Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Scope Review: Is it Worth the Money?

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Is the Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm scope worth the money. Yes, depending on what you want the scope for.

The Banner 3-9x is a very good scope for carbines and shooting at fixed distances. Bushnell produces good scopes and the Banner series is an inexpensive scope suited for a carbine owner or someone who shoots tournaments out to 500 yards.

In the review below, we explain the scope’s features and tell you what they mean and why they matter. We also show you how these features make the scope ideal for a carbine.

It is a second focal plane.

Features of the Bushnell Banner 3-9×40

1. Use

The Banner is an excellent scope for straight-wall cartridge rifles, rimfires, carbines and for pistol calibers used in a rifle platform. 

You can use it on calibers like the .30-06, which are capable of reaching past 500 yards for ethical kills. A bigger scope with more magnification will do better if long-range is your shooting style.

2. Magification

Magification

The zoom is 3 to 9x. At the minimum zoom, your field of view is about 32 feet from side to side.

At the 9x setting, your field of view is 11 feet. An average whitetail is about 6 feet long. If 2 deer stood nose to tail, you could see nearly all of them.

3-9x is a pretty standard zoom rate for scopes. You can get higher and it will cost more. Also, as the magnification level goes up, the image quality you see gets worse. This is why many hunters stick with something around the 9x zoom.

3. Tube

Tube

The 1-inch aircraft aluminum tube is the most common rifle scope size. Mounting rings are easy to come by.

The tube is purged and filled with argon. Argon is a better gas than nitrogen for use in a rifle scope. Nitrogen is the second most common gas for scope tubes.

Chemists call argon a noble gas, which means it does not react or combine with anything. The atoms are also bigger than nitrogen. The two combined means the gas stays in your scope longer and does not affect any internal elements.

4. Bell

Bushnell Banner Bell

The front bell, or objective lens, is 40mm. The bell determines how much light the scope can gather and then send through the tube. Bigger bells send more light. Bigger bells also cost more.

At 40mm, this is square in the middle of the range. 

You get a decent amount of light with this. The lens coating (more below) makes this more effective in low light than glass without the coating.

The 40mm also means you can get by with regular height rings. Medium or high rings are not needed for barrel clearance. The mounting rail should provide enough clearance.

You can use see-through or co-witness rings if you want to use your iron sights as well. 

5. Water-resistance

The scope is rated IPX4, which means it will stand up to rain. It is not rated for being submerged past a meter.

If you drop it in a creek, lake or pond, get it out immediately. If you wait very long, you will be replacing a scope.

6. Eye Relief

The Banner comes with as much as 6 inches of eye relief. Eye relief means how far away from the scope your head needs to be.

More is good, especially on guns with a lot of recoil. If you do not have enough eye relief, the recoil can knock the scope into your face, cutting the skin around your eye. This is called scope eye.

7. Reticle

Reticle

Bushnell calls their reticle a “Multi-X.” It is just a simple duplex. The reticle is not lighted. It is made from wire.

A duplex is all you need if you are shooting at a certain distance. Sight the gun in at that yardage and you are good to go.

The problem with a duplex is when you shoot at different distances. The reticle does not have any marks to indicate holdover or wind correction. You have to make a best guess.

An example:

I shoot duplex reticles on my hunting carbines and my .22 rifles. A good example is my .45-70. The scope is zeroed at 50 yards.

I know from experience that at 100 yards, my maximum distance shot, the bullet will be about 2 inches low. At 25 yards, the bullet is an inch or so high.

That 3-inch spread across 100 yards is much smaller than a deer, hog or coyote’s vitals. If I put the crosshairs dead center on the chest, I will have an ethical and humane shot.

8. Glass

Bushnell’s glass for the Banner series is either made in Korea or China. This is average glass.

Most shooters reaching 200 yards maximum will never see much difference between the Bushnell lenses and glass in scopes, costing hundreds more. This is another reason it is a good carbine scope. The glass is coated with an anti-reflection substance. This does help transmit more light down the tube.

Scope glass without this coating does not do as good a job of funnelling the light. All glass has some reflective qualities. The coatings reduce that.

Bushnell’s coatings allow more light to go through the glass than uncoated. If you are hunting in twilight, you will get a better picture with the Bushnell than cheaper scopes without coatings.

9. Adjustments

60 MOA Adjustments

The turrets offer 60 MOA on the windage and the elevation knobs. For practical purposes, once set, the adjustments are fixed.

You can change them at any time. Changing adjustments in the field is not recommended.

Adjustments are 1/4 MOA, an industry standard.

If you need shot-to-shout turret changes, get a scope with tactical knobs. See our review here for the best tactical scopes.

Parallax is fixed at 100 yards, which is another reason this is a good scope for short-range guns. If you are shooting past 200 yards, you need a parallax adjustment.

Disadvantages of the Bushnell Banner 3-9×40

As good as the Bushnell Banner is, it comes with two reasons not to get this scope.

1. Not long range

The Banner is not a long-range scope. For one, the scope’s maximum magnification range is 9x.

The duplex reticle is good as a set of crosshairs. It just does not have hash marks to help you dial in a shot based on distance and the wind. A good long-range scope needs some kind of tactical reticle.

That said, you can use this scope to shoot long-range. A true long-range scope will serve you better.

If you want long-range scopes, see our article here.

2. Recoil

Recoil matters to rifle scopes as well. A .30-06 is the biggest and heaviest recoiling rifle I would put this scope on. It may hold up to a .300 WinMag and it may not. 

It will work well on a .300 Legend and a .450 Bushmaster. It will serve if you have a .45-70 Government and shoot light loads. If you are loading heavy, hot or both, get a stronger scope for your buffalo rifle.

Also, the eye relief is not suited for handguns.

Bushnell Banner 3-9×40

The price of Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 varies, so check the latest price at

FAQs

What is the Bushnell Banner warranty?

The Bushnell Banner warranty is 30 years for defects in workmanship or materials.

What is the Bushnell Banner minimum focus distance?
The minimum focus distance for the Banner is about 10-15 yards. Parallax is set at 100 yards.

What does the second focal plane mean?

Second focal plane means the reticle stays the same size as you zoom in. In a first focal plane, the reticle enlarges as you zoom in.

Final Conclusion: Is the Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 Worth It?

In conclusion, if you are looking for a good, inexpensive scope for your .30-30, hunting caliber AR 15 or pistol caliber carbine, the Bushnell Banner is a good choice. It is also good on a rimfire rifle.

I have one mounted on a .22. It has never disappointed me. The front bell and lens coatings gather enough light for me to pick out a coon on the top of a pecan tree with my 6-volt spotlight on the critter.

This is a top choice if I wanted a scope on my .30-30. I just use iron sights on the old lever action.

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