SWFA 16×42 Super Sniper
I own two of these. They’re great scopes. One has turret markings that are just a hair off of perfect, the other is perfect. Both track very consistently as measured with a bore collimator and from taking them out to 1000m a few times.
I’ve never been a fan of turret caps that attach with interference fit set screws. Splining the interior like Bushnell does on their Elite line would have been foolproof in that regard and they could have used top screw(s) to affix them. Such is life. What I can say with conviction is the clicks are positive. Audible clicking and unmistakable tactile feedback are there. It’s not as notchy as the Bushnell scopes but it’s definitely positive. Overall first impressions are of a students budget imposed on otherwise very high quality. How it managed to be this good I don’t know.
There are markings on the ends of the turret caps. Why? Doesn’t that kind of thing belong on the sides?
Optics: Optically the scope is brilliant. The glass was nice and clear all the way to the edges and I couldn’t find anything that would allow me to gripe about the glass. Well done there. A very bright image even for a fixed 16x. It’s a brighter image than the Bushnell Elite 10×40. It’s obviously not at bright as their 10×42 SS but with magnification comes some penalties. I got 16x for a number of reasons. Suffice it to say 16x fit my needs better than 10x for 2 rifles.
Parallax: The adjustment works as marked but the markings are not in a place that’s useful behind the rifle. Nobody ever gets that right. The difference between 100 yards parallax setting and infinity is almost nothing though. At very close ranges you can use the parallax ring to range things. Beyond 100yards though it’s better if you use something else like a rangefinder or ranging reticle.
Some design elements that could use some changes for various reasons:
1. Parallax adjustment ring. The numbers face the opposite way of how I’d expect or desire. If the adjustment ring were set up so you could read the values from behind the scope it would make more sense to me. It’s functional how it is but if you’re like me and use parallax to help with quick ranging estimation you’d like to be able to read the parallax setting from behind the rifle. If you just ranged the target through the reticle it would be similarly useful to be able to set appropriate parallax adjustment without getting off the rifle. The parallax adjustment could also be made more granular so it requires a larger sweep to go lock to lock but that’s not even something I’m sure would be useful. Deal with the behind-the-rifle readability issue and the sweep issue will probably seem to stop existing.
2. Some text on the turret caps is on the ends and not facing the shooter. Again, that’s not a spot I can see from behind the rifle. To my sensibilities the text should not be in a position where the reader cannot use it from behind the rifle. It should be on the side of the caps. It should have “UP ->” repeated a few times around the circumference of the side of the elevation cap and a similar modification on the windage knob. Similarly there’s no need to identify that down is the other direction from up.
3. The box it comes in is very plain and just all white. A little embellishment on the box would be cool. Maybe a couple more stickers with the brand on it. It won’t take much to spruce up a white box. You’re saving on packaging but how much are a couple stickers? Half of the customer base has to be mall ninjas and we all know there’s nothing more exciting to a mall ninja than a cool box.
4. How about 1 screw in compression engagement to retain the turret caps. No more set-screws and shear loads.
The scope finish is tough. It looks like maybe Type III hard anodizing. Good luck marring it. I tried.
Yeah it has one. Not a big one but it’s there. It’s there overhanging the objective lens by about 2 inches in total. That’s farther than you might expect looking at the body.
Price: $300. Do yourself a favor and get them directly from SWFA.com.
Turret Adjustment Range: It’s just plain bloody huge. Greater vertical adjustment than the competition in any price range I’ve come across. Windage range which decreases substantially as you depart from the centerline of elevation. You could probably get away with not having a canted scope base just because of this scopes massive vertical range. I’m running a 20MOA base and 20MOA in the rings for a total of 40MOA (about 11MRAD) in the hardware. I run that big cant in the hardware because not all scopes have this kick-butt range and I can dial 20MOA out pretty quickly by flipping the eccentrics on one scope ring.
Am I happy with my purchase? Yes. So much so I bought another. Both of them have acquitted themselves valiantly on the 1000m line and on the 100m line.
The pic below was taken with an iPhone at dusk by my spotter (The Disco Tripper) holding his phone behind the scope. You’re looking at the 500m line. Notice how similar the optical quality is to the Bushnell 10×40 and how much better it is. The blurred bullet impact marks that were invisible in the Bushnell and ground texture which is not as clear as with the US Optics ST-10 but which is much more clear than with the Bushnell.