cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items

Discussion Forums

Search forums
Forum Index > Optics > Bushnell scope testing

Bushnell scope testing

23 Apr 2012
@ 08:29 am (GMT)

Matt Reid

Hi Nathan,

I am currently running a Bushnell 10x40 tactical elite on my .308. A couple of times you have mentioned the adjustments being less than 0.25 moa per click with some Bushnell scopes. Just out of interest, what would be the best way to test this for myself (and for any other interested parties)?

The new elite range appears to have replaced the 3200/4200 range and are now argon purged. Not sure if the internals have received any tweaks also.

I found this article rather interesting if you haven´t seen it already.




23 Apr 2012
@ 10:08 am (GMT)


Re: Bushnell scope testing
Hi Matt,

I'll jump in and tell how I do it, Nathan may have a different view.

I set up a large paper target at 100 yards.
I like to use a 1 inch bulls eye, placed near the bottom of the paper.
Use a builders level to mark a vertical line up the target. Make sure you have t least 15 inches of paper above the bull.
Then shoot a 3 shot group, (this should be a nice tight clover leaf!!! if not you best send your rifle to Nathan.....)
Then wind 12 MOA up, wait for the barrel to cool and fire off another 3 shots, aiming for the same bull.
You can now measure the vertical between the groups.
If you used 12 MOA it should be 12.56 inch, it is then simple, or not so simple math to work out the correction factor.

For example my Bushnell 6500 shot 13.39 inches, so the math looks like this.
13.39(inches) / 12(MOA) = 1.116.
1.047 / 1.116 = .938( this is the correction factor) .
To check, .938 x 13.39 = 12.56
Do it a couple of times and is really quite simple, it just doesn't seem that way in writing.

A couple of things to remember, if the groups are not on the vertical line your scope is not level. loosen the rings a twist the scope.
If you are going to shoot long with 20-30 MOA use more than the 12 MOA in the example.

Hope this helps
23 Apr 2012
@ 11:23 am (GMT)

Matt Reid

Re: Bushnell scope testing
Ok thanks for that. Sounds a lot easier than some eloborate ´shooting the box´ test I was hatching in my head. I am tending to work in metres so I imagine my MOA value will be closer to 1.14 inches.

Could I ask which exact model of scope you tested?

The article I referenced explained it was always important to end adjustments with a clockwise movement, something I had seen people doing but didn't realise why.


23 Apr 2012
@ 08:42 pm (GMT)


Re: Bushnell scope testing
Hi Matt
The scope I was referring to is a Bushnell 6500 2.5 - 16 x 42 Tactical. It's on a 7mmRemMag that I use from 10 yards out to 750 yards.

As for the always dialing to finish with a clockwise movement???? I've heard in talked about plenty and I can't see any harm in doing it, but think if a scope has that much backlash in the turrets then I would not have the confidence in it to be shooting long.
In real world long range hunting situations it's just not something I do.
Last weekend a mate I was hunting with was set up on an animal that was constantly on the move, he was in an awkward position and couldn't really take his eye off the animal. I was ranging, referring to drop charts AND dialing his scope. It was a constantly changing situation, the animal had to be stationery, side on and ranged and dialed for, so I was twisting that turret every which way.
For me shooting long on Game is all about trusting my gear. Although I am very happy with the Bushnell 6500 for the purpose I use it, it is not a patch on the Nightforce that I have on my long range rig.
23 Apr 2012
@ 09:42 pm (GMT)

Matt Reid

Re: Bushnell scope testing
Ok , thanks for that. If I get the chance to test my own Bushnell soon I will post results.

To be fair I am relatively new to the long range game, primarily having bush hunted. Being budget minded I am keen to see what performance I can get out of a cheaper scope. I would love to be able to fork out for a Nightforce (or even a Sightron) but it's not in the budget just yet.

Will keep learning what I can, cheers!
24 Apr 2012
@ 08:32 am (GMT)

Ross Goldsack

Re: Bushnell scope testing

Don't get me wrong your 10 x 40 will be perfectly OK to get you shooting out long.
I started out with only a Leupold VX I 4 -12 x 40, it was not true to MOA and had to be dialed with a coin or spent case. It did the job and I managed a few 850 yard shots with it, and I've still got it on a 308.

You won't go wrong if you set your sights on a Sightron S III 6 - 24 x 50, but at $1,700 odd bucks it is quite an investment.

Remember that "long range" only means 25 - 50 yards more than you shot last week. Just be warned....... you will catch the "long range bug" and thats when the budget starts getting thrashed.
24 Apr 2012
@ 01:42 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Bushnell scope testing
Hi Matt, im2lazy has nailed it.

The one aspect is that the rifle needs to be accurate to begin with, otherwsie it makes it hard to perform the shooting test. It really is best if groups are down around a half inch or less- if possible. Also, make sure that your shooting technique and position on the sand bags does not change during testing.

I have used a made to suit vice which allows me to perform extremely accurate tests but I do tend to prefer the shooting test method.

Yes, you should not need to worry about back lash on the turrets. A relaible scope will not need to be fiddled with. A greater problem, is when winding anticlockwise, it can be easy to lose a feel of the clicks as they are not as audiable as when going clockwise. This occurs on many brands of 1" tubed scopes (including Sightron) where the manufacturer has limited space to fit a turret on the 1" body, so the turrets are compact, the ball bearing detents are therefore just as compact and the user can lose a feel if dialing down.

AS an example of the above, say you have dialed for a 600 yard shot, the animal walks fowards 10 yards, you now have to dial down. If your fingers are not sensitive enough to feel the detents, you will need to dial a couple of clicks below where you need to be, then come up. As you come up, the clicks are more positive/audiable etc.

The only way to overcome this 'fine' style of turret, is to adopt a 30mm tube. Users have to decide whether a compact scope or user friendly turrets is of greatest importance. Im2lazy has his compact 1" tube Bushnell scope on his alpine magnum which was designed to be used in the Ruahines for both the tops and the immensely thick bush. On Im2lazy's dedicated long range tops rifle, it features the heavy NF with its 30mm tube and bulky turrets which are clearly audiable and visible both up and down the adjustment range.

One last thing to bare in mind, while a compact scope saves weight, in some cases a compact scope may not offer greater flexibility when bush hunting. For example, the NF and Sightron 30 mm units set on 5.5 or 6 power, are quite adequate for 10 yard shots where one might think that a 4 power would be more useful. This can be attributed to the actual scope design.

Yes, definitely work to your budget, you'll learn more in the long run.
26 Apr 2012
@ 01:27 pm (GMT)


Re: Bushnell scope testing
Quote "One last thing to bare in mind, while a compact scope saves weight, in some cases a compact scope may not offer greater flexibility when bush hunting. For example, the NF and Sightron 30 mm units set on 5.5 or 6 power, are quite adequate for 10 yard shots where one might think that a 4 power would be more useful. This can be attributed to the actual scope design."

Put simply, why? I have always put my scope on lowest power while walking around and then moved it to mid power when sitting and then highest if I need a longer shot. My prefered low power is 2X to 3X and I'm quite happy with 9X or 10X for deer n such to 350 or 400. Why does a 5.5X or 6X work as well on the NF or Sightron? I'm not saying it doesn't. I just don't understand the working of that.
26 Apr 2012
@ 02:23 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Bushnell scope testing
Some 6 power scopes are difficult to use at close range as the cross hairs do not focus well at ranges of around 10 yards. Along with this, some brands have a poor FOV and minimal eye relief, taking some time to 'get into'.

Many hunters want a long range scope but become troubled by thoughts of 'what if I have to take a shot at very close ranges'. With a well designed long range scope, the hunter can have his cake and eat it.

The NF and Sightron 30mm scopes align quickly and allow for close range shots. Yet at truly long ranges, allow for exact shot placement, the ability to read wind in the grasses at the target and in some cases (depending on recoil) allow the user to see where exactly the shot struck).

But as Im2lazy suggested, there are many ways to go about things. A compact 4-16 scope is to many people, the best compromise. To others, the best compromise is what works with their budget- even if that means a VX 1 dialed with the rim of a shell.


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.