Bushnell Engage Vs Nitro: Which One Should You Choose?

It gets quite…frustrating. 

Yeah with all those scopes coming to market every day…we’re almost suffering from success. 

And our fav superhero in the scope world, Bushnell is making things even more difficult for us. 

In fact..things even get heated up when people are in the ‘talks’ about these things… Like, a few days back I saw some shooters getting at each other while discussing nitro and engage. 

So, which one should you choose when it comes to Bushnell engage vs nitro? 

The Bushnell engage is a more affordable scope compared to Bushnell nitro. However, the nitro series takes an edge in case of clear view and advanced reticle. Also nitro is more effective in case of long-range shooting. The engage line is better for target shooting. 

Still, want to learn more information regarding these rifle scopes? Hop in for a complete in-depth analysis.

Bushnell Engage and Nitro: Quick Comparison 

With over 70 years in the optics business, Bushnell knows what they’re doing. Both of the nitro and engage series of riflescope are household names in the hunting community. 

You may get overwhelmed by the quantity of knowledge regarding engage and nitro rifle scope at first. So to make it easier for you I’ve created a table that discusses all the differences in short. 

TurretsTurrets are uncappedTurrets are capped
Options10 different types of engage scope are present on the marketOnly 3 types of Nitro scopes are present on the market
CostRelatively cheaperComparatively more expensive 
ReticleOnly MOA reticle is presentBoth MOA and MIL reticle is present 
Low lightOnly new versions are clear in low light Not clear in low light settings  
RangeCan show clear view up to 600 yards Can show clear view for more than 600 yards
Availability Can be found year-round Can only be found during hunting season

Now that you know some of the basic facts of the engage and nitro rifle scope let’s dive into the details!

But before that, here’s a chart for you to get an overview of the whole topic. 

Now let’s get to the specifics!

Bushnell Engage Vs Nitro: Detailed Comparison 

At first glance, both of them engage and nitro rifle scopes seem identical. But upon closer inspection, you can see the distinctions between the two. So, while choosing the appropriate rifle scope, learning about the nitty-gritty details is important. 

How Much Does It Cost?

Both the engage and nitro riflescope caters to the mid-range market. These are perfect if you’re looking for an affordable yet effective riflescope. 

Bushnell Engage

The engage series of riflescopes are the first produced mid-range rifle scope by Bushnell. So with the introduction of newer models, the price of Bushnell engage has dropped a little. 

You can get this riflescope for $330. This is relatively cheaper than other riflescopes on the market. 

Bushnell Nitro

The Bushnell Nitro series of riflescope was introduced fairly recently on the market. Bushnell optimized all the perks of the engage series and launched the nitro series. It is the engage series but better. 

The price of the Bushnell nitro series starts around $350 and goes up to $400 depending on the specifications. So, compared to engage the nitro series of riflescopes is a bit more on the expensive side. 

Winner: Even though nitro and engage are almost similar, you can get the engage at a more affordable price. So, you get the most bang for your buck with the Bushnell engage. 

Turrets: Capped or Uncapped?   

Probably the clearest difference between the two riflescopes can be noticed on the turret. The make and model of turrets vary from scope to scope.  

Bushnell Engage 

The most distinct feature of the Bushnell engage spotting scope line is the exposed turret. The turret present in this model doesn’t have a cap to cover the turret. As a result, you can easily change the setting. 

If you don’t want to keep your turrets exposed then you can get turret caps to cover them

There is also a third turret present in the engage series. It starts at 10 yards and is adjustable to infinity. I’ve also found that the turrets in the engage models feature a locking mechanism. 

The Bushnell engage doesn’t feature a zero stop.  

Bushnell Nitro 

Now is the Bushnell nitro any good in the case of turrets? Unlike the Bushnell engage riflescope, the nitro line has capped turrets. So, I’ve noticed that elevation and windage travel is only important when zeroing the scope.

The Bushnell nitro parallax is different from the engage line. Instead of having fixed parallax, each Nitro scope comes with a parallax adjustment turret. This seemingly benign feature eliminates the most common source of optical error that most hunters come across. Bushnell nitro features zero stop.

Winner: Compared to the engage line, the turret in nitro scope has more features. So the clear winner here is the Bushnell engage nitro. 

How Advanced Is the Reticle?

The Bushnell engage first focal plane contains the reticle. The reticle of a scope plays a big factor in how the rifle scopes will perform. Depending on your needs you need a particular type of scope. 

Bushnell Engage

The Bushnell engage MOA reticle is the only type of reticle found in the engage line of scopes. It hash marks every 1 and 5 MOA for quick elevation and windage holdover reference. The internal adjustment of the engage scope is 50 MOA.

As good as the MOA reticle is, I’ve noticed that there’s no MIL reticle. This is a major drawback for shooters who want to use this scope for long distances. 

One perk that I’ve seen is that there are plenty of options in case of Bushnell engage scope adjustments. You can adjust the reticle to cater to your hunting needs. As a result, there’s more room for customization in the engage series. 

Bushnell Nitro

The Bushnell nitro ffp contains two types of reticles that are sophisticated. It features both the Bushnell nitro deploy MOA reticle and Bushnell nitro deploy MIL. As a result, it is perfect for when you need to target shoot and also when you need a no-clutter reticle. 

Source: Bushnell.com

Winner: Nitro has two types of relatively advanced reticle compared to engage. So, the vivid winner here is Bushnell nitro.  

Which Series of Riflescope Has the Better Glass?

Now, the most important part. Glass. Without a comprehensible glass, the value of a riflescope drops significantly. 

Bushnell Engage

The Bushnell engage glass is remarkably clearer. For such an affordable rate the Bushnell engage optics are relatively better. This glass provides crisp pictures for your hunting ease. 

Bushnell engage scope caps are sometimes a necessity. To protect the glass from dust and scratches you can add a flip scope cap. 

Here are our recommended scope caps: 

Bushnell Nitro

Bushnell Nitro glass features an ultra-wideband coating that prevents reflection. This optimises light transmission for the best possible view. This gives the nitro series an edge. If the glass gets dusty then use eyeglass cleaner to clean it.

The Bushnell nitro scopes have good quality glasses. However, it still couldn’t make it to the list of compatible scopes for PTR 91. 

Winner: Due to ultra wideband coating in nitro, we prefer the nitro glass over the engage one.

Which One Is Better in Low Light?

There’s one key piece of information that you need to know. That is whether the scope is functional in low light or not.  

Bushnell Engage

Sometimes you may need to hunt in low light settings. So is Bushnell engage any good in this regard? 

Not really! Most of the models of the Bushnell engage line isn’t good in low light settings. The reticle present here is extremely fine. As a result, it’s quite difficult to see at night or in dark environments using this riflescope. 

But the newer versions of Bushnell engage illuminated scope contains fully multi-coated optics. These optics provide a brighter and clearer image at dusk and dawn

Bushnell Nitro 

Most of the Bushnell scopes tend to have finer reticles. So, all of the scopes lean towards not performing well at night. 

Winner: Due to the use of fine reticles in Bushnell, low light shooting is difficult in both of the scopes. However, the new series of engage scopes provides an illuminated view at low light settings. 

Which One is Better for Long Range Shooting?

Not all scopes are made to be used for long ranges. So considering the range of scope is vital. 

Bushnell Engage

As I’ve mentioned previously, the Bushnell engage scopes have only MOA reticle. So, the range of the scope decreases a little bit compared to its counterpart. The maximum range up to which the scope can provide clear vision is 600 yards. 

Up to 600 yards, Bushnell engage light transmission is amazing. So, you can easily locate objects while hunting. 

Bushnell Nitro

The nitro scope on the other hand contains both the MOA and MIL reticle. So, it can easily provide a clear vision for more than 600 yards. 

Source: kitbadger.com

Winner: Nitro pulls far ahead of engage in this regard with its advanced MOA and MIL reticle. So, our pick here is, you guessed it, Nitro. 

What More Options Does Each Line Offer?

Each of these Bushnell riflescope lines contains different types of riflescope catering to specific needs. 

Bushnell Engage

The engage line of Bushnell scopes contains the highest varieties of models. Based on your requirements there are 10 different options of scopes to choose from.

As we’ve seen in Ballistic magazine, the best part about engage scopes is their versatility.

One thing to keep in mind is that these scopes are made for specific guns. As a result, they’re not considered as the top rifle scopes for ruger super blackhawk.

Bushnell Nitro

Bushnell nitro scopes are elevated scopes designed to hunt with ease. However, in the nitro line, there aren’t nearly as many options as the engage line. You can choose only from 3 different models as of now. 

Source: Bushnell.com

Winner: There are a lot more options when it comes to the engage scope line compared to nitro. So, our pick for the winner here is Bushnell engage scope. 

How Problem Prone Are These?

We know how hyped these rifle scopes from Bushnell are. But there are a few problems that I’ve witnessed with these models. 

The engage line is more difficult to understand and reset. Due to the lack of markings on the turret, I’ve also noticed that it gets quite confusing at times. 

Now one of the main Bushnell nitro problems that hunters run into is its unavailability.  The nitro scopes can only be found during hunting season. Another problem is that the parallax feature of nitro doesn’t work properly after 125 yards. 

Engage and Nitro: Are These Any Good?

Both of the scopes have their list of pros and cons. The ultimate decision comes down to your preferences and needs.

If you want an affordable scope with precision target shooting and standard reticle then go for the Bushnell Engage riflescope. On the other hand, if you want a solid scope with long-range vision and two types of reticles then opt for the Bushnell Nitro riflescope. 


Is the Bushnell nitro rifle scope waterproof?

Yes, the Bushnell nitro riflescope is in fact waterproof. Its watertight seal can withstand 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. 

Which rifle scope is best for target shooting? 

Both the engage and nitro scopes are great for target shooting. However, if your only need is target shooting then the engage line would be your best bet. 

 Where are the scopes of Bushnell engage made? 

Bushnell is an American brand. But, just like the other models of Bushnell scopes, the engage line of scopes are made in South Korea. 


With that, we’ve reached the end. Both the Bushnell engage vs nitro scope have their lists of pros and cons. Whether you simply require an inexpensive scope or want to delve into long-range shooting, Bushnell has you covered. 

Go through each of the points once again. Then reevaluate which scope you need. 

That’s all for today. See you soon!