Editor’s note: I forced a guest writer to hammer out this comparison between his Novel Arms Tac One and my NC Star VISM compact scopes – complete with blackmail and threats for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! – Juicy
For a while now, I’ve always wanted a Nightforce 1-4x NXS Compact but the price was always too high. I recently found out that there is a Japanese-made clone, by a company called Novel Arms. I have wanted this scope for a while, because it is in use by SEAL teams. After a while, I was able to source one, which is pretty hard since they didn’t ship them out of Japan.
Above is a picture of the Novel Arms replica, compared to the Nightforce 1-4x NXS (below).
So for the last couple of months, I have been testing the Novel Arms during game days and I can say nothing but compliments for this scope. I also have had the luxury to compare “Juicy’s” VISM to my Novel Arms.
First off the Novel Arms is actually a 1.2 – 4x scope. These magnification levels are perfect for the distances in airsoft especially since we play in a forest environment with longer ranges. The 4x works perfectly in being able to tell the difference at distance between a stump or a player, whereas having the 1.2x is perfect for up close encounters, which allows you to use it like an Aimpoint. However, because the scope is not a true 1x scope, aiming with both eyes open is what I have to do. I use my left eye to guide the gun up to the approximate location of the target, then my right eye focuses on the reticle to ensure it is on target.
Another point that helped me make this purchase is that there are no covers for the turrets, which allows for “on the fly” adjustments which is perfect for me, since I am too lazy to take off the covers to zero my optic. Another point is that on the Nightforce it doesn’t have covers on the turrets, and when it comes to accuracy of a loadout for a gear whore, it is the little things that count.
This replica scope also has red illumination, which is a necessity when playing in low-light conditions. The Novel Arms has 11 levels of illumination (red only).
And now a brief comparison the Novel Arms and the VISM:
On the left is the Novel Arms and the right is the VISM, from this side to side comparison you can see that the objective diameter on the VISM is wider which allows for a wider FOV. However, the VISM’s illumination knob is on top of the objective lense. This is a noticeable difference from the NXS, so this is already an issue for those who want the look of the real thing.
Both scopes are very similar to length, but after talking to “Juicy,” we found out the VISM has longer eye relief which has its pros and cons. With the VISM because it has longer eye relief the scope has to be mounted further up on the rifle, and due to its size may hinder the mounting of certain accessories; i.e. lasers. With the Novel Arms’ shorter eye relief, I find that it allows for a greater FOV as compared to the VISM.
The reticle of the VISM has 2 colors of illumination; blue and green, the illumination has been set to its highest on both settings.
This is the illumination of the Novel Arms at the highest setting.
Left: VISM turrets. Right: Novel Arms turrets.
One this the Novel Arms is lacking is the cat tail that the VISM has, as this allows for a better grip to change magnification on the fly. On my Novel Arms I sometimes find myself fighting the knob while having to change the magnification on the fly.
On a end note on this comparison, I feel that as a replica the Novel Arms is an excellent replica of the Night Force NXS as compared to the appearance of the VISM. Both are excellent scopes when compared side to side, and use of either one will benefit its user irregardless.
On a side note, I have been hearing a lot of people calling these scopes short dots, which has been bugging me a bit. Below is a short dot, it is a scope made by a company called Schmidt & Bender in Germany. All other scopes to that style are called compact rifle scopes as per optic manufacturers.