We just tested two of the best BDC fire biobes on the market: here's what we found - ECSEI
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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We just tested two of the best BDC fire biobes on the market: here’s what we found

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Two rimfire scopes next to each other on a shooting bench.
The scope of the Tract fire with the BDC reticle is a bit larger and offers more magnification than the Bushnell, but it also costs double. Richard Mann

BDC reticles (indemnization of ballistic drops) have been popular in large-game rifles for a long time. Now we see them in fire rifles. If you like hunting a small game with a rimfire rifle, this is a good thing because depending on the speed of the nozzle, a .22 Long Rifle bullet can fall up to 10 inches between 50 and 125 yards. By 2022, Bushnell and Tract have introduced a fire rifle with a BDC reticle, and I have tested their heads to their heads.

How we tested the shot tubes

First, I plunged into both areas in the water for 30 seconds to see if they were waterproof and fog-proof. Then I shared the riflescopes with respect to brightness and resolution, with bright and tenuous light, and from 25 yards to 175 yards. After that, I mounted the ranges to a fine shot, a single shot, new Ultra Light Arms Model 20 RF rifle with a 20-inch barrel. After zero to 50 yards, I fired a box drill with every riflescope to test the repetition of the adjustment.

Then I started the BDC grid test. I chose three LR .22 loads, each 50 meters with each riflescope. I fired three shot groups at 75-, 100-, 125- and 175-yards, with each load and each riflescope, using the right point for each distance. Then I analyzed the objectives to determine the actual trajectory of each load and how to close those trajectories coincided with each grid.

BDC Reticle Performance

Both rifles have similar BDC grids and all BDC grids will work; it is only a matter of how well they match the trajectory of the load you are using in your rifle. The nozzle speeds of the three proven loads ranged from 1276 to 1441 fps and both reticles were reasonably well performed. The DZ22 reticle in the Bushnell rifle coincided closely with the CCI load of 1276 fps and the BDC retography in the Tract riflescope was a better match with the Winchester load of 1441 fps.

Chart showing subtension for two different rimfire scopes.
This chart shows the subtension for both reticles and how they compare to the actual trajectories of the three test loads. Richard Mann

Obviously, how well these reticles match the trajectory of these loads or others of your rifle will depend on the speeds of the nozzle and even how high the riflescope is mounted on the bore. Regardless, slightly adjusting your zero should be able to tune the majority of 1250 fps to 1450 fps loads to match closely with or reticle. The previous chart shows how the actual/verified trajectory of each load compared to the ballistic correction of each additional point point point in each riflescope.

Parallel adjustment

Like any riflescope, the parallax is important. For the types of shots that hunters see when they hunt small game — like shots in the head on squirrels — can be critical. Typically, slow-fire rifles have the paralax fixed at 50 yards. This works well because most rimfire shots are probably taken between 20 and 60 yards. But these two spheres with their ballistic grids create a problem of parallax because when the parallax is set at a long distance, the parallax increases rapidly with distance. Bushnell kept the paralax in his riflescope at 50 meters. This was an almost solid decision, as even with the ballistic reticule, most shots with a .22 LR will probably be closer to 50 yards than 100. On the other hand, Tract put the parallax in his riflescope at 75 meters. This is a good compromise if you expect to take more shots.

Hand adjusting brightness on a rifle scope.
This is not a paralax adjustment on the left side of the saddle mounting on the Bushnell rifle. It is the brightness setting for the illuminated retraction. Richard Mann

Best BDC Rimfire Scopes

Bushnell DZ22 3-9X40 Illuminated

Specifications

  • Price: $19.99
  • Magnification: 3-9X
  • Eye: 3.6 inches
  • Target diameter: 40 mm
  • Duration: 12.5 inches
  • Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Click value: 0.25 inches at 100 meters
  • Tube: 1 inch
  • Parallax Setting: 50 meters
  • Reticle Plane: Second focal point
  • Assembly space: 5.3 inches
  • Diameter: 1.72 inches

Pros

  • Illuminated grid
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • No 150 yards pointing
  • Remote resolution

This riflescope is equipped with the grid of the Bushnell DZ22 Fall Zone which has three additional point points in the form of 1 MOA points that are placed under the grid center. According to Bushnell, it is calibrated for a 40 gram bullet to 125 metres. As it turns out, the waist point in the lower vertical wire worked as point point to 175 yards, but there was no 150-yard point of view. This riflescope is made in China in a one-piece aluminum tube, one-inch, with covered turrets. It has multicolored optics and proved impermeable. It comes with a full manual detailing the subtension of the grid in MOA, and is compatible with the Bushnell ballistics app that is available for use on your smartphone.

The adjustment of the crowned blade of the rifle was easy to adjust and was not larger than the diameter of the eyepiece. This allows a low mounting and a good cleaning of bolts. The illuminated grid is powered by a CR 2032 battery that adapts to a housing to the left of the range chair, and has six adjustment settings with a “off” fit between each. The brightness adjustment was a bit rigid to spin but it worked perfectly. The riflescope also has a quick-focused eye, a second focal-plant grid, and offers 60 MOA wind and lift adjustment. He has a lifelong guarantee.

Tract 22 Fire 4-12X40 BDC

Specifications

  • Price: $24.00
  • Magnification: 4-12X
  • Eye: 3.5 inches
  • Target diameter: 40 mm
  • Duration: 13.9 inches
  • Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Click value: 0.25 inches at 50 meters (0.50 inches at 100 meters)
  • Tube: 1 inch
  • Parallax Setting: 75 meters
  • Reticle Plane: Second focal point
  • Assembly space: 5.9 inches
  • Diameter: 1.73 inches

Pros

  • Corrigendum from 75 to 175 meters
  • Good resolution

Cons

  • Small eye box to maximum magnification
  • Almost 14 inches long

Like the Bushnell, this riflescope is also built in a one-piece aluminum tube, but it is made in the Philippines. It is sold for more than double the cost of Bushnell. It does not have an illuminated image, but what it has is a trajectory that compensates with four point point point point point point point points below the center of the cut. It is advertised to offer ballistic correction at 150 meters, but as with the Bushnell grid, if you use the waist point of the lower grid, you can correct for the trajectory at 175 meters.

The magnifying adjustment ring is covered with rubber and easy to rotate, but it has a high blow to the maximum power that extends almost a quarter inch beyond the diameter of the eyes. It’s a good reference but it could interfere with screw operation. It also has a second focal plane grid and a quick-focus eyepiece, but relays equal settings 1⁄2 instead of 1⁄4 inch to 100 meters. Both wind and elevation cubes have 60 adjustment MOAs and a fast zero adjustment function. It has completely, multicolored lenses, is waterproof, works with the Tract Impact Ballistics program, and comes with a limit without time, without paperwork, guarantee of life.

Final thoughts

These two riflescopes are more similar than their price difference of $124 would suggest. The extra money you spend on the Tract will give you a sharper picture, especially away. Tract also seemed to be slightly brighter in our test. However, if you want to use the BDC reticle in the Tract for accurate trajectory correction you will have to be in 12X magnification. To effectively use Bushnell DZ22, its increase must be set at 9X. I found there’s a minimum difference between shine when both riflescopes were fixed to maximum magnification. However, there was a remarkable difference in the size of the exit pupil and the eye box; it seemed easier to place my eye behind the Bushnell at 9X than behind the Tract at 12X.

Man shooting rimfire rifle on a bench.
We tested Bushnell and Tract fire rifles with BDC portrayed at 175 meters. Richard Mann

If you installed one of these rifles in a squirrel rifle for general purposes, you would probably go with the Bushnell because of its magnifying range, illuminated reticle, 50-yard parallax adjustment, and its great price. If you were looking for a good range for a rimfire rifle that you intended to use for ground squirrels or prairie dogs, where more magnification and the most distant paralax could be appreciated— I’d go with the Tract. For what it’s worth, Tract is supposed to be also offering a 3-9X40 22 fire rifle with its BDC grid.

Read the following: 10 Best budget Rifle Scopes

I think a choice between these two riflescopes is primarily a matter of preference and personal need. Both proved to make repeatable, filtered or numbing adjustments, and have been well maintained after several months of use. I also think that in general, Tract is a better optical instrument, but it is difficult to ignore Bushnell’s performance at its slightly more than $100 price.

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