HAM Checks Out The New Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster Scope
We first saw the new Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope at the 2018 SHOT Show. As with all Leapers products, Bugbuster scopes focus on value and this new model is no exception. Also, Bugbusters are particularly suitable for airgun use due to their incredibly-close focusing minimum focusing distance of just 3 Yards.
So, this review will concentrate on the specifically airgun-related aspects of the Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope.
Opening the box shows that Leapers carefully protects the scope from shipping shocks with environmentally-friendly card packaging.
As always with Leapers scopes, opening the box reveals a treasure trove of goodies.!
Included with the Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope are a sunshade, flip-up lens caps, rings, tools, a spare screw for the rings, a comprehensive user’s manual and a lens cleaning cloth.
Of course, the high point of the Bugbuster has always been its 3-Yard minimum focusing distance. That defining feature has been preserved in this newest model.
From an optical design perspective, the highlight of the Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope is its 4 X zoom range. Building this into such a small scope was definitely NOT easy!
Another expected airgun-friendly feature of this new Bugbuster is Leapers “True Strength” lens bracing system. This makes the Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope resistant to the fierce forward recoil that can be generated by powerful spring/piston and gas ram air rifles.
And, of course, the Bugbuster has Leapers standard Mil Dot reticle that’s so useful for holdover and holdunder when use with airguns.
Yet another great feature of this scope is that it is bundled with scope rings. In principal, this should mean that there’s no need to buy a separate set of rings. Unfortunately, this is where things start to get complicated for the airgunner…
You see, Leapers has chosen to bundle the Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope with Picatinny/Weaver rings. If you have an air rifle with a Picatinny/Weaver rail, there’s no problem.
But, of course, the majority of air rifles do not have a Weaver/Picatinny rail. Leapers does have a solution for this in the form of the DTP-2 adapter. This consists of two small adapters which fit inside Weaver/Picatinny rings, thus allowing them to fit standard airgun dovetails.
The fit is very neat, as can be seen below. The hole in the DTP2 adapter is for a scope stop screw. That’s another great feature. But due to the confined space available, it’s a small screw. It’s not completely clear that it would be sufficient to tame the recoil of a powerful spring/piston or gas ram air rifle over an extended period.
A further benefit of the Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope is the optional extra of a side wheel. This certainly makes focusing much easier and is definitely recommended for this new scope. However, it brings it’s own issues, as we’ll see below.
If the Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope is mounted onto a PCP air rifle like the Benjamin Marauder, for example, it’s logical to install the rings with their locking levers on the left side. This keeps them clear of your hand operating the bolt handle.
But, the problem with this is that now the side wheel will not fit. Those locking levers are in the way…
The obvious answer is to mount the rings – including their DTP2 adapters, of course – the other way round. Now the side wheel fits as it should.
But turn the gun around and a problem emerges. The locking lever of the rear ring prevents the magazine from being used. Aaagh!!!
Please don’t get us wrong, the Leapers UTG 3-12X32 Bugbuster scope is a great product. But most airgunners will be best advised to also buy a pair of dedicated airgun rings to go with their new scope and side wheel. It’s just a shame that Leapers doesn’t offer a version of this scope with bundled airgun rings. That would be perfect!