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What's your general experience with Bushnell?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 12:59
slowr1der View Drop Down
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I have the urge to try a Bushnell Elite 4200, but due to past experiences with Bushnell products, I'm very hesitant to spend my money on one. That being said, while I've not been really happy with anything Bushnell that I've had, I've had a Tasco, and 2 Simmons that were decent and I understand they are made by Bushnell although I'm not sure if they were when the ones I had were made.

Anyway, my first experience I had was a Bushnell Sharpshooter scope. I know you can't expect a cheap scope like this to be very good, but it came on a gun and the $30 Tasco I used turned out to be decent. So I decided since I already had it that I'd at least try it out. This thing was literally the worst scope I've ever used and I've used several cheap ones. I tried sighting it in at 50 yards, but each click was moving it close to .75" at 50 yards. It was not even close to the 1/8" it should have been. I also noticed that when I adjusted it, it seemed to move a little, but it would take a few shots for it to settle in. I always see guys at the range adjusting scopes then beating on them. I've never done this as I'm not going to beat on my equipment, but with this scope you literally either had to do that after making adjustments, or you had to fire off a few rounds. The adjustments were just horrible on this thing. However, once sighted in it did work. The glass wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. The magnification adjustment ring was pretty stiff around 3-5x but from 5x to 9x it was super duper easy to turn. Not sure what the deal with that was. Overall, this is the only cheap scope I've used that I thought sucked. While it did hold zero, and the glass wasn't horrible the adjustments just ruined the scope.

As said though I figured you can't expect much from a $30 scope. So next I tried a Bushnell Elite 3200 tactical 10x40. I expected to be wowed by this, but surprisingly I wasn't. With this one, the adjustments did seem repeatable and the scope did seem to adjust right when I adjusted the turrets. You didn't have to wait for it to settle in after a few shots. The adjustments also were a lot closer to 1/8" at 50 yards as they should have been, but I don't think they were exact. It was hard to tell, but it seemed more like it moved it about 1/4" at 50 yards and 1/2" at 100 yards. The biggest downside to this scope and the biggest thing that left me disappointed was the glass. It just wasn't impressive at all. Comparing it at to the Sharp Shooter at 9x it was very little noticeable difference in glass quality. The Sharp Shooter was slightly more picky with glare from the sun, but not much, and that was the only difference. Comparing it to a Burris FFII on 9x, the Burris was a huge upgrade. In low light the Bushnell 3200 was also pretty disappointing. The next thing I noticed was that it wouldn't focus in much closer than 65 yards or so. Anything under that had a slight blur to it. I just was not really impressed by this scope either.

Then my 3rd experience was with a Bushnell Yardage Pro Range finder. I didn't own this but borrowed it from a friend. It felt like a kids toy. I was literally afraid of it breaking in my hands it felt so cheap. Then upon using it, I found that it looked like looking through a coke bottle. Looking through it, it made a sunny day look overcast. Then when ranging stuff, I could range the same item twice and I would get a reading of 1-2 yards difference each time. If I kept ranging it, it would give me the same two figures, but that made me wonder how accurate it was. Then on items more than about 90-100 yards away it seemed to really have trouble locking onto the targets. It would take a while, and sometimes wouldn't lock onto them. All in all this thing just felt pretty cheap and not so good. I had previously used a Nikon 550 some and there was no comparison the Nikon was 100x the rangefinder this thing was.

On top of that the warranty from Bushnell scares me off too as I've read several bad things about it.

So that being said, every Bushnell product has worked and none broke on me, they just haven't been very good when working. Is my experience typical? Can I experience the same disappointments with a Elite 4200 or is it much better? I really want to try the 4200 and I guess I'm looking for a reason for someone to talk me into one or out of one since I can't make up my mind on it. I've read good things about the 4200, but my past experiences with Bushnell makes me wonder if I wouldn't be much better off spending my money on something else.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 13:04
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if you want one try one. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 13:12
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Hey SlowR1der - I only have experience with the 4200 and 6500 lines, and some time handling 3200s at the range. To me, the 4200 and 6500 have good glass (not alpha glass, but in the next tier), and decent although not great mechanicals. The 3200 glass a step below the 4200, but not bad imho. However, I don't like the warranty, and their CS is poor. After thinking this through, I finally decided last year not to buy any more Bushnell scopes due to the combination of bad CS and non-transferable warranty. But that's me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 13:32
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The 4200 is a pretty good scope.  Decent glass, very tough.  But Bushnell CS is screwing the pooch a lot lately.  I would not recommend one right now just because of that.

Take a look at Vortex Viper, Sightron S2 and S2 Big Sky, Meopta Meopro, Zeiss Conquest.  They all have some great scopes and comparable prices. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 13:47
slowr1der View Drop Down
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Well, funny you mention that as the Vortex Viper was the other scope I'm considering. The top two on my list are the Viper and the 4200, but I can't decide between those two. I've read good things about the 4200, but the warranty and my past experiences with Bushnell's are what have me wondering if I'm going to be disappointed again. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 15:10
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The only experience I had with Bushnell was with a banner 6-18x50. Scope broke, sent it back and they fixed it even though they claimed it was my fault. Anyway I had it on a .30-06 and I just dont think the scope is built to handle a lot of .30-06 shooting. I think it would have been fine for .223 or similar. I hear good things about the higher end models, but I hear bad things about the customer service.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 16:08
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I've never had any issues with any Bushnell product, It's been awhile since I've purchased anything from Bushnell, but I wouldn't hesitate to do so.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 19:05
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I have had several bushnell scopes over the years ranging from the older sportviews, banners and the then top of the line scopechiefs. To be quite honest I have had good service from bushnell products. Currently I have a sportview 4x (onethe shelf) a old Banner 4x (on a muzzleloader) and three scopechiefs a 4x, a 2x8 and a 3x9 . All were in use until this year when I bought a couple of pentax pioneers for my 223 and 308. The 2x8 remains in service on my buddy's rifle. I have an old pair of 7x35 binoculars that have provided yoman service for probably 40 years and I lost an older 2.5 banner last year when the reticule finally broke on another friends 30-30. So in the end I have had really good luck with bushnell. I will point out that most of my bushnell stuff is older and from Japan so I can't vouch for the chinese stuff but stick with the elite series stuff and I would expect it to be OK as far as durability. The scopechiefs were really nice scopes in their day and continue to be very serviceable despite older technology. They were the forerunner to the elites so I would think a 4200 would be a nice scope

Edited by powderburn - October/28/2010 at 19:45
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 19:55
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   " It's been a while since I've purchased anything from Bushnell, but I wouldn't hesitate to do so."
 
  +1  I've only had one need to use their C/S and all went well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 20:10
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I had an Elite 4200 6-24x40mm 1" tube. It was a real nice scope. Very clear glass for what I paid. The rainguard works.
Very slim scope. You can mount it low. With the 6" sunshade screwed on, the damn thing was about 3 feet long. Other than that I couldn't complain. No failures.

PS: Sold it, and caught the Vortex Viper 6-24x50 30mm tube on sale right here.
Haven't field trialed it yet, but I can tell I'll like it much better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 21:26
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I have seven 4200 Elites on kickers like a 338 Win Mag, 300 Rem Ultramag, and 300 Wby's ..They've proven trouble free. The glass is at the top of its price class, and the rainguard really does work. I have only had to deal with Bushnell CS once about 2 years ago, and  it couldnt have gone better . I recommend the 4200 .
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 21:38
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Bushnell's CS suck big time but Elite models are very decent. Most of them are Japan-made.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 21:43
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Originally posted by slowr1der slowr1der wrote:

Well, funny you mention that as the Vortex Viper was the other scope I'm considering. The top two on my list are the Viper and the 4200, but I can't decide between those two. I've read good things about the 4200, but the warranty and my past experiences with Bushnell's are what have me wondering if I'm going to be disappointed again. 

i have both, their are only two things about my 4200 i dont like, the short eye relief sucks. and #2 the above mentioned cs dept. that being said i have had my 4200 on a .375H&H and it now sits on my .300wby and ive yet to be whacked by either one. the viper i have is the 2x7. its sitting on my .375H&H right now, and i dont have any complaints about that scope. i wish all scopes came with something like the rainguard feature that the 4200 elite comes with. you wont find a better cs-dept than vortex's no question.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 23:09
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I have the 4200 on a 30-06, and I have no complaints with it at all. so far it has performed like a champ!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2010 at 08:25
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I've had several of the 4200 scopes and never had a problem with any of them. I have had issues with a low budget trophy model with the illumination not working but solved the problem myself. I would feel pretty comfortable buying a 4200 and I particularly like the 4-16x40.  As for Vortex they have gotten great press they have an awesome warranty but they have not been in business as long as some of these other companies.  Why not play it safe and buy a Zeiss Conquest?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2010 at 08:34
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The more I look at the Zeiss Conquest the more I like it. I got to check one out locally and I was instantly amazed at the glass. The problem is that it's about $150 more than the other two, and I don't really want to spend that much. That being said, I think I may just hold off and save up for the Zeiss as it really impressed me. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2010 at 08:42
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Checked the SampleList?
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