Review: Bushnell - 3-9x 40mm

The weight and compact size balanced well on my beloved Hunstman

The weight and compact size balanced well on my beloved Hunstman - Credit: Archant

The editor looks at an interesting scope from America

Non locking 'sniper' turrets make for rapid dialing

Non locking 'sniper' turrets make for rapid dialing - Credit: Archant

Bushnell’s catalogue is huge, but to be honest, only a few of their models are of interest to airgunners, so I was happy to find the AR Optics 3-9 x 40, because its side-wheel, parallax adjuster dials down to 10 yards, making it perfect for us, and 3-9 x 40 is the most popular scope spec’ in the world, offering a great choice of magnification in a reasonably compact package. Weight is kept under control by using the good old one-inch body tube, although the rest of the build looks pretty chunky and solid, as you’d expect for a scope designed for combat.

Once mounted on my Daystate Huntsman, I immediately noticed how bright and clear the image was. I noted that no distortion, or any other visual anomalies, were seen, just a clean, enjoyable view. The compact size and modest weight sat nicely on the lightweight, sporting rifle and I felt the quality of the scope lived up to the gun.

Being a firearm scope, the eye relief is long at 3.7” which meant that I had to mount it as far forward as it would go, and this had a secondary benefit; under the saddle is a bolt that projects down and could interfere with magazine removal, but because the scope was so far forward it cleared without any problem. One of the most attractive features of this scope, for me, is its reticle. It’s actually quite simple, basically a 30/30 duplex, but with added mil-dots for hold over allowance. This is right up my street. I dislike overly complicated reticles because I feel that in poor light, when under pressure to make a shot, they can confuse the shooter. I’m sure I’ve had some misses in the past because I was using the wrong part of the reticle. There’s no chance of that with this one.

With a little experimentation, it’s easy to see where the extra aimpoints match your rifle/pellet combination’s trajectory. Once you have this worked out, you can make either a mental or written note and your accuracy will improve immediately. The elevation and windage adjusters are large, exposed units that can be easily dialled, even with a gloved hand. They do not feature a locking mechanism, but Bushnell must have confidence that they won’t get turned accidentally if they offer them on scopes that might be used in life or death environments.

I liked this scope very much and hope to give it a more long-term test over the winter if I can twist Edgar Brothers’ arm to let me hang on to it. It may be designed for a combat AR .223, but I think it might be just what I need on my airgun.


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Manufacturer: Bushnell

Importer: Edgar Brothers


Spec: Q 3-9 x 40

Model: AR/223

Weight: 600g

Length: 310mm 12 2”

Eye relief: 3.7”

Paralax adjustment: Side wheelo

RRP: £240.00