Swift 15-45X Lynx Spotting Scope


May 27, 2003, 09:53 AM
Got out this weekend to try my new Swift spotting scope. This is the same model sold by Creedmoor Sports. Very nice scope. Very clear optics. I ordered this one from B&H Photo for about $150 (got the last one, for now). Good eye-relief. No problem getting full-field view with shooting glasses on. Angled eye piece is easy to use in all positions. At 25X I was able to easily read street signs at a 1/4 mile. At 30X and above the mirage made focusing difficult. I think this is typical of all scopes, though. Should be good for reading chalk boards at the 300 yard line. My last scope (a cheap BSA now headed for Ebay) wouldn't focus well enough for me to read the chalk board at 300 yards or even see the spotters at 500 yards. Only down side I can see so far is that it is not water-proof. I knew this going in, and will just keep a plastic bag handy if it starts to rain.

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Steve Smith
May 27, 2003, 10:06 AM
AWESOME. Now we know where to find this one again (same as the Pro-Optic that is no longer available).

Do me a favor, if you will...go to http://www.betterviewdesired.com/Test.html and test your scope using the binoc/spotting scope test at the bottom of the screen. try it at several power levels if you have the time, or at least at 25x. Please let us know what distances you get from the tests, and also report how the cross-hatching on the border of the $1 bill looks. Thanks!

For reference, here is a report from a friend on another board about his Kowa 821:

"With my TSN-821 and 27x LER eyepiece, I can focus as close as 30 feet. At 46 feet, the longest dry firing range available in my house, I can read Paul O'Neill's signature, as well as the "Secretary of the Treasury" title. (I can't read the other signature with the bill in my hand.) Crosshatching is quite clear in the whole border. I can see the owl in the border around the top right "1", but could not pick it out if I didn't know it was there.."

Here is a report for the Coleman CT-2000 / GuardForce SF-831T that we have been seeing:

"I moved the scope (on a Ray-Vin stand) back a foot at a time until I could achieve a decent focus. In my case, that was 51 feet away. It was noon, so I tilted the target holder back about 10 degrees to get bright sunlight onto the dollar bill.

The smallest feature I could easily read (at 20x) was the green serial number. The phrase 'THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE' was barely readable when I moved it to the center of the image and I moved my eye to the bottom edge of the eyepiece.

The website above suggested trying to discern the cross-hatching below the letter 'O' on ONE DOLLAR. Not possible, not even close. "

I will try this soon with my Kowa 661 and report back here.

May 27, 2003, 10:34 AM
Steve's got his mind (and scope) on the money.

May 27, 2003, 12:09 PM
Will test it when I get some time. Should be fun.

Steve Smith
May 27, 2003, 12:29 PM
And my money on my mind.

May 28, 2003, 09:59 AM
I tested the Swift scope last night. I tape a dollar bill to my garage door and moved the scope back until it would focus. The closest I could focus was about 45 ft. At this distance, at 25X, I could just barely make out the separate lines in the shadow of the "ONE" (as described in the test in the link above). At 50 ft, I couldn't see the individual lines any more.

The lines in the shadow of the "ONE" are about .2 mm apart. At a distance of 45 feet this works out to a resolving power of about 0.05 MOA. A .223 bullet hole is about 0.1 MOA at 200 yards and 0.07 MOA at 300 yards. At 600 yards a .223 hole is about 0.035 MOA. This would suggest that the Swift would work well for the 200 yard rapids and just barely work for the 300 yard rapids. As far as being able to see the mirage at 500 or 600 yards, I'm not sure how to draw any conclusions from this test.

Just for fun, I then focused on the "In God We Trust" just above the "ONE". I was able to move the scope back to 100 ft before I couldn't read the letters anymore. I could still make out the individual letters, I just couldn't tell what they were. Higher magnication than 25X didn't help much since all I saw was a larger blur. For reading purposes, the resolving power works out to about .25 MOA. Three inch letters at 300 yards are about 1 MOA, so reading scores on the 300 yard rapids should be possible.

I don't think that the Swift is on par with the larger Kowa scopes, but it appears that it is a serviceable scope for highpower shooters on a budget.

Steve Smith
May 28, 2003, 10:09 AM
AWESOME! Thanks, KS_Shooter! I reckon I'll have to go home and clean my lenses to try this, hopefully this evening.

May 28, 2003, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the info. I'm going to try the test on a Swift Leopard I was given some time ago. I figured it was next to worthless because it was free..."Here. Want this?"

It's a 25x50 with a built-in straight eyepiece and a cheesy little tripod. I know it's inexpensive, but maybe it's what I need for benchresting .22s with a 6x scope at 50 and 100 yards.


Steve Smith
May 29, 2003, 11:09 PM
Ok, I tested my Kowa 661 w/ 25x LER eyepiece tonight. I also tested my roomate's Kowa 821 w 27x LER eyepiece and an old military Unertl 24x (maybe 55mm objective?) spotting scope.


The closest I could focus was 15 feet. No kidding, it was a really sharp focus, too. I then put the scope at 50 feet and I could just barely make out the lines in the shadow of the O in ONE. The small cross hatching all around the bill were easy to see, and the curved lines above and below the eyeball in the "All seeing eye" were barely visible. All signatures were easily readable, and all the larger details were very crisp.


The results using the 821 were identical to those of the 661, except the close focus was 16.5 feet for the 821. Everything else was the same. No kidding.


Sometimes old things surprise me. This scope is almost as good as the Kowas above, and I could see everything except the shadow lines under the O in ONE. Roomate says he saw them once but couldn't see them again. The focus adjustment on the scope is a real PITA so that could be the problem. The closest I could focus with this one was at 28 feet.

Light was fully on the dollar for all scopes and quite bright.

Steve Smith
June 2, 2003, 09:27 AM
Shot a match in the rain yesterday. Rain was very cold and we had a total of 40 minutes of rain delay. I left my scope on the line intentionally to see what if anything would happen (661 is supposed to be waterproof). When I returned (sun came out), there was a haze on the targets. I cleaned both outer lenses, but haze was still there. I removed the eyepiece and there was condensation on the first lens of the scope. Cleaned that and the view was back ot normal. Will be contacting Jim Owens/Kowa to see what the story is. Otherwise scope WAS waterproof (no water inside tube or eyepiece from what I can tell.)

June 2, 2003, 04:26 PM
I left my scope on the line intentionally to see what if anything would happen...

Taking one for the team! Let us know what you learn about this.

Steve Smith
June 2, 2003, 04:37 PM
You know, it COULD have been condensation from when I first put it on, but that was over a year ago...I think it was from the rain.

Steve Smith
June 9, 2003, 12:27 PM
The fogging was only between the eyepice and the scope. I called Kowa and they said that the scope body was waterproof but in extreme conditions the o-ring protected area between eyepiece and body could fog. They suggested that I just remove the eyepice for a while and let it clear up or just wipe it clean. They offered a cleaning and inspection if I wanted it. I don't think I need it. Scope looks fine now. I may get one of those eyepiece covers from OK Webber or Creedmore before Perry.

June 11, 2003, 08:42 PM
Ok, at Steve's request, I ran right outside and did the betterviewdesired.com test on my spotting scope. It's a Meopta Hermes 1 20-45x70, set at 25x. For the initial naked eye test, the farthest away that I could see the shadow lines beneath the "O" in "ONE" was 1'9". With the scope, the closest I could focus on the bill (if that means anything) was 15'11". The farthest away I could get and still clearly distinguish the individual shadow lines was 42'9".

By the way, some of the other people posting in this thread were looking at the wrong side of the bill. It's the shadow under the big ONE on the back, not the smaller ONE DOLLAR on the front.

July 29, 2003, 05:41 PM
Interesting. At 25x:

Craigz with the Meopta-
Was your naked-eye focus distance about the same as ks_shooter testing the Lynx (1.9 feet)?

It seems that the Lynx at about 45' has better resolution than the Meopta at 42'9". But I really can't say if it is a significant difference. Might be due to the larger lens.

The test website shows the ED lensed 60mm Nikon Fieldscope at 62'6", so neither is anywhere near the resolution of the Nikon. But ED Nikon is, I think, well over $1200 including the eyepiece. Wish he gave a reference for the ordinary glass.

Question- I don't think that objective size has very much to do with resolution. As long as your individual eye is getting enough light to _perceive_ the resolution which the optics are projecting. So for these tests, the objective shouldn't matter. The test site shows 66' for the 80mm ED Nikon, not much increase over the 60mm.

surface area (mm^2):
5026 for 80mm is 1.78 times the smaller
2827 for 60mm is 56% of the larger

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