Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×42 Review

Nightfore 2.5-10x42 on Wilson Combat 6.8 tight shot

The new Nightforce NSX 2.5-10×42 is an outstanding scope.  I spent considerable time evaluating it at the range and out in the field hunting.. want to know more?

The Nightforce NXS compacts, 2.5-10×24 and 2.5-10×32 have both been extremely popular, especially on an AR15 platform like a REECE type rifle.  The new 42mm objective provides increased low light performance and also features a parallax adjustment from 25 meters to infinity and also the new Digital illumination on the parallax adjustment side knob.


  • 2.5-10 magnification range
  • 42mm objective
  • new Mil R reticle (more on this later)
  • 2nd focal plane reticle
  • .1 mil adjustments
  • zero stop on elevation turret with 5 mils per revolution
  • parallax adjustment
  • digital illumination with both red and green settings as well as NVG compatible settings in green.
  • 30mm tube
  • 11.9″ in length
  • 20.5 ounces


The zero stop on the Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×42 works very well and is easy to setup.  The turrets have a nice positive feel to them and are audible, they are precise and just stiff enough so as not to move accidentally.  I hunted with it numerous times getting it in and out of a case as well as being slung carried, getting in and out of blinds, stalk hunting, etc.. and the windage turret was always on zero. If I was to be nitpicky, about the only thing I would like to see is a capped windage option.

Illuminated reticle

Simply push the button to turn on the lit reticle, note that the entire reticle gets illuminated, you can cycle through the intensity settings and it will flash when at the minimum and maximum values.  You can alternate between red and green.  Holding the button for 8 seconds will active the NVG compatible settings in green.   For ultra low light use, like 30 minutes past sundown on a dark night I found myself using the lowest 2 NVG settings which did not not overpower the target, or in my case, deer and hogs.  This is the only scope with a fully lit reticle I could set low enough for hunting,  For LE or military use in urban environments  the standard settings work very well.  I had the scope off the rifle and did several tests in my neighborhood out to 300 yards down the end of my street.  This would make an excellent optic for a SWAT team sniper, HRT, etc..


I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the glass in the Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×42.  Resolution was outstanding, great clarity and the parallax was easy to setup and not at all finicky.  It had a generous eyebox and was just a very easy scope to get behind and use.  Even in extremely low light it performed better than I expected it would.  I am told that this is the same glass as the NXSs have been using and if so, they really did their homework on the optical design of the scope as it held it’s own against  euro scopes, my S&B 1.5-6×42 and a Leica 3-12×50.  In fact, I would have not believed it possible and would have doubted anyone that said it would be in the same league, but to my eyes, it absolutely held it’s own.  I took it out hunting looking for my “trophy” buck that I spent a lot of money pursuing every year, I won’t put my hunt at risk for a review frankly.


I tested the scope with the new Mil-R reticle which is as the name implies is mil based and is a well designed reticle.  There are numerous other options including MOA based, a Hunter reticle and several BDC options.  One thing I really appreciate is when a company makes it easy to get detailed reticle data and Nightforce does this right!

mil-r reticle



I get to test a lot of nice scopes, and this is as nice as it gets frankly.  The Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×42 is simply a damned good scope that is well thought out, designed and executed.  It is a joy to use and would serve well on a tactical rig, range rig or hunting.  One note on SFP vs FFP, personally, while I like a FFP scope for long range and higher magnification, for lower powered variables or closer range use I am fine with SFP.  To me it is all about the overall package, the magnification range, the intended use and of course,  the reticle design plays a HUGE role in the success or failure of a scope for intended uses.  All of those things taken into consideraton I think Nightforce did a very good job with the NSX 2.5-10×42.

Nightforce 2.5-10x42 on Wilson Combat 6.8

Nightforce 2.5-10×42 on Wilson Combat 6.8

Nightfore 2.5-10x42 in Alamo Four Star DLOC mount

Nightfore 2.5-10×42 in Alamo Four Star DLOC mount

Nightfore 2.5-10x42 on Wilson Combat 6.8 close view

Nightfore 2.5-10×42 on Wilson Combat 6.8 close view

Nightfore 2.5-10x42 on Wilson Combat 6.8 tight shot

Nightfore 2.5-10×42 on Wilson Combat 6.8 tight shot

Nightfore 2.5-10x42 turret close up in Alamo Four Star DLOC mount

Nightfore 2.5-10×42 turret close up in Alamo Four Star DLOC mount








NightForce NXS 2.5-10x42 on a Rem 700 in a Manners MCS-T

NightForce NXS 2.5-10×42 on a Rem 700 in a Manners MCS-T

Nightforce NSX 2.5-10x42 on Wilson Combat 6.8

Nightforce NSX 2.5-10×42 on Wilson Combat 6.8

For more information:×42-nxs-compact-riflescope/

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Founding staff member, avid shooter, hunter, reloader and all around gun geek with an obsession for perfection

8 Responses to Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×42 Review

  1. RMVG90 says:

    Looking at purchasing this scope for use with a 16″ RECCE style weapon system where I believe it would shine but I will most likely be the owner of a Remington 700 in the near future. Would this rifle be suitable for both weapons systems or do you feel that there are better options for a 20″ bolt action rifle to be used in both hunting and general target/range use. Intended use distances will range from 100 to 600 yards but would love the ability to accurately hit targets even further out. Great review, thanks in advance!

  2. Thomas says:

    Can I sell you my wife in exchange for one of these?

  3. Darrin says:

    I have this night force on my M&P-10 308. Absolutely love this scope. I highly recommend it to anybody that apreciates high quality, very accurate, repeatable optics. The 0 stops are incredibley easy to set, and repeat perfectly.
    Very happy,

  4. i1776 says:

    Great review, thanks. I’m a FFP optic guy, while I wish they made this in FFP, the new reticle looks effective. I like the .1 milr adjustment as well.

    • Charles Coker says:

      Well, I hear you and I am as well on higher magnification scopes for long range, 500 to 1000 yards.
      If I am going to be engaging multiple targets at varying ranges like in a tactical match I absolutely want FFP.
      For more static shooting environements or one shot situations I am ok with SFP.
      I need to get some through the scope reticle pictures.
      I took some the other evening in low light with the reticle illuminated, I need to see how they came out if they are good.

  5. Charles Coker says:

    You guys got any questions about this scope ?

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