistant, which means you can use it comfortably in almost any shooting environment. This doesn’t matter as much if you’re firing at indoor ranges, but it does make a difference for hunting and other outdoor activities.

High-Quality Glass

Component quality matters for premium products and few of them matter more than the quality of the glass. This scope offers crystal-clear visibility with outstanding product quality compared to more-affordable scopes, once again proving that you get what you pay for.


Sadly, no product is perfect, even in this price range. Here are the main reasons to avoid buying the Nightforce NXS.


At 31 oz, the Nightforce NXS is significantly heavier than many other scopes. Most of the added weight comes from the 15.1-inch frame and the extra metal used around it, but other components matter as well. A difference of 0.1 ounces can affect a marksman’s shot, so you’ll need to spend some time practicing with this scope to master its use.


This is the other major drawback for most people, as well as the factor that will make or break many deals. Pricing will vary somewhat by the dealer, but this is still a premium product with a premium price tag. You could plausibly buy a high-quality hunting rifle for less than you’ll pay for this scope.

The converse is also true. Put simply, this scope is too good for most rifles. It takes a high-quality gun to shoot well at 1000 or 2000 yards, which is where this scope excels. If you’re not shooting at targets that far away, you shouldn’t get a scope emphasizing such long-range shots. That would be like putting a jet engine on a paper airplane.

In short, the real price of this product isn’t solely in the scope itself. You should also consider the price and capabilities of your gun. Otherwise, you run a serious risk of wasting your investment. 

Best Uses for the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50

Here are some of the best uses for the Nightforce NXS rifle scope.

Competitive Precision Shooting

With a wide magnification range, the Nightforce NXS is suitable for competitive precision-focused shooting at various ranges. Anything closer than 50 yards is probably too close for proper shooting, but otherwise, this scope is suitable for almost any environment.

As you might expect from its style, this scope is better when you can shoot at your own pace instead of trying to acquire targets as swiftly as possible. It’s a precision tool, not a rapid-fire tool, and you won’t get the most from it if you use it for other purposes.


Being honest, most people don’t hunt from 1000 to 2000 yards away. This is more about practicality than anything else. Any reasonably-dense forest will have too many obstacles for genuinely long-range shots. That said, with the right environment, this scope is an outstanding option and can let you take down a target long before it notices you.

Tactical Environments

Finally, this scope works well in tactical environments like some military engagements. While it’s not a top-end sniping scope, its excellent range makes it ideal for firing from vantage points like rooftops.

Is the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50 Compatible With Any Rifle?

No. The Nightforce NXS is only truly compatible with mid-to-long range rifles. Shorter-range rifles, especially those intended for rapid-fire, won’t get the full value from this scope. Given the cost here, you should only buy this for rifles that you can shoot at 1000 yards or more. Otherwise, you should save your money and get a scope focused on shorter ranges instead.

What Do I Need to Know About Mounting The Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50?

Despite its premium pricing, mounting this scope is a little harder than you might expect. It has a fundamentally slim profile that helps it fit into different mounting systems, but you may need to adapt it a little to make it fit.

Small flaws can make a big difference when you’re shooting at long ranges, so we recommend reaching out to Nightforce before buying this product. Their customer service staff can usually help you determine the right mount for your gun, and that can save you a lot of time if you need to order a new mount at the same time you get this scope.

What Makes the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50 Stand Out From the Competition?

The main feature that lets this scope stand out from others is its magnification range. Its shortest range is suitable for hunting game in forests and mountains, where up to 8x magnification is appropriate for most situations. At the high end, 22x is more than suitable for sniping smaller targets in fields or desert environments.

The other factor that helps this product stand out is its overall build quality. This is a premium product and has the durability to match, so it’s highly unlikely that you will find defects from the manufacturing process.

Nightforce NXS vs ATACR vs Vortex Razor - Comparison Overview 

The NXS’s biggest competitors are the ATACR (also from Nightforce) and the Vortex Razor.

Nightforce NXS vs Vortex Razor

Like the NXS line, Vortex’s Razor line of scopes comes in several versions. The most comparable is the 5-20x50 tactical rifle scope, which offers an illuminated reticule and a slightly lower minimum and maximum magnification.

The Razor has a smaller objective lens but offers an illuminated red LED for enhanced targeting and adjustments in low-light situations. It also has a first focal plane reticule, which is broadly better. Since it tends to be a little more affordable than the NXS 5.5-22x50, we like the Vortex Razor 5-20x50 a little more.

Nightforce NXS vs ATACR

Nightforce’s ATACR comes in several versions, but the most comparable is its 5-25x56 scope. The ATACR is functionally a better version of the NXS, with features like high-speed adjustments for faster shooting. The ATACR is also significantly more expensive than the already-premium NXS, so we can only recommend it if the price is not a concern.


The Nightforce NXS 5.5-20x50 rifle scope is an outstanding choice for long-range shooting. Its reasonable battery life, high precision, and general craftsmanship make it worth its price. However, while it’s a good product, there are other good scopes in a similar price range, so ultimately we recommend this as a 'good pick' in this price range.

People Also Ask

Here are some common questions people have about the Nightforce NXS 5.5-20x50 scope.

Why Are Nightforce NXS Scopes Second Focal Plane?

Second focal plane scopes are easier to manufacture. This helps keep the cost low compared to the first focal plane scopes. Even for premium products, pricing matters.

Can You Use the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50 in Low Light Situations?

Yes. While they don’t particularly advertise it, this scope does have an analog illumination system. That, mixed with the wide objective lens, makes it a reasonable option for low light situations.

How Long Does the Battery Last on the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50?

As always, the lifespan of a battery depends on how you use it. Nightforce rates this product for about 720+ hours of continuous use, which is low compared to many red dot sights. The Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50 scope uses an Energizer CR2032 (or equivalent).


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