You kids got it good these days! Back in my day we didn’t have any fancy 1-8 scopes for ARs when I first got into ARs! 15 years ago, a decent 1-4 was hard to come by! I did a lot of 3-gun competition and hunting with ARs and low powered variables were just getting started. Some decent 1-4s came on the market that were rather expensive and then slowly, 1-5, 1-6, and eventually 1-8s and even 1-10s. I ran just about every option out there. I went to SHOT show for years and the search was nonstop for these types of scopes.
I even recall having conversations with product managers and engineering that scopes like a 1-8 were REALLY hard to make right. As I mentioned, I got to use and own a LOT of them and still have a few high-end ones. Recently someone asked me for advice on putting together a general-purpose AR, one he could have fun at the range with, from close stuff out to a max of 500 yards. Throw in a little hunting possibly. I asked him what he budget was and said he could probably put together 3-400 for a scope. Honestly, I kind of laughed “dude, you aren’t going to get a good scope with good glass that covers everything for that kind of money. Well, then I thought, it’s been a while since I really looked at options. I have always had good luck with Bushnell scopes, great values. In fact, one my all-time favorite rifles scopes is the 3-12×44 LHRS. It hangs with scopes that costs 2-3 times as much, and I have tested the turrets for dialing in elevation and low light hunting as well. Me and one of the other TGR staff guys have been running one each for over 10 years and we put them through a LOT of field use, hunting, riding around in ATVs and Jeeps. We aren’t gentle with gear. Look at the end of this review to see what I am talking about.
I came across the Bushnell AR Optic 1-8 and liked what I saw spec wise. A true 1-8 with a second focal plane reticle (my preference for a low powered variable scope), a BDC type reticle with holds out to 600 yards with illumination, capped elevation and windage, a built-in throw lever and it is compact and light at 16 ounce and 10.2″ in length with a 30mm tube. Oh, and retail is only $364.00! I got a hold of one these and was frankly very pleasantly surprised with it!
First thing I check for in a 1X scope is to see if it truly has 1x magnification. I do this by mounting on the the rifle with my desired eye relief, adjust the reticle to be in focus for my eye via the focus ring on the back and then pick something close range, like 10 yards out and pop the gun up between me and the target. It shouldn’t change size. It didn’t and then I start transitioning between various targets at different ranges out to say 50 yards. I had a nice stable image constantly. I also check for tunneling, which is sort of hard to describe but this one doesn’t have it, it has a nice flat image all the way across the glass and field of view. I then started cranking up the power and going out further. Nice image all the way out to several hundred yards.
Next up it was time to mount the scope, Bushnell supplied a nice lightweight Weaver mount for a flat top AR with the right neigh and forward offset for correct eye positioning and relief. I easily zeroed the scope in in a few rounds and then started testing at distance out to 500 yards with several types of ammo from bulk 55g stuff to match 77.
From the manual here is the info on the reticle and ammo specs.
I found the reticle to be pretty accurate with the ammo weight of 55-62g and of course a bit more drop at distance with the heavy stuff but you also get less wind deflection, all stuff you can quickly adapt to with some range time.
The reticle lights up with the horseshoe and dot and while not quite “red dot on 10 bright” does help with darker targets in day light and of course even more so in lower light.
The Weaver mount is nice, lightweight and clean..
All in all, I am very impressed with the scope. It works great and is priced very low for what you are getting. 10 years ago you couldn’t buy this scope at any price. I am very pleased with it and have already recommended to a few people who have come back with very positive feedback and thanked me for it. You get a lifetime (30 year) warranty! Hard to beat! I am happy to report I have quite a bit of time on this scope, range time, some pig hunting and 2 high volume classes under my belt. Zero issues and everyone that checked it out was impressed with it.
For more information AR Optics 1-8×24 Illuminated Riflescope | Bushnell
Check these Bushnell LRHS reviews out.