SWFA SS 10x42 Tactical Rear Focus
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- Last updated: 22/10/2018
The British Shooting show is a great opportunity to get a look at a wide selection of shooting gear, and chat to the people behind its development and distribution. This year’s event, held at the impressive NEC in Birmingham, laid on a feast of hardware, and when I spotted the Optics Warehouse stand, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in for a good peruse.
They carry a huge selection of scopes from most of the big brands, but one fairly compact model that caught my eye was from a company called SWFA SS, which apparently is the latest incarnation of the highly regarded Super Sniper brand. The name was changed after US shooting sports retail outlet, SWFA Outdoor, purchased and revamped the brand. All SWFA SS scopes are manufactured in Japan in the Kenco Optical factory and are specified as featuring top quality lenses and multi-coating systems. Up until now, fixed magnification has been this company’s speciality, but variable mag models are on the cards soon, according to my sources. As for Japanese construction, it’s always a big plus with optics; so, I was eager to see how this model shaped up.
The test model here, that caught my eye, is the SWFA SS 10X42 Tactical Rear Focus, and this is built around a 30mm body tube. It certainly looks sleek and the robust, fixed power design means less moving parts and a concentration of quality where it matters. A fixed 10x magnification, and an objective lens of 42mm is an ideal spec for many applications, so it comes as no surprise that this model has been very popular among air rifle/rimfire and centre fire shooters in the US for the past couple of years. The SWFA SS brand is apparently notable for their modest pricing, simplicity and dependability, and again that simple specification is the key if it suits.
Removing the scope from its basic packaging revealed a solid, straightforward piece of glassware and first impressions were definitely favourable. The matt black, non-reflective finish is highly practical, whilst the visible build quality is spot-on. Weightier than some, but at just under 19oz, the SWFA SS feels about right. The usual quick focus sits to the rear, and this turns with a reassuring amount of resistance, so as not to come out of adjustment. Parallax is adjusted and corrected via the rear collar, rather than the more customary side knob/wheel on the left of the saddle, and here it moves a little more freely, but still with the necessary degree of resistance.
Parallax markings are perfect for airgun Hunter Field Target or hunting duties, with the minimum range marked at 10-metres, then 20m, 30m, 50m, and then 100, 200, 300, 500, and ∞. No additional sunshade is supplied, (or lens covers in my box) but look closely at the objective, and that seam is effectively a small shade around 1.25-inches in length.
With the scope mounted up in 30mm mounts, zeroing the turrets took no time at all. Accurate and repeatable click adjustments is all we ask, and the .1Mil Radian increments (equal to .36-inches @ 100-yards) did their job perfectly. Turret clicks are audible and positive, which is always favourable. They are clearly marked and can be loosened via three Allen screws, pulled off their spindle, and reset to zero, or as required. However, they cannot be locked, which will be a downside for some. On the positive side, both windage and elevation drums carry a tracking marker, which allows for a quick visual check as to the number of revolutions undertaken, and double markings to correspond to those revolutions when undertaken. All useful information if and when required. Image quality is impressive and vibrant, with good resolution, and no aberrations.
My test scope came fitted with what the manufacturers term the Mil Quad reticle, although this can be specified as MOA Quad; and this has an inner fine section with full Mil-Dots and ½-Mil markings, then an extended stadia at 6 o’clock for longer range work. It’s clear and precise, and with German-style thick posts to guide the eye, it’s not too easily lost either in dark foliage for example. In short then, this is a crisp bold image, with plenty of reference points to help relay information to the shooter.
The general feel and image quality of this SWFA SS model reminded me of the Sightron brand with a comparable specification, which is praise indeed. All the usual assurances are here too, with this model being water, fog and shockproof. A super sharp image, ultraprecise adjustments, and that satisfyingly practical Mil Quad reticle all combine nicely at a price that seems fair. This is definitely one for an HFT shortlist, or a general hunting tool.
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