Nightforce Optics Newsletter - November 2015
November 2015

Dear  ,

From all of us at Nightforce Optics, we hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends.  

The 2015 NRA F-Class Nationals, held at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility near Phoenix, AZ, is the main feature of this newsletter edition.   The mid-range event was held from October 23-31 and the F-Class Long Range National Championship took place from October 28th to November 1st. There was a mix of individual and four person team matches.   Be sure to check out the image gallery from this event. 
Other information included is a quick overview of first vs second focal plane reticles, an exciting story from our own Robby Benedict about his hunt with Gunwerks, some images of Nightforce riflescopes and their owners in the field, plus a few other surprises.

We thank you for being a part of the Nightforce community and hope you find the newsletter both informative and enjoyable. 


The Nightforce Team

p.s. If you like this newsletter, please forward to a friend!


We'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to connect with our Customer Service Department at

Tech Tip
First vs Second Focal Plane 101

In this month's Nightforce Tech Tip we will briefly explain the differences between a first and second focal plane riflescope.

From a mechanical standpoint, the difference in the two designs is simply where the reticle is located in the optical system.  A first focal plane riflescope (also known as front focal plane) places the reticle in front of the magnification elements. This results in the target/image and the reticle both changing size proportionally when the shooter adjusts the magnification.  The reticle appears to grow or reduce in size, but in reality it is staying the same size relative to the target.

A second focal plane riflescope (also known as rear focal plane) places the reticle behind the magnification elements.  This results in only the target changing size when the shooter adjusts the magnification; the reticle stays the same size to the eye.  Because of this, the reticle values change as the magnification changes.
The  graphic  above illustrates the difference relative to a target.  Essentially, the subtensions (or distances between hash marks) remain correct at all magnification settings in a first focal plane riflescope.  In a second focal plane riflescope, these measurements are calibrated at only one magnification setting.  

How does this difference impact the shooter?  
For shooters who use their reticle for making ranging calculations, or holding off a target for elevation and windage adjustments (holds) within the reticle, they can do so easily at any magnification setting using a first focal plane riflescope.  With a second focal plane riflescope, the shooter has the ability to perform these same functions, however, they will need to ensure their riflescope is set to the calibrated ranging power (often maximum) or they will need to perform a mathematical conversion.  

Which one is best for me?  
The short answer depends.  The choice is largely determined by shooting application, experience level, types of targets, target distance, time to engage each target, budget, and a few other considerations that are unique to each individual shooter.   

There are strengths and weaknesses to both designs.  As noted above, a first focal plane design offers consistent subtension values across the entire magnification range.   In order to provide this capability, the reticle lines must become thicker at higher magnification, and in turn very fine at lower magnification.  On the other hand, second focal plane designs offer finer reticle lines at high magnification ranges, while also remaining easily visible on low power.   However, this comes at the expense of not having consistent subtension values across the entire magnification range.
For any questions on this topic, or other technical questions you may have regarding Nightforce Optics products, please contact our Customer Service and Technical Support team at 208.476.9814 or 
Nightforce In Action

The NRA F-Class Nationals

The 2015 F-Class Nationals had a multi-national flair this year with competitors from Ireland, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Monaco in attendance in addition to the large American crowd.  The Mid-Range Nationals consisted of shooting at 300, 500 and 600 yards and took place October 23-31.  The Long Range Nationals was all shot at 1,000 yards this year and too place from October 28th to November 1st.
As usual, the conditions at the Ben Avery Range forced competitors to work hard for their points.  The wind was up and the conditions were tough.  The competitors contended with switching winds in the 10-15 mph range. At 1,000 yards with a .308 in F-TR, these conditions forced competitors to dial 5-7 minutes or more windage and often times hold near the edge of the black to keep their hits in the high scoring rings.  

Congratulations to the following National Champions:
F-Open Mid-Range National Champion: John Myers
F-TR Mid-Range National Champion: Bryan Litz
F-Open Mid-Range National Champion Team: Team SEB/Berger
F-TR Mid-Range National Champion Team: Michigan Rifle Team
F-Open Long Range National Champion: David Gosnell
F-TR Long Range National Champion: Bryan Litz
F-Open Long Range National Champion Team: Team Grizzly
F-TR Long Range National Champion Team: X-Men

Here are a few highlight images from the event. To view all of the images we captured, please visit our event Flickr page

____________ _____________________

Jade Delcambre sets new F-TR 1,000 yard record

Jade Delcambre set a new F-TR single string record of 200-13x with his custom F-TR rifle which  included a Stolle Panda F Class action, Bartlein 5R barrel, Jewel Trigger, Precision Rifle & Tool FTR stock, Dan Pohlabel Flex Bipod, and topped with a Nightforce 15-55x52  Competition Riflescope

Putting Jade's performance in perspective really drives home the incredible skill and precision  required to put together this twenty round group that measured less than 10 inches, at 1,000 yards, in wind conditions that tested the mettle of even the most seasoned competitors. 

Experience, attention to detail, willingness to learn with every trigger pull, and top tier equipment are just a few of the key requirements to excel in this long range game.  Jade obviously has invested in each and every element required for success.   We're proud to have been one of the many components that went into this record setting performance. 


Steel City Precision Rifle Challenge

Each fall precision rifle competitors descend to the Steel City Range in Birmingham, AL to participate in the annual Steel City Precision Rifle Challenge.  This event is two days of fun and challenging shooting.  Nightforce Optics has been proud to be the title sponsor of the event for the past couple of years and did so again for 2015.

The rifle match is broken down into segments for competitors to complete with their squads.  These segments are located across the facility and are craft-fully laid out to utilize as much of the property as possible.  Stages were a well thought out mix of speed and precision to challenge both novice and experienced shooters.  The longest shots were about 750 yards, with the majority of rounds being fired between 300-500 yards.  While 300 yards may sound close, the targets were sized to be a challenge and the required shooting positions were not always the most comfortable for shooters.

Overall, the match flowed very well with little downtime between shooting stages.  Nightforce had a few members of our staff in attendance and provided a couple ATACR 5-25x and SHV riflescopes to the prize table.  If you find yourself within a couple hours of Birmingham, AL next fall, give this match a shot and you won't be disappointed.

Alan Stilwell - Nightforce Optics North American Sales Manager
Alan is running an ATACR 5-25x56 F1 on his Accurate Ordnance custom rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor.
____________ _____________________

2015 Utah Mule Deer
 - by Robby Benedict, Nightforce Senior Account Manager

Recently Aaron Davidson, owner of Gunwerks, invited me to the Ensign Ranch in Northeastern Utah to film an episode of Long Range Pursuit. The Ensign Ranch is a privately owned 200,000 acre tract where Travis Murphy, owner of Western Lands Outfitters, has built a reputation for consistently producing 200+ inch trophy mule deer. We arrived in camp on October 29th and after getting settled in, and meeting with our Guide Tanner Peugnet, we spent time on the range with a Gunwerks carbon barrel LR-1000 chambered in 6.5x284. This extremely accurate rifle, topped with an NXS 5.5-22x50 G7 riflescope, made for a deadly precise combination. 

With the rifle dialed in, we set out glassing an area in hopes of locating a buck worth hunting. With the help of the new TS-80 spotting scope, we were able to locate the buck that we would dedicate all of our time to this first afternoon.  

Day 2 started off with early morning glassing through our TS-80 spotting scope. The brightness and resolution allowed us to begin picking apart the canyon's brush long before the naked eye could make out the surroundings. After locating our buck, we made a one and a half mile stalk to within 530 yards and...   Full Story

Nightforce Country

Nathan Pitcher - 525 Yards with a ATACR  5-25x56 on a Noreen Bad News 338 Lapua

Don Campbell and a few members of the Cassadaga Rifle Team...their choice in optics is Nightforce.

Scott Seigmund - Vice President of Accuracy International
Scott is running the B.E.A.S.T. on an Accuracy International AXMC in 6.5x47 Lapua at a recent PRS competition. 

Sean Murphy - Marketing Project Manager
Sean is running an ATACR 5-25x56 F1 on his Accurate Ordnance custom rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Meet Nightforce

Utilizing his shooting and optics expertise, Sonny began his career with Nightforce Optics in our Customer Service and Technical Support department assisting customers with optics questions, issues and product decision-making.  In January 2015, Sonny moved to the MIL-GOV-LE division as the Program Support Specialist assisting the Military, Government, and Law Enforcement customer base.

As an avid outdoorsman of hunting, fishing and scuba diving, Sonny revealed his guilty pleasure is "pulling the trigger as fast as I can on my AR with a full mag." and pushing the envelope of his long range capabilities.  His favorite vacation was scuba diving in Hawaii on a WWII Corsair Fighter and said he would like to advance to receive his Rescue Scuba Diver certification.  He said he couldn't live without hunting season and would like to meet a A-10 pilot one day - flight included!  Outside of work, his many hobbies include shooting, reloading, working on his property and relaxing with his family. We asked Sonny to describe himself in just one word:  Reliable!
Guest Column

See The Light
 - by Tom Bulloch

It was a very large and very hungry lion, not forty meters from where we sat and sweated. I could hear meat tearing and bones breaking, and an occasional low growl as it dismantled a hapless native cow.

I could see nothing, not even the outline of the acacia tree from which the bait hung. The sun had set over an hour ago, and it would be several more hours before the moon rose. Sitting in the African darkness as a lion gorges itself a few paces away makes one wonder about the sanity of big game hunting.

"Get ready," Leon, my P.H., whispered. I aimed the .375 toward the sound of the carnage and
 eased off the safety. Our only source of light was a questionable flashlight, powered by three tired third-world batteries. 
Leon switched on the weak light, and I found a tawny shape with the scope's crosshairs. Which end was which? Where do I shoot? Then the beast sensed the light, and turned its great head toward us, ringed by a dark mane. For a moment, it seemed that our eyes met.
Read More

This Month's Poll - "How long is long?"

In this month's consumer feedback section, we'd like to hear from all of the long range rifle fans.  If you shoot at distance, how far are you reaching out? 100 yards, 300, 600, or more?

Nightforce Optics | | 208.476.9814 |
Follow Nightforce