As a gun enthusiast on a tight budget, one of my woes is not being able to find a cheap and versatile scope that has impeccable quality and works well both during the day and at night.
The Bushnell engage makes a case for being the solution to my problems, so our Bushnell Engage Review checks into these claims to see whether the Engage is as amazing as Bushnell insist it is.
Things to Consider before Buying a Rifle Scope
A rifle scope may not be for everyone, so it is important to consider whether or not you need a scope before you potentially invest hundreds/thousands of dollars into it. Generally, a rifle scope is recommended for people who plan to fire their weapon at medium to long range.
Although an experienced shooter may be able to use the weapon’s iron sights at longer ranges, novice shooters should use a scope if their target is going to be close to or over 100 yards. Eventually, any serious gun enthusiast is going to require a scope.
It does not matter if you want to hunt or target practice as the scope will better help you compensate for distance, wind, and limitations of the human eye.
However, people who own a rifle for self-defense will not require a scope due to the close quarter nature of any confrontation that you may be involved in. In fact, it might be better to forgo a rifle in favor of a shotgun or a pistol if you only plan to use it in defensive situations.
If you do decide to go ahead and purchase a scope, it is important for you to know what to look for in a scope. Before continuing with our Bushnell Engage Review, Ask yourself the following questions to have a better understanding of your needs:
- What will I primarily use my rifle for? (Hunting and tactical scopes differ in features)
- What kind of magnification do I require? (Most people do not need 25x)
- Do I want a heavy or a light-weight scope? (Higher tube diameter = more weight)
- Will I use the scope in low-light situations?
- How much money am I willing to spend?
Bushnell Engage Review
The Bushnell Engage tries to bring premium features to a mid-range priced scope. The premium feel is apparent as soon as you see the beefy box with a sleek black finish. Opening the package, you get the Engage along with a Bushnell sticker and a few instruction manuals. The scope is held in place inside the package and has an additional plastic cover on it to prevent any dirt accumulation.
Quality, both in terms of build and performance is emphasized for this Bushnell Engage riflescope. It is a notch above the Legend Ultra HD in terms of product hierarchy and tries to improve upon its features by giving you more control over how the scope performs with robust features such as lock-in tactical-style turrets and great night-time visibility.
For the purpose of this review, we will be using the 2.5-10X44, 30mm model. However, almost everything mentioned here is consistent across all 30mm tube models on sale currently.
Compared to 1-inch tube Bushnell Engage (which we will not be reviewing), the 30mm glass is better, with additional turrets locking feature. That said, the 1-inch tube models are cheaper.
Let’s go ahead and explore the ‘quality’ and ‘features’ of this scope.
Build and Feel
The Bushnell Engage really looks like a premium piece of equipment. The matte finish is beautiful and the flip caps on both ends of the scope are great for protection of the glass.
Weight is sort of what you would expect for a 30MM Tube Diameter, clocking in at 547 grams (19.3 OZ). The scope feels very beefy when held in the hand, especially because it is not a particularly large scope (13.6” in length). In general, the scope feels very rugged, and you get ‘Bushnell Ironclad Warranty’ which lasts for the lifetime of the scope.
Locking Turrets make Bushnell Engage suitable for both hunting and target shooting
For most scopes, it’s either hunting turrets (low with caps) or target shooting turrets (precise, high, with no caps). And you’d have to buy 2 scopes if you’re into both activities.
But this is not the case for Bushnell Engage, as the turrets design are that of target shooting turrets. But they also have locking features which prevent accidental adjustments in the field.
They’re also easy enough to use. Push down to lock, pull up to adjust.
And most importantly, the scope tracks well when I do a 15 MOA box test.
That said, dedicated hunters might prefer lower turrets as they can snag branches in dense wood areas.
Sinlge turret click is 1/4 MOA. Each turret revolution is 15 MOA. Max internal adjustment is 50 MOA which is cool if you shoot within 600 yards, but a bit limiting beyond that.
Zeroing feature is good to have as it gives you an edge when you want to quickly adjust scope. You can do this without any tool by simply unscrew the top knob with your fingers, place zero on the desired position, then reattach the knob.
Not only that, the click is clearly audible and sturdy at the same time, allowing for a very intuitive turrets adjustment process.
Side parallax is available starting from 10 yards to infinity. It is smooth to turn and easy to use.
Deploy Minute of Angle Reticle
Deploy Minute of Angle reticle has 1 MOA interval for each hash mark. The 5th marker is slightly heavier to help you count in clusters. The markings are available on both elevation and windage adjustments, giving you an easier time with holdovers. Note that the elevation hash marks are available up to 30 MOA.
Note that the Bushnell Engage has matching MOA/MOA turrets and reticle, which contributes to make your distance adjustments much easier.
One down point is that the reticle is very fine, maybe a bit too fine that it is hard to see, especially in low light. This is surprising because the scope works so well in the dark otherwise. It would be better if the markings were a little bit more visible, but for this price, I am not complaining.
It is very rare to get so much so cheap. I have used many budget-friendly scopes which work great at short range but simply fail to hold up the farther you get from the target. However, the Bushnell Engage is extremely easy to adjust up to around 600 yards, and I was reliably able to target practice when testing the Engage at the aforementioned range.
This is where the Bushnell Engage truly shines. What you immediately notice is the clarity of the scope. Me and my friend (who wears glasses) can easily hit as far back as 400 yards.
You also have the EXO lens protector, which allows you to use the scope in the rain. The EXO barrier coating is perhaps the best feature of the scope as it makes sure that haze, fog, fingerprints, and water simply slide off the glass, allowing for clear shooting no matter what the weather.
As dusk approached, we were stunned by how clearly we could make out details at a range of over 200 yards. Of course, it is by no means as good as a Nightforce or a Swarovski, but the Bushnell Engage works flawlessly at both dusk and dawn.
However, we do get to see the limitations of the Bushnell Engage during the night. Since we were out on an overcast night, there was almost no light to work with. The Bushnell Engage definitely performed very well compared to scopes in similar price range, but it was still often difficult to make out anything at longer distances.
Still at the fence? Here are some other opinions from Amazon Buyers
Pros and Cons Breakdown
|✓ Great Visibility, both during the day and dusk/dawn||✗ Reticle a bit too fine making it hard to read at times|
|✓ Precise turrets with zero and lock features||✗ Limited turrets internal adjustments|
|✓ Matching MOA turrets/reticle||✗ Second Focal Plane scope, not great for long range shooting|
|✓ No smudges, fingerprint, or water due to EXO lens protector|
|✓ Bushnell Ironclad Warranty (lifetime)|
|✓ Great pricing model|
In case you do not want to buy the Bushnell Engage (Although I personally recommend you do!), here are a few alternatives in a similar price range with a similar set of features that you could purchase instead.
1. Vortex Crossfire II
The Vortex Crossfire II is cheaper than the Bushnell Engage. Personally, my experience with Vortex has been a mixed bag. In terms of performance, it is great. However, I have had to use the warranty on my Vortex scopes at least once every 2 years, a hassle which has led me to stop using Vortex scopes.
Here is what you get with the Crossfire II:
- Multicoated lens, MOA turrets, Adjustable objectives
- Cheaper Price
- Less Durability
2. Leupold VX-3i
If you’re looking for a hunting scope, the Leupold VX-3i could be a better choice due to super lightweight and compact design. But it lacks long range capabilities.
Here is what you get with the Leupold VX-3i:
- Super lightweight and compact
- Very good glass
- High low light performance
- No parallax adjustment
- No turrets lock nor turrets zero features