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SWFA 3x9 or 10?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 00:42
TD View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Howdy!

 

I thought I was done with scope purchases for a while but I stumbled across a Remington 700 5R that I just couldn’t pass up. Unfortunately I’ve been throwing money at another build (cause it was my last for a while Wink) so the budget is kind of tight for this purchase. I planned on putting a SWFA SS x10HD on the Rem 700 but the 3x9 is $200 cheaper. Knowing nothing about the manufacturing process of optics, it seems to me that a variable would be more expensive to manufacture than a fixed. Is the cost difference due to manufacturing or is the x10 better in some way? Maybe the 3x9 is just a screaming deal. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the $200 difference to go with the x10 if I'm trying to keep the cost down.

 

Also, what’s the verdict on the Mil-Quad vs. Mil-Dot? Very new to optics so I don’t have experience with either. Actually…I have a SWFA SS 3x9 Mil-Quad for the other build but it's not complete so I don't have any time on the line with it or a Mil-Dot to compare it to. Love to stare at the neighbors with it though.Shocked

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 09:39
anomad View Drop Down
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From what I have read the Heavy Duty models are overkill in the durability department. Built for guys that expect to be banging the scope into things every time they use it. I'm not that guy... haha
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 10:39
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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Originally posted by anomad anomad wrote:

From what I have read the Heavy Duty models are overkill in the durability department. Built for guys that expect to be banging the scope into things every time they use it. I'm not that guy... haha
The 'HD' refers to the quality of glass used in the scope models.
In general, 'HD' glass is manufactured with additional chemical compounds/elements in the glass and/or chemical coatings to give the glass apochromatic characteristics. In other words, as light passes through glass, it is subject to being separated into the various colors which make up visible light, due to the fact that each color is a different frequency in the bandwidth spectrum of radiant energy.
Simply put, glass lenses act as prisms, to more or less degree. The use of HD glass is an effort to keep the light moving through the glass coherently without breaking out into component colors.
Lesser glass can not only cause the phenomenon of color fringing, but also can affect the overall resolution of an image.

SWFA scopes are already 'heavy- duty'.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 11:21
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I have the 3x9 mil-quad on my AR.  I also had a mil-dot version.  The mil-quad has diamonds instead of dots, and it also has 1/2 mil hash marks between the diamonds.
 
The mil-dot version was perfectly serviceable, but the mil-quad reticle allows a little more precision.  Since both the 3-9 mil-dot and 3-9 mil quad are the same price, it seems a no brainer to go with the mil-quad.  The only caveat to that would be if you need all the stuff that comes with the mil-dot on the group buy, then for the money that may be the way to go.
 
I've shot my AR out to 500 yds and the 3-9 was plenty of scope.  I personally wouldn't spend the $200 extra to get a fixed 10 power.  The 3-9 with it's ablility to change powers is great for the closer in stuff and then zoom out for the longer range stuff.  Why limit yourself to just 10 power unless you'll only be shooting at longer ranges.
 
I'd buy another 3-9 if I needed one.  It is probably one of the buys for your money going at the moment.  Throw in the lifetime warranty and the answer should be obvious.
 
I've never looked through an HD model with the better glass, but the glass on the 3-9 certainly isn't lacking by any means.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 12:10
stickbow46 View Drop Down
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All good info TD but if you already have a 3-9 & are not too familar with it ,it seems to me that you should mount the scope on your 5R ,throw some lead down range,possibly at your farthest distance you will be shooting & see what you think.
 
I have a 5R & I think it's the best over the counter out of the box out there,can't beat the price either.What caliber is it?Make sure you get a sturdy saddle for the scope[aadmount comes to mind].Keep us updated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 20:16
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Optics GrassHopper
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When I bought the 3x9 I checked with SWFA and they said it had HD glass. Double-checked my email to confirm. I'm guessing they don't point this out as there is not a "standard" version of the 3x9 like the 10x. Not to beat a dead horse but now my curiosity is peaked, I must know why the 10x is more.

Good points FireEMT. Mil-quad it is. What size targets are you shooting at 500 yards? I'm debating taking the 700 or my AR on a varmint hunt, never been, but I guess we'll be shooting little furries out to 300. My local ranges are only 200 yards so I really have no idea what 300 or 500 yards even looks like. Downside of city livin'.

The reason I was considering the x10 is that I'm building it into a poor man's M24, but at the price difference if it's not better then the 3x9 will be the way to go.

Stickbow, that would seem to be the logical step except the other build is done this week. So I've got two guns and only one scope! Its like having dates with two hotties at the same time....what to do, what to do.

Thanks for the advice guys. Definitely have some things to think about.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 21:16
FireEMT5 View Drop Down
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Mainly I'm shooting steel targets when I get out over 300 yds.  I have some AR500 3/8" steel targets - 4",6", 8" and 12" squares that I hang from old fire hose on a wooden saw horses.  We also make up some from old planter discs with a re-enforced center.  Paint them white with a flourecent orange dot in the center and bang away - those ring really nice when you hit them.
 
The AR500 steel seems to be virtually indestructible.  We've shot it with .223/5.56, .308 and .338
As long as you have them suspended so they swing, the soft nose bullets just disintegrate and smudge up the paint.  No dents or holes.  When they show signs of wear, just give them a fresh coat of paint and your as good as new.
 
If you're going to take the AR on a varmint hunt, it will pay to go out and shoot at as long of a range as you can prior to going on your hunt so that you know how much your bullets drop with the gun / ammo you will be using.  It would also be helpful to run a string of 10 rounds across a chronograph to get an average speed.  Once you have this average, plug in your specifics into a ballistic program to get your drops for those longer ranges you don't have access to now.  That will at least get you close when you are out hunting and you can adjust from there.  There is no substitue for practice and verifing your drops at range and the only way you'll know for sure is to do it.
 
Grab the 3-9 and spend the rest on ammo or reloading supplies.
 
Yet another option is to just use the 3-9 that you already have and wait awhile.  There has been a few very subtle hints around that a very well respected member on here is testing a couple new proto type scopes for SWFA.  I'm hoping there is yet another new offering coming in the next few months.  I'd be happy as hell to just put a 3-9 mil quad on my .308 project, but I'm gonna hold out and see what's coming (providing it isn't a year down the road).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 21:19
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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I have had most of the Super Sniper scopes.  The 10xHD has larger heavy duty mechanical parts it is designed to military specs. I dont notice a difference in the glass between the two of them  3-9 VX 10HD what I do notice is that the 10HD has rear focus / adjustable parallax where the 3-9 has no parallax adjustment. I also have the 5-20x50 and really think that is the way to go on the R5 well that is what I put on my R5 anyway.  Definately thumbs up on the mil quad reticle I'm just getting used to it but any time you have more marks below center to use as hold over marks that is a good thing.  The question of what is the right scope for you goes to how will it be used. Any time you have a fixed power scope there are less moving parts that means they are tougher and less likely to ever have a problem. The other factor that I consider quite important is exit eye pupil --how bright is it in low light.  42mm divided by 10x will give you a 4.2mm exit eye pupil which is useable but the brightest would be a 7mm exit eye pupil so a 6x42 or a 7x50.  Since the 3-9 will dial down to 6x in low light it will be the brighter scope - that appeals to me a great deal.  However the 5-20 x50 will also do the same thing you can run it a 5x, 6x or 7x and it will be bright as you can use in low light plus it has the illuminated reticle if you need that.  Personally I like the 5-20 for a lot of reasons and while I may not run it at 20x a lot of the time I have it there in case I need to get a closer look at something.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 22:08
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Optics GrassHopper
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Yeah, I would love to get some practice at longer ranges, but it's really hard to find anything past 200 around here. I'll have to look into getting a chronograph and testing that out. Sounds like a good plan.

I've seen mention of some new optics from SWFA and it crossed my mind to wait on those as well.

I heard a lot of good things about the 5-20 and thought about it, unfortunately its about double my budget for optics...at this time.

99% of the time, I'll be putting holes in paper at 200 yards in full daylight. Hopefully I'll find a longer range at some point, but it's doubtful around here.

So you both brought up some good points that I hadn't really thought about and gave me a third option. I suppose I could get a budget optic to hold me over until I can get the 5-20 or one of the new unknowns from SWFA. I could always use it as a backup. Any recommendations on a $200 scope? Anything from 3-9 and up would work for my purposes. The Bushnell 3200 would have been a great buy, but looks like they are out.

Off to poke around in the low-end optics. Thanks again! I really appreciate the input.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2011 at 22:40
stickbow46 View Drop Down
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Take a look at SWFA sale on Vortex Viper 2-7,not a 3-9 but a great budget scope that will get you 90% of what you want just inside your price range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2011 at 06:27
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How about a good 'ol rear focus 10x SS for $300, TD? 
I STILL use my old 10x SS beater all the time, even though I have other scopes. For the range you described, it will be ideal. 
Yeah, or even the 10x Bushy you mentioned.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2011 at 10:18
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I have never been behind the Bushy 10x. But my SS 10x, has served me well for 3 years. By most reports the glass on the SS is definite upgrade from the Bushy, and so is the adjustable parallax. The one thing that might sway the decision, for me anyway, is if you could find one of the mil-adjusted Bushy's. But then again, there are rumors of the original SS line coming out with mil adjustments as well...I hope I have not confused to much...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2011 at 13:12
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The best bargain of the low end optics is the 2-7 vortex Viper.  I have a fixed 6x42 Super Sniper that I like a lot. Other than that how about a fixed 4x.  With les expensive scopes you are always better off with lower powers the cheap high power scopes tend to be crap. If you can afford it a second mil quad SS would be a fine choice .
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2011 at 18:05
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Thanks for all the advice guys. You really got me thinking. I'm going to put the 3-9 on the Rem for a couple runs at the range. If I like it on there I'll get another, otherwise I'll grab the Vortex and wait to see what SWFA has in the future...and when I have a bit more money. Now my other build will have to sit in the corner for a couple weeks all scopeless and sad. Sad Pacer
 
Thanks again, all your input really helped!!!

T
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2011 at 19:08
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Slightly better glass, more internal adjustment, parallax, more ruggedly built in all the important places. Those are a few of the reasons why the 10x HD is more. 
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