Have the Bushnell Forge Line of Scopes Been Discontinued?

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As the scope industry evolves and changes year to year, each scope brand goes through the usual changes expected as new scope models are released and some existing scope models are phased out or discontinued. As this process moves along, it’s not uncommon to see and hear customers start asking questions about what happened to the XXXX scope made by XXXX scope brand. For example, one question that I’ve been seeing floating around various optics forums is this one: have the Bushnell Forge scopes been discontinued or phased out?

Were Bushnell Forge Discontinued
Were the Bushnell Forge line of scopes discontinued?

Before I answer that specific question, let’s first take a minute to discuss the Bushnell Forge scope line.

History of the Bushnell Forge Scopes

Bushnell introduced the Forge line of riflescopes at the 2018 SHOT Show, along with the Prime and Nitro scope series.

Among these three new families of scopes, the Prime was a solid entry-level scope, with the Nitro series being marketed as a higher-end, mid-range scope line. The Forge line of scopes was marketed as the premium scope line of the group.

With the 2018 launch of the Prime, Nitro, and Forge models, Bushnell introduced 60+ new scope models at one time. The Forge series included 21 new scope models with power magnifications ranging from 2.5x up to 27x power.

The Forge scopes were built with higher-end specifications that made sense for a scope series with an MSRP price range of $900 to $1200.

All Forge scopes were built on a 30mm tube, except for the Forge models made to target the European market (which I’ll discuss in more detail down below). All were built using Bushnell’s ED Prime glass for top-end clarity and resolution.

The Forge scopes consist of scopes built in the first focal plane (FFP) and the second focal plane (SFP). These configurations offer a wide range of use, depending on which focal plane configuration that you prefer. For example, many dedicated long-range shooters lean towards a first focal plane, while most hunters are more focused on second focal plane scopes.

The Forge scope series is offered five different reticle options built for long-range shooting or hunting. These reticles are focal plane specific as well. The reticle options include:

  • Deploy MOA reticle (SFP version)
  • Deploy MOA reticle (FFP version)
  • Deploy MIL reticle (FFP version)
  • DOA LR600 reticle (SFP version)
  • DOA LR800 reticle (SFP version)

Each of the Forge scope models (regardless of the power range) is equipped with a side focus parallax adjustment feature that focuses down to a 25-yard minimum. I’m a fan of this feature for two reasons:

  • I prefer side focus over adjustable objective
  • The ability to focus down to 25 yards can be helpful in hunting and shooting situations when the target is close.

All the Forge scopes are equipped with exposed locking turrets with Bushnell’s RevLimiter Zero Stop feature. The locking turrets are always a nice feature with exposed turrets, as there’s nothing worse than accidentally bumping an exposed turret so that it changes the POI. Having turrets that lock eliminate this issue and ensure that the turrets stay in place all the time.

The Forge scope line consists of the following power ranges:

  • 2.5-15×50
  • 3-18×50
  • 4.5-27×50

Bushnell Forge 2.5-15×50 Scopes

The 2.5-15×50 power range is mainly geared towards hunting, although it works pretty well for long-distance shooting. These 2.5-15 models are 13.8 inches long and weigh in at 26.9 ounces. The length and weight are in line with most other 30mm scopes in the 2.5-15 power range.

Like all the Forge models, the 2.5-15 models were available in two colors: Black and Terrain. The color differences is one of the reasons that there appears to be so much overlap between the models listed below.

Bushnell offered 7 Forge scope options in the 2.5-15×50 configurations, including four second focal plane variants and three first focal plane versions. The 2.5-15×50 models were available in the following configurations and reticle options:

  • Forge 2.5-15×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA SFP (Model RF2155BS1)
  • Forge 2.5-15×50 Riflescope Bushnell DOA LR600 SFP (Model RF2155TS5)
  • Forge 2.5-15×50 Riflescope Bushnell Deploy MOA SFP (Model RF2155TS1)
  • Forge 2.5-15×50 Riflescope Bushnell DOA LR600 SFP (Model RF2155TS5)
  • Forge 2.5-15×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA FFP (Model RF2155BF1)
  • Forge 2.5-15×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA FFP (Model RF2155TF1)
  • Forge 2.5-15×50 Riflescope Deploy MIL FFP (Model RF2155BF2)

The models with the DOA LR600 or DOA LR800 reticles were phased out in 2020 and are very difficult to find.

Bushnell Forge 3-18×50 Scopes

Bushnell offered seven models of the Forge scopes in the 3-18×50 configuration, including four SFP models and three FFP options. The 3-18 Forge scopes were 14.69 inches long and weighed 29.2 ounces.

The 3-18 magnification range was geared towards hunters and long-range shooters who wanted an optic that was versatile enough for multiple uses.

Bushnell Forge 3-18x50 with Deploy MOA Reticle

The 3-18 models were also offered in either Black or Terrain coloring.

The 3-18 models were offered in the following configurations and reticle options:

  • Forge 3-18×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA SFP (Model RF3185BS1)
  • Forge 3-18×50 Riflescope DOA LR800 SFP (Model RF3185BS6)
  • Forge 3-18×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA SFP (Model RF3185TS1)
  • Forge 3-18×50 Riflescope DOA LR800 SFP (Model RF3185TS6)
  • Forge 3-18×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA FFP (Model RF3185BF1)
  • Forge 3-18×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA FFP (Model RF3185TF1)
  • Forge 3-18×50 Riflescope Deploy MIL FFP (Model RF3185BF2)

Bushnell Forge 4.5-27×50 Scopes

The most powerful magnification range offered in the Forge scopes is the 4.5-27×50 models. Bushnell introduced seven models in this power range: four SFP options and three FFP scopes.

Like all the Forge scopes, the 4.5-27×50 models were available in either a black or terrain color. The terrain looks like a cross between FDE and bronze.

These 4.5-27 models were 14 inches long and weighed 29.9 ounces. Additionally, these Forge models were built with 4-inch eye relief.

Bushnell Forge 4.5-27x50 FDE Rife Scope

The 4.5-27x50mm models were offered in the following configurations and reticle options:

  • Forge 4.5-27×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA SFP (Model RF4275BS1)
  • Forge 4.5-27×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA SFP (Model RF4275TS1)
  • Forge 4.5-27×50 Riflescope DOA LR800 SFP (Model RF4275BS6)
  • Forge 4.5-27×50 Riflescope DOA LR800 SFP (Model RF4275TS6)
  • Forge 4.5-27×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA FFP (Model RF4275BF1)
  • Forge 4.5-27×50 Riflescope Deploy MOA FFP (Model RF4275TF1)
  • Forge 4.5-27×50 Riflescope Deploy MIL FFP (Model RF4275BF2)

At the beginning of 2020, Bushnell discontinued the two 4.5-27×50 scope models with the DOA LR800 reticle option (Models Model RF4275BS6 and RF4275TS6).

Forge European Scope Series

In 2019, Bushnell also started offering additional Forge scope options that were initially designed for the European market. In some respects, these European-based Forge models are a better buy than the versions marketed for the US.

These scopes included the following models:

1-8×30 Forge 1-8×30 German 4i Reticle SFP (Model RF1830BS9)

This 1-8×30 scope is a second focal plane (SFP) model built for short-range shooting or situations where fast target acquisition is vital.

This model is built on a larger 34mm tube and features a German #4i (with the “I” standing for illumination) reticle. The illumination option has six intensity settings.

As this scope was built for the European market, the turret adjustments (and pretty much everything else on this model) are labeled in centimeters.

However, the optical quality of this model is extremely good for the cost.

Forge 2-16×50 German 4i Reticle SFP (Model RF21650BS9)

This SFP scope is built on a larger 34mm tube and is equipped with a German #4i illuminated reticle. Like most all the other European-focused scopes on this page, the 4i reticle features six illumination levels.

This scope model also features the exposed turrets and Bushnell’s Revlimiter zero stop feature.

The larger 34mm tube pushes the weight of this scope up to 34.4 ounces, but the ED Prime glass is impressive for a scope built in South Korea.

Forge 3-24×56 German 4i Reticle SFP (Model RF21650BS9)

The last Forge model built for the European market is the 3-24×56 model equipped with the German #4i reticle.

This model is also built on the larger 34mm tube and is a second focal plane design. The German 4i reticle is popular in Europe and offers six illumination settings.

Bushnell Forge European 3-24x56 Scope

This version is equipped with a side focus that will adjust down to 10 yards.

Like all the Forge scopes built for the European market, this model is made in South Korea.

What I Like About the Forge Scopes

The Bushnell Forge scopes were equipped with several features and functionality that I like, including the following:

Side focus parallax adjustments that would adjust down to 25 yards

I’ve already touched on this above, but side focus is the industry standard now for scopes, and I prefer it over an adjustable objective. The ability to focus down to 25 yards is an excellent option as well since it offers you the ability to shoot at close-up targets that are clear and in focus.

Optical Quality

The Forge scopes were marketed as a top-tier scope in the Bushnell scope line, but not the top of the line within the Bushnell scope hierarchy. The Tactical Elite series is still the premier line within Bushnell.

When the Forge scopes were first introduced, they were manufactured in South Korea, and the optical quality was excellent. However, at some point, Bushnell transitioned the production of the Forge line over to a facility in China, and the optical quality of the Chinese-made models isn’t quite as good as the Korean-made models.

Still, the current Forge scopes have surprisingly good glass for a Chinese-made riflescope.

Locking Turrets with a Zero Stop

All the Forge scopes are built with exposed turrets, which is excellent for target-based scopes, but can be a potential issue for hunting scopes. With a hunting scope, there’s always a chance that the turret could be accidentally changed, which would change the point of impact.

The Forge scopes are equipped with locking turrets to prevent an accidental turret change. The turrets must be pulled up (unlocked) to be adjusted. When the turrets are pushed back down, they lock into place.

First and Second Focal Plane Options

First focal plane scopes are growing in popularity, especially shooting disciplines like long-range target and long-range hunting. By offering Forge scopes in both a first and second focal plane configuration, both ends of the shooting/hunting market are covered.

While I like both focal planes, I lean more towards the hunting side of the fence, so I’m an old fashion, second focal plane shooter.

Were the Forge Scopes Discontinued?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes; the Forge riflescopes have been discontinued. Bushnell opted to phase out the entire Forge line of scopes at the end of 2020.

Bushnell removed the Forge line from their website and annual catalog and moved the remaining Forge models they had into the secondary market.

Why Were the Forge Scopes Phased Out?

The unofficial answer within the rifle scope industry is that the Forge line was phased out to make room for new Bushnell scope models.

Here are my theories as to why they were discontinued:

  • The Forge line was offered in a price range that was too high for a scope made in southeast Asia. At the $900 to $1200 price point, US customers expect optics that are either assembled in the United States or manufactured in Japan (at a minimum).
  • The Forge pricing was very close to the bottom end pricing on the Bushnell Tactical Elite scopes. The Elite Tactical line is Bushnell’s premium scope series manufactured in Japan. As a result, the Forge scopes either indirectly or directly competed with the Elite Tactical line, which adversely impacted sales of the Forge models.

Are the Bushnell Forge Scopes on Clearance, or can they still be Purchased?

When the Forge scope models went to the secondary market (as in no longer being for sale directly at Bushnell), any minimum advertised pricing (commonly known as MAP pricing) requirements were lifted, so most scope resellers have them on sale at deeply discounted pricing.

Here are locations where I found the Bushnell Forge scopes available and on sale at a discount:

Forge 2.5-15×50 Scopes on Clearance

If you don’t see any items listed, then I was not able to locate at items in this group.

3-18×50 Scopes on Clearance

4.5-17×50 Scopes on Clearance

Here are locations where the European versions of the Forge scopes are still for sale:

1-8×30 Forge 1-8×30 German 4i Reticle SFP

Forge 2-16×50 German 4i Reticle SFP

Forge 3-24×56 German 4i Reticle SFP


Here are some commonly asked questions that are frequently asked about the Bushnell Forge line of scopes:

Are Bushnell Forge scopes any good?

The Forge scopes offer several premium features typically found on more expensive riflescope models. In addition, the optical quality and overall performance are good for riflescopes in this price range. I would rate the Forge scopes as a better-than-average buy based on all those factors.

Do the Bushnell Forge scopes have a zero stop?

All the Bushnell Forge scopes are equipped with a zero stop feature called the RevLimiter Zero Stop. The RevLimiter is a mechanical zero stop configuration (not shim-based) and is easy to set with an Allen wrench included in the Forge packaging.

How do the Bushnell Forge scopes compare to the Bushnell Elite Tactical scopes?

The Elite Tactical series is Bushnell’s premier scope series manufactured in Japan. However, the Forge scopes are one or two steps below the Elite Tactical models regarding glass quality, reticle options, and performance.