Added to the Bushnell catalog in 2012, the Legend Ultra HD line of riflescopes was touted as delivering unprecedented brightness, clarity and features for its price range—namely the less-than-$500 category. Though manufactured in China, the scopes boast ED Prime glass, fully multi-coated optics and durable construction. Bushnell has backed the line with its “Bullet Proof” money-back guarantee, which allows customers to purchase the scopes, use them for a period of time and, if they are not satisfied, sell them back to Bushnell. We were eager to test the company’s claims and selected the 4.5-14X 44 mm model with Mil-Dot reticle as our evaluation subject.
Beginning with construction, the scope certainly proved durable and shock-proof. One evaluator used the scope on a pair of Western big-game hunts and had to transport the scope—mounted and dialed-in for the hunter’s rifle—on multiple flights. The rough baggage handling of the airlines neither damaged nor disturbed the Legend HD, as our evaluator reported it was still dead-on when he confirmed his zero before each hunt. The scope exhibited no leaks during the submersion test, and when removed from the water residual moisture beaded on the lenses—rather than pooling or smearing—providing the observer a surprisingly clear view, thanks to its RainGuard HD lens coating. Finally, the freezing test likewise revealed no weaknesses, with exterior fog and frost dissipating in a timely manner. And, as we expect from a nitrogen-purged optic, there were no signs of interior moisture.
The Legend HD’s brightness and clarity exceeded the evaluators’ expectations. The scope’s success in transmitting light was especially evident at dawn and dusk, when, even though less light is available, the scope produced clean, crisp views. Clarity was improved by the use of the scope’s side parallax adjustment—from 20 yards to infinity—and the focus adjustment ring, which is mounted on the eyepiece. Using those controls in conjunction allowed the observer to first improve the view of the target itself and then focus—essentially lighten or darken—the observed reticle within the field of view.
For range evaluation we mounted to the 4.5-14X 44 mm scope to a Remington Model 700 CDL chambered in .243 Win. For ammunition we selected Hornady’s American Whitetail brand cartridges, which use 100-grain InterLock bullets. Zeroing the scope to the rifle was accomplished in just two rounds of adjustment, thanks in large part to the accuracy of the elevation and windage adjustment turrets. Both provide 1/4-m.o.a. adjustment per click (1/4 inch at 100 yards), and each click gives a definite audible and tactile cue. The accuracy of adjustment was confirmed in the “shooting-the-square” drill.
Overall there is a lot to like about Bushnell’s Legend Ultra HD riflescopes. Because the line includes three magnification options (1.5-5X 32 mm; 3-9X 40 mm; 4.5-14X 44 mm) and scopes are available with either the Mil-Dot, Multi-X or DOA 600 reticle, there is probably a model to suit most shooters’ needs. And with a suggested retail price of less than $500, and actual prices below $300, the scopes are compatible with most budgets.
Manufacturer: Bushnell Outdoor Products; (800) 423-3537; www.bushnell.com Model: Legend Ultra HD Magnification and Objective: 4.5-14X 44 mm (tested) Finish: matte black Field of View (ft. @ 100 yds.): 23 ft. (4.5X); 6 ft. (14X) Eye Relief: 3.6" Click Value: 1/4 m.o.a. (1/4" at 100 yds.) Windage and Elevation Adjustment Range: 55 m.o.a. Reticle: Mil-Dot (tested) Length: 14.7" Weight: 18.7 ozs. Features: Side-focus knob for parallax adjustment from 20 yds. to infinity; click-adjustable turrets; fast-focus eyepiece Accessories: lens covers Suggested Retail Price: $454 (tested)