The giant “machine” of Nikon isn’t always the first to market, but when it does get there, it tends to have well-vetted, desirable, midrange products with lots of staying power. Nikon’s vast experience and manufacturing resources allow for efficient production, with cost savings passed on to the consumer. Its new BLACK FX1000 follows that template.
The Black FX1000 riflescopes are FFP (first focal plane) scopes, meaning that the relationship between the reticle and the target stays the same, regardless of the magnification of the scope.
For example, using my sample 6-24×50 SF scope set at 6x, my crosshair, or aiming point, subtends (covers up) 0.14 MOA of a bullseye at 100 yards. It also subtends the same 0.14 with the scope at 24x. So, the reticle grows at the same relationship as the image. This allows you to estimate range, maintain holdovers, dial elevation come-ups and compensate for wind holds at any and all magnifications. With second focal plane scopes, the reticle stays the same size as the image grows, allowing range estimation at one magnification only—usually the highest.
The BLACK FX1000 scopes are 4x FFP magnification range scopes and are built on 30mm tubes. They are offered in 4-16×50 and 6-24×50 versions, and you can choose from either an illuminated, glass-etched FX-MOA or FX-MRAD reticle. My 6-24×50 sample was one of the first available, and it came with the illuminated FX-MOA reticle. It weighs 24.5 ounces.
They are, indeed, black scopes, with a satin finish and “murdered-out” black graphics—all except for the white markings on the turret, as well as the white CE and other markings on the bottom of the eyepiece. The bottom of the scope is marked “Made in Philippines.”
The eyepiece incorporates a fast-focus eyepiece and a magnification ring that moves smoothly from stop to stop, with no grit or bumps in between. The ridges on the power ring, itself, are sharp-cornered, and the middle of the ring is somewhat contoured for better purchase when moving it.
The style of the power ring is represented on the turrets also. The resettable elevation turret has 60 MOA of available movement. This will get you to 1,000 yards with most popular modern cartridges. An angled base on your firearm might prove useful for very long-range shooters. The turrets deliver secure clicks and give a sense of repeatability that was later confirmed with a laser during testing. The dial markings are sharp and easy to read.
The tall elevation turret includes a zero-stop that’s easy to set. After sighting-in, loosen the three hex screws and remove the outer turret, loosen the three small set screws on the zero-stop ring and turn the ring until bottomed out. Then, retighten the three ring screws and reinstall the outer turret.
The quality and execution on all related components is pleasing. The windage turret is also of the tall type and can likewise be reset to zero via three hex screws.
The left turret incorporates the battery, illumination rheostat and parallax dial. The single CR2032 battery powers my red FX-MOA reticle (which is adjustable in 10 intensity levels) with convenient “off” stops between every “on.” It is easily visible at high power in sunlight but also pleasingly dim at low power. The reticle will power down after one hour of inactivity. The parallax dial moves smoothly from stop to stop, and the sharp ridges make it easy to grasp.
“Nikon used its experience to again deliver another excellent optical product, and this time, it’s priced hundreds of dollars lower than much of what’s currently on the market.”
Great Price, Great Product
Nikon used its experience to again deliver another excellent optical product, and this time, it’s priced hundreds of dollars lower than much of what’s currently on the market. It would be an excellent choice mounted on your first long-range rifle, such as the great Ruger Precision Rifle, which really ignited a craze for those types of bolt guns. The 4-16×50 model would be a great fit on your AR.
I mounted the FX1000 on a Savage model 10 FCP McMillan in .308 Win. The long scope tube offered plenty of room for ring placement, and the eye relief of up to 4 inches allowed for easy mounting on anything, including gas guns. The eye box was forgiving and not particularly critical of head placement.
Nightforce standard rings with 1.00 height worked well with my raised cheekpiece to align my eye through the center of the tube. The well-designed reticle combined with the sharp resolution and a bright sight picture and made for an excellent optic on this rifle and how it’s generally used.
Nikon’s new entry into the FFP field will be around for a long time to come. And it’s black.
Nikon Black FX1000 Rifle Scope Specifications
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Weight: 24.5 ounces
Length: 15.2 inches
Reticles Available: FX-MRAD, FX-MRAD (tested)
Focal Plane: First
Adjustment Graduation: ¼ MOA
Maximum Internal Adjustment: 60 MOA
Field of View at 100 Yards: 18.0–4.7 feet
Warranty: Limited lifetime (optic); one year (electronics)
MSRP: $800 (as tested, 6-24x50mm; other models: $400–$800)
Steven K. Ledin is a former U.S. Navy nuclear gunner’s mate and current director of a prominent online optics retailer. He’s a CCW and NRA instructor and has been a sponsored competitive shooter and private investigator. He has hunted (and gotten lost) from Alaska to Africa.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2018 print issue of Gun World Magazine.