• Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II-i 3.5-21x50mm Review

    The Bushnell Elite series of optics have had an excellent reputation over the years for offering great performance and quality at a reasonable price point. In fact, my oldest optic just happens to be a Bushnell Elite 3200 3-9x40mm that I purchased in 2001 and itís still just as clear and reliable today as it was on the day I bought it. I have also owned a few Elite 4200 series rifle scopes over the years, and my CZ 452 American in .17 HMR currently wears an Elite 6500 2.5-16x42mm. In short, the Bushnell Elite line is one I have a lot of experience with so I was excited to have this opportunity to review Bushnellís new Elite Tactical DMR II-I 3.5-21x50mm.

    Bushnell knows that long-range shooters demand three things when engaging distant targets; accuracy, precision and repeat-ability. For this reason they have designed the new DMR II-i to deliver all that in a very compact and powerful package. The features Bushnell has built into the DMR II-i are all designed to let the shooter spend more time looking through their rifle scope rather than adjusting it.

    The DMR II-i features a 34mm aluminum main tube and measures 13.2 inches in length. Weight is 34 ounces, or 2-1/8 pounds. The turrets feature .1 mil clicks and offer a total of 30 mils of elevation and 20 mils of windage adjustment. Field of View at 100 yards is 25.3 feet (3.5x) and 5.1 feet (21x). MSRP is just under $2,000.

    The lenses are fully multi-coated featuring Bushnells proprietary Ultra-Wide Band Coating, and the unit is Argon purged making it both water and fog proof. The exterior lenses are also treated with Bushnellís patented RainGuard HD coating to disperse water and provide an additional degree of anti-fog protection.

    Other key features of the DMR II-I include a fast-focus eye-piece and a ThrowHammer Lever on the magnification dial for rapid adjustment. The elevation turret features Bushnellís RevLimiter Zero Stop, while the windage turret features their T-Lok to prevent accidental adjustment.

    The DMR II-i I received has Bushnellís new G3 illuminated first focal plane (FFP) reticle which was developed in conjunction with GA Precision. The G3 provides a clean presentation with hash marks every .5 mil while also giving you the ability to range targets with extreme accuracy using the 0.1 mil reference points at the outer portion of each branch of the crosshair. Additionally, the extended horizontal mil markings on the lower portion of the vertical crosshair can be used for both ranging and windage holds. There are also two Mover Marks for moving targets on either side of the main vertical crosshair at 1.25 and 1.5 mils.

    Bushnell also offers the DMR II-i with the Horus Vision H59 reticle for those who prefer a grid-type reticle, though it comes at an additional cost due to licensing.

    The illumination knob is built into the side-focus turret and offers eleven levels of brightness with an off position between each illumination setting. The battery for the system is a common CR2032 and is also housed in the side-focus turret. Only the main crosshairs and hash marks making up the inner portion of the reticle are illuminated, while the mil numbers and the finer .1 mil segments on the outer portions are not.

    The side-focus knob is marked for distances from 75 yards to infinity and operates smoothly with just the right amount of resistance without being overly loose or stiff feeling.

    The RevLimiter Zero Stop on the elevation turret provides for a positive stop when you want to return to zero. Setting the zero stop is very simple and straight forward as outlined in the ownerís manual. This is a must have feature for long-range shooting where one is frequently dialing the elevation up and down for shooting at different distances.

    The T-Lok Locking Windage Turret is another nice feature found on this particular model. This feature helps to prevent accidental adjustments by mechanically locking the turret. Simply pull the knob outward to unlock and adjust, and push it back in to lock.

    For review purposes the Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II-i was mounted atop a Savage Model 10 Stealth in 6.5 Creedmoor using a pair of 34mm low-height Warne steel rings (#220 M). A Vortex 34mm Anti-Cant bubble level (#BL34) was also employed to minimize the possibility of canting the rifle during my testing of the scopes tracking.

    In regards to the quality of the glass employed in the DMR II-i, all I can say is that I have yet to find anything to fault. The clarity and resolution the lenses are of sufficient quality that my eyes canít discern any noticeable defects or shortcomings. The image is extremely clear and lacks any discernible distorted at the edges, and the color balance is very natural with no noticeable chromatic aberration. The view through the optic is nice and bright thanks to the 50mm objective and large main tube diameter, even in low-light dawn/dusk conditions and on gloomy overcast days.

    Tracking for the DMR II-I was equally impressive and proved to be very accurate and repeatable. Each click is very solid and precise with a faint audible click, and as stated the tracking is spot-on. Along with a typical box test, I also tested the elevation tracking on a 10-foot 2x6 board with two shots fired at 5, 10 and 20 mils while dialing up and back down the scale. Each shot was within the margin of shooter error (1/2 average group size at distance) and the first and final shots at the original zero were just shy of touching.

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