The editor looks through some rimfire glass to see if will suit airguns as well
Phill Price looks at some glass from Bushnell’s Rimfire Optics range, and takes it out into the field
Bushnell is a brand that never seems to have quite broken into the airgun market, despite being a massive global company. It’s true that their main focus in on firearms, but many of their scopes have everything we could need in terms of specification and, very importantly, adjustable parallax that comes down to 10 yards. They were in fashion for a while with the hunter field target crowd because of their excellent build image quality, but I don’t see many around today.
This is a shame because they make good products that cost more then your typical airgun scope, but have the performance to justify their price.
Their importer, Edgar Brothers, has recently updated their website heavily and whilst browsing through it I came across an interesting model that I wanted a better look at. It’s from their Rimfire Optics range and is custom designed for use with the classic .22 long rifle and the much more modern .17 HMR cartridges. It features exposed turrets that you ‘dial’ to suit the range you intend to shoot at. Of course, the calibrations aren’t relevant to our trajectories, but the dials could easily be taped over and re-marked for our needs.
The image quality was immediately impressive and it felt unfamiliar to look at such a simple reticle. Bushnell calls this their ‘ Multi-X’ design. Additional aim points are redundant if you’re ‘dialling’ for everything, so the reticle can be clean and uncluttered and the dials themselves are easily big enough to be comfortably turned with gloved hands in the wintertime. I was a little surprised to find out that they don’t have a locking mechanism, but they have a good degree of friction in their motion so wouldn’t be turned too easily. It would still be important to keep an eye on your zero regularly.
In the field, I like this optic a lot. A bright, clear image is very important to me as a hunter and this was just what I got. Even on some dull and very overcast days I was spotting squirrels clearly. Also, it isn’t any bigger or heavier than necessary to deliver all that performance, and I feel it represents Bushnell well in the airgun market. A little birdie tells me that there should be some airgun-specific models hot on its heels, so perhaps Bushnell is back in the airgun business at last, and I for one, welcome them - with open eyes.
Main: Compact dimensions and modest weight are right up my street Inset: Parallax down to 10 yards makes this a proper airgun scope
Out hunting, the quality of the image impressed me