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Practically Shooting

SWFA Scopes


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Jumping straight to the point of my posting this:

SWFA-branded scopes have been a standout for me   Their SS line has become my go-to.  



(Bold statement alert)

Until you are talking higher level brands of at least $1,000 and up, I’ve just about stopped bothering with anything else.  
Or put another way, from their starting price point of around $300 on up to $1000 or so, they are my pick.  

Yes, you generally get what you pay for in optics, but the SWFA products seem to perform out of their price range.   

Just about the only time I don’t look at them first is when I’m forced: They don’t have a wide enough line to cover every need.   I recently wanted a small and light scope for a small and light short range rifle.  A fixed 2.5X was about right, but they don’t have one, so I bought a Leupold.  


The Super Sniper (SS) line they’ve sold for years is their standard bearer.  The base design was originally a 10X submitted for a US military test in the 1980s.  SWFA contracted to have this 10X made for commercial sales, then expanded out to 6X, 12X, 16X, and 20X.  Later they added other variations like the HD with better quality glass, and a choice of parallax knob location. 


In the last few years, they’ve sold some new designs like the 1-4X I’ve posted about here, a 2.5-10X Lightweight, and variable power models with HD glass.

As far as I know, all are made in Japan or the Philippines.  Don’t knock that.   Most scopes seem to be made in Japan, the Philippines, or China.  Many of the really nice brands we ooh and ahh over are made in Japan, and some good ones are also made in the Philippines.  China, well… China.


The SS line is $299.95 with a rear-located parallax control (where a variable’s power ring is) and $100 more with a side knob.  A couple of reticle choices, 1/4 MOA or 1/10 Mil, 30mm tube.  I use one for the long range .22 matches where we are dialing the knobs constantly.   The clicks are accurate and repeatable, which is extremely important there.  
A $300 scope.


And I haven’t paid full price yet.  
They have sales a few times each year.  Specific models get a good cut, plus the rest get 10% off across the board. 
They also have a “Sample List” of demos and trade-ins.   The SS models are usually around $250.  If you time it right during a sale, you can get a like-new one for around $220-225.   It’s almost comical what a deal they are.  The demos and trade-ins have three condition ratings.  I’ve had the top two and levels and could only see a very slight ring scuff on one of them.  

I have never had an HD model; only the “Classics”.   It’s a pretty fair step up in price for an HD (the 10X HD is $800) but they are still priced very competitively and everything I’ve read says they are worth it.

The only negative I can think of is shortages in the best of times.  When they are out of stock, it can take a while for the boat to arrive.   They have a big Black Friday sale that wipes them out pretty good each year, and it can be spring before they get some items back.  

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