As you stare down at your prey in the distance, you need to factor in the amount of available light, the strength of the wind and other conditions before taking a shot with your rifle. Even the elevation you are at plays a factor in where you shot goes. That is why most hunters use scopes from companies like US Optics and Nightforce(minutemanreview.com/us-optics-vs-nightforce-scopes).
These two companies represent two of the top manufacturers of rifle scopes. Scopes can help you compensate for the factors and conditions that might make your shot go wild and miss that buck right in front of you. We want you to find the best scope for your next hunting trip, which is why we ranked the top products from both Nightforce and US Optics.
US Optics vs. Nightforce Scopes
US Optics easily wins this comparison because the company includes an illuminated reticle on most rifle scopes. These reticles often feature up to 12 different settings too. Nightforce does not include an illuminated reticle on all its scopes.
If you spend a lot of time hunting in the mountains, you’ll likely prefer US Optics scopes over those from Nightforce. US Optics products usually come with an EREK feature that lets you make between 90 and 110 clicks per revolution to accommodate for your current height. With Nightforce products, you may need to figure out your elevation and adjust the scope in different ways to compensate for your location.
Make sure that you pay attention to the finish on the scope. You generally want a scope with a matte black finish that won’t catch and reflect the light, which can otherwise give you away. Both Nightforce and US Optics makes scopes with a matte black finish.
When it comes to tube length, Nightforce just narrowly edges out US Optics. The company makes scopes with a tube length of up to 34mm. Most of the products from US Optics have a tube length of just 30mm or less.
US Optics and Nightforce both make rifle scopes that weigh a little less than the scopes from other companies do. These scopes weigh under two pounds.
We give the nod in this comparison to Nightforce because its scopes weigh as little as 30 ounces. Those scopes won’t add so much weight to your rifle that you have a hard time holding or using it.
Top US Optics Products
US Optics ER-25 MDMOA FFP Illuminated Reticle 5-25x58mm Rifle Scope
The US Optics ER-25 MDMOA FFP Illuminated Reticle 5-25x58mm Rifle Scope is the best rifle scope that US Optics makes. This scope has an erector repositioning elevation knob, or EREK, that lets you turn the dial to up to 110 clicks with each revolution that you make. Its reticle also lets you adjust the angle of your shot to compensate for high winds and other factors.
Capable of using the natural light that surrounds you for added clarity, this rifle scope offers red illumination to zero in on your target, and you can select from 12 intensity levels when using this feature. The anodized shell has a larger tube on one end and is bulletproof to keep you safe in the wild. This rifle scope offers all the clarity necessary for day and night hunting.
US Optics B17H102 3.2-17 x 50 mm Scope with Horus H102 Reticle
US Optics scopes, including this US Optics B17H102 3.2-17 x 50 mm Scope with Horus H102 Reticle, rank among the top scopes in terms of focal plane. That focal plane reduces the risk of your view becoming blurry, even if you turn up the magnification to a higher level. Turrets on the scope itself lock in place, which stop you from accidentally adjusting the dials.
When you hunt in the cooler seasons, you’ll wear gloves to keep your hands warm, and this scope allows you to hit the illumination button and turn on the light without taking off your gloves. A zero stop counter makes it easy to restore the factory settings and go back to zero too. It is also suitable for both right handed and left handed users.
US Optics MR-10 Horus Vision H425 FFP Illuminated Reticle 1.8-10x37mm Rifle Scope
Affordable and useful, this US Optics MR-10 Horus Vision H425 FFP Illuminated Reticle 1.8-10x37mm Rifle Scope can help you every time that you head out on a hunting trip. The scope has an elevation knob that performs up to 90 clicks in a single revolution and a Horus Vision reticle. This reticle uses red illumination that can help you identify and zoom in on a target far away in the distance.
Thanks to its front focal plane construction, you’ll never again worry about missing a shot because you changed the magnification setting. This construction allows the scope to retain the target you settled on as you zoom in and out. It also features the bulletproof anodized metal case that you expect from US Optics.
US Optics MR-10 Mil GAP FFP Illuminated Reticle 1.8-10x37mm Rifle Scope
Even if you hope to save money on a rifle scope, you should give some serious thought to investing in this US Optics MR-10 Mil GAP FFP Illuminated Reticle 1.8-10x37mm Rifle Scope, which is one of the more affordable rifle scopes manufactured by US Optics. This scope has the same erector knob found on the more expensive scopes, but this knob lets you click through 90 times per revolution. With 12 settings to choose from in its illumination feature, you can always see your prey with the clarity that you need.
Easy to attach to your rifle, the scope has several dials on the top and sides that work with features like a reticle that can display sub tensions and other details. The bulletproof design of the scope also features a 30mm tube, and it has a front focal point construction for better clarity.
US Optics LR-17 Mil GAP FFP Illuminated Reticle 3.2-17x44mm Rifle Scope
No matter how far you walk or climb on a hunting trip, you’ll be glad you packed this US Optics LR-17 Mil GAP FFP Illuminated Reticle 3.2-17x44mm Rifle Scope, which has an elevation knob that helps you adjust for the current elevation. This knob offers an impressive 110 clicks with each revolution too. Made from anodized metal, the scope is rugged enough for using in the rain or the snow and is bulletproof.
A red illumination feature actually illuminates the area directly in front of you where you want to shoot to help you see that animal clearly, and this feature has 12 different intensity settings. The scope also has a focal plane construction that lets you magnify at different settings without the view becoming blurry.
Top Nightforce Products
Nightforce Optics 5-25x56 ATACR Series Rifle Scope
If you need the best of the best and want to invest in a Nightforce scope, the best model for you is the Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR Series Rifle Scope. This is easily the top scope from the manufacturer because it is an enhanced scope that will come in handy as you hunt in bright conditions as well as in the middle of the night. Designed to mimic the scopes used by the military, the scope will help you shoot cleanly every time.
An illuminated reticle that allows you to zoom in and out is just one of the top features of this scope. You’ll also love the the side and top knobs that let you make the adjustments you need while still keeping your eye on a target. The scope features a 34mm tube that is larger than those available on other scopes.
Nightforce Optics 8-32x56 NXS Rifle Scope
Designed for use on rifles of different sizes, this Nightforce Optics 8-32×56 NXS Rifle Scope is so easy to install that you might use it with all the guns in your collection. It has a matte black finish rather than the glossy finish used on other scopes to keep light from reflecting off your rifle and letting others see you. The scope comes with a 30mm tube that uses hard metal for added safety.
One of its best features is its zero stop turrets that let you move the scope back to its factory settings and go back to a zero setting on those features after moving to a new location. This scope also has an illuminated reticle that is useful when hunting at night and in lower light conditions.
Nightforce Optics 12-42x56mm BR Benchrest Series Rifle Scope
Are you tired of using a scope that has so many knobs and buttons that you never know quite what to do? Scopes like that are ones that you toss in your closet or gun case and never use, but the simple design of the Nightforce Optics 12-42x56mm BR Benchrest Series Rifle Scope may make it your go to hunting scope. This is a type of long range scope that works best at greater distances, and Nightforce even calls it an ultra long range scope because it works at distances that other scopes cannot handle.
Its adjustable objective lets you zoom in so closely on a target 25 yards away that you’ll feel like the target is feet in front of you, but it can work at distances of more than 100 yards too. The scope has zero turrets for switching back to zero settings after making adjustments or taking a shot.
Nightforce SHV 5-20x56mm Rifle Scope
Though you might assume that cheaper scopes aren’t as useful as the more expensive models, this Nightforce SHV 5-20x56mm Rifle Scope is one of the cheapest ones on the market but will still meet all your needs when hunting. Instead of providing you with an illuminated reticle, Nightforce gives you a more standard reticle that does not offer any light, which makes it one of the best scopes for daytime hunting. With an eye relief of more than three-inches, this scope can also reduce stress and fatigue in your eyes and face.
Weighing just over 30-ounces and coming in a compact shape, this scope won’t add a lot of weight to your rifle and won’t get in your way either. It comes with several internal adjustments too that you can use based on your current elevation and the wind whipping around you.
Nightforce Optics 5-20x56 SHV Rifle Scope
Another inexpensive rifle scope from Nightforce that is suitable for hunting during different times of the day is this Nightforce Optics 5-20×56 SHV Rifle Scope. Despite its low price, it comes with an illuminated reticle with multiple settings and two settings for adjusting the scope based on wind conditions and elevation. With its zero set turrets, you can easily return to zero on all settings before taking another shot.
Eye relief is important because the closer you sit to the scope, the more pressure you put on your eyes, but this SHV rifle scope has an eye relief of more than three-inches that reduces the strain you put on your eyes. At just 6.5-inches long and just over 30-ounces in weight, this scope will give you complete access to your rifle and won’t weigh you down.
US Optics or Nightforce: Who Wins?
The one thing that might be on your mind when shopping for a rifle scope is price, and if cost is the main factor that will determine which scope you buy, you’ll go with Nightforce. Nightforce makes some of the most affordable scopes on the market, including many in the $1,000 to $2,000 range. You may like models like the Nightforce Optics 12-42x56mm BR Benchrest Series Rifle Scope for distance or long range shooting too.
For all other hunters though, we highly recommend the scopes from US Optics. While a little more expensive, these scopes have features like an illuminated reticle with up to 12 intensity settings and a bulletproof tube. Many hunters prefer spending more on a US Optics scope than saving money on one from Nightforce.