LRTS 3-12x44...a diamond in the rough?!?

thehun

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Ok. So I have been hunting for a DMR/SPR scope for the last 3 months that are under or at $1400. Here are the optics I've tried to this point prior to the LRTS:

Steiner P4XI 4-16X56
Bushnell DMRIIi
Nightforce NXS C461
Trijicon Accupower 2.5-10x56
Leupold VX3i 4.5-14

All of them had either good glass or good reticle or good turrets or good weight...none...to me...had a good balance of all (until I tried the LRTS). Quick run down:

P4XI: probably one of the best feeling turrets I've tried in a long time, great looking glass but the reticle left me wanting more, illumination bled and the parallax was wonky (this was after they recalled them).

DMRIIi: there are so much to love honestly in the Elite Tactical line that Bushnell makes...they feel quality, track dead nuts acurate and has a great reticle with good piece of glass...they weigh a little but...for the price you pay they are solid and all the other features made the weight not so much a factor. DMRIIi to me, passed 15X had a "hazy" image and the reticle got a tad too thick passed 15X...optimum range was 12-14X (which led me to try the LRTS).

NXS: This is the second time I tried NF NXS optics and the last. For the price you pay for them...(I paid over $1400)...I expected better glass quality than the Steiner (under 1k)...Bushnell (under 1K) and the VX3I/Accupower (under $600)...but I saw way more CAs in the NXS where I was testing vs the others...especially at its price range...I jacked with the parallax more than any other scope...their zero-stop though is awesome and the illumination did no bleed...but again at $1400...I expected better glass...didn't get it. The glass in the NXS, to my eyes, was on par with the Accupower and a step down from the Bushies.

Accupower 2.5-10x56: So this scope honestly I did not find much fault at...especially since OP ran a deal for under $500...its a great optic for the money. But, not having parallax adjustment was wonky. It felt exactly the same as my old NF NXS 2.5-10x32 several years back...with the fixed 100 yard parallax setting...anything passed 200yards or so...wasn't that clear...my eyes just couldn't deal with it...turrets are precise but the push/pull cap is sloopy. Glass quality is excellent and exhibited less CA than the NF NXS.

VX3i 4.5-14 LRP CCH: this optic was probably the biggest let down of them all. At 4.5X there is an annoying halo effect on the edge of the optic that I have never seen before in any optic of any kind...ever. I literally had to back off like 5" from the eye piece to get rid of it...but by then...you didn't have a nice edge to edge clarity but rather hazy...completely unusable at 4.5X....second problem...eye relief...literally it exhibits almost a 1.5" shift going from 4.5 to 14...annoying...ANNOYING....let me rephrase...ANNOYING. The CCH reticle is awesome...but not at 14X...it really needs to go 18X or higher. Glass quality though was not too shabby once you go 6X or higher...especially under $1000...even though it has a zoom ration of 3...it was utterly smooth and fast...I like that...

In conclusion...I didn't keep any of these above. As a last resort before I gave up on the AR10 DMR setup...I bought a LRTS FDE 3-12x44 as a last resort. This was the scope I originally spec'd out but I went to try different setups...should have stuck with my gut feeling.

Upon receiving the LRTS...the first thing I wanted to see is glass quality...I wanted to see if it was better than the DMRIIi and I was blown away...honestly...looking through it outside was awesome....clear with great contrast and color...not sure what Bushnell did to these lenses but they are top notch and better than the DMRIIi and the NF NXS by a good bit....not quite sure why Bushnell didnt put the same spec of glass into the DMRIIi...CA control is perfect at this price point. I expect some but the LRTS lacks CA compared to all the other listed. Where the LRTS pushes passed all the others is in clarity, color and contrast...it is great...

Turrets...I love the DMRIIi turrets...they felt awesome and effortless...it was great to see that the same turrets and feel carried over...the simple zero stop is good to go and I like the push-pull locking windage...I prefer capped or this type of push/pull lock on windage...I do not like non-locking windage turrets...just dont.

The G3 non-illuminated reticle gives me everything I need....I can quickly get on target, you can precisely measure if you need to...one thing very noticeable vs the DMRIIi was thickness...much prefer the non-illuminated setup...not that you can't use the illuminated version...but it was nice to see a well executed DMR reticle...I don't need illumination as I have a backup red dot on the rifle....

Anyway... I am very glad that my hunt for a DMR optic is done and that my AR10 DMR is complete...I should have got the LRTS FDE the first time as I have planned because it is one heck of a value and definitely a very usable optic...the fact that....to my eyes...it looks better than a NF NXS for half the money is just an extra added bonus. Well done Bushnell...the LRTS 3-12x44 FDE is truly a great mid-range optic without breaking the bank too much.
 

SonoranPrecision

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The lrts absolutely punches above its price point, especially grabbed one from Camerland when they had them under $700. When I set my LRTSi and Razor AMG both to 12x, the AMG edges it out, but not by much. If they weren’t side by side, it would be nearly, if not completely, impossible to tell a difference. I’d say it’s nearly unbeatable for the price.
 

thehun

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Agreed. Unfortunately I was 2-days too late on getting in on the Cameraland before they sold out...but I got it just a little over $700...I'd gladly pay $1400 though...it performs.
 
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gr8fuldoug

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The lrts absolutely punches above its price point, especially grabbed one from Camerland when they had them under $700. When I set my LRTSi and Razor AMG both to 12x, the AMG edges it out, but not by much. If they weren’t side by side, it would be nearly, if not completely, impossible to tell a difference. I’d say it’s nearly unbeatable for the price.
We now are running a Sale on the LRTS 4.5-18x44's, please give a call to discuss it, 516-217-1000
 

Baron85

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I have the older lrhs 4.5-18 and it is an amazing optic. I prefer the lrhs reticle with the circle that really helps on low power. Hoping to pick up another for my new AR build
 

E. Bryant

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The LRTS 3-12 is a great little scope. My only wish is that it would focus in closer than 50 yards, because then it'd work better on some rimfire applications. But even as-is, I like it.
 
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Kbh

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I got one last year for a hunting rifle when cameraland had them for 649 i think it was. I am very impressed with it. The glass is very good and I really like the reticle. For the money I don't think you can get anything else that compares with it.
 

thehun

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Yeah should have got one when I first looked at them through Camerland...but thats ok...I got one at the end...but agree...I dont think anything can really touch it (if one is subjective and not brand loving) under $1800-2000...just my thoughts...
 

7mmMato

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I agree with all of the above Im really fond of my LRTS I could use more XX's occasionally but for 90 percent of what I have used it for 12x is plenty. Tracks great and I really like the reticle. I have a LRHS on my Nrl22 rifle I really like it other than the lack of Parallex adjustment under 50 yds. I may end up using something else but the LRHS will go on a hunting rifle then. Doug has me wanting to call on the 4-18. He is a enabler.
 

thehun

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Yeah. I won't be selling mine...lol...well...unless I get a Schmidt Bender.
 

Mordamer

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I keep telling new shooters to get one of these from camera land for the sale price. Can't be beat for that price.

Aaaaaaaaaand.... They always end up getting some crap scope that has 20x or more on the top end because the only thing they think matters in a scope is the magnification.
 
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thehun

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I'll be honest...I was a doubter...the voice in my head said how could a Bushnell at under $800 bucks outperform a NF, LP, Steiner etc...I was clearly wrong.
 

Hondo64d

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I have the 3-12 LRTSi on my hunting rig and the 4.5-18 on my match gun. Really good scopes at any price and absolutely amazing scopes for the money they can be purchased for. Best kept secret in long range shooting in my estimate.

John
 

Mordamer

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Comparable to the sales prices that they had on the 3-12?



What in your opinion makes the 3-12 much better.? I don't have any experience with the lrts so i'm curious.
The 18x is too much for the 44mm objective. The eye box gets small, the glass doesn't look as good, you have to zoom back to lower magnification for low light hunting anyways. I'd rather have the lower end 3x than the higher end on this scope.
 

spife7980

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I really like my 4.5-18, I dont think the 44 objective makes it the best choice for a lowlight scope in the world but at what Ive since discovered are actual legal hunting light hours its more than sufficient. Im pleased with mine on max when compared to the dmr2pro or xrs2
 

stello1001

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I have a 3-12 and a 4.5-18 that I got both from Doug. They are great scopes and I want to buy all the remaining ones from Doug for backups or other rifles lol. But I'm not a millionaire yet hahaha.

The other scope I've been really really tempted to buy just to compare is a weaver 3-15. The weaver has an outdated reticle but for my purposes, hunting, I usually prefer a very simple reticle and both the g3 and EMDR are very useable for me. The weaver has just about some of the best glass money can buy at it's given price point and some very extreme low light performance. I did extensive hunting @ night using nothing but ambient light and was blown away by how much I could see with it.

Anyhow, the bushies are indeed a lot of scope for the money and will probably always have a place on top of my rifles. Don't think I would get rid of them unless you want to give me those $1400 bucks @thehun hahaha!
 

EricRF

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I really like my 4.5-18, I dont think the 44 objective makes it the best choice for a lowlight scope in the world but at what Ive since discovered are actual legal hunting light hours its more than sufficient. Im pleased with mine on max when compared to the dmr2pro or xrs2
Do you think Illumination is necessary for hunting, or is the 4.5 sufficiently big enough in the ffp that it is not required?
 

thehun

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Those Weaver 3-15s are nice optics as well.

To me, reticles that are lit up fully is a distraction during low light...if it is a dot, or only the center portion of the reticle is lit up...it is fine...

One of the biggest gripes I had with the Steiner is the illumination was kind of grainy and it beld into the numbers created little dots..really annoying.
 

spife7980

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Do you think Illumination is necessary for hunting, or is the 4.5 sufficiently big enough in the ffp that it is not required?
I spent a stretch of a few days in Jan purposefully hunting with it alone to judge where I wanted to keep it.
In the earliest morning (too dark to even attempt a picture with my phone camera, so not legal hours) I could see that there was a pig at the feeder and I could see my crosshairs ok everywhere else but I could not see the crosshairs on the pig. I also zoomed out to around 12x just because on 18 was a bit more than necessary for 120 yards on a big dumb pig but I fiddled through the full mag range and illumination levels trying to judge it fully. A deer is lighter colored and the crosshairs contrasted well. It was the first time Ive ever used the illumination to where it was of any actual use, though probably not necessary to shoot the pig but it was nice to have. I think reticle thickness is as much of a benefit as illumination in many scenarios, especially if spotlighting at night.

The illuminated model keeps the crosshairs the full thickness though the entire reticle, the non illuminated have a thinner mid section for a more refined aim point I think.
This is the full lrtsI reticle
2E4FE0A9-21D9-4CAA-885C-2F5FCC8DD8C0.jpeg

Dmr2 pro showing how the middle thins on the nonilluminated
794D594E-F144-49DB-8D0E-8D6C0A928441.jpeg

What I cant speak to is whether the non illuminated lrts reticle is as thick as my illuminated model everywhere but the middle or if the entire thing is thinner overall like in the dmr2pro


I think that a scope with a larger than 44mm objective would have also served that early situation better (such as my swaro :ROFLMAO:) but the lrtsi isnt a hardcore lowlight hunting scope. But the rest of the day when 99.9% of my shooting takes place its fine.
I also dont have my swaro on a trainer rifle that I shoot and dial a whole bunch weekly like I do the lrtsi.
 
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thehun

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Compared to my DMRIIi I had...the non-illuminated reticle is slightly thinner through the reticle range...
 
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stello1001

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Those Weaver 3-15s are nice optics as well.

To me, reticles that are lit up fully is a distraction during low light...if it is a dot, or only the center portion of the reticle is lit up...it is fine...

One of the biggest gripes I had with the Steiner is the illumination was kind of grainy and it beld into the numbers created little dots..really annoying.
That is one huge major thing I like to look for. Since I do night hunting, for pigs, (by the way, that's legal here in TX) I prefer to have a reticle that does not light up completely as that can cause your pupil to close down and you lose your own night vision. Having a center portion only lighting up is tits. I just can't recall how the illumination is on the LRHS since I spent the whole past season hunting with my ZP5.
 

wade2big

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That is one huge major thing I like to look for. Since I do night hunting, for pigs, (by the way, that's legal here in TX) I prefer to have a reticle that does not light up completely as that can cause your pupil to close down and you lose your own night vision. Having a center portion only lighting up is tits. I just can't recall how the illumination is on the LRHS since I spent the whole past season hunting with my ZP5.
I feel the same way about illumination. Less is more. The NF SHV 4.5-14 illuminates just the center one mil “X”. It is nice. Steiner M5xI do as well. I don’t mind if the main stadia lines illuminate but I don’t like when the whole tree lights up.
 

pblank

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I'm also quite pleased with the scope. Just put it on the other day and love the locking windage and IQ. Wish it was 3-15
 

dgheriani

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I'm also a big fan of the 3-12 LRTSi. I've got 3 of them. One on an accurized M14, one on a 6.5 Creed Ar-10 and one that was on a .308 bolt gun (that's getting re-done as a 7SAUM so will get a bit more glass) that I might re-purpose onto a SPR-ish AR-15 I want to build. It's interesting to me that the OP far preferred it to the 2.5-10 NXS as that was on my short list for the SPR (being a good 8oz lighter than the LRTSi). Really, the only downside to the LRTSi in my opinion is that it's relatively hefty (28oz) for a 3-12. Solid as all hell though.
 

thehun

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Oh...much prefer it...I tried two NXS optics in the last year...2.5-10x32 and 2.5-10x42...the 32mm version had a fixed parallax and to my eyes anything passed 100...I know its set at 100...it wasn't clear and it was quite hazzy....the 42mm even though it had parallax adjustment...I kept fiddling with it too much...it didn't seem consistent..hated the illumination control as well...with the LRTS...it matched NF glass with more contrast and color...both the LRTS and DMRIIi variant of the Bushnell had great parallax control...its solid.

For comparison with the LRTS set at 100...I was able to have a clear picture out to 400 (my limit to range).

As long as you balance your rifle...taking some extra oz won't matter too much...get a good sling.
 

skatz11

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I’ve been using a non-illuminated LRHS 3-12 for years on my MK12ish SPR rifle. It’s such a good scope I can’t see replacing it. I wish I paid what the current deals have been for the LRTS. These scope are a killer value.

I have a 4.5-18 LRHS from the GAP deal sitting in my safe for a backup or future rifle.
 

Shane431

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I talked to Bushnell a couple of weeks ago trying to buy a throw lever for my 3-12 and they don't have them in stock anymore. So I asked why and they said because they are phasing these scopes out and are about to replace them with something new. That would also explain why they are putting these scopes on sale. It'll be interesting to see what they replace them with.
 

thehun

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Considering Trijicon updated the Accupower to the Credo line...expect something along those lines...

Also, according to Bushnell when I spoke to them...they stated that they will discontinue the Weaver scope line and they will only make mounts and rings in the near future.
 
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Bandit31

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I’ve been itching for the 3-12x LRTSi for some time but every time I’ve planned to pick one or two up something else has come up. Hopefully more will pop up sometime in the future because they seem like sweet optics especially considering the prices they could have been picked up at.
 
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thehun

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I’ve been itching for the 3-12x LRTSi for some time but every time I’ve planned to pick one or two up something else has come up. Hopefully more will pop up sometime in the future because they seem like sweet optics especially considering the prices they can be picked up at now.
Well...those prices on the 3-12x44 are gone...I don't see anyone offering them at what Camerland was selling them for...Camerland still has great deal on the 4.5-18 version.
 

stello1001

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Ok but seriously, I want but I'm not saying I will buy it lol. I have a couple extra scopes and can't justify buying another lol.
 

Bandit31

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Well...those prices on the 3-12x44 are gone...I don't see anyone offering them at what Camerland was selling them for...Camerland still has great deal on the 4.5-18 version.
I’ve heard from Doug about them and know CameraLand had the best prices. They have come up in the PX between $6-700 in the past though and I’m sure more are bound to show up eventually.
 

beretta_man11

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I"m a huge fan of the LRHS scopes. I own a 4.5-18 and 3-12. I also picked up a 3-18x56 mrad ffp optika 6 to see how it compares. It's good, and I like a few aspects a little more than the LRHS, but the bushnells will be staying on my 35 whelen and 6.5prc hunting guns.
 

thehun

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I"m a huge fan of the LRHS scopes. I own a 4.5-18 and 3-12. I also picked up a 3-18x56 mrad ffp optika 6 to see how it compares. It's good, and I like a few aspects a little more than the LRHS, but the bushnells will be staying on my 35 whelen and 6.5prc hunting guns.
How would you compare the 3-18 Optika6? Is optical quality better?

Had two Meopta ZDs before but both had loose eyepieces...worst slop in any optic I ever used...wasn't impressed on that end.