View Full Version : Experience with Swift Scopes?
January 02, 2006, 11:55
Aside from top level/ top price stuff like Acogs and Trigicon Reflex IIs, etc. for your rifle of last resort, I'm sure many shooters and/or collectors would appreciate modestly priced-reasonable quality optics for their "shooters", "backyard" hunting rifles, etc. (at least the guys I talk to would).
Yes there's Leapold starting at $200.00 on up; and Burris, Nikon and Weaver, etc.. Yes there's second tier like Simmons, with some models in the $100.00-$200.00 range that may be serviceable and durable, but compromised somewhat by weight, 3" eye-relief, etc. My 96 year old sporterized SMLE has had good luck with a 3x9x50 BSA; but even when it works good, you wonder when a $50.00 scope will "let go."
As an alternative to second and third tier, does anyone have any experience with Swift? They're in the Simons price range, but they appear to have some interesting units like a 4x fixed wide view with 40 objective and 4" eye relief that "lists" for $108.00, and a 2x7x40 fully multicoated, that's offered for $140.00. With further discounts and sales, they could be alluring.
Yes Dad, I know there's no free lunch. But I haven't seen anything bad about them on the web, and they seem reasonably accomodating for a FAL . Feedback by users? Thanks, Fellas.
January 02, 2006, 14:37
IIRC, John Barsness did a review of the Swift scopes for Rifle/Handloader magazine and found them to be one of the unsung bargains in todays market. He has done several articles on scope strength and their ability to stand up to abuse. That being said the does his research and pulls no punches when giving a recomendation.
That being said, I've broken a Leopold before, my M1A just bounced it apart. My father in law just replaced his $35 Tasco 4X after 20+ years and 50+ deer. It's been riding on a Win 100 auto and finally broke a crosshair. I still have a Tasco 4X airgun scope on my RWS-77 airrifle and after 15 years it's still tight and perfect.
Inexpensive ain't bad, cheap is. Cheap has substandard manufacture and substandard parts, inexpensive just lacks the refinements of the high end products.
I'm in process of testing a 4-12x BSA illuminated dot reticle scope myself and I fully expect it to be a lasting product well worth the money. It's a discontinued model due to some cosmetic design changes. Etched glass reticle and positive adjustments, it will shoot the "box" perfectly and repeatedly.
January 02, 2006, 14:49
Thanks a bunch, Whirlibird.
January 02, 2006, 15:29
I have a 4-12x40 (model 664) swift scope on a .308 bolt rifle. Very clear & seems well built. The paper work it came with says made in Korea.
It came used (but like new on another rifle).
I would buy another if I needed a good optic.
January 02, 2006, 15:57
In the early 90's I bought a used marlin 883ss .22 mag rifle with a Swift scope on it. I shoot it most every summer and my two girls learned to shoot with this rifle and enjoyed hours of fun with it. The scope is great and I have never had to adjust it in 15 years of use. flashx
January 02, 2006, 18:01
Thanks, guys. That's what makes this forum so great.
January 04, 2006, 01:17
I have a Swift 6-18 target model with A/O and target turrets. It's on my DPMS 308LR. I felt kinda bad putting a cheap scope on it. I've bought a few higher dollar scopes since then, but the Swift hasn't given me a moment of trouble on the LR, so it's stayed on there. 2k rounds later, it's still doing it's job. Swifts and Warne rings are just peachy. The rifle is too big for any of the cases I have, so it just rides in the cargo area of my truck and gets bounced around plenty. Pull it out, shoot some x's and 10's with it, put it up and clean it later.
Go for it. I gave $125 used for mine, and it shoots as well as my Sightron scopes. I haven't spun the turrets on it as much as I have the Sightrons, so I cantt tell you how it would do running between 200 and 600 yards all day, but other than that, it's nice.
January 04, 2006, 11:22
Thanks CTHULHU 138. I ordered a 4x and a 2x7 Premium. Got the 4x on sale for $67.00 with free shipping; the 2x7 discounted to $129.00, with shipping and flip-ups, less than $150.00.
Give me a couple weeks to get em, mount em and shoot em, and I'll post my impressions. Thank you all for the information.
January 07, 2006, 01:43
Originally posted by Charles Bobinis
Give me a couple weeks to get em, mount em and shoot em, and I'll post my impressions. Thank you all for the information.
I have a friend who swears by the Swift scopes.
I'm looking forward to your assessment of the ones you just ordered...
January 07, 2006, 22:34
I used up my "second season" vacation time with a chest cold, so I can't make it up to my private 130 meter range at camp right now (first choice); but my gun club's just 20 minutes away from the house, so I'll use that sight-in range that goes out to 100 and 200 yards. (They got regular DCM shoots down there, so I got to work around that).
I haven't received the scopes yet. I'm figuring I'll shoot "the box" on a Fal and a Bolt action. I shoot SA Milsurp in my Fals; I shoot Remington Premium 165 Gr,. Boattail out of a model 700 ADL. If I can get my hands on a digital camera (that one of my daughters has), I'll take pictures. It may take me a couple or so weeks, but I won't let you guys down.
A modestly priced, "niche" scope, would be really nice. But I will remain skeptical, and we'll see what we see. Regards.
January 09, 2006, 21:38
The Swift Model 658M (2x7x40) was here when I got home late this evening.
Fully multicoated, wide angle lenses with one piece 1" anondized tube. 11.6 " long and 12.5 oz.; 4" eye relief, FOV @100 yrds is 55'@2x; and 18'@7x. Quadraplex reticle goes from medium, to fine crosshairs at the center.
It comes with a "limited" lifetime warranty: they'll fix or replace, but consider "bottoming out" turret adjustments, disassembly of the scope, etc., to be abuse outside the warranty, and warn that this will damage internal mechanisms. Comes with a sight-in target, "elastic" lense covers, instructions on mounting, and another on returns, and a general instruction booklet not specific to model. This may be why the booklet says the parallax is adjusted to 50 yards, but on-line it says 100 yrds for this model, which would be normal. The "photoetched" reticle is represented as "shockproof," and the tube as waterproof and fogproof. It claims turret adjustment integrity.
The "suggested retail" for this scope is $160.00. EAB charged me $129.00 for the scope, and $10.95 for shipping and handling. I added a set of flip ups for $14.50, bringing the delivered price for everything to $154.45. EAB, of course, included a catalog.
My initial impression is that the scope appears to be solid and well made. Although handheld indoors at night, some glimpses across rooms, and from lighted rooms into "dark" hallways revealed a clear, focused view, which remained usable in poor light. In this test, this scope outclassed a Simmons Pro-Hunter 3x9x40, and a Simmons 4x12x42 Whitetail Expedition, the latter weighing twice as much. Nevertheless, I don't feel I can give you usable performance information before mounting and shooting outside, which won't occur before this weekend. The exit pupil in a scope of this type should IMHO allow acquisition of a good sight picture @ 2x immediately upon shouldering. If it doesn't, I will consider it a disappointing purchase, regardless of other qualities.
My Model 700 ADL Synthetic in '06 was acquired eight or so years ago as a package deal at Dick's for $329.00, including scope, mount and rings. I left the iron sights on as backup, and the Pro-Hunter objective, close to the rear sight, all but lays on the barrel, but the ocular sits back about 1/4" too close to my face. With limited eye relief and very poor exit pupil, I have intended to switch out this scope for some time, but I have been taking deer with it primarily at stand in blowdowns, and have been busy with other things. The Swift happens to be about 1/4" shorter, and should provide some room for error as far as checkweld and recoil. If the exit pupil is there, and the "sweet spot" is sufficiently larger, I will likely be happy with the purchase, assuming the scope otherwise performs outdoors with the brightness and clarity indicated.
I will report after I visit the range. Regards.
January 14, 2006, 15:02
Just returned from the range test of the Swift 2x7x40 (Model 658M) on a ADL Synthetic in '06, with a "busy" barrel (tall iron sights).
First, let me get the "mea culpas" out of the way. I reported ER (eye relief) of 4" on this model and on the 4x40 (Model 653M). I relied on a vendor spec page; and when I contacted the Manufacturer (Swift Optics), I found out that the ER was 2.9" and 3," respectively. Sloppiness on my part. From now on, I check the Manufacturer's web sight for specs before any scope purchase.
It was a "perfect" day to test the Model 658M. Temperatures fell into the mid-30's, dark, overcast, with a cross wind from right to left blowing the intermittant snow at 45 degrees to horizontal. Actually, a good sample of "hunt'n" weather. I didn't waste time. About 35 minutes to sight the scope in and "shoot the box."
My groups opened up to 3" or so. While some holes were touching, I had a couple flyers. I saved the targets, and will post pictures when my daughter gets back to town with the digital camera. The six 3-shot groups are good enough to confirm the integrity of the turret adjustments.
I shot the center, clicked down 16, and left 16. Shot a group, up 32. Shot a group, right 32. Shot a group. Down 32. Shot a group. Left 16, up 16. Shot the center again, and it was "there".
The turret adjustments are "finger bars" which not only click audibly, but give a clear tactile "bump," so you don't have to remove ear protection while other folks are shooting. The turret caps have finger grooves. The objective (front bell) has a removable sleeve, I guess to add shades or other accessories.
The ocular (rear eyepiece), is bigger than most. It has a focal adjustment, as well as magnification ring. I used the focal adjustment to remove the "ghosts' from the busy barrel.
I shot another target at 2x, 4x and 7x, and the POI was the same. Essentially, I perceived the scope as well made, with internal integrity. Its definitely at least one step up from Simmons, BSA, etc..
Where I found the scope a little disappointing was in eye relief. Probably because I was expecting it to be greater. At 7x I had to search a little for the "sweet spot." At 2x this was less noticeable, but not as good as I had hoped. However, at no time did I get "whacked" by the scope (which had happened twice over 8 years with the Pro-Hunter I had on there).
This fully multicoated scope (coatings on internal as well as "external" lenses) is brighter than the Simmons or BSA's I compared it to. As far as "clarity," it seemed good to me, (but I have some issues with my shooting eye after 10 years of punches and kicks in the martial arts).
"Sandy," at Swift Sales, hooked me up with Bill, who's their Product and Field Service Coordinator. (Bill's a regular guy).
Bill's manic about glass, and was happy to elaborate on Swift's line. He indicated that us FAL guys should have no problem with their Premium or Standard Lines as far as shock, since their scopes are designed to handle the 1000 g's or so a properly mounted scope can experience in the .308 caliber range. He did say to be wary about mounting them high up in Aluminum see-through rings, as the metal "weakness' can exacerbate force to the "erector tube" where the reticle and magnification lenses are. Steel mounts and rings should be good to go. Bill also said that magnum rifles should be mounted with a heavy duty line, made to withstand g's of 1200 and above. Swift is planning to introduce a new magnum line this summer.
Bill confirmed the scopes come from South Korea. The "light transitivity" of the Premium Line Scopes is 95%-to 96.5% (Leupold advertises 98%). The Standard Line is at 85%-88.5%. The brightness of these scopes is good. I asked Bill about the eye relief. With a FOV (field of view) 30% bigger than Leupold's Rifleman 2x7x33 (which comes in, at Walmart at $185.00 plus tax and scope covers versus $129.00 for the Swift), the Swift would be an awesome FAL scope, if the sweet spot were just a little bigger. Bill indicated that eye relief is in tension with parallax, and that's why Leupolds cost more.
I stopped at Walmart last night, and looked at the Leupold Rifleman 2x7x33 (Model 56150), which is all around, a slightly smaller, lighter scope (10.8", 11.1 oz.).
Eye relief is great. You have a smaller FOV at 100 yrds. (43'@2x, 17'@7x vs 60'@2x and 17'@7x for the Swift). Clarity and brightness are excellent, but not distinguishable, to me, from the Swift.
I give the edge to the "Leupy" for quickness of target acquisition; I think the Swift has an advantage in certain applications, such as shooting at a moving deer at 2x, with the bigger FOV.
I should have the Model 653M 4x fixed ($67.00 delivered), and be able to test it, hopefully, by next weekend. I will compare its properties to the Nikon 4X33 available at Walmart for $99.00 plus tax.
I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions. Regards,
January 15, 2006, 00:06
I really appreciate all the poop...
Sounds like a great scope.
And ideal (:)) testing conditions...
I'll have to digest it all before I can completely write off the possibility of any future questions.
January 15, 2006, 19:22
Swift Premium scopes have been getting good users' comments over on the RimfireCentral forum. The higher models of Bushnell and Simmons have also been good. :biggrin:
Nikon Buckmasters and ProStaff and Leupold Rifleman scopes are good at a little more money.
January 15, 2006, 19:53
Good review CB.
I've been looking at the Swift scopes pretty hard. We've got a Swift dealer in our area that handles his own warrenty work, you have a problem you get a new scope. Can't beat that deal.
January 16, 2006, 12:17
Thanks for the input. When I cleaned my rifle yesterday, while watching the steeler game, I noticed a slight ghost at 2x at the very bottom of the sight picture, from my "busy barrel" and "low on the barrel" mount. Now that I think of it, I recall a buddy a few years ago with another make "wide angle" lense having the same issue at low power with the front sight ears on a No. 5 Enfield. I hate moving scopes around, but I think I'll try this one on a scoped Enfield and a FAL, just to see whether medium rings would be required to avoid "ghosts" on "busy barrels. Regards.
January 21, 2006, 19:46
Received the 4x40 this week. Model 653M. Didn't have time to shoot it yet this weekend.
I did fool around moving the 2x7x40 to a FAL and then to an Enfield. The front sight ears "ghost" the sight picture at 2x with Leupold low QD rings. You're looking at least at medium rings to mount this properly on a FAL or Enfield. The 2x is nice, though, with 60" FOV @ 100 yrds.
The 4x looks like a clear, sturdy scope for the money ($67.00). When I get out with it I'll post. Regards.
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