Reviewed: The new Bushnell DMR II – outstanding value.

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Back in April of 2015 I reviewed the earlier generation of this scope and that review can be found here:

https://rifletalk.org/2015/04/02/review-of-the-bushnell-tactical-3-5-21×50-dmr-riflescope/

At the time I wrote the previous review I was a ‘solidly SFP MOA’ scope man and yet I was very impressed with Bushnell’s tactical FFP offering – well, fast forward two and a bit years and now (June 2017)  all my scopes are FFP Mil/Mil and besides owning such high-end offerings as S+B Pmii, NF ATACR and Razor 2 in that configuration I also own a few of the Bushnell Tactical 3.5-21×50 scopes with both of the G2 and Trmr2 reticles so I was more than keen to get my hands on the new generation of Bushnell Tactical – the DMR II with G3 reticle.

My good friend Omer at Precision Optics ( formerly PlainSight Solutions) out of Quesnel BC is not only an authorized Bushnell dealer but always has a good supply of optics in stock and so I’d had a chance to look through and handle the DMT II a few months back.  When Omer called me to let me know the new DMR II was subject to a recent Bushnell 25% mail in rebate program I went equipped with credit card in hand to relive him of one ( ending up with more ! ) of these – already excellent value – optics.

The DMR II comes well packaged and includes a 2″ sunshade and bikini-style scope caps as well as a useful instruction booklet and the warranty cards etc.

Nicely Packaged.

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So what is different from the DMR to the DMR II ?  Well, let’s start by addressing what is the same – same quality one-piece aluminum 34mm tube, same 3.5-21 magnification range, same stubby overall look and the weight feels the same ( though on the Bushnell website while the grams are the same at 920 the company does say that the DMRII is an ounce and change heavier ??) but, regardless, if there is a small difference in weight it won’t be felt when the scope is mounted on a rifle.

Where the difference is really apparent between these scopes is in turret height – the new DMRII is possessed of shorter turrets and while the older model didn’t have turrets that were overly tall I think shorter to be better.  The other difference is that the new Gen scope comes with a neat little lever that allows for easier manipulation of the magnification ring – Bushnell calls this lever the “ThrowHammer” and I assume someone was paid to come up with that name – myself I will stick to the word ‘lever’.

Under the hood, the big improvement is that the new DMRII has  zero stop which is very useful and Bushnell have, mercifully , done away with the T-Loc elevation turret but (small annoyance to me ) has retained the T-Loc on the windage turret .  The other big improvement is that the new models have 10 mils of adjustment per turret turn versus the 5 on the older models.  Interestingly ( according to the Bushnell website ) total elevation has moved up to 30 mils from the previous 29 mils.

The new DMRII comes with a choice of reticles – the new G3 or Horus H-59 – and mine have the new G3 which is a smidge wider than the G2 ( to allow for the illumination option available on the DMR II i ) but really and no matter what you read online the new G3 is not ‘thick’ and even at max magnification it really will not obscure targets.  With really useful hash marks to allow for quick target acquisition and adjustment without being ‘busy’ the G3 is likely to be a favorite for many precision shooters.  ON the subject of ‘busy’ reticles, I was a tad disappointed to see the Trmr2 discontinued but I’m likely in a minority here.

Mounted up on a test mule I found the DMR II very easy to get behind with good eye relief.  Easy to zero and with an uncomplicated Zero-Stop mechanism I was ready to do some shooting.

Zero Stop System.

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For the testing of this scope I took along a rifle wearing the previous generation DMR ad well as one wearing the new NF ATACR 7-35 which is of course a much (much) more expensive scope.

With the much more expensive NF ATACR 7-35.

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Shooting in a variety of conditions and in differing lights I found the new DMRII to have a cleaner picture than the previous model – new glass coating perhaps ? and while it wasn’t as good as the NF ATACR it was really, very good. No chromatic aberration and a nice sharp image even as light faded.

Though the DMR II has twice the number of clicks per revolution as the previous model they are not too close together so as to over-dial and they have a precise tactile feel to them.  I liked the old turrets just fine but the new ones are, I think, even better – they feel like they belong on a real quality scope and in this area the Bushnell gives up nothing at all to the vastly more expensive Nightforce.

Really good turrets.

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The addition of the little lever ( OK, ThrowHammer) is actually a nice touch and makes magnification changes nice and easy as the Bushnell mag rings are actually quite tight – especially the shooters hands are at all wet.

A handy lever for mag changes.

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Overall, I found this new DMR II to be a real quality piece of glass and I say that not as someone who has just moved from the $299 Walmart special but as someone who regularly shoots with some nice optics.  Honestly, in every regard these DMRII’s are good scopes.

Would not be out of place even amongst much more expensive offerings.

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When the recent 25% rebate was on these DMRII scopes were by far the best value in optics around but at something like the regular price of  CAN $1900 the DMRII is still an absolutely excellent value.

You can’t just buy one of them !

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