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Long Range Scopes and Other Optics Nightforce Optics


Swarovski-Schmidt and Bender

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Unread 01-22-2005, 09:36 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: England
Posts: 23
Re: Swarovski-Schmidt and Bender

I have a 3-12 x 50 Schmitt and also Leup Mk 4, 4-14 x 50 and 6.5 - 20 x 50 LRT. IMHO the Leups do not have the same light transmission of the German glass. They are close but not quite there. The build quality is equal. Both my Leups have mildot reticules and the Schmitt has a no7 (european) reticule. The mildots are superior, again MHO. I havent seen any of the Swarowski products you mention but they do make very good glass on a level with Schmitt. Just my 5 pennies worth!
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Unread 01-22-2005, 10:49 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alaska
Posts: 39
Re: Swarovski-Schmidt and Bender

All of the information is great, thanks. I'm not stuck on the 50mm obj, looking at Leupold and the above mentioned, there aren't many that make a 3-12 in anything less that a 50mm. As for the power range it seems that most people are using 14-16 for shooting 1000yds so that is what I was going off of, I think the 12x might do just fine though, not a lot of experience with this.
The nightforce stuff looks very nice but they give new meaning to the word heavy.
I didn't know that Swarovski was new at the turrett thing, that is interesting. I wonder if anyone has had any problems? I thought the S&B 3-12x42 looked like a pretty good thing, not too heavy, 42mm, adjustable, mil dot, and high quality. One concern with the 3-12 S&B was that it's adjusted in .360" that seems like a lot at 1000yds, and then again maybe this is not a big deal? My other concern was with using the adjustment dials on a regular basis. I am new to this long range stuff and I would really like to do this right the first time around.
Thanks again, I really appreciate the help.
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Unread 01-22-2005, 11:15 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Swarovski-Schmidt and Bender

If you are going to spend those kind of dollars I would go with an NXS in 3.5-15x50 and not worry if there is a scope that is a few % points sharper or brighter. The Euro scopes are metric, we are not. I use inches and yards, that is what my lasers tell me when I laser a deer. If we had grown up being taught metric I would no doubt feel differently, no argueing that metric makes sense. I would rather work with tens than 4 and 12's.

I have seen several super expensive Euro scopes crap out because of turrets that separated from the scope body, did not repeat or return to zero. In fairness I have seen lots of others do that too. Sometimes bad ones get through quality control - makes for a lot of frustration when it is a big dollar scope. Had it happen with an NXS, Nightforce fixed the problem in less than one week. Strange how different guys have different opinions, one of the best shooters and gunnies that I know calls S&B's "Schitt-I-bent-hers". He has seen too many problems with them and other Euros but his military background gave him far more access to that stuff than us civies will ever get. There is a fellow named Pete on this board who is absolutely saticefied with his S&B's and I believe that he also has a similar military background to my buddy.

I have had some current S&B tacticals and to my eyes each scope had a yellowish cast to the colors, plus the outside edges were not sharp. This is probably the way my eyes work with their lens coatings, I do not like the effect. Do not get that with my Swarovski or Zeiss scopes tho.

We can overdo this "best" stuff. We can also overdue worrying about a few ounces - that makes no sense on a fifteen pound LR rig. I know guys who can shoot shoulder to shoulder with anyone and they have 250 dollar Bushnell 10x tacticals on their rifles. Might consider getting a good scope and spend the difference you saved by not buying a Rolls Royce on lots of ammo.
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Unread 01-22-2005, 01:21 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 658
Re: Swarovski-Schmidt and Bender

Ian M, i can see you have absolutely no experience with the Schmidt & Bender PMII. I have been using a 3-12x50PMII now for about 5 years, i have had it on at least 6 different rifles, it is an instrument of optical excellence. I have given it some hard hard useage and it has not let me down once. The same scope is currently issued to the British Army snipers on their AI sniper rifles. Optics are excellent as are ergonomics, you can range with the reticle on an magnification, when you turn up the x's the rear of the eye piece stays put, ( it doesn't on the NXS and i hate that and its a pain in the butt if you have butler creek covers on.
To correct you, the S&B does not have cm adjustments, it had 1/10 miliradian adjustments, which just happens to correspond to 1cm i can never understand why the US military measure distance in KM, range in meters but adjust thier scopes in fractions of inches or MOA. But just for you guys that are stuck on the inch or MOA thing, The PMII is also offered with i thinks its 1/4 MOA clicks.
The S&B PMII is the very best tactical scope on the market at the moment, it is a sniper scope and what is sniping? it is long range hunting. It is worth paying the few $ difference between the NXS and the PMII. its more than a few $ i hear you say !! not if you know a freindly gun smith wholives in germany who can do you a good deal on one.. ie. Me ! and no i am not trying to drum up any business, i can't stand to see how you guys in the states get ripped of on the price of EU kit, we get the same here on US kit. I pay the same for a leupold hunting scope here as i do for a S&B hunting scope, I use S&B and swear by em, ive used Leupold for several years in the past but i broke every one of them, same with weaver same with tasco same with burris.
If you want to buy a good scope on a budget, take a look at the Zeiss Conquest, they have some models extreemly well suited to long range applications. As these scopes are made inthe USA i cannot buy theme here in the EU trade as chap as you guys can get em from folks like SWAFA.
It does not pay to scimp in the optics market. and S&B are excellent.
Occupying the British Zone.
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Unread 01-22-2005, 02:37 PM
ds ds is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Cz
Posts: 235
Re: Swarovski-Schmidt and Bender


I don`t have any brand loyality, why when it is all just product lifecycles and unit cost to any manufacturer. I have as I previously said a S&B PM2 4-16x50 and a Nightfroce NXS 12-42x56. I prefer the S&B as a thing of quality both opticaly and mechanically but I use the NXS for target shooting. The extra mag helps me.

It is very possible you may prefer an NXS over the S&B, or a Swarovski, or a US Optics. Best if you can have a good look before buying. On and there is a reviw of the S&B. Also at snipershide US Optics are well known.

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Unread 01-22-2005, 02:59 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 38
Re: Swarovski-Schmidt and Bender

i own an S&B 1.5-6x42 and the rifle it is on fell out of a tree stand and landed on the occular bell and much to my disbelief, there was no external or internal damage.
Ask the 2 does that dropped 1 shot each @ 160 yards after I got back in the tree......
Schmidt & Bender scope are durable and precise in my opinion with great optics. Swarovski uses wire reticle instead of glass in all but there TDS scopes....Wire is cheaper than glass...
check out the end of this thread

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Unread 01-22-2005, 03:56 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Swarovski-Schmidt and Bender

A couple of years ago a friend happened to purchase that exact S&B scope and he let me take his rifle for several months. I apologize for not clarifying that and for lumping all Euro adjustments into one lot. I shot the rifle on the one hundred yard range extensively. I did not hunt with it or get it into the field because winter had shut down our ranges. I also had two older S&B scopes, one was called a tactical and one was a high-powered varminter or target model. Cannot remember what in hell their power specs were - too damn many scopes in the last few years. They were the same - my eyes did not see true color and the focus was very soft out at the edges. They were in cm adjustments I believe. Horus sent them to me, I shot them for about 3 or 4 years and returned them - they were nowhere as clear as my 3-12 Zeiss for instance. That's how it was for me. When spring came I never shot the new S&B long because I had to get ready for an Alaska brown bear hunt - took a Nikon tactical on that hunt. Gave the guy back his rifle, he loves the scope and shoots well with it.

At any given time I usually have one or two new scopes to hunt and shoot with, this is continuous so a lot of optics come and go. That is what I get to do. Glad that you enjoy your S&B's, I will continue to use NXS, MK4's, Nikons and other scopes with about equal enjoyment I expect. I have had saticefactory service with Leupolds, have used and own a lot of their models.

I have read your comment previously about the situation involving the various measurements. Agree but when you have used inches and yards all your life and had nothing to do with metric us old codgers get confused. You would choke on your morning coffee if I told you what that S&B cost over here...
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