Bushnell has given their optics a face-lift in recent years with upgraded features, names, prices, and a whole new sexy look. The first tier of their optics begins with the Prime and Engage series which flutters around $350 or less. A sort of mid-range tier is their new Nitro series offering scopes in the ballpark of $350 – $700. The upper tier of optics is reserved for the Forged series which can be purchased anywhere from $750 – $950. All of these new optics from Bushnell serve to fill a void in the market depending on what you are looking for. The Bushnell Nitro series could very well become their most popular line-up because like a perfect bowl of porridge… it’s not too cheap and it’s not too expensive, its just riiiight. So in this TFB Review, we will take a look at one of their long-distance hunting riflescopes with the Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP with a Deploy MOA Reticle.
nomenclature: Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP Deploy MOA Reticle
Before we fully dive into this TFB Review, let’s step back and take a look at the name of this scope. Optics are interesting and mysterious because some of the acronyms and names for things make it seem like it is another language entirely. So we will break it down for you.
Not to be facetious, but Bushnell is the manufacturer and Nitro is the model. The “6-24” refers to the magnification range this scope is capable of. The “50mm” refers to the objective lens size where light enters the scope. The “FFP” stands for Front Focal Plane meaning the reticle is in front of the magnification lenses; moreover, when you increase magnification the reticle will grow in size just like the target you are looking at. “Deploy” refers to the specialized reticle that only Bushnell has. Finally, “MOA” is Minute of Angle or the unit of measure for scaling in the reticle and for your windage and elevation adjustment.
specifications: Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP Deploy MOA Reticle
The Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP with a Deploy MOA Reticle boasts a lot of features for a long distance hunting riflescope. The current MSRP for the specific Nitro model we are reviewing is $704.99 and retains Bushnell’s Ironclad Warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship. The rest of the specifications can be read below:
- Exclusive EXO Barrier Protection: Bushnell’s Newest & Best Protective Lens Coating molecularly bonds to the Glass, repelling Water, Oil, Dust, Debris & preventing Scratches
- IPX7 Waterproof construction: O-Ring Sealed Optics stay Dry inside when immersed in 3 Feet of Water for up to 30 Minutes
- Ultra-wide Band Coating: Anti-Reflection Coating applied to both Lenses & Prisms for the BEST Possible Light Transmission
- Side Parallax Adjustment from 10 Yards to Infinity
- Eye Relief 3.7” | Length 14.4” | Weight 26.3 Oz.
- Capped Windage & Elevation Target Turrets
- Windage & Elevation Adjustment – 50 MOA
- Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
- Tube Diameter 30mm
parallax: Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP Deploy MOA Reticle
For this review, I tested the Bushnell Nitro on a Bergara HMR Pro 6.5 Creedmoor rifle and used a Burris P.E.P.R. mount that I had available for the 30mm tube. Before launching a bunch of rounds down range I tested the parallax. The parallax knob for many scopes is a confusing thing for people. Many shooters inappropriately believe that the parallax brings your target into focus. While on a rudimentary level this is somewhat true, what is really occurring when you adjust this knob is you are getting the reticle and your target on the same focal plane. Once this is achieved, everything appears to have a crystal clear appearance.
Also, it is important to note that the numbers on most parallax knobs are not 100% accurate in their position, and that is OK. They are meant to give you a good basis for where you should begin to look (based on the yardage of your target) to get into the same focal plane.
The parallax was a little less forgiving than some of the higher end optics I have played with ($1K and higher), but was still forgiving enough where not many adjustments were needed when engaging targets from 100 – 600 yards. For a $700 optic, it performed great. It is a nice luxury to have when you can get by with the least amount of parallax adjustments as possible because then if you were to shoot a PRS Match or go hunting for something like elk, you are not wasting time making adjustments when you could be concentrating on your shot.
reticle subtensions: Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP Deploy MOA Reticle
Another test I performed was verifying the reticle subtensions. Being as this is an MOA reticle, we are working in Minute-of-Angle measurements. In the Deploy MOA reticle, every hash within the reticle is an increment of 1 MOA. This loosely translates to 1.047″ at a distance of 100 yards. So to verify that the Deploy MOA reticle has correct subtensions, I overlaid the reticle on a target and turned the magnification up to 20x.
With the magnification cranked up and having a target with a 1″ grid pattern as a background to the bulls-eye, I could then verify that the subtensions were in fact correct. It is important for any scope to pass this test because it basically shows whether true attention to detail has occurred or not.
tracking: Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP Deploy MOA Reticle
The next test was for tracking. What tracking is, for those who may be unfamiliar with that term, is ensuring that when you make an adjustment through your scope in elevation or windage it actually pans out on paper. For example, if you make an adjustment of 2 MOA to the right while attempting to zero your scope, it better darn well do that; otherwise, you are in for a long, expensive day at the range trying to sight in.
So to do this test is pretty simple from a shooter’s standpoint. First, try to lay off the coffee and make sure you can shoot good groups. Second, shoot one group of 3 or 5 rounds (whatever trips your trigger). Then, make a known adjustment of your choosing (Ex. Elevate by 2 MOA). Next, shoot another grouping. Finally, measure the difference to discern if the groups are spaced apart by the value of your previous adjustment.
I followed this basic sequence and the Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP tracked perfectly. So now that we know the reticle subtenstions are their correct size, the scope tracks appropriately, and the parallax works well we could attempt to throw down some groups for accuracy.
accuracy: Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP Deploy MOA Reticle
The ammunition used for testing the Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP with a Deploy MOA Reticle was all graciously given to TFB from Federal Premium. So a tremendous thank you to the good folks there for their generosity and quality ammo! We had quite the buffet of ammo for the Bergara HMR Pro 6.5 Creedmoor to be eating with the Bushnell Nitro on top:
- American Eagle 120 Grain Open Tip Match
- Federal Premium Gold Medal 130 Grain Berger Hybrid Open Tip Match
- Federal Premium Gold Medal 140 Grain Sierra Matchking
After establishing a sound zero at 100 Yards, I began to shoot three 3-Shot Groups of every flavor of ammo we received from Federal Premium. Being patient and taking my time, this ended up being around 4 hours on the gun range plotting groups on the target and getting cardio by walking down to my target and getting the results. Rifle shooting is not my personal forte so I was very happy with the groups I was able to accomplish. The Bushnell Nitro always gave me a clear image between periods of an extremely sunny day and intermittent clouds casting strong shadows. I continually shot without hesitation because of my confidence in the scope, rifle and ammo. These are the groups I was able to get at 100 yards:
- American Eagle 120 Grain OTM – 2.304″ | 1.266″ | 1.196″
- Gold Medal 130 Grain Berger – 0.949″ | 0.926″ | 0.729″
- Gold Medal 140 Grain Sierra – 0.927″ | 0.686″ | 0.294″
As you can see from my results, the Bergara liked the heavier grain weights quite a bit more, and I probably needed to shake off some jitters myself. Read into the accuracy however you like, but in regards to the scope, it provided me with everything I needed to make a well-placed shot. Any shortcomings in accuracy are definitely shooter related and not because of inferior equipment.
A final piece I did to stretch out the scope’s abilities was to shoot out to 600 yards at steel gongs and see how I would fair. After knowing my zero to be true at 100 yards, I began to shoot my way out to 600 yards with roughly 1 MOA gongs along the way (Ex. 1″ gong at 100, 2″ gong at 200, etc). I used the 140 Grain ammunition provided by Federal Premium for this exercise knowing it shot the best in testing. From 100 to 600 yards I successfully connected on two shots per distance on my first attempt through. I would chalk this up to a great rifle, a good scope, and fantastic ammo.
final thoughts: Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP Deploy MOA Reticle
I had the ability to shoot this scope for quite a bit in a condensed period of time. In 2 days I shot it for over 6 hours punching some pretty tight groups and walking it out to 600 yards successfully. I also took it on a Rambouillet Sheep hunt on a game farm in Iowa and successfully harvested a sheep (watch for that article on our sister-blog AllOutdoor very soon).
For a moderately-priced, long-distance hunting scope it had very clear glass and performed well on paper, steel, and the sheep I harvested. The turrets had a crisp, tactile feel to them which I appreciated while zeroing the optic. If I am forced to say something not positive about the Bushnell Nitro, I would say that the magnification knob was very firm; almost too tight. That is something I would tend to believe could wear in in a positive way though so it did not concern me that much.
All in all, I had a very positive experience testing out the Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP with a Deploy MOA Reticle. It tracked appropriately, had ample parallax, the reticle subtensions were correct, and it afforded me a clear picture in all sorts of shooting situations and light settings. At a full MSRP of $704.99 and being backed by the Bushnell Ironclad Warranty, I would have no reservations recommending this scope to anyone looking to hunt or shoot paper with this. The Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP is a great value optic.
In closing, THANK YOU to Federal Premium for providing TFB with their quality ammunition to shoot for this review… THANK YOU to Bergara for lending us a HMR Pro 6.5 Creedmoor which shoots like a dream… and THANK YOU to Bushnell for letting us romp around the Midwest shooting stuff for a couple weeks and testing out the Bushnell Nitro 6-24x50mm FFP!
Finally, what do you guys and gals think who stuck with us through the whole TFB Review? Do you currently own any Bushnell scopes or related products of theirs? Do you already have a Bushnell Nitro optic in your possession and could share some of your own feedback? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate the feedback.
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