Bushnell Legend Ultra HD4.5-14x44
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- Last updated: 19/12/2016
Bushnell is another of those American companies that has a long history in the manufacture of optics, most of which are now made in China. That’s fine, as products can be more competitively priced, with a resultant increase in item quality due to the lower overheads. The Legend range is aimed at the serious shooter who wants better clarity and reliability from their scope and with a good magnification range and parallax adjustments.
The lenses are the key to any optic, and you can have all the trimmings but if the image is poor, forget it! The Legend range uses fully multi coated, much like other major brands. But this Ultra HD version has a few additional benefits. They use ED prime glass, which has a very good light transmission that allows an ultra wide bandwidth of light waves through with anti reflective coatings. This gives a sharp, high definition image that shows good, true to life colour rendition. This is further enhanced by the addition of the proprietary Rainguard HD coatings.
This is a scratch resistant, permanent coating that has two primary functions. Firstly, it is designed to help stop the annoying condition of external fogging. This is where condensation forms on the exterior lenses surfaces when moving a scope from a hot to cold condition or if you breathe on the eyepiece. It helps stop this, to allow a clear view at all times. It works by causing any water or moisture that falls on the lens to form in to smaller droplets than they would normally do. This means light is less scattered by these and they actually disperse quicker due to the coating’s surface. The scope is also guaranteed 100% fog, shock and waterproof.
The Legend has a 1” body tube, which is typically American. However, the adjustment range is still fine for most hunting needs.
One click represents a ¼ inch of reticule movement at 100 yards and has maximum adjustment range of 55” at 100 yards. The aluminium body is light at 18.7 ozs and finished in a dull matt black, hard anodised type and not overly long at 14.65”.
There is a sunshade provided, which is good, as not only does this stop extraneous light entering the objective but also helps stop rain falling on the lens too, even in a stiff breeze. The zoom ring is a slim low profile affair that adjusts for magnification increase in a clockwise position, 4.5x to a maximum of 14 x power. The reticule is in the 2nd focal plane, so does not increase/ decrease in size as you dial the magnification. However, the relationship between the reticule stadia with changes in respect to the aiming at differing ranges and power settings will.
There is a fast-focus eye piece, which again is more common these days, than the old lock ring type. There’s also a parallax drum on the left side of the saddle that is marked from 20 yards to ∞, which makes it a versatile choice, as it will suit rimfire to fullbore usage!
Reticule-wise, you only have two options, a multi cross 4A type, or as on test, a Mil-Dot. This is prominent with four mil dots spaced evenly along each vertical and horizontal axis; clear enough to see in low light but not too thick as too obscure the target.
The 1” tube allows a low mounting and the overall size of the scope suits both a sporter or varmint profiled barrel and rifle. Sighting in was easy and the clear ¼” clicks were stiff but precise; with 14 MOA total adjustment for one full turret rotation. I shot a group, adjusted the scope using the shooting the box method and then tracked fully up and then down and return to zero was good, with few missed clicks and little deviation. I liked the sunshade offered as standard, a good option and well worth fitting, even if it is not sunny! The parallax was good to focus on full mag down to 20 yards, so air gun and rimfire friendly.
Optically, I had no chance to see if the rain runoff was effective in the field but I did squirt the objective with water at home to see if the small droplets formed. Truthfully, yes it did run off well, but if it was any better than other scopes in this price range is hard to assess. But the image was impressive. Sure it’s not a Zeiss or Swarovski, then it’s not the price either but for most shooters with a limited budget you will be more than happy with the quality of the optics.
The game did stand out well from the background, i.e. rabbits on dirt or bushes, as well as deer against foliage, with a good colour rendition as advertised. Edge to edge quality too was good, although the eye relief was quite critical on the higher magnifications. The image was sharp and even at low light the Legend performed well and with a 4.5 to 14 x magnification range it covers a good degree of range potential.
I was pleasantly surprised with the Bushnell Legend, I was thinking another Chinese scope but actually this is made to far better standards. It has a good zoom range, although a little eye relief sensitive on higher magnification and a good side parallax adjustment. Elevation and windage adjustments too were clear and precise and tracked well. Optically nice and bright and clear with good renditions of the game down range, although a few more reticule options would be appreciated, but good value for money.
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