USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Nikon has just delivered shooters a long range rifle scope that will turn some heads for sure, and also save some money for the shooter in the process. The scope is the Nikon Black FX1000 Riflescope, and it is designed for up to one-mile shooting or more.
Nikon Black FX1000 Riflescope
The test scope from Nikon arrived here at Ballistics Research & Development in western South Dakota during the late summer. As such the heavy summer rains had now passed and the prairie was prime in terms of freelance shooting, as in rolling across its endless miles of grass and rocky draws in search of usable test targets.
The Nikon FX 1000 is a scope designed expressly for long-range applications, and as such not the best choice as a hunting scope. The scope makes use of a larger 30 mm tube body, and as such is able to house more massive internal refined and delicate parts that tend to hold up better under field stress conditions when housed this way.
This optics system makes use of large easy to handle open elevation and windage turrets that are commonly used among long-range riflemen. These elevation and windage units as applied to my test scope offer a full 17 MILRAD range in adjustment for both elevation and windage. The sub tensions within the reticule are in addition to the exterior turret adjustments, and as such the shooter can tack on an additional elevation setting of 8 mils, dialing the total elevation adjustment when using the “halfing” system of 28 Mils.
Also, be advised that the Nikon Black FX1000 is available in M.O.A. graduations as well. MRAD graduations were my choice in terms of what I like to use when stretching rifle shots well beyond the normal shooting limits of most rifles and loads. As a side note here MILRADS were developed by the US Marine Corps for advance sniper use.
MRADS measure 3.6 inches per graduations at 100 yards, whereas m.o.a graduations measure a single inch at 100 yards. The m.o.a. will be easier to remember and compute, but the MRADS move bullets up or down, right and left much faster when massive shifts in impact are required down range. Remember the 300 Win Mag being used in this test at one mile will drop a bullet almost the height of a one-story building out of the sky over an intended target. That means scope elevation capacities is a real issue here.
Being the FX1000 is offered in the first focal plane FFP, the crosshairs will change with the degree of magnification selected. However, unlike the second focal plane scope, the bullet impact will not change as the magnification is altered. When I shot my Ruger M-77 Hawkeye Long Range 300 Win Mag as applied to this test I zeroed the scope and then proceeded to shoot a group under one m.o.a at 100 yards by way of my handloaded 79 grain RL 22 powder, and Hornady 168 grain SPBT bullets. When the group was shot to three rounds I opened up my magnification to full power 24X and re-shot the group right over the first. No variation was found re magnification change and bullet impact positioned on paper. In fact, turret calibration regarding each mil change was right on the money.
Changing zero settings, and turning back to the first setting then observing the ability of the scope to re-zero dead on was also completed with again very successful results. In most cases, I shoot a box pattern to run this test, but with the 300 Mag and the price and recoil of its ammo, I reduced the need to shoot extra rounds on the bench rest for obvious reasons. In effect, I was very pleased with the scopes ability to repeat zero each time it was changed.
MRAD first focal plane ( FFP )optical images can be a bit tough to see when the power setting has been reduced to its very low end. If the scope glass is close to being less then efficient as well as not very clear, trouble viewing can surface in this area. After the first days shooting for zero and the check of turret settings under live fire I moved to the big range on “The Lake”, and some really long range shooting. It was on this up to one-mile course of fire I realized the overall quality of the FX1000’s glass.
Be advise my friends, at a price tag of under $800.00 this is one pile of quality glass for the money. I had one dealer inform me that this was a “ great entry level type scope” for long range shooting.
I believe the term is jaded, as he had been looking at far too many overpriced pieces of metal and glass. News flash friends. This is not an entry level scope, just the price, in this case, is, or to be considered entry, and that is always ok with me.
Shooting at the FX1000’s 10 power setting I was able to watch my bullet impact clearly into a rough earth bank to 580 yards, as my bullets passed across a stock tank waterhole. On the back side of the stock tank were junked cars that have served me well as test targets. Now by increasing my range with the big Ruger 300 Win Mag to a distance of 889 yards, I was clearly able to control and watch my bullet impacts against the quarter panel of a junked Ford. In detail, I was also able to note bullets passing through the passenger’s side window into the dashboard based on the amount of red dust being sent out the hole where a windscreen once had been installed.
Fellow shooters this rifle and paired scope are clearly capable of acting as an effective defensive suppressive fire system in a police or military scenario. Also when turned toward competitive target shooting at long range the optical system and rifle will stand tall under that form of shooting stress as well.
The Nikon Black FX1000 Riflescope retains some special feature that makes it a very effective competition optical system as well as a field shooting system. The scope makes use of a zero stop system. What this amounts to a second turret ring inside the primary elevation turret cap. With set screws loosened the turret cap is removed exposing the second ring. Loosen those set screws and return the ring to zero, then re-lock the ring. The primary elevation knob won’t pass beyond this setting after that task has been accomplished. Obviously, do this after you have gained a correct zero in the first place.
When low light conditions set in the scope also retains a lighted reticle by way of a left side ring control that will produce low elimination to a very bright crosshair. Also with that ring, and installed on the inside part of the left turret is the parallax reduction knob. Set the scope for the exact range your shooting and thereby eliminate parallax issues completely.
Now for the good news as if there was none already. This optics system as I just found out is going to MSRP at exactly $799.95 and that is no misprint here. (Editors Note: for a short time a coupon code VBJ gets that price to $719.95). Like the Ruger Long Range Hawkeye rifle chambered in 300 Win Mag, this total unit being rifle and scope can go into the field for about $1,500. out of pocket. I can assure the reader that to duplicate this total long-range system in many cases the buyer will spend upward of $2,800, through $4000. and change to match it regarding some other scopes and rifle brands. I can’t make this up my friends. The optical quality on this Nikon is flat out perfect. Clean images at 1000 yards and more. I can watch my bullet fly. ( not vapor trail, but actual bullet) under the proper light at a full magnification setting, and check hits on steel to 1000 yards with a simple flip of the power setting.
Currently, with several specialized brands of ammunition coming into Ballistics Research & Development, and as by example the Jeff Rann 300 Win Mag ultra high-performance big game American Hunter loads, the need for a shooting system that will give the new ammunition a fair shakedown range is mandatory. Both rifle and Nikon FX1000 are going to the South Dakota Missouri breaks in a few weeks with American Hunter ammo to cover a valley at ultra-long-range for trophy whitetail deer. In effect, I trust this rifle and glass system completely, and I can assure you it is not going anyplace but into the field, and then on into my gun safe.
About the Author L.P. Brezny:
With more than 50 years experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual. Be sure and check out his newest book: Long Range Shooting, Second Edition