Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 Review: Is this Scope an Upgrade?

Looking for a new riflescope? Here is an in-depth review of the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9X 40mm rifle scope to see if it is the right scope for you.

In this review, we will be taking an in-depth look at the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 rifle scope. Maybe you are familiar with this situation: You are in the tree stand and it is early in the morning. You can see your breath in the cold air. You hear a rustling in the brush below, and you quietly pick up your rifle with the intention of surveying your surroundings. You put the scope up level with your eye and your heart drops to the wood planks below you. Your scope is fogged.

Trust me, it happens to the best of us. All of the anticipation mounts until the day that you are supposed to bag the big one, and faulty gear deflates our moment and leaves us wondering how we are going to leave the woods without having been defeated. Aside from double, triple, and quadruple checking to make sure that your gear is in tip-top shape, the only fix is to buy gear that is meant to last and always bring a backup.

In this review, you will first find the features of this model, then some pros and cons, followed by some customer sentiments, and some frequently asked questions. Let’s dive right in:

Features of the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9x40

Objective Lens

The objective lens of the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 is 40mm in diameter. This size allows for adequate light to enter the body of the scope without being so large that it is ‘obtuse’ or in the way. Though a larger diameter lets in more light, the amount of light allowed to enter with a 40mm objective lens is more than enough in the legal-hunting hours of the morning. A larger lens is also more vulnerable to physical damage such as scratching, chipping or cracking.

Magnification Power

The Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 has a magnification range of 3x to 9x. This allows you to get ‘up close and personal’ without unnecessary diminishing of the field of view. Most hunters prefer to use a magnification of about 8x. This is because it is difficult to fine-tune or focus a scope at much higher magnification. The range between 3x and 9x allows a close view without a ‘shaky’ image or loss of important details in the image that help to differentiate the target.

Glass Coating

All ‘air-to-glass’ surfaces are fully multi-coated. This means that the coatings reach to the edge of the glass. The glass coatings that are used are specifically designed to be highly anti-reflective. The reason for this is so that all available light is able to pass into the body of the scope instead of being reflected off. The more efficient the glass is (the more light that enters the scope), the better the scope is in low light conditions. The coated glass allows for use at dawn or dusk when there is not as much available light. The ‘glassing time’ is greatly increased with coated glass. The coating used by Bushnell also greatly increases clarity and, of course, brightness. With more brightness, the image will inherently have more contrast as well. The contrast will aid in the differentiation of objects in the view of the scope. The focal plane is set on the second lens, making this a second focal-plane scope.

Reticle

The reticle used in the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 rifle scope is a multi-X crosshair style reticle. This style of the reticle is best used for centerfire shooting. This means that not only will the crosshairs help to aim your shot, but your target area will reside in the center of the circle of the scope. Centerfire shooting is the least confusing or ‘cluttered’ style of aiming and firing your gun. There is very little obstruction of the view. The reticle of a scope is an unsung hero. If you easily understand your reticle and how to use it, it makes accurate shooting that much easier and can significantly decrease your reaction time.

Field of View

The field of view and zoom make for close-up visibility with a clear image while using the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40. At 100yds distance and 3x magnification, the field of view is 32ft. At 100yds distance with a magnification of 9x, the field of view is 11ft. The field of view is more important than you might think. Just like your eyes’ peripheral vision, oftentimes you do not realize how much visual information is subconsciously interpreted from the outer edges of the field of view. It is important that the field of view is crisp and clear, no matter how big or small.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is an important factor to consider when purchasing a scope to fit your rifle. Eye relief measures the distance at which your eye must be held away from the scope to see the image properly. It is not desirable, for obvious reasons such as recoil, for the eye relief to be a short distance. Having a sight with a short eye relief can also cause eye fatigue. The eye relief of this scope is 6 inches.

Waterproofing

The Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 is constructed using O-rings for the optics. This means that the scope is fully waterproof, even when fully submerged in water. This feature also further protects the scope from dust and fog.

Fog Proofing

This scope is fog proofed using Argon purging. Argon is pumped into the scope, thus pushing out other gas and moisture. Argon helps to maintain a stable humidity and pressure in the scope to prevent fogging even in rapid temperature changes. This is important since game animals are on the move just as temperatures change in the morning and at night.

Fine-Tuning Adjustments

The scope can be adjusted for elevation and windage with the turrets located on the body of the scope. These turrets come with caps and are non-locking. The measurements are MOA-based, and the turrets themselves turn easily but do not spin freely. They have a fairly low-profile and do not protrude an excessive distance beyond the body.

Size and Dimensions

The overall length of the scope is 12in., while the diameter of the tube (body) is 1in. The scope weighs 13oz altogether.

Pros and Cons of the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9x40 Rifle Scope

PROS:
  • 40mm objective lens is compact while letting in ample light
  • Magnification range of 3x to 9x
  • Fully multi-coated glass for anti-reflectivity, clarity, and brightness
  • Multi-X crosshairs for simplicity and centerfire shooting
  • 32ft field of view at 100yrds with 3x magnification
  • Eye relief is 6in. which is a safe and comfortable distance
  • Turrets for elevation and windage adjustments are easy to use
  • Turrets also come with caps to better protect them
  • O-ring construction makes the scope fully waterproof
  • Argon purged for fog proofing
  • The scope diameter is 1in. and the length of the tube is 13in. (compact and streamlined)
  • It only weighs 13oz.
  • Durable construction
  • The overall design is user friendly
  • Fairly inexpensive
CONS:
  • Magnification is not as powerful as on some sights

What do People Have to Say About the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9x40mm Scope?

Most who have purchased this scope did so because of the price vs. quality. Bushnell is a trusted manufacturer of scopes and binoculars, and the quality of their equipment is greater than the price of this scope might suggest. The only complaint that people tend to have about this scope is that it is difficult to get it to hold zero. It should be noted, however, that the manufacturer clearly states that there is no zero stop. Other than this, this scope is a great buy for the money. People also tend to think that the coating is terrific and that the anti-reflective properties are high in quality. It really does do well in low light scenarios. Most who purchase this kind of scope do not wish to have a bulky protrusion from the top of their guns, making this a great choice. The slender design is easy to pack and does not add a lot of weight. There have been no reported issues of the glass leaking or fogging. This means that the O-rings and argon purging are sufficient in keeping the interior of the scope clean and dry. This scope is offered in the color black, which is typical but looks especially good on streamlined scopes such as this one. People are pleased, overall, with the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 rifle scope.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rifle Scopes

Q: What is the best magnification for my rifle scope?

A: This depends upon your desired application. A high-powered rifle scope is best for situations that require shooting at long range or at small targets such as squirrels or rabbits. Medium magnification is best for big game. When hunting big game, the preferred range of shot is of medium distance. The best magnification power to use for close range and for moving or running targets is a low magnification. It is also just as important to choose what you are most comfortable with. If you are not comfortable with powerful magnification, something a little more moderate might be the best choice for you.

Q: Is a large objective lens always better?

A: The short answer is, no, not necessarily. A larger objective lens will allow more light to enter the scope. This will mean that there will be a brighter image. It also means more contrast and better visibility in low light scenarios. If you have room on your rifle or if you don’t mind the small amount of added weight or cost, go ahead and get the larger objective lens. If, however, you are worried about the size and weight of the scope, do a little homework and see what size scope is the best one for you.

Q: Is a fixed zoom or a variable zoom better?

A: Most would say that a variable zoom is better. It is good to be able to zoom in and out to better use your field of view when searching for an animal. There are a lot of contextual clues in a wider image that will help you to differentiate between objects in the view of your scope. It is also easier to get your focus ‘dialed’ in when you have more available control. There is, however, one plus side to having a fixed zoom: that is one less thing to worry about. There are some who are minimalistic in their approach and who prefer to have a fixed zoom. It is a choice of preference.

Conclusion

The Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 is a great scope for the money. It provides quality lenses that are fully multi-coated with quality coatings to bring more light, contrast, and clarity in low light situations. It is fairly lightweight and streamlined, making it a good companion on the hunt. The O-rings make it impervious to water, and the Argon-purged interior will not get fogged up under any circumstances. The windage and elevation turrets are easy to use and come with caps to provide extra protection. The scope is easy to mount and is very user-friendly.

If you are looking to buy a high-quality rifle scope for a decent price, this is an excellent choice. What really stands out about this scope is the quality of the lenses and how well it works in low light. Buying gear that lasts a lifetime does not have to break the bank.

Hopefully, you have learned a little about the Bushnell Banner Dusk Dawn 3 9×40 rifle scope and can decide about whether or not it is an upgrade from the scope that you already have. If you do not already have a scope, this is a great beginner scope. Just remember to always practice good safety habits and to double-check your gear before leaving for your next hunt!

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