Location: United States
I was wondering which scope to buy next that would serve for 100 yard target shooting, as well as PD shoting. I needed at least a 32X scope for precision target shooting. I wondered if I should buy a Burris Black Diamond 8x-32x scope in Fine Plex, or, in their Ballistic Mil-dot. Well, I settled on the fine plex, and I put that $700 Burris side-focus 8x-32x FP scope on a camera tripod next to my $499 Bushnell 1" Elite side-focus 6x-24x Mil-dot.....to compare features.
I made a special wood base for my camera tripod to hold the two scopes close to each other and have the same adjustments and be able to view through the both of them quickly in order to make careful comparisons. I pointed the two scopes at a target of 1" circles and a 7 1/2" tall PD silouette 410 yards away. I spent about 45 minutes comparing magnification settings and parellex settings of the two scopes. To make things fair and compare apples with apples, I set both the scope's magnifications at 24X when viewing the target 410 yards away. The clearity of the 32X magnification and the FP reticle is very good for 100-200 yard target shooting (that I do intend to use it for)....but isn't so hot at 410 yards anyway.....so I didn't care much to check it at that distance with the 32x magnification, and tested it only at 24x.
The day was very overcast with periodic rain drops, and it was easy to tell that the Bushnell constantly had the edge in image sharpness (very slight) and better light gathering quality. However, the difference in light gathering was not enough that I am unhappy with my Burris purchase. I'd bet that the difference really only shows up readily during these kind of controlled conditions and a dark rainy day like this. (or, dusk/dawn) Had I NOT put the two scopes side by side, I'd probably be hard pressed to know the difference.
The eye relief was not as critical with the Burris as it is with the Elite. If you don't hold your eye just the right distance from the Elite lens, the image is blacked out.
I don't know how the Burris will hold a zero, because it's not mounted in a rifle yet, but I can say that the clicks are defined. The SF knob turns a little hard, but works good.
The fine plex area of the reticle seems to cover about one dog in length at 410 yards. The center crosshair of my Elite Mil-dot reticle is about the same size as the thicker section of the posts of the Burris FP reticle, and quite fine enough for dog hunting. The size of the Elite mil-dots just cover the PD dog's head perfectly, and are only slightly larger then the 1" dots I drew on the targets (at 410 yards)
I own 2 Elite SF scopes. My other Elite Scope on my 20Tactical is a 50 mm 6x-24X. If it weren't for the fact that I needed a higher magnification then 24x for target shooting, I'd have bought a 3rd Elite scope, as I've been very pleased thus far with these two Elite SF scopes. (in spite of the stigma of "cheap" associated with the Bushnell name)
What I don't like about my new Burris scope is that the magnification ring turns VERY HARD. It takes a good solid grip of 3 or 4 fingers grasped around the magnification ring and the whole back eye-piece assembly to change the magnification. I'd hate to think what it would take to turn this ring in freezing temperatures! The two Elite scopes I own turn easily with just my thumb and index finger. Is this typical of a Burris?
Last edited by VaniB; Today at 08:30 AM.