Bushnell Elite 6-24x40 Mil Dot
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- Last updated: 26/06/2017
Much is made of the suitability of particular scopes, for one discipline or another, but the obvious point to bear in mind is that there is plenty of cross over. In other words, a scope that is deemed useful for Hunter Field Target shooting, for example, is almost certainly good for hunting too.
On test here is one of the latest breed of ‘Elite’ scopes from top American brand, Bushnell, and it’s a real case in point. The scope comes very well packaged, in a smart protective manufacturer’s box, and comes complete with elasticated lens caps, and a super long 5” sunshade, This 6-24x40 Mil Dot model features a variable magnification, and it’s the hunting application that could well make use of the higher 24x mag option, when the situation arises. Bushnell are renowned for high quality, and list this scope as suitable for long range varmint, silhouette, and target shooting, and there’s no doubting this model is definitely one of the more versatile specifications in the range. Variable magnification between 6-24x means that it could even double as an entry level FT optic on high power, but twist the smooth mag collar to between 8 and 10x, and set the front parallax to around 25yards, and we have a highly capable HFT spec - my favoured discipline of late!
Constructed in Japan, as expected, lens quality is extremely good, and there’s an impressive spec list to hammer the point home. Bushnell term their lens coating process as Ultra Wide Band and the fully multi-coated optics are claimed to deliver 95% light transmission across 300% more of the visual light spectrum than their previous model. The one inch body tube is argon purged, to keep out the elements, and with Bushnell’s additional patented ‘Rain Guard’ lens coating system, there’s much to get excited about here.
The ‘Rainguard’ offers a permanent, water- repellent coating that, according to Bushnell, ‘causes moisture from rain, snow, sleet, and condensation to bead up and scatter less light, with the result that you get a clear, bright view when other optics would be rendered useless’ . A bold claim indeed, but having now used several Bushnell models fitted with ‘Rainguard’, I can vouch for its effectiveness. In short, it inhibits water droplets from forming and gathering very easily, and you can expect high resolution and a crisp image overall, even in surprisingly grim conditions; not that I tend to hang around for the inclement stuff!
The one inch body tube sports a smart matt finish, and with just the right amount of resistance to both the magnification dial and objective parallax collar, there’s a prevailing feeling of quality with this Elite. Distances marked on the parallax collar incidentally, are usefully staggered in terms of different colours and mark levels usedall aiding quick and accurate readings.
Pleasant, low-profile screw cap turrets are a welcome sight, and they have perfectly balanced positive clicks, with precise 1/8MOA values. Again, just their solid feel adds confidence to their use. Another nice and wholly practical feature is the etched markings, allowing the shooter to see at a glance how many revolutions the turret has gone through. So avoiding any disasters waiting to happen in an FT scenario for example, where the shooter assumes the turret has been wound back to zero, when in fact it hasn’t. With these line markings, visual reassurance is the name of the game.
The Mil-Dot reticle will please many, giving proportional, clean aim points through the usual trajectory and the scale also means that it is quite possible to bracket small kill zones to help ascertain target distance where possible. True Mil value is arrived at when the magnification is set to 12x. Of course, with an increasing number of dedicated scopes offering more elaborate reticle designs of late, the standard equidistant four dot Milradian reticle here could be considered even basic by some. But I reckon designs can get too cluttered, and prove irritating in use, for me, the Elite does all we need of it!
Sunshades are an interesting area, and I must admit to having hardly ever used one in action. However, many swear by them, and with that in mind, Bushnell supply this Elite with a full length 5” extension tube. Minimising glare and side light all helps in theory to maximise the image, and possibly improve depth of field, so they’re well worth trying. This one simply fixes in place in the conventional way, via the fine thread onto the front of the objective bell, and it gives a purposeful profile for sure, irrespective of whether it actually has any practical benefit!
Setting zero was an easy task, and everything tracked accurately through the usual grid test. Where image quality is concerned though, total clarity and edge to edge sharpness, with no aberrations, was well up to the high levels we expect from Bushnell! Along with what I can only describe as a richness of image- testament to the fine glass, and high tech coatings employed.
All the usual reassuring features and guarantees are here- water, fog and shockproof; along with the Elite’s Lifetime Limited warranty. Everything just feels very slick and well engineered, and that includes the super smooth magnification and parallax collars. So if the dimensions don’t seem too cumbersome, this scope has what it takes. OK, this Elite is a sizeable beast compared to many, but the sheer quality of image, versatile specification, and build quality overall, make it a tantalising prospect.