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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 01:36
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Hey guys, been checking out the site for a few years, finally decided to sign up so I could pick your brains on the SWFA scopes.


The particular application for this scope will be for long range shooting (hopefully out to 1,000 yards).


I just finished a precision rifle build using a Black Hole Weaponry 1:8 twist 24" BBL.  Using the new 77 grain Tipped Sierra Match Kings, I hope to keep the bullets supersonic to 1,000 yards.

Anyway, for high end glass, I currently have a Vortex Viper PST 6-24X, Vortex HD Razor 5-20X and a US Optics 5-25X (though I have not yet set up the US Optics).

Anyway, I like everything I've read about the classic SWFA SS classic line and "T-Rex" reviews (Sniper 101 videos on you-tube) talk very highly of the SWFA fixed 10X scope.  At first I was going to get this one for my build, but then saw the 12X. 


Now I see there are other magnifications as well up to and including the fixed 20X. 

I am VERY much liking the $299 price point of these fixed power classic scopes, and I also really like the fact that tracking is supposedly up there with the "big name" boys.   Glass is also supposedly very good on these as well.  I absolutely need reliable tracking though.


So, questions I'd like to ask of those with hands on experience are:

1) Is the tracking as reliable as they say?

2) Is the tracking reliable through all of the fixed power SS scopes? (10X, 12X, 16X, 20X)

3) Which one would you recommend for my application for punching paper and steel at 1,000 yds and in? ( I would also be using this at the 100 yd line for working up loads for accuracy as I do this currently with my 6-24X Viper PST as well)


Any and all input greatly appreciated.


Another point of reference if it helps, I took a SPR/Designated Rifleman course up in Yakima Wa. with Magpul Dynamics instructor Caylen (ex Marine scout sniper, and sniper schoolhouse instructor).  In that class I used an 18" BHW medium contour BBL and we were engaging steel human sized targets out to 850 yds.  That was about the transonic barrier with that particular load and rifle.  I was also using a Weaver Tactical Grand Slam 3-10X scope.  I had no problem with tracking, and the magnification seemed adequate as well.  Recently using this same scope and rifle, I was able to make 1st round hits @ 400 yards on a 3" and 4" steel gong.  That said, I do love extra magnification!


I hope to push these higher B.C. bullets a little faster and farther out of my new AR build.


Thanks in advance!  I look forward to hearing more about these particular scopes from you guys!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 01:42
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I also can't seem to find the edit button anywhere....


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 01:56
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You need 50 post's to edit. What did you want to edit?

Yes, the legendary reliability of the SS is real. I've had/have several SS scopes and they tracked and repeated remarkably well. The SS 3-9x, 10x and 12x I've had tracked as well as my US Optics SN-3 with ERGO knob ever did. Frankly, that's the reason the USO got sold. 
  
I haven't shot out to 1000 yards with them, but many, many others have and reported good results. 

Welcome to Optics Talk. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 02:08
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Thank you for the welcome and input.  That's encouraging to hear about the SWFA SS line.


 I was hoping to possibly add more to the original post, but that's ok.


If the glass is as good as I've read, and all of those models track as well as I hope, then my decision is going to come down to which magnification with regards to all the info I provided above.  Like I said, I know I can probably hit steel @ 1,000 yards with a fixed 10X, but if the glass is clear, I'd like to go up in magnification.  Just not sure which one.  I know @ 1,000 the targets get REAL small.  it's also nice to have the large X at 100 too for working up loads.


Again, looking forward to everyone's input on this, what they personally would choose and their reasoning behind it.  I think that will help me to make a better decision.


I also am really liking the mil-quad reticle.  Looks like it would make for a more precision shot placement.  The turrets will also need to be mil.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 02:13
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SWFA also makes the 10x HD which has all the attributes of the SS 10x, but with superior glass. 

http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-HD-10x42-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P50717.aspx

I think I would want to stay at or under 12x. Mirage can be a real bitch with much more magnification. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 02:25
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I was really excited about the price point of the classic SS line, but it's good to know that platform is available with HD glass.


You are correct about the mirage at higher magnification.  I have experienced that first hand more than once.  When the view is clear though, it sure is nice to be zoomed in close for the longer range, or trying to print small groups up close. 


These are the decisions and variables I'm tossing around for this purchase.  You bring some very valid points to the table, and it is much appreciated.  Exactly what I am wanting to glean from the members here. 


I viewed a thread here with pictures of targets through the scopes at the different magnifications.  Perhaps I need to try to find some more that extend beyond 300 yards.  Those were quite helpful.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 06:27
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Your welcome, but there are several shooters here with more experience than I when it comes to shooting out to 1000 yards. 

One more thing. If you are so inclined to buy.....say a 12x SS, it's only a mere $300. Your out virtually nothing. If it didn't suit your needs, you could sell it and recoup most of your money back. 

Have you considered the SS 3-15x? After reading your initial post, (after a few cups of coffee), maybe the 3-15x would be worth looking at. A variable may nice if your shooting "movers".  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 06:44
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Your welcome, but there are several shooters here with more experience than I when it comes to shooting out to 1000 yards. 

One more thing. If you are so inclined to buy.....say a 12x SS, it's only a mere $300. Your out virtually nothing. If it didn't suit your needs, you could sell it and recoup most of your money back. 

Have you considered the SS 3-15x? After reading your initial post, (after a few cups of coffee), maybe the 3-15x would be worth looking at. A variable may nice if your shooting "movers".  

It's good to know I could easily get my money back out of one of the $300 classic scopes if I wind up not happy with it. That particular scope does look nice.  I'll keep it in mind if I get a fixed power that doesn't do what I need. 


As it is, I usually leave my scopes at full magnification.  On the 2nd focal plane models, you usually need it at max to get accurate ranging, and I rarely have need for the lower end on the magnification range with the type of shooting I do (at least with the purpose this particular rifle will have, well, unless I take it varmint hunting, but they're usually standing still when I squeeze off the shot).  I've not yet shot "movers" at distance, but I can see why you'd want to dial down if that were the case.


I guess one of my big questions is when is it too much magnification?


One more thing. I've read on the forums is watch for "Black Friday" sales.  Does that mean the SWFA SS classics will go on sale below $300?  If so, where would I go to watch for them to go on sale?  Being so close to that sales day, I'd feel somewhat foolish if I bought the same scope for more $$ a couple of weeks ahead of time!


Oh, and looking at the specs, I didn't see where it listed the total travel for elevation and windage.  All it said was total elevation adjustment : Mils

Total Elevation Adjustment:   Mils
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 07:09
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My old 10x SS is MOA and if I recall correctly, it has 120 MOA PLUS total elevation. Virtually 60 up and 60 down.  

The 3-15x is rated at 36 mils, so I "assume" the Mil/Mil fixed power will be the same.   

The Black Friday Sale may include a lesser priced SS, but The Sample List always has a few SS models for sale at less than MSRP. 

I paid full list for my SS at $300 and honestly felt like I stole it, FWIW. 
I'll never part with it. I call it Old Faithful.  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 08:23
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I have a 10xHD… it has been on every rifle I have except the Ruger #1's (too much involved in mounting for a scope I know I'm not going to leave there).  It is a "must have" in my opinion.  If I had to go with only one scope, it would be a tossup between the 10xHD and my Kahles ZF84, leaning toward the SS.  
As a side note… the 10xHD survived Bigdaddy… he's known for unique explorations of a scope's toughness...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 09:00
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Dan, would you have any reservations about shooting the 10x HD out to 1000 yards? 

The superior glass of the HD could help negate the mirage factor, I suspect. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 14:34
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

My old 10x SS is MOA and if I recall correctly, it has 120 MOA PLUS total elevation. Virtually 60 up and 60 down.  

The 3-15x is rated at 36 mils, so I "assume" the Mil/Mil fixed power will be the same.   

The Black Friday Sale may include a lesser priced SS, but The Sample List always has a few SS models for sale at less than MSRP. 

I paid full list for my SS at $300 and honestly felt like I stole it, FWIW. 
I'll never part with it. I call it Old Faithful.  

I would imagine 36 mils would be plenty of elevation assuming it's centered, or even on the bottom half of the adjustment starting out.  I probably wouldn't need to dial more than 12-15 mil to reach out to the maximum capable range of this particular platform.


I agree $300 is cheap for this scope line if in fact they are capable of all the claims.  But I hate to leave $$ sitting on the table if there's a sale to be had. Big Grin


I did check out the sample list.  Thanks for posting that.  I bookmarked one of the 20X SWFA SS scopes on there.  I think it was $30 or so off retail.  I'm into saving as much $$ as possible, but still don't want to get a crappy scope.  It sounds like the SWFA SS line is a great balance of the two.


Where would one go to find the Black Friday sale?  Is it here on this site somewhere?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 14:43
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Check back on this site and you should see a link as it nears. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 14:55
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Check back on this site and you should see a link as it nears. 

Very good.  Thanks again for all the help.  It's much appreciated.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 17:57
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Dan, would you have any reservations about shooting the 10x HD out to 1000 yards? 

The superior glass of the HD could help negate the mirage factor, I suspect. 

No reservations, whatsoever.  It's made for it...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 18:07
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Dan, would you have any reservations about shooting the 10x HD out to 1000 yards? 

The superior glass of the HD could help negate the mirage factor, I suspect. 

No reservations, whatsoever.  It's made for it...

At what point, or reason might you go with a 12X, 16X or 20X in the classic line for long range vs the 10X HD?  I'm having a hard time more than doubling the price of said optic choices at this point.

Thanks!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 18:22
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Personally, I wouldn't put 16x or higher fixed on any gun that might have a shot less than 600 yards or so.

For your stated purposes, I would do the 10X.

Glass is perfectly serviceable. Against a $2k scope, that's not a fair comparison - on the glass. On tracking, perfect is perfect, there is no perfect-er.

If you are set on a fixed, I would do the 10x.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 18:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2015 at 21:38
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A few comments.

When choosing a riflescope, figure out how much you want to spend.

If your budget is $300, get the 10x42 SS Classic and never look back.

If your budget is not fixed at $300 and you can spend a bit more without major life issues, perhaps you should spend a bit more.  That is for you to decide.

That out of the way, I have seen more SWFA SS scopes that most (honestly, outside of people who work for SWFA, I have seen more of these than just about anyone) and they track with boring consistency.  As a reviewer, I have a love/hate relationship with SWFA SS scopes: using them is a lot of fun, but writing about them really isn't.  They punch above their weight class and give me very little to nitpick on.

With fixed power Classic scopes, I think 10x is the sweetspot, although 12x is quite good as well.  16x and 20x have limited application.  6x is quite excellent as well, but is outside of this discussion.

On keeping 77 SMKs supersonic at 1000 yards:  
I am not sure what altitude you are at, but to have a snowball's chance in hell of doing that you have to be either above 5000ft altitude or really pushing your loads.  If you plan to push your handloads, I would strongly encourage you to that with a botlgun, not an AR.  Handloading ARs hot, is asking for trouble.

With 5.56 pressures, I had the most consistent performance at max load with Ramshot TAC and that got me about 2800fps in a 20 inch barrel, so if you are lucky and you got a fast barrel, you might get around 2860-2900 out of a 24" tube.

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2015 at 04:20
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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to chime in on this subject.  You've given me a lot to think about, and definitely given me reason to re-think the power factor issue.  Definitely not what I would have guessed for reaching way out there.  I generally keep the scopes I have on their maximum magnification even when paper punching @ 100 yards, so 10X for up to 1,000 yards, yeah..... 


I guess I need to re-think my game.Big Grin

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2015 at 04:25
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

A few comments.

When choosing a riflescope, figure out how much you want to spend.

If your budget is $300, get the 10x42 SS Classic and never look back.

If your budget is not fixed at $300 and you can spend a bit more without major life issues, perhaps you should spend a bit more.  That is for you to decide.

That out of the way, I have seen more SWFA SS scopes that most (honestly, outside of people who work for SWFA, I have seen more of these than just about anyone) and they track with boring consistency.  As a reviewer, I have a love/hate relationship with SWFA SS scopes: using them is a lot of fun, but writing about them really isn't.  They punch above their weight class and give me very little to nitpick on.

With fixed power Classic scopes, I think 10x is the sweetspot, although 12x is quite good as well.  16x and 20x have limited application.  6x is quite excellent as well, but is outside of this discussion.

On keeping 77 SMKs supersonic at 1000 yards:  
I am not sure what altitude you are at, but to have a snowball's chance in hell of doing that you have to be either above 5000ft altitude or really pushing your loads.  If you plan to push your handloads, I would strongly encourage you to that with a botlgun, not an AR.  Handloading ARs hot, is asking for trouble.

With 5.56 pressures, I had the most consistent performance at max load with Ramshot TAC and that got me about 2800fps in a 20 inch barrel, so if you are lucky and you got a fast barrel, you might get around 2860-2900 out of a 24" tube.

ILya

Thanks for responding to my thread.  I've read your other forum/website, and was definitely interested to hear what you had to say on the matter.


As far as reaching out to 1,000 yards with the 5.56 AR15, I know it will be close, but I think it might be doable, even at sea level.  These particular bullets are the new tipped Sierra Match Kings, and have a bit higher (.420) B.C.  than the standard Match Kings.  I am getting around 2,600 FPS from the regular Match Kings out of my BHW 18" barrel, and I had hoped I'd get another 150 or so FPS out of the longer barrel.


One thing you had mentioned puzzled me though.  The 5.56 is supposed to support the higher pressures.  If so, how would a .223 bolt gun be able to push them faster?


Thanks!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2015 at 04:27
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There's no real right or wrong, I guess.

FWIW, I like my fixed 10x SS for load development or if I'm wanting to true a rifle. The 3-9x SS is the one I use most.   

My 3 favorite scopes are, in no particular order, the 10x SS, the 3-9x SS, and my Aimpoint Micro. Lastly, my Leupold VX-R 3-9x. Lower power variables best suit my needs, most of the time.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2015 at 04:30
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I might try those 77gr SMK's on my AR. What powder are you using? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2015 at 04:34
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

I might try those 77gr SMK's on my AR. What powder are you using? 

IMR 8208XBR.  It is supposedly very temperature stable.  I've made MANY accurate recipes using this powder.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2015 at 04:36
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Here's one I shot today playing with bullet seating depth using the tipped SMKs and IMR 8208XBR using my Savage bolt action .223


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