1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Swarovski scopes

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by YZ, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. YZ

    YZ member

    Hi everyone,

    Are the Swarovski scopes as much better than competition (say Leupold) as their prices suggest? I see some used ones on eBay that say perfect glass.

    People tend to praise what they paid big bucks for. Any dissent out there?
  2. kyhunter

    kyhunter Well-Known Member

    many people (with deep pockets) swear they are the best out there. Ive never owned one but of the few know that do they love them. I seen a swarovski optik 30x50 that was probably the clearest scope I have ever looked through. But the price isnt worth the benefit for me. Maybe if i start shooting a mile and a half, but that aint my thing
  3. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

    I don't consider Leupold as competition to a Swarovski. Kinda like comparing a Chevy to Porsche.
    While Swarovski is one of the best "Hunting" scopes made,there are other brands that I choose for Long Range work because Swaro's lack adjustment range for really long ranges.
    If you find a used one for a good price,buy it. You will not be disappointed,and you'll never buy cheap optics again.
    Most people that buy these higher end scopes take care of them,and most are rarely even used. I've bought several over the years,and have got them for half of what they originally cost new.
    The older American,and newer Z3/Z5 have 1" main tubes,and the Pro Hunter and Z6 are 30mm.

  4. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    Variants of this pops up every few months and it typically they end the same way.

    The high end camp swears up and down that you always get what you pay for. Usually the more you spend the more you get. Clarity doesn't only mean clear in the store at high noon, clarity means being able to see at high power at dawn and particularly at dusk. Glass doesn't get milky at higher power. Repeatability of click adjustments. Holding zero.

    Some guy will come along and say his _________ (fill in the blank with Swift, Barska, Tasco) is clearer, brighter stronger better etc than any high end scope ever made. I've bought an Acme for $50 and it is WAY better than a Schmidt & Bender.....uhhhh, yeah.

    I can tell you what I've experienced in about 45 years of using scopes...

    I believe you can get more for less money today than ever before. Doesn't mean that cheap scopes are as good as expensive ones, but you do get more performance in a lower end model than you did years ago.

    Blanket statements like "Leupold are better than Burris" are short sighted at best. Manufacturers make product to fit various price points for a reason. They don't simply take the same pieces, put them into different models, and still charge the same. Only an idiot would believe that.

    The trap most guys fall into is simply comparing brand versus brand. If you take the cheapest Nikon and put it against the best Leupold, the Leo will win hands down. Flip it around and the Nikon will win. So, who makes the "better" scope??

    Couple years back I was going to Canada on a bear hunt. Walked into the LGS prepared to walk out with the Swarovski. Dealer suggested I compare the new series of Leupold against the Z-3. Compared them side by side. It was extremely close, but the Leupold was very slightly clearer. Important point..this was one of the newest models. I have several of the VX-III's. They are NOT as clear as the new VX-3's. Side by side at dusk you can see the difference. The Leupold was $300 less.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  5. jehu

    jehu Well-Known Member

    I have Zeiss, Burris,leupold, & Swarovski. At high noon on a clear day all are fine given comparable magnification and objectives. It's in the low light and the need for high contrast situations that the higher end scopes pay off.
  6. 303tom

    303tom member

    To rich for my blood...................I can buy 4 or 5 guns for the price of some of there scopes.
  7. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    when they say "perfect glass" in the ebay ads for used optics, they just mean it hasn't been damaged through use, doesn't have scratches, spots, etc. i.e. that it's in the same condition it left the factory in. (which may or may not be an exaggeration)

    i have a couple swaro optiks. they are definitely nice.
  8. Savage99

    Savage99 Well-Known Member


    Good question and good answers above as well.

    I am an old marksman/hunter with good eyesight. I have had scopes since 1953 and still have that one!

    My scopes were Lyman's like the Wolverine, Supertargetspots and then the All Americans, later Leupold's then Unertl, Zeiss and Hensoldt. When I got a Weaver on a trade I put it on the shelf for to scope a gun that I traded away.

    I can see well with just about any optic however the Weaver's were not clear or sharp. I saw no big advantage of one over the other until I got a Zeiss Conquest. Those Conquests have a better view for me and a superior reticule system than the others however they are bulky and heavy.

    I have not seen but only heard about the latest and best Leupolds. I am not even sure of that Leupolds model ##'s? Is it VX3?

    A new to me custom 30-06 hunting rifle came my way with a Leupold and I did well with it but I wanted something upscale to show off!

    Thus I got a 3-9 Swarovski for it. I am not sure of the Swarovski yet. It's new to me. It's crosshairs seem to turn pink like the Leupolds did in bright light.

    If I were to buy another new scope for hunting it might be a higher magnification Leupold variable of the latest model.

  9. Savage99

    Savage99 Well-Known Member

    I have now brought 6 rifles here together and compared their scopes looking into the woods in the back and comparing them to each other so as to define "what is it?"

    The Zeiss 3-9 Conquest is superb however it's big.
    The Swarovski 3-9X36 is good but not special.
    The Kahles 2-7x36 is excellent and and bright with large, sharp crosshairs however more magnification would be wanted for longer ranges.
    The Leupold VX 111 2.5-8 is good, about like the Swarovski.
    The Leupold 4.5-14 is very good however it's so big and the crosshairs are fine.
    The Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14 is good resolution wise at 5X up close looking into the woods however at long range it's magnification range and AO might make it my choice if bulk did not matter.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  10. dubbleA

    dubbleA Well-Known Member

    I have some Swarovski products, are they the best stuff available? Probably not but they are considered some of the best. They're decent when it comes to ergonomics, durability, the glass used exhibits good edge to edge clarity, resolution, contrast etc. Have been on more that a few hunts when around other sportsman with other equipment and able to compare them side by side.The results are usually ...."wow there really is a difference"I had no idea, they look the same in the store".
    A few years ago I had problems with a 30mm Professional Hunter scope so I called their USA customer service dept. I explained the problem and the time constraint I was under as I was leaving the country on a hunting trip in a couple weeks. I followed their instuctions and the scope was sent, repaired and returned within 7 days. There was no charge and they even paid return shipping. To me that tells me they care about their customers.

    With that said I own and use quite a few brands of glass and each one of them have their place. I am in no way a Swarovski fan boy just stating are one of the better optics companies.

    With anything there comes a time when "the point of diminishing returns" comes into play. It's argued all the time. One has to realize their needs and and what they want out of a product and what they are willing to pay for it. Only you can decide that. This really comes to light with the advancements of technologies we are seeing today. Even the low end scopes of today perform better that glass of yesteryear. Case in point, I have no experince with the new Vortex line but they are getting alot of rave reviews and seem to be a great value.

  11. OldTex

    OldTex Well-Known Member

    My first Swaro, a Z6, 3-18 x 50. Hands down the clearest, brightest scope I've ever looked through. This is the Ballistic Turret version, the only verson with anything approaching target turrets. It has three rings you can custom set for your choice of distances.

    Since buying that one I have bought a Z5 , 3.5-18 x 40mm (about 40% cheaper) and a pair of their binocs with built-in laser rangefinder (more than their best scope).

    Prior to buying these I was a dedicated Leupold man. There really is no comparison on the brighter, clearer glass. But Swaro offers very little in terms of reticles, target turrets, etc. Most of my guns are wearing Luppies simply because of the prices and extra features. Even if price was no object, I'd still have some Leupolds. And I also have a Zeiss and a Burrris.
  12. Paper_Zombie

    Paper_Zombie Well-Known Member

    The only thing I say in favor of Swarovski, is that they are one of the foremost producers of super-high-quality crystal in the world.

    This would of course affect only the optics, not necessarily the construction of the scopes themselves.

    They're good enough for the Canadian mint, but we're talking glass. It may indeed be the finest glass you've ever looked through, but the question lies in "does the scope suit your needs?"
  13. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Well-Known Member

    It's not about the cost....it's about the performance. Once you've experienced the quality of the glass, everything else is a disappointment. Fox hunting in the snow is a good example.....with most glass you can pick out the animal, with Swarovski you see the brilliant red color of the pelt stand out. This aids in scanning long distances for a glimpse of elusive game that may be obscured by brush or foliage. No more eye strain when glassing 6-8 hours straight.

    Binoculars cost me about $50 per year to hunt with the best......figure $1000 divided by 20 years of service. Spotting scope will pick out bullet holes in targets at dusk when everyone else has packed up and gone home. Light gathering ability and clarity are hard to beat.

    Only regret is I don't have more of it....

  14. YZ

    YZ member

    It seems the real possible advantage of supreme optics is seeng better in the dusk. Has anyone tried to compare different scopes side by side shooting a distance in dim light?
  15. witchhunter

    witchhunter Well-Known Member

    This has been a few years ago, but I was hunting mule deer in Wyoming, a guy I ran into on the mountain had a brand new Swarovski spotting scope, I was using my Leupold. We were glassing just before dark. I spotted a buck accross canyon, after looking at him for a few minutes, I just couldn't tell how big he was. i looked through his glass and yup it was noticeably better. Was it twice as nice? No, but I want one still.
  16. matrem

    matrem Well-Known Member

    Of the things I've "overspent" for at times that maybe I shouldn't have, good glass (including Swarovski) are not one of them.

    I don't spend as much time actually searching & staring through a rifle scope as I do binos, and Leupolds are about all I own for rifle scopes, but those Swaro & Leica binos are a notch above when your eyes have to be attached to them for extended periods.
  17. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Well-Known Member

    Leupold has really jumped up their glass quality with the VX-3 series. I am convinced they did that in response to things like the Zeiss and the Swaro's coming into their market.

    I know that all of the glass makers have improved over time. So for example, a Kahles made in the 60's is not better than a Leupold VX 2 made last year. If you buy an ancient Swaro it will have good glass for its day, but will not have better glass than you can get today.

    If you go to the Schmidt and Bender web site they have a great article on their approach to glass making. They say that nobody gets better than passing 95% of the light. And the key to the coatings is to use the higher frequency light waves that are brighter to your eye (blue). In Europe they can and do hunt at night.

    You can go for good enough and a lot of product is. Or you can save up and go for good enough for life. The downside to all of this is that once you have used a top notch scope, everything else will be a disappointment!
  18. Sun Tzu warrior

    Sun Tzu warrior Well-Known Member

    The difference is, at dawn or dusk, you can look out across a field and with a high end leupold, or Nikon ect... you can see a tree with some leaves on the other side....... with a Swarovski, you can count you the leaves on that tree. Can you see a buck on the other side of the field, yes, but are you looking at the buck you have targeted, or the buck that needs another year to be in his prime? Most rifles can be made to shoot accurately, It is definately the scope that makes the difference in a hunting rifle. Most trophies live to be trophies, because they are nocturnal. That having been said.......
    I loaned a Leupold VXIII to a "friend" who said it wouldn't adjust properly, it was obvious he had broken his scope, when the serial number did not match the one I gave him. I it sent back to the factory for repairs. I figured when they charged me, since it was not the one I had a warranty on, I would give him the bill. They repaired it, certified it and sent it back at no charge. The OP never stated what the scope would be used for, unless trophy hunting get a Leupold, the others are want and wish scopes..... You will want one, then wish you bought a Leupold! I have a VXIII on my primative weapon, and when the trophy deer showed up I could see him in the scope, but not the crosshairs. I do like Austrian Glass, their reticles with very thick to very thin crosshairs, would have netted me that buck!
    Just put the thick part of the reticle around the 10 ring, even though it is too dark to see the thin.

    By the way, My hunting rifle; Remington model 700LH, used $350, Scope; Sworovski $1150
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  19. G'dale Mike

    G'dale Mike Well-Known Member

    Was in northeast Montana on a mule deer hunt, my rifle topped with a swavorski z-6,, my hunting buddy had a high end leupold, he is a leupold man. He's buying a z-6 now.
  20. cdb1

    cdb1 Well-Known Member

    If I could afford it I would buy a Swarovski or a Schmidt and Bender or a Nightforce. But I can't. I believe though in buying the best scope you can afford though. For me and my family that means four star scopes. I have Zeiss, Leupold, Vortex and Bushnell. We have two rimfires, a .22 LR and a .22 Mag. I recently upgraded the scopes on them and realized that good glass is just as important for a rimfire as it is for a centerfire. The difference in quality between a $100-$150 rimfire scope and a $250-$300 rimfire scope is amazing.

Share This Page