Finding the right rifle scope is an important task to increase your chances of success in the field, at the range, or on the firing line. In our Nikon Black x1000 review, we’re going to take a look at a new offer that packs a lot of punch for its budget.
Ready to learn more? Let’s take a look!
What Is It?
The x1000 is a new offering from Nikon, a well known manufacturer of optics and rifle scopes. The scope was designed to fill the gap between a shooting sports industry that is increasingly focused on long-range shooting and the price required for the proper equipment.
The scope is available with 4-16X magnification or 6-24X magnification for longer-range needs. The 50mm lens on the scope increases the field of view and increases the light transmission on the scope, resulting in a very clear picture.
Side parallax adjustment allows the shooter to calibrate their scope for the distance to their target. The parallax is adjustable to infinity, but goes as low as 50 yards – still usable for rimfire and close range target shooting.
Users have two options for adjustments – Mils (MRAD) or MOA (Minute of Angle) to suit the shooter’s preference. Unlike some scopes that compete in this field, Nikon offers ballistic reticles that match the adjustment on the turrets, so the shooter doesn’t have to convert their adjustments into two different systems.
The main body diameter of the scope is 30mm, requiring 30mm scope rings to mount. It is a little on the heavy side, weighing at a little over a pound and a half without rings.
Internally, the scope is nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed. This prevents the scope from fogging up in humid weather, and adds a degree of water resistance.
One nice built-in feature of the scope is the generous eye relief (around 4”) which keeps the shooter’s eye out of the path of a heavy-recoiling rifle.
Sweetening the Deal
We’ve gone over the basics, but what other enticing features does this scope have to offer?
As mentioned earlier, the reticle on the scope offers hold-over marks for both windage and elevation in the user’s choice of subtensions (MOA or MRAD). Additionally, the reticle has red illumination powered by a CR2032 battery.
Target shooters will like their spring-resettable zero stop turrets. Once your set the zero on the scope and with the turret knobs, you can make adjustments for field conditions and always quickly return to your original setting.
The Focal Point
At this point, we’ve discussed many of the great features of the Nikon Black scope. We know that it’s a great long range shooter’s scope for a very affordable price.
One thing that we need to discuss, though, is the focal plane issue common to scopes of a lower price point.
You see, scopes are constructed in a way that can be pared into two categories; first focal plane and second focal plane. Without getting too technical, where the reticle is placed in the construction of the tube has major effects on the way the scope performs.
In a first focal plane scope, the reticle will appear to grow and shrink in size as the shooter adjusts the zoom level. Although the reticle will appear to be changing size, what’s really happening is that the reticle stays the same size in relation to the target.
Why is this important? Well, the only way that the reticle spacing remains mathematically correct is for the reticle to remain consistent with the size of the target. In other words, only a first focal plane scope can have mathematically accurate hold-over spacing on any magnification.
The Nikon Black scope is a second focal plane scope, which does have its own advantages – the reticle remaining consistent in size to the shooter means that it will always appear a consistent size, not too large or too small at any magnification.
However, the very nice reticle on the Nikon Black that provides Mil/MOA holds for ranging, wind, and elevation will only be accurate at its highest magnification – 24 or 16X, depending on the model. This might not be a big deal for a static target shooter, but for dynamic shooting such as PRS-style competitions or tactical shooting, it will present a hindrance compared to FFP scopes.
This is not a knock against this particular scope model – in fact, it’s very hard to find any first focal plane scope in the under $1,000 price range. But, it might be a reason to consider the Nikon Black x1000 vs Vortex or other First Focal Plane rifle scopes that dominate the tactical market.
Who Needs It?
It’s clear that this scope was designed from the outset with a target market in mind. Nikon is attempting to use the Black riflescope to bridge the gap between more long range performance and lower cost.
The ideal market for this scope is the shooter who wants to stretch their effective range without the budget to invest in some of the more traditional long range optics. For all of the great long range features it has, Nikon has cut all of the unnecessary features for a shooter to pay for.
Some of the shooters who could make good use of this scope:
- Bench-rest target shooters
- Beginning long-range shooters
- Long-range hunters
While the scope is a great value with great performance, certain types of shooters should consider the trade-offs against other options:
- Dynamic shooting such as PRS or NRL style sports or tactical style shooting might be better suited with a first focal plane rifle scope
- Stalk hunters may find that the scope with rings adds up to 2 lbs. to their rifle, a surprisingly significant burden for a rifle carried long term.
What Do We Think?
Of course, the question on your mind is; is the Nikon Black x1000 a great scope?
From all the things we’ve considered, the scope has left a great impression. It truly fills an important market need for all of the shooters who want to join the growing sport of long-range precision but can’t afford a scope that costs more than an average rifle.
The scope has great quality and great features. It may not have flashy bells and whistles, but by focusing instead on making the basic quality great, Nikon has produced a scope truly worth buying if you find yourself stuck in that budget range.