I’ve always been a bit of a riflescope snot. I’ve been in the business of beating up new hunting and shooting products for the better part of four decades, and those who know me well know that if something doesn’t work as advertised, I’m the first to throw a hissy fit and have a conversation with the manufacturer. So when I had the chance to take one of the new Bushnell Trophy Xtreme riflescopes afield last month, I was chomping at the bit. This product line has been highly touted as one that provides premium performance at a reasonable price. Alrighty then! Let’s see.
The late-November weather in southwestern Oklahoma consisted of drizzle, rain and fog, mud, near-freezing mornings and upper 40s/low 50s afternoons, with some days clouded over and others crystal clear. My Trophy Xtreme 2.5-15×50 scope was mounted atop a Remington R-25 Gen II MSR in .308 Win.
First, the basics. The Trophy Xtreme riflescope line all feature 30mm tubes and come in seven configurations and six reticle options; Bushnell says they provide “best-in-class 91 percent light transmission.” Options include two 2.5-10×44 models; two 4-16×44 models; a 6-24×50 model; and my test 2.5-15×50 model. All feature Bushnell’s exclusive Rainguard HD waterproofing and fogproof lenses, both features that have served me well when using other Bushnell scopes. Illuminated and long-range versions are also available. A side parallax adjustment knob is handy and works well, and the Fast Focus eyepiece made focusing even for my aging eyes quick and simple. The reticle is mounted on the second focal plane, which means the reticle appears bolder when the scope is set on low power, but thinner and covering less of the target when set at higher magnification. This is, in my mind, ideal for a hunting scope.
Another key point is Bushnell’s “No Questions Asked” Lifetime Warranty, which basically means regardless of any problems you might have the company’s answer is, “Yes, that’s covered.” The No Questions Asked Lifetime Warranty, launched in early 2016, applies to all riflescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes in the Trophy and Trophy Xtreme product families.
First stop was the range. I ran a hundred rounds through several R-25’s with different Trophy Xtreme scopes on top. Part of the exercise was to sight the rifles in for the coming hunt, so when a rifle initially sent a bullet a bit off course, I had to dial the scope’s turrets to correct. I love to do this, since it tells me whether or not the scope actually corrects exactly for the ¼MOA per click it says it will or whether the corrections are a bit sloppy. In this case, when you factored in the 1- to 1½-inch 100-yard group size the R-25’s produced with the Barnes VOR-TX ammo featuring the 168-grain Tipped-TSX all-copper bullet we were shooting, the answer was, yes, the adjustments were as advertised. This is a very good thing.
Next stop was afield. As is often the case, of the six hunters we had in our camp, I was the next-to-last to shoot a deer. Not a great thing, except that it allowed me to spend five full days afield in varying weather. And so I did a sort of laymen’s test, looking through the scope when the sun barely illuminated the skyline both at dawn and dark. I peered through the optic in dense fog, in bright sun and on dim cloudy mornings. I let the lens get soaked with drizzle to see how the Rainguard performed (quite admirably, I can say.) I got it wet and muddy. I played with the focus and parallax knobs to see how they affected my ability to sight on objects both near and far.
At the end of the day I had no complaints. And when my buck finally appeared about 0800 on a near-freezing, drizzly morning at about 125 yards, I set the parallax knob to 100, dialed the power to 6X, took a rest over my shooting sticks and put the bullet right through his heart.
Not a comprehensive torture test of dunking the scope in a sink full of water overnight then putting it in the freezer, but I spent enough time with this riflescope to come away impressed. The price is certainly right — the MSRP for the Trophy Xtreme riflescope line ranges from $259.95 to $455.95, depending on the configuration — and with Bushnell’s “No Questions Asked” guarantee, your risk of being disappointed has been reduced exponentially.
Back in the “good old days,” Bushnell had a line of higher-end riflescopes that wore the Bausch & Lomb name. I took several of these scopes to places like Alaska and Africa and the Rocky Mountain West and beat them to death with nary a failure. At the end of my week in Oklahoma, the Trophy Xtreme line reminded me a little bit of these scopes. I think I’d do the same with them.
More information is available at http://bushnell.com/hunting/rifle-scopes/trophy-xtreme.