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Nikon Buckmasters 6-18X40 or Bushnell Elite 3200 Tactical

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Unread 08-26-2009, 01:22 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 13
Re: Nikon Buckmasters 6-18X40 or Bushnell Elite 3200 Tactical

thanks guys

still looking. THe model i am looking at for the bushnell is the 5-15. Everywhere i look the Nikon is about 15 bucks cheaper. I am leaning toward the Nikon, but keep the opinions coming.

Shots out to 6-7 hundred will not be the "norm" for me. Honestly i have killed all the elk i have shot at under 400. But, there is one clearing that 5 out of the last 8 years a different 320-330 bull walks out in. Right at 530. No way to get closer without trying to sit in the 1 acre clearing.

Any suggestions on where to get wither of these scopes?

right now price point may be my deciding factor. where could i find a used one? I am on a grad school budget so trying to stay low.


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Unread 08-26-2009, 05:42 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arkansas (Home of Record)
Posts: 1,929
Re: Nikon Buckmasters 6-18X40 or Bushnell Elite 3200 Tactical

24min and 32 max??? At the price range he has mentioned I don't think I would want a high mag scope. The extra magnification is useless if the resolution suffers.

For elk you will not NEED a lot of magnification. Notice I said need.

As mentioned earlier about the side focus...I don't personally like them. I don't like to have to reach over the scope and adjust while trying to keep my cheeckweld (I'm a lefty). If the PA is in the front or the rear (super sniper) then that fits me better. I said this to prove a point- Everybody is different!

Not trying to call anybody out, just not overly agreeing with some other's advice.
But what do I know...I'm just a peckerwood from the hills!

One more thing- I would recommend you get the mildot reticle (both have it) and learn to use it for both hold overs and range guestimation. Just in case your turrets go tits up or your rangefinder goes tits down.

Last edited by Bravo 4; 08-26-2009 at 05:47 PM.
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Unread 08-27-2009, 10:46 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,155
Re: Nikon Buckmasters 6-18X40 or Bushnell Elite 3200 Tactical

I currently own a Nikon 4.5-14X40 Buckmaster w/side focus. I think the scope is worth the money especially for hunting elk. If it is any consulation, I hit a 24"wide by 12" high piece of steel at 800yards. I could see the orange stickers of about 3" with no problem. I have been twiddling the turrets on this scope for alomost 2 years and always goes back to zero. Now for groundhogs at 1000, the reticle barries them. For an elk at 530 yards, you would be able to dial to its 12Xmil setting and be good to 600yards with the mil dots with a 200yrd zero. Or you could go for the 100yard zero and twiddle to your little hearts content. Not sure where the 3star rating comes from, but for the money and a tight shooting budget, the Nikon gets 5 stars and 2 thumbs up from this poor shooter (Married, 3 kids one is a budding teenager, you can guess where my money goes).

I also have a 6-18X40 Buckmaster with the target dot. Though I have just sent it away for repair, at 18 power and adjusting the turrets, I managed to hit a groundhog between the lookers at 605yards. At that distance and power, I could see its head very clearly. This scope is a little more expensive, but works very effectively and about $60 more.

At the top end of magnification, they are both very clear. In low light they get a little dark, but very effective none the less. I would highly recommend either scope. Just to follow up on my repair, when I called Nikon they showed genuine intrest in getting it back to me for my hunt in 3 weeks. So we will see how this works out. One guy who sells optics said he has heard very good things about their customer service. That would also be a bonus when considering and optic.

Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. [14] But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

If you find your self in a fair fight, your tactics suck!- Marine 1st Sergeant Jim Ryfinger

Friends don't let friends develop canonitis!-chucknbach

arguing over the internet is like the special Olympics....even if you win, you are still...special!
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Unread 08-27-2009, 12:28 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 11
Re: Nikon Buckmasters 6-18X40 or Bushnell Elite 3200 Tactical

I love my Nikon Buckmasters 6-18x40 SF for the price. Great scope! I use it on my 223 and shoot to 500 yards regularly. I have not had any problems returning to zero. I also use this 223 as my primary coyote hunting rifle and I hike all over in some rough terrain. It's never lost zero.

My only complaint is the thickness of the standard plex recticle. I wish it was thinner, perhaps I should have gone with the target dot model (not all stores carry that model but it IS available).

Here are some pics through the scope at 500 yards from last week. It was 90+ degrees with a little mirage and light wind downrange. The white targets on the left and center are paper plates with a 3" orange dot. The target on the right is a 10" steel gong with the same orange dot. Set on 18x power.

The mirage is distorting the clarity of this image. But it gives you an idea of how thick the standard plex recticle is at 500 yards on 18x power.

Savage 12 FV 223 Remington
Glass bedded action, forend stiffened with bedded iron rod
Leupold rings/bases
Nikon Buckmasters 6-18x40 SF TT
Harris 9-13 typeS bipod
Hornady 40gr Vmax
Win brass

Video of me shooting that 5-shot group at 500:

YouTube - 223 at 500 Yards

(I can't figure out how to embed the video so here's the link)
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Unread 08-27-2009, 12:38 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 11
Re: Nikon Buckmasters 6-18X40 or Bushnell Elite 3200 Tactical

Also, last year in a moment of stupidity, my rifle tipped off a bench and landed upside down directly on the elevation turret, jamming it into the body. The scope did NOT loose it's zero, but the turret was stuck.

I called Nikon to inquire about repair costs, they said send it in. They replaced it with a brand new scope for free within 3 weeks! All I paid for was shipping both ways. A+ on customer service in my experience.

Now, if I was building a "real" long range rig, I'd step up to a better scope. But for the money, the Buckmasters series is fantastic.
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