Bushnell Nitro Spotting Scope a Smart Buy for Hunting

10/15/19 6:00 AM | by

Bushnell’s new Nitro Spotting Scope, here in 20-60×65 works equally well glassing for game on backcountry hunts as it does on a tripod on the shooting range. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

Bushnell’s new Nitro Spotting Scope, here in 20-60×65 works equally well glassing for game on backcountry hunts as it does on a tripod on the shooting range. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

The new Bushnell Nitro spotter deserves a long, hard look for those hunters and shooters in the market. Here’s why.

The Specs

Our model is the 20-60x65mm with an angled eyepiece, though straight is also available. Our 20-60 power magnification scope with its 65-millimeter objective lens provides a 110-foot/50-foot field of view. Eye relief is a generous 16-millimeters, with an exit pupil measurement of 3.4mm. The overall length is 15.7-inches, putting the Nitro right in line with comparable units. The weight is 55.7-ounces or just over three pounds. The sturdy magnesium build and rubberized coating make it both easily packable and durable. We have no concerns tucking it into the side pouch of our hunting packs in the field nor toting it through rugged terrain and brush.

In a thoughtful move, the company also includes a small, self-contained lens cloth that can attach to the scope in multiple locations. The Nitro spotter ships in a semi-rigid black zipper case with a molded interior, keeping it well-protected for travel to and from hunting locations or range sessions.

Bushnell spotting scope

Bushnell’s new Nitro Spotting Scope marks an ideal, mid-range price point with top-end quality an ad an Ironclad Lifetime warranty. It ships with a semi-rigged zipper case. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

The Nitro is neither top of the line, nor the bottom of the heap for optics. In fact, it’s nicely positioned about 2/3 up the pike, with quality to match higher-priced competitors. Only the Forge line from Bushnell sits above the Nitro. While the 15-45×65 Nitro Compact retails for $599.99, our 20-60x65mm lists at $749.99.


Go Long with Nitro

We went more in-depth on the new Bushnell lines of riflescopes when they debuted in 2018. The Nitro specifically has a mid-price point that appeals to the everyday hunter who expects performance but doesn’t want to break the piggy bank. There are always questions surrounding the lower end of any company’s lines, the mid and upper echelon Nitro and Forge models are among our favorite riflescopes. It’s no surprise that the Nitro Spotting Scope impresses equally well.

We made extensive use of it during recent range sessions that involved both zeroing rifles and shooting out to 400-yards. The Nitro is no slouch saved only for range use, though it did excel alongside a shooting bench. The angled eyepiece is ideal for viewing from both seated and more mobile positions, as in action hunting terrain where rocks, ridges, and swales prevail.

The magnesium chassis with rubberized coating and stippling is both durable and practical. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

This Nitro spotter is in line for some heavy use during big game seasons in the western US, where its clarity and features will be welcome and easy on the eyes as we glass for game such as pronghorn, mule deer, bison, and elk. The glass is quality, fully coated, nitrogen-purged, fog-proof and of IPX7 waterproof construction. Its magnesium chassis with a rubberized coating is both durable and practical. A rotating tripod ring makes the scope even more comfortable and user-friendly in awkward field positions. That ring is quick to adjust with the twist dial near the base. At the bottom of the rotating ring is the spotter’s integral tripod mounting plate, which makes quick attachments to any standard base.

The Ironclad Warranty

It’s difficult to recommend an optic these days if it doesn’t come with a solid lifetime warranty, especially for hunters who are not notoriously gentle on their gear. The new Bushnell is no exception. That Ironclad Warranty on the Nitro covers the lifetime of any product made on or after April 2017. Per the company’s website, “If this product isn’t working properly due to a covered defect, we will, at our option, either repair or replace the product and ship it back to you at no charge. This warranty is fully transferable and does not require a receipt, warranty card, or product registration.”


Whether in the market glassing long-range big game or setting it up for some serious range sessions–or even attaching a cell phone for some fantastic magnified wild game camerawork–Bushnell’s new Nitro Spotting Scope marks an ideal, mid-range price-point with top-end quality.

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