Reader Mark Wright writes:
For most of us, a good 3-9x40mm scope gives us what we need for the average hunter. On occasion, some of us dive into long range shooting. What we often find out when we do is that all scopes are not created equal.
It’s extremely important to get one that matches our price range with the level of performance that we need for the kind of shooting we will be doing. There happens to be a great scope guide for choosing the right scope for the right situation. The guide has a great glossary of terms and references several other articles for whatever you plan on using your scope for.
It turns out that when you want a long range scope, there are certain key things you need to consider. As covered in an article on long range scopes, parallax is a kind of distortion that starts popping up when you go beyond 10x zoom in most scopes. You definitely want a scope that has parallax adjustment so that you can reduce the effects of this kind of distortion.
For me, I like shooting at the range a lot, and wanted a scope that will really help me harness the accuracy of my Remington 700, chambered in .308. After much research, I opted for the Bushnell Elite 4200, with a 6-24x zoom range and a 50 millimeter objective lens.
The Bushnell 4200 excels in optics quality, and has many top-end features. It’s also fog- and waterproof. It boasts a 95% light transmission and has excellent recoil immunity. The Bushnell 4200/4500 series is their mid range scope line, so if you are looking for a high end example, check out the Bushnell XRS 4.5-30×50 mm.
Installation using a set of Weaver Grand Slam 30mm high rings was a breeze. It went together pretty quick and I didn’t have any problems getting it mounted. You’ll want the high rings to accommodate the 4200’s 50mm objective lens.
The eye relief on the Bushnell 4200 is very generous. In fact, I ended up adding a thick pad at the end of my rifle to take out some of the punch after I had boresighted and it didn’t cause any problems where I would have to readjust the mounting of the scope.
I did a quick coarse bore sighting at home by the typical method of matching barrel and scope views so that I could get on paper when I was ready to properly sight it in at the range.
At The Range
Since scope installation and setup was a breeze, I was hoping for great behavior at the range. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was blown away.
I started fine boresighting at 50 yards and was pretty close to center, so after two shots, I went ahead and bumped the target up to 100 yards. It only took about 2 more shots to get this baby zero’ed in.
Not believing how quickly things went, I got to spend a lot of time having fun shooting.
The variable zoom knob has the perfect amount of resistance without being too hard to adjust. The windage and elevation knobs (1/4 MOA) have a nice resistance and clicks that are easily felt.
There are also resettable knob caps once you get everything perfect. The parallax adjustment knob on the side also has good action with clearly marked ticks for easy adjustment. The fine focus on the eye piece is convenient for getting things just right.
One main thing that struck me with this scope is the clarity of the optics. Everything looked extremely crisp. Shooting paper targets at 100 yards with a 24x max zoom gave me incredible feedback on how I was doing.
I had a good time at the range that day and kept my paper target as a memento. It was a semi sunny day with 10 mph wind gusts. I feel like the scope allowed me to really let the Remington 700 accuracy shine. At 24x zoom, I was able to see clearly how some of my shot habits were affecting past performance. It allowed me to really learn how to better control my shot breathing.
While there are still some Bushnell 4200’s floating around out there in the wild, it appears that Bushnell has made some upgrades and now has branded this scope line as the 4500. The 6-24x is still available, but with a 40 mm objective lens.
For me, I bought a 50 mm objective thinking I would be doing more dawn and dusk shooting. However, the optics perform so well that if I had to do it over again, I would probably get the 40 mm version.
Specifications: Bushnell Elite 4200 Series 6-24×50 mm
Zoom Range: 6-24x
Objective Lens: 50 mm
Adjustments: 1/4 MOA windage and elevation
Weight: 22 oz
(Current model: Bushnell Elite 4500 6-24x40mm)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Quality * * * * *
I found this scope to be top notch. The construction is fantastic, the optics are crisp, and the functionality is superb. The scope has not lost zero in many years. Of course, I baby my rifle.
Function * * * * *
The scope performs great. The knobs have great action and nice markings. It is easy to install and even easier to use.
Overall * * * * *
Overall, this scope is fantastic. It is considered a mid range priced scope, but it performs near the high end. My experience is a sample of 1, and I got a real gem.