In 2019, I had the privilege of being invited to Hornady’s Zombies in the Heartland 3-Gun Match. This would be my first 3-Gun match and needless to say I was nervous. First off I had no idea what gear to bring other than 3 guns and I didn’t have much notice. The reason for not having much notice is that I was a replacement for a shooter that had to back out at the last minute. Hey, what can I say other than it was my lucky day. Also, did I mention that I hadn’t flown in nearly 20 years and could care less if I ever flew again? My buddy John from Forsaken Arms had a saying that he liked to use. He would say, “Sometimes you just have to put some M A N on it”. He would mostly say it to our kids when they would crash on their dirt bikes. So that’s what I did and I flew my butt to Nebraska and shot some zombies.
Now that the back story is out of the way, here is why I am writing this article. My AR-15 I used at the Zombie shoot is a nice rifle and had a decent optic. But like anything, there was some room for improvement. I already had a lower sitting at home so a friend and I put together an updated rifle and went on the search for an optic.
I chose to go with the Bushnell AR Optics 1-8X24. There are a couple reasons why I chose to go with Bushnell. First of all, I have owned their products (binoculars and range finders) and have always had great luck with them. Second, was the affordability. Bushnell offers a VIP program which makes this optic even more affordable. Go to https://www.bushnell.com/vip-program/ to see if you qualify. Thirdly, this optic had the magnification I was looking for. So there are the three main reasons I chose this optic. Once the optic arrived I used a Warne mount to attach it to my rifle. Warne mounts are a quality product and I have had great luck with them.
I took my new rifle and optic to the range and got it sighted in. The sighting in process was relatively easy. The optic is fitted with capped turrets which is great for me because I am one of those guys that if it can be moved around or bumped I will certainly do it. When I made my elevation and windage adjustments I could hear a slight audible noise but more importantly I could feel a positive click which took the guess work out of it. While sighting this optic in, I was amazed at the clarity of the glass. It is extremely clear for the price and is comparable to other more expensive optics. The optic comes with a throw lever on the power change ring which makes adjustments of the power relatively easy. There are two different lengths for the throw lever but I prefer the longer of the two. The throw lever folds down to the same level as the optic turrets to keep it out of the way when not in use. The Illuminated BTR-1 reticle makes for faster target acquisition and is powered by a 2032 battery. If you forget to turn on the illuminated reticle or the battery dies don’t sweat it because it comes with a black reticle. This optic is O-ring sealed and Bushnell says you can put it in three feet of water for 30 minutes and it will stay dry. This gives a shooter confidence their optic can handle a little rainy day rain session.
While setting up my rifle and scope, I had a chance to play with Bushnell’s Legend Tactical-T-Series Spotting Scope. This is a compact 15-45×60 spotter that features ED Prime glass and a MIL-hash reticle. It has attached rail sections on the sides and top making it easy to mount accessories like red dots or range finders. The waterproof and armored body is colored in an attractive flat dark earth and the exterior lenses are coated with Bushnell’s patented RainGuard HD coating. This is a really nice piece of glass that bridges the gap between affordable and high quality. The images are crisp and the adjustments are easy. It even comes with a custom fit black protective case that can stay in place while the optic is being used. I spent some time using it on a long distance rifle range as well as in the prairie dog fields of Wyoming and was highly impressed. Next up, it will get a work out in the Colorado elk woods in November.
I’ve had the opportunity to shoot this rifle and optic set up at numerous range sessions and my fondness for it grows each time. Unfortunately, Hornady’s 2020 Zombie shoot was cancelled this year due to Covid. Maybe next year I can give you some additional feedback on this optic. If you are looking for an AR optic give Bushnell a shot at it. You won’t be disappointed. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email. Take care and God bless.