NightForce NX8 4-32x50mm Riflescope Review: The Ultimate Precision Optic for Hunters and Long-Range Shooters

As an avid hunter and night vision enthusiast, I’ve had the pleasure of testing countless riflescopes over the years. However, few have left as lasting an impression as the NightForce NX8 4-32x50mm. This scope is a true game-changer for hunters and long-range shooters alike, offering a perfect blend of versatility, precision, and durability. In this comprehensive review, we’ll dive deep into what makes the NX8 stand out in a crowded field of high-end optics.

A Brief History of NightForce

Before we delve into the specifics of the NX8, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the pedigree behind this optic. NightForce Optics, Inc. has been a leader in the precision optics industry since its founding in 1992. Based in Lavonia, Georgia, with manufacturing facilities in Idaho, NightForce has built a reputation for producing some of the most reliable and high-performance scopes on the market. Their products are favored by military personnel, law enforcement, competitive shooters, and discerning hunters who demand the utmost in optical quality and durability.

First Impressions and Build Quality

When I first got my hands on the NX8, I was immediately struck by its compact size and relatively light weight. At just 28.6 ounces and 13.4 inches in length, it’s remarkably portable for a scope offering such impressive magnification. The matte black finish not only looks sleek but also helps reduce glare in the field – a crucial consideration for hunters trying to remain undetected.

The overall build quality is exceptional, as you’d expect from a NightForce product. The scope feels solid and well-balanced, with no rattles or loose components. The turrets offer positive clicks, and the magnification ring turns smoothly without being too loose. It’s clear that this scope is built to withstand the rigors of hard use in challenging environments.

Mounting and Eye Relief

I mounted the NX8 on my trusty .300 Winchester Magnum using a set of high-quality 30mm rings. The scope’s 30mm main tube provides plenty of mounting options and allows for ample adjustment range. One thing to note is that due to the compact nature of the scope, you may need to play around with ring positioning to achieve optimal eye relief, especially on rifles with longer actions.

Speaking of eye relief, the NX8 offers a generous 3.5 inches throughout its magnification range. This is a critical feature, especially when using hard-recoiling rifles. I’ve taken hundreds of shots with this setup, and I’ve never experienced the dreaded “scope eye” – a testament to the well-designed eye box of the NX8.

Optical Performance

Now, let’s talk about what really matters in a riflescope – the glass. The optical quality of the NX8 is nothing short of superb. The fully multi-coated lenses provide exceptional light transmission, resulting in a bright, clear image even in challenging low-light conditions. I’ve used this scope from first light to last shooting light on numerous hunts, and it’s never left me wanting for more brightness or clarity.

The edge-to-edge sharpness is impressive, with minimal distortion even at the highest magnification settings. Color rendition is true-to-life, and the contrast is excellent, allowing you to easily pick out animals against complex backgrounds.

One of the standout features of the NX8 is its first focal plane (FFP) reticle. For those unfamiliar, an FFP reticle grows and shrinks as you adjust the magnification, ensuring that the reticle subtensions remain accurate at any power setting. This is invaluable for long-range shooting, as it allows for consistent holdovers and ranging regardless of your chosen magnification.

Magnification Range and Versatility

The 8x zoom range, from 4x to 32x, is truly impressive and contributes greatly to the versatility of this scope. At 4x, you have a wide field of view perfect for close-range shots or tracking moving game. Crank it up to 32x, and you have the ability to precisely place shots at extreme distances or carefully study minute details of distant targets.

I’ve found this range to be incredibly useful in real-world hunting scenarios. On a recent elk hunt in dense timber, I was able to quickly acquire and take a shot on a bull at just 75 yards using the 4x setting. Later that same day, I used the scope’s full 32x magnification to precisely place a 600-yard shot on a coyote we spotted across a valley. This kind of versatility is what makes the NX8 such a valuable tool for hunters who might encounter a wide range of shooting scenarios.

It’s worth noting that at the highest magnification settings, especially beyond 25x, the image can start to darken noticeably. This is a common issue with high-power scopes, especially those with a 50mm objective lens. In practical field use, I rarely find myself needing more than 20-24x magnification, where the image quality remains excellent.

Precision Turrets and Adjustments

The exposed elevation turret on the NX8 offers an impressive 90 MOA or 26 MIL of total travel. Each click provides a positive tactile and audible feedback, with adjustments of 0.25 MOA or 0.1 MIL per click, depending on your chosen configuration. During my tall target testing, I found the adjustments to be extremely precise and repeatable – a critical factor for long-range shooting.

One feature I particularly appreciate is the ZeroStop function. This allows you to quickly and easily return to your zero after dialing for long-range shots, without the need to count clicks or remember how many rotations you’ve made. It’s a simple yet effective system that can be a real lifesaver in high-pressure shooting situations.

The windage turret is capped to prevent accidental adjustments in the field. Personally, I prefer to hold for wind rather than dial, so this works well for my shooting style. However, for those who prefer to dial for wind, the cap is easily removed when needed.

Illuminated Reticle and Parallax Adjustment

The NX8 features NightForce’s “Digillum” illuminated reticle system, which offers both red and green illumination with multiple brightness settings. This feature is invaluable for low-light hunting situations or when shooting against dark backgrounds. The auto-off feature, which turns off the illumination after one hour of inactivity, helps conserve battery life – a thoughtful touch that shows NightForce’s attention to real-world usability.

The parallax adjustment, located on the left side of the scope, allows for fine-tuning from 11 yards to infinity. This wide range of adjustment is particularly useful for shooters who engage targets at varying distances, from close-range to extreme long-range.

Real-World Performance and Durability

Over the past six months, I’ve put this scope through its paces on multiple hunts and long-range shooting sessions. It’s tracked flawlessly through thousands of rounds, maintaining zero even on my hard-recoiling magnum rifles. The fog-proof and waterproof construction has stood up to some truly challenging weather conditions, including a particularly wet and humid deer season opener where many other optics struggled with condensation.

The durability of the NX8 is a testament to NightForce’s reputation for building rugged, reliable optics. Whether it’s been bounced around on ATVs, subjected to freezing temperatures and driving sleet, or just the general abuse that comes with hard hunting, the NX8 has never missed a beat. This kind of reliability is invaluable when you’re in the field, far from home, and your shot opportunity might be the culmination of months of planning and preparation.

Is It Worth the Investment?

At around $2,150, the NightForce NX8 4-32x50mm certainly isn’t a budget optic. However, in my experience, you truly get what you pay for when it comes to quality riflescopes. The clarity, precision, versatility, and rugged durability of the NX8 make it a scope that will serve you well for many years of hard use.

For the serious hunter or long-range shooter looking for a do-it-all optic, it’s hard to beat the NX8. The combination of premium glass, first focal plane reticle, wide magnification range, and robust construction make it incredibly versatile. Whether you’re hunting elk in dark timber, taking precision shots at steel targets at 1,000 yards, or anything in between, this scope can handle it all with ease.


The NightForce NX8 4-32x50mm is more than just a riflescope – it’s a precision optical instrument that can elevate your shooting to new heights. Its combination of optical clarity, mechanical precision, and rugged durability make it a top choice for serious hunters and long-range shooters.

While the price point may be a barrier for some, those who invest in the NX8 will find themselves rewarded with a scope that can handle virtually any shooting scenario they might encounter. From close-range shots in thick cover to extreme long-range precision, the NX8 delivers consistent, reliable performance.

If you’re in the market for a high-end riflescope that can tackle any shooting scenario, I can’t recommend the NightForce NX8 4-32x50mm enough. It’s become an indispensable part of my hunting and shooting setup, and I believe it could do the same for you.

So, what’s your take? Have you had the chance to use the NX8 or other NightForce optics? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. And if you’re ready to take your shooting to the next level, consider giving the NightForce NX8 4-32x50mm a try. Your targets (and your shooting buddies) will thank you!

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