I’ll be the first person to acknowledge that I have a finite amount of knowledge when it comes to rifle scopes. Nevertheless, scopes are instrumental to the proper use and function of a quality rifle. Even when an individual like myself needs to hit a target at +300 yards a scope is mandatory. What kind of scope is a different story?

The Nikon Black X1000 is specifically designed for the AR platform (AR15/LR308DPMSAR10). When this scope first reached me, I was ecstatic to give it a try. Wandering around my house looking at everything I could through the scope. As of right now, I could tell you every detail of what’s outside of my windows. That’s not to say it’s only useful as a monocle.

Warne also sent in a mount specifically for this scope. Their X-SKEL fits directly to the Picatinny rail on the AR and fits the scope perfectly. The mount itself has an extended cantilever and set at 0 MOA. This is ideal for those short ranges and up to 600 yards. At or around 600 yards it’s generally recommended to have a mount at 20 MOA. While the Black X1000 can easily be used for +1000 yards, my skill would not make that a possibility.

Nikon’s New Black X1000 6-24x50S on a mount
Nikon X1000 Scope

The Scope Specs

  • 4-16x50SF
  • Illuminated X-MOA
  • Matte Black
  • 30mm Tube Diameter
  • 44mm Eyepiece Exterior Diameter
  • 23.8 oz Weight
  • Full multilayer coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces multiple layers of anti-reflective coating maximize light transmission, brightness, and contrast
  • Glass-etched, illuminated reticle is located in second focal plane
  • Side-Focus Parallax adjustment turret-mounted knob allows adjustment without changing Shooting position

Setting Up Nikon X1000 Scope

When using the 0 MOA Warne mount it isn’t necessary to set facing aNikon X1000 Scope one table with mount and crossbow specific direction. Any other MOA means there would be a tilt and requires having the mount facing a specific direction. What I found as a benefit of the 0 MOA Warne was attaching it to a rifle featuring a rifle stock. I could set the scope farther back. I won’t get into the specifics of MOA in this article. Less to say that it is a tilt, adjustment, angle, and trajectory of measuring a bullet’s path. At longer distances having the forward part of your scope tilted up allows you to ‘zero’ your scope at longer distances.

When originally setting up the mount and scope the mount was put on backward to allow ease of sight with a rifle stock. While not recommended, this did not influence the outcome of the Nikon Black X1000 performance. In fact, it made the process that much easier. We did turn the mount the conventional way halfway through the test to prove this.

The X1000 slipped comfortably into the X-SKEL mount and was quickly bolted down. It’s crucial to tighten the ring screws at the recommended torque weight. Failure to complete this will result in a scope that slides inside the rings essentially removing all chances of accuracy, zeroing, or proper performance. After it had been attached to the upper, a Rainier Arms 223 Wylde, we got to work giving both the upper receiver assembly and scope a good once over.

Initial Performance and Zeroing In

zeroing in with nikon x1000 scopeWe aimed the scope down range at 50 yards, to start. This gave us an accurate idea of where the bullet actually was. To my surprise, the scope was close to being zeroed directly out of the box. We were about 2 inches high and 1 inch to the right. From that point, zeroing in and reading the MOA ‘clicks’ was a breeze.

To be clear, in this scope each ‘click’ from the knobs is measured in ¼ MOA. Some brands use different measurements (MILS) or even go higher in MOA measurements (½ MOA). This even Changes between Nikon models. The Black Force1000 is in ½ MOA while the X1000 is in ¼ MOA. We adjusted the top Elevation knob (right to adjust up and left to adjust down) 8 clicks to the left, bringing us down about 2 inches. Adjusting the side Windage knob (turn forward for left and backward for right) we moved it 4 clicks forward. At that point, we were zeroed in at 50 yards.

Moving forward we took aim at 100 yards. After a few shots, we were off by about ¼ inch and made adjustments accordingly. 50 yards is too short of a distance to obtain an accurate reading to do an exact zero but a good starting point. If it’s possible, it’s recommended to adjust zero every 100 yards, up to ~300 yards to make an adequate assessment. As far as we were concerned, the scope did that without hesitation.

Harder use

The point of the test wasn’t to zero in but put the scope through some paces. So far, we had accurately zeroed out to 300 yards and wanted to move beyond. We attached this scope to a .223 Wylde for this very reason. Range wasn’t going to be an issue in that caliber, unlike a .300 Blackout. We also weren’t hitting a fruit fly at 1000 yards so a .308 was unnecessary to properly use the X1000.

close of nikon x1000 scopeWith lower quality scopes it’s not just what you observe that can be an issue, but what is contained inside out of sight. This is not a ‘low-quality’ scope, and while we were confident it would perform well we wanted to see exactly what results we would obtain. Running 15 rounds as a rapid-fire test to 200 yards we confirmed our results. Although we lacked a steady hand, the scope performed moderately well with no deviation.

As time progressed, after 100 rounds we started to sense some problems. Something just didn’t feel right. Our shots were consistent and while they were pretty close to where they needed to be the grouping started to get a bit larger. After some careful consideration, we decided to reset the mount the conventional way and tighten all the bolts. The X1000 was sliding in the mount.


Putting everything together the accurate way the range was once again calling. It was frigid, rainy, and starting to get a little foggy. This presented the ideal opportunity to test the illumination. There are 10 brightness settings for a wide range of uses. The dimmest setting was still visible on an overcast day and may seem too bright at night. However, being red means that it will not seriously impair natural night vision.

Running another 100 rounds down range there was no straying from the target at 500 yards. Even with light rain and cold temperature we were proud of our accuracy. With our lack of experience and shivering hands, there was little we could hit past 500 yards, but that had little to do with the scope.

Personal Notes

The power selector ring is perfectly positioned ahead of the Eyepiece adjuster. I wish that there was a small thumb level attached to the power selector ring to make it easier to adjust. Otherwise, a user is required to wrap their entire hand around the ring.

In addition to the change in MOA adjustment between models, it required some effort to actually put the dials back to 0 once they were adjusted. Each knob can be pulled out and the numbers set back to 0. The first few times it is incredibly difficult to pull the knob out and force back into its seated position.

Overall Impression of The Nikon X1000 Scope

Nikon scope review
X1000 Nikon Scope close up

For a top performing scope designed around the AR platform, this is a great option. Nikon has a wide range of AR specific scope, but that doesn’t mean they can only be used on an AR platform. The X1000 could easily find its way onto any rifle that can accommodate it with both range and caliber.

The tough and resilient build compels me to believe that even in high-recoil calibers the internals would stay well set to preserve zeroing. In addition to keeping zero, a few bumps and bangs are common in any rifle. If using the X1000 for hunting it wouldn’t be uncommon to have it bump into a tree, stand, or even fall outright. While we didn’t test the overall durability, we feel confident in the quality during normal use.


Nikon black X1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL x-MOA
2 Reviews
Nikon black X1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL x-MOA
  • Full multilayer coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces multiple layers of anti-reflective coating maximize light transmission, brightness and contrast
  • Glass-etched, illuminated reticle is located in second focal plane
  • Side-Focus Parallax adjustment turret-mounted knob allows adjustment without changing Shooting position

Starting at $600 the Black X1000 is not an easy price to swallow. Nevertheless, it can be used on a wide range of calibers and rifles. If you’re looking for a singular, quality scope that can be put onto multiple rifles depending on the application that rifle is used for this is a great option. You will not be limited on range if you move up to a wider range or better performing caliber.

In addition to the performance and expected quality of Nikon, they provide a No-Fault Repair/Replace policy. If a Nikon scope stops performing properly and is outside of the included Limited Warranty Nikon will repair at no cost. As great as that sounds, it is at their discretion. Ultimately, buying this one performance scope would be much less than purchasing multiple scopes of a lesser quality. Is it the equivalent of a Maserati? No, but it’s pretty darn close and we’re proud to be able to use and share our experience with the Nikon Black X1000.

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Jonathan Kilburn is a Martial Arts Instructor, Special Needs educator and businessman. Jonathan has focused on self-reliance and survival in some of the most difficult areas, urban areas. Natural disasters have pushed Jonathan to teach about urban farming, homesteading, and survival. As a Special Needs Educator, Mr. Kilburn has developed a neurological approach to executive function, meaning: pushing the boundaries of human needs vs human wants. This mindset and philosophy assists in training himself, and others, in self-reliance and survival. Mr. Kilburn has also studied martial arts for a number of years which include Aikido, Sambo, Judo, TaeKwon-Do, Haidon Gumdo, and various other sword arts.


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