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Swarovski X5 Riflescope Review

Swarovski X5 Riflescope Review

By Len Backus

I was pretty hopeful when I first learned of Swarovski’s plans to produce an entirely new long range rifle scope. I’ve been a Swarovski optics user since I shot my 65 inch Alaskan moose with one in 1997. It was the first “field test” of my new “dangerous game” rifle chambered in .416 Weatherby topped with a very “short range” Swarovski scope.

Already back in those days I had been using Swarovski binos and a spotter because they were (and still are) considered to be some of the very best glass on the planet . So when the new X5 rifle scope was announced and described I thought I’d maybe buy one. But first I really wanted to run one through its paces.

Swarovski X5 Riflescope Review
Shown above is the illuminated version of the scope.

I’ve been very happy with the Huskemaw and Nightforce scope lines for my personal use for many years. Two years ago I stepped up from a Nightforce 5.5-22x50 NXS in power, optics quality -- and weight -- to a Nightforce ATACR in 5-25x56. I really like that scope and highly recommend it. But the Swarovski offering was very tempting.

As my eyes get older they need all the help they can get - both in brightness and in resolution. In good light I test out between 20/20 and 20/15. But in dim light -- not so good. The human pupil cannot dilate as much as it ages. I assumed that the Swarovski offering would help my vision even more than the ATACR did.

Swarovski designed this new second focal plane scope from the ground up and it took them 5 years to bring it to market. It is built to be rugged and durable but with a relatively light weight for such a serious performer.

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