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The_Kid 02-02-2010 05:12 AM

Another Dead Bushnell
This is the second Bushnell Elite 3200 I have gotten, the first lasted 20 shots before it died, this one lasted maybe 120. This one replaced the other since I was assured the other one dying was a fluke. This makes 2 dead Bushnell Elite 3200s since August.

Here are the last 3 cold bore shots I took with it since I worked up a winter load.


It hits in the same area even though it should be 12 inches lower by the 3rd shot.

I'm going to take the scope off tomorrow and try the iron sights to make sure it isn't the rifle. I am 99% sure it isn't the rifle because the last 3 shot group I took with the thing was 1 13/16" at 300 yards. I've always had a problem with this scope needing one shot before the settings take.

I also tried a test of sorts, I adjusted down 6" again like I did the other times, then adjusted over 2 1/4, which I am pretty sure I did at least one other time. I took another shot at the same distance, with a combined adjustment of 18" lower. It was still high!

The lateral adjustments seemed to take that time, it was a little too far right.

So I tapped the turret, (I've seen people that do that every adjustment with other scopes and it seems to work for them.) I tapped and then took a shot, tapped and took another shot, etc...

My 4th shot was 18" lower than the first.

I then started adjusting trying to get it back on target but it is shooting willy-nilly now.

The scope mount is rock solid, I used Permatex high strength Threadlocker Red to attach the mount to the rifle and the top screws are tight as a drum.

This is almost the exact thing the first one did; the only difference was the lateral adjustment got stuck in a specific area before it broke free to then shoot willy-nilly.

This isn't a post about "Bushnell Sucks!" it is about what can I do with this telescope to turn it into a working rifle scope?

Are there aftermarket innards I can get to make this $220 telescope work as marketed?

Yes, I know; it has a lifetime guarantee, I am not interested in a temporary fix by replacing this one with the same flawed craftsmanship, I want something that actually works without breaking the bank. I am tired of wasting bullets hoping this thing is going to work in the next shot.

I am thinking I should just get another Nikko Stirling Diamond like on my 30-06, but I really don't want to settle for this being an expensive 10x eye relief telescope.


The_Kid 02-02-2010 10:44 AM

Additionally, the mounts are not angled and the screws are not too tight. the tube has no paint wear so it isn't too loose either.

The mounting is perfect. I am sure it is the scope.

I am sure this scope is supposed to be failing like it is. That is why they boast of the 4200 having "recoil tested with 10,000 rounds of 375 H&H for unfailing reliability" and the 3200 is simply "recoil tested to 1,000 rounds of a .375 H&H magnum".

jpattersonnh 02-02-2010 02:08 PM

I bought a Bushnell a while back for Varmint hunting. 4-12x40mmAO. It would not zero, it refused to zero. When I bore sighted it, the reticule moved, But once I put it on the bench, the POI would not change. High right. I replaced it w/ a Sightron SII 6.5-20x42mmAO. The rifle shoots like a champ now.

cpttango30 02-02-2010 03:16 PM

Have you checked the rifle at all. Sounds like you have your mind made up that it is the scope. Could it be the handguard touching the barrel. Or maybe something is wrong with the rifle. Me I would can them god awful see through rings. They are the worst kind of rings to have on anything. I find it hard to believe that 2 of any scope in a row had the exact same problem. Have you taken the rifle to a smith to have it checked out? Maybe the barrel is lose there are plenty of problems out there that could contribute to the problem.

The_Kid 02-03-2010 03:31 AM

Additional Information
At first I put shims under my rear mount to better align the rings; which fortunately also gave me more elevation adjustment.

To eliminate the possibility that the screws are too tight I measured the scope tube at all angles with a micrometer, there is a .002 variance. 1 inch is the smallest and 1.002 is the max; at both mounts the vertical is the larger. I am sure that is acceptable.

To display exactly what is happening, I loaded 10 more cartridges; as always, quality control being first and foremost.

Before I went out to the range, I made sure the ring screws were looser than usual. I tightened them with this screwdriver good and tight.

When it started getting cold is when my accuracy died. The first video when I was working up a winter load is after I first noticed the rifle shooting willy-nilly. I thought maybe the cold was effecting my powder burn rate, in turn effecting barrel harmonics.
So when I took the rifle out today to set up my target and such I made sure my rifle was in the cold for about 1/2 hour . I then loosened the back ring screws so if there was any tension between the different expansion/contraction of my receiver and scope would become a non-issue.

I proceeded in getting my zero at 300 Yards.

Here is the 300 yard target.

My first shot was 1.5 inches high and 7 inches left. I adjusted accordingly, no tension in the dials; as far as I can tell, everything is working wonderfully!

The second shot was .5 inch high, (acceptable,) the lateral adjustment still 7 inches left. I notice the scope has moved 1/4 inch so I loosen all ring screws and tighten them with the next size bigger screwdriver shown below, (the screwdriver I used initially,) with a rotating type pattern, (you know, like lug nuts.)

I take the third shot without any adjustments. I am still in the same spot laterally but now 6.25 inches low. I adjust accordingly.

The 4th shot lands in the upper left corner of my inch bull. I go for a group with those settings.

As you can see, the group of shots 4, 5 and 6 is 4 inches. The scope is shooting willy-nilly! It is not me, it is not the rifle, I clean the barrel each shot. Everything is as close to the previous shots as humanly possible. That is more than double my largest group with this set-up.
I triangulate the center of those shots and adjust accordingly.

Shot #7 is 5 inches high, 1.25 right. I only adjust down 5.25 inches.

At this time he wind is starting to pick-up with a 4mph, 4:30 wind, so I decide to aim where the x is, hoping the shot drifts into the square.

Shot #8 hit .75 inches low and exactly perfect laterally according to POA. I decided to go for another group with my last 2 shots.

Shot #9 was the only shot I knew I missed. When the shot was touched-off I seen the square above the line plain as day. The square was sitting on the cross-hair, the cross-hair being 1 inch at 300 yards; meaning I errored 1 inch low. It should have been 1.75 inches low which is the size of my usual group at that range.

shot 10 hit just a hair high of center square, on the right edge. Right where I figured the wind would take me.

That group, (considering I missed shot #9,) should have been 2.25 inches, if all went well. I think the scope was in error 1/2 inch at that range at those settings.

Now... If the scope somehow locks-up on those settings, that would be cool. It is only a 600 yard rifle and I will be able to hold over or under and use Kentucky windage at those ranges. What I'll have is an expensive telescope mounted on a rifle. Unless I can find some quality replacement parts, I think I'm going to have to live with that.

Just an oddity. The elevation setting it is on now, it is the same setting I had it on with shot #2.

Thank you for your input and time.

The_Kid 02-03-2010 03:43 AM


Originally Posted by cpttango30 (Post 223200)
I find it hard to believe that 2 of any scope in a row had the exact same problem.

If the scopes are weak links, that isn't all that surprising.

You can tell by the patterns in the target I just posted, it is kinda hard to miss 3 shots in a row that end up in a straight line 8.5 inches tall and 1 inch wide. Especially when there was a 7 inch lateral scope adjustment.

I mean, how many people do you know that conclude that their scope is messed up by HITTING the target? And at 300 yards with a 30-30 no less!

Think about it. 3 different shots at 300 yards over 3 weeks and they end up less than 2 inches from each other. What are the odds of my rifle shooting that good/bad?

cpttango30 02-03-2010 04:20 AM

Maybe the cold weather is affecting the lube of the internal mechanics of the scope.

I would still try it on another rifle just to be sure.

If it were me I would put some better mounts on it as well. Mounts are cheap in the over all scheme of all things shooting.

The_Kid 02-03-2010 04:38 AM


Originally Posted by cpttango30 (Post 223697)
If it were me I would put some better mounts on it as well. Mounts are cheap in the over all scheme of all things shooting.

I'm thinking of getting a one piece mount just in case the tube is flexing.

Weaver 1-Piece Grand Slam Standard Scope Base Winchester 94 Angle-Eject Gloss

Weaver 1" Grand Slam Standard Rings Matte High

That should keep the tube bending to a minimum.

High rings to ensure cases eject well.

cpttango30 02-03-2010 09:29 AM

Just rotate the scope 90 deg to the left that will take care of the eject issue.

The_Kid 02-04-2010 04:21 AM


Originally Posted by cpttango30 (Post 223730)
Just rotate the scope 90 deg to the left that will take care of the eject issue.

That is a good idea! Thanks!

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