So Bushnell apparently went to some 3 gun matches to ask shooters what they wanted. Well, let me tell you... they've built a winner.
From their website here are the technical specs...
Our Illuminated BTR reticle provides outstanding low light performance and accurate holdovers out to 500 yards. Make lightning quick power changes with the Throw Down PCL lever.
Illuminated BTR reticle
11 Illumination settings
Throw Down PCL lever
First focal plane
.1 Mil click adjustment
Fully multi-coated optics
Power / Obj Lens: 1-4x 24mm
Reticle: Illuminated BTR
Field of View (ft@100 yds. / m@100 m): 110/33@1x / 36/11@4x
Weight (oz. / g): 17.3 / 492
Length (in. / mm): 3.6 / 93
Eye Relief (in. / mm): 3.6 / 93
Exit Pupil (mm): 13@1x / 6.0@4x
Click Value in.@100 yds / mm@100m: 0.1 / 9.1
Adj Range in.@100yds / m@100m: +60 / 1.7
Mounting Length (in. / mm): 5.9 / 150
I had been following the progress on this scope and read a couple of pre-release reviews. Based on those reviews, I decided to order one from OpticsPlanet who currently lists them for $289
While home on leave, I decided to build a pair of 6.8SPC upper receivers for my buddy and I to hunt hogs with. I gave my buddy a Strikefire for his 6.8 but wanted a 1-4x for mine. Well, I read that someone had seen one at Wal-Mart. Thinking there was no way Wal-mart would get one before OpticsPlanet had them in stock, I called the local Wal-Mart.
"Yes Sir, we've got one of those AR 223 1-4 scopes here."
Well, $299 later I was the proud owner of a Throwdown PCL. Unfortunately the only mounts Wal-Mart had were a Millet 30mm cantilever. I bought it for $29, mounted it and was somewhat unimpressed with the mount. It took some effort to get it tight enough to hold on the rail without rattling, but that's the mount not the optic's fault. I'll be replacing it with a Larue mount when I return to the US.
Here it is mounted on the rifle with the Throwdown lever extended.
The scope came in the box with a single band rubber band scope cover. I don't recall seeing a lens cloth which would have been a nice addition. Packing was secure and unremarkable.
It mounted fine on the cheap Millet cantilever mount but the mount required some significant effort to get it to tighten on the rifle firmly. Once done, it seems fairly solid though.
Optics quality is excellent. I'd compare image quality to be roughly the same as my Meopta Meostar R-1 1-4x and superior to my Weaver Classic Extreme 1.5-4.5x24. I didn't have my Meostar side by side when I used it but am pretty comfortable comparing the two regardless. It's got great clarity and I didn't see any noticeable blur in the corners. I'm very happy with the eyebox on it.
Field of view: My Meostar lists its field of view as 111' at 100 yards on 1x and 25.8' on 4x. The Bushnell shows 110' at 100 yards on 1x and 36' at 100 yards on 4x. I didn't have my Meostar with me so was unable to compare visually. It was definitely a bigger FOV than my Weaver set to 4x.
Reticle: I loved the reticle. It shrunk and grew as I zoomed in and out. On 1x, I found the reticle appared to be closer to a red dot than a full reticle but did present a nice horseshoe similar to the way an EOTech provides a targeting circle. On 4x, the reticle really rocked. The BDC ticks were clearly visible and usable in most lighting conditions. I think you might have difficulty using the BDC in very low light but they showed up fine in daylight, when overcast, and at the start of dusk. EDIT: I'll have to recheck, but I think the Bushnell reticle pic has one inaccuracy... I don't remember the BDC ticks being illuminated but I could be wrong. I'll have my buddy check for me.
Turrets had a solid feel to them and very noticeable clicks. I'm not that skilled with .mils yet but was able to easily adjust them to site the rifle in at 25 yards with my 90gr XM68D Federal ammo. I wish I'd had a longer range to shoot on but was limited to what I had at the time as I was trying to prep the rifle for some hog hunting in heavy brush. If someone wants to "shoot the box", please feel free to do so with this to determine tracking. The scope reportedly has a resettable zero but I did not do so given them time I had available.
The zoom... That PCL lever rocks. It turns smoother and easier than either my Weaver or my Meopta. It can be flicked out and repositioned with a single finger, I found my thumb worked quite nicely. Smart idea by Bushnell that stays firmly down and doesn't flop when its in the down position.
Overall, Bushnell got it right with this scope. Excellent quality FFP glass with a kickass reticle. The price is outstanding. Edit: I left my OpticsPlanet order going. I'll definitely use a second one of these! Maybe even a third...