SWFA 5-20 vs. Burris XTRII 5-25 or 4-20

TommyTwoGuns

New Hide Member
Mar 8, 2018
37
9
8
#51
No, it really isn't.

The basic point I am trying to make is that it is an optical system. Keyword: "system". When you are talking about the optics of a riflescope, all the different aspects of the image are not independent of each other. If contrast is very poor, resolution does not matter. If resolution is very poor, great contrast will not help you.

If there is severe CA, it is an indication of color management issues. Poorly handled CA, also often goes hand in hand with lower contrast. Flare control issues together with CA, really blur the edges of whatever you are trying to see. And the edges get screwy in different ways depending on where behind the eyepiece you are.

And so on and so forth. A blanket statement along the lines of "I do not care about CA" is pointless. CA is a symptom, not the problem itself. Same for a bunch of other image characteristics.

ILya
Good points.

First thing I would note is that we all know the term color blind but don't always have a good handle on what it means. Not to mention that there is really no standard for how we view not only color but other factors as well.

In another life I was a serious photographer and there is a term photographers use; they will say an image pops. Lots of factors go into pop. But one thing I would point out is back in the day photographers used a black and white "resolution chart". As time passed this changed and a color resolution chart evolved that was much better than a black and white chart to determine how a digital sensor (or color film for luddites) captured an image.

Digital images allowed a much better way to measure images. In the old days of black and white there was something called a knife test, a knife was placed on a white paper and photographed and the gray between the black of the knife and the white of the paper was noted. Digital images allowed a different measurement. The number of pixles of gray between the blackest black and the whitest white was measured. Even with top quality digital cameras there were maybe 6-10 pixles that were not pure black or white (an exception was the Sigma digital cameras that used the foveon sensor and got it down to 3-4 pixles but suffered from poor light performance). This test was often called a rolloff test, as in rolling off a knife edge.

Anyone who has seen CA will understand how it affects rolloff and reduces the amount of pop in an image. You can also see how a color blindness in the deep violet area might reduce the amount of CA someone saw.

Another real consideration in pop is what is called depth of field. When you set the parallax to 10 yards thing at 500 yards are out of focus, in fact depending on the depth of field things at 30 yards (or even closer) may be out of focus. So stuff in focus will pop in comparison to the out of focus stuff.

This is just a long winded post so I can ask if anyone has seen depth of focus data on scopes? Sorry for the long post but I have no adult supervision and way too much time on my hands.
 
Likes: wigwamitus

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#53
Depth of field is not a typical measurement given by scope makers, but it can be very important for field shooting. My ATACR 4-16 has an extremely generous depth of field, perhaps the best I've personally seen. NF can give you this info if you ask, I'm not sure if other companies can or do or not.
 

TommyTwoGuns

New Hide Member
Mar 8, 2018
37
9
8
#54
Depth of field is not a typical measurement given by scope makers, but it can be very important for field shooting. My ATACR 4-16 has an extremely generous depth of field, perhaps the best I've personally seen. NF can give you this info if you ask, I'm not sure if other companies can or do or not.

A big DOF can help in picking up targets but a shallow DOF means if the target is in the DOF it will pop better. Most photographers want what is called a fast lens because it has a shallow DOF which allows them to get the subject/target in focus to make it pop. Of course this takes time which may allow the target to get away, or out of the field of view. But for shooting paper or steel when you have a second or so to change the parallax you may be able to see the target better. Horses for courses.
 
Jan 5, 2014
1,106
159
63
Wabaunsee, KS
#55
... Depth of field is not a typical measurement given by scope makers ...
I can measure DOF.

I am interested in attributes we can measure.

I think we can (at least sort of) measure "resolution" with the USAF 1951 eye chart.

Not sure how to measure contrast yet. Dark Lord implies contrast is important, so we need to learn how to measure that.

Don't know how to measure POP. Not sure how important POP is.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,605
1,031
113
San Diego, Ca
#56
"POP" is a subjective term, so I'm not sure how you could measure it, since everyone's eyes are different in what they can resolve. That being said, there are ways to measure attributes, but as Ilya mentioned, they are all interrelated.

Without getting into sensitive areas, I can tell you as a former photo interpreter/imagery analyst, that images have several factors to determine the overall useability of an image (often referred to as a NIIRS, National Imagery Interpretation Rating (pronounced "nears") ). This is a combination of things such as ground sampling distance ("GSD") and other resolution measurements (what could physically be resolved by the human eye). GSD is a measurement whereby if two objects on a certain size were placed apart, at the same distance as their size, and could be resolved as two distinct objects it was given a GSD of "x" (whatever the size of the object was). So, in the case of something that was 36" length, 36" wide and 36" tall was placed 36" from another object the same size, the GSD was 36". This measured "resolution", but not necessarily usability or clarity. Contrast, haze, edge detection and sharpness all greatly impacted usability. This was due (in part) to environmentals and a host of other geometric factors. So, in the case of something 36" of size, while I could (in one image) just see a 36" blob next to another 36" blob, in another image with the same GSD, I might have enough contrast to determine attributes of the object and define it as a start cart specifically related to a Mig-25E (for example). The image with higher contrast would have a higher NIIRS rating, since it's attributes (other than GSD) allow me to identify with greater accuracy than the similarly rated GSD image.

Conversely, I may have an image that has a smaller GSD, but has so much haze, that I cannot identify (with confidence) that same object as a start cart (and never mind the variant of it).

All of this is to say, there can be measurements made across various attributes of an image (a product of an optical sensor), but it is the sum of these measurements that determine things like clarity, resolution, or "POP". And, while these measurements can be aggregated to a specific sum, that sum, is one of many within a matrix of sums, that a apply differently to the task at hand. An image with haze can be pretty useless when identifying a variant of equipment, but that same hazy image, with strong edge detection characteristics may be exactly what I need to see the edge of a shadow of a large aircraft (like an IL-76 Candid) and determine (based on the shadow edge) that the nose has been modified, and it is actually a homegrown A-50 Mainstay variant (IL-76 based airborne early warning with a chin mounted sensor suite).

Within the monochromatic spectrum (IIRC) there are 256 shades that span from white to black within a softcopy image. The human eye can only define roughly 36 shades (it varies slightly by individual). Think about that for a second. IIRC, black has 26 different shades, but for the most part, humans see all 26 as "black". I would image (and perhaps ILya can enlighten us), that optical design and lens coatings are what alter or emphasize certain shades of color, redistributing those colors into more widely spaced wavelengths that the human eye can then resolve or see. In softcopy form, this is done via a histogram, and manually changing the distribution of those shades (this is how you can make "black" shadows suddenly become a series of grays that show an aircraft (for example) hidden in the shadows. I'd think when scopes are made, they are "hardcoding" a histogram of sorts into the scope design. This hardcoded histogram (via optics, coatings etc) predetermine how "normal" or "average" light is bent/refracted, so that some wavelengths normally not visible or hard discern are shifted to a higher contrast wavelength to be more easily viewable.

I would argue that these same principles apply to scopes: Not all attributes are equal (rather a series of sliding scales), resolution does not equate to clarity , and specific intended use determines usability.

I would suppose my background is what makes me so critical of some scopes, as spending hours upon hours staring at images tends to have biased me to certain aberrations that irritate the shit out me.

JMTCW...
 
Last edited:

TommyTwoGuns

New Hide Member
Mar 8, 2018
37
9
8
#57
I can measure DOF.

I am interested in attributes we can measure.

I think we can (at least sort of) measure "resolution" with the USAF 1951 eye chart.

Not sure how to measure contrast yet. Dark Lord implies contrast is important, so we need to learn how to measure that.

Don't know how to measure POP. Not sure how important POP is.
I would tend to use a camera resolution chart. Easy to find a file online you can download for free and print out. The first thing I look at is how well the "cross" made up of multiple lines in the upper left hand corner shows up. The 'cross' is composed of black lines that start out thick and wind up thin, same for the white spaces between the lines. Where the black lines and white spaces turn to gray mush is the resolution limit of the lens/scope. Those thick to thin lines also tend to show things like moire and Nyquist limit (indicating the need for an anti-aliasing filter). Here is a link to start you off in one measurement of resolution, but it is only a start. One reason there are duplicate parts of the chart is the whole field of view is measured, not just a part of it.

bwrez.jpg

There are ways to measure contrast, but that is way above my pay grade.

I would define pop as a combination of all these factors (and probably more); Dark Lord's 'optical system' measured if you will. But a real problem with that is that not everyone has the same eye sight, stuff like 20/20 and color blindness for starters. So measuring pop is somewhat subjective. But there are great photographs that almost everyone would agree are great no matter how good their vision is.
 
Likes: wigwamitus

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#58
This came up in a PM to me, but I thought I'd mention it here. The writer was apologizing for "polluting" "my" thread, with all this talk not directly related to the original question. I greatly appreciate his concern, but in my case it is completely unwarranted. First of all, this isn't my thread. It is ours, owned and hosted by SH. Second, I view these threads as conversations, and conversations with real people, tend to wander as topics become somewhat related. Third, this is all interesting stuff, and I'm learning about people and things, some of which is directly related to the bigger issues this thread is about. In addition, the guy writing me is a regular contributor here, with really good content, and is not a troll in any way. And finally, I've never understood people who get all upset and complain about off topic posts in their threads. I realize there is a sensible limit to that, but mostly I think those people must be fairly hard to talk to and deal with in real life. Plus, I hate whining. Its not like someone is talking your ear off in person and you can't get away. Rant off, and sorry if that was off topic😂
 

TommyTwoGuns

New Hide Member
Mar 8, 2018
37
9
8
#59
Some random thoughts about DOF and pop. As a rule the DOF gets smaller as magnification gets higher.

DOF35to200.jpg

As you change the parallax you change where the focal point in the depth of field is. Things in focus will be sharp and pop while things out of focus will be blurry and fade into the back ground. If there is any CA in the blurry portion of the FOV things will fade even more. In the image below the left side is what a deep DOF looks like while the right side is a shallow DOF. Most folks would think the flower on the right side pops out of the image. Related to shooting which image in the scope would be easier to put the cross hairs on. While contrast can be measured in an optical sense a shallow DOF will make a target seem to have more contrast (and easier to see and put the cross hairs on. Just my two cents but developing your skill set to set the parallax to make the target pop is something I think is important. And having a scope that makes getting the right parallax setting easy is a good thing.

DOFcompare.jpg

No question for me the right side of the image above would be easier for me to put the cross hairs on and it also pops more. On the other hand if I was trying to hit something in the background the left side would be my first choice. Thing is it is probably worth the few seconds it would take to change the parallax setting to get what ever you are shooting at in as sharp as focus as possible.
 
Likes: wigwamitus
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
593
113
The West
#62
Some random thoughts about DOF and pop. As a rule the DOF gets smaller as magnification gets higher.

View attachment 6912388

As you change the parallax you change where the focal point in the depth of field is. Things in focus will be sharp and pop while things out of focus will be blurry and fade into the back ground. If there is any CA in the blurry portion of the FOV things will fade even more. In the image below the left side is what a deep DOF looks like while the right side is a shallow DOF. Most folks would think the flower on the right side pops out of the image. Related to shooting which image in the scope would be easier to put the cross hairs on. While contrast can be measured in an optical sense a shallow DOF will make a target seem to have more contrast (and easier to see and put the cross hairs on. Just my two cents but developing your skill set to set the parallax to make the target pop is something I think is important. And having a scope that makes getting the right parallax setting easy is a good thing.

View attachment 6912389

No question for me the right side of the image above would be easier for me to put the cross hairs on and it also pops more. On the other hand if I was trying to hit something in the background the left side would be my first choice. Thing is it is probably worth the few seconds it would take to change the parallax setting to get what ever you are shooting at in as sharp as focus as possible.
I am guilty of not reading thru this entire post...

But, one thing even as a spoiled F1.2 glass guy who for a while made a living behind glass, there is something to be said for the old photographer saying "F8 and be there" --

What the hell does that have to do with shooting? Well, in some places like matches where the distances between targets is a bit longer and the time is short, for me it is super nice to have a very deep (greater distance) DOF with the larger FOV of reduced mag setting so you don't have to dick with parallax and can maybe quickly shade the scope if needed. Thats just me I am sure.. But while the image on the right looks cool, it is not something I want in my scope.

Just my random rattlings/
 

TommyTwoGuns

New Hide Member
Mar 8, 2018
37
9
8
#64
I am guilty of not reading thru this entire post...

But, one thing even as a spoiled F1.2 glass guy who for a while made a living behind glass, there is something to be said for the old photographer saying "F8 and be there" --

What the hell does that have to do with shooting? Well, in some places like matches where the distances between targets is a bit longer and the time is short, for me it is super nice to have a very deep (greater distance) DOF with the larger FOV of reduced mag setting so you don't have to dick with parallax and can maybe quickly shade the scope if needed. Thats just me I am sure.. But while the image on the right looks cool, it is not something I want in my scope.

Just my random rattlings/
I am guilty of reading the entire thread, not just a post.

This is a quotation from the first page by birddog6424:

'happen to have a nice real world analogy from this past weekend. The Dog Valley match this weekend presented us with a 700 target shaded by a tree, early morning sunlight behind it. Steve Eames was the first shooter and said he couldn't see the target with his Gen II Razor, but could see a little area that he thought might be the target, so he fired at it and hit it. Looking through my Razor spotter at 30x, the plate blended perfectly with the backdrop. But you could see a little 3" piece of grey strap. "

And here is a quotation from the end of my post you quoted:

'No question for me the right side of the image above would be easier for me to put the cross hairs on and it also pops more. On the other hand if I was trying to hit something in the background the left side would be my first choice. Thing is it is probably worth the few seconds it would take to change the parallax setting to get what ever you are shooting at in as sharp as focus as possible. "

I suspect in the Dog Valley match some folks would be more than happy to take a few seconds to see if they could make the steel pop better with higher magnification for a shallow DOF. But as I also pointed out if you were switching between targets a bigger DOF would be an advantage. I never claimed one or the other was better, rather that depending on circumstances one might have an advantage over the other.

Hope that helps you understand 'what the hell this has to do with shooting', if not feel free to ask for an explanation for what you don't understand.
 
Likes: Birddog6424

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
762
113
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#65
Kind of curious to hear what @koshkin thinks on some of these posts...
Which specific ones?

As a general observation, the attempt to make objective measurements of everything is misguided. It requires equipment that is expensive and not easily accessible, and expertise in both experiment setup and in interpreting the results. None of this is rocket science, but there is some know-how involved.

If you are looking to get an idea of how well microcontrast is preserved, look at scenes of moderately monotonous color and see if you can determine subtle color variations and textures (like foliage and things like that).

Using video resolution charts is a little tricky but doable if you can position one at a distance where your scope can focus. However, how you illuminate it matters, so getting a quantifiable result is not a matter of just staring at it.

ILya
 
Likes: MarinePMI

TommyTwoGuns

New Hide Member
Mar 8, 2018
37
9
8
#66
SNIP

Using video resolution charts is a little tricky but doable if you can position one at a distance where your scope can focus. However, how you illuminate it matters, so getting a quantifiable result is not a matter of just staring at it.

ILya
As my photo 101 prof use to say amateurs talk about cameras, pros talk about lenses, and photographers talk about light.
 
Feb 7, 2013
2,250
593
113
The West
#67
I am guilty of reading the entire thread, not just a post.

Hope that helps you understand 'what the hell this has to do with shooting', if not feel free to ask for an explanation for what you don't understand.
Certainly you misunderstood my post.

MY " What the hell does that have to do with shooting?" Referred to my post in blue.. v

But, one thing even as a spoiled F1.2 glass guy who for a while made a living behind glass, there is something to be said for the old photographer saying "F8 and be there" --

Now - let me address this a bit more.. I have no issue using high magnification when the location calls for it, but If my S&B at 25x resolves the target with more DOF over my old ATCAR F1 5-25 (first gen) that had a MUCH shallower DOF, I'd pic the S&B or even my old USO everyday.. from what I hear, the newer F1 mil-Cs are better so I am not trying to bash NF in anyway..

Lets forget about "A big DOF can help in picking up targets" because you clearly missing a key point and that is parallax induced error that seem to come along with the shallow DOF.. Have you ever run a match and had to get on target in the last few seconds with no time spin knobs? Maybe a Diamond (yes poor fucus/parallax can be an issue in elevation too) or Bowling pin that isn't super forgiving to wind, combined with parallax issues? I'm sure if you did, your vantage point might be different.

But it might be great to understand these same conversations have been happening on here for years. The newer the precision shooter the more the focus on magnification.. etc.
 
Last edited:
Jan 5, 2014
1,106
159
63
Wabaunsee, KS
#68
... the attempt to make objective measurements of everything is misguided ...
This must be at least partly directed at moi ... I am the one who said way above words to the effect of "let's drill into GOOD GLASS" and see what that means. I also said "I like things that can be measured" ... which is just my nature.

So hopefully there is some ground between us simply saying "GOOD GLASS" and "attempts to ... [objectively measure] ... everything" ??

==
And BTW, while I did apologize to the OP for thus derailing his scope selection thread ... I must admit I have really enjoyed all the chatter that has come about in the discussion around "What is GOOD GLASS" :) I am learning much useful info !!

So thanks to all for the data !!!
:)

==
Toward the end of last year, there was a thread in this sub-forum reviewing several scopes on my list: TT, NF (both the 5-25 and 7-35 ATACR), Minox, V/O G2 Rz 4.5-27, S&B, maybe one other. The reviewer used the USAF 1951 chart in an attempt to "objectify" the resolution aspect. I realized at the time, doing that is not 100% or even 95% objective. For "science" it would have to be repeatable and repeated. But, it seemed at least a small step beyond simply saying GOOD GLASS.
So, if there are other tests we can use, along those lines, that do not require laboratories with 50 technicians and $100M worth of gear, then such "user" executable tests would be other steps on the road beyond GOOD GLASS, which after all might just be a person paraphrasing "I like this scope better than that scope".
:)

==
BTW, I picked the NF 7-35x t3, mostly because of the reticle, also because I wanted to use it secondarily as a spotter. It was a close call between the NF, the TT 5-25x g2xr and the Kahles 6-24x SKMR3. Now, I wonder if I made a mistake, because I was NOT aware of the advantage of the TT as regards parallax beyond 250yds. That sounds like a huge advantage. The TT is back on my list for the next scope :D
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
762
113
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#71
This must be at least partly directed at moi ... I am the one who said way above words to the effect of "let's drill into GOOD GLASS" and see what that means. I also said "I like things that can be measured" ... which is just my nature.

So hopefully there is some ground between us simply saying "GOOD GLASS" and "attempts to ... [objectively measure] ... everything" ??

==
And BTW, while I did apologize to the OP for thus derailing his scope selection thread ... I must admit I have really enjoyed all the chatter that has come about in the discussion around "What is GOOD GLASS" :) I am learning much useful info !!

So thanks to all for the data !!!
:)

==
Toward the end of last year, there was a thread in this sub-forum reviewing several scopes on my list: TT, NF (both the 5-25 and 7-35 ATACR), Minox, V/O G2 Rz 4.5-27, S&B, maybe one other. The reviewer used the USAF 1951 chart in an attempt to "objectify" the resolution aspect. I realized at the time, doing that is not 100% or even 95% objective. For "science" it would have to be repeatable and repeated. But, it seemed at least a small step beyond simply saying GOOD GLASS.
So, if there are other tests we can use, along those lines, that do not require laboratories with 50 technicians and $100M worth of gear, then such "user" executable tests would be other steps on the road beyond GOOD GLASS, which after all might just be a person paraphrasing "I like this scope better than that scope".
:)
Staring at a 1951 chart is not objective in any way shape or form. When you talk about image quality testing, anything that involves a human eye as a measurement instrument is classified as a subjective test. To classify it as an objective test, you have to completely eliminate a humam observer from the test protocol.

Now, that does not mean that looking at a 1951 chart is not useful or meaningful. However, the words objective and subjective have very specific meaning when it comes to image quality testing.

In the interest of full disclaimer, I started working on an updated copy of my Riflescope Fundamentals article series (http://opticsthoughts.com/?page_id=122), but rather than simply posting it on my website, I think I'll make it into a short book. It is a fair amount of work and it is fairly lengthy. A blog is not the best format for that. I will cover how I think you can best evaluate optical quality of a riflescope in there. There are a few ways to go about it.

The reason I am doing it is mostly dissatisfaction with what is out there. There are several books out there on the subject that cover the rather broad range between incompetent (mostly written by gunwriters like Barseness) and irrelevant (written by optics people who have never seen a gun), so I am trying to do something that is a little shorter, more to the point and at least somewhat actionable.

ILya
 
Last edited:

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,605
1,031
113
San Diego, Ca
#72
Staring at a 1951 chart is not objective in any way shape or form. When you talk about image quality testing, anything that involves a human eye as a measurement instrument is classified as a subjective test. To classify it as an objective test, you have to completely eliminate a humam observer from the test protocol.

Now, that does not mean that looking at a 1951 chart is not useful or meaningful. However, the words objective and subjective have very specific meaning when it comes to image quality testing.

In the interest of full disclaimer, I started working on an updated copy of my Riflescope Fundamentals article series (http://opticsthoughts.com/?page_id=122), but rather than simply posting it on my website, I think I'll make it into a short book. It is a fair amount of work and it is fairly lengthy. A blog is not the best format for that. I will cover how I think you can best evaluate optical quality of a riflescope in there. There are a few ways to go about it.

The reason I am doing is mostly dissatisfaction with what it out there. There are several books out there on the subject that cover the rather broad range between incompetent (mostly written by gunwriters like Barseness) and irrelevant (written by optics people who have never seen a gun), so I am trying to do something that is a little shorter, more to the point and at least somewhat actionable.

ILya
Please, do let us know when it will be available. Will this be a dead tree book, or a softcopy (e-book, PDF, etc.)?
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
762
113
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#73
Please, do let us know when it will be available. Will this be a dead tree book, or a softcopy (e-book, PDF, etc.)?
I havn't the foggiest idea. I need to finish it first and it is a bit of a slow going. I think I can self-publish with Amazon, which would allow for both traditional book and a Kindle version. If you have any knowledge of publishing, I am open to suggestions.

ILya
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
7,553
375
83
Flagstaff, AZ
#74
Haha...

I think those white sections on each side are "insulated" cup holders.

This is the Cadillac of PRS competition rear support... ;)
What brand is that chair? I could use that in freestyle class (anything goes class) in our Field Target air rifle match. The guy that does our match reports would love to include pictures of me in a super relaxed shooting position, that'd be good for some entertainment, lol.

It already pisses them off I use a tripod with RRS Vice, imagine if I showed up with that chair. Ahh, keeping life interesting!!
 
Likes: Birddog6424

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#75
I havn't the foggiest idea. I need to finish it first and it is a bit of a slow going. I think I can self-publish with Amazon, which would allow for both traditional book and a Kindle version. If you have any knowledge of publishing, I am open to suggestions.

ILya
That is correct. My wife just went that route with the latest book she wrote. I believe she is very happy with how it went.
 
Dec 23, 2011
632
7
18
53
State of confusion
#77
So, um, yah... I have had both and use both but actually prefer the SWFA now that I am used to the reticle. It has never failed me, lost zero and what I put in for adjustment is always spot on!

Not to knock all the glass talk, and I have mad respect for Ilya and am intrigued by all the expertise on this subject, but as an operational tactical marksman with 23 years of looking through glass for long periods of time I wonder if we get too deep into this topic. Our team started with Mk 4s, then NF F1s and now Steiner. In between we did eye ball evaluation on at least 20 optics. Yes, that is what we did. Two criteria was all we had. Ability to identify what we were looking at and use the reticle to range it and the other criteria is eye fatigue. I guess that’s three, but reticle variation is it’s own category. As for eye strain Sometimes we are out for long periods and some optics caused greater eye strain. Now on item two, 99% of shooters will never be on glass more then half hour so it’s moot. Back to item one, can I see what I need to see clear enough to identify it at ranges up to 1000 meters? well all 20 or so scopes that we played with could do that. Sure some were better for all the reasons outlined but for normal range use, and the occasional match, any would have worked fine for me and anyone on our team. I think a lot of shooters, not your high tier PRS guys, but the other 99.9% get way too deep in this part of the tool. The scope is a tool, so a lot of factors make a great tool but it seems this takes center stage when having a precise reticle, great knobs and repeatability is far more important to the actual task of putting it exactly where you want it first time through.

Not raining on the above, very interesting read but how many who are reading all this really benefit from S&B glass? Yet it takes priority to a lot of people as they chase the perfect glass.

And last observation, at 53 and in my last few months on the job, I am able to detect the finer points of glass less and less. Don’t know if it is aging eyes or the fact that I have spent way too much time looking through a tube, but I find I am just as happy with my daughters PST Gen I and my SWFA or my duty glass. You would think it the other way round but I care more about adjustments and precision in the instrument over glass pop because I detect less variance now.

Just my $0.2.
 
Dec 22, 2017
127
24
18
Florence, IN
#78
I have experience with the Burris XTR II 3-15 and I currently own the SWFA 5-20. Both optics are obviously good for long range applications. I will say the SWFA is superior in glass quality. The Burris does have a little bit better reticle but the SWFA reticle does just fine for me. I think some reticle snobs will complain about how bad the mil quad reticle is but its not going to hinder your shooting experience, yes it would be nice if it was numbered but sometimes you can't have it all. The turrets on the SWFA feel a bit more positive to me than the Burris did if memory serves me not to say the Burris turrets were bad because they werent. The SWFA is built like a tank and I do like the zero reset feature better on the SWFA although it does not have a zero stop, it does have 10 mils per rev which is enough to keep you on the first rev unless you are shooting extended ranges (beyond 1000). The Burris you have to press down with some pressure and then tighten the screws down to engage the zero stop. The SWFA utilizes a large single screw that locks up nice and beats messing with 3 really small set screws.

Overall if they are comparable in price id go with the SWFA all day. It is a great optic if you can get it at a good price. Personally I ditched my Vortex Viper PST gen 2 so I could get the SWFA and I dont regret it one bit from the short time ive had behind the SWFA.

Also I bought my SWFA 2 weeks ago from the SWFA sample list and scored the illuminated version for 899. They said they had roughly 25 left when I called. Might be able to scoop one up.
 
Likes: PBWalsh

bjay

Private
Oct 19, 2009
3,481
208
63
Aloha state HI
#81
I did the same thing. Wife bought me a PST II as a welcome home from my deployment, played with it a bit then saw the SWFA deal and traded it in for the illuminated version. At $899 it is a steal.
Too late after reading this post I purchased their last 899 model :)
Ill do review here
 
Oct 17, 2017
696
236
43
Dallas
#82
Count me in the group that had a PST Gen 2 (which I think is noticeably better than the XTR II) and traded it in on an SWFA.

I believe Ilya has said this before, but the SWFA is one of those sweet spots for value when it comes to optical and build quality. You have to spend a bunch more money to get noticeably better in either department.

At $899, it's an absolute steal.
 
Likes: Blake Whitham

bjay

Private
Oct 19, 2009
3,481
208
63
Aloha state HI
#83
Frank did a review and has two video for follow up at youtube...you will see what this scope has to offer..i also remember frank calling some scopes..15-1800 asking price for 800.00 worth of scopes..swfa hd is the opposite
 
Dec 23, 2011
632
7
18
53
State of confusion
#84
When I ordered I asked Skyler if they were up to something but he said no. I take that at face value, if I was told not to spill the beans I would have done the same. It would be nice to see them expand the line but it would have been better to have done that five years ago. The market is dripping with decent offerings now. Twenty five years ago all you really had was Leupold. Fifteen years ago we got NF and now....... too many damn choices and 100 this vs. that questions a week. Great to be a buyer these days but hard to be a salesman.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#85
So, I picked up a 5-25 XTRII, just because I could and I like to try stuff out. Got a good deal on it from another member here. I am waiting on a set of rings, so it is not mounted yet, but so far, my impressions are good. It clearly isn't built to the same standards as the scopes I'm used to, but it seems fine, and the glass is better than I was led to believe, I think. At regular street price, I think the LRHS or the SWFA are higher quality scopes, but for PRS type games, I can see where the features of the Burris are appealing. I tend to favor quality over features, which is why I have overlooked this scope in the past. Anyway, I am pleasantly surprised by it so far, and look forward to mounting it up next week and wringing it out. There is a lot to like about it, and if you get a deal on it, probably worth picking up, but that is only my initial impression from handling it and reading what you guys say about the tracking and such.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#86
Followup on the XTR.

Got it mounted on a good .5 moa rifle, and shot it as the light faded this evening. The glass is the most noticeable difference from my SWFA, and it is just not close. I did pay half as much for the Burris as the SWFA, so that may not be a fair comparision. Then again, it not hard to get a SWFA and an XTR for right about the same price, slightly used.

I like the reticle, definitely better than the SWFA, and practically speaking, every bit as good as anything else for fine work or speed work, unless you need a tree. In fact, if the glass was better, I would rate this as a top choice for hunting, since it is 100% usable for fast shots on 5X.

The turrets are not as solid as the SWFA, but they seem just fine, and feel pretty good to me.

Anyway, I have only just started to shoot it and that's what I have so far. nice eye box, btw.
 
Oct 17, 2017
696
236
43
Dallas
#87
Followup on the XTR.

Got it mounted on a good .5 moa rifle, and shot it as the light faded this evening. The glass is the most noticeable difference from my SWFA, and it is just not close. I did pay half as much for the Burris as the SWFA, so that may not be a fair comparision. Then again, it not hard to get a SWFA and an XTR for right about the same price, slightly used.

I like the reticle, definitely better than the SWFA, and practically speaking, every bit as good as anything else for fine work or speed work, unless you need a tree. In fact, if the glass was better, I would rate this as a top choice for hunting, since it is 100% usable for fast shots on 5X.

The turrets are not as solid as the SWFA, but they seem just fine, and feel pretty good to me.

Anyway, I have only just started to shoot it and that's what I have so far. nice eye box, btw.
Buddy of mine is looking at a Steiner T5xi 5-25 with the SCR. Seems like if you get the upgraded turrets, it's a pretty bulletproof option with a good reticle. Basically an XTR without the glass quality issues. But I have no experience with it, so I can't say for sure.
 
Likes: SLG

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,605
1,031
113
San Diego, Ca
#88
Followup on the XTR.

Got it mounted on a good .5 moa rifle, and shot it as the light faded this evening. The glass is the most noticeable difference from my SWFA, and it is just not close. I did pay half as much for the Burris as the SWFA, so that may not be a fair comparision. Then again, it not hard to get a SWFA and an XTR for right about the same price, slightly used.

I like the reticle, definitely better than the SWFA, and practically speaking, every bit as good as anything else for fine work or speed work, unless you need a tree. In fact, if the glass was better, I would rate this as a top choice for hunting, since it is 100% usable for fast shots on 5X.

The turrets are not as solid as the SWFA, but they seem just fine, and feel pretty good to me.

Anyway, I have only just started to shoot it and that's what I have so far. nice eye box, btw.
I think you're seeing why many of us say the glass is...pedestrian. It works, and won't limit you to hitting what you're aiming for, but optical clarity wise, it leaves you kind of flat. That being said, they track like tanks; which ultimately, is more important.
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#89
I think you're seeing why many of us say the glass is...pedestrian. It works, and won't limit you to hitting what you're aiming for, but optical clarity wise, it leaves you kind of flat. That being said, they track like tanks; which ultimately, is more important.
Definitely. I didn't buy it because I didn't believe you guys, I was just curious to see the differences myself. At equal price points, it is definitely more of a game scope, where the SWFA is a better hunting scope. As someone pointed out early on in the thread.
 

GTOJOSH

New Hide Member
Aug 21, 2018
17
4
3
#90
Well I have a dog in this fight being a Burris team shooter, so I'll chime in with my two bits.. I've been fortunate in the fact that the glass is pretty nice on the Burris scopes I own, and haven't really exhibited some of the issues others have encountered.

I have not one bad thing to say about SWFA. I like them, I think they are a very good scope in their price point. My contribution is in the fact that I have spent more time behind XTR II's than just about anyone I know. I have them on my 3 gun rifles, my two PRS rifles, and my hunting rifles. They have all been rock solid through a LOT of hard use and abuse. I thought I actually experienced my very first Burris breakage this weekend at the Dog Valley NRL match in Nephi Utah. My rifle made a 7 hour drive flipped over and riding on the top turret of my scope. The turret was locked up when I took it out of my bag. My groups were atrocious while zeroing. So I swapped to another Burris and found out it was actually the rifle. We got it squared away, the scope is fine. So I can still claim I have had zero issues in reliability in performance with Burris optics.

The XTR II is a solid scope that consistently performs very well. Thanks for considering it!!
I know this is old but...
Dog valley match? I drive past Nephi to work and have only heard this mentioned one other time to which the person knew nothing of if it were still actually in existence. Where have I been? Where is this advertised?
 
Top Bottom