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GUNS Magazine August 2012 Digital Edition - Page 8
STORY: Jacob Gottfredson Bushnell’s new DMR 3.5-21x50mm. eLite tACtiCAL riFLesCoPe B ushnell has entered the tactical market, and the result is surprisingly good. From the massive bubblewrapped genre to the rigors of an upscale tactical riflescope, is this a leap of faith or a change in the manufacturer’s direction? I reported some months ago on Bushnell’s new Legend Ultra HD binocular. It is a fine piece of glass and goes well with my favorite carry laser rangefinder, which Bushnell also calls the Legend. They then proceeded to blow the lid off that combo by offering the Bushnell Fusion 1600 ARC! No more having to carry two instruments. And I found the Fusion to work exceedingly well, in many cases to a mile. The bino also tells the rifleman his comeups to the target. I used it during a recent hunt in the Rocky Mountains and was not disappointed. Now they have entered the tactical market as well. The last few tactical matches over the past year and a half have seen more and more of their new glass atop expensive, competitive tactical rifles. Having seen them at matches, I was excited to get one in my hands to do a test and review. However, the exercise, over a period of year, was unsuccessful in getting exactly what I wanted. To wit: they have several innovative reticles for holdover as well as wind and moving target holds. What I finally received was a Mil-Dot scope of the Army variety, i.e., big round balls in the front focal plane. I am a rear focal plane guy, which is strictly a personal preference. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. In a front focal plane, the reticle has little chance of changing point of impact through power changes, and you can still range and use the hashmarks at any power. But the reticle becomes very small at low powers and sometimes too big at high powers. The rear focal plane reticle does not have the latter problem, but you can become confused and miss a target because the hashmarks change with different power settings. I remember a befuddling range session with a 7mm Remington Magnum. I would pick a hashmark and miss a shot at a known distance. The rifle had always performed perfectly. I finally decided something was wrong with the scope and started driving home, trying to sort out in my mind what could have gone wrong. Suddenly it dawn on me. I stopped and looked at the power setting. Just as I thought, the power setting was not on max. I returned to the range, put the power on max, and all was once again well. That would not happen with a front focal plane reticle. Still, I can vary the hashmark subtension by simply changing the power on a rear focal plane reticle. If the standard is 2 MOA per hashmark on max power, it is 4 MOA at half power, which presents great flexibility. The new Bushnell Elite 3.5-21x50mm Tactical scopes set up on LaRue rifles for field trials. 8 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • A U G U S T 2 0 1 2