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HANDS ON: Bushnell Banner 2 Review

Bushnell has time and time again proven that you don’t have to break the bank to have a functional optic for your firearms. The Bushnell Banner 2 is right in line with that idea. It provides the functionality of a long-distance rifle scope with the affordability that so many beginner shooters long for. While it may not turn you into a Marine Corps Scout Sniper, this optic definitely gives you the right bang for your buck. Pun Intended.

Be aware though, you always get exactly what you pay for.

Specs

Bushnell Banner 2 Mounted on AR15 side view

There’s really nothing aesthetically speaking that differentiates the Banner 2 from any of the other rifle optics currently on the market. It has a sleek 1-inch tube that will allow for mounting with any 1” set of scope rings, although it does come with a low profile set of its own. Which definitely improves its likeability for shooters who want something easy to mount without spending more money on high grade mounting hardware.

Bushnell also claims it’s snag-free features as a major bullet point of its design, but in all actuality no real shooter is holding their rifle in a manner that would allow their optic to snag on anything that would give away their position on a hunting trip or become a safety risk on any ranges. This definitely seems like a feature that should be more standard than an advanced feature style of selling point.

Magnification

Bushnell Banner 2 Close up

The 4-12x magnification on this optic works about as well as expected for an optic at this price point. I find the swivel on the lens to be a little rough. Especially if you compare it to the likes of a high-end Nightforce optic or even a lower price point Leupold rifle scope.

I have noticed that it tends to be a little stiffer in colder weather. Which in turn does make shooting in colder climates a tad bit more difficult, especially for the hunter that enjoys sitting in his tree stand during the colder hunting seasons.

Clarity

Bushnell Banner 2 at an indoor gun range

I did experience a remarkable amount of clarity while shooting with this optic. Especially for it being a value priced rifle scope. With that being said, the multi coated surface on the objective lens is not what Bushnell praises it to be. You will suffer a significant amount of glare if you don’t have a shooting position that provides for sun cover over the front end of the rifle scope.

Having a flip up front dust cover will easily solve that problem. I do appreciate the fact that the fog proof claim Bushnell makes is accurate. I didn’t experience any fogging of the either lens while shooting with this scope.

Applicability

If you’re looking for a scope that you can mount to a high-powered rifle for long range precision shooting, this is not it. This is a basic, out of the box rifle, optic. You’re not going to mount this to your precision rifle and be happy about the results you get. It will not adjust the way you want to for very precise accurate shots. I honestly wouldn’t think of pushing this past 500 yards. I also wouldn’t mount this on anything bigger than a .308.

Bushnell Banner 2 close up view

It is incredibly accurate with a good zero at up 300 yards while shooting 55gr 5.56. Anything past that and you need to be ready to make some good Kentucky windage calls, unless you’re willing to take the time to make the actual elevation and windage adjustments past that point. Which very few shooters are willing to do in the middle of a hunt.

If you keep your game within 150 yards of you when taking your shot, you’ll go home with some solid points on that rack of yours.

Function

Bushnell Banner 2 crosshair reticle

The Banner 2 is extremely simple to use and incredibly easy to understand if you have a basic understanding of Minute of Angle, windage, elevation and distance. Distance and elevation can easily be adjusted for by utilizing the dots in its DOA QBR reticle.

The crosshair being your focal point for distances of 100 yards and in. Every dot mark under that being utilized to push the distance further by 100-yard intervals, all the way up to 500 yards. This gives the Banner 2 the ability to allow shooters to make those quick distance adjustments by simply aiming with a lower dot at longer distances. While I previously stated that I wouldn’t personally push this optic past that initial 500 yard focal point, Bushnell claims that you can by marking an infinity point on it’s front objective lens.

Bushnell Banner 2

Pros

The Bushnell Banner 2 has a lot of solid good points to it. It’s reliable, easy to use, sturdy and not an eyesore like some rifle scopes can be. It gives novice shooters the ability to easily learn how to manipulate the elements of a well made shot, while also breeding in them the confidence needed to learn how to make adjustments without actually making physical adjustments.

I mean, for the price you’re paying for this optic it has everything you could need to start shooting a rifle at distances up to 500 yards.

Testing out the Bushnell Banner 2 at a shooting range

Cons

This isn’t a scout sniper optic. If you’re purchasing this with the idea that it’s going to make you the next Chris Kyle, you’re sadly mistaken. There are rifle optics out there that are definitely going to make making the shot a lot easier at longer distances while still having to take all of the science in to effect.

The maneuverability of the rear zoom was a big losing point for me. I have held smoother moving rifle scopes. This didn’t even touch those. The front objective lens can do with a better coat job is you ask me, and the dust cover that comes wit it does not help with sunlight at all and looks like a cheap dust cover I’d find on ones of my kids nerf guns.

Bushnell Banner 2 mounted on ar15

Conclusion

Overall, I’d give this rifle scope a 5/10. Which is about what you could expect from a scope of this caliber. Don’t buy this optic without the realistic expectation that you’re buying a basic starter’s rifle scope. As long you make the purchase with that in mind you’ll be just fine.

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