The following review was recently published in the SSAA magazine and is re-posted here.

Most shooters start off with a 22 rimfire.  Often however they do not give due consideration to the scope best suited to that calibre.  A lot of scopes are actually designed for centrefire rifles and these are not the best choice for a rimfire.  The main reason is that the parallax is generally set in the 100 to 150 metre range, well beyond normal 22LR range.  A number of manufacturers do cater specifically to rimfire calibres and a great example of is the Bushnell Rimfire 3-12×40 scope.


The packaging includes scope covers, a lens cleaning cloth, a comprehensive instruction booklet, two ballistic turret covers and a limited lifetime warranty.  The physical appearance of the scope is that of well finished piece of engineering; it looks solidly made.  Construction is the preferred one-piece 25mm tube.  The finish is matte black.

The Bushnell Rimfire 3-12×40 scope has convenient side turret parallax adjustment from 10 yards to infinity.  This allows the correct parallax adjustment to be dialled in, maximizing the rifle’s accuracy.  Using a fixed parallax scope intended for centrefire calibres can introduce inaccuracy to a rimfire rifle.  For target shooters, or those just wanting to maximize the accuracy potential of their rimfire rifle, parallax adjustment is essential.

An especially neat aspect of the Bushnell Rimfire 3-12×40 scope is that it comes with two additional ballistic turrets, one for the 22LR and another for the 17HMR.  Having sighted in your rimfire, typically to be zeroed at 75 yards for a 22LR, you can then simply replace the turret cover with the 22LR ballistic cover.

That provides for some great long range plinking fun because you can dial in specific ranges out to 200 yards.  Obviously, you should not consider hunting at such ranges.  The inherent accuracy and energy of a 22LR projectile sets 80 metres as the maximum sensible hunting range.  At that point the projectile will be 25mm below the line of sight and rapidly falls off past that point.

The Bushnell Rimfire 3-12×40 scope is well designed for a rimfire rifle and, being 305 mm in length and weighing in at 570 grams, it contributes to a well balanced light rifle.  The optics are particularly clear and sharp.  The field of view is generous, especially at the minimum power setting of 3x, making target acquisition a rapid affair.  On a afternoon bunny hunt the scope maximized my opportunities on a number of flighty rabbits.

Plinking at some metal discs way out past 100 metres proved to be a lot of fun and I was surprised at how good the ranging of the ballistic turret was.  With the range known precisely, and dialled into the ballistic turret, I could consistently ding the various metal discs at different distances.  That made for a highly entertaining afternoon.

Bushnell Rimfire scope ballistic turrets

Focus is fast and easy with an adjusting ring on the eyepiece, which covers ± 2 diopters of adjustment.  The windage and elevation turrets employ and a spring and ball bearing system for precise and low-wear usage over time.  The turret clicks are audible and definite while being easily fingertip turned; no tools are required for that.  The side parallax adjustment is convenient and smooth in operation.

Bushnell Multi-X reticle

The scope reticle is my preferred duplex style which Bushnell calls the Multi-X reticle.  The centre cross hairs are fine and in the second focal plane which means they stay a constant size throughout the scope’s various power settings.  The distributer is Tasco Sales Australia.  Bushnell optics can be purchased through most gun shops.  The retail price for the Bushnell Rimfire 3-12×40 scope seems to be from around $300.


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