Bushnell Elite 3200 vs 4200


July 15, 2010, 02:24 PM
I am looking at purchasing the Bushnell Elite 4200 3X9 40. Looking at the information I can find, I cannot find a reason other that the coating allowing 5% more light transmission to get the 4200 over the 3200. Is there any other difference in between the two scopes? Does the coating make that much difference during legal hunting hours? It is only about a $75 difference between the two.

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Red State
July 15, 2010, 02:44 PM
I have a 3200 and it is a good scope. I believe that all of the Elites are built to withstand their recoil test: 1,000 rounds from a .375 H&H.

From the reviews that I have read, the consensus is that the 4200 is definitely noticeably brighter.

Both are good scopes for the money and only you can decide if the added optical quality is worth the extra money.

Don't forget to consider other factors such as size, weight, reticle, and eye relief.

July 15, 2010, 03:02 PM
Sniper Central has excellent reviews on equipment and accessories:


Best of luck,


July 15, 2010, 03:06 PM
I bought the 3X9 4200 for my sons .30-30. He loves it. Says it is super clear. To me it is not as nice as the VariX III or Nikon, but it is a nice scope. A step above the 3200 for sure IMHO.

I caught a deal on overstock.com (http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys/Bushnell-Elite-4200-3-9x40mm-Rifle-Scope/3415038/product.html).

July 15, 2010, 09:20 PM
If you can swing it I'd get the 4200.

I have an Elite 3200 10x40 and while it's a quality scope, I can see that it isn't as bright as other quality scopes I have.

Best screaming deal for a 3-9x40 is the Nikon Team Primos, only $199 and it's literally the prior generation Monarch (top line) scope just under a different name and with the BDC reticle. I have one and it's outstanding for the price.

I also have a Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x40 and it's terrific as well, probably better than either of the scopes above, definitely no worse than equal to the Nikon. But those run a bit more, I think $250+ range for a basic model, I paid $300 on sale for my mil-dot/mil adjustments model from Midway.

IMHO, the Elite models and the Weaver high end models (Grand Slam and Super Slam) represent some of the best values for high quality glass. Sure, maybe not quite a Nightforce or IOR, but about 1/4 the price and very, very good.

Steve in PA
July 15, 2010, 11:30 PM
I have the 3200 3x9 on my hunting .30/06 and it is a great scope. I've always had great luck and experience with Bushnell.

July 15, 2010, 11:40 PM
I have both and would recommend either to any one of my friends looking for good glass.... that said, I think the 4200 is a better scope it is both brighter and clearer at more variable distances without much change in the focus settings... it is actually nearly on par with my VX III adjustable Obj...

July 16, 2010, 07:41 AM
You will not be disappointed with either scope, but for the money the 4200 is definately better.

July 16, 2010, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the info. I have read a lot of articles about scopes, but being as I have never used a scope, a lot of the information does not help me out much. I think I am going with the 4200.

July 16, 2010, 01:54 PM
I cannot find a reason other that the coating

when you consider that most of the glass for scopes...almost all scopes, not made in Europe...come from the same factories, coatings applied is a major deal

July 16, 2010, 03:27 PM
I have both.
The 3200 Elite with FF Reticle use to ride on a 30-30, but not sits on a Remington Genesis ML, and works great.
The 4200 3x9x40 sits on the Marlin XL7 25-06, and it works great. Both are good scopes. The 4200 has a little brighter glass, but I don't like the reticle as much as I do the big thick FF reticle that goes to a small thin +. I can find my target better with the 3200 than with the 4200. I would not knock either, and if you can only get the 3200 you're still getting a nice scope. Better than any of the $199.99 scopes I have seen. IMO

P.S. the coating for rain / Anti-Fog on both scopes works flawlessly.

July 16, 2010, 04:31 PM
A Bushnell Rep told me that the difference is negligible and the 3200 is the Best Buy in scopes.
If you can really tell the difference go for the 4200 Elite.
If not use the $ difference for ammo or accessories
I have the M4200 Elite in 2.5 x 10 on my AR and like it.

July 17, 2010, 12:51 PM
I have both the 3200 and 4200. The 4200 is clearer and brighter during the day (not by much but noticeable). Where I've seen a big difference was when I used the 4200 with a red light for hunting hogs at night, it's a lot clearer than the 3200.

I you have the funds for a 4200, I would say go for it. If not, the 3200 comes in at a strong second.

July 17, 2010, 01:06 PM
"...the coating allowing 5% more light transmission .."

The human eye cannot distinguish that small a difference in brightness. In fact it requrires some very sensitive optical instruments to detect such a difference and it matters not a bit for normal daylight viewing. 5% might add 10 seconds of viewing at twilight.

What makes some scopes appear "brighter" is a difference in contrast and color correction. Since few of us stare through a rifle scope more than briefly there is little effective difference, if any at all, in the field. It's rarely more than five seconds when I look through my hunting scopes before I pull the trigger. I have a 3200 3-9x40 for hunting and love it. Much prefer it to my Leupolds and a Nikon if there is any possiblity of rain.

July 17, 2010, 03:05 PM
I have two Bushnell Elite 3200's and I am happy with them. I had three, but only got rid of the third one, as I sold the rifle it was on. I have Burris and Nikon scopes along with other cheaper brands. I like my Bushnell Elites the best.

July 17, 2010, 07:09 PM
Is there any other difference in between the two scopes?Yes, IMO the overall glass quality is superior, in additional to the better coatings. Generally the 4200 has a 4x erector (instead of the 3x found in the 3200), but in this scope that is not the case. It affords better edge to edge clarity, a crisper image, and a noticeable increase in brightness. Both are well constructed scopes, but the Elite 4200 is a significant step up in optical quality. The Nikon Monarch compares well to the E-4200, but the only advantage is the 4x erector and it isn't quite as bright IMO.

Does the coating make that much difference during legal hunting hours?IMO it does, but I find it is best to look through both, if that option is available.

It is only about a $75 difference between the two.A small price to pay IMO.


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