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New scope for 280AI #7580703 08/15/19 03:51 PM
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I just picked up a new 280AI that I had built at Alamo Precision. I have an upcoming elk hunt in Colorado and an audad hunt in New Mexico I am wanting to use this rifle for.

I'm shopping for a new scope and was planning on putting a Nightforce ATACR 5-25 x 56 F1 on it but then started looking at the NX8 2.5-20x50 F1 its a little lighter and smaller. I would also consider one of the bushnell elite XRS II or DMRII scopes.

I have an 800 yard range where I'll be doing my shooting prior to the hunt.
The rifle has a carbon fiber stock and carbon fiber wrapped barrel but isn't super light weight, it weighs around 7lbs without scope.

Do you guys have a strong opinion on which you would prefer?

Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580713 08/15/19 04:02 PM
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Think either would do you fine. If weight is a concern I would probably go with the lighter NF.

I do wish I was in your predicament though!


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580717 08/15/19 04:06 PM
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All great choices. For a hunter/shooter scope the NX8 is tough to beat. I've got the desire to get one for myself.


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580730 08/15/19 04:24 PM
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I like the power range of the NX8 for a hunting scope. I have a couple 2.5-15 scopes that are on m main hunting rifles. With elk ou never know ou might be in the timber or a long shot. In the timber the 2.5 on the low end can be a real benefit. There is another scope in the safe that is a 2.5-10 that I had on 2.5 hunting in a usually short range stand when a Coyote showed up in my one longer shooting land at 237 yards, dropped it on the spot with scope still set at 2.5

Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580806 08/15/19 06:16 PM
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While I have never doubted the quality of NF scopes the NX8 is new to the market while the ATACR is tried and true. That would be only reason I would consider the ATACR for what you’re wanting to do. I personally don’t recall NF bringing a scope to market that needed much refinement though.

Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: FiremanJG] #7580847 08/15/19 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by FiremanJG
All great choices. For a hunter/shooter scope the NX8 is tough to beat. I've got the desire to get one for myself.

I'm in the same boat.

Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580854 08/15/19 07:22 PM
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10oz on 10lb rig won't really be noticeable. That said, any of those would be fantastic. Don't undersell the DMR, they're an excellent value.


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580862 08/15/19 07:32 PM
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how far of shots do you anticipate taking?
lots of walking?


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: ccoker] #7580903 08/15/19 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ccoker
how far of shots do you anticipate taking?
lots of walking?


Yes, lots of walking. If the conditions are right I wouldn't hesitate shooting at 600 yards on either animal.

Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580912 08/15/19 08:36 PM
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I'm a huge ATACR fan. Let's see pics of the rifle! Good luck on the hunts!


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580945 08/15/19 09:03 PM
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I love my ACTAR 5-25 but wouldn’t want to be in the mountains with it.
I would run my 3-12 LRHS


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580982 08/15/19 09:44 PM
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I just picked up a NF SHV in the 4-14 x 50 FFP. Hoping to get some rounds on it pretty soon. I know that Buzz's brother (or brother in law) has an SHV in the 4-14 x 56.


So far pretty impressed.


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7580986 08/15/19 09:47 PM
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I got your rifle's twin in .22 Creed. I'm no optical expert and I have owned a few NXS and SHV's. I've no experience with the ATACR. I do LOVE my NX8 but whats NOT to like? Glass is great, illumination is great, Zero Stop is rock solid. It comes withe the ATACR's Tennebrake scope covers.

In your price range, the Swarovski's with their BDC are great, LIGHTWEIGHT, hunting scopes as are the Leupolds

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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7581049 08/15/19 10:51 PM
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Swarovski are not great for dialing.

I shot one four weeks ago that has the rings you can set for three more distances past zero. I got it zeroed at 100, set a ring for 200, set a ring for 300, set a ring for 400, and was going to give the customer some extra effort and go to 500 yards. The turret ran out of travel just past the 400 yard setting. So it was dialed up only 6-ish MOA and it petered out. Maybe not all models of Swaro are that way. But my take on Swaro rifle scopes are terrific glass, and that's it.


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: FiremanJG] #7581124 08/16/19 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by FiremanJG
Swarovski are not great for dialing.

I shot one four weeks ago that has the rings you can set for three more distances past zero. I got it zeroed at 100, set a ring for 200, set a ring for 300, set a ring for 400, and was going to give the customer some extra effort and go to 500 yards. The turret ran out of travel just past the 400 yard setting. So it was dialed up only 6-ish MOA and it petered out. Maybe not all models of Swaro are that way. But my take on Swaro rifle scopes are terrific glass, and that's it.


hunting line with swaro would be hard pressed to get him to 800

X5i is their true long range scope, other line would be kahles


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7581176 08/16/19 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by FiremanJG
Swarovski are not great for dialing.

I shot one four weeks ago that has the rings you can set for three more distances past zero. I got it zeroed at 100, set a ring for 200, set a ring for 300, set a ring for 400, and was going to give the customer some extra effort and go to 500 yards. The turret ran out of travel just past the 400 yard setting. So it was dialed up only 6-ish MOA and it petered out. Maybe not all models of Swaro are that way. But my take on Swaro rifle scopes are terrific glass, and that's it.


hunting line with swaro would be hard pressed to get him to 800

X5i is their true long range scope, other line would be kahles



I would have had same comments as JG until I tried the newer X5 that BOBO mentioned. I have one on my 22 Creedmoor right now it replaced an ATACR that with FFP was not cutting it with all the nighttime shooting I do. On low power I just could not pickup reticle in thick cover at night.
I have dialed it out to 650 several times and it seems to be up to it.... the older Swaro's I have played with just weren't reliable on dialing.


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: DStroud] #7581205 08/16/19 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DStroud
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted by FiremanJG
Swarovski are not great for dialing.

I shot one four weeks ago that has the rings you can set for three more distances past zero. I got it zeroed at 100, set a ring for 200, set a ring for 300, set a ring for 400, and was going to give the customer some extra effort and go to 500 yards. The turret ran out of travel just past the 400 yard setting. So it was dialed up only 6-ish MOA and it petered out. Maybe not all models of Swaro are that way. But my take on Swaro rifle scopes are terrific glass, and that's it.


hunting line with swaro would be hard pressed to get him to 800

X5i is their true long range scope, other line would be kahles



I would have had same comments as JG until I tried the newer X5 that BOBO mentioned. I have one on my 22 Creedmoor right now it replaced an ATACR that with FFP was not cutting it with all the nighttime shooting I do. On low power I just could not pickup reticle in thick cover at night.
I have dialed it out to 650 several times and it seems to be up to it.... the older Swaro's I have played with just weren't reliable on dialing.


I personally don’t think you can go wrong with swaro x5i, Mark 5, NX 8, LRHS, kahels k3, etc

I wouldn’t kick any of them out of bed for eating Cheetos. I’d go with best deal.


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7581213 08/16/19 02:35 AM
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I've got lots of lust for their STR spotting scope. But I'm too hard on rifle scopes to use any that are a maybe on durability, and aren't known for dialing reliability.


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7581389 08/16/19 01:33 PM
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truth in the Swaro Z5&6 not being a elr scope. unless you go to the x5, you will run out of come ups. with the 6.5 weatherby below, i lost it after 600 yards at Jason's a few years ago. bdc turrets are cool but limited to "normal" ranges. SO, if you hunting/shooting steel pat 600 and want a "lightweight" scope. get the NX-8, if you got coin and dont mind the weight. the ATACR cant be beat.

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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7581398 08/16/19 01:48 PM
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If you really want to keep a trim set up you can save another 7 ounces from the already light NX8 by going with a March Optics scope-- they make a 3-24x42 FFP in MIL and MOA-- comes in at 22oz.

Cutting weight isn't cheap but to save nearly a half pound for a cost difference of $400-500 it doesn't get any cheaper for weight savings.

Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7581610 08/16/19 06:46 PM
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I ended up ordering the NX8. It should be here Monday.

Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7581636 08/16/19 07:12 PM
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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7581699 08/16/19 08:25 PM
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Like it all the way around up


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Re: New scope for 280AI [Re: JTS] #7589669 08/26/19 11:24 AM
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I do believe I'd also vote for the new NX8 over the big ATACR. A 5-25 ATACR is a fine scope, but man it's big and heavy. And in practical application that extra weight and size isn't worth it for an extra 5x on the top end magnification. I'm guessing that the FOV on the low end is probably better on the NX8 as well. NX8 is brand new, but Nightforce is probably the only optics company that I'd trust to have a solid product from the get-go. Plus, they are already out in the wild and getting good reviews (no big surprise.)

The only other option you might consider in that ~$2k range is an ATACR 4-16x42 F1. It's a very solid, compact optic. Capped windage, and the locking low profile elevation turret is very nice out in the field. I've used one for years, love it for hunting.

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