With more and more competition entering into the optics market every year, existing brands have to work extra hard to stay competitive and maintain their market share. This means bringing new products to market more frequently and updating existing products more often to keep them fresh. The new Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II Pro3.5-21x50mm with G3 FFP reticle that we are looking at today is a prime example of the latter. While Bushnell gave it a new name to justify calling it a “new” product, in reality it’s just an updated version of last years Elite Tactical DMR-IIi, the review for which you can find here.
For 2018 Bushnell has made a few small changes to up the ante` with the new DMR II Pro. The biggest change is the upgrade to extra low dispersion (ED) glass. ED glass provides numerous benefits such as reduced levels of chromatic aberration, greater color saturation, improved contrast and image detail, and most importantly for hunters – better low-light performance.
The other major change is the elimination of any options with this model. Last year you could choose between the G3 reticle or a Horus Vision H59 reticle. You also had your choice of illuminated or non-illuminated models last year. This year the only option is the non-illuminated model with G3 reticle.
Basic specifications for the DMR II Pro include a 34mm aluminum main tube and a 13.2 inch overall length. Weight is listed at 34 ounces, or 2-1/8 pounds. The turrets feature 0.1 mil clickers, 10 mil per full rotation, and 34 total mils for both elevation and windage adjustment. Field of View at 100 yards is 25.3 feet (3.5x) and 5.1 feet (21x) respectively.
The DMR II Pro comes well packaged in a very nice box with magnetic lid flap and generous foam padding on the inside. An instruction sheet for the RevLimiter ZeroStop is conveniently placed inside the lid, as well as a warranty registration card. Accessories invluded with the scope include hard plastic lens caps with bungee straps, a neoprene scope cover, a 2-inch sun shade, and an allen wrench for the turret set screws. The only thing missing is a full owners manual, but as the ZeroStop instruction sheet indicates a full owners manual is available for download on Bushnell’s website. MSRP for the DMR II Pro is $2,399.99 at the time of this writing.
The ED lenses are fully multi-coated featuring Bushnells’ proprietary Ultra-Wide Band Coating, and the unit is Argon purged making it both water to IPX7 standards and fog proof. The exterior lenses are also treated with Bushnell’s patented RainGuard HD coating to displace moisture in adverse conditions as well as their robust EXO Barrior coating which protects against scratches.
Other key features of the DMR II Pro include a fast-focus eye-piece and a ThrowHammer Lever on the magnification dial for rapid adjustment. The elevation turret features Bushnell’s RevLimiter Zero Stop, while the windage turret features their T-Lok to prevent accidental adjustment. More on these features later.
The DMR II Pro comes equiped with Bushnell’s excellent G3 first focal plane (FFP) reticle which was developed in conjunction with GA Precision. The G3 provides a clean presentation with hash marks every .5 mil while also giving you the ability to range targets with extreme accuracy using the 0.1 mil reference points at the outer portion of each branch of the crosshair. Additionally, the extended horizontal mil markings on the lower portion of the vertical crosshair can be used for both ranging and windage holds. There are also two Mover Marks for moving targets on either side of the main vertical crosshair at 1.25 and 1.5 mils.
The side-focus knob is marked for distances from 75 yards to infinity and operates smoothly with just the right amount of resistance without being overly loose or stiff feeling.
The RevLimiter Zero Stop on the elevation turret provides for a positive stop when you want to return to zero. Setting the zero stop is very simple and straight forward as outlined in the owner’s manual you will download from their website. This is a must have feature for long-range shooting where one is frequently dialing the elevation up and down for shooting at different distances.
The T-Lok Locking Windage Turret is another nice feature found on this particular model. This feature helps to prevent accidental adjustments to the windage by mechanically locking the turret. Simply pull the knob outward to unlock and adjust, and push it back in to lock.
For review purposes the Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II Pro was mounted atop a Savage Model 110 Tactical LH in .308 Winchester using a 20 MOA picatinney rail and a set of 34mm low-height Warne steel rings (#220 M).
In regards to the quality of the new ED glass employed in the DMR II Pro, all I can say is that like last years model I haven’t been able to find anything to fault. The clarity and resolution of the lenses are of sufficient quality that my eyes can’t discern any noticeable defects or shortcomings. The image is extremely clear and lacks any discernible distortion at the edge of the view, and the color balance is very natural with no noticeable chromatic aberration or tinting. The view through the optic is nice and bright thanks to the 50mm objective and large main tube diameter, even in low-light dawn/dusk conditions and on gloomy overcast days. The new ED glass is said to offer improved sharpness and low-light performance, but without having last years model here to do a side-by-side comparison I can’t confirm or disprove those claims.
Tracking for the DMR II Pro was just as accurate and impressive as it was on last years modely. Each click is very solid and precise with a faint audible click, and the tracking was spot-on.
The RevLimiter zero stop proved to be extremely easy to use and provides a rock solid stop at your zero point. As I mentioned in my review last year I much prefer this system over those which require the use of shims as there are no extra parts to fiddle with or keep track of.
The T-Lok locking windage turret is something I wish all rifle scopes with exposed windage turrets would be equipped with. A mechanical locking feature such as the T-Lok prevents accidental and unintended adjustments to the windage dial in the field or while being stored.
The markings on the side parallax adjustment were pretty accurate to the indicated distance during testing. When shooting at 100 yards the dial was set to just a touch above the 100 yard mark, and when shooting at 200 yards the dial was set right at 200 yards with no noticeable parallax. Parallax settings at further distances were similarly close to indicated markings.
One feature I especially like about the DMR II Pro is the FFP G3 reticle. It’s clear that some serious thought went into this reticle as it offers everything the serious tactical shooter needs without being too busy or overly complicated. The “Christmas Tree” layout is very effective for both ranging and for holding off for windage.
In closing I have to say that I really like the new Elite Tactical DMR II Pro 3.5-21x50mm. Bushnell was wise not to make to many changes to this model as they did a good job of getting it right the first time. The upgrade to ED glass brings it up a notch and ensures it will match or surpass the optical performance of most anything else in it’s price range. The glass quality and tracking leave nothing to be desired, and I also really like the layout of the G3 reticle as it offers just what the shooter needs without being to busy or complicated.
My only knock on the DMR II Pro would be the lack of an option for illumination, which was an option on the previous generation of this model. Typically I only want illumination on a hunting scope, but there’s a case to be made for it on a scope intended for competition or tactical use. Even in bright daylight there are often times where an illuminated reticle would be beneficial, such as when your target is in a heavily shaded area and you find yourself with a black reticle that all but disappears over the dark target and background.
Yes the Elite Tactical DMR II Pro is a big, bulky beast of a scope, but it needs to be to offer all the included features while also providing the durability and reliability expected in a scope of this caliber. Price-wise it’s right there with comparable scopes on the market, but it’s a price point that falls outside of the spectrum of most shooters. It’s a purpose built scope designed specifically for competition and/or tactical use, and those needing such a scope will know what a value this optic really is at this price when they check one out at their local retailer.
Bushnell Outdoor Products
Overland Park, KS 66214