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  #1  
Old 04-20-2017, 10:37 PM
GPAR GPAR is offline
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Default First serious scope- Viper, SWFA, or?

Hi all. looking for my first scope (other than a couple of vintage 4x's that came on the rifles). It's for a Ruger SR762 that will be used as my main all-around rifle and range toy. I've got 62 year old eyes and can't afford to practice as much as I used to, so probably nothing over 300 yards.

I had almost decided on the Vortex Viper 2.5-10 (seems to get a good reviews, great warranty), but then I saw the thread on the 3-15 SWFA (has side parallax adjustment, but I couldn't find anything on the warranty)

Love to hear views on these two from those who know, or other suggestions in the same price range. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2017, 11:02 PM
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The SWFA has a great warranty. I had a fixed 20X that I carried as an emergency back up for one of my 50BMGs for a few years. I got rid of it when I got a second NF NXS. a few years ago, I ended up buying a plinking 50BMG and bought another fixed power SWFA scope for it. While the clarity is not that of a +$1500 optic, for the price, they are hard to beat.
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2017, 2:14 PM
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both the
SWFA 3-15x and Viper 2.5-10 are GTG.

Since you are mounting on a 7.62 I highly recommend the SWFA (heavier but built like a tank)

Usually I prefer 34mm main tubes for .308/7.62 NATO/6.5Creedmoor

I mainly stick with 30mm main tubes for 5.56/.223/.300BO/762x39
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Old 04-23-2017, 5:42 PM
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SWFA SS 10x42 HD


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  #5  
Old 04-24-2017, 2:42 PM
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With older eyes I think a brighter view is even more important, and a forgiving eye box is going to reduce strain.

Note there are two different models of the Viper 2.5-10... While I prefer the smaller objective myself as it includes side parallax, the exit pupil size might not agree with aging eyes.

The 3-15 SWFA I also like... but I dont remember what the eye box was like on that scope. I think I would lean towards this if I were you.

Just as a general statement you cant really go wrong with SWFA or the upper end of the Vortex catalog.

More generalizations:
Regarding a forgiving eyebox... you will probably have a better viewing experience towards the bottom end of a range than at the top.

So a 3-15 might not as a forgiving as 15x on a 5-20x but it really depends on the individual scope.

My Razor 5-20 was more forgiving at 20x than my SWFA 5-20 SS HD @ 20x.

Either way you seem like you are on the right track... you might want to look at something like this too...
http://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/x...cope-2-10x42mm
http://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/x...cope-3-15x50mm
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Old 04-24-2017, 7:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeX View Post
With older eyes I think a brighter view is even more important, and a forgiving eye box is going to reduce strain.

Note there are two different models of the Viper 2.5-10... While I prefer the smaller objective myself as it includes side parallax, the exit pupil size might not agree with aging eyes.

The 3-15 SWFA I also like... but I dont remember what the eye box was like on that scope. I think I would lean towards this if I were you.

Just as a general statement you cant really go wrong with SWFA or the upper end of the Vortex catalog.

More generalizations:
Regarding a forgiving eyebox... you will probably have a better viewing experience towards the bottom end of a range than at the top.

So a 3-15 might not as a forgiving as 15x on a 5-20x but it really depends on the individual scope.

My Razor 5-20 was more forgiving at 20x than my SWFA 5-20 SS HD @ 20x.

Either way you seem like you are on the right track... you might want to look at something like this too...
http://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/x...cope-2-10x42mm
http://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/x...cope-3-15x50mm
Wow, that's crazy to hear about the Razor. I had the same Gen 1 razor scope and thought that it was pretty very unforgiving at 20x....can't imagine what the SWFA would be like!
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Old 04-24-2017, 8:19 PM
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Thanks guys, keep 'em coming. Still haven't been able to find specifics on the SWFA warranty- anyone got a link?
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  #8  
Old 04-24-2017, 8:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPAR View Post
Thanks guys, keep 'em coming. Still haven't been able to find specifics on the SWFA warranty- anyone got a link?
Pretty sure its lifetime... call them during business hours and double check. Their support is very good.

To be honest I have owned 6 Vortex scopes and I had issue with two of them. Both Viper PST scopes, one was a 6-24x50 which had some focus issues, and a 1-4x that had a parasitic drain killing the battery after a few months in storage. Both were replaced with new scopes no cost to me.

I have owned 4 SWFA scopes, 8 if you include family members since I handle all their optic stuff anyways, and never had an issue from the cheapest scopes to their HD line.

Either way you go, its a buy with confidence type of thing. Just go with what feels right to you because both are good options.
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Old 04-24-2017, 9:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodlookin1 View Post
Wow, that's crazy to hear about the Razor. I had the same Gen 1 razor scope and thought that it was pretty very unforgiving at 20x....can't imagine what the SWFA would be like!
It was similar but I found the Vortex to be a little more forgiving. I trust yours had the eye piece upgrade/recall. I think that was only for the very early models tho.

That said, its on two totally different rifles. The Gen 1 Razor is on a chassis with a lot more adjustability so there could be some setup error influencing that comment on the rifle that has my SWFA.

I do have to tip my hat to the SWFA SS HD tho... optically I feel it actually gave more than my Razor. For all the cons of the SS HD it sure delivered in the optical department. The stiff controls on a cold day and the overall fit and finish is why I prefer the Razor.
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Old 04-26-2017, 8:52 PM
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When I got my SWFA, I got so excited I forget to tighten the mount, and when I picked up the rifle I promptly dropped the scope, lense first, onto the concrete garage floor from about 5 feet up.

Works fine, only slight dent to the rim, a testament to how sturdy that scope is.
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Old 04-26-2017, 9:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
The SWFA has a great warranty. I had a fixed 20X that I carried as an emergency back up for one of my 50BMGs for a few years. I got rid of it when I got a second NF NXS. a few years ago, I ended up buying a plinking 50BMG and bought another fixed power SWFA scope for it. While the clarity is not that of a +$1500 optic, for the price, they are hard to beat.
Ive got two SWFA SS scopes, a fixed 10x and a 20x. Both of which Ive owned for at least ten years.
I use them as go betweens on rifles that Im waiting to glass, loaners or just back ups and I could not agree with you more.
Although they are not my Swarovski's they work, they repeat, they are tough as nails and for the price its hard to go wrong.

The only complaint is the 20x FOV is pretty limiting outside of bench work but that even can be overlooked for their price.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:00 PM
Horrendo Revolver Horrendo Revolver is offline
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I find the eye relief to be more critical on Vipers than with other comparably priced scopes - YMMV.

Are there no Meopta users in California?
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:07 PM
Horrendo Revolver Horrendo Revolver is offline
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I'll take a Razor over SWFA and SWFA over a Viper.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horrendo Revolver View Post
I'll take a Razor over SWFA and SWFA over a Viper.
When talking about SWFA is really helps to add which series of SWFA...

But I agree with what you are saying... Razor > SWFA SS HD > Viper PST > SWFA Classic

The cost and performance gap between the HD and Classic is pretty substantial. Similar to the gap between a Razor and Viper.
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Old 05-08-2017, 9:08 PM
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Ok, I am basically looking at this SWFA- https://swfa.com/catalog/product/view/id/121204/

versus this Viper-
https://swfa.com/vortex-2-5-10x44-vi...fle-scope.html

or possibly this one-
https://swfa.com/vortex-4-16x44-vipe...fle-scope.html
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Old 05-08-2017, 9:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPAR View Post
Well that helps a lot... Between those 3 scopes, the choice for ME is an easy one... I would pick the SWFA.

I always gravitate towards a MIL or MOA based optic with matching turrets. Its as simple as that, but its also a personal preference choice based off years worth of experience learning what I like and don't like to shoot with.

I just don't like BDC based reticles anymore... I also don't like capped turrets (on a target rifle) but it could be overlooked (or a pro if you wanted something a bit more tamper proof), the reticle choice alone makes the answer for me very clear.

That said... I have owned a Vortex Deadhold BDC before. I do appreciate that Vortex does publish the subtensions so it's not like its a complete loss, but its in a non-standard graduation which makes other tasks a lot more challenging and overall not as versatile. All depends on your use, load, and how lucky you get with that BDC matching up to what you shoot.

As far as falling into the category of your "first serious scope", nothing is more serious than owning a scope setup correctly to promote learning how to actually use a scope. The SWFA accomplishes that. If you can use that how it was intended to be used, you can use pretty much anything on the market. Everything you need to learn the fundamentals are there... how to dope your shots, correct for parallax error, correct zero, measure correction, ranging known size targets using the reticle... all the tools are there and in a format that is expected in a serious target/tactical scope.
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Old 05-09-2017, 8:40 PM
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Thank you! I had just about decided on the 2.5-10 Viper just to keep things simple to start out with. I also wasn't that thrilled with the reticle, though I didn't really know why and I liked their other choice even less.

Your explanation just brought everything into focus for me! It may cost me another round of shopping to be sure of my exact scope choice, but I do know I will be getting a scope with an MOA reticle and MOA turrets- and I know why!

I think you just did me (and anyone else who gets this) a huge service. I can't believe how much I have read about this stuff without really getting the perspective you put it in.

Are there any other scopes in this price range you would suggest? I would probably go lower powered rather than higher for the shooting I expect to do.
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Old 05-09-2017, 9:32 PM
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3-15x is a good place to be... it's only a 0.5 power difference from your other choice on the bottom end, not THAT noticeable.

Considering the top end has 5x more, it's a lot more valuable to me and a pretty fair trade off IMO. More zoom means you can make more accurate use of your ranging reticle, and the magnification helps when checking a target. It's a zoom scope, you can always turn it back down.

If the bottom end is really THAT big of a deal to you, then you might as well get a low power variable like a 1-6x or 1-8x scope. Personally I love these types of optics, especially on an AR-15. I run the SWFA 1-6x on my primary AR. I even have one (Vortex Viper PST 1-4x) on a hunting rifle and 10/22 (Weaver 1-3).

Its a bit pricey, but it is a substantial scope. I haven't missed my red dot since I purchased it, and I still regularly shoot out to 500-600 yards since its still setup like a traditional target scope.
https://swfa.com/swfa-ss-hd-1-6x24-t...iflescope.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by GPAR View Post
Are there any other scopes in this price range you would suggest? I would probably go lower powered rather than higher for the shooting I expect to do.
Not really, in fact I was just about to tell you to go in the opposite direction. All the scopes you have picked are SFP.

Here is the same scope you selected in FFP.
https://swfa.com/catalog/product/view/id/113813/

With a FFP optic the reticle scales up/down as you zoom in and out. So the reticle subtensions are ALWAYS true regardless of the magnification level.

With a SFP scope, the reticle is only true at its maximum magnification level.

Personally I REALLY prefer FFP scopes, especially when you actually use the wide magnification range. But in reality it all comes down to how YOU intend on using it. Sometimes I dial my correction, sometimes I hold over, sometimes I want more FOV. Its nice having the reticle scale, it reduces error and gives you a more usable package.

If you sit at a bench all day at max mag then it may be of little benefit. Again, it all depends on your personal use case.

If i was buying a dedicated benchrest scope, I could probably care less if it was FFP, in fact I would probably opt for a SFP as the reticle is generally thinner/finer when you look at the published subtensions; but it will vary from manufacture to manufacture.

But to answer your question... here are a few I am considering. Unfortunately there are not in the same price range. To be honest I consider most of these scopes to be in the bang for the buck / value category. Resale is generally also pretty good, so even though they may seem expensive, if you decide to move on its not like you are going to loose you shirt on it, but it helps to get a decent deal or a sale price.

http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/...4-mrad-reticle
http://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/x...ope-1.5-8x28mm
http://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/x...cope-2-10x42mm
http://www.burrisoptics.com/scopes/x...lescope-1-8x24

Personally I am leaning towards a Burris optic only because I haven't owned an XTR II. I just want to try something new, I have owned a lot of stuff from Vortex and SWFA. They also get good reviews.
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Old 05-10-2017, 9:38 PM
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Nice, thanks again. I love that 1-6 SWFA, but definitely out of my price range. I really think 6x would be adequate for most of my shooting, but none of the other 1-6x scopes I looked at had reticles I liked. Your SWFA is the only one I've seen so far that seems to support ranging, something I think, with my level of experience, I definitely need.

I am considering going the extra $100 for the FFP, but I need to play with it in my head some more, and maybe see what I can look through locally. I'm already pushing the budget pretty hard, but I can always find something to sell ; )
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Old 05-14-2017, 6:47 AM
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Cant beat a 10x42MM mil/mil SWFA for double the money.
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Old 05-14-2017, 6:55 AM
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Im excited about the new Athlon Ares line. Hearing great things.
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