SWFA 3-15x42 Who got one?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by shifty06, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. shifty06

    shifty06 Well-Known Member

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    Since I started this thread I will go first I ordered one Wens. Night.

    Called thurs. mournin about 8:30 to cancel my order (straight 10x) and they said they have been hammered with calls since they opened. And all were ordering the scope!!


    JW who else made this move?
     
  2. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    still trying to decide if it is worth trading my SS 3-9 for. I am waiting for someone to give a good glass comparison between the two. That will likely make up my mind for me.

    Scot E.
     

  3. shifty06

    shifty06 Well-Known Member

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    I have never looked threw the 3-9 but it has High Density glass I would assume it would have better glass as this is NOT HD glass.
     
  4. megastink

    megastink Well-Known Member

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    if you decide to sell that 3-9 SS, please let me know!
     
  5. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe the glass is rated HD on the 3-9, at least not like the 10xHD and 5-20. But it is still very good.

    Scot E.
     
  6. shifty06

    shifty06 Well-Known Member

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    You are correct. I was wrong.
     
  7. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    OK, for those who haven't seen it elsewhere, here's my writeup on this scope:

    So many people have been asking me about this scope, so here's a couple short notes as I haven't had a chance to spend too much time with it yet. But here are my impressions so far:

    First the important stuff:

    Reticle calibration and click value measure accurate within 0.5%. Reticle is square with the movement of the turrets within 1/2 degree. Tracking has been perfectly repeatable so far.

    Total elevation travel of my example: 41 Mils 26 Mils "up" available after a 100 yd zero when mounted in a 20 MOA mount. Now they only advertise 36 total so they may not all have as much as mine does, I'm just reporting what I see.


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    The reticle on 3X, 10X and 15X:

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    At the range:

    Size comparison with SS 3-9 and 5-20HD:

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    It was a dark, gloomy day at the range which is not good for pictures. So don't attempt to judge the glass quality from these pics as it's impossible to take good pics through a scope in such conditions.

    100 yds:

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    300 yds:

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    A couple 100 and 300 yd targets:

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    I was in somewhat of a hurry and not doing my best shooting, but even so 39 of 40 rounds went sub MOA.

    The eye relief on this scope is by far the best of all the Classic line, longer and more friendly than the well known fixed models. This will make the scope well suited for hard kicking hunting rifles among other things.

    I haven't spent much time comparing glass yet, but it looks at first blush pretty good, clearly the overall best of the Classic line. I was able to see the 6mm holes in the paper at 300 yds without too much trouble. But yes, you can see quite a bit more detail with the 5-20 HD as you should with more magnification and higher price.

    All in all I'm quite impressed with the scope for the price. Knowing how durable the classic line is, with all that elevation travel it has, this scope can do most things up to and including ELR use without spending a lot of money.

    Some more comments on the reticle: The center lines are a very nice thickness, a bit thinner than some FFP scopes many may be used to so there should be very few "it covers the target" complaints unless one is hunting mice. Since it's not illuminated they kept the really thick posts of the 3-9 for low power use which work very well. The only time you'd have this scope on 3X is hunting in thick brush were your shots will be really close and for that the posts work just like a 4a. Forgive the crudeness as I'm no photoshop wiz but I threw this together so people would understand what I'm talking about--this is the scale of things on a big whitetail at 25 yds (which is actually a pretty long shot for the thick brush):

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    As you can see, at close range it's point and shoot--you don't even need to see the center lines. So while it isn't a "brush hunting scope" it should get the job done quite nicely for those who do that occasionally.

    I need to do more comparisons with the 3-9 to determine which has the better glass on 9X. But for those trying to decide between the two, if seeing fine detail at long range is important it's no contest--the 3-15 wins easily. The 3-9 might be a nicer "all around" scope for a "regular" hunter who doesn't spend a whole lot of time shooting at long range.

    If you do spend a lot of time shooting at long range, the 3-15 is easily my choice for that use.
     
  8. Jon A

    Jon A Well-Known Member

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    OK, I’ve spent some time now comparing glass on this thing and now I’m even more impressed. Lots of people were asking how it is compared with the SS 3-9:

    With both set on 9X, the 3-15 has noticeably better resolution than my 3-9. It’s a pretty noticeable difference. Now resolution isn’t the only thing that matters—the 3-9 has a larger FOV power for power, and a larger apparent FOV (due in part to shorter eye relief). The 3-9 also has the edge in apparent brightness—though that may be somewhat an illusion caused by the shorter eye relief and larger apparent FOV. I don’t think the difference is ever large enough you can see something with the 3-9 you can’t with the 3-15, the 3-9 just “seems” a bit brighter. Both handle stray light very well. In short, if you’re happy with the 3-9 glass you’ll be even happier with the 3-15—especially if seeing detail at long range is what’s most important to you.

    With the thicker center lines in the reticle, the 3-9 has an edge in low light if taking medium range shots on 3X where seeing those lines is important. On higher powers more appropriate to the range the 3-15 does fine. At closer ranges, even on 3X, it doesn’t really matter as both have the same sized posts for fast “point and shoot” vital zone shots.

    Compared with the 16X fixed SS Classic, the 3-15 is really impressive. While the 16X is close in resolution, you notice when you compare them side by side it has a veiling flare that is not present in the 3-15 making the 3-15 look significantly more “clear.” As light gets dimmer this difference becomes more apparent and at a point the 16X is hard to look through/no longer usable, the 3-15X still looks great. Of course the fixed 16X was never meant to be a low light scope—in good light, especially on paper targets the 16X looks just fine. But when looking into the trees, etc, and especially as the light gets dimmer, the 3-15 jumps way out in front. People wondering why it’s so much more expensive than the rest of the classic series need only do one quick comparison like this to see where a big chunk of that money went.

    Compared with the PST 6-24, the two are very close. Now my particular 6-24 has really, really good glass for the price range—for those who remember it was dramatically better than the two 4-16 PST’s I had. Comparing the two scopes side by side it’s on 15X difficult to tell the difference. The resolution is so close it’s hard to call a winner. The colors on the PST might look a tad better. As the light gets dimmer, the PST starts to show a small advantage on the higher powers as it should with the larger objective. So overall I’d have to give the slight edge to the PST, but they’re close enough you won’t notice the difference unless you’re really, really looking for it.

    The PST obviously can be turned up to 24X for more detail at long range, the 3-15 has a FOV on 3X more than twice the size of the PST’s on 6X for use at close range. The SS has around double the amount of travel. Two excellent scopes in this price range offering different features so one can select the scope best suited to his application and make a good choice either way. I like them both.

    After doing that I can say without a doubt the 3-15SS is dramatically better than the two 4-16 PST’s I had. Beyond the resolution and CA, the 4-16’s had a noticeable veiling flare that is not present with the 6-24 or the SS 3-15. But as I’ve said, that was some time ago, I’ll leave it to others with more recent models to do an in-depth comparo.

    I did compare it to the 5-20 HD as well, and as you may expect the HD wins pretty easily. The difference isn’t as huge or noticeable as you may expect though if you’ve used the other fixed SS classics. The 3-15 is in another ballpark compared with them in my opinion. Considering the reticle, the turrets, the travel, etc, the 3-15 is a heck of a scope for its price.
     
  9. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Ordered one of the SWFA 3-15x 42mm for my lightweight 7mm Allen Magnum. It currently has a Leupold Mk4 3.5-10x FFP which has served it well but there have been several instances where a higher magnification scope would have been nice. Will see how this one compares to the leuy. About 1/2 the price but about twice the vertical adjustment range as well.

    After seeing the 3-15x and seeing how it works. May give the 5-20 HD a shot. Sounds like another great scope.

    Thanks for your review.
     
  10. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    Kirby, I would be very interested in what you think about the 3-15x42 when you get it. I know not to expect it to be a Nightforce, but it looks to me like it could be a legitimate ELR type scope.

    I have one of the fixed power models that I use to shoot F-T/R and I have so far been very pleased with it.

    I plan to put the 3-15x42 on my .300 WM and possibly on my .375 H&H. Given your ELR experience and your experience with large cased, heavy caliber rounds, I would expect to find your feedback enlightening.
     
  11. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    I have one. Only about 30 shots with it but I think it's great. The smaller bell accommodates low rings which positions me better. The mini cattail works fine. I can see everything I need to through the glass. Clicks are audible and feel good. Tracking and mechanical function all work as intended. It's rated for the 50. If I had to nit pick, you need to come off the rifle to see the directional turret arrows and the FFP low power crosshair may be difficult to see game in low light situations (I'm not sure). I like FFP's because it gives you some quick options to range something without a rangefinder.

    These SWFA scopes have a reputation of toughness and reliability although I'm not purposefully putting it through a horse wreck to find out. Back in the day, you bought a scope and had no idea where your POI would end up after an adjustment. These scopes steer you right in where your suppose to be every time. I tend to think glass quality is a little overrated. I'm more concerned with quick target acquisition and dependability.
     
  12. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    Update: Took this rifle out to test some loads. I mostly didn't touch the scope but decided to take the last two bullets and shoot a broken clay target I found. Went to make an adjustment and the elevation turret just spun w/o any clicks. Guess I'll be sending it back.
     
  13. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Did you make sure the allens were tight on the turret? This turret attaches a bit differently than some you may be used to.

    Scot E.
     
  14. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    That was it. I was out of light and didn't want to mess with in the desert at the time. Since I hadn't zero'd the turrets, I assumed they'd still be tight from the manufacturer but the windage screws were kinda loose too. That's the first thing I should have checked. Anyway, that's a knucklehead behind the trigger problem, not a scope problem.