Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Mildot 4.5-14×44 Review

This scope wasn't on my radar when considering cost effective glass for a squirrel rifle. There is a story behind how I came to evaluate this scope, so here's the scoop.

 

A few years before starting the journal I had a Bushnell Legend 5-15x40AO that I thought was an excellent match for a then owned Ruger X-17. If you are familiar with Ruger 77 actions, you know Ruger provides proprietary scope rings with there rifles. I'm not really fond of them, but they must work or Ruger would have changed course by now. Fast forward to a sight in session with the X-17. I was getting a great group at 100 yards with the .17 HMR, but I couldn't get the group to move to the center of the target from the left hand side. I only lacked a few clicks of windage to move my group, when I ran out of adjustment. In a moment of frustration, I pulled out my handy Leatherman tool and attempted to make the necessary adjustments. Bad idea, and I don't suggest you trying it!  When your windage turret has reached it max amount of clicks, your Leatherman tool won't create more "clicks" for you.  Thus I stripped out my windage turret.....

Bushnell X17 Legend 5-15

 

I was so aggravated that I took the scope off of the rifle and placed in up in a spare closet. What I found out through further firearms education, was that Ruger's proprietary rings needed to be lapped badly. Lapping is a process where you remove a small amount of metal from the inner portions of the scope rings to “square” them up. This is done with a lapping bar, and a lapping compound. This was the reason the scope wouldn't preform properly. So a few years later I decided I would send the scope to Bushnell, explaining to them I stripped the windage turret, and ask them to repair the problem and send me the bill. Bushnell surprised me a few weeks later by sending me the scope you are here to read about. The Legend 5-15 scope had long been discontinued, and the 4.5-14 was it's replacement. I wasn't expecting for Bushnell to handle the situation the way they did, and was fully prepared to foot the bill for the repair. Now that the foundation has been laid, lets talk about this excellent scope.

 Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Review Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Overview

Scope Appearance:  The finish is very smooth and matte black in color.  It flows nicely atop either my Feddersen 10/22 or one of my CZ 452's.  On a shorter rifle it may look a little overbearing, but for what I receive in enhanced magnification that is the least of my concerns.  I'm a fan of having a higher magnification range, especially for sight in at 50 yards. 

Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Closeup Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF profile

 

Glass/Clarity:  What strikes me as most impressive about this scope is how amazingly clear the glass is. I wasn't expecting Leupold quality glass in a scope in this price range. It's clarity is quite impressive. It has served me well at both dusk and dawn.  I continue to be impressed by scopes in this price range that have a level of clarity that rivals optics for double the price.  Topped out at 14 power with respectable lighting, I don't find that the scope darkens a great deal.

 

Adjustments:  Bushnell decided on the Ultra HD to put the parallax adjustment with the windage and elevation turrets.  On the older Legend model, parallax was adjusted at the objective lens.  Side focus is fairly new to me, but I find it to be more ergonomic than adjustable objective.  If price were a factor I wouldn't let the side focus feature deter me from purchasing a better scope with an adjustable objective.  The only fault with the side focus on the Bushnell is that it bottoms out at 20 yards.  I usually like my parallax adjustments to bottom out at 10 yards, but 20 is very acceptable.  What you won't find on my rifles is a scope that only parallaxes down to a 50 yard minimum.  There's too much distortion at higher powers and distances between 15-35 yards.

Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Adjustable Objective Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44 side focus adjustable objective

The turrets are finger adjustable, and easily read.  They are not re-settable to zero, but I've never dabbled in the resetting of turrets so it doesn't effect me as a squirrel hunter.  The clicks are positive, and measure 1/4" at 100 yards.   

Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Windage Turret Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Windage Turret 2

Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Elevation Turret Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Elevation Turret 2

Adjustment of magnification is easily done with the knurled power ring.  Bottom end is 4.5 power, and tops out at 14 power.  The 14 power setting is red in color, which correlates with the Mildot reticle for ranging targets.  With the turn of the fast-focus eye piece, you can make your crosshairs as clear as possible to your eye.

Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Power Ring 1 Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Power Ring 2

 

Ring Height:  Scope rings are always something I spend some time toiling over.  I'm sure you have had the same problem.  For my CZ 452 application, a pair of BKL 257 mediums will give you both bolt and objective bell (44mm) clearance.  For my Tennessee Ridgerunner 10/22 I went with Burris Zee Mediums that give you just enough clearance and keeps your scope as close to the bore as possible.  

 

Reticle:  I chose the Mildot reticle for the Legend 5-15 I had to return, so when Bushnell replaced my damaged scope they sent me the same reticle.  I have no issue with using a Mildot reticle when hunting squirrels.  I actually find it to give me a better picture of the squirrel or target at a longer distance.  The reticle is not so thin that it would be hard to pick up in early morning or late evening.  Bushnell also offers this scope with the traditional Duplex reticle, but you will pay a higher premium for going this route.   

Mildot Reticle @ 4.5 Power

Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Reticle @ 4.5

Mildot Reticle @ 14 Power

Bushnell Ultra HD 4.5-14x44SF Reticle @ 14

 

Manufacturers Specs:  Bushnell's Legend HD weighs in a little heavier than the Weaver V16, at 19.2 ounces (1.2lbs).  Now ounces equal pounds when you are tromping all over hill and dale to chase our furry squirrel friends.  Most of my rifles are between 7 and 8 pounds so I don't notice it all that much, just something for you to think about.  

Tube Diameter: 1"
Adjustment Click Value: 1/4 MOA
Adjustment Type: Click
Exposed Turrets: No
Finger Adjustable Turrets: Yes
Turrets Resettable to Zero: No
Zero Stop: No
Turret Height: Low
Fast Focus Eyepiece: Yes
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-coated
Warranty: Limited Lifetime w/ Bulletproof Guarantee
Rings Included: No
Sunshade Included: Yes
Sunshade Length: 3"
Lens Covers Included: Yes
Power Variability: 4.5-14x
Min power: 4.5x
Max power: 14x
Reticle Construction: Wire
Reticle: Mil-Dot
Illuminated Reticle: No
Battery Type: N/A
Holdover reticle: Yes
Reticle Focal Plane Location: 2nd
Parallax Adjustment: Side Focus
Finish: Matte
Water/Fogproof: Yes
Shockproof: Yes
Objective Bell Diameter: 51.43mm
Ocular Bell Diameter: 41.02mm
Eye Relief: 3.6"
Max Internal Adjustment:

  • Windage: 55 MOA
  • Elevation: 55 MOA

Exit Pupil Diameter: 9.7-3.1mm
Weight: 18.7 oz.

Field of View at 100 Yards: 

  • 69' @4.5x
  • 18' @14x

If more magnification is something you are looking for, and parallax adjustment is important, Bushnell's Ultra HD just may be the scope you've been looking for.  Those two variables are at the top of my list when evaluating a new scope for my squirrel rifles, along with the best clarity I can purchase for limited funds.  I'm so impressed with this offering from Bushnell that it resides on two different rifles that frequent the squirrel timber. 

 





Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Mil Dot Reticle Riflescope (4.5-14x44-mm)
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Mil Dot Reticle Riflescope (4.5-14x44-mm)
Sale Price: $397.14
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 4-5 business days


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