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Discussion Starter #1
Well I just got my big box of love from LaRue. The top dollar item I ordered was a Leupold Mark 4 1.5-5x20mm, purchased with the intentions of having a single optic to handle both close range and long distance shooting. Well, I ended up getting another XCR with an EOTech and have it set up for close range and wish to set-up the other for long distance.

I did unwrap the Leupold and gave it a gander, top quality all around. Definitely not disappointed there. I'm just pondering returning it and upgrading to the Nightforce 3.5-15x56mm or a higher zoom Mark 4 Leupold. I'm looking for feedback on Nightforce as far as quality and value goes. It is about $600 more than the Leupold I ordered, but the top end magnification is 3 times greater which is more appealing for hunting.

Assuming your budget permitted either, Nightforce or Leupold?

Thanks for your time and any feedback you can provide.
 

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NighForce glass is much better than Leupolds. I have a Mark4 illuminated TMR 3.5-10x40 and I am kinda disspointed in it as far as glass clarity goes. It is a nice scope but it is no ACOG or NightForce. One thing the Mark4 has over the NightForce is weight. The 3.5-15x56 is going to weigh about 32 oz.

You might also want to consider IOR. The 4-14x50 model will go for about $500 less than the Nightforce.
 
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Is that scope going on an XCR? :eek: ???

that much magnification has no place on a carbine IMHO, but what do I know, I only shoot out to 600 yards with a 1-4x optic :-\. you almost completely lose the ability to engage targets under 100 yards and you can forget stuff under 25.

assuming that price is not a serious factor, the nightforce optics should give you a slightly better quality. but considering that even if you did go with a similar spec'ed optic (magnification and reticle wise) that you be substanially the same, it's prolly not worth the extra $600 unless you really like thier reticles and want the extra clarity. it comes down to details in this class of scope, and you pay dearly for those minute changes.
 

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I've got an NXS 5.5-22x56 on my 338LM. It's really good glass and compares wel to S&B. Yes S&B is better but not twice as good. Compared to Leupold Nightforce is better quality and provides better service. Go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is that scope going on an XCR? :eek: ???

that much magnification has no place on a carbine IMHO, but what do I know, I only shoot out to 600 yards with a 1-4x optic :-\. you almost completely lose the ability to engage targets under 100 yards and you can forget stuff under 25.

assuming that price is not a serious factor, the nightforce optics should give you a slightly better quality. but considering that even if you did go with a similar spec'ed optic (magnification and reticle wise) that you be substanially the same, it's prolly not worth the extra 0 unless you really like thier reticles and want the extra clarity. it comes down to details in this class of scope, and you pay dearly for those minute changes.
Your opening skepticism does make a few questions arise. Yes, my intentions were to mount it on an XCR that would solely be outfitted for long distance targets. Bad idea? Should I be in the market for a gun/caliber more tailored for long distance?

For anyone who can answer. Up to what range is a .223/5.56 round lethal?

I'm guessing there's a known limit of accuracy and lethality of the projectile. I didn't figure on strapping a telescope on and be able to shoot the stars. My expectations would be satisfied at hitting something out to 1000 yards, but would it drop a deer at this distance?

Still looking for some more feedback before I make the scope mine by mounting it up. Thanks guys.
 

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lethality for the 5.56 is dependent on a number of factors such as bullet weight, powder charge, type of bullet and barrel length. current army doctrine has been leaning towards shorter barrels for urban combat. this decreases the "effective" killing range to 100 yards or so. after that, you begin to "ice pick" your targets, meaning the bullet doesn't tumble or fragment, just a clean straight wound channel. as always, bullet placement is primo in determining effectiveness of the round.
if you are really looking for a weapon system to hit targets at 1000 yds, the 5.56 round isn't the one to pick. start thinking bigger, MUCH bigger. even the 308 is being stretched at 800 yds IMHO. sorry if i'm bursting your bubble, but the XCR wasn't designed to be a long range sniper weapon. it does well at combat ranges(300 yds) with the 5.56, it might do well at longer ranges with the 6.5 RA, but we haven't seen that yet, unfortunately.
 
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ditto to tinman

the 556 loses fragmentation (and thus most of it's lethality) after about 200 yards or so (actually determined by the velocity for ball rounds like m193 and M855/ss109). sure it can hit a target at 1000 rounds, but the energy, wind drift, and terminal performance would be about that of a 22 pellet gun at 10 ft.

the 556, 763x39, 6.8spc, 30 carbine, 5.45 are all carbine class cartridges. they are designed to be optimum at ranges of 300 yards or less. beyond that range you are pushing the limits of design.

if you want a cartridge that can be effective out to 1000 then you need to look at carts of 300 Win Mag or bigger in a bolt gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No bubble bursting, I really appreciate the information guys. With the hard facts about the round I can conclude that the Leupold I ordered is the way to go for me.

My wish list just got longer and another gun is never a bad thing! ;D
 
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