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*NEW* Bushnell Excursion Spotting Scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2008 at 20:45
lucznik View Drop Down
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It's always interesting to see what the different optics manufacturers do for their "next tricks." 

Rather than upgrade their 60mm Elite spotting scope to include ED glass, it seems Bushnell has decided to go up against Leupold with the introduction of this new Excursion Spotting Scope.   It is a "folded light path" design that looks almost identical to Leupold's popular GoldRing 12-40x60 - though there are two models a 15-45x60 and a 20-60x80.  I definitely do not care for the big silver & green "B" medallion on the front of this new scope.

In the smaller version (the only one that would hold any real interest for me) the Excursion manages to maintain a larger FoV across its magnification spectrum than does the Gold Ring. Its close focus of 11 ft is also significantly better than Leupold's 36 ft close focus. Bushnell doesn't give any eye relief figures and this would be something very important to know before buying as Bushnell's last "folded light path" spotting scope (one of their budget-class Sentry models which has been discontinued) had very poor eye relief making it all but unusable by eyeglass wearers.  The Leupold scope's  long eye relief (30mm) is practically legendary. The Excursion is slightly larger, though lighter than the GoldRing.  It also incorporates ED glass in its construction. The GoldRing comes in both HD and "standard" glass options.

I couldn't find any pricing or distribution figures but, if they can keep themselves from overpricing it (an all-too-common flaw with most optics companies now-a-days) I would think they just might be able to sell a few of these. On the other hand, the 60mm Elite is a pretty good scope with a great reputation so the question then becomes; will anyone choose to buy an Excursion over the Elite, or more importantly over the Leupold?

Here's the link...

http://www.bushnell.com/general/spottingscopes_excursion_78-1560.cfm?section=Hunting
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2008 at 23:36
lucznik View Drop Down
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I just found out that this scope is to sell for about $320.
This puts it right in the ballpark of the 60mm Elite which I have seen selling for as low as $230 and as high as $400.  I wonder if they are planning on discontinuing the smaller Elite?

Its eye relief is 25.5mm which is a bit shorter than the Leupold's 30mm ER but, way more than could ever be reasonably required.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/22/2008 at 09:28
tlanders View Drop Down
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Dear Luznik,

There are a lot of posts praising the Elite except for one guy who doesn't like the roof prism design. You like the Elite, but not the big one why? I need a scope for checking out the bullet holes in my targets at 100 to 200 yds. I will also take it with me hunting. I think I would like the smaller one for portability reasons, but the bigger one for "sniper" practice. Which would you recommend? Also, I love the look, except the big B, of the Excursion. Do you think the FLP holds enough advantage over the Elite to wait for it?

 
Thanks for your help.
 
Ted
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/22/2008 at 09:29
tlanders View Drop Down
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Whoops, spelled your name wrong. Sorry
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2008 at 11:33
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by tlanders tlanders wrote:

 You like the Elite, but not the big one why?
I'm not sure where you got this idea.  I actually own the "big one" - i.e. the 20-60x80 ED Elite and I like it a lot.   It is definately way too big for any serious backcountry hiking but, it sure is nice for just about anything else.  
 
I did say that the 20-60x80 Excursion holds no interest for me.  This is because I already own an 80mm ED spotting scope and I definately don't need another.
 
Originally posted by tlanders tlanders wrote:

I need a scope for checking out the bullet holes in my targets at 100 to 200 yds. I will also take it with me hunting.
Any of the Elites should handle this chore just fine.  The following is a review written by a gentleman named Paul Neess.  It pretty much sums up my opinion of the 60mm Elite as a hunting scope.
 
Originally posted by Paul Neess Paul Neess wrote:

While backpacking and camping, the Elite 60mm spotting scope has been a steady companion for me during the last 5 years. This tough little scope has all the necessary features for the big game hunter or backpacker. It is very compact, quite slender, and lightweight for a 60mm (only 26 ounces). While there are a couple scopes that might be a bit better optically, they will either be much more expensive or considerably heavier. For me, this scope has been an ideal match of size, performance and cost. Mine has led a tough life over the course of many hunts/hikes and has not let me down. Exposed to rain or snow on many occasions, it has never fogged or leaked.

A fellow guide and friend had an interesting experience with this scope. Returning to camp one evening in November on horseback, his Elite fell out of his saddlbag and into some snowy sagebrush. After many hours of fruitless searching in the snow, he gave it up and later ended up buying another Elite. The following year he hunted the same camp, and was able to find the scope still lying in the sagebrush. It was perfectly fine despite going through a long Idaho winter. He and his son still use the scopes today.

Originally posted by tlanders tlanders wrote:

I think I would like the smaller one for portability reasons, but the bigger one for "sniper" practice. Which would you recommend?
This is pretty much the path I am finding myself on as well.  As I mentioned, I have the 80mm scope already but, I can't justify the weight or the bulk in my pack when I go into the backcountry so; I am looking for a compact scope to fill this role.  I haven't completely decided yet which compact scope I'm going to buy but, the 60mm Elite is definately on the "short list." 
 
I bought the bigger scope first because I kind of had a feeling I would eventually need to have a smaller scope too and I figured buying the more expensive of the two first would be easier to get by my wife as I would have the built-in excuse that "I don't even own a spotting scope."  Then, after she saw just how big and heavy  the 80mm scope was, I would be able to inspire a bit more sympathy when I expressed how I need a smaller one for backpacking.  Working it the other way would have been quite a bit more difficult.
 
Originally posted by tlanders tlanders wrote:

I love the look, except the big B, of the Excursion. Do you think the FLP holds enough advantage over the Elite to wait for it?
There's just no way to really authoritatively answer this question yet as the Excursion has yet to find its way into any stores.  The similarly designed Leupold Golden Ring spotting scope has had a very strong following in hunting circles for many years so; any problem with the Excursion is not going to be based on inherent design limitations but rather on how well Bushnell manages to execute their version of the design.  Bushnell had a cheap version of a FLP scope before and it was really not very good. It also only cost something like $80 so; what could you really expect?
 
The Excursion is listed as using ED glass - which should be a good thing though, you have to be careful here.  Just having ED glass won't help any optic if that glass is not ground and polished properly. The Excursion is also listed as costing less than 1/2 the price of even the Non-ED Leupold FLP scope.  This too is a bit of a red flag (or at least an orange one.)  Either the Bushnell is lacking in some quality somewhere or the Leupold is simply over-priced.  If the Bushnell manages to deliver on quality, I'll be willing to forgive the big, ugly 'B" on its front. Heck, for all I know, it's just a sticker that I might be able to just pull right off and then not be bothered by it at all. This was certainly the case with my 8x42 Discoverer binocular.   The metal sticker identifying it as a Bushnell didn't offend me but, it did come off quite soon after the binocular arrived. It served absolutely no purpose so; I haven't called for a replacement.
 
I am interested enough in the Excursion spotting scope that it is on my list of scopes to examine as soon as I can and I haven't bought a compact scope yet.  However, if the Excursion does not come available soon and/or if I can find a really excellent deal on one of the other scopes on my short-list, my patience is sure to wane and I'll end up just getting something else. 


Edited by lucznik - March/24/2008 at 11:46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2008 at 11:33
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by tlanders tlanders wrote:

Whoops, spelled your name wrong. Sorry
 
No worries.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2008 at 11:54
tlanders View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Thank you very much for your response. I am leaning towards doing what you did, buy the 20x60-80 Elite now for target practice and not worry about the hunting part of it for a while, and get the 15x45-60 Excursion when it comes out if it is any good.
 
Thanks again.
 
Teddy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2008 at 16:40
lucznik View Drop Down
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I made a quick call to Bushnell's Customer Service and the gentleman I spoke to says that the Excursion is slated for release during the last week of May.
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