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Bushnell Excursion 15-45x60 follow-up review

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2009 at 22:23
jonoMT View Drop Down
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I finally got this scope out to the range this morning. We found that it was very clear and it was no problem to pick out .30 cal holes @ 300 yards, even in the shade...although we both wished out loud for a sturdier mount. The supplied tripod is adequate but still not solid enough. You have to avoid jostling the scope with anything more than an eyelash. Also, it's a pain to set. I can still recommend this scope or similar models without the mil-dot reticle, but would invest in a better tripod asap.

We did not make much use of the mil-dot reticle for shot correction. All our rifles were already pretty well sighted in and I was even hitting a 10" gong @ 300 with my iron-sighted M1 5-6 times out of 8 rounds. My .308 now has a 275 yd. zero so I only dial up 4 clicks to be on @ 300. It didn't make sense to call out corrections measured in 2-3" in mils, especially when my shooting partner had never had any experience with that system. Had we been shooting out to 600 or more, we really might have been able to try it out. If you are a tactical shooter it will probably serve you well and having it be FFP is nice...probably essential if you think about it since a spotter calling out corrections to a shooter would not usually have time to make corrections for using it with a different magnification and it would be a real limitation to be stuck at one magnification, especially at the high end. In contrast, it doesn't bother me that my scope is SFP because I really only use the mil-dot reticle for shots out past 300 yards.

Anyway, I digress. This is, overall, a really decent scope. It has some good features like the neoprene case, which makes it easy to have quick access to the scope without having to stow it in the hard case all the time or worry about it getting banged around outside the case. Even with gloves on you should be able to get the cover unzipped and the flaps velcroed back without much trouble. The glass is excellent. The negatives are the okay eye relief and the rickety tripod.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2009 at 09:18
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My hunting buddy showed up at deer camp a couple weeks ago with that exact model, and our experience with it mirrors yours.  Very good glass, especially for the $275 he paid for it.  I gave him one of my tripods I don't use and it made all the difference.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2009 at 13:47
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jonoMT,
 
Did you find the eye relief to be inadequate?  I am pretty interested in getting one of these as a back-up spotter.  I think Bushnell lists the eye relief at a generous 20mm.  Would you say that is a bit optimistic?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2009 at 04:23
jonoMT View Drop Down
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Hi Matt,

I don't think the eye relief is inadequate. At low powers it is not an issue. But at high powers it does become one for a variety of factors. The main one - and I think this would affect any high-mag scope - is having a stable mount. As I mentioned, the supplied tripod is lacking. Using it, you cannot get a clear, vibration-free picture unless your body (including eyelashes) is not making any contact with the scope or tripod. So you need to back off just a bit and it seemed to me that there wasn't much room to back off and be comfortable. On a solid support like a concrete shooting bench, I was able to use it more comfortably.

I'd certainly still consider one because this is only a problem at the high end. Otherwise, the view is excellent. Not having the benefit of something alpha to compare it to I can't say whether it is better or worse. Interesting that Leica, Zeiss and Kowa all list lower eye relief for their eyepieces.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2009 at 12:22
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I picked up a 15-45 FLP a week ago based on reading in this forum.  I bought it primarily for use while hunting Antelope this fall.  I really like it so far.  The eye relief at lower magnifications is nice, but gets smaller when you get closer to 45x.  I had my 3 year old daughter looking at the moon at 45x, so it's plenty usable.  The picture is sharp and clear at all magnifications, but it does get pretty dark at high magnification and lower light.

I can't comment on the included tripod, other than it felt like garbage when I took it out of the box.  I've been using my photography carbon fiber tripod/ball head and it works pretty well.

I look forward to putting it to real hunting use in a few weeks!  How do you guys carry a spotting scope while in the field?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2009 at 17:00
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Does anyone know how the Excursion compares to the Bushnell Elite 15-45x60?  I'm looking for a decent scope mainly for range work out to 300yrds, don't want to break the bank.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2009 at 05:43
jonoMT View Drop Down
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I haven't viewed (through) the Elite firsthand, but a couple of things: They're more expensive and in that size lack the ED glass of the Excursion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2009 at 08:55
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The price difference is only $45, same ball park.  Gotta check out the Excursion to see how it compares

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2009 at 17:14
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Get the Elite.  It's more usable at distance.
As you get far, the excursion won't show detail that you'd pick up with the Elite.
I checked out an Excustion at SWFA this afternoon, and found the 1st 400 yards were acceptable in terms of clarity and detail rendition.  Then pushed it to 800-1200 yards which is where I'd need it to perform and it just didn't make the grade in term of focus, clarity or detail.  Peculiar to the unit  I looked at, when used over 30x there's a requirement to re-adjust the diopter to focus the reticle and clear the target image.
 
I also made the mistake of doing a side by side with the Vortex Skyline 20-60X80mm unit.
What was I thinking anyway???  The Vortex for around $730.00 beats the 2 Swarovski $2000.00 80mm scopes I've used.  Down side is it's a big unit.
I ordered the angled eyepiece 80mm Vortex before I left.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2009 at 17:26
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I checked out a Skyline the other day (non-ED to boot) and was quite impressed. I think that's the one for me. Mike, that's interesting about the Elite being better at longer distances...obviously more to the way glass is ground or spec'd than just throwing ED glass into the mix. When I tried out the Excursion I was pretty impressed with the detail I could see two miles away, watching hikers on a mountain top. But I guess it all depends on what you're looking at too. It wasn't like I was trying to decide between two different antelope bucks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2009 at 17:53
Mike McDonald View Drop Down
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Know what you mean about levels of detail.

I was looking at transformer insulators from about 7/10ths mile.  With the Excursion I could see the transformer in very general detail, but with the Vortex I can see the curves of the insulator stack.  I've had an elite, and it in my opinion seems more detail friendly than what I saw in the Excursion.  The Elite however does lack the depth of field that a porro prism would provide, it's like you're looking at a picture of real life.  It's a shame too.............I really went there to buy the Excursion.
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