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SS 10x HD informal review

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 10:13
supertool73 View Drop Down
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Well I did not get the time to do any shooting with it.  But I did spend over an hour with it last night. 

As many of you know I am a big IOR fan, I think for the money you will have a hard time beating the glass quality.  It is fantastic in my opinion.  So I was probably kind of biased going into this.  I actually traded in a 2.5-10x IOR for this SS HD scope.  I was that hopeful and knew I better get one now before I cannot. 

I compared an IOR 3-18x Sniper Hide Edition, a regular SS 10x and the new SS 10x HD.  I spend over an hour looking through them side by side a long with my wife as I knew she would have no bias's towards one or the other.  We looked through them until it was dark, over and over again seeing how things changed as the light got less and less.

I am not real knowledgable on all the technical terms so my review will be kind of basic.  We were looking out our back door from the prone position and looking into the back yard. (yes the bolts were out of the guns so it was not possible for them to be fired) We spent time looking at birds, a couple cats and a rusty metal chinmey on the roof of a shed about 80 yards away. 

I started with the original 10x SS and was looking at some robins at about 40 yards.  The scope was clear, but not as bright and vivid as I prefer.  You could easily see the colors of orange and red in the chest of the robins and they seemed netural as though I were looking at it with my bare eye.  Next I went to the IOR (all done at 10x) and the image was dramatically different.  The orange in the chest we more bold and vivid and I could see more detail on the bird like individial feathers and flaws in its feathers.  Next to the HD, to my eyes it looked equally as good as the IOR.  I honestly could see no difference and could make out all the same details in the robins. 

Next my wife done the same thing.  She has no experience with optics so I was trying to tell her what to look for and was just hoping for the wow factor.  She started with the SS 10x and was impressed and thought it looked great.  Then she looked through the IOR and said WOW, holy crap I cannot believe the difference.  Then when she moved to the HD she said that again and thought it looked slightly better than the IOR.  We spent some time looking at an orange colored cat and a grey and black tiger striped cat as well.

Then we focused our attention to the chimney on the shed.  This is an old chimney on my grandpa's shed the has a stainelss steel baffel going through the roof and they a rusty stack going into the air.  Some rust had run down the stack onto the baffel and there were alot of imperfections and marks in both the chimey and baffel.  So I though it would be a good way to compare the scopes as a lot of the marks are very small. 

So with the SS 10x we both spent some time looking at it and both aggreed for normal shooting the glass was good enough.  But for seeing the fine details like the rust patterns and the imperfections in the stainless steel it was not good enough.  With both the IOR and the HD we could see a lot of detail and I was able to see everything equally well with both scopes.  The patterns in the rust were crisp and I could easily see where the rust changed colors and the pits in the metal. 

One thing to note that I noticed which is the same observation that Trays said was the image in the original 10x SS was slightly larger than the HD, my wife noticed it also. Not really a big deal to me, but it is noticable. We sized the chimney with the mil dots and they were all just under 4 mils.  So the mils all appear to be accurate one to another.

As it started to get dark, that is when things started to change.  The SS 10x really started to fall behind in a hurry and the details that could be seen started to fade quickly.  With the HD and the IOR things continued to look about equal to both our eyes.  Just before it got dark we spent a little more time with the two and to my surpise I could see a little more detail with the HD than I could with my IOR in the low light.  My wife also came to the same conclusion.  Honestly I was a little shocked at this.  While the difference was small, it was noticable.  I don't think it will make any difference in the real world for shooting as they are both very good optically but none the less the HD seemed to have slightly better resolution and low light clarity to our eyes. 

Now to compare the sweet spots in the glass.  The orignal SS 10x I always have thought had a pretty nice sweet spot.  My particualr SS is clear almost to the edges.  It does get fuzzy at the last maybe 2 to 3mm from the edges but has never bothered me while shooting.  My IOR to my eyes is compeletly clear all the way to the edges which is one thing that has always impressed me.  The HD is clear and crisp all the way to the edge except maybe like 1mm or less around the edge it gets slighlty fuzzy, although it is hardly noticable and it took a lot of looking to see it, my wife didn not really see it.  I spent a lot of time comparing the IOR to the HD this way and was very very impressed with how well the HD did in this category.  To my eyes my IOR is perfect that way and the HD is almost as good. 

So optically speaking during the day I could see no difference in anything I looked at between the HD and the IOR.  As the light got less the HD appeared to be the winner to my and my wifes eyes.  Edge to edge clarity the HD is almost perfect and just slightly behind my IOR. 

Now to the parrallx adjustment.  I have alway had side parallax scopes, my SS 10x is that was as is my IOR.  So I had never used the adjustment on the eyepiece.  I like it, it is so easy to grab with either hand and it move easily but with enough resistance that you will never have to worry about it moving on its own. 

Onto the knobs, they are great.  Very tactile and the clicks are both heard and felt.  No slop in my sample and very precise and no mushy feel that some complain about with the original.  They are large on the top with large gripping marks.  No need to be grabbing them with your finger tips (which is one thing I always did not like about my 2.5-10x IOR) you can grab it between your palm and thumb if you would like to.  And they are tall enough if you do that you can still see what you are doing.  I even put a medium weight glove on and was able to turn and feel the clicks with ease. (as I could do with the parallax knob also) The knob design is great and will serve their purpose very well with little complaints in my opinion. 

So my opinion is IOR glass is the shiznit, nothing has changed there.  But now with the SS HD available we can get a scope with slightly better glass quality for an amazing price.  If I could afford it I would be ordering a second one today to have as a backup. 

As I said this was informal and not technical, but I will say I am impressed and to beat IOR glass says a ton in my book.  If you are thinking about one of these scopes optically you will not be dissapointed it really is that good.  Mechanically I have not tested it, but will be running it through box tests as I get time as I am sure many other more qualified people will be doing the same.  But I am sure it will stack up in that department as well. 

Props to SWFA for giving us another amazing SS scope at an amazing price.  If a 10x is something you can use or have been considering get one now while you can, I don't think these are going to be beat. Now I just need to get two of the variables
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 12:08
mike650 View Drop Down
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ST... Nice!!!  Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 13:32
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Very nice hardware, thanks for the review
Duce  Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 17:47
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WooHoo!  Nice job! Keep it up.  I love the pics. Nice collection.   Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 17:54
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Yeah, what they said!!!!  Really nice stuff, brother Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 18:45
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Great review, Jason.
 I really appreciate all the fine details of which you made note; that made the comparisons especially vivid, in terms of glass quality etc.
 
Be sure and thank your new bride for helping us all out with her objective input, too!
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/08/2009 at 23:13
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Thanks for the intel
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/10/2009 at 01:03
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Well done !!  A trove of useful information, capably related.  I'm diggin' the pictures, too.
Be sure to tell us your impressions after you take it to the range and wring it out.

BTW, with that V-tac riser and what looks like Badger rings how high is that scope above the rail?

2tonic
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/10/2009 at 10:55
supertool73 View Drop Down
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The center of the scope is 1.35 inches over the rail.  The riser is .5 inches, the rings .25 and the scope to center is .6 inches.

The other VTAC riser with the original SS is .25 and it has medium Burris rings and they are pretty much exactly the same height
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/10/2009 at 14:26
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Thanks for the time you took to enlighten us...... Very good.... I can hope that when I am able to there will still be the ability to purchase one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/10/2009 at 23:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2009 at 22:32
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Nice Job Jason, Thanks for the InformationExcellent I may end up buying one yet!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2009 at 06:04
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Excellent review! Thank you.
 
(Now....close the damn dust cover on that weapon!!!)  Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2009 at 16:01
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Ya, good catch CT!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2009 at 16:41
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geez, I just got done polishing it so it would look all pretty.  How could I close it and cover it up for the pictures.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2009 at 13:21
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Very nice,.thanks for an unbiased review,hope they will still have them in stock next month when I have the doe to go!Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2009 at 18:24
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Good writeup, Jason.

I also have a IOR 3-18x42FFP and I briefly compared it to the 10x HD.  They perform very similarly.  I did not spend much time on this, but it looked like 10x HD had a touch better resolution and IOR has a touch better contrast.  It is hard to say for sure because the two scopes had slightly different color rendition with IOR being a little warmer and 10x HD a little colder.  Depending on what your eyes prefer you may prefer one or the other, but they are close no matter how you slice it.

As far as the image looking smaller goes, I think it is a a consequence of two differences two factors.  If you compare original 10x42 and 10x42 HD, the new scope has a slightly smaller eyepiece and longer eye relief.  As a result it takes up a little less of your field of view and therefore looks smaller.

I am not bothered by it in the slightest, personally, and consider it a more than accpetable tradeoff for easier mounting and longer eyerelief.

ILya
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