This was a joint review between Kickboxer and myself.
Overall construction: Solidly built. A little heavier than most scopes in this size range, but it is a tactical scope, designed for heavy usage and worked well on varmint style rifles. It also has the w0w factor of being very well built.
Controls: Locking focus is excellent. Power adjustment is firm, but not a chore. Neither of these adjustments will “change” without intention. The elevation and windage adjustments are tactile, producing a distinct transition from “click” to “click”, and audible, but not as audible as some I have encountered. Shooting environment will determine if the shooter can “hear” the clicks or not. Adjustments are .1mil. Mil/mil or mil/moa really doesn’t matter to me, but the mil adjustment/mil reticle is a nice feature for many shooters. Using my civil engineer’s stadia, clicks were as close to .36 inch at a measured100 yards as I could “see”. I am mixing metric and “U.S.” units in this evaluation because even with mil/mil scopes, I find most shooters still think in yards and inches. If I were grading the controls, I would assign an “A” for construction, access, repeatability, functionality and durability ( I dropped it a few times BD).
Optical function: There have been some reports of “tunnel effect” with this scope at 3x-4.5x I found it more a function of mounting. If proper eye relief is established, the “tunnel effect” is virtually neutralized. At low power, almost every, nay every, variable scope made has some “tunnel effect”, even the most expensive ones. It cannot be completely eliminated, but can be minimized. Anyone who says there is “none” is just prejudiced for that scope, I can say that because I have been guilty of it. I USED to say that about my Zeiss Victory Diavari, until I sat down and took a totally unbiased approach, knowing the immutable engineering facts, there IS a little "tunnel effect" on the low end with the Zeiss Victory, NOT MUCH, but there is some. Some people find “tunnel effect” highly annoying and notice it more than I do. I suspect they are mainly not initially addressing the scope/rifle in the most efficient manner for their eyes. Once they "settle in", I suspect the "tunnel" is not so much noticed as known. Regardless of cause, I find the “tunnel effect” with the SS Variable to be minimal… by 3.5X to 4X, I don’t see any at all. My variable scopes rarely see 3X (or lowest power if lower) as I keep them pretty much “set” at 4X, which I find adequate for almost any hunting application, short or long. OK, sometimes I leave it at 5X...
The reticle is a standard mil-dot. I checked it against a drawn 3.6 inch square at 100 measured yards. The mil marks covered the edges of the square nicely. SS variable gets an “A-” in this category.
Optical quality: I compared this scope with Zeiss Victory Diavari 2.5-10x42. I didn’t have a lot of time for other comparisons. The Zeiss glass is better, not a surprise there. HOWEVER, it is not the 3 times the price that the Zeiss commands better. I can pretty much do anything with the Super Sniper that I can do with the Zeiss. In low light, the Zeiss performs better, adds a few minutes to low light acquisition. Once the sun goes down, the SS and the Zeiss are much closer. In other words, if there is starlight and/or moonlight, the ability to pick out a target at 100 yards is about the same. I was blessed with a lot of different cloud cover conditions during my review of this scope, from cloudless skies to light overcast to heavy overcast to full thunderstorm. From the “safety” of my covered front porch, I was able to evaluate performance of both scopes in all those conditions from pre-dawn to full dark, occasionally having the opportunity to sight on deer as targets. Optically, the Super Sniper pretty much holds its own with the “best of the best”. It gets a solid “A-” here. To my eyes, the SS Variable did not perform quite as well as the SS10XHD in this category, but certainly a value, better than price would indicate and a source of soul searching for some of the higher end scopes, I would think.
Field performance: I mounted the scope on my .243 BAR with Leatherwood 100MOA mount. The rifle is inherently accurate, so a good scope should provide very good performance. It was a simple mount, but I was a little disappointed. SWFA did not “pre-boresight” this scope for me. (That's an inside joke there... two scopes in a row from SWFA, I mounted them on the rifle, enlisted the boresighter and voila, no adjustments required. I figured I would never have to boresight a scope again. Well, maybe I just thought I was awfully lucky...) I actually had to boresight this one (firs