The Bushnell Trophy XLT is a line of entry level optics for crossbows, muzzleloaders, shotguns and rifles.
The scopes come in a variety of magnifications ranging from 1-4 to 6-18 with objective lenses sized between 24 and 50 mm.
A variety of reticle styles are also available, including standard crosshairs, circled crosshairs, ballistic drop, illuminated and mil-dot. All reticles are second focal plane and will change size based on magnification setting.
Reticle size variation will need to be kept in mind, particularly when using ballistic and mil-dot configurations to avoid errors in range estimating.
Although the eyepiece on these scopes have an adjustable focus to suit the eye of the shooter, Bushnell sets the parallax of each scope during manufacturing based on its average intended use range.
Parallax is the apparent movement of the reticle when your eye moves off centre from the optic, which is something best minimized. Some optic lines have parallax adjustment features, but the Trophy XLT series doesn’t. This is a common limitation in entry level scopes.
The optic glass quality produces a reasonable image in bright conditions. During dawn and dusk, however, the image quality noticeably deteriorates. This is also a common limitation in scopes similarly priced to the Trophy XLT line.
The glass surfaces were coated to protect from scratching, reduce fogging and resist rain and snow.
Our test model was a 3-9 magnification riflescope with standard crosshairs and a 40 mm objective lens.
It had a nitrogen filled one-piece tube body and a quarter inch minute of angle elevation and wind adjustments.
The test riflescope also came with Butler Creek flip open lens covers.
Dialing the scope into zero was challenging with the changing reticle size based on magnification. The different hash sizes and fixed parallax made for subtle variations between point of aim versus point of impact at different distances and magnifications.
These subtleties would likely not be enough for hunting deer, but they were noticeable in the zeroing process. Once set, the reticle held zero throughout months of testing in a variety of conditions.
The glass resisted weather challenges well, although it fogged up when drawing the rifle into shooting position and breathing out in cold weather. The hinges on the lens covers broke within a few shooting sessions and were discarded.
Bushnell guarantees the scopes for the lifetime of their original owner. Fortunately, we did not need to experience the warranty process for our test riflescope.
The Bushnell Trophy XLT is a good series of entry level optics ranging in price from around $160 to $300, depending on the features. They have reasonably balanced the cost of these scopes to their performance quality. I would avoid choosing less expensive optics, as they would likely be of unacceptably low quality.
Although there are better scopes available, you can’t go wrong with the features and prices of this line.
Kim Quintin is a Saskatoon outdoor enthusiast and knife maker. He can be reached for column content suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.