The new Nikon 1-4×24 Black Force 1000 marks the companies first official entry into the world of competitive shooting optics and they certainly know how to make an impression. This year at SHOT Show 2017 we saw a great many offerings from the usual players in the optics game then we got a phone call and were requested to come over to the Nikon booth. I admittedly am a huge fan of Nikon cameras and have spent many thousands of dollars on their equipment so I was understandably excited but the Sporting Optics and the Digital Photography operate as two independent entities, unfortunately.
I was aware of Nikon’s lines of binoculars, range finders and hunting optics but was unaware that they had branched into a complete line of optics tailored to competitive shooting. The rise of 3 gun competitions has been amazing to watch, but often times shooters were forced into having to use higher priced optics that were not designed strictly with competition in mind. Many shooters selected optics and just practiced and worked with them until they became comfortable with them. The more common optics that these types of competitive shooters were using were 1X-4X power variable scopes that usually cost anywhere from $700 all the way to $1200.
What Nikon has done is listen to the moans and groans of shooters from all areas of the shooting sports and designed from the ground up an affordable, durable optic that will exceed the needs of military sporting arms shooters, this optic is the Nikon 1-4 x 24 BLACK FORCE 1000. What makes this optic better than the competition ? Glad you asked lets break down the specifications.
Name: Nikon BLACK FORCE 1000
Magnification: 1 x-4X
Objective Diameter: 24 mm
Eyepiece Diameter: 44 mm
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Adjustment Graduation: 1/2 MOA
Weight: 16.4 Oz
Reticle Type: Nikon Speedforce
Reticle Illuminated: Yes (10 settings)
Battery Type: CR2032
- Glass etched with reticle
- Fog proof
- Water proof
- Anti-reflective multi layer protective glass coating
- Designed for AR/MSR style rifles
When I had a chance to handle the display AR-15 and look threw the optic and look through it I was pleasantly shocked by what I found. I will admit that generally smaller scout optics in the 1x-4x range frustrate me, this wasn’t the case with the Nikon 1X-4X BlackForce 1000. While shouldering the weapon and switching back to a low ready position repeatedly I notice that the 44mm diameter of the eyepiece seemed very easy to pick up and seemed to be extremely clear and crisp. I repeated this basic action probably 9 or 10 more times before I decided I needed to try adjusting the variable power on the optic. This is were most optics loose their appeal for me.
The first thing I noticed when I gripped the magnification ring of the Nikon is the aggressive texturing of it, far too often optics manufacturers leave the magnification ring nice and smooth. A smooth or lightly textured magnification ring can cause shooters fingers to slide around and loose their grip when trying to adjust the magnification while on the move between stages or while in a heightened sense anxiety for whatever reason. Fine motor skills and the dexterity of a persons fingers can be one of the first things to feel the effects of heightened adrenaline. Being able to have a solid and gripable surface can save precious time during competitions.
Nikon really did their homework on this optic and their attention to detail is in my opinion one of the things that sets this optic a head of its competition. The same texturing I mentioned above is also on the adjustment caps and on the illumination control dial located on the left side of the body tube. The high quality and consistent craftsmanship is evident in every aspect of this scope. When I slid the magnification dial through the full range of magnification I was shocked to see how clear the black etched reticle was with the illumination turned off. I was expecting something that was hard to pick up and see, for once in my life I’m glad I was disappointed in my expectations. The reticle both black and illuminated was very clear and easy to see.
It is the opinion of us here at The Arms Guide that Nikon really has taken the time to listen to the needs of all shooters who prefer to use military sporting arms and developed an optic to meet our needs. Their “No Fault” repair and replacement policy is good for the life of the optic, when you take that lifetime warranty and add it to a MSRP of $399.99 and look at the features of this 1x-4x scope you can see how nice of a deal this optic is. Keep in mine the MSRP is the suggested price for the optic and if i was a betting man I would say that all of the regular big box sporting goods dealers and online optics sites such as Optics Planet will have these in stock very soon.
If you are actively in the market for a new optic you should really take a few weeks and wait for these to be in stores and try them out. I can say that at SHOT Show range day I tried a similar optic from a competitor that retailed for $1299 and I can say with all honesty that the Nikon is every bit as good as that optic. In fact I would say better because for less than the price of that other optic a person can buy a very nice AR-15 and this optic and have a few hundred dollars left over.
Drop us a line in the comments section below and let us know what you think of this affordable offering from Nikon, I’m thinking on trying to get one and mounting it to my Sig Sauer Model 556 Classic SWAT and trying it out.