The Nightforce ATACR has become a favorite of SOCOM.

The term de jour in the firearms industry is “Mil Spec.” To the everyday shooter it infers that an item has met the requirements for use in a military environment. While this is true there is another term that is less often heard–“Super Mil Spec.” OK, I made that up, but the essence of the term is real. While the big military may settle for certain quality, the operators inside SOCOM have a different standard. They require equipment that is a level above and capable of reliably serving them in the worse places in the world. One specific area that they are picky is optics. So it came as no surprise when the Nighthawk ATACR scored yet another contract with SOCOM.

Nightforce ATACR

Last December, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) chose two variants of the Nightforce ATACR product line to fill the Precision – Variable Power Scope component of the Miniature Aiming Systems – Day Optic (MAS-D) Program. The MIL-SPEC ATACR 5-25×56 F1 and the MIL-SPEC ATACR 7-35×56 F1 will be integrated as the standard and the long-range solutions for U.S. Special Operations Command’s current and future anticipated sniper weapon systems.

“The selection of both ATACR models brings continuity to a community that, until recently, have been using a variety of aging systems, all with slightly varying controls and reticle designs,” said Nightforce’s MIL-GOV-LE Business Development Manager, Tod Litt.

Both these optics offer unparalleled performance in extended range target detection and reliable mechanical adjustment. They feature ED glass, 0.1 Mil-Radian adjustment value for both windage and elevation, the Horus Vision TREMOR3 reticle, and a tan, hardcoat anodized finish. They are truly the cutting edge in long rage optics. Nightforce owns a reputation as a premier optics manufacturers, one committed to quality.

Landing Military Contracts

As I mentioned in the opening, Nightforce has in fact scored two contracts with SOCOM. Choosing the Nightforce ATACR as its Squad-Variable Powered Scope became the first double tap from SOCOM. They chose the ATACR 1-8×24 F1 riflescope to replace its current scope system on M4 rifles. The ATCAR won due to its ability to go quickly from close quarters to long-range combat.

“The Nightforce MIL-SPEC ATACR 1-8×24 F1 is an over-engineered, military-grade scope built with the military’s extreme endurance in mind,” said Bill Bracken, Nightforce MIL-GOV-LE Senior Program Manager. “It offers numerous mission-critical features including a large eye box for rapid engagement, a Power Throw Lever for rapid magnification adjustments and the shortest length in its class to maximize rail space.”

High Performance for High-Speed Operators

SOCOM differs from regular military units, requiring shooting skills and an ability to engage both in CQB and extreme distances. The ATACR 1-8 X 24 gives them an optic capable to helping them make every shot in that spectrum.

The contracts are indeed impressive, but many will wonder why Nightforce? SOCOM chose Nightforce for many of the same reasons that shooters around the world do. They build exceptional optics with solid zero hold, reliable dialing and turrets, crystal clear glass and bomb proof construction. On the civilian side, Nightforce offers solid customer support and warranty. But SOCOM operators don’t hold the warranty aspect as a major factor. In short, operators that deploy with these optics could care less about warranty. They demand an optic that will not fail them when they are 5000 miles from home in a hostile environment with people trying to kill them. They want an optic that is reliable, repeatable and sturdy. Nightforce has excelled in those categories and that is why they have gained so much popularity inside the special operations community. For even more information, please visit

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