Nightforce NXS vs Vortex PST – Which Is Better? (ANSWERED)

nightforce nxs vs vortex pst

Photo by Doug /CC BY

Nightforce and Vortex—in the World of precision optics, these two companies run supreme. Vortex more or less burst onto the scene with a wide variety of optics, including rifle scopes, red dots, spotting scopes, binoculars, and more. Nightforce has always been a rifle scope company and have been a premier manufacturer since their inception. They produce rifle scopes for the most elite units in the world, including SEAL teams and Marine Raiders.

They each offer a multitude of different scope options, but today we are going to be comparing the Nightforce NXS series to the Vortex Viper PST designs. The designs are some of their flagships in their rifle scope lines. We are going to run down both optics and look at what does what and which is best for you so you can answer the question of who would win in a battle of Nightforce NXS vs Vortex PST. Let’s begin!

Nightforce NXS vs Vortex PST Round 1: Glass

When it comes to optics and shooting over different distances then the most important consideration is clarity of the glass. The higher quality glass the further you’ll see, especially when it comes to low light shooting. High-quality glass is incredibly important for long or even moderate range shooting.

The Viper PST uses HD glass with an ArmorTek coating that does help with low light shooting and this coating does protect the lens as well. The Viper PST glass is certainly incredibly high quality and it does give you a clean and crisp picture at ranges below a 1,000 yards. The Viper is certainly above average.

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The Nightforce NXS however is on an entire other level. Nightforce is known for using the absolute best glass in the world. Their optics are used by elite snipers in units like SEAL Team 6, and Delta Force for their incredible clarity and reliable designs. They can be used in low conditions without issue.

The clarity they provide allows for a shooter to be capable of distinguishing bad guys who are well camouflaged to their environments. They can pick up small movements, and makes it easy to see and hit your target at ranges beyond 1,000 yards.

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Nightforce NXS vs Vortex PST Round 2: Reticles

Judging the quality of reticles between the two companies is tough. People like different reticles for different things. Reticles vary between tasks and the quality of a reticle isn’t necessarily in how it’s used, but how it appears.

Both Vortex and Nightforce provide finely made reticles that are easy to see and incredibly detailed. Both companies produce finely tuned reticles that aren’t just easy to see, but thin enough to prevent it from obscuring your target.

Nightforce provides more detailed reticles that are more versatile and do offer more advanced options. Both optics offer illuminated reticles, and glass etched reticles to allow use should the electronics fail. Both the Nightforce and Vortex optics give you tons of options for reticles that vary based on the magnification levels.

My Co worker shooting my Barrett 50cal. With night force 8-32×56 nxs scope

Nightforce NXS vs Vortex PST Round 3: Magnification Choices

Magnification options are always important since different magnification levels make the optics more suitable for various ranges and tasks. A scope designed for long range shooting shouldn’t be 1-4x and a close range scope shouldn’t be 5-25X.

The Vortex Viper PST (see magnification options) and Nightforce (see magnification options) have roughly the same number of magnification options, but the Viper PST has ultimately more versatility in their magnification selection. You can use the 1 to 6 for a semi-auto defensive rifle, or move up to the 5-25 power for long range shooting on a bolt gun.

The Nightforce NXS series of optics is better suited and designed for long range shooting. These optics are better suited for semi-auto precision guns and super accurate bolt action rifles. The Nightforce series is a bit more long range focused than the Viper PST series.

Additionally, the PST line offers both first and second focal plane scopes in the same line.

Nightforce NXS vs Vortex PST Round 4: Durability

Both Nightforce and Viper stress quality and durability. They both do an impressive job at creating high-quality optics. That being said the Nightforce NXS is built to exceed military standards and has proven itself in the four corners of the world. The Nightforce NXS series are built to be some of the most powerful and most well-made optics in the world.

The NXS series of optics have been around for almost 2 decades. The NXS series are outstanding optics designed to last through everything. They’ve proven their ability and durability in wars all over the world.

The Viper PST series of optics are also well made and will likely serve the average shooter for the rest of their lives. The Viper PST line is certainly perfect for hunting, competition, target shooting, and beyond. Both companies make great scopes, but the Nightforce brand is well proven and well known for their rugged reliability regardless of the situation.

Nightforce NXS vs Vortex PST Round 5: Price

Price wise this is an easy one. The Viper PST is so much cheaper than the Nightforce NXS. When you compare optics with similar magnification levels, then the PST is about half the price of the NXS series. To be honest, the Nightforce brand is on another level of quality all around and that quality costs a lot of money. They make optics that provide brilliant clarity, amazing controls, smooth transitions, and easily the best glass on the market.

Nightforce NXS vs Vortex PST – Which One?

Well, what are you doing with the optic? Are you going hunting? Then the Viper PST will certainly suit your needs. The same could be said for competition shooting as well as plinking and even tactical use within some specific parameters.

If I was deployed to Fallujah, I’d choose the Nightforce NXS. If I was shooting beyond a thousand yards, I’d choose the Nightforce NXS as well. The NXS is a brilliant optic that’s made to go to war, come home, go back and do it all again.

Which one is for you? Well that’s up to you. If price is the deciding factor, then the Viper PST series might be best for you. If you need a powerful optic that can go anywhere and do anything then the Nightforce NXS is for you. Either way you are getting an outstanding optic. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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