TESTED: Element Optics Nexus Gen 2 4-25 x 50 FFP

It’s always fun to try something new. After a wonderful experience with the Element Optics Theos, including the best tracking we’ve ever observed, I’m now testing the Element Optics Nexus Gen 2


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About the Element Nexus Gen 2 4-25 x 50 FFP

The Nexus Gen 2 has a very similar feel to the Element Theos, making it extremely familiar right out of the box. It is designed to be lightweight with a 30mm main tube and has several illumination settings. 

These are easily changed by tapping the side turret. Holding it turns the illumination on and off. My favorite Element Optics feature is the tool-free turrets — no Allen key required!

This makes it especially easy to adjust your zero in the field. Also near the top of my list are the zero stop and revolution indicators. 

From Element Optics:

The word “NEXUS” means “focal point”, and that is what this model is to the ELEMENT OPTICS range. The GEN II takes the DNA of the first generation NEXUS and pushes it to another level with a 4-25x Magnification, a new Turret System and Digital Illumination – the ultimate 30mm riflescope. A variety of different reticle designs in both MOA and MRAD cater to all shooters: Simplified options are easy on the eye, while more complex designs allow experienced shooters to hold off with precision. Our design team of global competition winners & hunters understand optics, and have introduced strict quality control measures to ensure perfect operation under testing conditions. And if something goes wrong? Our Platinum Lifetime Warranty has you covered – No paperwork or registration required.


    • 30mm Main Body Tube
    • Compact, Lightweight design
    • Illuminated, First Focal Plane Reticle
    • Side Parallax: 10yds-Infinity
    • Advanced Fully Multi-Coated Lenses with Anti-Fouling Layer
    • Tool-free Resettable Turrets with 10 MRAD / 25 MOA per Revolution
    • Revolution Indicator
    • Tool-Free Mechanical Zero-Stop
    • Push-Button Illumination
    • Removable Magnification Throw Lever
    • Waterproof, Fogproof, Shockproof & Nitrogen Purged
    • Sunshade, Aperture Ring & Neoprene Cover included

What’s in the Box

Just like the Theos, the Nexus Gen 2 comes in a custom-cut high-density foam box with a neoprene cover, thread protector, sunshade, aperture ring, Allen key, lens cloth, decal, instructions, and a reticle guide.

A throw lever comes pre-installed. Though not everyone uses a sunshade, it is an essential for me. 

Reticle Specifications

Though there are several reticle options (MRAD and MOA), I opted for the APR-2D MRAD, the same reticle we have in the Theos.

This reticle has standard illumination as well as an isolated center dot, which is ideal for precise aiming.

The “Christmas tree” below the center dot allows for elevation and windage holdovers, but it isn’t so cluttered as to be terribly distracting. 

Installation and Shooting

I mounted the Nexus Gen 2 in Hawkins Precision featherweight scope rings.

These rings require no rail and mounted directly to the action of the new .308 Bergara Wilderness Sierra rifle.

This rifle has a nice gray Cerakote fluted barrel threaded ⅝ x 24 and a hinged floorplate that uses M5 bottom metal.

I immediately swapped the hinged floorplate for a detachable box magazine using Hawkin’s M5 DBM.

This sleek hunting rifle also has an adjustable cheekpiece and length of pull spacers. 

Some may say the Nexus Gen 2 is a lot of scope for this lightweight rifle. I don’t like to give up any magnification at long distances and prefer to have a larger, heavier scope loaded with features than a lighter one without. It also weighs less than the Theos. I’ll likely put it on a more traditional long range rifle in the future.

I started out by bore-sighting the rifle at 100 yards and walked in the rifle with Hornady .308 168 grain TAP ammunition.

When I had the rifle set where I wanted it, I set both turrets to zero.

To get a better feel for the gun I took a number of offhand shots at close range steel in our industrial yard. The rifle balanced well and I had no issues making hits, especially on lower magnification.

Next came our traditional prone shooting on the Ridgeline.

This time I added a SilencerCo Omega suppressor and swapped to 175 grain SMK handloads, firing at 335 and 660 yards.

Ultimate Reloader Optics Test Rig

The Ultimate Reloader Optics Test Rig, designed and built in house, measures actual optics performance using precision 100 yard targets (MIL, MOA) and camera positioning to sub -0.0005”. (Our 100 yard targets are verified with a Leica laser rangefinder accurate to ⅛ inch and the target grids have been verified with calipers.) The rig tests tracking, zoom, parallax, and distortion. Note: We do not currently have a way to capture optics image quality in a meaningful way.

Testing Tracking on the Optics Test Rig with the Nexus Gen 2

I started our scientific testing with tracking, moving the scope up, down, right, and left 3.0 MILS on our 100 yard target and returning to center each time. Previously, the Element Optics Theos had the best tracking we had observed to date. The Nexus Gen 2 matched this! 

Tracking – Nexus Gen 2

Next came parallax testing,  moving the scope left and right 0.050” to simulate varying head position. I had the scope parallax set to 100 yards with the center of the scope and camera collinear. The point of aim very slightly to the right when we moved the scope to the right 0.050”, but everything else was spot on. 

Parallax – Nexus Gen 2

Leveling the target, camera, and scope with a precision level, I verified reticle alignment. All was in perfect alignment!

Reticle Alignment – Nexus Gen 2

Using this same setup, I tested reticle scale. A FFP scope magnifies the reticle as it magnifies the image. Compared to our calibrated target, we observed very slightly larger reticle dimensions on the vertical axis but excellent results on the horizontal axis. 

Reticle Scale – Nexus Gen 2

To test image distortion, we took one frame from the video and aligned it with a rectangle to see if there is any pincushion effect. Parallel lines indicated a perfect result! 

Image Distortion – Nexus Gen 2


Overall, we liked the optics quality and tool-free zeroing, included sunshade, throw lever, and reticle design. The smooth magnification ring was also very important to me. 

Shooting the Element Nexus Gen 2 feels a lot like shooting the Element Theos, which has become a team favorite at Ultimate Reloader. The Theos is Element’s top model, but the quality of the Japanese-made Nexus Gen 2 is right up there, just with a smaller tube and smaller price tag.

I personally don’t like that the zero stop goes beyond zero on both optics, but there are reasons for it. This was a design choice by the Element Optics team to allow dialing below zero for extremely close ranges, particularly in rimfire competition. 

Get the Gear

Element Nexus Gen 2 4-25 x 50 FFP

Bergara Sierra 

Longshot Hawk

Hawkins Precision M5 DBM

Hawkins Precision Featherweight Scope Rings 

Sierra .30 Caliber 175 Grain SMK Bullets at Creedmoor Sports 

Hornady TAP Ammunition

SilencerCo Omega Suppressor 

Wheeler Tools 65 Piece Hex/Torx Screwdriver Set

Ultradyne UD Carbon Tripod and Ballhead

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Gavin Gear

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