I'm generally happy with the scopes I have on the guns I have, but it took a little time and money to work things out. The Burris 1.5-4x started out on my Dan Wesson .44, but didn't work out because of a combination of its relatively short eye relief, my arm length and shooting style, and the DW's barrrel shroud mounting system. Next, I moved the Burris to my S&W 500, but I still wasn't comfortable with it because of eye relief and blackout problems. I finally moved the Burris to a Browning Buckmark 5.5 Target, and now that's my FAVORITE scope/handgun combo. I can hold the .22 back a little closer to me so the eye relief is no longer a problem; I really like the magnification range; and the scope's clarity is superb.
It took me a while to find a scope that worked for me on the DW .44. I finally went with the Bushnell Elite 3200 2-6x. Bushnell says it has a constant eye relief of, I think, 20 to 22 inches. I don't think I would call it a "constant" whatever number of inches, but I can hold the DW out in a comfortable position and still see through the scope at up to 5x without any blackout. I really don't use the higher magnifications when shooting off hand, but it's nice to actually be able to if I wanted to. The only time I have really used the higher magnifications has been when shooting from the bench or from some other kind of rest. As far as optical quality, I don't think the Bushnell is as sharp as the Burris, but you'd have to compare them side by side to really notice the difference. From my experience, however, I would say the Bushnell Elite 2-6x has the longest eye relief on any handgun scope I've tried BY FAR, while the Burris scopes generally seem to have the shortest eye relief.
For the S&W 500, I was concerned about the recoil's effects on the scope. I eventually decided on the Leupold 2x. I have mostly Leupold scopes on my rifles, and have always been well pleased with all of them. It seems to be working fine so far. I wish it had just a little longer eye relief, however. It dosen't completely black out like the Burris did, but, if you aren't lined up perfectly behind it, you will see little black cresents move in from the sides, and this slows down target acquisition somewhat.
As far as your question about the Bushnell Trophy 2-6x, I think it's a nice little variable for the money, but it's not in the same class as the Elite 3200 2-6x. It also dosen't have as long eye relief either. I think it's probably a fine choice for a .22 or some other light recoiling handgun, but I'm not sure about putting it on something like your SBH .44 because of the recoil.
While I haven't actually used the Burris 2x, I think I would advise you to take a look at one of these. It about the same price as the Bushnell Tropy 2-6x, and the Burris 2x should hold up under the .44's recoil. Also, for a hunting handgun you won't really need more than 2x magnification. Another option might be the Nikon 2x, but I haven't used one of these either. There are cheaper scopes out there, but in the long run, spending a few dollars more in the beginning might be less expensive than buying another scope later.
I would suggest trying to find a dealer that stocks a number of different scopes and trying all the ones you might be interested in. Compare them side by side. Look at the optical clarity. Check out the eye relief. Try different manifications. Decide what works best for you. Before you go, have someone use a tape measure and measure the distance from your eye to where the rear objective lens would be on your SBH. Try to duplicate this distance when you hold the scope in the store to approximate how it would actually work out for you. My favorite dealer has a dummy rifle stock with rubber mounting brackets, and you can actually hold this out far enough to duplicate how you would hold a handgun.
Another possibility might be something like the Aimpoint mentioned in another post. I thought about one of these for my DW, but I wasn't sure about battery life. Someone with actual experience with one of these would be better qualified than me to advise you here. I do have a Tasco ProPoint on a different gun, but I don't think I would recommend it for your SBH .44. I think the recoil would be a problem for it.
Last edited by Raoul; 09-30-2005 at 03:19 AM.