Rare are rifles that are not adorned with some sort of an aiming assistance device. Scopes are the most likely candidates for the role of a rifle companion, crowning many a firearm regardless of its purpose. Some treat scopes as nothing but accessories, while for others, scopes are as valuable as firearms themselves. That is especially true for Nightforce optics. The brand has long been producing premium-quality scopes that don’t leave their owners needing more. Three R’s stand behind the brand’s success: “Rugged. Reliable. Repeatable” – that’s the company’s motto. Let’s see what lies behind those promising words.
The pillar of ruggedness embodies the robust nature of Nightforce products and their ability to confront the challenges of harsh environments without compromising performance. The concept isn’t unique by any means: many brands promise that their products are incredibly durable. However, few brands have such an elaborate and demanding testing procedure as Nightforce.
Pressure and Temperature Testing
The trials begin with pressure tests. Newly-made Nightforce riflescopes are subjected to pressure testing up to 120 pounds per square inch (psi) to ensure they can withstand extreme environmental conditions without affecting performance. This test goes way beyond pressures that the scope may be exposed to during field use, reaching the numbers found in underwater depths of over 275 feet.
In addition to pressure testing, the scopes also undergo extreme temperature testing. The thermal shock cycle includes exposing a rifle scope to the temperature of -40°F then raising it promptly to 158 °F. The purpose is the same: to check whether a scope can withstand extreme temperatures that a shooter may find themselves in.
To simulate the impact of firing a gun, Nightforce scopes are recoil-tested in multiple axes at accelerations exceeding 1,250g. This test ensures that the scopes can function properly under recoil from high-powered firearms without any shift in zero or damage to the internal components.
Inspection and Checking
Every Nightforce riflescope is thoroughly inspected and checked at 70 to 130 different points before being shipped to a customer or sent to a retailer. This punctilious inspection guarantees that every aspect of the scope, from the lens assemblies to the adjustment screws, meets Nightforce’s high standards of quality.
Material and Construction Testing
The robustness of Nightforce scopes is tested most thoroughly, but where does it come from? It’s a “half materials, half construction” thing. Nightforce scope tubes are machined from solid bar stock 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. This material grants the scopes their greater thermal stability and superior hardiness, ensuring the scopes can withstand rough handling and unforgiving environmental conditions.
The spring responsible for maintaining pressure on elevation and windage adjustments spends two weeks in a polishing chamber to leave it flawless. This guarantees that the scope’s adjustments remain accurate and reliable throughout its lifespan.
As you can see, just like used guns that changed several hands but remained reliable, Nightforce scopes pass many challenges, only to emerge even better than before.
Proof of Nightforce’s Ruggedness
We could make up a story of a person whose scope has been through thick and thin yet came out of that predicament unscathed. It would have been just a story, though, even if it did happen to be true. What we can offer instead is a universal proof of Nightforce scopes’ quality.
It was only natural for Nightforce to start applying for military contracts sooner or later, and they weren’t long in coming. Occasional contracts were signed in the early 2000s. The biggest catch took place in 2010. Nightforce signed a contract worth $25.8 million to manufacture scopes for special forces and snipers in all branches of the United States Armed Forces except for Space Force and Coast Guard. If that doesn’t prove the quality of Nightforce’s optics, nothing does.
Importance of Ruggedness in the Optics Industry
Why put ruggedness as a core value? It’s a fine goal, but to make it one of the pillars of the brand’s philosophy? The truth is, Nightforce principles didn’t come out of nowhere. Having looked at the real-world needs of shooters, the brand aimed to meet the demand that wasn’t yet met by other brands. Optics are more likely to be described as fragile and brittle, not sturdy – such is their nature. But the world of the outdoors requires equipment that can withstand the elements and physical stress. Without a hard shell and rugged construction, a scope is a glass cannon, useful only until it is shattered. Nightforce makes a scope that can’t be shattered by either temperature or pressure. Of course, lenses remain their weak spot, but rest assured: that heel of Achilles is at least covered.
The pillar of reliability holds all the trust that is put into the brand and doesn’t let the other two crumble. It means that time and time again, when users take their rifles and look through Nightforce optics, they can trust what they see. The adjustments they make will be accurate, the image will be clear, and the reticle will be precise.
Ensuring Reliability in Nightforce Products
Rifle scope is a complex device. There are quite a number of things that could malfunction and render the scope relatively useless. Nightforce goes the extra mile in order to keep them from doing so.
Lens Assembly and Coating
Nightforce pays particular attention to the lenses in their scopes. The objective lens assemblies utilize a multi-element design similar to that of the highest-quality telescopes. Additionally, all air-to-glass surfaces receive a proprietary broadband multi-coating applied to eminently high tolerances of .000005 inches. This coating significantly improves low-light performance, allowing users to see clearly even in dimly lit environments. And it also happened to exceed the toughest of Mil-Spec abrasion tests.
Moreover, every lens in a Nightforce scope is matched and aligned by hand. This painstaking process, often delegated to the machines, ensures the most optimal optical performance and eliminates any potential issues with image quality.
Nightforce riflescopes feature elevation adjustment screws machined to an unbelievable 110 threads per inch. This level of precision allows for the finest adjustments, enabling shooters to dial in their aim with unmatched accuracy.
Finally, Nightforce offers ZeroStop technology. This feature allows for an absolute return to the chosen zero point, no matter how many adjustments have been made. In any of the Nightforce’s scopes, you’ll have a reliable and repeatable reference point that works wonders for accuracy and consistency.
Repeatability, the Nightforce’s third pillar, carries the weight of the brand’s popularity. After all, you won’t get far as an optics manufacturer if only one in a hundred scopes you produce boasts all the features promised. You can only become successful if you can produce quality goods repeatedly. And Nightforce has no problem with that.
As you can see, the Three R’s of Nightforce are not just bold claims and hollow promises. The core values of ruggedness, reliability, and repeatability permeate every product that leaves Nightforce’s production line. This unwavering dedication has been the brand’s hallmark for quite some time already, and things show no signs of changing any time soon.
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