Flexible, Close to Medium Range Performance
I’ve tried a few different optics on my AR and T97 and it always seems like a challenge getting a scope that’s simple, compact, and great for ranges from 50 yards to 400. Red dots are the undisputed short range champs, though relying on batteries kinda sucks. You can add a swing-down magnifier to give some flexibility in range on your red dot setup. If you want a simpler optics setup, fixed magnification scopes give a compact package that still gives enough range for medium range targets. The third option for these types of ranges is to use a 1-4X scope. This article focuses on the Bushnell AR Optics AR/223 1-4×24, but if you’d like to see other options, check out my article on 1-4 AR scopes. The Bushnell AR223 1-4×24 is available from local retailers or online at places like Brownells.
Bushnell AR223 1-4×24 Specifications
So what are the specs?
- Claimed 1-4 magnification
- 30mm tube (24mm objective)
- BDC reticle that uses mil-dots calibrated for 223 drop. Dots for drop every 100 yards up to 500 yards.
- Target Turrets
- Fully Multi-coated lenses.
Now, I don’t buy the 1X magnification claim. If I fire with both eyes open, the eye going through the scope is seeing an image that looks closer to a 1.25X zoom. That’s not the worst for me, because I’m left eye dominant and so, can’t really fire with both eyes open anyways. If you’re looking to use this scope for both eyes open, red-dot-replacement kind of shooting, it may not do as well as more expensive, true 1X scopes.
The Turrets on the scope were a nice surprise. They’re fairly low profile, and I found them to use the perfect amount of grip. Not too much where it’s going to snag or turn after rubbing up against anything, but enough grip to easily turn. The clicks on the turret were very audible as well. These turrets adjust on MIL specification; every click on the turret adjusts the scope by 0.1 Mil. 1 Mil = 3.6″ at 100 yards, so each click moves your POI at 100 yards by 0.36″. It’s a bit weird that the adjustment are in Mils and yet the scope reticle doesn’t use Mil Dots, but oh well. The turrets aren’t as convenient to reset to zero as the push/pull style, as you need to use a tiny little allen key. That’s fine by me, because I’ll only be setting it at the range when I have my full kit anyways.
Optics quality on this scope was. . .OK. It gave a lot of Chromatic Abberation (purple-ish fringing) in bright daylight, but sharpness was good at all levels of magnification.
Bushnell AR/223 vs Throw Down PCL Model
There are currently 2 Bushnell AR 223 1-4 scopes: their basic model, the one I purchased, and their throw down PCL model. The throw down PCL version comes with some extra goodies that the basic model doesn’t, namely:
- A fancier reticle that’s also illuminated.
- First Focal Plane optics
- A quick lever that can be used for throwing the zoom from 1 to 4 and back again.
Video Review of the Bushnell AR/223 1-4×24
Unlike a short few years ago, there is a lot of competition for this style of scope at a variety of price points. If you do short range competition, a 1-4 with an illuminated reticle might be a better choice. My typical go-to 1-4 scope would be the Millet DMS, but with Bushnell bringing in this scope, I really appreciated the better-for-long-range BDC on the Bushnell, as well as the better feeling turrets. I think I made the right choice in optic, but that said, there are a pile of 1-4 scopes out there for this purpose; take a look through a few of them out there and decide for yourself.