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Review of new SS10x42MQ (mil/mil fixed 10 power)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2012 at 03:26
dk-1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: December/01/2012
Status: Offline
Points: 5

I got into precision/long range shooting about 7 years ago at which time I have heard nothing but good things about the Super Sniper / SWFA SS line of scopes. They have built a great reputation of being simple yet durable. The only thing that has held me back from getting one was the lack of matching knobs and reticle. Fast forward to 2012 and as we all know, SWFA began offering them with .01 milrad knobs and an improved reticle over standard mil-dots, the milquad.

I ordered one of these new scopes to act as a temporary optic for a custom .260 I recently had built. Like a lot of other people, personal finances can be tight and strict household budgets have to be maintained. I purposefully have more taxes than needed withheld from my paycheck so that I will get a decent sum back every year. I use my tax return as a savings/splurge account every year. This year that money is earmarked for a top of the line rifle scope, which is likely going to be a March-F.

Three weeks ago I placed an order for the SS10x42MQ from SWFA and received it the following week. Due to working nights and 12+ hour days, I didn't have time to mount it right away. I took it to work with me and used that opportunity to "glass" things at night. What I found was very respectable; as long as there was ambient light sources, street lights, porch lights, headlights, etc. the target image was clear enough for identification and sight picture purposes. The reticle was bold enough to be seen and use as a ranging/hold over tool. The one down side I noticed was stray BRIGHT light on the objective lens would tend to reflect and hamper the image. This only occurred with very bright light at certain angles.

Low light quality was decent, compared to a Nikon Monarch and older Vari-x II it was about the same. The same light reflection issue occurred at dusk and dawn when looking at certain angles to the setting/rising sun. I had a Mark 4 sunshade sitting around so I taped it to the objective end of the scope. This made a huge difference, enough so that I would recommend carrying one with your load out gear for those needed times. I have not had the opportunity to try an ARD, but this may help to reduce the reflected light as well.

The image quality in daylight, both bright and sunny as well as overcast and gloomy, is on par with any scope I have used in the $800-$1,000 price range. Compared to the baseline of Mark 4 scopes, I would give the edge to Mark 4 in this respect. I have/had 3 Mark 4's over the years and two out of three of them had better glass than the SS, the one that I would say was equal to it was a fixed 10x M3. I have now done some extensive shooting with it at 100 yards and I was able to spot .264 holes with ease. I was able to see light mirage as the barrel heated up, but not so much as to distort image quality or interfere with my sight picture. I prefer some mirage, as it helps read the wind at longer distances.

The turret knobs were very acceptable for an optic in this price range. They are crisp enough to count "clicks" but not NightForce crisp. Of the three Mark 4s I have/had I would say they are equal to or better than two of those three. The one that bested the SS was a 3.5-10 with M2 BDC knobs. The SS knobs felt way better than the Weaver tactical line, comparing to a 3-15x50 and a Midway exclusive 3-10x40 mil/mil. The way the SS knobs are engineered leaves it up to the user to ensure the knobs line up perfectly with the reference points. This is in the same fashion as the Mark 4 and is better than the design of some other recent offerings, which in some cases the marks can actually be in between clicks which leaves you guessing if it is at .00 or .01 mil. After being mounted on a Rem 700 with a 20 moa base, I have 24.5 mils of "up" travel left to go! That's more than some tactical scopes have total!

One thing on my wish list for SWFA to change would be the markings on the windage knob. I would prefer them to be marked "0.5R", "1R", "1.5R", etc. This would be a huge improvement as three is no directional indicator engraved on the scope body itself. When this scope finds it's permanent home, I may send the elevation knob off to have the DOPE engraved on it (BDC type knob), at which time I would have this improvement made to the windage knob.

The verdict is still out on the rear parallax control, but it is my own fault for not spending an extra $100 on the side "focus" model. As I have only used it out to 100 yards to this point, I'm not sure if I will learn to adjust it while staying behind the rifle or if I will tend to move out of my shooting position to adjust it while looking at the reference marks.

The mounting of the scope was pretty straight forward with one exception. I used the "feeler gauge" method to level it to the scope base and ran into one problem. SWFA puts a small sticker on the bottom of the turret housing over the N2 port. The label says not to remove it, but it came right off when I slid the feeler gauge under it. I'm not sure if this will void the warranty, but they should find an alternate method to accomplish whatever goal the sticker was supposed to achieve. Once the scope was leveled in the rings I used a level on the one piece picatinny rail to ensure the receiver was level. With the receiver leveled, I looked at a plumb line set at 15 meters away and the reticle was perfectly level. I then put a level on the elevation turret and it was level as well. This was a nice surprise!

I am very impressed with the milquad reticle. It is very crisp and just the right thickness for tactical or precision shooting. The open diamond shape mil-dots are awesome, and will really assist in breaking a target down while milling it. It is not cluttered at all and will serve great for people who dial elevation and hold for wind. Without much wind, one could hold for elevation and wind with ease. The reticle is pretty straight forward so there is not much else to say about it.

I zeroed the rifle using two rounds, one round fired then "milled" to my point of aim and made the necessary corrections with the knobs. The second round was on a 1 moa target dot. I elected to fine tune it from there and was able to get my POI to within 1/4 moa of my POA. I then fired 25 rounds at 100 yards, printing 5 five round groups. My average for that rifle/scope/load was .3854 moa.

I made a grid on a poster board, marking out 6 mils high in 1 mil increments. I also marked out 1 mil right and left in line with "0" as well as 2 mils right and left at 5 mils. Refer to the pictures for more details.

It should also be noted that the reticle subtended perfectly with my grid at 100 yards. That gave me confidence in the adjustments and reticle for future use at long range.

I know this review is lacking comments on durability, but having numerous reviews conducted over the years testifying to this, torture tests and all, I trust it. I wanted to do this review to evaluate these new changes to the SS line. I originally purchased this scope as a temporary optic to be kept around as a back up. After playing with it I think I will pick up a Rem 7

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2012 at 06:08
Dogger View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight

Joined: January/02/2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 5339
dk-1, thanks for a well thought out and presented review.  I'm sure that all those contemplating a SS10x42MQ purchase will find it quite helpful.

Welcome to Optics Talk!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2012 at 06:14
Kickboxer View Drop Down

Joined: February/13/2008
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Points: 18161
Welcome to the OT Forum.  Very nice review.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2012 at 06:17
cheaptrick View Drop Down

Joined: September/27/2004
Location: South Carolina
Status: Offline
Points: 20356
Welcome to Optics Talk. 

Thank you for the informative review. Well done! 

I have the 12x model and though I haven't spent the time behind it like I have my old SS 10x Mil Dot, it's really starting to grow on me.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2012 at 07:30
stickbow46 View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire

Joined: January/07/2009
Location: Benton, Pa
Status: Offline
Points: 4673
Welcome to the OT!
+3  on a down to earth fine review.....Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2012 at 15:55
RotoReuter_DM View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

Joined: December/09/2011
Location: WI
Status: Offline
Points: 296
Very nice review. Thank you
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2012 at 22:25
M1Thumb View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

Joined: December/27/2012
Location: Washington
Status: Offline
Points: 139
Would you be willing to share the instructions and measurements of how to duplicate the poster board you made?
I decided to get back into shooting except using a bolt gun and scope versus iron sights and an auto loader and I think the poster may help me a lot on some concepts/understanding/relearning.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2012 at 23:17
billyburl2 View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire

Joined: January/08/2009
Location: Cottonwood, AZ
Status: Offline
Points: 3867
1 mil= 3.6"@100 yards, or about 3.4 MOA.
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