• Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 4-16x44 with DOA LR600 Reticle

    As firearms have become more and more specialized in recent years, it’s no surprise that optical sights have followed suite. Every year we see companies bring forth new lines tailored to a specific application or use. Some are designed for long-range use, while others are specifically for close-in work. Some are geared strictly towards hunting while others are designed solely for competition. The new Bushnell Trophy Xtreme series of rifle scopes seems to follow that pattern.

    Coming into this review I think it's safe to say that the new Bushnell Trophy Xtreme rifle scopes clearly favor the hunting market, but bushnell has definitely upped the game over the standard Trophy series. The Xtreme scopes differ from the standard Trophy series in that they feature a 30mm aircraft-grade aluminum main tube construction and an oversized objective lens for a brighter image and increased light transmission. Additionally, three of the four models in the Xtreme series feature a side-focus with a range of 10 yards to infinity, and all of them have a 4:1 magnification ratio compared to the 3:1 ration used on the Trophy series.

    The capped turrets offer ¼ MOA finger-tip adjustments and offer 50 minutes of adjustment for both windage and elevation. A fast-focus eyepiece on the ocular end of the scope ensures a crisp, sharp reticle. Speaking of reticles, four different reticle options are available. The Xtreme series also features Bushnell’s excellent RainGuard HD lens coating to ensure a clear view no matter the weather is doing, they are nitrogen purged, and they are advertised to be 100% waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. MSRP for the Trophy Xtreme series ranges from $260 to $456.

    It should also be noted that the Trophy Xtreme series comes with Bushnell’s new “No Questions Asked” Lifetime Warranty. Such warranties are quickly becoming the new industry standard, and while Bushnell has offered such a warranty on their Elite models for years it’s nice to see them now offering it on some of their cheaper model lines.

    The model we are looking at today is the 4-16x44mm variant with the DOA LR600 reticle. This reticle is very similar to the DOA 600 reticle that Bushnell has offered for a number of years which is intended to be zeroed at 100 yards and offers holdover points for 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards when paired up with appropriate factory loads. The main difference between the standard and LR600 reticle is that rather than having round dots at the intersect points, the DOA LR 600 just has the bare stadia lines which offer a much more precise aiming point. This makes the LR version of the reticle a much better option for varmint hunters and target shooters. Bushnell covers all of the hold-over and hold-off details of the reticle in the owner’s manual.

    Out of the box the Xtreme offered no surprises and is typical of what I have come to expect from Bushnell. The matte black finish is uniform and well done with no defects, and all the adjustments move freely and aren’t overly stiff. The fast-focus and magnification rings have raised ribs that make them easy to manipulate without being overly bulky or aggressive. The scope is a bit heavy at 20.1 ounces, but not ridiculously so. The only thing that caused me to raise an eyebrow was the embroidered black velour scope cover.

    The turrets offer a positive detent for each click that is easily felt, and also provide an audible click – though it should be noted that on this example the audible click was clearly louder when turned one direction when compared to turning the other direction. I also found the plastic finger-tip adjustment knobs on the turrets to be somewhat slick as the traction lugs are very small and close together. This could pose a problem when trying to make adjustments in the field while wearing gloves.

    With the 4-16x44mm Xtreme mounted atop a Savage Arms Model 16 Lightweight Hunter I ran it through multiple 12 MOA box tests using my collimator boresighter. Tracking was very good, but in each test the crosshair ended up one click to the left of the starting point. Running the elevation up 20 minutes to simulate dialing in for distance displayed no drifting to the left or right.

    Optically the view through the Trophy Xtreme was very good. The image is very bright thanks to the larger 44mm objective which gathers more light and yields a larger exit pupil. The larger exit pupil also helps to make the scope a little more forgiving when it comes to eye alignment. The glass is surprisingly impressive with clarity and resolution that are above average for this price point. The low-light performance at dawn and dusk was equally impressive making it a good option for a hunting scope.

    Overall I found the Trophy Xtreme 4-16x44mm to be a very good and well-rounded optic that comes in at a price point that most people can afford. The 30mm main tube combined with the reticle options really opens the door to allow the Xtreme to fit into many different roles. While it really doesn’t do anything exceptionally well or have any features that really make it stand out from the rest of the pack, it also doesn’t have any nagging flaws or shortcomings that hurt it either. It’s just a good, solid midrange scope that offers some nice features without breaking the bank.

    To me the Xtreme series is best suited for hunting and casual plinking use. While the turrets function well, they really aren’t designed for frequent repetitive use in my view. They are capped turrets, and as such I see them more as a ‘set it and forget it’ style where you zero the rifle and then leave them alone. This is especially true if the scope is equipped with the DOA LR600 reticle as with it there’s really no need to pull the caps and dial in clicks. Yes the turrets can be reset to zero and used to dial, but I would really urge you to look at Bushnell’s new Engage series which have exposed turrets and would be more suited to that type of use.

    My one big negative mark against the Xtreme scope is the included velour cover. Seriously - velour? Is it the 1970’s again? Sure it looks nice with the embroidery, but functionally it leaves a lot to be desired. It has a very baggy fit so when in the safe other things snag up on it as you are taking them in and out. The elasticated opening also makes it a pain to take off or put on one-handed while holding the rifle - the same complaint I have with the now common neoprene stretch-to-fit covers that some manufacturers are using. I would much rather see Bushnell (and everyone else) just offer some quality plastic caps with straps like they include with their Elite series rifle scopes. They work, they're easy to take on and off with one hand, and they're cheap to make - so why mess with a good thing?

    So if you’re looking to spend around $300 on a new scope and you want something that will be just as at home on an MSR as it is a bolt gun, do yourself a favor and take a look at the new Trophy Xtreme line of scopes from Bushnell.

    Additional Photos:

    Contact Information
    Bushnell Outdoor Products
    9200 Cody
    Overland Park, KS 66214
    (800) 423-3537

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