Bushnell Elite 3-10x40mm Riflescope

By Randy Wakeman

Bushnell Elite 3-10x40mm Riflescope
Illustration courtesy of Bushnell

For 2011, Bushnell has shaken up their popular Elite 3200 and Elite 4200 riflescope lines. Those designations are now gone, with the hunting scope line falling under the umbrella of simply �Elite.� The test scope, the Elite 3-10 x 40mm is now #E3104 replacing the prior Elite 3200 part #323104M. Here are the specifications of the new scope:

            Power / Obj Lens


            Length (in / mm)
    11.7 / 297


            Field of View (ft@100 ft. / m@100 m)
    35.5/11.8@3x 10.9/3.6@10x

            Adj Range in@100yds/ m@100m
    85 / 2.4

            Weight (oz. / g)
    14.5 / 411

            Exit Pupil (mm)

            Eye Relief (in / mm)
    3.7 / 94

            Mounting Length (in / mm)
    5.4 / 137


            Click Value in@100 yds / mm@100m
    .25 /7

The envelope, dimensions and basic specifications are essentially unchanged, inclusive of weight, mounting distance required, adjustment range and so forth. According to Bushnell, this is still assembled by Light Optical Works of Japan, as always. There are new features, though, all of which are upgrades or at least updates.


This scope has the latest incarnation of Bushnell RainGuard, the �RainGuard HD.� Rather than the �multi-coated� lenses on the 3200 line, now this is a fully multi-coated version (as was the 4200 series). This scope has the latest Bushnell �Ultra Wide Band� coatings. To complete the picture, the Elites are now purged with the larger molecule size Argon gas as opposed to the prior dry nitrogen.


Originally, the �4200� line meant a four power zoom range and fully multi-coated glass. That definition became blurred a bit, as the 4200 3-9 x 40 was only a 3 power zoom range and the previous version of this scope is a 3.33 power zoom range. Perhaps the idea of trying to clarify the line wasn't a bad one after all. Bushnell has a clever animation to show you how inferior other scopes are to �Rainguard HD� on their website (www.bushnell.com).


Optically, yes, no doubt about it. This model is an upgrade to the Elite 3200 3-10x scope I've always rated as in the best in class. With this upgrade comes increased cost. The Elite 3200 has been available for some time in the $225 area. This scope, as best as I can discern, runs close to $400. While it is brighter and clearer to my eyes, the differences may not be noticed by many hunters. It makes this scope that was a leader in price performance ratio now priced at the Sightron Big Sky and Burris Signature Select price points. It is no longer an easy optic for the dollar choice.


Personally, I'm sorry to see the Elite 3200 series go by the wayside. Nevertheless, I have no complaints about this scope. The adjustments are crisp and positive and the zoom ring is smooth without binding. The quality of assembly is apparent, the satin matte finish is attractive and evenly applied, the eye relief is sufficient for all but the most uncontrollable hunting rifles and the Rainguard HD works as promised. There is nothing wrong and much right with this scope, so it is easy to recommend.

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Copyright 2011, 2013 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.