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SWFA SS 3-9x42 vs Vortex 2.5-10x44

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2012 at 13:58
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I'm getting a Steven's 200 in .223 to start a rifle build, and obviously need to put some glass on it. I shoot anywhere from 100yds to 300yds, sometimes even 500yds if able. After reading reviews, and with a limit of $600, I've narrowed it down to these 2 variable power scopes and a fixed power. Looking for an input on these 3 scopes, I am not too knowledgeable when it comes to optics.




The SS 6x42 would obviously be my cheapest option, but I figure a variable scope would be better for different ranges. Any and all help is appreciated!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2012 at 14:20
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SS 3-9 and don't look back. probably my favorite scope I've ever owned. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/20/2012 at 14:39
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3-9 SS.

Great scope for the money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2012 at 06:59
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I can't say enough good things about the SS 3-9.  Being a FFP design so at the low end of magnification the reticle resembles a standard duplex.  At the high end - a mil dot.  No parallax adjustment, robust design, excellent quality...there isn't much to say other than "go get one!"
 
Cool
 
Here's mine atop the AR10:
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2012 at 07:56
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SS
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2012 at 10:42
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Another vote for the SS!  If you don't mind getting the older Mil-Dot model with the same matching reticle and turrets, you'll find a couple of those for $499 right now on the Sample List.
 
 
To echo what's been said above, you will be hard pressed to find a better scope for the money backed by a great lifetime warranty.  Plenty of scope for the ranges you plan on shooting.
 
Good luck with your build and welcome to Optics Talk.  Stick around here and enjoy the forum - great place, great people, and lots of great info!
 
By the way, don't overlook a quality base and set of rings for your build.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2012 at 17:31
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You guys may disagree, but having already owned a 33 3-9, I would look elsewhere.  For that power range, I wouldn't mind giving the vortex pst or vx-r patrol a try.  Having said that I have no experience with either the pst or vx-r.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2012 at 18:10
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Originally posted by 6.5x47 6.5x47 wrote:

You guys may disagree, but having already owned a 33 3-9, I would look elsewhere.

????
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2012 at 18:10
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Originally posted by 6.5x47 6.5x47 wrote:

You guys may disagree, but having already owned a 33 3-9, I would look elsewhere.  For that power range, I wouldn't mind giving the vortex pst or vx-r patrol a try.  Having said that I have no experience with either the pst or vx-r.
 What was your problem with the SS?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2012 at 19:21
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A few observations of my ss 3-9 after shooting it for a few years. 

 They completely missed the boat on the magnification ring.  Why would you make it, the exact same size as the eyepiece, and then later on design a switchview?  This seems to be a trend even with the 5-20, 1-4, 1-6 too.  Also my mag ring froze up to the point you could not turn it without two hands on either the scope or the rifle and scope.  Also, I feel the scope is too large, and would have been better sized in the 11-12 inch range.  Focus was a constant issue, as mine simply would not hold focus over a range session.  Both the elevation and windage knob indicator rings came loose after a few range trips, and I ended up supergluing them back down.  The rings I'm talking about are the ones that have the dash to line up your zero.

I will say this, the scope never failed a box test.  That is always a good sign.  SWFA did end up replacing the scope for these issues, but even the new scope didn't have a smooth mag ring adjustment. 


Sorry about the whole 33 ss post above.Loco  I can't seem to edit that out.  And finally some proof that I did actually own and use this scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/21/2012 at 19:24
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Sorry about the sausage in the above post.  It's the only pic of my old ss, that I had handy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 06:33
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Your experience with the 3-9x SS is completely, 180 degrees, opposite of mine....other than the box test.
I couldn't be happier with mine. I don't need a Switch View for my power ring, as it moves smoothly.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 08:08
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Mmmmmm sausage!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 10:20
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6.5 yours is actually the first complaint I have ever heard of a 3-9 SS having anything wrong with it. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 13:21
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Maybe I received a rare lemon scope, but surely we can all agree that mag ring design is flawed at best. And maybe, just maybe, the scope is to large for a simple 3-9.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 14:10
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Originally posted by 6.5x47 6.5x47 wrote:

Maybe I received a rare lemon scope, but surely we can all agree that mag ring design is flawed at best. And maybe, just maybe, the scope is to large for a simple 3-9.

Uh....nope. I'm well pleased with the scope. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 15:41
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While I am a big fan of SWFA scopes, and I think every prospective buyer needs to realize that unit variation and lemons occur with all scope lines and models, I appreciate 6.5 sharing his experience and opinion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 15:46
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

While I am a big fan of SWFA scopes, and I think every prospective buyer needs to realize that unit variation and lemons occur with all scope lines and models, I appreciate 6.5 sharing his experience and opinion.

Me too. Ice cream makers make chocolate, vanilla, and tooty fruity because folks like different flavors. 

I just respectfully disagree that we all have to agree with his findings/opinions, Matt. You agree? Wink  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 16:25
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:


I just respectfully disagree that we all have to agree with his findings/opinions, Matt. You agree? Wink  
 
I'm pretty sure we don't have to agree with anyone else's opinions.  I just appreciate him posting his take on it, and the account of his experience with it.  There could be a buyer that wouldn't like the mag ring configured like it is on the SS, and they could save themselves some trouble.  I like hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly. 
 
I haven't had a chance to try the SS 3-9 myself, although I really like the features for the price.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 16:48
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Originally posted by 6.5x47 6.5x47 wrote:

but surely we can all agree that mag ring design is flawed at best. And maybe, just maybe, the scope is to large for a simple 3-9.

Matt, this is what I take exception to. No...we don't HAVE to agree the mag ring is flawed. I don't feel it is. 
I just went back to my gun safe and pulled out mine and twisted the hell out of it. Works for me. 
If he feels it's flawed, then he's certainly entitled to his opinion, I just don't concur.    

The SS is "to large for a simple 3-9x". 
Zeiss Conquest 3-9x is a little longer and the Meopta 3-9x is a lot longer than the SS.
My Leupold VX-R 3-9x is a 1/2" shorter than the SS and the Swaro's are around an inch shorter. Again, not really a game changer for me, but OK. 

The SS does weigh more than most. Maybe he was referring to that. 

MR. 6.5 doesn't HAVE to agree with most here that the SS is a great scope and I don't HAVE to agree it's flawed. He put his money down and feels the SS came up short and I'm sorry to hear that. Leave it at that. 


Edited by cheaptrick - April/22/2012 at 16:54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 17:18
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I think I see what the confusion here is about.  My original post on here was to the OP, and not a response to your post that came right before mine, CT.  Now that I reread it, I can see how it might have been taken as directed at your post.
 
In fact, I don't agree with his opinion on the 3-9 SS.  I think the scope is of reasonable size for a tactical scope of its configuration, and the mag ring looks like it would work fine.
 
Others may see it 6.5's way, and would find value in his opinion, that's all I meant. 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 18:30
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I have a SS 3-9x42 as well, and I'm not as impressed with many of the people on here are. I do like it, but there are several things about it I wish were better.

Unlike the above poster, I don't mind the mag ring, the size, etc. The windage and elevation ring with the hash marks does tend to come loose, and need to be super glued on. This has happened on the one I have.

My next issue with it is the glass. I don't find the glass great by any means. It's clear in respect to being decent in both daylight and low light, but I find at the upper power range, while clear in the center it's got a blur around the edges. I also see a lot of chromatic aberration with it, which may just be my eyes, as I get a lot of it with the Nikon Monarchs as well, but other scopes such as the Burris FFII, Zeiss Conquest, many cheaper scopes such as the VX-I even though I hate to admit it, etc. don't do it for me. The glass really gives me a headache if I look through it for long periods of time from this. That said, to just shoot at the range, or take hunting where I don't use the scope for glassing for long periods of time, I can handle it.

What I do love about the scope is the solid feel of the adjustments, the mil adjustments to match the reticle, the ability to perform a box test and track well, as well as the durability. I use it on my hunting/long range rig. During hunting season I dropped it several times, once hard on some tile and the scope always stayed zeroed. I was impressed with the durability of it. To me, the tracking and durability make the glass worth putting up with, but I wish the glass was better. The way people talked I expected it to blow the Conquest's away with glass quality, but it really doesn't come any where close to it, or even the FFII's.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 19:59
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Can't believe anything on the internet! Haha
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 21:22
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On the length issue, I just don't like long scopes on an ar15 or dmr style rifle.  The vx-r and pst mentioned above are almost a full inch shorter than the ss, and so is the nightforce 2.5-10x32.  An inch may not seem like alot, but it is just an observation.  Heck, even Leupold makes a 3-18 that is shorter than this 3-9.
    I didn't notice horrible glass in my scope,  although most scopes would benefit from hd glass.  It's just that the scope wouldn't hold focus.  My Razor has hd glass, and I have no complaints. 
    My wish list for an ss scope of this type would be as such.  3-9 or 2-10x40 or 42, hd glass, redesigned mag adjustment, mil-quad reticle, turrets from the 1-6, and make the whole package 12 inches long or less.  Some sort of zero stop would be nice too, but I could care less about illumination.  I would be willing to pay 1k for a scope like this, no problem as long as it continued to track well.  Which I have never had an issue with from this brand.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2012 at 22:55
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What do you mean by the scope not holding focus?
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