The Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR II

by Frank Melloni

Any Situation. Any Distance

The short overall length of the optic allows proper eye relief without placing the bell excessively far in front of the receiver. This keeps the additional weight over the center of the rifle where it doesn’t affect balance.

With multi-caliber AR-15s taking off, the idea of using the same firearm to engage a target at 10 yards and 1,000 starts to become a reality as long as the optic is up to the task. The shooting world has always regarded a scope with a magnification range of 3x-9x as the “all around” optic. But is it really?

The G3 reticle is very clean, yet very handy. With 8 Mils of wind and elevation most shots can be made without the use of turrets. Adding extra windage at the bottom of the elevation axis is very smart, as wind takes more of an effect at those extended distances. The author enjoyed the .25 hashmark after the first Mil for making precision shots in low wind.

These scopes usually house a 40mm (or smaller) objective lens and don’t provide enough field of view to quickly acquire targets inside of 25 yards. On the other hand, 9x really doesn’t give adequate magnification for precision shots past 500. These scopes are also usually built on a 1” tube, further limiting their capability through a lack of elevation adjustment.

Bushnell had this in mind when they developed their elite DMR scope and its newest version the DMR II (; $1,998.67). This optic was built to accommodate a relatively new type of soldier—the “designated marksman”. The designated marksman, or DM, is the soldier in the unit who has the most shooting talent and therefore is issued a rifle that can engage targets out to 800 yards, but still fight alongside their buddies up close and personal.

The DMR II starts life on a one piece 34mm tube. This tube size provides generous adjustment for elevation and windage, thus giving you more long-range capability without having to sacrifice a short-range zero. At just over 13 inches long, the 3.5x-21x 50mm DMR II makes it very short for class. Not only is it short, but it’s light as well, adding only adds 34 ounces to your rifle system. This compact design helps immensely with balance, keeping offhand shots very manageable.

Oversized adjustment knobs make dialing up very easy and fast. The enlarged area allows for easy turning with gloves on, or for fingers that suffer from loss of dexterity such as arthritis or injury.

The reticle of this optic is in the first focal plane. This keeps your subtentions the same distance from each other throughout the entire magnification scale. This means you will be able to use them to estimate range or lead at any power setting. For this you have two reticle options; the clean G3/G3-I or the detailed Horus H59. Both reticles have subtentions that allow you to estimate a lead on a moving target as well as the standard mil scale to estimate target size or distance.

We mounted our multi-use scope in a Warne 1-piece X-Skel mount (; $178.49) and hit the range. On the range we used a Frontier Tactical Warlock rifle. It just makes sense to use a multipurpose optic on a multi-caliber platform. The Warlock adapter allows shooters to change barrels in the field without any tools, subsequently changing cartridges to suit their needs. We brought out their 16-inch barrel in 7.62×39 for our CQB work and their 20-inch 6.5 Grendel barrel for our long range work . . . out to 800 yards. This setup is available at ($1,189).

The throw hammer makes swinging through the 3.5-21x magnification very easy. The position of the throw hammer can be easily changed to accommodate a left-handed shooter, or even the pickiest of righties.

Our first objective was to check tracking and repeatability. Tracking is the ability of an optic to give you the correct elevation change for the clicks that you dialed in. At 50 yards 1 mil of adjustment should bring you up 1.8”, 2 mils 3.6” etc. We zeroed our rifle using Federal’s new 120-gr. OTM rounds ($26.49) and fired a group at the same target after coming up +1 mil of elevation, +10 mils of elevation and +14 mils of elevation. While the scope still had several mils of come-up, we simply did not have enough paper!

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