Petzal: The Bushnell 6X-24X Elite 4200 Tactical

When talking about the 4200 Elite, I find it necessary to repeat the following: When the scope came out in the early 1990s, I was drawn to it for a variety of reasons, and ended up with maybe half a dozen. When the company developed Rain Guard coating for the line, I sold all the first crop and replaced them with the newer scopes. All told, I've had something like 14 Elite 4200s in service for close to 20 years, used them everywhere, mounted them on some fearsome rifles, and never had one fail in any way, shape, or form.

Which brings us to the latest Elite 4200. It is a tactical scope, which means that it is designed to shoot people (If it's OK for you to do so; otherwise don't) or for use on a beanfield gun, or on a predator rifle. It has a 30mm tube, cranks from 6X to 24X, has a 50mm objective, dial-mounted parallax adjustment, and an illuminated mil-dot reticle in the first focal plane so you can range at any power. It's neither long nor bulky, but at 22 ounces, it's not light, which is actually an advantage on a tactical scope.

The illuminated reticle is powered by a battery mounted on the ocular-lens bell, and you can adjust it for brightness. When you turn on the juice, it glows an attractive lime color, or maybe it's chartreuse. In any event, you will not need illumination until it is very, very dark, this scope being as bright and sharp as it is.

About price: The list for this Elite is just over $1,000, but in the real world, you can get it for around $750--or under $650 if you don't want the illuminated reticle. This puts it in reach of even shooters who are not rich. Writing about affordable equipment makes me feel very badly, and I guarantee you that this will not be the case with the next tactical scope that I review here.