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Swarovski vs. Schmidt & Bender

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2006 at 13:50
tbone1 View Drop Down
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I apologize for the length of this post but I want to provide my opinion from some real hunting situations that I experieced with these scopes and I wanted to be detailed.  For the record I have a Leupold Vari-XIII, Zeiss conquest, Zeiss VMV, Schmidt & Bender, and last year purchased 2 Swarovski PHs.  The majority of my hunting season last year was with the Swarovskis and a few hunts with my Schmidt & Bender.  I have a Swarovski 2.5-10x42 on my Kimber 300 WSM, Swarovki 1.5-6x42 on a Browning 1885 45-70, and a S&B 3-12x42 on a Winchester super grade 300 WSM.  The Browning I used for muzzleloader season, it is legal in Mississippi.

 

I used the Kimber most of the year and this was my first Swaro scope.  I compared it numerous times to my S&B side by side on numerous occasions.  I gave the S&B a slight advantage optically but looking across a field near dark, it was hard to tell much difference.  I also felt that the S&B reticle could be seen later because it was slightly thicker.  I used Swarovski 2.5-10x42 along side my Leica binos and over time had a pretty good idea what the scope was capable of.  I felt like I could see a little better with my binos than with my scope which is to be expected.

 

One day a friend went hunting with me and could not get his rifle so I let him borrow my Kimber.  I took my super grade with the S&B on it and we were trying to shoot a few doe because we had way too many.  I am extremely careful when selecting a doe and had passed numerous chances for fear of shooting a button buck.  The property manager had asked us to shoot several doe that day because we were way behing on quota.  That afternoon, I was hunting on the edge of a power line and I could see a small food plot about 250 in the woods.  About 6-8 doe were in the food plot and kept getting spooked by something and then returning after about 15 minutes.  After they had gotten spooked the second time, I had a feeling that they would return, so I decided to get down and try to get in position for a shot.  It was already after 5pm so I had to hurry but the wind kept changing directions which made it difficult to slip up to the food plot undetected.  I got about half way there when the deer reappeared.  By this time it was extemely dark.  The wind was blowing my scent right to the deer and they were on point.  I moved slowly behind a tree and used it as a rifle rest.  I kept looking with the binos to try to pick the largest doe and avoid shooting a button buck but it had gotton so late it was not far from pitch black in the woods.  After watching the deer for several minutes, I knew which one was the large mama doe because she was the one with her nose in the air and staring at me even though she couldn't she me.  I was very confident that she was a good sized doe so I decided to try to take a shot.  I picked up the rifle and amazingly I could still see through the scope.  However the doe had walked back up in the woods on the other side of the food plot where it was even darker.  She was standing between two trees with her body facing straight at me and the only shot I had was straight on where the neck meets the chest.  So I had to turn up the scope from about 6 power to 10 or 12 which did two things.  It gave me extra magnification to place such a precise shot and thickened the reticle enough to see it (amazingly I could still see even at that magnification).  I placed the reticle at the base of the neck and slowly squeezed the trigger.  I won't say just how late it was but flames flew about 10 inches out of my barel and I could only hear deer running everywhere.  The shot was around 125 yards and walked up and across the food plot, pulled out my flashlight and started looking.  I walked up to where she had been and there was a large doe shot exactly where I had placed the crosshairs.  That was the by far the latest I have ever shot.  Looking back, I know I would not have seen anything at all looking through my Leupold and maybe not my Conquest.  Even if I could have, I would not have been able to see a second plane reticle.  I may have been able to make out the shape of the deer through my Swarovski but I don't know that I could have seen that reticle.  I was dazzled by the S&B.

 

Several days later I was hunting with my friend in a two man stand and he want to shoot a doe for meat.  We were hunting over an open field fairly late in the evening and had about 10 doe in the field.  I had my Kimber with my Swarovski 2.5-10x42 and he had a Swarovski 3-12x50 on his rifle.  Comparitivlely there wasn't a noticable difference between the scopes.  I may give a few slight edge to the 50mm but it wasn't much.  I had my Leica binos and we both could see noticable better through the binos than either scope.  He kept asking for my binos trying to decide which one to shoot.  He was able to make a fairly late shot, but we were also hunting over an open green wheat field and not in the woods.  Neither scope dazzled me.  After that muzzle loader season started and I got to use my Swaro 1.5-6x42 quite a bit and I always felt like I could see slightly better with my binos than with my scope.

 

So to sum up my opinon I will rate them as this.

 

10 - Zeiss VMV, S&B

 9  - Swarovski PH

 8  - Swarovski A-line

 7  - Zeiss Conquest

 

The Swaro is much lighter than the S&B and it makes alot of difference on a light rifle.  The S&B also doesn't have much adjustment range so on occasion may be a little trouble sighting in although I have'nt had that problem.  The S&B also seems to be built like a tank and seems to be the most durable but I can't confirm that.

 

A foot note about scopes vs. binos--

 

About 6 years ago I had my best chance at a bobcat.  One came out about 50 yards from me.  I could see it clearly with my Leica 8x32 trinovids.  When I picked up my Leupold Vari-XIII for a shot all I could see was black.  I never found it in the scope and never took the shot.  I don't personally believe that even the best scopes can keep up with high end binoculars.  I believe that an Leica trinovid 8x32 will outperform most all scopes except Zeiss, Swaro, and S&B.  I believe that a Leica 10x42 (which I also have) will slightly out perform all scopes period.  This has been my experience so far but this hunting season I will be studying this alot more.  I hope this was not a waste of time to read.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2006 at 17:52
Trinidad View Drop Down
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Hello tbone1

 

Great post, I have a similar setup that I am using for Hunting at night right now

it is a supergrade 7mm WSM and a custom mauser .375 H&H with a S&B

fixed 8x56 and 2.5-10x56 that I am very happy with them. I agree that there

is no better low light glass than the S&B, it is heavy and you are right it is built

like a tank but I will sacrifce this issue for the level of performance.The adjustments

on a S&B are out of this world IMO and I have dedicated a side fund for a 2nd Gen

PM II that will be out in the near future. Thank you for your post tbone1.

 

 



Edited by SVD666
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2006 at 17:55
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Good stuff, Tbone!!

Good to see you back home!!!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2006 at 12:11
ceylonc View Drop Down
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Great post tbone1.  I really enjoyed the read.  Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences & opinions.

 

p.s.--where in MS do you hunt?  I live in Memphis but hunt in S. Alabama in Monroe County.  It sounds like you & I do an identical type of hunting with very similar terrain. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/11/2006 at 11:28
tbone1 View Drop Down
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ceylonc, I actually live near Memphis.  I hunt in several places in Missisppi.  In the Delta, it is hardwoods and cutover thickets especially behind the levee.  The last few years I have hunted in the hills, which is more steep terrain with hills and creek bottoms.  My favorite type of hunting is hunting CRP fields in the Delta.  It is semi open terrain with newly planted trees and grass fields.  When I say open terrain, it looks more like West Texas than anything else.  This is where the biggest bucks are and also where a good set of binos can make a world of difference.  The deer can walk through this high grass and trees and you may only be able to see the tips of their horns.  If you don't constantly glass back and forth, you may never see the deer. 

 

Oddly, hunting the various terrain requires very different hunting skills.  When I was young I was very profound at stalking through the woods and looking for signs because I hunted mostly woods.  Then I started hunting the CRP fields which requires very different skills.  Glassing and judging game from some times extreme distances became much more important and took awhile to become very good at it.  In that terrain it is very difficult to spot and judge game.  Then when I started hunting in the hills, I realized that my stalking techniques were not as good as they used to be so I have had to practice the last few years to get them back. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2007 at 16:13
tahqua View Drop Down
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Great post tbone. I have had similar experience with my 7X42 Zeiss binoculars and a Kahles 2.2-9 X 42, and that scope is not as bright as the S&B, VM and PH. At last legal light, 1/2 hour after sunset, I have been able to take a shot because I picked up the deer with the binos and put the scope right on it. I really like those thick FFP reticles and like Koshkin, see no need for the lit ones because of them.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/14/2007 at 13:58
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Nice article. I allways enjoy reading about testing equipment. It is a pity though that a lot of people remain silent when the product is inferior to what they hoped for. Not biting the hand that feeds them stuff!

In South Africa we normally stop hunting a half hour or more before sunset, so the type of performance you are looking for is not generally required. The reason is mainly to allow some follow up time in case of wounding a buck.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2007 at 17:48
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Good to see your post about hunting in Monroe county, ceylonc. I was born and raised and now work in Clarke co. I live and hunt in Wash co. Maybe next season you can contact me for a hunt over here

Derek.

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