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Thread: Another optics rearrange and what I learned about NX8 mounts

  1. #1
    S.L.O.W. ASH556's Avatar
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    Another optics rearrange and what I learned about NX8 mounts

    In December 2021 I put together what I considered at the time to be the ultimate general purpose carbine. 10.3" Colt-barreled suppressed SBR with a Nightforce NX8 and piggybacked RMR. It truly is a remarkable setup and does a lot of things well. In mid-February 2022 I decided to swap the barrel to an 11.5" Colt HRT barrel to gain a little velocity and I also like the heavier profile with a suppressor. It's being smoother shooting was a nice side benefit. I used this setup for drills, dryfire, and hunting until this week. It did pretty well in all of those roles.



    At the end of May 2022, I took advantage of some Memorial Day sales and put together a new rifle based on a 14.5" Colt SOCOM barrel. I've had several rifles in the past years in this same configuration and missed having one in the stable. Initially I built it as a high-volume trainer with an Aimpoint T2. Well, 6 months later and it only has 56 rounds through it; essentially just sighting in the dot and irons and a few quick drills. The reality is I just don't shoot high volume carbine anymore.



    So with these factors in mind, I began to think of how I could optimize my setups. A couple of use factors rose to the surface:
    1. I was under-utilizing the capabilities of the Nightforce NX8. Due to the 1.54 mount height, the NX8 felt slow and difficult to get behind on 1X. That's why I added the RMR to begin with. At the same time, I almost never used the top end 8X on the 11.5" gun. I really ended up leaving the NX8 on 4X the vast majority of the time.
    2. I was under-utilizing the capabilities of the 14.5" SOCOM barrel having just an Aimpoint on it. The previous versions of rifles I've had built around SOCOM barrels were all MOA or better shooters with my preferred 62gr Gold Dot load.

    Based on these factors, I made the following changes:
    1. Since I always kept the NX8 on 4X anyway, I got to thinking that an ACOG would be smaller, lighter, and cheaper than an NX8 as a 4X optic. I've had several TA11's in the past that I liked pretty well, but the fiber optic bloom was always an issue. When I sold my last TA11 I said if I ever went back to an ACOG it'd be a TA01 with crosshair and a piggybacked RMR; and that's exactly what I did here. So far I really dig it.
    2. I did a bunch of reading on mount heights and a lot of folks recommended something in the 1.7-1.93 range. I picked up my rifle and shouldered it with my eyes closed and was actually surprised to see how high I naturally was above the scope. Since I was changing mounts, I also did some research into all the top condenders: Geissele, Badger, Scalarworks, Unity, etc. If I could save weight and not give up durability, I wanted to do that and in my research I came across the new Nightforce Ultramount, which was apparently developed for some secret squirrel organization and recently released to the civilian market. It was available in 1.93 height, so that's what I went with.

    I got everything installed and torqued to spec and in dryfire handling, these setups are now both doing what I want very well. Not only is the NX8 now MUCH faster on 1X, it's clearer and less head-position-sensitive on 8X as well!

    If you've tried an NX8 and didn't like it due to eyebox sensitivity, I'd strongly recommend trying it in a different height mount.

    Gratuitous pics:





    Food Court Apprentice
    Semper Paratus certified AR15 armorer

  2. #2
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    Name:  A12E620F-2F6D-41CD-8FA3-C5E7F05E42B4.jpg
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Size:  95.5 KBI have found the Badger COMM 1.7 to be perfect for me. I’ve also used the 1.93” and find it to be very workable as well. The more “heads up” positioning greatly aids in my acquisition of the reticle on an LPVO.

    A 14.5” 5.56 with a 1-6.5x has become my preferred woods hunting rifle. It works very well when my position is overrun with feral hogs. Several being taken within spitting distance, at multiple angles, all on the move. It proves to me that an LPVO can be useful in CQB outside of the “flat range.” 😁

    If NF ever ships my NX8 1-8, then I’ll provide some feedback on that one in particular 🙄
    Last edited by msstate56; 11-18-2022 at 01:13 PM.

  3. #3
    How do you guys feel doing prone/precision shooting with higher mounts?

    I feel increased neck strain laying behind the gun prone with my 1.7" COMM vs a 1.5" height, I imagine a 1.9" would totally suck. Then again, maybe I should just be fine dealing with a little less comfort?

  4. #4
    S.L.O.W. ASH556's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TicTacticalTimmy View Post
    How do you guys feel doing prone/precision shooting with higher mounts?

    I feel increased neck strain laying behind the gun prone with my 1.7" COMM vs a 1.5" height, I imagine a 1.9" would totally suck. Then again, maybe I should just be fine dealing with a little less comfort?
    Primary vs secondary use case. I spend very little (like zero) time behind my guns in the prone. I'd make the argument that if a majority of your time behind a gun is spent prone, an LPVO is probably the wrong optic and a taller mount is probably the wrong one.
    Food Court Apprentice
    Semper Paratus certified AR15 armorer

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TicTacticalTimmy View Post
    How do you guys feel doing prone/precision shooting with higher mounts?

    I feel increased neck strain laying behind the gun prone with my 1.7" COMM vs a 1.5" height, I imagine a 1.9" would totally suck. Then again, maybe I should just be fine dealing with a little less comfort?
    I ditched the 1.93 and went back to the 1.54 with a piggyback dot. The lack of true cheek weld made shooting from various positions inconsistent, especially at magnification. Shooting under/around vehicles, being able to just go to a cheek weld and immediately see through the scope is way better to me. If all you ever do is shoot your LPVO like a red dot, from standing positions, then a tall mount should be fine. My question then becomes why run one at all?

    1.93 and 2.04 for scopes were based off clearing lasers, then clip ons, and secondarily for shooting with pro-masks. They’ve taken off for various reasons beyond that, but from my personal experience use really matters here. I’m faster with a 1.54 for nearly every application except when I’m running a pro-mask, so I’ve got the top mounted dot for that, and as a backup/close range transition.

    Obviously there was a large shift in the industry (IG) to tall mounts on everything for everyone. But a lot of the SMEs in the field seem to be discussing the transition back to 1.54 mounts, or at the very least a cheek riser with your tall mounts. I’ve heard Pressburg, Alex Hartman, and others discuss the shift back to 1.54 mounts.

    That said, zero experience on 1.7 for scopes. I’d be interested to try it, but can’t speak personally to that. Sounds like it works great for some people. And everyone’s face/body chapes are different, so YMMV.

  6. #6
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    1.7 was the “Goldilocks” solution for me. I came to the same conclusion as the Badger engineers. It is faster for me in non-prone positions than 1.54, and it gives me no trouble while in prone.

  7. #7
    S.L.O.W. ASH556's Avatar
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    Lot's of it is body geometry and personal preference. I do believe it's a mistake to issue a broad statement such as, "you'll be less precise with a taller mount."

    I took these rifles to the local 100yd range to sight everything in yesterday. Here's a 10 shot 100yd group through the 14.5/NX8 combo using 75gr Hornady Match. The optic is zeroed for 62gr Gold Dot, hence the slight shift from POA, and yeah I pulled one. Still, I don't think the mount height is hindering anything from a precision standpoint.



    Food Court Apprentice
    Semper Paratus certified AR15 armorer

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ASH556 View Post
    Lot's of it is body geometry and personal preference. I do believe it's a mistake to issue a broad statement such as, "you'll be less precise with a taller mount."

    I took these rifles to the local 100yd range to sight everything in yesterday. Here's a 10 shot 100yd group through the 14.5/NX8 combo using 75gr Hornady Match. The optic is zeroed for 62gr Gold Dot, hence the slight shift from POA, and yeah I pulled one. Still, I don't think the mount height is hindering anything from a precision standpoint.



    Obviously can’t disagree that you’re performing well with the setup. Those are impressive groups. I’ve heard multiple instructors discuss guys not being able to group well with higher mounts without check risers or switching mounts. I think part of that is the lack of parralax adjustment coupled the inconsistency of the eye positioning. That said, the NX8 has a tighter eye-box, so maybe the narrowness helps you keep your eye centered to avoid scope shadow, thereby eliminating some of the shortcomings/inconsistencies.

  9. #9
    With a very strong progressive lens prescription, a tall mount and heads up shooting position is the only way I can align my scope and the “sweet spot” in my glasses.

    @karmapolice told me about the eye box opening up with 1.90 height mounts and I discovered that to be true, but I went back to traditional dots/magnifiers (in tall unity mounts) shorty thereafter

  10. #10
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    I liked the 1.93 everywhere except dynamic environments where I’d go from standing to prone. That transition took longer than I liked to get into the eye box and was right around the 1.7 C1 release which I quickly adopted in force.


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