Review: Bushnell Elite 3500 Riflescope

If you’re in the market for a new riflescope, then give serious consideration to the new Elite 3500 series from Bushnell.

Not into bells and whistles? Me neither. And that’s why I immediately fell in love with the new Bushnell Elite 3500 riflescope during an early December whitetail hunt in Arkansas.

As someone who lives the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle, I want my hunting scope to be tough, clear, bright and responsive. What do I mean by responsive?

I mean that during the initial sight-in process, if my bullet group is hitting 3 inches left, and I adjust the scope the specified number of clicks to move bullet impact 3 inches right, those adjustments will actually move the group the desired distance.

Few things frustrate me more than a scope that—for whatever reason—fails to respond correctly to changes made with the windage and elevation turrets. Thankfully, my Elite 3500 3-9X40mm Multi-X performed flawlessly during my Arkansas sight-in session (photo above), and in no time I was not only “on paper,” but I was driving tacks 1.5 inches high from 100 yards.

Is the scope clear and bright? Oh, yes. According the new product press release: “Fully multi-coated optics combined with Bushnell's exclusive Ultra Wide Band Coating process boost light transmission through the scope to 91 percent.”

I don’t pretend to know what “Ultra Wide Band Coating” means, but I can tell you that I could easily count antler points on a 5x4 whitetail buck 150 yards from my stand as he fed in a green field 30 minutes after sunset. I passed on the shot because the 2.5-year-old buck wasn’t big enough, not because I couldn’t see him clearly. A hunting partner of mine did see an Arkansas bruiser, however, and she anchored the buck below with a well-placed single shot.

The waterproof/fogproof Elite 3500 also has the patented RainGuard HD coating, which “offers a permanent barrier that beads water to scatter less light and give a clear view in conditions that would render untreated optics unusable.” In layman’s terms, it means you don’t have to reach for a tissue to wipe the glass in order to see clearly through the scope when it’s drizzling or raining. I’ve owned Bushnell optics with RainGuard HD, and it’s a lifesaver when the weather turns ugly.

The Elite 3500 series features a versatile 3-times zoom ratio; rugged aluminum one-piece, 1-inch tube construction; and a fast-focus eyepiece. And because the Elite 3500 series is affordable and available in a wide variety of configurations, you can find a model that perfectly fills your needs.

Finally, let’s talk warranty. I have two bolt-action rifles topped with Bushnell scopes, and they’ve never let me down after many years of hard use. But you don’t have to take my word for it; watch the video below and Will Primos will fill you in on Bushnell’s 100% Bulletproof Money-Back Guarantee.

P.S. Did you know North American Hunter has an online store?

North American Hunter Top Stories