Bushnell AR Optics 1-4x 24mm Illuminated BTR-1 BDC Riflescope Review

This Bushnell AR-223 BDC 1-4x 24 mm variable power scope is specifically for AR Rifles and is calibrated for using 5.56 ammo rounds. It uses precision adjusting turrets for extremely accurate setting and shooting. Especially bright optics plus an illuminated reticle with first focal plane meaning BDC marks are accurate all the time.

Power lever makes for easy brightness settings, on the 1x zoom you can sight like a red dot with both eyes open. Can be used without batteries as the reticle remains visible but black. Effective range out to 600 yards.

Read all about the features and what customers thought about it from our positives and negatives. Hopefully we answer the questions you have about this nice looking, well performing scope.

Features

Precise turret adjustments

For precision shooting the turret adjustments are in increments of 0.1 MIL, allowing you to make minute adjustments to your zeroing for the distance you’re shooting at. These target turrets make it good for range shooting at up to 500 yards.

Power Change Leverbushnell-ar223-1-4x-powerlever-up

There is a flip up power change lever that allows you to quickly and easily change the illumination settings depending on lighting condition changes. Some customers thought this would obstruct their view but in practice it is above your plane of focus so is not off putting.

Illuminated Bullet Drop Reticle

The illuminated BDC reticle can be adjusted for use in lots of light conditions and is calibrated for common 5.56 ammo rounds out of an AR rifle. One can use it when the batteries die out as the reticle just remains black and not illuminated. It is also a first focal plane reticle which means the marks noting down the bullet drop at different ranges remain accurate through changing the zoom settings across the entire range from 1-4x.

Variable Power

As noted above this scope has a 1-4x range of magnification, due to the set up of the internal components and the reticle at the basic 1x setting it functions as a red dot because the rest of the bullet drop marks are out of sight. You can use it on this setting for fast target acquisition and shooting with both eyes open is comfortable, whereas the higher magnification settings are available for precision shooting at longer ranges.

High Durable Aluminum

This riflescope is made from high strength aluminum that enables it to be lightweight but durable and resistant to damage. A strong scope body is the basis for the stability of the rest of the components, using high grade aluminum ensures that the outcome is a solid shock resist scope.

Rugged Finish

The aluminum has been anodized meaning that it resistance towards corrosion and scratching is improved. Anodizing leads to a uniform film of protective oxide of the metal which protects the actual metal from becoming rusting.

Positives

Great Optical Clarity

Bushnell have coated the lenses with multiple layers of anti reflective and clarity promoting compounds which leads to high light transmission and sharp bright optics. Customers picked up on the superior clarity compared to more budget scopes and even said that when they’ve taken it to their local game store and had it looked at that the employees were surprised by the quality of the optics.

Can use BDC accurately on all zoom settings

It was remarked how accurate the BDC reticle is, customers really like the first focal plane set up which meant their bullet drop was easy to line up for on all settings.

Works without batteries

Some illuminated reticles only work with batteries, these tend to be your specific red dot sights, but this one has the option to be used just as a non illuminated scope without batteries and as a red dot on the lowest zoom setting. Customers liked to have the option to turn the illumination off and still have it function.

Precision Turrets

For target range shooting there is nothing better than being able to make minute adjustments and the tiny 1/10 MIL increments per click allow you to do just that. Customers were really happy with being able to shoot 6 inch disks at 500 yards+ using the scope and attributed it to such a customized initial set up.

Negatives

Not Spring Loaded or Lockable Turrets

One customer felt it could be improved by having lockable turrets, as of right now they do not have a lockable setting but do require you to turn them with a bit of force to get them to click so the issue was that knocking it may move your settings off slightly. The other improvement could be spring loading them to reset back to no adjustments. The main problem with implementing these changes would be that the trade-off would mean less precision as you need more room for lockable components and spring loading which would take away from the 0.1 MIL clicks.

Feels Heavy

For its size it felt a bit heavy, which is understandable as the scope is quite short and compact so will be a bit denser with all the normal tech inside it.

Questions

Can it be used without batteries?

Yes, the reticle is visible with batteries it just won’t be illuminated so you can definitely use it competently in some conditions without power.

Will I be able to use .308 rounds effectively?

Changing ammo types from 5.56 rounds will require you to range and figure out what ranges the lines on the BDC line up to, as it has been calibrated specifically for the 5.56 round type you will have some difficulty but you can definitely still use it quite effectively.

Does it co-witness with AR-15 iron sights?

If mounted low it will co-witness to some degree on the 1x setting but mounting it low poses its own problems as the erector cap assembly on the bottom part of the turret housing may mean you can’t use low scope rings. It is best to check the clearance you need on your firearm before purchasing rings.

Specifications

  • Magnification: 1x to 4x
  • Objective Lens: 24
  • Exit Pupil: 13.1mm@1x and 6.0mm@4x
  • FOV(ft@100yards): 110@1x  and 36”@4x
  • Practical Eye Relief: 3.6″
  • Turret Adjustments per Click: 0.1MIL or 0.1″@1000yds
  • Overall Length: 9.4″
  • Weight: 17.3 Oz
  • Mounting Length: 5.9″
  • Mounting Rings: 30mm

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Summary

At just shy of $200 it enters into the mid range budget of scopes. This is where clarity of the optics is emphasized and extra care is taken to ensure high quality. Using high grade aluminum and finishing giving proper wear resistance is not a cheap endeavor. The accurate reticle is designed for the most popular AR rifles. And you can use it with other types of ammo but will have to sight it in. Overall is comparable to scopes up to double in price. Be sure to check the price of the Bushnell AR Optics AR-223 BDC 1-4x 24mm yourself before you buy.

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