By Dave Workman
Having used Bushnell optics since I was a teen — a very long time ago now — when this company announces new models, it’s worth taking notice.
Earlier in the spring, Bushnell reported its family of AR Optics has been expanded. This is good news to the growing number of people who own semi-auto modern sporting rifles built on the AR platform. This happens to be the most popular rifle in the country, and has been for the past several years.
By no small coincidence, according to a recent Bushnell news release, its AR Optics series is a top-selling line of high-performance optics. Funny how that works, eh?
According to Bushnell, the AR Optics family “now has a scope specifically tailored for almost every prevalent caliber” found in an AR-type rifle. This is no small feat. There are models for every caliber including .22 LR, .223 Rem./5.56mm NATO, .308 Winchester, .300 BLK, 6.5 Creedmoor and the newer .224 Valkyrie.
It’s quite a leap forward from the days when I topped a .257 Roberts built on a Mauser 98 action with a 3-9X Bushnell for deer hunting. The scope served me well over the years; so much so that when I got my hands on a Ruger 10/22 specifically for shooting small game, the first scope I reached for was a 1.5-4X Bushnell. This rifle/scope combination is so accurate I’ve been able to shoot wood kitchen matches, firing from a sandbag rest at 25 yards. I’ve also managed to head-shoot a couple of dumb blue grouse, and they’ve got a noggin about the size of a quarter. (If you think it’s easy, try it sometime.)
But I digress.
According to Bushnell, their newly expanded AR Optics scope series features a custom BDC reticle designed for each model to “allow precise elevation holds with today’s most popular calibers.” They’ve got fully multi-coated optics for sharp images under variable light conditions.
There’s more to this expansion. Bushnell said it has taken red dots “to the next level.” Their new TRS-26 model offers a longer battery life and the dot image is brighter and sharper. It also features pushbutton operation, but the scope remains compact with a 26mm main tube and a 3 MOA dot.
Longer batter life, according to Bushnell, is also an attribute of the First Strike 2.0 model, which has a “small reflex style” rugged housing and 4 MOA red dot.
Bushnell Tactical Product Manager Bryan Parrish said, “Each scope has a throw-down power-change lever that can be set to two different heights. It makes these scopes as customizable as the rifles they share a name with.”
“The First Strike 2.0 is two times the red dot its older brother was,” added Parrish. “It also features longer battery life, a brighter dot and tool-less side compartment battery removal.”
The new TRS-26 and First Strike 2.0 are waterproof, shockproof and fog-proof, and they have adjustable brightness settings for adjustments to changes in weather and light conditions.
In all, there are now 11 models ranging from 1-4x24mm to 4.5-18x40mm, with eight different optimized reticles. This includes two models with illuminated reticles and four built on 30mm main tubes.
Experience tells me Bushnell has a scope model to fit virtually anyone’s needs. With these new models, people who own and shoot any AR platform rifle have multiple choices, and there is no downside to that.
For more info: https://gunsmagazine.com/company/bushnell-outdoor-products/
Bushnell Outdoor Products
Ph: (800) 423-3537