Mk5 and NX8 debacle with a question on main tune diameter in regards to adjustment range.


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Trying to decide between Leupold mk5 3.6-18 with the CCH reticle and the Night Force nx8 2.5-20 with the milxt reticle.
Currently have the leupold vx3 lrp with the cch reticle and I love it. Has ridden on my 16in spr, 16in 6.5 grendel and even a 12in ar for grouping purposes. Been eyeing these 2 new scopes as a possibility for awhile but after shooting a prs style comp a few weeks ago the possibility turned into a definite. I was initially drawn to the leupold with the 35mm tube for the greater adjustment range (listed at 29.1 miles by leupold) because the grendel starts to fall off pretty quick past 750 for me. I then discovered that the NF with a 30mm main tube has 32mils of adjustment. So more adjustment with smaller main tube diameter is a bit interesting. What am I missing there? I'm no expert by any means so I'm genuinely curious. I like the magnification range of the night force but I've been shooting the cch reticle for over a year now so I'm already familiar with it. Any thoughts or info that could steer me in the right direction would be appreciated greatly.
The intended use of the optic will be to ride on my grendel to do prs comps and long range shooting. I'm going to buy the optic first (thanks to the intro to precision podcast) then save for the bolt gun that I'll eventually use for the prs comps which is what it will ultimately live on.
Yes- a larger tube will to an extent allow for a bigger adjustment range. Simpler more room to move the erector set within the bell/tube. But that is dependent on manufacturers- and how they design the inner workings. And no scope is dead on- sometimes its off of spec a few 0.1 mils. Difference for you shooting a PRS match. Nothing.... Heres the why:

1- You can easily add a biased mount (Built in MOA slope- such as a Larue PSR 20 mount) to maximize the available elevation. Same thing most bolt gun bases do from the get go.

2- Expectation management. In a perfect scenario- say on a 0 MOA base-you’d hae fairly close to half of the usable adjustment available- so 32 mil in half- 16 mils of elevation. Perspective here on a 2600fps .308 (at sea level) you’ll only need about 13ish mils to make 1000 meters. Want more than that- add a mount with bias.

3. Few PRS matches push past 1k; for a multitude of reasons, space, spotting abilities, average shooter capabilities.

4. Which scope to choose? Well- if you are familiar and trained on the CCH stick with it. Simple is usually better. Either brand is great and have multiples of both. Personally Leupold Mk5 HD 3-18 is my go to. But that changes as companies release newer/better models.
5. Lastly- PRS is a bolt gun dominated sport/ and the Gas Gun series died quickly. The name of the game is speed and low recoil. Most guys are launching 6/6.5 mm above 3k fps. And heavy ass bolt guns with no weird gas gun recoil impulses. If you are just going to have fun and train- go nuts. If you want to compete- and most do- Grendel just isn't gonna do the work.

Rant Complete
Given modern construction and canted mounts/bases the elevation travel would not be my first concern. Granted, a 16.5" Grendel...I can see your concern. Though better 35mm rings will be harder to find in varying configurations. Badger Ord and Sphur still have you covered though.

If you're that deep into the PRS game where you're buying PRS-specific probably have some assistance. Best buy what YOU like with the features YOU want and take your lumps (you will indeed take lumps). Unless you wear a jersey and have company do you...and have fun learning.

If you can, get behind the scopes...especially if they are mounted up on something. Everyone perceives things differently. I like NF optics but TO ME, their image has never looked as clear/crisp as others say they are... whether NXS or ATACR. Also let reticle be your guide too. Everybody's all Horus/Xmas tree crazy...and some are better than others. Discounts for either aside, SnipersHide is a candyland of used high-end optics if you are so inclined.
Realistically, you’re dealing with 14mils (Mk5) vs 16mils (NX8) of elevation. With the 6.5 Grendel (123gr Scenar), you are realistically dealing with a elevation adjustment difference of about 1125yds (Mk5) vs 1200yds (NX8) going transonic at 1191yds. Just as an example with the 6.5 Creedmoor with Hornady 140gr ELD Match, that same elevation will give you adjustment to around 1300yds (Mk5) vs 1400yds (NX8) with that round going transonic at 1509yds.

Point being that the 6.5mm and 6mm full rifle loads as mentioned above by oda175 are dominating PRS, and if you handload, you’re going to see a lot more performance than with the 6.5 Grendel. Grendel is near the limits of ability, and with gas guns, they tend to be finicky with high velocity loads. I was all set to get into PRS with a gas gun, but quickly learned that the gas gun stuff is really not popular and the matches with them are few and far between. If you compete against the bolt guns using a gas gun, you’re going to be at a significant disadvantage.

I would recommend that you look at getting a bolt gun, and more specifically, look at the Production class. The benefit is that the NX8 is compliant with Production rules. The Leupold is not given that the MSRP is $2339. The NX8 is priced at $1950 across the board (I can’t seem to find the official MSRP). The thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to go through Production class, you have max $2k for rifle or optic, with $3k max total cost. Otherwise, you’re into a different class if you want to use those optics and higher end rifle.

Food for thought is all.