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Variable Super Sniper

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2009 at 03:30
koshkin View Drop Down
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Variable Super Sniper 3-9x42

First Impressions

I have not had much time to play with the Variable SS, but here are some first impressions:

Fit and finish are very good.  Overall styling is of the same type as the fixed magnification Super Sniper, so there is a clear resemblance with the grooves on the eyepiece and dimensions.  There is no parallax correction and in the spot where the fixed SS scopes have the focus ring is the magnification ring.  The magnification ring is fairly wide and easy to grab without it sticking out like a sore thumb.  

To focus the ocular you rotate the whole eypiece and then use the lock ring to keep it in place.  The threads are sufficiently coarse, so that focusing the reticle does not take forever.  With the lock ring manually tightened, I can still rotate the ocular if I want to, but it is very stiff.  I do not see it unintentionally rotating out of focus.

The knobs are awesome: tactile and audible (but not too loud, which I like) with a double turn elevation knob.  Clicks are 0.1mil each.  Mil knobs together with Mil reticle: everything matches!!!!!!!!!

FFP Mil-Dot reticle is sized just right: at low magnification thick bars move in enough to work well in low light, while at high magnification they are out of the way enough to not obscure too much of the target.

I only looked at the glass briefly and even that was at night.  At first blush, I think that the optical quality is about on par with Elite 4200, Elite 6500, Sightron S2 Big Sky and S3, etc.  Basically, the glass is likely to fit right in with the better optics coming out of Japan.  Perhaps, someone who has a Nightforce can compare the two.  I will obviously do some more detailed comparisons going forward, but this is the first impression.

There is some tunnel vision between 3x and 4.5x.  At higher magnifications, there is no "looking-through-a-straw" effect whatsoever.


Now I am trying to decide what I can use for a comparison with the Variable SS.  A brief overview of the market place demonstrated that there is pretty nothing directly comparable.  The only similarly sized FFP scope with combination of Mil reticle and Mil knobs is the much more expensive IOR 2.5-10x42FFP.  The upcoming Weaver Tactical will have 1/4MOA knobs and a different magnification range, but is probably the closest match price-wise (I still expect the Variable SS to be a bit cheaper, but ultimately I am not sure what the price will be).


A day at the range

Since Variable Super Sniper is such an anxiously anticipated product, I am going to stray for my usual modus operandi (run the scope through its paces and then put together as  thorough a review as I can) and instead write things up piecemeal.  
  
I scrounged up a set of 30mm rings and mounted the scope on my AR-15 chambered for 6.5Grendel:

If you are wondering about the monstrosity in the spot where pistol grip is supposed to be, yes, this is what you have to do an otherwise perfectly nice AR if you live in California.  The scope lying by the side is what I usually have sitting on this rifle, IOR 3-18x42 FFP.  I had a hard time deciding what to take to the range for comparison purposes.  There are a few scopes sitting in my safe right now (yes, I owe a few reviews to people), aside from the ones that are actually mounted on rifles:


I ended up taking four scopes to the range and two rifles: Variable Super Sniper 3-9x42, IOR 3-18x42FFP, Hawke Frontier SF 4-16x42 and Sightron S2 Big Sky 6-24x42.  Truthfully, there is not much in common between these four except that they all have 42mm objective lenses.  Otherwise, they are quite different: magnification ranges do not match, two are equipped with side focus, one with AO and a fourth has no parallax adjustment of a sort.  Two are FFP, and two are SFP.  The reticles are largely different: two have MilDots, one is a MP-8 variant and another has a dot reticle.  Why then did I pick these?  The reason is simple: I wanted to look at the glass.  IOR is a good representative of what you get if you pay a lot more money (more than double), without getting into S&B territory.  Nightforce would probably be a cleaner comparison, but I do not own one.  Hawke Frontier SF and Sightron S2 Big Sky are good representatives of the optical quality you get out of Japan for about six hundred bucks or so.  Besides, a prospective customer for the Variable SS is also likely to look at some competing SFP designs.  Hawke Frontier SF 4-16x42 with MilDot would be one of them (and I am about to return this loaner scope to Hawke, so I wanted to have a last look at it in case I missed a flaw of some sort).  Something from Sightron's S2 Big Sky line-up would probably be one of the others.  Here is what the Hawke, IOR and Variable SS look like together:


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Those who are merciful to the cruel, are cruel to the merciful. Talmud
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2009 at 07:02
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ILya,
Thanks for the info.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2009 at 09:17
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ILya,
Excellent review so far. Await reading more of your impressions of the Variable SS.  To me, it does have some mighty big shoes to fill following the fixed 10X but it sounds like Chris and Company did what they set out to do. Go all out! Swing for the fence, sounds so far they put it outta the park!  Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2009 at 10:11
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Thanks for the review! Sounds like a winner.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2009 at 10:14
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Thanks Ilya very good info.  Now if Mike would write a review of his testing.  Thunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2009 at 14:13
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Another fine review, Koshkin. Thank you.
Can't wait to get my paws on one..... 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2009 at 08:26
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Thunbs Up   Thunbs Up

Another fine review Ilya!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 18:01
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 I very much appreciate the effort you put into that review, Ilya.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 18:38
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Sooo... would you recommend this scope for purchase??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 21:38
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Sooo... would you recommend this scope for purchase??

That depends on the purpose.  For example, if you are looking for another scope to use for target practice with your lot, I would not recommend this one.  As far as using it to shoot with, rather than to shoot at, it is working out to be an excellent choice.

I won't give it a full thumbs up until I do some low light testing, but so far it is working out to be an excellent piece.

ILya 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/22/2009 at 08:29
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  GREAT to hear the SSV is living up to it's expectations so far. Had a PM yesterday about how I thought it would compare to a 3.5-10x40 Leupold w/CDS dial from the custom shop that would match the ballistics of his reload. Told him to stay tuned. Guys are waiting for the final word on the SSV for sure.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/22/2009 at 08:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/22/2009 at 19:00
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Great review as usual!!!  Just got mine in the mail.  Can't wait to test it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/22/2009 at 21:31
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ILya, what kinda crazy-ass grip is that on the AR?


Nice review, my experiences have been similar.


I had the chance to run it side-by-side with a Nightforce 5.5-22 and the glass at about 5 and 9 looked very, very similar (very similar!)

Having now played with mine quite a while and spun the knobs up and down many, many times, I like the feel.  Initially, mine were clear to the touch but very quiet, the clicks are now quite distinct.


I like the scope!

[edited for spelling]


Edited by Rancid Coolaid - June/23/2009 at 07:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/22/2009 at 21:46
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MAn I want one! (My wife won't let me sell a kidney,Sh!t!!)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/22/2009 at 22:35
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

ILya, what kinda crazy-ass grip is that on the AR?


Nice review, my experiences ahve been similar.


I had the chance to run it side-by-side with a Nightforce 5.5-22 and the glass at about 5 and 9 looked very, very similar (very similar!)

Having now played with mine quite a while and spun the knobs up and down many, many times, I like the feel.  Initially, mine were clear to the touch but very quite, the clicks are now quite distinct.


I like the scope!

Here in Commiefornia, you can not have a pistol grip together with a detachable magazine.  That instantly makes you firearm too evil for the populace.

ILya


Edited by koshkin - October/07/2009 at 17:30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2009 at 07:55
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Dam, how do you people live in the People's Paradise!


Nice to see that necessity is still the mother of invention.

How do you like your California-approved grip?  Pistol grips can contribute to poor trigger control, maybe that thing helps, maybe not.


[This was a mention of politics within the realm of optics (kinda), back to pure optics now.]

I do like the 3-9SS.

Is your 3-18 the SH-edition?  Has it served you well?  I recently found that the guy to whom I sold my SH3-18 had his fail during a match, and it took a few months to get a new scope.  Just wondering if yours has been good to you.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2009 at 10:18
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My IOR 3-18x42 is indeed the SnipersHide edition, but it never gave me any problems.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2009 at 19:39
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Dam, how do you people live in the People's Paradise!
Nice to see that necessity is still the mother of invention.
How do you like your California-approved grip?  Pistol grips can contribute to poor trigger control, maybe that thing helps, maybe not.
 
....My guess would be NOT....
 
 Incidently, that grip abomination is just plain sad, Ilya, but come the Revolution....Smoking Bandit....   
      Cool     Awwww, nevermind.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2009 at 19:42
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Originally posted by billyburl2 billyburl2 wrote:

MAn I want one! (My wife won't let me sell a kidney.)
 
 Mine seems pretty darn possessive of both of hers, too!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/23/2009 at 19:46
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My wife won't even let me sell one of mine!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2009 at 17:00
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I like the Hawke.  It looks real "bumpy".....I like all those little bumps on the selector ring.  Looks real ......."TACTICAL"...Bucky
 
Shocked
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 17:35
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BTT.

I am applying for a "media" badge for the next SHOT Show which requires proof, i.e. industry relevant stuff that I have written and posted here.
I will bring several of my threads back to the top to make them easier to find.
Thanks
ILya

P.S. I am working on a more complete review of the Variable Super Sniper
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2010 at 00:11
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ILya did you complete the review of the ss 3x9? how does it compare to the conquest 3x9? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2010 at 02:00
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Originally posted by cowski cowski wrote:

ILya did you complete the review of the ss 3x9? how does it compare to the conquest 3x9? 

That depends on the application.  

Overall, I prefer the S.S.  I like FFP scopes and I like easily adjustable knobs.  Optically, they are pretty close, but I like the somewhat wider field of view of the S.S. and the more visible FFP reticle.

ILya
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