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New Super Sniper from SWFA Print
Product Reviews
Written by SP Staff   

The New Super Sniper from

SWFA

  by Snipers Paradise Staff
 
© 2004 Sniper's Paradise

 

This is our first attempt at a new process, as staff at Snipers Paradise, for evaluating scopes as well as other equipment. The idea here is to provide more of an objective test and review process that does more in the way of providing information than opinion. As with all of these, there is a certain degree of subjectivity, but as it is spread amongst a number of staff members it should prove to be more about the product and less about the author(s). That is not to say that we will not also provide what is the more typical review, its just that this is more of a fact finding. In this format the readier can take what facts are gathered by the SP Team and come to their own conclusions. As we progress through this process and use this testing format it should get better and better. So please bare with us as we try to make this more of a review and less of an opinion piece.

 

Super Sniper Specifications

  • Model: SS10X42 SS10X42M

  • Power: Fixed 10X Fixed 10X

  • Objective: 42mm 42mm

  • FOV 13 feet 13 feet

  • Eye Relief 4 inches 4 inches

  • Scope Length 13 7/8 inches 13 7/8 inches

  • Scope Weight 21 ounces 21 ounces

  • Turrets: Elevation Target 1/4 moa - Windadge Target 1/4 moa

  • Parallax Rear Focus Side Focus

Price $299.95 $399.95

Overall Evaluation

For the purpose of this evaluation we focused on six different characteristics. The overall evaluation of each topic will be summarized first. We will cover each characteristic separately with comments from each evaluator. At the end of the review there will be a table with an individual score for each characteristic, and a total score. Once again, this is just a guide and it is based on the experiences of those who evaluated these particular scopes. For this review I will describe what each category is, and what they were evaluated for. We had both the side focus, and the rear focus scopes to evaluate, and they are otherwise the same. For that reason the only point at which I will delineate between the two is where the parallax is concerned.

 

Categories

Clarity

For the purposes of this article clarity is defined as the ability to define items viewed through the scope at various ranges. This includes how clear the glass is from the center to the edges, and how well the users of the scope are able to define objects of various sizes at various ranges.

 

Light Gathering

This is the scopes ability to operate in a failing and low light condition. It is generally expressed as a darkening or graying as the light tends to dissipate. It also includes the ability to see the cross hairs as the user moves into darkness.

 

Turrets

This will includes what type they are and what measurements are used. It also includes how they feel (tactile) and how they sound (audible) when they are used. This is important in a tactical scope as it may be used by individuals who have gloves on or they might be operating in darkness where they cannot see the markings.

Repeatability

This is the scopes ability to track and the accuracy of the displayed adjustments. It also covers the ability of the scope to return to zero when the knobs are turned with any consistency. This is generally tested with “box drills” and or similar methods.

Ruggedness

Does the scope feel solid? Does it look solid, does it hold up, and does it maintain its repeatability and accuracy with what is normal wear and tear and use?

Parallax Adjustment

The ability of the adjustment to remove parallax as needed, how it operates, how it feels, and does it work or is it cosmetic.

Affordability

Do you get what you pay for? Is it the price range fairly priced for what it is? Is it over priced or is it a good value for what you get?

Clarity

This scope faired pretty well in this category, especially for a scope at this price range. It was compared to a couple of Leupolds and a Nightforce in this tested category and the reviews were a bit mixed. Testing the $300 SS against a $1,200 Nightforce or a $800 Leupold isn't exactly fair, but under the circumstances it was tested and it came out much closer then we ever guessed. I found there to be little difference between the SS and the Leupold Mark 4 I was using. Thomas found “no aberrations through the edges of the glass and the image was clear from edge to edge.” Thomas felt the colors were not as bright as the Leupold, while I could not tell any appreciable difference. Harry used the Nightforce for comparison and he believed that they were not comparable, but he stated the clarity was “acceptable.” Allen found the glass to be “without flaws, and very clear at night as well as during the day. “ The overall consensus was that the glass was very clear and none of us found any obvious flaws or aberrations. Each tester was able to clearly identify objects and persons at various ranges, in the full range of lighting, and in various other conditions.

Light Gathering

In this category there was also a bit of mixed reviews of the scope and its ability. I tested my SS side by side with a brand new Premier Gen II 4-14 50mm tactical scope. They were tested side by side with me firing every 15 minutes from low to failing light and then into night conditions. For me, they both lost the target at the same time. Leaving the variable Leupold on the 10X setting I could not tell a difference. Harry said that he found that the scope “darkened much faster then the Nightforce”. Thomas noticed that the colors were “muted” in the SS and that “at sunset the SS lost light faster than the Leupold”. Allen found that the SS “gathered light well and allowed the targets to be seen clearly”. The overall opinion here seems to be that it gathers light well, but it tends to mute some of the colors, and has a bit of a mixed review when it comes to low and failing light conditions. BUT again, this is when it was put up against scopes that cost 3x or 4x the Super Sniper's cost!

Turrets

Since I was the first to receive these scopes for testing I will discuss this a little longer. The scope with the side focus had clearly been used and it had already been “broken in,” so to speak. The rear focus scope was fresh out of the box and it was brand-new. I must express my appreciation to Chris at SWFA at this point for his prompt delivery. We talked about getting these scopes for testing and the next day they were on my door step. In any case, as was described clearly by Chris, the turrets were packed in the type of grease as per the specification and they are pretty stiff right out of the box. However, with some work that stiffness seems to go away. I found the knobs to be both tactile and audible. I could easily feel the clicks and I could hear them clearly as well. The turrets were positive and they felt very solid. The knobs were large and easy to grab with gloved hands and cold fingers. The military design aspect is pretty clear in this category. Thomas felt that the knobs were, “Very nice! The size and feel of these turrets is better then the Leupold I normally shoot with. The clicks are very positive and a major plus for this scope.” Harry found the knobs to be “much better than the original.” He also feels that the adjustment clicks feel very positive and clearly audible.” Allen was the evaluator that received the newest scope and he had a hard time with the knobs since they were not broken in yet. Allen found the turrets to be very hard to turn and said that "they had a bit of play after clicking into place”. This particular situation was explained by Chris, the brains behind SWFA, as being a byproduct of the grease on the threads. Chris tells us that it can be removed but it is not advised since after a little use the grease will be spread out and the stiffness a thing of the past. This is an important thing to know when you get your new Super Sniper and start playing with it fresh out of the box. The knobs will be a little bit stiff but the stiffness works out with a little use. Overall the testing team feels that the Turrets are one of the strongest points on this scope and it is an important one as well. This category was rated highly by most of the testing team and most preferred them over the scopes with larger price tags they were tested against

Repeatability

This is a standard “Box Drill.” What takes place is the rifle is shot at 100 yards on the bottom left diamond. This diamond is the aiming point for every shot. Simply by turning the elevation and windage knobs the bullet strike is moved a given amount of moa. The pattern below is repeated several times, while always keeping the starting point as the one and only aim point.

By reading the target, you can see that the bullets are placed into the same location each time the scope is adjusted. The knobs move the bullet strike the correct distance and repeat it each and every time.

  • Use the bottom left diamond as your aiming point for every shot. Fire shot number one.
  • The elevation knob is then turned (up) 10 moa and a round fired.
  • The windage is then turned (right) 10 moa and a shot fired.
  • The elevation is turned (down) 10 moa and a shot fired.
  • Windage is turned (left) 10 moa. The bullet strike should now be back at the starting point.
  • Repeat the above pattern several times then note if the turrets are constant and correct.
    • Does the bullet strike move the correct distance with each set of movements?
    • Does the bullet strike come back to correct zero after one trip around the target? Howe about 2 or 3 times around the target?

These scopes seemed to shine in this particular category. I performed a few box drills, and many return to zero drills. I found the adjustments to be consistent, and accurate. This scope always returned to zero. Thomas did the most work here and he found that the turrets track “correctly and accurately and each click does represent its actual measurement”. Thomas was able to get first round hits on a 12” diamon shaped steel plate out to 600 yards, and second round hits on the same type of target steel at 700 and 800 yards. Overall this scope is repeatable, returns to zero, and the adjustments are accurate. This is another very strong aspect on this scope.

Ruggedness

We found the super sniper to have a bit of a heft to it and it was pretty rugged. The body coating seems to be adequate and none of us got it to flake off. I transported this scope back and forth to the range in my shooting bag which was bouncing around in the back of my truck. In the back of the truck it definitely took a beating but it still never seemed to adversely affect its durability or ruggedness. This is important for the Law Enforcement community that might use this scope on a duty rifle since their long guns generally ride around in the patrol car's truck and would see similar daily beatings. The Super Sniper scope does not have that “cheap fell” we generally get with $300-400 scopes. Harry noted that he found some glue or residue around the objective lens lock ring but none of the rest of us saw that. The bottom line in this category is that not one of us experienced any changes in Point of Aim/Point of Impact (POA/POI) nor did it fail to hold or return to zero throughout the extended testing by multiple testers. Again, especially for the price, it was a well built and solid feeling scope.

Parallax Adjustment

There were two versions of the Super Sniper scopes that we tested. Both had different controls for parallax adjustment. One SS had a side focus and the other scope had the more common parallax adjustment ring. I am not a big fan of side focus knobs because their adjustments are very course and its harder to fine tune them. I prefer that parallax be removed at the objective since it has a much finer thread and it is more precise. On a fixed 10x scope the side focus is just another dial to turn to me and not a real factor. Don't get me wrong here, the side focus knob worked fine and it did remove parallax as well as brining the scope into focus. A good friend of mine prefers this particular side focus model because he can adjust parallax while not moving from his position in a hide. Me? Well I prefer the standard parallax adjustment on my scopes.

llen received the SS with the rear adjustment and thought that was very “easy to use”. With both versions they seemed to work fine. Plus, Thomas's ability to get first round hits out to 600 yards is a strong indication of that fact. I am not certain the side focus is worth the extra $100.00 just for a knob on the side, but that is a personal choice for the individual user since we all have different needs and different wants. In this category you get a choice and you can't go wrong with either one.

Affordability

This seems to be the strongest point regardless of which version you buy. These two SWFA Super Sniper scopes were tested and compared to scopes that cost as much as five times the price for the Super Sniper and it came out of the fight with its head held high.

Is the SWFA better than the $1200-$1500 scopes it was tested against? The consensus is no. But, it is not supposed to be better and those scopes are not direct competitors. Harry considered this scope “one to seriously consider when looking at an entry level scope”. Allen was pretty pleased with the unit he tested and he indicated that “I will without question be buying a Super Sniper riflescope for my next rifle”. I consider it to be one of the best buys on the market for an entry level tactical scope, for a secondary rifle, and even for some serious hunting. The SWFA Super Snipers are extremely well priced for the features and quality that you get! Harry and I are both strong believers in the variable powered scope for Law Enforcement needs, but for all other applications this is very on my list for scopes to pick from. These scopes are holding their value and they are a great buy for the money. If this is the price range you fall into, then don't think twice about picking one up, you won't be disappointed.

 

 

Clarity

Light
Gathering

Turrets

Repeatability

Ruggedness

Parallax

Affordability

 

Thomas

3

3

4

4

3

3

5

 

John

4

4.5

3

4

not tested

1

5

 

Harry

3.5

3

3

4

3

2

2.5

 

Allen

3

3.5

1.5

untested

2

2

4

Dave

3

3

4

4

3

3

5

Totals
(25 pts possible)

16.5

17

15.5

16
out of 20

11
out of 20

11

21.5

 

Overall Score (average)

3.3

3.4

3.1

4

2.75

2.2

4.3

*Scale: 0-5

0 Not Liked | 1 Liked a little | 2 Not bad | 3 Favorable | 4 Liked | 5 Highly Liked