SWFA SS HD 5-20x Mil Adjusted Scope
SWFA is an online retailer, as well a brick & mortar shop out of Red Oak, Texas. Several years ago they purchased the Super Sniper line of scopes, and since that time they have been moving forward refining this optic to the noteworthy models we have today. It started several years ago with the release of the 3-9x HD model and the 10XHD. These two scopes moved them away from the Tasco line from which the name was purchased. Since that time they have changed the name to the SSHD offering a 1-4x, 3-9x, 10x and now the 5-20x. The changes to the line were immediately recognized by those familiar with the early Tasco model. Changing factories and completely overhauling the scope, they created a bulletproof optic leaving the public asking for more. 2 years later the 5-20x has been released, and SWFA certainly designed this scope right.
Early Reviews of the Pre-Production Model
Talk to SWFA and they will tell you Sniper’s Hide figured heavily in their design of the 5-20x model. Being active members of the forum, they read the writing on the wall, and worked to avoid the pitfalls of their competition. By listening to the end user, offering the most sought after features like 10 mils per revolution, a forgiving eye box with extended eye relief, they were able to put together a scope looking to impress. I was fortunate enough to get one of two pre-productions models, and while i am normally hesitant to review something so quickly, the chorus of requests could not be ignored. So I immediately set out to document the testing and evaluation of this optic.
I started out mounting this prototype scope on my Accuracy International AE, the Accuracy Enforcement MKII model. This is a proven accurate and reliable rifle from which to test this optic. My review process consists of shooting the scope under the most common situations the average shooter will find themselves, and in some cases in a way in which most shooters would not. We turn the knobs a lot, taking it from maximum elevation and back several dozen times and during each evolution firing a few shots back to zero to make sure the scopes returns to zero. This is important as we have seen some scopes be a 10th or two off center after maxing out the elevation. We also like to make sure the reticle matches the turrets. We do this by randomly placing targets at 100 yards, then measuring the distance from a fixed aiming point using the reticle. Once we have determined the adjustment necessary to hit the target, we dial the scope holding our stationary aiming point then firing a few shots checking that the round impacts where the reticle measured the adjustment necessary. When your reticle matches your turret adjustments it makes this test very easy. What you see is what you get, reticle or turret.
Testing the Production Model SSHD 5-20x
One of the biggest issues we see is people who fail to properly test their scopes across the entire adjustment range in which they might find themselves. As an example of this, how many times have you seen someone perform a box testing using an 8.5″ X 11″ sheet of paper. This accomplishes absolutely nothing in our opinion. Most errors in a scope’s adjustment don’t show up until well beyond this point. Usually past 16″ , and in some cases you might need 24″ or more inches to identify a potential problem. Errors within a scope compound, which is why you need to adjust it more to see it. These errors are easily mistaken for shooter error, or within the inherent accuracy of the rifle. To test this scope we turned to the Field Firing Solutions ballistic program. This program has a utility to calibrate the scope, or to put it better, calibrate the program to the scope. Often times people will invest in an ballistic program only to find they don’t match up. Well there are a lot of reasons why they might not match up, but these are programs that are designed to over come many of these issues, but it requires the owner to do their part. FFS has a utility to help and here is the process.
Taking a 100m tape measure and 48″ level, this is a non-shooting exercise to help calibrate your scope. Downrange on your target board affix the 48″ level off the ground. Then from the level to the center of scope measure out exactly 100 yards. Bagging the rifle in you have to align the reticle on the top of the level. Then dialing the elevation up, you track along the level until the reticle is at the bottom of the level. (Moving the elevation up, moves the reticle down) It’s important the rifle doesn’t move at this point and is helpful if you can have someone else adjust the scope while you watch the movement. Once this is finished count the number of clicks it took to move the reticle the 48″. Then inputting the data in the ballistic program, it will tell you the exact adjustment range of the scope. Being off 2 click is enough to change the output by the calculator. In this case the SSHD moved 133 clicks or 13.3 mils, which told us at 100 yards, moving the scope 48″ it has an adjustment of .1 mils, exactly as advertised, and believe me, more scopes are off then you would imagine so it is important to check.
Final Video Review of the SWFA SSHD
After using the prototype pre-production model, SWFA brought in a few production models for review. This was to be the final design of the scope and really it was very similar to the prototype, the only cosmetic difference was the battery cover for the illumination which was changed. The overall look and feel of the scope was essentially the same, still, this scope was tested and reviewed much in the same way the prototype was. I started out by mounting it on my GAP10 semi auto 308 rifle, then moving it over to my Werewolf in order to test its repeatability live using a proven 1/4 minute rifle. Again, the scope excelled at performance. As one person on Sniper’s Hide put it, this scope is a very friendly optic to use. Because the eye box is so forgiving and the eye relief is so generous, the scope is easy to get behind. For this reason, I recommend this scope for magnum caliber rifles, with the extended eye relief this scope will not come back to bite you, even under the worst conditions.
10 Mils per Revolution
Eye relief & eye box
Fit and finish
Magnification ring matches the eye piece so well, it needs a raised lever to aim in manipulation.
|Eye Relief (in):||4|
|Field of View @ 100yds (ft):||20.1 – 5.1|
|Parallax Setting (yds):||35 – infinity|
|W/E Click Adjustment:||.1 MRAD|
|Elevation Adjustment Range:||30 mils (100+ MOA)|
The Mil Based reticle