Written on: 17/10/2005 by PStott (1 review written)
Review of Swift Premier 6-18x44 Mil Dot (688m)
I had been looking for a scope in the 4-16 or 6-24 range for some time for an extremely accurate FAC Super 10. I wanted good optics (don't we all!), good repeatability, a mil dot reticule and value for money.
I had heard of Swift on the Internet and decided to check it out. Claims of 'as good as Leupold or awfully close' had me interested. I discovered that the company had its origins in 1926 making medical and veterinary optics for industry, so this boded well. I also learned that their current range of scopes was recently upgraded to 'Premier' status in 2004, with different multi-coated optics. Feedback from guys on rimfirecentral.com confirmed that the optics were excellent, and that the scopes were very good value for money. So I decided to take the plunge and got myself a 6-18x44-mil dot from Derek Talbot at Ballymount Field Sports in Dublin.
The model is the 687M. It is 15.4" long and weighs 22.6oz, and has a satin finish. It parallaxes from ten yards to infinity, and has a quick focus eyepiece. The turret adjustments are ", and the clicks are very positive and audible. The target turrets covered by dust caps and these, along with the AO and the magnification ring, have heavily serrated edges that make for good grip. In addition, the magnification has a raised nib that also helps with the adjustment. All distances and magnifications are highlighted in gold and are clearly visible. The scope comes with a free sunshade, which is a nice touch given that this is something we normally have to buy separately. Another nice touch is that the mil dots on this scope are equalized at 10 magnification. A letter M instead of the number 10 on the magnification ring indicates this.
The AO and magnification ring are very smooth to operate, with no tight spots at any point. Surprisingly for an 18 x Mag scope this one range finds reasonably accurately out to 50 yards. It will obviously never compete with the high Mag scopes in this department, but this is not what it was designed to do.
The optics department is where this scope scores particularly highly. I have a Simmons 44 mag, which costs approximately the same as the Swift, and for the price, I rate the Simmons highly in the optics department. However the Swift is significantly better. I have always felt that there was a gap in the quality (and price) of scopes between the likes of the Simmons and Leupold. I would say that this scope is far closer to Leupold than it would be to Simmons and similar quality scopes.
The sight picture is extremely bright, sharp and clear to the edges. The contrast and colour resolution are also excellent. This makes the mil dot reticule stand out really sharply in the sight picture. I was surprised at the amount of detail I could pick out in the foliage at distance on all magnifications. While we can all sometimes see pellets traveling to a target through a scope, I found that this was a much more regular occurrence with the Swift, in all light conditions. The optics are that good.
As a brief aside, a friend of mine also bought an 8-32X50, which a group of us compared to a 14-35 Premier Reticules boosted Leopold. The group was evenly split on which scope was better, and significantly all agreed that there was little if any difference in the quality of the sight picture between the two scopes.
I particularly liked the mil dot reticule, which is fine, and allows very precise aiming and tight grouping. I found that I was not able to shoot really tight groups with my Simmons at distance because of the thicker reticule. You can't see the pellet mark you are aiming at.
I carried out two repeatability tests with the scope. The first was in still air conditions in a chicken house at 55 yards, I turned the elevation and windage turrets complete turns to print a square, and found that I came back to zero exactly. I repeated this test with a CZ American .22lr at my zero range of 65 yards, and again was able to print a perfect square with the scope coming exactly back to zero. In addition, I dialed for ranges between 50 and 150 yards and the scope never faltered when coming back to zero. I have used this scope in terrible weather and have had no problems with fogging or zero shifts.
I did notice that the eye relief on the scope is more critical than other scopes and not dissimilar to the Nikko Sterling Target Master Range so head placement on the stock has to be the same every time.
I have tried to pick fault with this scope but it is difficult. It is certainly good value for the money and fills an obvious gap between the high-end expensive scopes and the more reasonably priced scopes. In terms of quality it is without a doubt nearer the high end than the low end. It is really that good but don't take my word for it, look through one yourself. The scope comes with a lifetime guarantee and a no quibble replacement policy.
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