Ammo & Gear Reviews

Gear Test: Nikon Black Force 1000 Riflescope

By Daniel T. McElrath, Shooting Illustrated

The Nikon Black Force 1000 riflescope, pictured above, is feature-packed and purpose-built for the AR platform.

The versatility and subsequent popularity of MSRs, particularly AR platforms, has led to demand for versatile optics, both for action games and serious tactical work. As 5.56 NATO-caliber AR-15 carbines are now used for everything from entry weapons to designated marksman guns, and since 3-gun courses seem to involve increasingly devious challenges, fast, variable optics that are simple, exacting, lightweight and sturdy have been developed by most of the major players in firearm optics. Typically, these variable scopes range in power from 1-4X, 1-6X or 1-8X, feature rapid power adjustment, have 30 mm main tubes and lack belled objectives.

Nikon Sport Optics has entered the fray with the Black Force 1000 1-4×24 mm riflescope. Touted as an action-sports optic, it should be suitable for tactical use, as should any similarly featured, sturdily constructed scope.

The Nikon Black force 1000 riflescope’s magnification range is in the lower part of the market spectrum, yet more than adequate for most practical uses. The 1X setting is a true one-power, something that hasn’t always been the case with riflescopes. It allows extremely rapid close-range engagement with the user having only the mounting offset to worry about.

Speaking of mounts, we used Nikon’s own M-Series designed for AR rifles with Picatinny rails. The aluminum alloy mount places the scope at the proper height on a flattop and positions the scope forward to permit easy access to the charging handle.

(l.) The reticle’s 10 brightness settings are separated by “off” positions, making powering down easy. (r.) Turrets have metal caps and adjust in .5-MOA increments. They functioned smoothly and distinctly.


The company that earned its reputation with high-end cameras certainly knows its glass. The multicoated lenses are crystal clear, transmitting almost all of the entering light to the viewer and doing so without distortion. Despite the absence of a big bell, it proved plenty bright for target and defensive purposes.

Eye relief is generous, a good thing as with the Nikon Black Force 1000 riflescope set forward to clear both the charging handle and folded backup iron sights, the optic is still clear. If it isn’t, adjustment of the stock’s length-of-pull will soon get it there.

The Nikon Black force 1000 incorporates the new Speedforce reticle. It is both etched onto the glass and illuminated, meaning it is not battery dependent. Oh, it can lose illumination if the batteries fail, but the reticle remains useful within the limits of available light. Brightness is controlled by a knob on the left side and there are 10 settings with an “off” space between each. The unit will power down on its own after one hour of inactivity.

(l.) Nikon’s Quick Focus eyepiece is rubber-coated for good purchase, enabling quick manipulation. (ctr.) A sizeable “eye box” makes for rapid target acquisition, which is vital on a scope intended for an MSR. (r.) Just a quick twist of the scope’s magnification ring will get you from 1X to 4X and back in a hurry.


A second-focal-plane reticle (the reticle doesn’t change size as magnification changes), the Speedforce pattern is designed with a semi-circle within a semi-circle (“double horseshoe”)  for quick centering on close targets while keeping both eyes open. The MOA-subtension Speedforce is designed for very fast employment at close- to medium-range targets, and has BDC circles and hash marks for holdover at more distant targets. Basically, with both eyes open you can swing this scope from one nearby target to another for telling hits in short order, then transition to distant targets and use the BDC subtensions for continued hits.

We took it to the range and shot “the box” with it mounted on a flattop AR carbine. A group was shot, then the turrets manipulated a set number of clicks to move the next group to the right, the next one down, the next to the left and the final group back up to the original group. It worked perfectly. The large, well-marked turrets clicked easily and distinctly, and held their settings.

Overall, the Nikon Black Force 1000 delivered good features and fine performance, especially given its moderate price point. It’s a solid and versatile scope from a reputable company, a scope suitable for competition but also more than viable for home defense, personal protection, civil defense and emergency preparedness.