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Bushnell ELite 6500 2.5-16x42 with MilDot reticle

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2009 at 13:26
koshkin View Drop Down
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Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16x42 with MilDot reticle

Quite some time ago another forum member sent me his personal 2.5-16x42 Eltie 6500 scope to look at, for which I am very grateful.

Shamefully, I did not write up my impression immediately, and later on I, quite simply, forgot to do that as well.  While writing up some other reviews I was going over my notes and, naturally, stumbled onto my Elite 6500 impressions.

The model I spent some time with was the 2.5-16x42 with Mil-Dot reticle.

As is my custom, I will first give you a short version of my impressions and then elaborate on them a little.

In a nutshell:
This is an excellent design.  It retains the optical quality of Elite 4200 scopes and adds a healthy dose of user-friendliness to it to make one of the most versatile useable scopes on the market.

The long version:
This Elite 6500 was a part of a group of scopes I compared a few months ago that included (in no particular order) IOR 3-18x42, IOR 6x42, Vortex Viper 4-12x40, Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x40, previous gen Sightron S3 6-24x50.

Here is an image I used in an earlier review of the Vortex Viper.  Elite 6500 is in it, third from the right:


Elite 6500 scopes, just like the rest of the Bushnell Elite family, are made by LOW (Light Optics Works) in Japan.  The advertising buzz for these scopes centered largely around their 6.5x erector ratios rather than more common 3x and 4x erectors.  When these scopes first appeared, I was somewhat underwhelmed with the idea of a 6.5x erector as something that I am willing to pay extra money for.  Now that I spent some time with the product, I can kinda see how that adds to the scope's versatility, especially considering that the scopes themselves are fairly compact.  For example, the 2.5-16x42 is about the same size as a typical 2.5-10x42 scope with a 30mm tube (and the 4.5-30x50 version is not much bigger either), but you get a fair bit more magnification at the top end.  Is that extra magnification really needed? for the most part the answer is probably "no", but it does not hurt either.  If you want to use the same scope for everything from hunting big game to varmint shooting to target shooting, the Elite 6500 is one of few scopes with the versatility to let you pull it off in reasonable comfort.  Still, if it was just the magnification ratio, I would not be inclined to shell out the extra cash (and definitely would not recommend that to others).  In the case of this scope, it is not just he magnification ratio.  A host of other attributes of the scope were improved:
-greater internal adjustment range (80MOA)
-longer eye relief (right around 4 inches)
-much more flexible eye relief
-finger resettable pop-up knobs

From usability perspective, eye relief is the first thing to stand out.  This scope has a lot of eyerelief and target acquisition is very fast.  Peering through the scope the image looks huge: there is no trace of tunnel vision in any way, shape or form.  The reticle in the scope I played with was MilDot and it was sized to be pretty bold, so that it turned out to be very usable in low light. 

Optically, image quality is similar to that of Elite 4200, so there is nothing especially earth-shattering there.  In bright light, the image looks just a little harsh (same goes for Elite 4200), but not objectionably so.  The view through the IOR was quite a bit more relaxed, but you pay for that.  With Elite 6500, similar to high magnification Elite 4200 scopes, there is a little bit of a white-out effect at higher magnification in bright light which decreases image contrast a bit.  It does not hinder aiming in any way though.  In low light, I did not find anything particularly objectionable as far as ghost image formation and flare go.  Resolution dropped a little bit as you move from the center to the edges, but not very severely.

All knobs and dials have good feel.  Magnification ring was quite smooth.  The knobs survived the box test with flying colors and turned out to be both predictable and repeatable.  Side focus did not exhibit any hysteresis.  All in all, mechanically, the scope was not memorable at all: everything worked as advertised and I had a hard time finding something to whine about.  Just about the only thing that I can note here is that the mounting length is a bit shorter than that of Elite 4200 scopes.  However, with 5" of the tube available for ring placement, it should work fine on most actions.

Depth of field was a bit shallower than on the much longer 6-24x40 Elite 4200, but not too bad ether.  Despite the generous increase in eye relief, field of view is about the same as that in Elite 4200 scopes of similar magnification.  Equally importantly, due to near utter absence of the black ring around the image, the field of view feels very expansive when looking through the scope. 

The knobs, while easy to adjust are not target knobs.  They can be used for dialing in elevation and the feel is not bad.  However, these are still fairly low profile knobs.  If you need to dial in your adjustments a lot, consider the version of the scope with taller target knobs (out in 2009).

As you can tell, I am rather impressed with the overall package of Elite 6500.  Extended magnification range is still not something I am particularly interested in.  However,  combined with other improvements definitely makes Elite 6500 a worthy addition to the well-respected Elite 4200 scopes. 

Reliability, as always for a new design, is TBD.  After these scopes have been out in the field for a bit, we'll know more on how they hold up.

As far as usage goes, I can definitely see these scopes used on walking varminters as well as big game rifles.  Perhaps, some long-range hunters will also find them useful, especially the version with target knobs. For target shooting, 16x top end is plenty for most uses.  Truthfully, where I live I seldom encounter atmospheric conditions where going above 16x helps at all.

ILya

Edited by koshkin - May/02/2012 at 11:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2009 at 16:07
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Fine review, Ilya, and thanks.
I am glad to hear your comments on the mil-dot being usable in low light. The only other option is a Fine Multi-X, which I am concerned about in a big game scope for low light use.
The 6500 is packaged in a nice size for use on a hunting rig and that is a big plus, too.

Doug
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2009 at 17:09
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Well done!
 
In the picture above, is the Bushnell 4200 the 3rd scope from the left and next to the 6500?  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2009 at 02:10
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Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

Fine review, Ilya, and thanks.
I am glad to hear your comments on the mil-dot being usable in low light. The only other option is a Fine Multi-X, which I am concerned about in a big game scope for low light use.
The 6500 is packaged in a nice size for use on a hunting rig and that is a big plus, too.

Doug


Mil-Dot is not optimal for low light, but the way it looked in the Elite 6500, it is useable.  It is definitely more visible than the fine Multi-X reticle.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2009 at 02:11
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Well done!
 
In the picture above, is the Bushnell 4200 the 3rd scope from the left and next to the 6500?  


Yep.  That is the 6-24x40 Elite 4200 with Mil-Dot and AO.  I no longer have it as it has been purchased by another forum member.  As a side note, that extra length gives it very impressive depth of field and generally aids in controlling color.  An exceptionally nice varmint scope for the money.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2009 at 02:19
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Thanks, ILya.
The more I've looked at the 6500 mil-dot, the more I like it. I don't have much use for the feature in a big game rifle, for my purposes. But, the mil-dots do make my eye go to the intersection of the axis.........................thanks
 
 
Doug
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2009 at 13:19
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Nice review, Ilya.  Thanks!Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 17:39
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BTT.

I am applying for a "media" badge for the next SHOT Show which requires proof, i.e. industry relevant stuff that I have written and posted here.
I will bring several of my threads back to the top to make them easier to find.
Thanks
ILya

P.S.  This one might actually be worth bringing back up, since I have been getting a lot of questions about Elite 6500 lately.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2009 at 05:55
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Very fine review for me Mr ILya
sometimes I use the scope for target shooting, I'd like to know if, at the same magnification obviously, the mil-dot reticle 6500 series appears  of the same thickness of the mil-dot reticle Series 4200, or or which one has the greater thickness, and possibly at what magnification this 6500 turns out to be true mil-dot.
Thanks in advance
giuseppe
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/20/2009 at 15:24
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Originally posted by giuseppe giuseppe wrote:

Very fine review for me Mr ILya
sometimes I use the scope for target shooting, I'd like to know if, at the same magnification obviously, the mil-dot reticle 6500 series appears  of the same thickness of the mil-dot reticle Series 4200, or or which one has the greater thickness, and possibly at what magnification this 6500 turns out to be true mil-dot.
Thanks in advance
giuseppe

I can't accurately answer this question without looking at the scopes side by side and I do not have them in front of me.  If my recollection is correct, the reticle on the Elite 6500 appeared a bit bigger and bolder than in the Elite 4200 at the same magnification.  The way the reticle appears is a combination of the actual dimensions, field of view, eye relief, etc, so it is somewhat subjective.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/21/2009 at 06:20
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Many Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2010 at 23:04
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I have seen post stating the SF was very touchy with this scope, did you notice anything "fussy" about the SF? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/05/2010 at 01:32
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Originally posted by rbl rbl wrote:

I have seen post stating the SF was very touchy with this scope, did you notice anything "fussy" about the SF? 

seemed fine to me
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2010 at 16:40
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What scope is the first from the right??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2010 at 16:41
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sorry, first from the left.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2010 at 16:45
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Originally posted by Prieto9000 Prieto9000 wrote:

What scope is the first from the right??

Vortex Viper 4-12x40
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2010 at 16:45
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Originally posted by Prieto9000 Prieto9000 wrote:

sorry, first from the left.

IOR 3-18x42FFP
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 10:58
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Did you check the tracking?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 11:35
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I check the tracking of every scope I test.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 18:08
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Thank you.


Edited by Fotis - May/02/2012 at 19:53
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 18:08
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Thank you. Missed the box test.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2012 at 14:52
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Thinking Bushnell needs a fact checker for their specs. Two 2.5-16x42's here, one with target knobs, the other w/o. Ring spacing listed as 6.7" vs  5". Exit pupil 12 vs 16.8 at the same power. Adjustment range 120 vs 78.
 
Model ET2164 652164MD
Finish Matte Matte
Power / Obj Lens 2.5-16x 42mm 2.5-16 x 42mm
Tube Diameter30mm
Reticle Mil-Dot Mil Dot
Field of View (ft@100 yds. / m@100 m) 41/13.7@2.5x / 6.55/2.2@16x 41/13.7@2.5x 6.55/2.2@16x
Weight (oz. / g) 21.9 / 621 17.3 / 491
Length (in / mm) 13.6 / 345 13.5 / 343
Eye Relief (in / mm) 4 / 102 3.9 / 100
Exit Pupil (mm) 12 / 2.6 16.8 / 2.6x
Click Value in@100 yds / mm@100m .25 / 7 .25 / 7
Adj Range in@100yds/ m@100m 120 / 4.7 78 / 1.9
Mounting Length (in / mm) 6.7 / 170 5 / 127
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2012 at 02:20
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So what is really the status facts for these?
 
Any differences in the spec between the tactical version and the hunter version?
 
Also I have seen some dealers stating a very bad field of view of about 7 m on the lowest power, some other stating the 13.7m as above.
 
 
The supply is limited in sweden and about zero chance to really handle the scopes before purchase. I am considering the Zeiss conquest 4.5-14x44 vs. the Buschnell elite 6500 2.5-16x42. I already got  the Conquest has a slight lead and if the field of view would be as bad as 7 m for buschnell it would really tip the choice over in favour for the conquest (which is not regularly for sale in Europe, and can not be tried out before actual purchase) - slighy envyos on you guys with a great market and great access to stores.
 
I can get the Buschnell from the UK at about USD 850 and the conquest would be about 1100 USD from Swedish "non-Zeiss authorized" dealer - not good i know, problem is import costs eg. customs and a High VAT if importing from outside EU..Loco
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2012 at 13:34
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Best I can tell is Bushnell mixed up the stats with another version of the 6500.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/01/2012 at 10:30
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Glad I found this very well written review. I have been planning on buying this exact scope, and your review helped me make the decision.
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