Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope Review - 16-48x50mm

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bushnell trophy xtreme spotting scope 16-48x50
Image Credit - Bushnell

Viewing Configuration: Straight
Magnification: 16-48X
Power Variability: Variable
Adjustable Eyepieces: No
Eyepiece included: Yes
Objective Diameter: 50 mm
Close Focus Distance: 25 feet
Length: 13 inches
Weight: 31.4 ounces
Field of View: 125-60 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 16 mm/ 3.1-1 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: BaK-4
Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Digiscope adaptable: No

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching

This 16-48x50 Trophy Xtreme has been discontinued by Bushnell but the larger 20-60x65 Xtreme spotter is still available and is a great alternative. However, if you are after the same specs as this Xtreme, check out the new Prime 16-48x50 spotting scope at Bushnell & Optics Planet.

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope Review

This Trophy Xtreme 16-48X50 spotting scope has fully multi-coated optics, a locking center ring, and a built-in sunshade. It's fully waterproof and fog-proof and is built with the straight design.

The Xtreme series doesn't have as many online reviews as the other Bushnell spotting scopes do. But, it does have a solid rating! Okay... for the sake of transparency for an honest and unbiased review, I will reveal that it only has a few reviews online.

Between the two available Xtreme models, I chose the 16-48X50 as a more hunter-friendly magnification plus aperture combo. And, it ends up being the cheaper one out of the two as well. By how much? You'll have to read the review to find out!

So, instead of relying on reviews to play a part in your buying process of the Trophy Xtreme, let's turn instead to the Q&A.


  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • 2 included tripod mounts
  • Complete accessories package
  • Larger size available


  • Price
  • Quality control issues

Trophy Xtreme 16-48X50 Q&A:

How do I use the window mount?

Okay, so this is a dead give-away that the purchase of a Trophy Xtreme spotting scope comes with a window mount. And, the straight design is more compatible with car mounts too, so this added freebie makes sense.

It's really not that complicated. Just roll down your window to the eye level you want the scope to be at. Make sure there's enough window space for the mount to clamp onto.

Hook the clamp part of the mount over the glass and tighten the knob until it's held in place. Attach the scope to the mount plate and voila - you're all set up.

What is BaK-4 prism glass?

BaK-4 is a term representative of Barium Crown glass, and it's used to build the Porro prism assembly in the spotting scope.

While BAK4 glass is a designation for Schott glass (that highly revered German glass), most of the time, it's the Chinese BaK-4 phosphate glass that's being used. Although it doesn't have as high a refractive and dispersion rate of Schott BAK4 glass, it's still slightly superior to BK7 glass, another phosphate crown glass used for prisms in optics.

Ultimately, BaK-4 glass is desired because it allows more light to pass through and be reflected through the optical pathway of the prism assembly and it has a higher capacity to keep light in-phase and from scattering inside the spotter.

What is the knob in the center of the body of the Xtreme?

This is what you would generically call a center locking ring. Its function is to allow for the eyepiece to be positioned to the right, left, or even the bottom of the scope body for multi-angle viewing, and then to be locked into place.

Usually, this is a very convenient feature for an angled spotter, so I guess it allows for some versatility on this straight spotting scope.

Also, Bushnell doesn't directly market this feature in their advertising about it. So, somebody tell me if I'm wrong!

Is there an angled Trophy Xtreme spotting scope?

No. The two available models are only in the straight design.

In fact, most of Bushnell's spotting scopes are in the straight design, and there are only a few with the angled design.

Why is this a good magnification range for hunters?

Hunters who walk, stalk, hike, and trail need something lightweight with great optics and the ability to use it for long distance identification fast and accurately.

The low power range, for a spotting scope, allows for more distance "reach" than that of binoculars without being burdensome in weight and cumbersome in tedious tripod set-up.

The Trophy Xtreme satisfies all these aspects for hunters. Although, for higher power use, a tripod will come in handy for steady glassing.

Does this Trophy Xtreme have long eye relief?

Unfortunately, this 16-48X model has only 16 mm of eye relief. That might be reasonable for most hunters, but it's going to be pushing it if you wear glasses of any sort.

And, if you're lucky enough to be endowed with big, long, beautiful lashes, be prepared for some lash and lens sweeping action.

Does it come with a stay-on cover?

No. Granted, the spotting scope is fully waterproof and fog-proof, so essentially, it's element-proof. But, it still would be nice to have that extra sleeve for extra peace of mind.

Also, I have to point out that there's no denying that a lot of sport optics brands are offering stay-on covers with their spotters.

So, it's a pretty big deal that Bushnell isn't throwing one in with this spotting scope buy.

What is the price difference between the 20-60X and the 16-48X?

Online, the street price for the 16-48X50 is only about $200. And yes, that's for everything from the tripod, the car mount, the soft case, and the hard case.

But, for the larger 20-60X65 model, it'll cost you a bit extra (between $20-70) for the extra power and aperture.

Does it cost more for an upgraded warranty?

One very noticeable difference between the Xtreme series versus the Sentry and Trophy XLT is the warranty.

The Xtreme has an upgraded warranty to the Bushnell's No Questions Asked Lifetime Warranty Promise.

As far as price differences goes, between the Xtreme and the XLT, there is none. You actually end up getting more warranty with the Xtreme for the same price as you would pay for the XLT.

How about the Sentry? It's not even in the same ballpark - sorry.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Fully multi-coated optics for highest rate of light transmission
  • Porro Prism design for ultimate optical performance
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Wrapped in rubber armor construction
  • Sold with tripod with car window mount, soft carry case, and hard case
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Center locking ring for rotational, angled viewing
  • Backed by Bushnell's No Questions Asked Lifetime Warranty Promise

Our Verdict on the Trophy Xtreme 16-48x50

The scoop on the scope is, the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 16-48X50 is a very clear and long-ranging spotter. The quality is there - well, mostly. It seems a few defective spotters get caught here and there, but most of the time, Bushnell quality control gets it right. We say it's a little expensive for its quality, but we guess you're paying for the brand.

If you wanted to take things to the extreme with more powerful specs, you can always check out its larger counterpart, the Trophy Xtreme 20-60X65. It doesn't cost a whole lot more, and you will be toting around extra weight.

If you're an avid American brand buyer, you'll find it's worth paying the extra to tote a Bushnell. Sometimes the brand does say it all. However, another sub-brand of the Bushnell company is Celestron. The Celestron Ultima 65 18-55x65 Straight rivals the Trophy Xtreme's optical specs, but wins out in cost. Celestron, Bushnell, same difference - they're all Bushnells. 'Nuff said!

This 16-48x50 Trophy Xtreme has been discontinued by Bushnell but the larger 20-60x65 Xtreme spotter is still available and is a great alternative. However, if you are after the same specs as this Xtreme, check out the new Prime 16-48x50 spotting scope at Bushnell & Optics Planet.

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