Tag Archives: black

Nikon Black FX 1000 4-16X50 Riflescope

What a time to be alive! Shooters have so many good options to choose from these days, the variety makes this fat kid feel like he’s in a candy shop. Today I’d like to tell you about another great product that followed me home, it wouldnt be as significant if it hadn’t kicked out a long time inhabitant of my safe.

Ive said it before, the optics game is a vigorous one, but thats good for consumers like us. With so many great companies fighting for our dollars, there is almost without question a good option for every budget and application.

I bought my first Nikon Rifle scope many years ago, it was a slightly used Buckmaster 4-14. I mounted it on my old 25-06 and used it to kill both my first deer and my first elk. I hope your sitting down, but in my humble and true opinion, Nikon has always made some great optics. There have been times where they were behind, and they may not have had the best offerings, but for the most part what they made was of good quality. For a long time, Nikon was the best I could afford, and I made do with what I had.
Thank goodness times have changed, and like the times, Nikon has stepped up their line of scopes. I was introduced to the newest Nikon tactical scopes (the Black line) a year or so ago. It was an event for writers to see some of the new products. Nikon showed up with the Black FX 1000 line of scopes, they feature a 30mm tube, first or second focal plane reticles, and they are also available in either MOA or MRAD subtensions. Not only did they have these more modern features, they also brought the always high quality Nikon glass lenses that they are so famous for. That day we shot and killed steel at 1800 yards with the Black 6-24 mounted to a .375 Cheytac.
I could barely wait to get my hands on one, the scopes had everything I wanted in a sub $1000 price range. And even better than that, they were priced well below comparable scopes from other trusted names.

Setting the zero-stop

When I got my FX 1000 4-16 in the mail (after chasing down the UPS driver) I hastily opened up the package to get this party started. I already had a rifle and rings ready to go, it was a Winchester Model 70 chambered in 7 WSM, it’s sole purpose in life is to make elk into elk steaks. Within a few minutes I had the scope mounted, and I took it outside to bore-sight it.
Another great feature of the FX 1000 is the zero-stop, if your not familiar with a zero-stop, you need to be. After zeroing your elevation turret for whatever your zero distance is, you set the zero-stop. This is accomplished by loosening the three allen screws around the turret grip area, and lifting the turret itself off the top. Underneath you will find another knurled ring with another three allen screws holding it tight over a threaded stud. All that is required is to loosen the screws, and then turn the knurled ring down until it stops. Once you’ve done that, you retighten the allen screws and re-install the turret aligning it at the zero mark.

This feature makes it simple and reliable to return your scope to zero after dialing elevation for distance. The Nikon zero-stop is fast, strong, and clean. I say clean because it doesnt use shims or blocks like other scopes. These types sometimes can cause a slow buildup of friction as they lockup, causing a mushy zero, and unessesary effort to start or stop turning. The Nikon is completely opposite of that, it turns until it stops, exactly on zero, every time.

This young moose made good eye candy while testing my scope.

The FX-MRAD reticle is much simpler than many of the hottest reticles on the market today, and thats just fine. The reticle has plenty of detail for real use, without getting too busy or complicated. Subtensions with .2 MIL and a hollow spot on the half MIL marks is very handy when doing holdovers or wind doping. Numbered marks on the even MIL marks are also handy when you start getting further away from the centerline. Reticle’s have advanced just like scopes, many shooters like the “Christmas tree” type reticles that are popular these days. While I personally prefer them, I dont mind using a standard milling reticle such as this either. And for those who like an uncluttered perspective they are probably better.

With the scope now mounted, I was ready to hit the range, which for me is up into the snowy and clouded Wasatch Mountains.
My bore sight job was close enough to get us on paper, and with a couple quick reticle measurements, I had the rifle zeroed. Even with a zero cant scope base, the rifle still had 18 MRAD of its 25 available MRAD to correct up. On this rifle 18 MRAD will get me out to approximately 1600 yards, which is beyond where I would ever anticipate using it, so no worries there.


With ten MRAD per revolution turrets, its easy to keep track of which rev of the turret you are on. Even so, the turret base has markings for you to keep track of, something all manufacturers should do.
Speaking of the turrets, they are just stiff enough, and have a crisp and audible click. With a rifle as flat shooting as this, the scope will likely never dial more than seven or eight MRAD, but it’s nice to have more if you need it.

I also tested the turret values, I did this by measuring out 100 yards exactly, and bolting the scope into a vise. Then measured the click value against a yard-stick. The results were very pleasing, especially since I am so bad at math. The turrets were very consistent and repeatable, always returning to the same spot when I hit the zero-stop. And over the course of the 18 MRAD from zero to topped out, there was as little as 0.3 MRAD of disparity between what was dialed, and what the reticle actually moved. I’m no Galileo, but thats close enough for what we do around here.

The parralax adjustment was pretty close to the aligning numbers on the focus knob. I usually disregard the numbers and just turn it to where the image is clearest, and minimum parralax, so its pretty nice when they are at least close.

Lens quality is exactly what you would expect from Nikon. All images were bright and clear, even in lower light conditions as the sun faded. Very minimal aberration around the edge of the sight picture regardless of magnification setting.
And despite the cold blowing snow of the high Rocky Mountains, the scope never fogged up on me, though I did need to blow the accumulation off the glass now and then.

A great companion to any good rifle is the Nikon RangeX laser rangefinder, you can read more about it here.

Shooting with the FX 1000 was what you would expect from a good scope. Targets are easily identified, and the reticle was very useful for measuring corrections at distance. The texture of the magnification ring and turrets was a very agressive, I like the firm purchase it gives to your hands. And the firm audible clicks would make it easy to use even when wearing gloves.

I took the rifle all the way out to 1150 yards, I was hitting a little high at that distance, but using the reticle to measure the deviation, it was easily corrected. The 4-16 magnification range is great for these distances, enough to clearly see targets, trace, and impacts. While not being so magnified as to darken the image, and exacerbate every small movement.

I’ve tried to come up with something about this scope that I dont like, and to be honest I’m having a hard time doing it. The price point of this scope puts it in prime position for guys who want a reliable and tough riflescope, but who dont want to spend four digits. It comes with the prestige of Nikon, and their no fault lifetime repair/replacement warranty.

If you are working on your next rifle build, and your optics budget is around $600, you’d be ill-advised to not check out the offerings of the Nikon Black FX 1000 in either 4-16 or 6-24. I told you at the beginning that this Nikon replaced an old standby scope, the particulars aren’t as important, but I paid significantly less for the Nikon, and I feel its superior in every way.

I have used and played with many high end scopes, and it’s very refreshing to find such satisfaction at this price, for that I give Nikon a near perfect score.
That old Buckmaster was the best I could afford at the time, but the new FX 1000 will serve on many of my rifles because it is a perfect fit, irrespective of its cost.

-CBM

Nikon Black RangeX 4K Rangefinder

A good laser rangefinder is an essential tool for any marksman who regularly shoots any significant distance. Personally I learned the value of a good laser many years ago, and have carried one ever since. I’ve had a chance to use many of the most popular models, and today another one joins my collection.

Nikon Sport Optics has long provided quality optics to the hunting and shooting community, so I was happy to see one of their newest product show up at my door, the Black RangeX 4K rangefinder.

The RangeX features an OLED display, it has several brightness settings which include an auto adjust for surrounding light conditions. Simliar to many of its competitors, the RangeX also will give the user an angle compensated distance should it be selected. The RangeX has an available Arca Swiss compatible tripod mount, allowing the rangefinder to be quickly mounted and used from the sturdy perch of a tripod.
The response time of the display is very fast, not quite as fast as the laser itself, but .3 seconds is close enough for me. It uses a single CR2 lithium battery for approximately 9000 uses.

The display as seen through the RangeX, the X around the crosshair shows when the laser is activated.

Perhaps the most celebrated feature of the Nikon RangeX, is its distance capabilities. For some time, ranging beyond 1200 yards or so was relegated to higher priced LRF’s. But as the market has grown, there are more and more great options that will go well beyond what folks are used to. The RangeX is advertised as a 4000 yard maximum range, that is a very impressive statement, and one I planned on testing.

In my experience, the lower the price point on a rangefinder, the less likely it was to hit its maximum advertised distance. Unless you spent upwards of six or seven hundred dollars, you basically had a thousand yard rangefinder, and sometimes not even that. The best rangefinders are the ones that will range not only their advertised distance, but even beyond it sometimes.

To be completely fair though, once a rangefinder hits the two thousand yard mark reliably, I dont really care if it goes beyond. At least not for civilian use.
The vast majority of recreational shooting takes place inside two thousand yards, and those few that need more range know how and where to get it.

I started out the RangeX with basic simple ranging tasks, shooting down the road, across town etc. The simple stuff like inside a thousand yards was lightning fast, and targeting was easy. The narrow beam divergence of the RangeX (Vertical 1.8MRAD by .25MRAD horizontal) allows the user to shoot through gaps in trees, and between closer obstacles. This is a very handy feature for those like me who hunt in wooded forests and mountainous terrain.

The first time I took the RangeX into the mountains to shoot, I decided to stretch it out a little further. It was a cold February afternoon, heavy clouds hung tight against the Wasatch Mountains. Snow was falling at about 6500 ft, which wasn’t too far above my shooting spot that was tucked back into a deep and jagged canyon. Therein was plenty of real world ranging opportunities, rocks, trees, deer, etc. And all at whatever distance you wanted to try and hit them at.

I tried out the angle correcting feature of the RangeX, first measuring the distance to a target, then again with an angle corrected distance. Regardless of how far the target, the display popped up faster than I expected. The furthest I was able to range that day was 1978 yards, which was pretty impressive considering how much precipitation was in the air. Looking back down into town from my Rocky Mountain post, I ranged some buildings that were 2240 yards away.

Ive tried it several other times since, and have been able to reach out even further. The best I can do on rocks and trees is still about two thousand yards, but good reflective targets like cars, windows, and especially road signs, I have hit as far as three thousand eight hundred yards.

The tripod mount made the RangeX very stable, and easy to focus the reticle on targets. And with the various mounting solutions it could be configured however you want it.

The Nikon RangeX is a fantastic buy for the committed shooter, it gives outstanding performance at a very reasonable price. It is lightweight, waterproof, compact, and it gives accurate range readings very quickly. I haven’t hit the magic 4000 yards with it yet, but I’m at least several thousand yards from the park that Nikon knocked it out of.

-CBM