Recoil - - Contents - BY CANDICE HORNER

Nigh­force’s New Mil-XT Ret­i­cle

Some ret­i­cles are too sim­ple, some are too com­plex, but Night­force’s new Mil-XT is just right. The new Mil-XT is a sweet spot blend between the other ret­i­cles used in Night­force’s ATACR se­ries of scopes. Pre­vi­ously, you could only or­der the higher power ATACRs with ret­i­cles that ei­ther seemed like a grid­ded sci­ence prob­lem or an all-too-sim­ple op­tion that didn’t al­low for wind and el­e­va­tion holdovers si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

The Mil-XT was birthed from the need of long-range pre­ci­sion shoot­ers; sev­eral Night­force em­ploy­ees reg­u­larly com­pete in long-range com­pe­ti­tions.

At first glance, the Mil-XT looks like a Horus ret­i­cle, thanks to the Christ­mas tree de­sign. But it’s cleaner and eas­ier to use for the in­tended ap­pli­ca­tion of pre­ci­sion long-range shoot­ing.

At most matches, com­peti­tors are al­lowed to shoot at a tar­get twice un­til they have to move on to the next. Be­ing able to vi­su­al­ize and cor­rect off of that first shot is im­per­a­tive. The grid sys­tem spread of the Mil-XT gives a quick point of ref­er­ence from a missed shot. For ex­am­ple, if you were hold­ing cen­ter, but missed 2 mils low and 1 mil right, ac­cord­ing to the grid, that point of ref­er­ence now be­comes your new hold for your next shot.

Com­pared to the Horus H59 or

Tre­mor 3, the Mil-XT has more open space to see any misses and ad­just from them. Com­pared to the nearly naked Night­force Mil-C ret­i­cle that’s the go-to by many pre­ci­sion ri­fle com­peti­tors, the Mil-XT gives the op­tion to holdover and ac­count for wind in­stead of hav­ing to dial for each shot. This fea­ture helps save time when sec­onds mat­ter.


Long-range scopes that don’t show num­bers at each whole mil mark can be con­fus­ing when try­ing to count which mil you’re on. Each hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal whole mil marks have the co­or­di­nat­ing num­ber above or next to the line. Down in the grid area, lines are re­placed by rows of dots, which makes the ret­i­cle less busy. The num­bers for each whole mil al­ter­nate in size as you look down the grid, this helps pull your eye to the cor­rect num­ber with­out get­ting lost in a pile of lines and num­bers. The open space in the top of the ret­i­cle helps you see trace, ob­serve, and find tar­gets.

When look­ing at the main lines, you’ll see smaller sub­ten­sion lines, which are mea­sure­ments for 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 of a mil. Other ret­i­cles have these sub­ten­sions com­ing off of the main line in an equal way, but the Mil-XT has more of an al­ter­nat­ing pat­tern that helps iden­tify which sub­ten­sion you’re look­ing at with­out putting too much thought into it.

All of the cen­ter dots, from zero and down are 0.05 mil with space around them. Hav­ing a small dot for aim­ing helps re­fine your shot in­stead of deal­ing with thick sta­dia lines block­ing part of your tar­get.

The half-mil holdovers are small dots mea­sur­ing 0.05 mil, like the cen­ter dots. These dots lend to eas­ier brack­et­ing for shots when you’re not 100-per­cent sure about the wind hold. Rarely is a tar­get in a hunt­ing or tac­ti­cal sit­u­a­tion small enough that 0.1 mil mat­ters and al­most no field po­si­tion is good enough to al­low shoot­ers to break shots within 0.1 mils of each other, so brack­et­ing between the half and whole mil lines is good enough for 99 per­cent of the shots you would take in the field.

Above the cen­ter dot, the ver­ti­cal sta­dia ex­tends up to 5 mils, with 0.2 mil sub­ten­sion lines between each whole mil. Most peo­ple are fa­mil­iar with holdovers, but not so much with hold-un­ders. The ver­ti­cal sta­dia gives the op­por­tu­nity for hold-un­ders if you want to set up your scope for a spe­cific

stage where, in­stead of di­al­ing for each tar­get, you can dial for a mid­dle dis­tance tar­get and hold un­der or over for the rest. Do­ing this con­serves time if you ex­pect build­ing po­si­tions for each shot to be time-con­sum­ing.


If you’re ac­quainted with the Horus ret­i­cle, you might miss the mover holds be­cause that fea­ture isn’t in the MilXT. Mover holds of the Horus lets the shooter rapidly en­gage mov­ing tar­gets with­out hav­ing to do math on the fly. Horus ret­i­cles give 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 mph for mov­ing tar­gets. Con­sid­er­ing most long-range matches rarely have mov­ing tar­gets at vary­ing speeds, not hav­ing mover holds isn’t a big deal. Fur­ther­more, most ballistic en­gines can tell you what your hold should be for a mov­ing tar­get that doesn’t change speed — like the ones you may en­counter at matches.

The ATACR line of scopes fea­tures DigIl­lum il­lu­mi­na­tion. You can il­lu­mi­nate the ret­i­cle to green or red with vary­ing lev­els of bright­ness. This fea­ture is won­der­ful if you’re shoot­ing, for ex­am­ple, at black painted tar­gets dur­ing the day. But, if the light is low and you il­lu­mi­nate the ret­i­cle, only the main lines glow; the num­bers are dif­fi­cult to see when light­ing con­di­tions aren’t op­ti­mal.


The Night­force Mil-XT is ideal for most shoot­ers who want a re­li­able, first fo­cal plane scope. Its de­sign had us find­ing steel and reen­gag­ing tar­gets faster than ret­i­cles mar­keted as hav­ing all the “bells and whis­tles.” We ex­pect the guys who need mover holds and fast-milling ca­pa­bil­i­ties won’t fall in love with this ret­i­cle, but that’s a very small part of a dif­fer­ent mar­ket. This ret­i­cle is a homerun for most peo­ple who want to stretch out to dis­tance and not be forced to dial for each shot.

Left: On a low mag­ni­fi­ca­tion set­ting, the Mil-XT ret­i­cle has open space and a large field of view.Right: On higher mag­ni­fi­ca­tion lev­els, the Mil-XT gives mul­ti­ple points of ref­er­ence for pre­cise aim­ing.

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