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The NightForce Atacr sounds like something out of a 1980s robot movie, but odd name aside the ATACR is a beast of an optic. ATACR actually stands for Advanced TACtical Riflescope, and is rather new to the market. It’s been out for less than a year but has made waves among in the shooting market. The Atacr I reviewed was the 5-25 power with a 56mm objective lens. The Atacr is a heavy beast, at 38 ounces and has a total length of 15.3 inches. If you can’t tell by now the Atacr is big girl.
Out of the Box
The Nightforce ATACR comes in a simple box with the standard warranty information, instruction manual (Also downloadable), a lens cover, a sunshade, and a pretty awesome bumper sticker. The heft becomes apparent immediately, and the optic is not designed for say an AR 15.
The optic is built from aircraft grade T-6 aluminum. According to Nightforce the internal walls of the scope are twice as thick as their competitors. I’ll take their word for it since I’m not in the business of trying to disassemble optics that cost more than 2 grand. Yeah, it’s an expensive piece of glass, but is worth every dime.
The ATACR is designed for heavy rifles, and big bullets. Most scopes are designed to withstand the recoil of rounds like the 338 Lapua, 300 Win Mag, or the 50 BMG. The ATACR however is designed to eat this recoil like it’s nothing.
On the Range
A big gun is meant for long ranges, and we decided to go with the CZ 550 in 300 Win Mag. Mounting the scope was something I had a professional due. Simply because I wanted the best performance possible out of the optic and I wanted to avoid any kind of scope torque on such an expensive optic.
My ATACR had the MOAR F1-20 MOA reticle, I chose this reticle because it’s similar to a traditional cross hair. A lot of Nightforce’s reticles are complicated and designed for specific tasks. My task was punching steel plates at 700 yards and the MOAR was perfect for it. The MOAR reticle uses 1 moa holdovers for range and windage and it will take some trial and error to figure out where your rifle and loading will be striking.
The ATACR features a power throw lever to make rapid and smooth power transitions. This is quite handy if one was transferring from target to target rapidly, at alternating ranges. It should go without saying a premium optic has clear glass, and it’s so impressive I feel like it’s the first I saw an HD tv. The scopes massive objective lens captured every sliver of available light and maximized clarity.
Two immediate downside to this optic is it’s price and it’s weight. 2,300 hundred dollars is a lot of money, in fact that’s twice what the CZ 550 it was mounted on cost. The weight is also not exactly something to forget about. Someone looking for a long range hunting platform may not want the extra weight on their rifles.
The ATACR is pretty much everything proof. The optic can withstand water, shock, and debri. The ATACR is built to military specs and was even a favorite of Chris Kyle, America’s most successful sniper. The ATACR is an investment to be sure, and is one of the few optics capable of withstanding the heavy recoil from magnum level rifles. If weight, and cost isn’t an option, you can’t wrong with the ATACR.
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