Gear Review: Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Optics

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Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Optics offer exceptional clarity and hold compared to mid-range offerings from Nikon, Leupold, and Vortex — and for half the price. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

With the introduction of Savage’s new line of MSR’s, it’s only natural to see Bushnell introducing a line of partnering optics, given that the two are held under parent company Vista Outdoors.  How does the Trophy Xtreme line perform?  Is it just another AR optic, or much more?  Guns.com finds out.

Bushnell’s Trophy Xtreme line of Scopes

The Trophy Xtreme second focal plane riflescopes are purpose-built for hunters, though they are useful on the target range as well.  All are built on 30mm tubes with oversized objectives for exceptional brightness and light transmission.  Side parallax focus and a fast-focus eyepiece are both easy to operate.  The Trophy Xtreme line comes with Bushnell’s quality Rainguard HD lens coating to maintain a clear view in rough weather conditions.  These optics are dry nitrogen filled with over 90 percent light transmission ratings and are advertised as 100 percent waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

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Bushnell’s Trophy Xtreme at home atop Savage’s MSR-10 Hunter rifle in .308 (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

The ¼ MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments are standard on the matte finished scopes. The Trophy Xtreme lineup offers multiple configurations.  There’s a choice of four reticles including two long range options and one illuminated reticle.  The offerings are: 2.5-10×44; 4-16×44; 6-24×50; and 2.5-15×50.  In the end, there’s a scope here for most any style and distance of hunting, from close quarters to ultra long-range. Topping off the appealing new optic family is Bushnell’s relatively new “No Questions Asked” lifetime warranty, which applies to all Trophy and Trophy Xtreme optics.  MSRP runs from $259.95 – $455.95 depending on configuration.

The test

Our test optic is the Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24×50 with DOA LR800 reticle.  That sounds like a mouthful, but the scope is actually pretty straightforward and user friendly.  This particular scope carries a retail price of $389.95 and online retailer prices closer to $275.  Our test is one of the two higher power, larger bells in the lineup, making it ideal for both longer range hunting and also target shooting.  It served as the perfect companion to Savage’s MSR-10 Hunter rifle in .308, ready for anything from prairie dogs to coyotes to whitetail.

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Bushnell Trophy Xtreme reticle. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Our DOA LR 800 reticle is what AR fanatics might consider a Christmas tree reticle, with this one very hunter-friendly.  In addition, Bushnell has provided an understandable breakdown of the reticle’s markings at common ranges in the included manual.  And best of all, once adjusted, the higher turrets are easily returned to zero by loosening two small set screws.

The scope weighs in at 23.7 ounces and was well-mounted for our testing in a one-piece Weaver SPR mount.  Eye relief is a generous 3.6 inch with an also ample 50 inches of adjustment at 100 yards.  The side parallax knob is easy to access and quick to manipulate in the field.

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Detail of eyepiece end and power ring. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

What better way to test than the range and the field?  After 300+ rounds of .308 through the Savage MSR on the range, the scope held zero and did its job. Clarity is exceptional, especially given the price and will hold comparisons to mid-range Nikon, Leupold, and Vortex glass.

Our test optic shipped with a sunshade, heavy velour stretch cover in lieu of lens caps, and manual.  The warranty, now becoming standard in the industry for quality optics, is hard to beat.

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Detail of Trophy Xtreme adjustments. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Though they have many uses, the Trophy Xtreme scopes are really at home on semi-auto, MSR style hunting rifles.  The second focal plane is ideal for hunters, with the reticle seeming heavier/wider on lower powers but finer at higher powers when you don’t want the reticle to obscure your target animal.

Furthermore, if you’re building a scope for hunters, the most important performance is measured at first and last light when the game moves most often.  With a 91 percent light transmission, the Xtreme sounds great on paper, but the proof comes at dusk and dawn.  When comparing the Bushnell to other name-brand optics of similar specs at both days end and beginning, the Xtreme performed as good or better than some with twice the price tag.  I would not hesitate to take the Xtreme afield on a serious hunting expedition.

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Caps on adjustment knobs. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Conclusion

Though they have many uses, the Trophy Xtreme scopes are equally at home on modern sporting rifles like Savage’s new MSR as they are for more traditional hunters seeking a capable optic that borrows features from the tactical market.  Bushnell often gets a bad rap, but that is entirely unjustified these days.  All in all, the Trophy Xteme line is an affordable optic, marketed toward hunters, with bigger dollar features and a top of the line warranty.  I can’t think of a reason not to give Bushnell’s Trophy Xteme line of scopes a chance.