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 BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...

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Marty
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PostSubject: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 15th 2010, 11:12 pm



I have several muzzleloaders in my gun cabinet and each has its own special hunting niche. Though not a common occurrence by any stretch of the imagination, I found myself once again on the market for a new scope to compliment my new muzzleloader with its 29” barrel which I’ve dedicated to extended range hunting conditions. With the long distance capability of today’s modern in-line muzzleloaders, a compatible scope which can improve my odds of placing a long range shot where I want it is of utmost importance to me as an ethical hunter.

While the selection of available scopes on the market each have their own particular features, my primary quest was to find a scope specifically designed to aid my long- range accuracy. I didn’t want to simply add telescopic magnification which is like looking through a shaky straw on the rugged terrains of hunting. Beyond my mandate for quality optics and reliable construction, I researched many manufacturers and found several scopes that offered unique reticles to accommodate the needs of my long distance shooting. For hunting conditions I wanted a reticle that was designed to provide assistance primarily in that 100 to 200 yard range. The other challenge I had was to find a scope that was designed specifically for the muzzleloader hunter rather than the centerfire hunter. The problem I encountered with scopes designed for the long-range centerfire cartridge was the lower hemisphere view was simply too crowded with numerous aiming points or lines that were clearly beyond even today’s muzzleloader capabilities. Other reticle designs I found included fainted lines or strings of circles or beads which distracted me from the traditional “crosshairs” I’ve grown so accustomed to over my 40 years of hunting.

After narrowing down the scopes with the features I was looking for, I chose the 3 X 9 Bushnell TROPHY Dead On Accurate (DOA) 250 Muzzleloader Scope which meets my needs perfectly. The reticle crosshairs on the TROPHY DOA 250 are Duplex for quick-view orientation, and contain extended yardage points at 150(first line bar below the center crosshairs), 200 and 250 yards designed specifically for the ballistics of the most common magnum loads for in-lines. To give you a real-world perspective of how the DOA Reticle looks, I took these pictures through the scope set on 9X power at about 58-60 yards. While these pictures do not in any way give the scope its full optical clarity, it should give you a general idea. For reference the tree on the left side of the V-forked trunk is 10” in diameter.





With this scope’s unique reticle design, it’s possible to essentially sight-in at 100 yards and be good out to 250, which is especially nice if your club only has a 100 yard shooting range. Some bullet manufacturers such as Powerbelts provide ballistics tables for their bullets which further supports down range trajectory predictions to complement this particular scope. Bushnell also provides this same Powerbelt ballistics data for the DOA 250 scope at:

http://www.bushnell.com/manuals/riflescopes/DOA250BallisticInfo.pdf

As an added bonus I found many other features as well that I liked on this particular scope. The reticle also contains a built-in “Rack Bracket System” which consists of precise line lengths with hash-marks on the horizontal hold-over bars that correspond to the ear-to-ear widths for both the average mule deer (24”) and the average whitetail (17”). [As my own check I measured the ear-to-ear spread for two whitetail deer mounts I have, one is a 9 pointer and the other is a 10 pointer. The 9 pointer’s ear spread measured 16” and the 10 pointer’s ear spread measured 17 inches]. So on 9X power the DOA Reticle can not only provide a reliable means to aim at extended distances, but can help judge the relative size of a potential trophy rack. I see the Rack Bracket System particularly helpful on those once-in-a lifetime, expensive guided trophy hunts we all save up for. In the field the Rack Bracket System could make the most of those precious seconds when you must field judge whether or not to take the shot. Also, use the 24" and 17" measurements to gauge the buck’s width. If the ears fit, you have an accurate estimation of range as well.

It’s also convenient not having to use a coin or screwdriver to adjust the windage and elevation knobs, as they have been designed to easily rotate using your fingertips. And lastly, the incredibly generous 5 inch eye relief on this scope coupled with the “fast-focus” eyepiece feature provides that “comfort” level to eliminate the fear of facial wacking magnum loads. Since I already install Butler Creek flip-open scope covers on all my hunting scopes, their inclusion with the TROPHY DOA 250 saves me a trip to the local shooting sports retailer as well.


As I can’t think of anything to improve upon or add to this specialized scope, my guess is it’s going to set a new standard upon which to judge other in-line muzzleloader optics.

Not a bad looking setup if I must say so myself with the optional CAMO finish.



TROPHY XLT Riflescope

3-9x40 RTAP DOA 250 [733960AB] CAMO FINISH (shown above on muzzleloader)
3-9x40 Matte DOA 250 [733960BP] BLACK MATTE FINISH

Features:

• With the DOA reticle for long-range accuracy and field judging.
• Fully multi-coated optics
• 91% light transmission
• Butler Creek® flip-open scope covers
• 100% waterproof, fogproof and shockproof
• Dry Nitrogen filled
• Fast-focus eyepiece
• One piece tube w/integrated saddle
• 1/4 MOA fingertip windage and elevation adjustments


Power / Obj Lens 3-9x 40mm
Finish Camo
Length (in / mm) 13 / 330
Reticle DOA 250
Field of View (ft@100 ft. / m@100 m) 33/10@3x / 11/3@9x
Adj Range in@100yds/ mm@100m 60 / 1.7
Weight (oz. / g) 14.3 / 405
Exit Pupil (mm) 13.3 / 4.4
Eye Relief (in / mm) 5 / 127
Mounting Length (in / mm) 5.9 / 150
Model 733960AB
Click Value in@100 yds / mm@100m 0.25 / 7



For more information on BUSHNELL DOA scopes, visit their website at:

http://www.bushnell.com/products/scopes/riflescopes/doa-riflescopes/


Last edited by Marty on May 16th 2010, 9:20 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added pic, web address)
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rogo



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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 16th 2010, 5:13 am

I agree 100%. I bought this scope on the recommendation of a forum member and put it on my Accura. Works great so far. Have only taken 2 shots at 156 yards so far and it is right on with the 150 yard crosshair. Clarity is really nice also. I would recommend this scope to any muzzleloader hunter.
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Rick



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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 16th 2010, 10:30 am

That is one scope that is on my wish list and I'm even more happy about that now that I read your review.

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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 16th 2010, 10:59 am

Is there a certain charge you have to used in order for the lines to be dead on?

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Marty
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 16th 2010, 12:26 pm

FrontierGander wrote:
Is there a certain charge you have to used in order for the lines to be dead on?

GOOD question FG Exclamation According to the Brochure that came with the scope:

" the shooter can use either .45 or .50 cal ammunition, and either 100 grains or 150 grains of Triple 7 pellets."

That is what BUSHNELL is considering a "common magnum load for in-lines". BUSHNELL further states:

"BUSHNELL would like to stress that these tools(referring to hold over bars and the Rack Bracket System) are only as good as the time spent practicing with them. Nothing can replace quality firing range time and becoming comfortable shooting at each of the prescribed yardages, while noting bullet placement...Ballistic performance can vary depending upon a number of factors, including barrel length, powder type, bullet type, and numerous weather/atmosphere related variable"

To me the above is a necessary disclaimer by Bushnell, as no shooter should assume the hold-over distasnce bars apply exactly to each and every bullet and load combination out there. I believe that shooters will find that most bullet and powder combinations that are considered a magnum load that are close to the ballistics chart provided on-line by BUSHNELL that I referenced above should work fine with this Reticle.
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rogo



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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 16th 2010, 12:47 pm

I was using a 250gr Barnes Spitfire T-EZ bullet with 110gr BH209 fired by a Fiocchi primer. Works for me!
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 16th 2010, 3:53 pm

Like ROGO said the scope works great with the 50 caliber muzzle loader but when you put it on a 45 caliber and put either 100 gr. or 110 gr. of BH 209 with a 200 gr. sabot or a 225 powerbelt the lines change completely. In other words the 150 line becomes your 200 line and so on. I have I believe 5 of the DOA 250 , one of them is on my Optima Elite 45 caliber barrel and the first time I shot it at 200 yrds using the 200 yrd. line it completely shot over the target so I loaded again and put the 150 line on the target and presto bulleyes. Since I found this out I have not had any problems with the scope on the 45 caliber, once you sight it in at 100 yrds it is dead on at 200 if you remember that the hold over lines change.
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 16th 2010, 5:23 pm

cvilorio,

Thanks for the info. I'm not sure on this, but it seems that Bushnell's calibration of the DOA 250 reticle for a .45 is based on a 100 grain loose powder charge and a "full bore" .45 caliber bullet. In the case of rogo, his 250 grain, .50 caliber sabot Barnes actually has a bullet diameter of .451, so it is no surprise that its trajectory is consistent with the DOA reticle hold-over bars.

I consider BH209 a hotter powder than your standard BP's...producing higher velocities on a volume to volume basis compared to standard BP's. So if you are using powder volumes greater than 100 grains of a hotter powder, coupled with a .45 caliber sabot in which the bullet is actually smaller in diameter than .45, I'd exect it to shoot flatter.

The task of confirming a particular load's trajectory with the DOA 250 Reticle is what I believe Bushnell is saying you should do in order to make the Reticle perform as designed.
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   May 22nd 2010, 7:50 am

Great report Marty.
I have this scope on my Accura and so far I like it just fine.There has been some major cutting in my lease and they cut around my range at the camp.I can now shoot out to 250 yards easy.I'll have to test it out.

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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   July 8th 2010, 7:46 pm

I too bought one for my new Optima. I took it to the range last Saturday for the first time. I have been really impressed so far. Well worth the money. Really want to see how it does in low light.
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   July 9th 2010, 9:21 am

Deerhead wrote:
I too bought one for my new Optima. I took it to the range last Saturday for the first time. I have been really impressed so far. Well worth the money. Really want to see how it does in low light.

Welcome to the Forum!

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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   July 9th 2010, 6:48 pm

Welcome to the Forum![/quote]

Thanks I have been stalking... well learning from everyone's expertise for a while now. That has helped me pull the trigger on a new Optima with the new toolless breach plug. All I can say is I love this BP gun. It is my most accurate ML ever.
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   July 10th 2010, 1:21 pm

Awesome rifle! I Welcome you to the forum as well

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Key



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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   July 20th 2010, 6:30 pm

I have been thinking about getting this scope.

Does anyone have any field experience with Bushnell Trophy's DOA??

How do they perform in adverse weather such as rain and snow? I know they advertise 100% waterproof.

It looks like an awesome scope, but Im curious as to its weather protection.

I would hate to miss a deer hunting because of a fogged scope.
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   July 21st 2010, 9:33 am

Key, welcome.

I haven't had any field experience yet but if you ask me this fall I will be able to fill you in.

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Mschaefer223



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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   September 24th 2010, 10:45 pm

I just stumbled upon this forum and decided to register. I just purchased the matte version of this scope to put on my new Apex .50 cal. This review is just what I have been looking for. Keep up the good work.
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   September 26th 2010, 9:07 pm

Welcome aboard, its a great place to find the answers to all your questions, just ask away.
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   December 7th 2010, 5:51 am

Not muzzleloader but i just put together a Handi rifle in .357max for our Indiana "pistol cartridge rifle" firearms season. The DOA 250 looks like it might work very well for the Max.

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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   December 7th 2010, 8:44 am

Kodiak-50 wrote:
Not muzzleloader but i just put together a Handi rifle in .357max for our Indiana "pistol cartridge rifle" firearms season. The DOA 250 looks like it might work very well for the Max.

That could be a very nice fit with the downrange trajectory possibilities obtainable with a .357max rifle. If you get a chance I'd be interested to see some pics and specs. of your Handi rifle and the loads you are using. You can post them on our Modern-Shooters forum at:

http://www.frontiermuzzleloading.com/modern-shooters-f4/

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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   March 31st 2011, 3:07 pm

Thanks for doing this review. I have been looking at putting this scope on my muzzleloader and this review kind of makes the decision easier to go with instead of spending the extra $100+ to put a Nikon Omega BDC 300.
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   March 31st 2011, 10:10 pm

deerhead, welcome aboard.
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Marty
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PostSubject: BUSHNELL DOA 250 Reticle at 150, 200 and 250 yards   April 1st 2011, 6:10 am

BUSHNELL DOA 250 Reticle Range Data:

http://www.frontiermuzzleloading.com/t1998-at-the-range-on-the-farm150yds-200yds-and-250yds-bullet-recovery#13513
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   April 1st 2011, 8:19 am


Very Happy Cool

Marty,

Great report as usual Exclamation Exclamation I know you put a lot of time and effort into those reports and I know we all look forward to reading them and seeing the pics.
Thanks,
hawgslayer

For you new members who joined in on the post........WELCOME cheers GREAT PLACE TO HANG OUT Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation

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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   June 17th 2011, 2:55 pm

Any data when used on a .54 caliber inline?

Thank you.

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Marty
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PostSubject: Re: BUSHNELL 3 X 9 DOA 250 Muzzleloader Scope Review...   June 17th 2011, 5:31 pm

Ginzu wrote:
Any data when used on a .54 caliber inline?

Thank you.

Ginzu,

The DOA 250 Muzzleloader (Powerbelt) Ballistic Charts referenced by Bushnell do not specifically list .54 caliber inlines (not many shooting .54 inlines now-a-days). However, although very limited, you may be able to interpolate .50 caliber trajectory data, such as that provided by the Powerbelt website listed below, and apply it to a .54 caliber inline.

http://www.bpishopping.com/skin/frontend/default/powerbeltbullets2010/docs/PBB26inchballistics.pdf

For example… If you were to zero both a .50 caliber inline and a .54 caliber inline at 150 yards using a 100 grain powder charge, the 250 yard trajectory path for a 295 grain, .54 caliber Powerbelt bullet is very similar to that of a 348 grain, .50 caliber Powerbelt bullet. Since the Bushnell DOA 250 does list hold-over data (1st Dot, 2nd Dot, 3rd Dot) for the 348 grain, .50 caliber bullet, that might be one instance where the Scope may work for a .54 shooting a 295 grainer. Regardless of what caliber inline MLer you want to use with this scope, you still need to verify the trajectory of your particular load against each of the reticle hold-over bars.
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