Bushnell AR Optics 2-7x32mm
Not long ago, I acquired a new Ruger 10/22 LaserMax Rifle and found myself in the need of a new rimfire riflescope. A couple of features I was looking for were a scope that had a side parallax adjustment knob, externally adjustable bullet drop compensation (target) turrets and a zoom range from 3x to 9x or 12x. As I was looking through the latest Cabela's Shooting Catalog, I came across Cabela's Pine Ridge Tactical Rimfire Riflescope which offered all these features so I decided to try one out. Fortunately, I ended up sending that scope back to Cabela's because one of the lenses became loose inside the scope. The reason I say "fortunately" is that this put me back on the search for another rimfire scope which eventually lead me to Bushnell's new AR Optics 2-7x32mm Rimfire Riflescope which is called their "AR/22 Rimfire Riflescope." This scope, being a 2-7x power, fell short of my initial criteria of 3-9x, but after studying the limited photos on the web, I was able to determine that the parallax adjustment would go all the way down to 10 yards and I felt this was a big plus for a rimfire scope. In reality, I tend to over-scope my rimfire rifles and a 2-7x power is probably a better range for a rimfire scope because of the wider field of view you get at the lower power. Since I had a refund due from the return of the Pine Ridge scope from Cabela's, and since I was able to negotiate free shipping with Cabela's, I ended up purchasing the Bushnell AR/22 Rimfire Riflescope from Cabela's for $139.99.
During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Bushnell website on 7/28/13 and gives an Overview and Specifications for the AR/22 Rimfire Riflescope. The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.
The Bushnell AR Optics 2-7x32mm Scope comes boxed as shown below.
Bushnell identifies this scope as their "AR/22 Rimfire Riflescope" and for short I refer to this scope as the "AR/22 Scope" throughout this review.
The ends of the box state the key features for the AR/22 Scope.
The scope comes packed inside a thin foam wrapper and plastic bag as shown below.
The next photo shows the contents inside the box which were:
The Bushnell AR/22 Scope has a 1" one piece tube construction and comes in a black matte finish. My first impression of the scope was that it seemed like a quality product and has a very target/tactical look by having the target style turret caps and side parallax adjustment knob. Also, the ridged and sculpted caps and rings gives the scope an interesting look.
The scope measures 11.07" in length with the eyepiece focus screwed all the way inside the eyepiece and 11.63" with it screwed out. The specifications state 11.3" which is close to the length for a zero focus correction position.
The distance between the locations where the 1" tube starts to increase in diameter for the objective and eyepiece ends is about 4.7" and relates to the mounting length of 4.6" stated in the specifications.
Notice that the gas purge/fill port located on the bottom of the scope sticks down and your rings for mounting the scope will need to be high enough so that this cover does not touch your rifle or rail.
The scope weighed in at 19.7 ounces which is close enough to the 19.7 ounce specification weight.
The objective lens is 32mm in diameter and the scope objective end has an outside diameter of 1.54" (39.2mm). The 32mm lens along with a range of 2x to 7x power gives it exit pupil diameters 13.5mm at 2x and 4.6mm at 7x according to Bushnell. Exit pupil diameter is typically calculated by taking the objective lens diameter and dividing it by the power of magnification. Since 32mm / 2 power should give you an exit pupil diameter of 16mm, I feel that either Bushnell's specification value is either; A - wrong, B - this is actually a 2.37x power scope on the low end, or C - Bushnell has another method for measuring true exit pupil diameter. After studying some of the other scopes in the AR Optics line, I believe they may have another method for determining this value.
The objective end has the "Bushnell" name stenciled in black lettering located at a 120° spacing around the end ring and "AR/22" in white lettering located on each side of the scope body.
The scope comes with target style turret caps marked in MOA increments with each click being 1/4 MOA which is approximately 1/4" at 100 yards. Each cap is marked ("UP" or "R") with the direction to turn the cap to shift your point of impact. Since this scope has a bullet drop compensating reticle, I feel the key advantage to target style turrets is that you can quickly adjust your zero for the various velocity and bullet weight of the ammunition being used (i.e. 36 gr, 40 gr, or subsonic, standard, high and hyper velocity). I found there to be a 5 MOA difference in zero at 50 yards between the 40 gr Wolf Match Target (1016 ft/sec) and 36 gr Federal Champion Value Pack (1261 ft/sec). By knowing these differences, this allows you to quickly correct for different ammunition so that your reticle center is zeroed.
These next photos give you a good look at the elevation and windage turret caps. Also note the red index marks on the scope which are your reference points when making adjustments. Each cap had firm resistance and made positive audible clicks as I made my 1/4 MOA adjustments. The elevation cap had 93 MOA of adjustment from fully down to fully up.
The windage adjustment knob had 117 MOA of adjustment from a fully left to fully right position.
The side parallax adjustment knob has the same style as the turret caps and is marked with yard increments of 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 75, 100, 200, 300 and ∞ (infinity). Bushnell did a nice job of explaining this feature in their Instruction Manual and I have added the text below.
You may have noticed that placing your eye at different positions behind the scope’s eyepiece causes the reticle crosshairs to appear to move around to different points on your target. This is called “parallax error” (target and reticle are not in the same focal plane), and it becomes more noticeable (and more of a problem) at shorter distances and/or when the scope is set to higher powers. Your riflescope may provide an adjustment for parallax compensation, which works by moving an optical element until the target (based on its distance) appears in the same plane of focus as the reticle. Instead of the typical parallax compensation design which adjusts the objective lens at the front of the scope (“adjustable objective” or “AO”), your scope uses an movable lens back near the reticle, so the adjustment can be more easily made with a “side focus” knob placed next to the windage and elevation adjustments. Just line up the estimated distance to your target with the index dot on the body of the scope, and you will eliminate the aiming errors caused by parallax. After setting the side focus, you can double check by moving your head around from side to side behind the eyepiece-the point of aim should not shift if the side focus is correctly set. An alternative method is to look through the scope and turn the Side focus knob until the target, at whatever range, is sharply focused.
Since rimfire scopes without parallax adjustment capabilities are typically set to be parallax free at 50 yards, and since I find that the majority of my rimfire shooting is much less than 50 yards, I feel that the adjustability of this scope to be parallax free all the way down to 10 yards is a major benefit. Looking back, I have personally experienced parallax aiming errors over the years and have seen many times that young or inexperienced shooters can become frustrated when they are shooting at close range and are continually getting large groups. By minimizing or removing parallax error, the scope becomes more forgiving on eye placement and the need to look down the center of the scope is not as critical.
The photo below shows the end of the parallax adjustment knob.
The bottom of the scope is marked with the model number "AR92732" and "Made in China". Since Bushnell offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty on their AR Optics, quality issues should not be a problem with this scope and if something does show up, Bushnell should take care of the issue with the warranty which states:
We are so proud of our Bushnell AR Optics Riflescopes that their materials and workmanship are warranted to be free of defects for the life of the riflescope. The warranty is available to any owner of an AR Optics Riflescope. No receipt or warranty card is required. This warranty does not cover damages caused by misuse or improper handling, installation or maintenance of the riflescope.
The AR/22 Scope has a relative large eyepiece that measures about 1.75" in diameter and 3.5" in length (including the power adjustment ring and fast focus eyepiece ring).
The eyepiece comes with a silver sticker on top which I later removed.
The body of the eyepiece has an index mark and the power adjustment ring is marked with increments of 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The power adjustment ring required a tight grip and a significant amount of force to rotate. Over time, this may loosen up some, but until then, you will not be making quick changes from 2x to 7x.
These next two photos show the eyepiece screwed all the way in and all the way out. Bushnell calls this a fast focus eyepiece in their instruction manual, but since it takes about 3.5 full turns to adjust from fully in to fully out, I'm inclined to call this a "normal" focus eyepiece.
With the eyepiece focus set at a position for my eyesight, I found the eye relief to be about 2.9" at 2x power and 3.2" at 7x power. These were both less than the 3.7" stated in the specifications, but that value could have been with the eyepiece focus adjusted all the way into the scope. Regardless, I found this eye relief to be adequate for this scope.
The Bushnell AR/22 Scope comes with Bushnell's DROP ZONE-22 Rimfire Reticle. According to the Instruction Manual, the reticle is calibrated for use with .22 Long Rifle high velocity ammunition. Since this is a second focal plane reticle, the scope must be set to the highest magnification (7x) for the reticle's ballistic feature to function properly. With the scope zeroed at 50 yards with high velocity ammunition, the aiming dots below identify zeros for 75, 100 and 125 yards.
This next photo is my attempt to photograph the reticle. For some reason my camera was not focusing perfectly to give me the crisp lines. When looking through the scope, the reticle is in focus when adjusting the eyepiece focus.
The thick lines of the reticle will help in low light situations and the thin lines in the middle help with accuracy (my opinion). Although not verified, the top of the bottom line seems to be about 160 yards.
You use the Allen wrench provided to remove the cap screw to remove the turret caps so that you can re-zero the cap with the index marks.
The turret caps appear to be made from aluminum.
Although I couldn't find any statement in the instruction manual or Bushnell website on this scope being waterproof and fogproof, I did find this statement in the Press Release for the AR Optics, "Constructed with a durable one-piece tube, each scope is fully waterproof and fogproof and features target turrets for rapid windage and elevation adjustments." The two O-rings on the turret housing are a definite step towards waterproofing, but I was surprised that there was not an O-ring between the turret cap and center rotating portion of the turret.
Since there are only about 40 grooves around the rotating post and each cap is marked with 60 click adjustments, there are times when the click adjustment mark does not line up perfectly with the red index mark on the scope.
Medium height rings were required due to the protruding gas port cap on the bottom of the scope. Overall, I feel this combination of Ruger 10/22 Rifle, LaserMax Laser, Bushnell Scope and Burrs Rings makes an excellent combination of components to produce a rimfire platform for a wide range of shooters.
During my range tests, I shot some of my best groups ever with auto-loading rimfire rifle and I feel some of this success is attributed to the Bushnell AR/22 Scope. The target below is a 5-shot group for an example of what I was able to achieve during my range tests and you can see the full set of results by looking my Range Test Results for the rifle.
Bushnell states that their AR Optics have fully multi-coated lenses and I found them to be very clear and bright. Considering the cost of the scope, I feel they produce a great value. These next four photos show the scope at 2x and 7x power at about 30 yards and 125 yards. Because these photos are taken through a camera which requires focusing and through a scope with the eyepiece focus and parallax adjustment, the photos are not as good as you see with your eyes which naturally seek a focused state. Overall, I still think the photos are not bad and should give you a good idea of quality of the optics.
Bushnell has done a great job in providing a feature packed rimfire rifle scope with their new AR Optics 2-7x32mm AR/22 Rimfire Riflescope. The combination of good optics, target turrets, bullet drop compensating reticle and side parallax adjustment knob, along with a competitive price, have created a very high value rimfire scope. The only issue that stands out is the amount of force needed to change the power adjustment ring, but that would not prevent me from purchasing another AR/22 scope in the future. My range tests have in no way proven the durability of this scope, but Bushnell's Limited Lifetime Warranty should put to rest any concerns on how long this rifle scope should last. As I get new rifles, I always try to pair them up with a new scope for review. I can already see that in the future I will be struggling to find another rimfire scope that provides the same quality, features and value as the AR/22 Rimfire Riflescope.