Bushnell Engage 2.5-10x44mm Riflescope
The new Bushnell Engage line of riflescopes and binoculars is extensive and includes the 2.5-10x44mm model reviewed here. The 2.5-10 riflescope has always been one of Bushnell's best-specified hunting scopes. There is not much you cannot do with this zoom range. The Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x, now called the Bushnell Elite 4500, has always been a desirable hunting scope.
Engage 2.5-10x44mm Specifications
This Engage riflescope incorporates a whole boat load of features for the dollar, including a strong 30mm aluminum main tube, side parallax focus, locking tactical turrets and included/installed Butler Creek pop-open scope covers. The scope adjustments are clean and crisp with no mushy feel. The interior of the scope is blackened, with no hint of unwanted reflection. The ocular end has a fast-focus eye bell.
One of the very few niggles about the Bushnell Elite 4200 and 4500 series 2.5-10x40mm is the somewhat cozy eye relief of 3.3 inches. This has been improved to 3.6 inches in the Engage. The Engage 2.5-10x44 adds 3.3 ounces compared to the one inch tube Elite 4200. This isn't much, considering the larger, heavier tube and the larger 44mm objective lens. We would probably all prefer scopes that only weigh a few ounces, but that is not happening with a 44mm objective, as most of the weight of a scope is the glass.
This is a bright, clear scope. It is bright at 7 AM and it is bright at midnight. No one is going to be disappointed with the quality of the image from this scope. I could not tell any difference between the image from this Engage Model and a Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm.
The limiting factor of this scope is not the optics, but the reticle. You will run out of reticle visibility long before you run out of image brightness. The MOA-based Deploy reticle is easy enough to use, during daylight hours. As a low light reticle, it does not compare favorably to any number of reticles with thicker or tapered cross-wires, center dots, or illuminated center dots.
The Deploy MOA reticle is in the second focal plane. Like most second focal plane, range compensating reticles, it only works at one specific magnification, in this case 10x. 10 power is just about all the magnification I would ever use in a big game hunting scenario. If you can hit the target at 75 yards, 10 times magnification gives you the same image size at 750 yards.
This is an astonishing level of optical performance, considering the low price point. For those on a tighter budget, the Engage 3-9x40mm model has a 2018 MSRP of just $149.99. It comes with a one inch main tube, fixed parallax focus and a more generous four inches of eye relief. It also mounts lower on the rifle. The entire Engage line has the same, excellent grade of glass and coatings.
Bushnell breaks new ground in the price / performance ratio with these riflescopes. For low light hunting, I would sure like to see better reticle options, the only thing this line of scopes is currently lacking. A 2 MOA black dot in the center of the reticle would make all the difference at the end of the day.
Copyright 2018 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.