Bushnell Match Pro ED 5-30x56
- By Chris Parkin
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 17/09/2023
Bushnell’s latest Match Pro ED scope features extra-low dispersion (ED) glass to maximise light transmission, alongside wide-ranging mechanical versatility. It has a one-piece, 34mm aluminium main tube with a 6x erector assembly to provide 5-30x magnification. The 56mm objective lens enables enough light to enter the scope in order to retain a bright image at higher magnification levels, and it was actually quite impressive in low light. All the lenses are fully multi-coated, with some receiving Bushnell’s EXO barrier, preventing the adhesion of debris on external surfaces in poor weather.
The DM2 reticle offers 11 illumination intensity settings, and there is a 6-hour auto-off timer to save battery life (CR2032). The hash marks are positioned every 0.2 MRAD for a less cluttered reticle, offering a better view of the bullet’s impact on the target or backstop, and possibly in flight, with less visual distraction.
The scope is versatile for most rifle types, offering a close 14m (15 yard) minimum parallax range. The left-hand side dial offers smooth movement without any perception of internal mechanics in motion or problematic backlash. The magnification control feels the same, and a throw lever is supplied to speed up motion if desired. This can be set in any of three positions on the zoom ring’s circumference, in order to suit your rifle’s bolt position and your personal preference.
The fast-focus eyepiece gave a crisp reticle picture and it wasn’t prone to being accidentally altered. There was no need to adjust it after the initial setup. It has a slightly larger diameter rubber ring to aid grip but it’s not so large as to preclude rear-clamped add-ons like a TriggerCam or a Pard Night vision unit. A multi-tool is supplied for turret setup, and a 2.5” sunshade is also in the box.
The windage and elevation turrets both have tactile, lift-to-turn mechanical clicks, and there is an easy-to-set-up zero stop. There is 30 MRAD of overall mechanical elevation and 14.5 MRAD of windage travel. Each rotation delivers 10 MRAD, so 100, 0.1 MRAD/10mm@100m clicks. The clicks are tactile and audible, if not the most distinct I have heard, and I never experienced unwanted overtravel. Because the turrets show a chunky 42mm diameter and are 20mm tall, grip is assured bare-handed or with gloves on.
Once zeroed, you can set the zero stop up by removing the turret cap with the supplied tool, a slim coin, or a screwdriver (being careful not to damage the aluminium). On the cap’s underside, rotate the slider dial within. It has engraved instructions, making it really easy to set up. After setup and in use, a small, red plunger lifts out of the elevation cap to indicate the second rotation, and it’s tactile in gloves as well as visible.
Bushnell seems to regularly make good scopes for the money and this Match Pro is no different. I found the optical presentation easily accessible, with no specific failings. The eye box was reasonably spacious and was not fussy when it came to eye relief or perfect alignment. The ocular focus on the reticle was sharp, I liked the reticle itself, and the illumination avoided over-bright glare and sparkly flare. It was quick to use, and I like the intermediate off positions for immediate illumination at the desired intensity. The auto-off feature is handy, as it helps to avoid the battery going flat, although the common CR2032 battery is simple to change, and it sits under the illumination control’s cap.
There is no tunnelling at the lower end of the magnification range and the field of view is sharp for 99% of its diameter, with just the very edges a little less sharp, but this is rarely where anyone is seeking ultimate detail.
The hard anodising on the tube’s externals is smooth and doesn’t pick up skin dust. The scope has been on/off a few rifles with rings back and forth as well, which has the potential to cause damage. Thankfully, no marks can be seen.
5-30x magnification is an incredibly nice range, enabling a broad field of view if required, yet you can wind it up in the best light conditions to engage small targets at long ranges. The close-range parallax control was useful on the air rifle, but I didn’t restrict myself and used the scope on a .22 rimfire out to longer distances, as well as a .243 for some evening deer stalking. The scope was easy to zero on any gun and demonstrated reliable tracking capability.
I placed the throw lever in a central position but can appreciate how helpful it is on some guns to have other locations, especially if the rifle has awkward bolt handle/knob dimensions. Bushnell didn’t publish an eye relief dimension within the documentation, but I would estimate it to be 96/97mm. It certainly didn’t appear too long for smaller rifles with less mounting space.
I think Bushnell is offering an excellent scope for the money, with a balanced compromise between optics and mechanics. There are no real weak points and although a physically large scope, and certainly no lightweight hunter, it’s still versatile enough to please many shooters.