January 2nd, 2019

New Nightforce Products for 2019 — 7-35x56mm ATACR F2 SFP

nightforce atacr spf second focal plane 7-35 7-35x56mm PRS target scope

Nightforce Optics has introduced a second focal plane version of the popular ATACR™ 7-35×56 F1 scope. The First Focal Plane (FFP) 7-35X ATACR scope is very popular among PRS/NRL competitors. In fact, according to the Precision Rifle Blog, the 7-35x56mm F1 ATACR is a top choice among surveyed PRS/NRL shooters: “The Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 F1 was on more rifles than any other scope. 20% of them to be exact. It has only been out a couple of years, but has quickly become a favorite among this crowd.” This scope offers ED glass, very good resolution, excellent reliability and stout construction.

Seeing the popularity and success of the FFP 7-35x56mm ATACR, Nighforce decided to bring out a Second Focal Plane (SFP) version. “The F1 first focal plane-version has been so successful, that we wanted to make the same … performance available to those who prefer a second focal plane reticle”, said Nightforce’s Alan Stillwell. We think that’s a good option. For slow-fire target shooting, at known distances, we often prefer the visual “stability” of a Second Focal Plane reticle, which stays constant (in the circle of view) with any magnification (meaning the reticle lines do not grow or shrink as you zoom in or out). MSRP for the new SFP 7-35x56mm ATACR F2 is $3,100.00.

nightforce atacr spf second focal plane 7-35 7-35x56mm PRS target scope

The ATACR™ 7-35x56mm F2, built on a 34mm tube, provides 100 MOA/29 MRAD of elevation adjustment and 60 MOA/17 MRAD of windage adjustment. Nightforces claims that this scope “delivers superb clarity at every power setting, allowing detailed rendering and identification of small targets at extreme ranges”. The new 7-35X ATACR F2 is offered with either the MOAR-T™ or MIL-C™ proprietary Nightforce reticles. DigIllum reticle illumination and ZeroStop elevation are standard.

New Nightforce MIL-XT Reticle

Nightforce has a new illuminated MIL-XT™ reticle, available in 16X, 25X and 35X ATACR™ F1 (first focal plane) riflescopes. It is designed for precision rifle competition (PRS and NRL). By providing precise hold-over and hold-off points, this reticle helps competitors engage targets rapidly without needing to dial windage or elevation, allowing faster hits “on the clock”. Main lines feature .2 Mil-Radian holds, while each whole Mil-Radian is numbered for fast reference.

Nightforce Atacr mil-xt reticle milrad milradian

Below center, there are .2 Mil-Radian-spaced floating dots at every vertical Mil-Radian. Whole Mil-Radians dots are larger in size for fast counting. Numbers below center vary in size and are placed on each side for easy counting and verification of appropriate hold points. Nightforce says: “The MIL-XT™ provides excellent range estimation, rapid target engagements and precise first-shot placement.”

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January 2nd, 2019

Accuracy Vs. Precision — They Are Not the Same Thing

Applied Ballistics Accuracy Precision
This image is from Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2.

The next time a shooter comes up to you at the range, and says: “My rifle shoots one-third MOA all day long”, challenge him to put a first-round hit on a 1/2 MOA plate at 1000 yards. There’s a difference between shooting small groups at close range (Precision) and “on-target” Accuracy at long range.

Article by Applied Ballistics, LLC
Just how much better is a 0.5 MOA rifle vs. a 1 MOA rifle? Is it worth chasing quarter-MOA if you have half-MOA rifle? This is an important question. If you look across Facebook you will find scores of shooters posting 1/3-MOA or 1/4-MOA shot groups [usually at 100 yards]. Some of those guys are spending countless hours trying to chase that golden quarter-MOA group.

Don’t take this statement the wrong way, having a good, consistent rifle is a key to success. But accuracy is extremely important to long range shooting. Having a precision (0.5 MOA) rifle, but not having put the time in to practice accuracy (hitting a 0.5 MOA plate first shot at 1000 yards) is counter-productive. [Editor: By this, we mean that you can have a rifle capable of shooting small groups at 100 yards, but you won’t see that gun’s full potential unless you can practice and perfect the skills of long-range shooting. Successful long range shooting demands more than precision alone.]

What if, your goal was to produce 5-shot, sub-half-MOA groups at 1000 yards instead of 100 yards? Think about how much more you would be including in the learning process, especially that all-important factor: managing the wind! Here is a good article that talks about Precision vs. Accuracy: Hitting Targets at Long Range.

This is not intended to say that precision is not important; rather it is intended to show that balance is important. You can use WEZ to do your own studies on this very subject, and it might be surprising to the shooter just how much you don’t gain by chasing precision over accuracy. Two books which cover this subject really well are Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting and Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting Vol 2.

Here’s a stunning combination of Precision (small group) WITH accuracy (centered on target). Yep that’s ten shots at 1000 yards, all in the middle of the target:
Scott Nix Dasher Record

Video Demonstrates Amazing 1000-Yard Accuracy AND Precision

Watch the video. You can see the group form up, shot by shot. It’s pretty amazing. Scott’s first shot (at the 45-second mark of the video) was right in the X-Ring, and four of Scott’s first five shots were Xs. That’s drilling them!


“Accuracy with precision is the route for me. It is not an either/or game. If I have a precision rifle (0.25 MOA or less) and I practice to be accurate, then high scores will be the result — Jim Borden

“I would agree for PRS, hunting, and to a certain extent F-Class. However, for 1000-yard IBS benchrest competition, 0.5 MOA groups in good conditions will almost always loose the relay.” — James B

“Another thought is that [at 1000 yards] a 1 MOA gun with single-digit standard deviations [may] out shoot a 0.5 MOA rifle with standard deviations of 20+ fps.” — Beard Owens

“Both… you need both: Accuracy AND Precision. I competed in varmint matches — we shot small silhouettes at 600 yards. I started with a factory .260 Rem rifle that was 0.8 MOA on a good day. I typically hit 8-9 of 20 targets, but rarely nailed the small chickens — which had a hit zone just 4″ in diameter. I then started using a semi-custom 6mmBR rifle that could reliably deliver 1/4 MOA at 100 yards (honest). My hit count on the silhouettes zoomed to 15-18, and suddenly the chickens were going down. In that game — small targets at 600 yards — there was no substitute for precision.” — Paul McM

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January 2nd, 2019

Hunting — Programs to Strengthen America’s Ranks of Hunters

NRA join hunt hunter hunting education hunting license wildlife training

This report based on story in American Hunter magazine, by J. Scott Olmsted, Editor in Chief

The 2016 report of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, a survey conducted every five years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, showed that today only about 11.5 million Americans aged 16 or older hunt. That’s only 4.9 percent of adults among a population of 320 million.

Declining Numbers of Hunters — What We Can Do
Too many Americans have left the field; they no longer hunt. Too many current American hunters continue to consider leaving the field. In fact the number of American hunters today is about half what it was 50 years ago, and the decline is expected to continue to accelerate.

Demographers don’t see any uptick on the horizon. Nearly a third of American hunters are baby boomers. The youngest boomers are 54, and trends suggest most hunters stop buying licenses by about 65. So what happens in 11 years when the last of the baby boomers stops hunting?

NRA join hunt hunter hunting education hunting license wildlife training

Indeed wildlife and wildlands are heavily dependent on hunters and fishers to survive and thrive. State agencies, which manage most of the wildlife in America, derive about 59 percent of their collective funding from hunting- and fishing-related activities. A primary source of that funding — hunters — is shrinking. Note that funding doesn’t come from birdwatching or hiking or kayaking, to name a few non-consumptive activities that contribute no funds.

where to hunt map NSSF

Hunter Education Programs from the NRA
The NRA was the first organization to develop a hunter-education course, in 1949 in New York. It became the model. Today, in the digital age, the NRA provides NRA Hunter Education Online.

NRAHE.org offers FREE comprehensive hunter safety information online. The 15-chapter sequence features videos, photos and graphics, audio recordings, interactive modules that prospective hunters may access whenever and wherever they are able to complete it. It provides the best method for teaching future hunters lessons they will remember the rest of their lives.

Let’s not forget our youngest hunters. Since 1985, the NRA’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) has introduced more than 1.2 million young people to safe, ethical hunting. YHEC competitions test participants’ hunting, stalking, and marksmanship skills. To learn more about YHEC, visit Yhec.nra.org.

Youth Hunter Education Challenge


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