View Full Version : Review: Bushnell Night Vision Monoscope 3.6x

Bartholomew Roberts
January 6, 2002, 06:51 PM
Had a chance to play with this scope that a relative purchased from a sporting goods store for $370. Despite the Bushnell label it was Russian generation one gear with Russian markings clearly visible on the lens in English characters (Zenit IR). The unit used two AA batteries for power.

For testing we used it to look into a heavily wooded (evergreens) valley off the deck of his house. There was a road (unlighted) and three or four other houses in view with minimal lighting. The valley itself was completely unlighted and pretty dark. We tried it at twighlight and again with a full moon.

The short review: The scope sucked. It was returned the next day.

The long review: At both twilight and with a full moon, the scope was useless except for viewing things that were closer than 30'. Even at that distance, you had to make use of the IR illuminator to see very well. The scope had a manual focus and the lens was marked for variable magnification (although the info indicated it was fixed power and rotating the magnification did nothing). Looking at objects further than 30' away just resulted in an undeterminate green blur. Adjusting the focus did not seem to help this any - in fact, it was impossible to tell when it was in focus looking at objects at a distance since they looked like the same green blur whether they were out of focus or not.

The scope was good at distances of less than 30' when the IR illuminator was used. Without the IR illuminator, things weren't nearly as sharp and ranged from visible but faded (as if through fog) to the earlier mentioned blur. The IR illuminator seemed to add about 5' to the range before it would blur. Consensus opinion among the three of us (two with military experience with night vision gear, including one with experience with U.S. gen 1 stuff) was that it blew. The scope was returned the next day.

(Edited to add Bushnell's model number for the scope: http://www.bushnell.com/productinfo/nightvision/nightvision.html

Model #26-3652)

January 6, 2002, 10:17 PM
Excellent review.

You'll never hear anything like that in a gun rag or hunting/shooting/outdoors magazine.


January 7, 2002, 12:23 AM
Thank you for the review and field test.


January 8, 2002, 03:28 AM
Almost bought one once, sounds like a good thing I didn't. I did buy a Patriot refurb. "genII" monocular for $700 from C.Crane last year. It had a little IR you screwed on top. This unit basically performed like yours. I returned it and later bought an AMT Nightstorm from C.Crane for ~$200. This unit is way better! It's a Ukraine built Gen I with built-in constant on I.R.(which is my only complaint). For what I wanted it for, strictly observation, it has worked great. I have also tried the U.S.Night Vision D141 Gen I Ukraine weapon sight, and again, for what I planned to use it for it has worked just fine. This unit cost $570. If a person has the money, U.S. gen II & III is seriously the best way to go. But, if you aren't using it often, or for life & death serious work, there is some Russian stuff out there that will work fine.