The most commonly used riflescopes are variable scopes, where you adjust your zoom within a specified magnification range. The SWFA SS 10×42 scope comes as a fixed riflescope with a 10x magnification.
Who is SWFA?
Southwest Firearms (SWFA) sells shooting gear and optics online. They also design their optics, which are typically overall good scopes.
One of the scopes they offer is the Super Sniper optics, which are all fixed power scopes. They are sturdy scopes with a great reputation and excellent quality for the cost.
Review of the SWFA SS 10×42
It is not possible to adjust the magnification, and therefore, you can’t tailor the zoom to the range and target. However, it does make up for some of that with a reticle with many detailed hold-over points. Having those aiming points in your reticle enables you to accurately aim at varying distances.
The SWFA SS 10×42 comes with a fixed 10x magnification. The fixed magnification certainly limits this optic’s use as you only have one magnification level available.
If you use a variable scope, then you can adjust the zoom on the fly when you aim. It also makes it easier to use the same scope for different engagement distances.
The fixes 10x magnification works out great for long-range shooting. The field of view is 11.8 feet at 100 yards, which is not something that’ll work well for hunting at shorter ranges. You simply can’t zoom out far enough to have a sufficiently large field of view to targets smaller animals on shorter ranges.
However, if you aim at a non- or slow-moving target a few hundred yards or even a thousand yards out, you can hit the sweet spot for this scope. You’ll be able to track your target and consistently score a hit.
The SWFA Super Sniper 10×42 is best suited for long-range shooting. The effective range will depend on the target size.
You should realistically be able to take 500-yard shots with ease. You might stretch this optic’s capabilities when you want to shoot small’ish targets at 1000 yards.
However, a lot of this comes down to your experience and personal preference. Some shooters prefer to go high on the magnification, while others prefer to be on the lower end. With age setting in and your eyesight getting slightly worse, you might want to consider leaving the 1,000-yard distances to the younger folks.
The scope provides sufficiently large eye relief of 3.9 inches. That allows using the SWFA SS 10×42 on rifles with heavy recoil.
Windage and Elevation Adjustments
Windage and elevation on the MOA scope are adjustable by 140 MOA, which provides a considerable range for distances you’d be using a 10x scope for. You can adjust elevation and windage in 1/4 MOA increments.
The MIL version of the scope has a total elevation and windage adjustment range of 40 MIL. The click adjustment value is .1 MRAD with 5 MIL per revolution.
The turrets provide good feedback with each click.
Reticle and Scope Build
The SWFA SS 10×42 comes with an MOA-Quad reticle in the MOA version. The MIL variant features a MIL-Quat reticle.
This style is most commonly used for military operations. The detailed hold-over and aiming points of the reticle provide precision for long-range shots and help when you need to estimate elevation and windage corrections.
The reticle is on the second focal plane for both versions of the scope. Many shooters prefer a first focal plane reticle for long-range competition shots as the hold-over and aiming points stay proportional to the target. However, the SWFA SS 10×42 is a fixed magnification scope. There’s no need to worry about a shrinking vs. fixed size reticle as you’re not changing magnifications.
The scope tube measures 30 mm in diameter with a 42mm objective lens – How to determine scope ring height? The large lens leading into a large tube provides a lot of light, specifically in low-light conditions.
In addition, the lenses are fully multi-coated to increase light transmission and reduce glare. You’ll end up with a clear sight image for long-range shots even when lighting is less than perfect.
A slight downside of the SWFA Super Sniper 10×42 is its weight. While not super-heavy, it weighs in at 18.7 oz, which is enough to throw off your rifle’s balance potentially. The scope is built to deal with heavy recoil, and therefore it’s not a problem to mount it onto most rifles intended for long-range shooting and hunting.
SWFA builds the SS 10×42 to be waterproof and fogproof. It will work without a problem in wet conditions and have no problem dealing with the mud and dirt you’ll pick up during a hunt.
The scope image is easily focused with the rear focus ring’s help. You can also get the scope with a side focus adjustment if you prefer that to the rear focus ring.
You can makes adjustments quickly and without any fuss. Being able to adjust rapidly allows focusing on a target in a heartbeat so you can confidently take the shot without any parallax disturbance.
Parallax is adjustable between 10 feet and infinity. That’s a much wider range than most scopes that might cost you double can achieve.
How to Mount the SWFA SS 10×42?
The Super Sniper scope can be mounted using scope rings or a rail mount. Ultimately it depends on your rifle and what options you have.
As mentioned, the scope is on the heavier side, and you need a solid mount. Therefore, if possible, you might consider using 30mm scope rings as they add less weight than a rail mount.
The fixed magnification does somewhat restrict the usability of the scope. In a typical hunting scenario, you would want variable magnifications that allow you to zoom in and out depending on your target’s size and distance.
You certainly can use the scope for hunting, but you will not get the flexibility you get from a variable scope. The 10x magnification, as pointed out above, makes it hard to use the SWFA SS for short ranges.
You’ll find out that the SS 10×42 is working great for ranges around 300 to 600 yards. Most shooters will be ok using it out to longer distances than that. You will potentially run into some issues in the less-than 200 to 300-yard range if you’re tracking a moving target.
However, a fixed magnification does have advantages. You have fewer things to adjust, making it easier to use the scope.
Why would you choose a Fixed Power Scope?
There are a few reasons to consider a fixed power scope. First of all, you have fewer moving parts in the scope tube. The lesser complexity does, at least in theory, reduce the weight of the components and increase the reliability.
It’s somewhat like thinking of a race car. If you’re building a car for drag-racing, then you don’t need to worry about performance in a turn or curve. You’ll only go straight. A fixed power scope is somewhat the same. The scope manufacturer optimizes the scope for one level of magnification.
That’s the theory! In many cases, the optical setup’s reduced complexity does not make a difference anymore in modern scopes. The manufacturing quality has improved so much that even low-cost scopes with variable magnification work reliably and fail rarely.
If the scope’s magnification matches your typical ranges, then you’ll also do not need a variable scope. You won’t need to adjust the zoom anyway.
Lastly, fixed power scopes can be cheaper. The scope manufacturer can get away with slightly lower-grade components as you’re only using the scope within well-specified parameters. So, you still want clear glass for your lenses, but as there are fewer optics involved, the designer can potentially go for a slightly less clear glass while you still get a great scope image. We’re not saying that they do, but in theory, it would make sense that they could.
Downsides of the SWFA SS 10×42 Riflescope
While the SWFA SS overall is a good scope, there are some downsides. First, the weight. It’s quite heavy with over 18 ounces. While this shouldn’t be a massive issue if you mount it on a sizeable rifle, it can be enough to make your setup feel imbalanced.
The clarity of the image is overall excellent and sufficient. However, it can’t compete with higher-quality scopes that, admittedly, will typically come at a higher price.
Final Thoughts on the SWFA SS 10x42mm
The SWFA Super Sniper 10×42 is an excellent scope for the money. It’s built solidly and performs well.
The reticle works well and helps to make targeting reliable. The scope is easy to use and adjust and holds zero very well.
You won’t be disappointed once you mounted the SWFA SS 10×42 onto your rifle and took the first few shots. It’s a reliable companion that won’t let you down when you’re shooting!
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