After spending some quality trigger time with the Bushnell TRS 25, and loving it, I was curious to see what other Bushnell optics were out there. In fact I was familiar with numerous Bushnell optics, from their binoculars to the rifle scopes popular for hunting rifles, I knew who Bushnell was. However, what I did not know was that Bushnell in fact has an entire line of AR based optics. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of models they had available. So with a will and a whim I went to test the four that looked to be the most interesting to me.
Bushnell AR First Strike HiRise
Rated 3.9 out of 5 by 23 Gun enthusiasts.
Updated 27th May 2015
The AR First Strike HiRise is a departure from the other Bushnell AR Optics. This is the only model that is a miniature red dot. This thing is a tiny little piece of glass designed to be unobtrusive, yet big where it counts. Speaking of big the 5 MOA red dot is more than perfect for this tiny optic. In fact it’s downright eye catching. The best way to use this optic is to ignore the actual border of the optic and just use the dot on the world around you.
This means the dot should be your primary focus, not looking through the border of the optic. This optic is designed to be used at extremely close ranges, and I mean bad breath distances. Some may find using the large dot difficult at extended ranges, as I know I did. Fact is this optic is designed for nothing more than close range, if you can accept that, you’re golden.
This little lightweight, 2.1 ounce optic is a brilliant little thing. The First Strike mounts nice and high, and is rock solid. The optic does something I wanted the TRS 25 to do, co witness my AR’s sights. I love the little optic. Getting on target is an absolute breeze, and transitions at close range are rapid and smooth. This miniature red dot would be an exceptional addition to a long range range rifle as a backup offset red dot for social work as well. The First Strike is lightweight, but still very solid, and made for not just the AR platform, but any rifle, handgun, or shotgun.
You can read what customers of the Bushnell AR First Strike HiRise are saying right here.
Bushnell AR FFP Illuminated 223 (Throw Down PCL)
Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 163 Gun enthusiasts.
Updated 27th May 2015
Optic do not have to fall into either a magnified precision scope, or a red dot, in fact an optic should be versatile. The Bushnell Throw Down PCL get’s its name from the little lever that’s attached to the rear of the scope. This lever is used to rapidly change the magnification, to zoom or unzoom if you will. The lever folds and tucks away for easy storage.
The AR FFP Throw Down PCL is an awesome idea. The 1x – 4x magnification means the optic is designed to be used at ranges inside of 500 yards. The little lever allows the scope to be rapidly transitioned in a smooth manner for all your shooting needs. I see a real use for this is competitions, especially dynamic shooting like 3 gun where the range can transition rapidly. I can’t get over the ability of the optic to transition rapidly between magnifications. The optic can go from red dot killer at close range, to precision optic at medium ranges.
The Bushnell FFP Throw Down comes with a an illuminated reticle, that is also etched into the optic. This means if the batteries die, you’re still good to rock and roll. The adjustment turrets are nice and large, easy to use with gloves, and they provide an audible feedback for every adjustment. The reticle is equipped with hold over notches to allow allow the user to utilize these holdovers for bullet drop compensation. The Throw Down PCL is an interesting and innovative optic, that adds the spice of variety to your AR.
You can read what customers of the Bushnell AR Throw Down PCL are saying right here.
Bushnell AR Drop Zone 223 (3 – 12x 40mm)
Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 109 Gun enthusiasts.
Updated 27th May 2015
We have covered how Bushnell is making some excellent optics for close range shooting, and for the self defense and competition crowd this is great. How some long range options? Well Bushnell has spread their line to this market with their addition the AR Drop Zone 223 3x to 12x optic designed for ARs. AR 15s and the 5.56 / 223 round are often underestimated it terms of effective range. In fact the Marines qualify at 500 yards every year.
The Bushnell Drop Zone 223 3x – 12x optic allows the shooter to really reach out and touch a target when necessary. The optic features a bullet drop compensator for the 5.56 round out to 600 meters, allowing very easy transition between targets. The Bushnell optic is quite light at 21 ounces and it does not weigh the rifle down, or throw off the balance.
This optic was absolutely perfect for the coyote hunt we went on. We sat the edge of a field, with a raccoon in distress call going. As they emerged from the woods, 400 yards across the field we set up with our ARs. I kept the optic at 5x and slowly transitioned it to 12 when I chose my coyote. I adjusted and used the holdover and pulled the bangswitch. The optic was spot on, and I was in love with it.
The 3x – 12x power optic is an excellent option for hunter who has stepped into the 21st century and is equipped with an AR platform rifle. The long range option is still an option, even with a short barrelled carbine. This Bushnell AR option is a great choice, especially on a budget.
You can read what customers of the Bushnell AR Drop Zone 223 are saying right here.
Bushnell 2-7 x 32
Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 32 Gun enthusiasts.
Updated 27th May 2015
Two of the most popular weapons for beginners is the Mossberg Plinkster dressed up like an AR 15 and the Smith and Wesson M&P 15 in 22 long rifle. These rifles are popular for numerous reasons, including their affordability, their controllability, and their economically friendly round. Plus they look cool, and half the battle is looking cool.
The Bushnell 2-7x is an optic designed for these 22 LR rifles, and features an appropriate reticle, complete with a bullet drop compensator for the little 22 LR round. The optic is designed to be used and abused and is perfect for the little shooter in your life. The optic is waterproof, and is fully multi-coated. It’s also lightweight at only a mere 19.6 ounces.
The little Bushnell is spot on accurate, and makes training new shooters very, very simple. An optic is much easier to use than iron sights, and for a beginner, or especially a child, this is an awesome optic. The 2x means the scope can be used at close ranges for that up close can shooting goodness, and all the way to the 7x when things extend outwards a bit.
This optic is not lacking, or a kid’s optic. This little scope is still built like a tank, and it’s built up to the standards of every other Bushnell AR optic. The turrets are the same size and gives the same feedback per adjustment. While the optic is meant to be rimfire, it’s still built to be a grown up optic.
You can read what customers of the Bushnell AR Drop Zone 2-7x32mm are saying right here.
Variety is the spice of life and Bushnell certainly has some variety behind their AR line. I can’t honestly say this line is missing anything an AR shooter would need. The AR line is quite impressive and all the optics has a few things in common. They are clear, precise, durable, good looking, and best of all affordable.
You can shop the whole AR product line right here.
Bang Bang Bang
So these are my favorite 4 of the Bushnell AR optic line, but that’s not to say that these are the only optics out there worth a dang. Bushnell has a huge line of optics, and these AR optics are just the icing on the cake.
So what else does Bushnell offer?
The Bushnell 3x – 9x – A simple and easy to use optic. Perfect for a carbine, and it’s a bit more affordable than the 3x – 12x optic. Many people will find 3 to 9 power perfectly adequate for their day to day.
The Bushnell TRS 32 – A red dot similar to the TRS 25, with a just a bit more size to it. Designed to be a primary optic this red dot is perfect for the traditionalist on a budget. It’s wide 300 mm tube makes sure nothing is missed.
Both of these optics deserve an honorable mention, but didn’t quite make my cut. However I have no doubts they are tough as nails, clear as crystal, and ready to rock and roll. Have fun folks, and stay safe
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