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Bushnell Elite Tactical XRS 4.5-30x50mm

Posted on June 23, 2015


It has been several months with the Bushnell Elite Tactical XRS and up to this point I have used it in a few local club matches and during my regular shooting in the desert. This scope has proven to be reliable, durable and repeatable over the hundreds of rounds I sent down range. I have mounted it on both my 16.5” 6.5mm Creedmoor and 6.5mm GAP 4S/SAUM. When I first received the scope, which was sent as a loaner from George Gardner of GA Precision in February I mounted it and immediately did a few “kick test” to ensure it held zero. The scope passed this phase with flying colors and I quickly began to trust it. Some of my team mates have had great success with this line of scopes.


In my initial post on the Bushnell XRS I mentioned I liked its size and weight, especially for an optic in this magnification range (4.5-30x). I also like the G2DMR (GAP) reticle and 10 MRAD per revolution turrets. The scope is very easy to zero and I have found the zero stop to be simple to use (after watching a couple youtube videos). The locking elevation and windage turrets are a nice feature that keeps anything from inadvertently moving. When dialing elevation for targets at multiple ranges I leave the turret in the “up” position so I can quickly make the adjustments. I have found the click engagement to be positive and seldom over click or “double click”. I did notice a little bit of flex in the turret that I attributed to how the locking turret mechanism works. When you raise the turret to unlock it and dial, we are moving farther away from the erector housing and I believe that to be the cause. This is by no means a negative mark against the scope just an explanation for those who are very particular about “clicks”. The eye box on this scope is forgiving and has a generous eye relief. Dialing through the magnification range you will notice the scope doesn’t have any “tunneling”. Typically when dialing through the magnification range, many scopes will have a point where it seems like the image area will shrink or get larger depending which way you are dialing (think of looking toward the opening of a tunnel and moving backwards or forward, hence the name).


The Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR/HDMR, ERS and XRS represent a serious value for the long range shooter. The scope only lacks an illuminated reticle which honestly many of us rarely utilize. For the price of a Bushnell Elite Tactical you get locking turrets, an excellent reticle on the first focal plane and matching turret adjustments/reticle subtensions. On the ERS and XRS you gain a zero stop and 10 MRAD per revolution on the elevation turret. These scopes can sometimes be had for incredible deals, priced way under the MSRP. They also come with a lifetime warranty and have been proven by shooters and competitors across the country.


The only thing I haven’t been thrilled about with the XRS is the glass, and I say that with a grain of salt. Specifically it seems to be lacking slightly in the transmission, contrast and resolution departments when compared to significantly more expensive scopes. I have found the scope to produce an acceptable sight picture and have not felt at a disadvantage during matches or while shooting in the desert. This time of year once the ground warms up and barrels get hot the mirage is really bad. When shooting dots at 100 yards in bad mirage they appear to be fluttering around before I ever put a round through the rifle, to combat this I would dial down from 25x to 10x magnification (I rarely run the scope at 30x). Since we have moved into summer and expect triple digit temperatures this weekend I make it a point to get out early to zero the rifle or test loads with the 6.5 SAUM. Given the conditions I described all scopes are going to experience mirage. You cannot get around it. When comparing scopes side by side on the same magnification I believe the slight edge they have in contrast and resolution over the XRS made the mirage seem a little less significant, but again I want to mention that the scopes used in comparison are a significant increase in price over the XRS.

All things considered I give the XRS and Bushnell Elite Tactical line high marks. The price point is hard to beat especially the ones with a Horus reticle, and the scope includes an impressive list of features. Bushnell has an excellent warranty if you happen to have problems. The fact it holds zero and has proven to be reliable and repeatable for me and many other shooters is what matters most. I feel the value these scopes offer and the price point also aids in growing our sport. You do not need to spend $3,000 + on a rifle scope to be competitive and its obvious the Bushnell Elite Tactical line is popular among practical long range shooters.


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