Home » Rifle Scopes » NightForce Optics NXS 5.5-22x56mm Rifle Scope (Illuminated MOAR Reticle)

NightForce Optics NXS 5.5-22x56mm Rifle Scope (Illuminated MOAR Reticle)

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission if you purchase via these links.

nightforce nxs5 5-22x56mm riflescope 250 moa zerostop moar reticle
Image Credit - Nightforce Optics

Magnification: 5.5-22X
Power Variability: Variable
Objective Diameter: 56 mm
Length/Weight/Tube Diameter: 15.2 inches/32 ounces/30 mm
Field of View: 17.5 - 4.7 feet/100 meters
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 3.9 inches / 10.2 - 2.5 mm
Reticle: Illuminated MOAR-20 MOA
Adjustment Info: 1/4 MOA/Click
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Finish: Black Matte
Waterproof/Shockproof: Yes/Yes
Parallax Setting: 50+ yards
Airgun rated: No
Illuminated Reticle: Yes
Mounting Rings Included: No

Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting, Tactical Use

NightForce NXS Rifle Scope Review

This NightForce NXS 5.5-22X56 rifle scope with MOAR reticle is the champion of long range scopes that can appropriately be used as a hunting scope. Its build quality, clear glass, and intricate ballistic reticle options make it a hit among fans. In fact, even with its hefty price tag, it still has what you would consider a decent sized reviewer base - and it sports an impressive and unyielding near perfect rating online. Plus, this beast survived the 'Torture Test' but you'll have to read on if you want to learn more about that.

I don't see this scope disappointing you if have the budget to spend the top dollar funds on this. In fact, we think it is so good it earned a place on our list of the best high end rifle scopes which you can see here.

Plus, as the shooting community's top pick for the NightForce hunting scope line, I felt compelled to review this scope. I would be doing you a disservice if I omitted the fantastic features this user-friendly, long range, and illuminated NF scope has to offer.

If you are looking specifically at NightForce scopes, you'll find that the NXS is the best that they have for hunters. For all the reasons why, let the Q&A do what it does best.


  • Integrated power ring
  • Hi-Speed Turret System
  • Parallax side focus
  • Glass-etched reticle
  • 30 mm tube body


  • Heavy

NXS 5.5-22X56 Rifle Scope Q&A:

Is this a good long range hunting rifle scope?

This is "the" ultimate long range hunting rifle scope that NightForce has. This is the star of the NXS family of rifle scopes. With a maximum 22X magnification and ideal atmospheric conditions, this scope is capable of ranging well out to 2000 meters - that's 2187 yards!

The leading-edge Hi-Speed turret system, wide internal adjustment ranges, brilliant and crystal-clear glass, and glass-etched ballistic reticles give the perfect set-up for all your long distance shots.

While taking down an animal at such a long range is extreme, you might want to save these distances for steel-on-steel sniping and long distance steel-target shooting. But, the silver lining to this long range hunting NXS rifle scope is that it has a lower 5.5X magnification range that can still get you your close range hunting done precisely and effectively.

nightforce nxs riflescope side view
Image Credit - Nightforce Optics

Will the NXS break easily?

This is a question I've been biting at the bit to answer. NightForce builds scopes for the military that need to be rugged, durable, practically indestructible, and perhaps even bulletproof. NightForce is in the business of making scopes for professionals that aren't known to be soft, gentle, and fragile with their optics, in fact, the exact opposite would be true.

If the 30 mm, 6061-T6 aluminum that's two to three times thicker than conventional rifle scopes is good enough for combat US military use, it's going to be heck of a lot stronger than you need it to be out in the field.

The Torture Test is the impact test that this specific rifle scope has endured and not only overcame but conquered. Rocks, railroad ties, heaving, and smashing were all elements involved in the Torture Test. On top of that, this 5.5-22X56 NXS rifle scope further endures punishing positive and negative force testing for impact and recoil effects at 1250 Gs - that's one thousand two hundred and fifty times the force of gravity!

The best rifle scopes are tested at only 1000 Gs. Are you impressed yet? Enough said!

YouTube video

Is this a one piece body rifle scope?

The popular trend these days for constructing a rifle scope is the one piece body style. While I'm not knocking that design build, this NightForce scope doesn't follow that trend. Since they're in the business of creating extreme and rugged tubes and parts, it requires more than just a one piece tube to make the world's most durable scope.

It does have the familiar matte black hard-anodized finish that's applied well and evenly over the entire scope. The build quality is right on par with what you expect for

What are the reticles available with this model?

NightForce MOAR 20 MOA Reticle
Image Credit - Nightforce Optics

There is quite the list of reticles available with the NXS 5.5-22X56 rifle scope, and the good news is, they're all glass-etched - none of this wire stuff goin' on. Since NightForce is a world-recognized tactical optics brand, the glass-etched feature shouldn't come as a surprise.

This particular model comes with the illuminated MOAR reticle with .250 MOA value per click. It's also available with the non-illuminated or illuminated option.

Another reticle is the MOAR-T that's finer for more extreme precision at long distances with .0625 MOA lines with an option for center illumination only. The Velocity 1000 reticle, non-illuminated or illuminated, can get you out to 1000 yards with various configurations with ballistic holdover points for your rifle data.

The other two reticles are the Mil Dot and Mil-R reticles, also with the illuminated option.

YouTube video

What are Hi-Speed turrets?

The over-sized elevation and windage knobs are NightForce's Hi-Speed turret system. The improvements of this system over the previous turrets are the 20 MOA adjustments that you can make in one revolution. Previously, the turrets only had 10 MOA. With the mrad turrets, they used to be only 5 mils per rev and now they're 10 mils.

For those of you that need a little further explanation, the Hi-Speed turret system means that you'll be able to achieve the same elevation you need with fewer clicks than it would've taken you to do previously. Tedious no more and practical ever more.

Also, the 30mm tube allows for greater internal adjustment range for honing in on those long 1200 meter plus shots. It has a maximum elevation range of 100 MOA and windage range of 60 MOA.

Where is the illuminated control for the NXS illuminated model?

NightForce is all about ease of use and rugged durability, so adding a whole other external control for illumination seemed impractical with their streamlined motif. So, they made double duty out of the third side focus parallax turret. It's so easy to use: just pull out the parallax turret to activate the illuminated reticle and push back in to turn it off.

Now, the brightness control is another story. The scope is factory-set to be at an intermediate level of brightness that should be satisfactory for almost all hunting situations. But, if you did want to play around with it, it's not as user-friendly as it could be.

You have to take the cap off the side focus turret, remove the battery, and then rotate the brightness control screw with a flat head screw driver until you have your preferred brightness setting. Not so easy to adjust, but then again, it's not going to be messed with if your scope takes a plunge, crash, or splash.

How much does this NightForce NXS cost?

Take a big breath and hold it in because it's around the $2000 mark. With the quality and attention to detail involved in the craftsmanship of this scope, it's worth every penny. When comparing it to other scopes in this price range, the competition is sparse but tight.

Every nook and cranny needs to be scrutinized to be properly judged as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned cash on it. So far to my 20/20 vision, this scope is worth its weight in glass. Oh, you can breathe now.

Can I use the turrets with gloves on?

This NF NXS rifle scope is made for deliberate and hands-on, or gloves-on, use. The large and exposed turrets and the power ring have knurly grooves that make it extremely easy to grab and rotate with gloves on. The turrets have exceptionally positive clicks that aren't very loud. In hunting and tactical use, too audible clicks can give your position away.

While NightForce is a tactical sporting optic authority, this concept of subdued audible clicks is very applicable in a hunting situation too.

Does the power ring and eyepiece move separately?

You'd think so, but unfortunately this NF NXS has the one piece, integrated power ring and focus system, something that you don't typically see in a high-end scope. But, to NightForce's defense, they say it's to add to the rugged durability of the scope. They also don't mention that it saves them a little in the cost-engineering department.

Although the eyepiece features the secure, lockable, traditional, non-fast focus eyepiece system with the same knurly serrations on it to match the rest of the scope, the integrated power ring system might be more annoying to you hunters who use flip up caps.

For example, the popular Butler Creek flip up caps will rotate with the eyepiece as you change your magnification range. If you don't vary too much between power ranges then it might not be a big deal. But, if you want maximum versatility for hunting in all types of terrain with various varmints, predators, and critters all of the time, you might have to keep those flip up caps off.

Does this NightForce come with accessories?

Yes! For a roughly $2000 scope you should expect to see some accessories come with the package. The first are the bikini style caps that are kept on for when the scopes are not in use, and the other is a lens cleaning cloth - pretty standard extras for accessories.

NightForce even goes a little further and conveniently suggests the accessories you may want to purchase with this scope, such as the NF flip up caps, X-treme Duty 30mm steel rings or Ultralite 30mm rings, and the X-treme Duty Ultralite one piece Magmount or Unimount.

Noteworthy Features:

  • 56mm objective lens for ultimate low light performance
  • 30mm main tube body for maximum internal range adjustments
  • Fully waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof
  • Hi-Speed Turret System with ZeroSet for fast adjustments and return to original zero
  • Various reticles available with illumination
  • Glass-etched reticle in the second focal plane
  • 2000 meter long distance ranging
  • Heavy knurling on turrets, power ring, and eyepiece
  • One piece, integrated eyepiece and power ring system
  • Positive-click, finger-adjustable, gloves-on, turrets
  • Built in the USA

Our Verdict on the NXS 5.5-22X26

According to the bull's-eye, you'll be able to get dead center with the NightForce NXS 5.5-22x56 rifle scope-if you can carry it. We're not joking when we say that this beaut is a heifer. But, with all the bells and whistles it touts, what would you expect? You don't get all the luxury perks for nothing!

However, not only is the weight a load, the price tag is too. Cutting the budget by more than a few hundred is the NightForce SHV 5-20X56 rifle scope. It's just as beautiful as the NXS, but it's budget-friendlier, if around $1300 is budget-friendly.

But, if you're going to spend two grand, then you may as well push the budget a little more and check out the Swarovski Z6i 3-18x50 rifle scopes. Come on now, for $2000 or more, you've got to check out all of NightForce's competition.

NightForce has a solid and concrete reputation in the rifle scope industry. That's because they dish out solid and concrete quality scopes. Need we say more? American quality for the prices it deserves!

Further Reading

Photo of author

Simon Cuthbert - Founder

Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the founder of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. Simon has contributed to notable publications online and teaches beginners the technical side of optics through his extensive library of optics guides.

Never Miss a Thing!

Get Our Latest Guides & Field Tests Straight to Your Inbox

1 thought on “NightForce Optics NXS 5.5-22x56mm Rifle Scope (Illuminated MOAR Reticle)”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

As Featured Footer Image