Bushnell Elite Tactical 10X40 Review

Elite Tactical 10x40 scope elevation and windage turrets

Elite Tactical 10×40 scope elevation and windage turrets

Within riflescopes, there are a few clear price categories:

  • The low end, running from $100 – $200 with Bushnells, Tasco, Simmons, and a few others
  • The midrange, running from $200-$400 with Bushnell Elites, Redfield, Nikon, Weaver, Vortex, and some low end Leupolds
  • The high end, running from $400-$1000 mainly dominated with Leupolds, but also including some Nikon, Vortex,  and other lower volume scope manufacturers
  • The upper high end, running from $1000+ with all sorts of scopes from Sightron, Nightforce, some of the pricier Leupolds, etc.

The Bushnell 10X40 Tactical includes glass and features firmly within the mid-high end, but at a midrange price point. Tactical turrents with decent repeatability, a mildot reticle, and fully multicoated optics of the 4200 series are included for around $250. To get to that price point, variability was thrown out and the scope was built as fixed only. The mildot system only works at a specific zoom level anyways so fixed zoom scopes are kinda nice for simplicity. If you think you need variability, there are variable Bushnell Elite Tactical rifle scopes, but expect to pay significantly more. As a scope for a target rifle or one to be used for long range, the 10X fixed zoom is fine. Personally, I expect to use this riflescope on a heavy, long-range only hunting rig. If you expect any short range potential, I’d recommend a Redfield Revolution, Nikon, or non-tactical Bushnell Elite to match the price range.

The Glass

The view of what you’re aiming at should be one of the more important considerations for your riflescope, after basic reliability requirements are met. This is met mainly through quality of glass and quality of coatings. Cheap rifle scopes will come with no coating or a single coating on some surfaces. Better scopes will come “multicoated” where the coating is better and had been applied to some of the glass surfaces. Better scopes still will come “fully multicoated”, where all glass surfaces have had light transmission enhancing coatings applied. Quantifying quality of glass and coatings after that becomes difficult (but not impossible). In any case, the Bushnell Elite Tactical 10X40 is fully multicoated, which makes it a pretty good bargain at this price point. I found the picture to be brighter and sharper than my Bushnell 3-9X40, which is pretty similar in construction except for the fully multicoated aspect.

Tactical Features

This scope comes with two and a half tactical features that most typical hunting riflescopes do not come with.

  1. Tactical Turrets are knobs on the top and side of the scope that enable quick adjustments to the windage and yardage of the scope. The turrets can be re-zero’d after unscrewing them with an allen key. After re-zeroing, you can use the windage/yardage knobs according to drop and drift charts for your rifle to align the cross hairs with where the bullet should hit at great distances. From a pure hunting perspective, these aren’t great to have on a rifle, because they make it harder to fit in a standard rifle case, are bulky, and can be accidentally turned to throw off your zero.
  2. With training the Mildot reticle can be used to range distant targets and provide quick holdover points. The flexibility in this system is awesome, but is not really needed for a hunting rig. Many manufacturers provide bullet drop reticles for common calibers that involve no math and less user training.
  3. Nothing a $2 can of spray paint couldn’t handle: all the lettering on this scope is blacked out. It’s still there and you can see it if you look hard enough, but it does make the scope easier to match up to an all black rifle or potentially paint in camo later.

This riflescope has no close competitors. There are some Tasco’s in the lower quality/pricepoint, some Leupolds in a higher pricepoint, and a few other military suppliers at the much higher end, but almost nothing going head to head with the Bushnell Tactical Elite 10X40. If you use the scope as intended, and don’t try to use it on your every day deer blaster, it will serve its purpose just fine.

Bushnell Elite Tactical 10X40

Reviewed by Adriel Michaud on Apr 19, 2012

A great target scope for a budget rig
This riflescope has no close competitors. There are some Tasco’s in the lower quality/pricepoint, some Leupolds in a higher pricepoint, and a few other military suppliers at the much higher end, but almost nothing going head to head with the Bushnell Tactical Elite 10X40. If you use the scope as intended, and don’t try to use it on your every day deer blaster, it will serve its purpose just fine.
Rating:5

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