Nightforce 4-16x42mm ATACR F1 & Global Defense Initiatives mount - M14 Forum

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Nightforce 4-16x42mm ATACR F1 & Global Defense Initiatives mount

This is a discussion on Nightforce 4-16x42mm ATACR F1 & Global Defense Initiatives mount within the Optics forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I'll freely admit to being an Optics Snob. Buy once, cry once. You can't hit what you can't see. Insert additional catchy phrase here. What ...


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Old April 2nd, 2015, 08:09 PM   #1
Lifer
 
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Nightforce 4-16x42mm ATACR F1 & Global Defense Initiatives mount

I'll freely admit to being an Optics Snob. Buy once, cry once. You can't hit what you can't see. Insert additional catchy phrase here.

What optics I haven't owned I've seen come through my school on a weekly basis. I've shot them, run them through drills, tested them, beat them up and compared them to each other. I've trained and shot with LE and military folks from around the world. Not saying I have seen every model made, but I've certainly handled more than most.

Quite a few years ago I gravitated towards the rifle scopes from Nightforce and have replaced nearly all my precision optics with models from that company. Nightforce's overall combination of features, combined with superb glass, tough as nails construction, and unmatched reliability, have made them the rifle scopes that I use personally as well as recommend to my students. Nightforce Optics are the scopes that I outfit SWAT Snipers with more than all others combined.

Recently, I received the new Nightforce ATACR 4-16x42mm F1 optic with MOAR reticle and .25MOA turrets, along with a Global Defense Initiatives P-ROM L-Model 25MOA mount. I mounted the new setup to my 18" JP Enterprises LRP-07 in .308. I commonly use this rig when teaching Urban and Guerilla Sniper courses and the new scope and GDI's mount is the perfect rifle topper.

The optic is one of Nightforce's newest offerings in their ATACR line of F1, or First Focal Plane, scopes. The 4-16x42mm is 12.6" long and weighs 30oz. The 34mm tube is machined from solid bar stock 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum and mil spec hard coat anodized. Company literature states that this model has 89MOA / 26mils of elevation and 60MOA / 18mils of elevation. I found that mine has 90.5MOA of elevation.

The Zero Stop elevation turret is of the uncapped variety and has 30MOA per revolution. When at the Zero Stop position the turret is locked. In order to make an adjustment off of your zero, you depress a tab towards the top of the turret and hold it when beginning to turn the turret. Once you are off of your zero, it is no longer locked and you will not need to continue to hold the locking tab, or hold it again. The design seems secure and is definitely easy to use.

Those of you familiar with setting the Zero Stop on the NXS series will find this particular model of ATACR to use a slightly different method. If the shooter desires, once you set your Zero Stop, you can have an available 5MOA/2mils below zero.

The windage knob is a bit different from others I have seen. As it comes out of the box, it is a capped design. However, if you decide that you prefer to use it uncapped, Nightforce supplies a "beauty ring" with the scope that is basically a thread protector. Screw it on in place of the turret cap and it will protect the threads from damage. Nice and neat. Both the elevation and windage adjustments are crisp, solid and quite audible.

The parallax adjustment is at the standard 9 o'clock position, directly opposite the windage turret. If you push on the outside flat of the parallax knob the reticle illuminates. In the case of my MOAR-T, the entire reticle lights up. Push again, hold for a few seconds, and the illumination shuts off.

The MOAR has 20MOA of hashmarks to the left and right of center. There are 8MOA of hashmarks above the horizontal and 30MOA below. All horizontal and vertical hashmarks are in 1MOA increments. The reticle is easy to use, offers an uncluttered view and is capable of remarkable precision, whether you are shooting, ranging, leading targets, or applying hold-offs.

I gotta say, I am enamored of the provided and pre-installed lens covers. Comparing them to the ubiquitous Butler Creeks lens covers is like comparing an Abrams tank to a riding mower. Sturdily constructed, they ratchet as they rotate so you can put them at any position. This is especially handy with the eyepiece, as it rotates when you adjust the power. Speaking of adjusting power, Nightforce provides a Power Throw Lever that you can install or not, to your liking. I like the PTL, so installed it on my scope.

So far, I only have one complaint on this Nightforce scope. I would like to see windage and elevation knobs that locked at all times; unlock to make an adjustment, release and it automatically locks until you need to make another adjustment. The "clicks" are very crisp and I don't see this lack of an "all the time" lock being an issue, but I do like the feature. Honestly, that it is the only criticism I can find and it is very minor.

The best scope in the world, atop the finest rifle, is worthless if the mounting system is not up to the task. The Global Defense Initiatives P-ROM L Model mount is the finest one-piece mounting system I have ever used.

I was already familiar with the GDI mount, as I currently own one in 30mm. The new 34mm mount I received from GDI is every bit as rugged and well-made as the 30mm version I've owned for years, and has 25MOA of built-in elevation. It is hands down the toughest and most reliable QD mount I have ever used. The twin locking levers have adjustable tension. They are easy to operate but lock the mount securely in place. Once I get this setup to the range, I am expecting to see the same return-to-zero capabilities that my previous mount exhibited. GDI claims a live-fire shift in POI of less than .20MOA when removing and reinstalling the mount.

One of my favorite things about the mount is that it has never left any marks on my rails. I've used several other QD mounts that were rugged and repeatable (in some cases) but nearly every one marred the Picatinny rail in some manner, especially when the rail is aluminum. Not so the GDI mount.

The GDI mount is precision CNC machined from aerospace grade aluminum and mil-spec hard coat anodized. The locking hardware and crossbolts are stainless steel. You can order it in any color you want, as long as you want black. If that doesn't float your boat, you could have it Cerakoted/KG Gunkoted/Duracoated, or rattle can it yourself. The integral rings are split horizontally, which I prefer over the vertical type. The vertical types always have a protrusion at the top which can sometimes interfere with your view of the elevation turret. The top halves of the rings have slots and threaded holes for the attachment of optic-specific mounts for devices such as Trijicon RMR or OTHER OPTIC. I have such a mount for a Trijicon RMR for my older 30mm setup and it works exceedingly well, if you go in for that sort of thing.

I checked both the older 30mm and newer 34mm mounts with the Kokopelli scope alignment bars. Both were dead on balls accurate (it's an industry term) and required no lapping whatsoever. I'm a big proponent of lapping scope rings for best results and am hugely pleased to not have to do it in this case. I have never mounted a scope as easily as mounting one in a GDI mount. You haven't seen OCD until you've seen Rob Sheppard mount a rifle scope. I use levels, plumb bobs, the Mark II eyeball, dohickeys and gizmos galore to get everything leveled up and flying straight. The hardest part is usually tightening the top halves of the rings to the bottoms without causing the scope to rotate. Easiest way to do this is by tightening in small increments, back and forth and crisscrossing the screws you tighten, like tightening lug nuts. Invariably, the scope will still rotate to some degree. I have never mounted a scope as easily as I did the Nightforce 4-16x42mm ATACR FI in the 34mm GDI P-ROM mount. I don't think I could have done it much faster if I had just slapped everything together with no attempt at keeping things square. To me, this just screams out how well made the mount is.

Looking at the GDI mount and trying to find a flaw, I can only come up with one thing that may be an issue for some folks. The beefy, solid construction that makes this the most rugged QD I have ever used comes at a price; weight and size. It's made out of aluminum, so it's not exactly heavy, but it is heavier than similar systems sold by Nightforce, American Defense and the like. This does not bother me in the slightest. Quite frankly, I'm a bit fed up with folks I hear whining about how heavy their SWS rigs are. When I'm asked what to do about a rig that is "too heavy", I invariably answer, "Go to the gym." I toted a 14.5 pound M40A1 all over the US and across 16 foreign countries as a USMC Scout/Sniper. The weight never bothered me and the current USMC M40A3 weighs 16.5 pounds.

For both pieces of kit, all these nicky neat features, over the top quality and hard corps reliability do not come cheap. MSRP for the Nightforce scope and the GDI mount are $2400 and $570 respectively. In my opinion, these prices are commiserate with the return on your investment and well worth it. I've found you can get top quality kit, or cheap kit, but that they are never one and the same.

Sadly, it doesn't look like I will get this system to the range until April 17-18. I am running the Precision Applications, LLC/Sniper's Paradise Rendezvous at Legion OTG in Blakely, GA that weekend, on their 2500yd Unknown Distance range. She'll get quite a workout then!










Thanks from tonyben, Hockeybuckeye, SRA and 2 others

Last edited by cmshoot; April 3rd, 2015 at 01:19 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 05:06 AM   #2
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I've never tried the GDI products. That mount looks to be built like a tank, and for $570 I'd expect nothing less. Since you've mentioned that in your business you've had the opportunity to try a wide range of optics/mounts, I was wondering if you've tested the American Defense mounts, and if so, what is your opinion? I've used their mounts on a number of rifles and found them to be of good quality, and more reasonably priced than this GDI mount. I too have found that some of the quick release mounts, although very strong, do damage to the aluminum pic rails. The Larue mounts come to mind. One of the things I liked about the AD mounts was their solid mounting mech that didn't do any damage to the rails, look very similar to the GDI mounting clamp setup. I've also heard that the BoBro's are very good in this respect but have not tried one. If you've had experience with them as well, I'd be interested in hearing you opinion of them.

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Old April 3rd, 2015, 01:18 PM   #3
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I've used several different AmDef mount for different setups and liked them all. Well-priced and reliable.

Yep, the Larue is what always comes to mind for me as well when it comes to Picatinny rail damage!

I haven't owned any of the BoBro products, but have had numerous students with them. Never saw and issue with them.

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Old April 3rd, 2015, 04:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing your personal experiences with these products. In the future I'm going to think to pick your brain when choosing accessories, based on the larger pool of brands you seem to get to try out. I've wanted a NF scope for some time and hope to pick one up this year, if finances allow, (higher magnification than the one you've posted about). It will be the most expensive piece of glass I'll have ever bought.

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Old April 3rd, 2015, 05:38 PM   #5
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Hard to beat the "standard" NXS line of scopes from NF. My primary rifle, a bolt action .308, is topped with the 5.5-22x50mm.

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Old April 3rd, 2015, 06:18 PM   #6
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Thats what I had in mind, but the recent releases from NF are getting all kinds of rave reviews, (with high prices to match). I figure I'll wade into the whole confusing model/option equation when I've got a grand on hand to start looking seriously. I have no doubt that once I've fully explored the available scopes in the 25X max magnification range, I'll find that the one I'd really like to buy will turn out to be the most expensive. and then I'll get realistic and finally settle on the least expensive one that has the magnification I desire. As usual, I'll have to make some concessions based on economics, But from what I've heard, and my experience with ones I've borrowed, I will end up with a durable (and heavy) optic, that will serve me well for many years.

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Old April 3rd, 2015, 07:28 PM   #7
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Im a fan of nightforce as well. Ive never used the GDI mounts, but I have a few SPUHR mounts. They are rock solid as well and have a built in bubble level. I also have a Mk4 and a US optics. Both are great optics as well

Few Nightforce in there. Including the one on my M21. They are 2-10, 3-15, and 5-22


US Optic in a SPUHR mount on my AR10


Thanks from 23eagle
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Old April 4th, 2015, 04:48 AM   #8
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Nice stable of rifles there, madppcs!. Can you give some info on the bolt gun in the Mac stock?

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Old April 5th, 2015, 09:49 PM   #9
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Holy Beejebus!!! That's a lot of money poured into NF scopes!

NF makes good glass but there are plenty of good glass makers out there.

As to GDI mounts... there's no way possible for me to substantiate/validate buying a $600.00 optic mount for my battle rifles.

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Old April 6th, 2015, 06:48 AM   #10
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Yep, I've got 5 NF scopes so far. 1 NXS, 2 NXS Compacts and 2 ATACR's. Also, 2 GDI mounts.

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Old April 6th, 2015, 10:59 AM   #11
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Truthfully, after reading your thread here I spent quite some time perusing GDI's website and products. I was left intrigued and curious. One thing stood out for me... GDI guarentees their QR mounts to have return to zero yet on the second hand they define return to zero as being within 0.01 MOA.

Interesting how they tout a return to zero yet quantity it having an error margin within 0.01 MOA?

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Old April 6th, 2015, 11:40 AM   #12
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Do you realize how small .01MOA (1/100 of a minute of angle) is?

1MOA = 1.047" at 100yds

1/100 of 1.047" = .01047" at 100yds.

.01047" @ 100yds = .1047" at 1,000 yards

.01MOA @ 1,000yds = .1047"

Good luck finding a shooter, rifle and ammo that can shoot well enough to exploit a difference of a little more than 1/10" at 1,000 yards......or .01047" at 100yds!

The only way GDI was able to figure out a POSSIBLE shift of .01MOA was during laboratory conditions with precision gauges. I have tested the return-to-zero capabilities of my GDI 30mm mount and I have never been able to see a shift in POI when removing and replacing the mount. I did that sort of informal testing at various distances out to, and including, 900yds.

I would shoot a 5-shot, removing and replacing the mount between each and every shot. No shift in POI.

Everything that is man made has a margin of error, or tolerances, within its makeup.

Thanks from 23eagle

Last edited by cmshoot; April 6th, 2015 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Corrected my math!
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Old April 6th, 2015, 12:41 PM   #13
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Corrected my own math!

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Old May 27th, 2015, 03:20 PM   #14
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I'm really liking the setup a lot. The scope is everything I thought it would be and the mount is rock solid. One of the features I failed to mention in the description above is that the illuminated reticle can be switched between red and green.

I did not get to shoot at the Rendezvous at Legion OTG due to thunderstorms and tornadoes. A few weeks ago I stretched her out to 1000yds at Elk River Training Center in Pelham TN. Clicks were very positive, scope held and returned to zero. I ended up shooting until late in the evening and the scope performed superbly well into dusk.

Thanks from MeatyMac
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Old August 31st, 2015, 08:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgun View Post
Nice stable of rifles there, madppcs!. Can you give some info on the bolt gun in the Mac stock?
wow, sorry I overlooked this request for a few months, lol. The rifle in question is a post64 Winchester Model70 in 7Rem Mag. Its got a McMillan A5, Brux 26" Barrel, Badger Ordnance Scope Rail, SPUHR Scope Mount, Nightforce 5.5-22, Jewel Trigger, Tab Gear Sling, and Badger Thruster Brake.

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