• Manufacturer: SWFA
  • Model: SS
  • Model Number: SS10x42
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Magnification Range: 10.0
  • Objective: 42mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Eye Relief: 4.0"/102mm
  • Click Value: .25 MOA
  • FOV: 13' @ 100 yards
  • Adjustment Range: 100+ MOA
  • Reticle: Mil-Dot
  • Focal Plane: N/A - fixed power
  • Weight: 21oz/595g
  • Overall Length: 13.88"/353mm
  • Buy Here:

This scope has been one of the most requested scopes to have reviewed. We initially have been reluctant to perform a review because of the large number of online reviews already about this scope but the request demand was so high we figured it was probably about time to perform our own review and see how it does. I have used a few of these scopes in the past and they have always seemed to perform well for what they are, but based on the demand from you the readers, it was apparent that it was time to do an in-depth review.


First we will start out by saying that the SWFA SS scopes have had a checkered and somewhat controversial past. The original “Super Sniper” scope was designed and sold by Tasco and by all reports were a good scope. I never did get a chance to use one of the original early Tasco versions, but I do know that as Tasco began to come on difficult financial times the quality of the Super Sniper scope deteriorated to the point that they were much like the rest of the poor quality Tasco lineup… and then the company was sold. At that point in time, things get better because the SWFA (riflescopes.com) company, and Chris Farris in particular, organized the purchased of the exclusive rights for distribution of the SS scope. They worked with the manufacturer to get the quality back up to the original scope’s standards as well as made a few changes over the years to improve the scopes. That brings us to today.

By all accounts, the SS scopes made today are much better than the “lean years” at Tasco and are right there in quality with the original version. Another thing that SWFA appears to have changed is the dropping of the “Super Sniper” name from the lineup. Everywhere on the web page the scope is now referred to as the SS, which is probably a wise move as the Super Sniper name is not only a bit silly, but also has some of that checkered past associated with it that would be good to separate from. But in the same light, why do they still send the old documentation and manuals from Tasco with the Tasco name plastered everywhere? I would think they would want to separate themselves from the Tasco name all together and even a basic sheet or two of paper (IOR comes to mind) would be enough to get basic instructions on and would be affordable and they could put the SWFA name on it.


Speaking of affordable, that is one thing that should be mentioned here. These scopes range from $320 for the rear focus models to $420 for the side focus version which is on the “affordable” end of the tactical scope scale. SWFA claims that by removing the middlemen in the distribution process they are able to offer these scopes at a much reduced price. They claim they would run in the $800 range if handled through normal distribution channels. While I’m not sure if that figure is completely accurate, there is truth to what they say. But it does need to be remembered that these scopes are on the affordable side and as such that is the level of scopes we’ll be comparing them to in this review.

The scope itself is a single piece aluminum tube with a matte finish applied to it. It appears to be fairly rugged and I have read some impressive abuse tests that these scopes have been subjected to by others and they faired quite well. The matte finish on the scope is a robust matte finish, more matte in feel than most scopes and it reduces glare effectively. The shape and look of the scope is fairly traditional and it has a low and small shoulder area. The scopes do have a built in sunshade of about 30mm and it is threaded to accept additional sunshades available from SWFA. This sunshade is not detachable but yet on our example the matte finish on the sunshade was not quite as matte as the rest of the scope and had just a bit more shine to it which can be seen in the pictures. Seems as if a different coarseness of media was used for the bead blasting.


All of the SS scopes have an adjustable objective which is located to the rear of the scope on all versions except the 10x42M. The focus ring is in front of the eye piece where you would normally find the power ring on a variable power scope. The 10x42M model is a side focus scope. Because these are not a variable power scope they could locate the focus/parallax adjustment at the rear making it pretty unique in the scope world. The focus adjustment moves smoothly through the adjustment range and goes from 10M to infinity. The focus adjustment from 100m – infinity is quite small though, so there is not much fine tuning to be done. Though it works well enough and is quick to get where you need it to be. The location on the rear of the scope is convenient and I kind of like it, it is within easy reach of your non shooting hand and easy to find while looking through the scope. It is perhaps not quite as convenient as a side focus, but it is pretty close and certainly better than up on the front bell. One downside is that you cannot see the markings from behind the scope, but typically you adjust it until the sight picture is clear any how.

The eyepiece itself is fairly large and robust, nearly as large as the front bell in overall diameter. The rest of the scope is fairly slim and trim so the large eye piece does look a bit out of place, but not too bad. There is a dioptre adjustment on the eye piece that is fairly fast. It takes more turns than some and less than others and should not be a problem to get things nice and clear for most all shooters. The eye piece also has a rubber ring to cushion any scope kisses received while firing.


The knobs are a large tactical style exposed knob with nice clear markings. The shape of the knob is good with a knurled top cap for easy gripping. The edges of the knurling is semi-smoothed and perhaps makes the knobs not quite as easy to grip as some knobs found on other scopes, but it is still very functional. There are three set screws on each knob which allow slipping the knobs to the exactly precise marking, no aligning right in-between two marks, it’ll be right on.

There is 15 MOA per revolution and the numbers are large enough for clear and easy reading. There are no direction indicators visible from behind the scope so instead you will need to memorize the direction or up and right or just look at which way the knobs count up. There are horizontal lines beneath the elevation knob, and vertical lines beneath the windage knob to aide in keeping track of how many revolutions have been made and with these scopes there are a lot of lines! SWFA does not give a definitive amount of MOA adjustment, but this scope has 156 MOA of elevation adjustment and from others I have talked to, this is not out of the norm. That is a lot of adjustments and there would be no need for any sort of canted base unless you were looking to shoot at extreme ranges.

The clicks themselves have a fairly good tactile detent, though it could be better, and the elevation knob has an audible click as well but the windage knob does not. I do not know if this is the case on all of their scopes or not but it seems as if it is done by design. The knobs are a good design and work well and based off of our shooting exercises, extremely precise.


These scopes have a traditional mil-dot reticle with no surprises. I have mentioned it before, I am a fan of simplicity and the simple but yet very flexible mil-dot has been effective for many years for a reason, it works and does not distract.

For our shooting evaluation with the scope we mounted it onto our Reming 700P .308 test mule with a set of Leupold PRW 30mm rings on top of the Warne 20 MOA canted base. There is plenty of area for mounting the rings and the medium height Leupold rings provide enough clearance with no issues. With the rifle zeroed at 100 yards we conducted our normal box tests shooting the corners around a target and then ending up on the same corner. The target displayed below is the start/end group with 6 rounds fired through it. That is about the accuracy of the rifle and those groups ended right on top of each other just as they should. Tracking is very good and with steel internal gearing it should remain so.


The rear focus worked fine at the range and engaging mid range targets worked well and we had not issues or complaints through the entire shooting exercise.

The optics on the scope are fairly good especially in the price range of this scope. No, it is not going to be as good as a Zeiss or Nightforce, but it is good glass that performs well enough. I have used a 20x version and the optics did not seem to perform as well at that high of magnification, but on the 10x the optics seem to work well.

When compared side by side with a Falcon Menace 10×42 the brightness and contrast were about identical but I would give the edge to the SWFA SS scope in terms of clarity and sharpness when looking at the USAF 1951 optical resolution chart. The overall quality, and certainly the knobs, are superior to the Falcon scopes, though the SWFA SS scope costs a little more money for an equivalent side focus model.


I did want to mention the Navy SEAL contract that was awarded for the 10x42M side focus model. As far as I understand it, and SWFA can clarify if needed, the contract was for several of the scopes for evaluation purposes when deciding on which scope to adopt for service. The production contract was awarded to a different scope. But these scopes have been used on various other weapons systems in combat, but not in an official capacity as far as I have been able to determine. When this happens it is usually individual units that purchase and equip them when preparing for deployment.

All in all, for the money, these scopes seem to be a good buy. The scopes have all of the right features and keeping with a simple fixed power design it allows them to keep the price down and yet perform well. The tracking system seems to be a particularly bright spot on the scopes and overall they should serve quite well.

Sniper Central – 2009




scott thorning

I have two straight 16x power scopes one is mil dot the other is a mil
Radian on a steyr 243 and the other is on an fn spr a1a and they are
As sound as any other scopes on the market thanks


The 10×42 I bought and put on a savage 10 .308 had the glass come out in 110 rounds. The glass was chipped and all of the turret coponents were rattling around in the body. The zoom up to 100 meters didn’t really provide much detail. All that said it tracked well and was pin point accurate up until the point of it breaking loose. Its being sent back for warranty so after a while I’ll update the repairs.


Hi rick, I was wondering how your scope outcome was did they make it right. I also have a savage 10 I’m thinking about this scope.


I also own SWFA SS 10x42mm tactical rifle scope last month. Really, I am happy to see it’s accuracy. Although, its price is a little bit high but if compare with its performance then worth to buy.

Chris Weldon

Any plans on doing a review of the SWFA SS 10x HD? I have heard it’s glass is much improved and it is bit more durable. I am wondering if it is worth the extra $500.

Mel Ewing

We will eventually do a review, but we have several other scopes ahead of it. They are better and the glass is much improved, but is it 2.5x as good? Tough question.

a wagner

It shouldn’t be 2.5x as good for 2.5x the price. It’s more logarithmic than linear or directly proportional. Seems like to double the quality of scopes (or most things), you pay MUCH more than double the price. It’s not uncommon to get “twice as good” for “5-10x the price”. My Sig isn’t 5x better than a HiPoint even if it cost 5x as much (okay, maybe it is…not a good example). My understanding is that the HD glass shines (pun intended) in low light conditions. The higher quality glass allows better dusk shooting or at the edge of your distance shooting. If you’re comparing the two at 100 yards at noon on a nice day, you probably can’t tell a difference. 500 yards at 8:00pm or 1000 yards at any time of day, it might be all the difference in the world. For hunters, when many of the shots are near the end of daylight, it might really make that much difference. Guess you have to ask “What’s my application?” On “snipercentral forums” I’m guessing the HD glass WILL make a difference.

Mel Ewing

Yes, you make a very valid point. The point we were trying to make (admittedly a poor job of it), is that the original SWFA scope was a bargin because it offered more capability than any other scope at the time for $300 (though that has changed somewhat now), but the new HD SWFA scope did not offer the same capability advantage over other scopes in the same price range, meaning it was not as good of a bargain as the original. It is still a good scope, but there are other competitors in the same price range with the same capability.


When you say they offered more capability than any other $300 scope (but that has changed), what other scopes for $300 as of 8-15 would you recommend over the swfa? I ask because I was literally about to purchase this scope for my 10p before I read this great review and your comment.

Mel Ewing

The SWFA scopes are a good solid scope, but some of the others I would consider would be the Leupold Mk AR 3-9×40 or 4-12x40mm, the Weaver 3-10x44m GrandSlam tactical. The Bushnell Elite 5-15x40mm is borderline, The redfield Revolution/Tac 3-9x40mm is a good offering for a bit less money, but I think the SWFA has some features I’d take over it, and probably some others I might be missing.

Jack Borden

Sounds like a great scope for the $$, except for one thing. With a mil-dot reticle I’d really rather have the turrets indexed in MRADs instead of MOA. Do they have a model with this feature?

Mark Melanson

Hi there! The production contract was awarded to a different scope. But these scopes have been used on various other weapons systems in combat, but not in an official capacity as far as I have been able to determine.This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your articles.


There are 4 of us using the 20x version of this scope. Of the 4 we had to send 1 back because it stopped tracking properly. SWFA has an excellent warranty when the guy called after about a week and asked what happened they said it dosent matter new one went out in the mail that day. I like company’s that stand behind their stuff. Ours are not the side focus model. Given about 500 shots on this I will go side focus next time. Nothing wrong with the rear focus except I have to lift my head up to adjust it, the side focus is right there.

SPS Tactical

[…] found this link that I thought was a great read and review for that scope painkiller7 SWFA SS 10x42mm Tactical Rifle Scope – Sniper Central Hope that helps Great review Reply With […]

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[…] and will shoot these right with Leopold. At 600 yards BiC lighters are boring with the 20 power. SWFA SS 10x42mm Tactical Rifle Scope – Sniper Central SWFA's Super Sniper Scope SWFA SS | SWFA "I don't like repeat offenders, I like […]


Decent scope and very durable, but not the best glass out there. Had one mounted on my M14 in Iraq back in 04 and definitely held up to the abuse and never lost its zero. They were also .50 cal approved.


I have the swfa 16×42 and love it, great value for the money
Also would like to let you know that I have one of the original Tasco super sniper I bought in the early 90s, which I still shoot with and it never lost zero to this date, I use badger rings for my scopes.

c haire

This review doesn’t make any sense. The scope passed all the tests, is only $300, yet gets only 2.5 stars out of five? Come on. And I have been gone for a year–I come back and find only TWO new scope reviews? Come on.

Mel Ewing

Yes, that is correct. The star system is a subjective rating comparing all aspects of the scope and its suitability for tactical use. The SWFA scored well in cost and in accuracy of the internal knobs. But it is hurt in glass quality and features. A 2.5 on our scale is good, in fact, it beats out several scopes that cost more. Solid scope for the price, we own a couple.

Yes, we were only able to do 3 scope reviews in 2015, but we also did several rifles, an ammo comparison, opened a new HQ location, added more training dates, wrote several members only content articles, added several other equipment reviews (LRF, Tools, Scope Mounts), a night vision scope review, and tons of other stuff. It sounds like you want more scope reviews, then 2016 sounds like it might be your year. We have four on tap in the first few months alone….


Would you take this scope over the Redfield tac 3×9 by 40 ? If so why ? Thanks.

Mel Ewing

Good question and I would probably say yes. The amount of adjustments is greater and the quality of the internals seem to be a bit higher. Though the cost is more as well. I liked fixed power scopes as well.

Stephan Stark

Purchased the 10×42 with the side focus and mil quad reticle. For the money you are getting a lot of scope. Glass is very good. Clear, crisp image. Hold it’s 0 well. Repeatability is also very good. The reticle is fine which when punching paper or shooting at steel is nice but for older eyes it can be a little hard to pick up on if the a target or background are a little darker. If I had any complaint it would be that the turrets would be nice if the clicks were a little more positive. But for the money you would be hard pressed to do better.

Scope for AR 10

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[…] some digging into some possible 500-600 scopes before I pull the trigger on the SWFA. Mel EwingAugust 8th, 2015The SWFA scopes are a good solid scope, but some of the others I would consider would be the Leupold […]

eric crayon

Thanks for this great article . I really enjoy it . I am really interested in rifle scope . I have Ar 15 and I am using different scopes for it . You gave such an awesome tips for me . Thanks again .


With a great rifle scope, our shooting performance can be better. I have a AR 10 rifle, hope that in the next month you can write a blog post about how to choose the best scope for ar 10. Stay strong and keep contributing mate ^^

rick gallion

Good review. I have to get a couple of new ones. I may give it a try on my M1a Super Match. Thanks

Rob F

I own 2. 12X42 on a Howa 6.5 Creed HCR on a 20 MOA Base and another 10×42 on a RAP .308 on a 20 MOA base. Shoot both rifles 100, 300, 500, 600, 800 and 1000. Both scopes needed no elevation adjustments and only slight r to L adjustments right out of the box. 300 rounds through the 308 and 250 rounds through the 6.5 creedmoor (with Khantrol muzzle brake) both still hold zero and track well. Worth every penny I paid for each.

Bobby Acevedo

Nice comments all around guys I have 2 10×42 to mount this week I beleve they were a good choice will report back


Choosing a scope for your rifle would be one of the biggest factors in determining how accurately you’ll be able to shoot. There are many scopes on the market from many different reputable manufacturers, so choosing the best one is a daunting task. Thanks to your informative article, I find SWFA SS 10X42MM TACTICAL RIFLE SCOPE fit my AR15. Great work, mate!


I have the swfa ss 10×42 mounted on my savage 11vt .308. It’s a good quality scope imo. I think it will perform excellent the more I practice with it. Clarity could be just a tad bit better. BIG T

harold dale

Oh, there an outfit that cuts up plastic shimes that fit inside of the turrent,creating a zero-stop. They were selling them on Sniper Hide. What more can u ask for? By the way,its a 100 degrees here now and about 10 power is all u want to use,otherwise, mirges and heat waves burr the vision!

harold dale

The ss 10 power is $ 300.00 here in the USA. Restrictions as to exporting may apply. It is dependable,robust and repeatable,means a damn good scope. I shoot out to a 1,000 yards,even to 1200 yards.Good warrenty too.

derek hawkins

just got one last month a 12×42 fixed power and up to now am very happy tracks perfect a bit expensive over here in the uk got it from opticwarehouse

Josh Bienvenu

In 2010, I purchased the 16×42 fixed power scope because it was suggested to me by an ex-marine sniper in a gun shop. I doprefer fixed magnification because there are less moving parts. It is important you choose the proper scope for your application so the scope can work for you. At the time, punching holes on targets with my R700P was my intention with ranges between 200-1000yards. Since, my rifle has used multiple scopes like the primary arms RGRID to the newest Leupold VX6 HD. I left my SWFA scopes in bags to be beat around and here in southern Louisiana the environments can be harsh. I did things to these scopes you wouldn’t ever think of doing to any optic. Humidity is unforgiving. Through all of these scopes I always end up going back to my SWFA scopes. I have hundreds of 308 rounds through them as well as countless elevation adjustments made. They tracked perfectly. When I get a scope the very first thing I do after mounting is a box test to see how far off the tracking is. I develope my dope and formula to account for the varying minutes my scopes don’t make at the different adjustments. I can tell you the SWFA scopes are spot on and very robust with the elevation adjustments. I don’t need the secondary math to account for the bad tracking because the SWFA is right on. I use these scopes due to one simple reason. THEY WORK. I do not need high density glass to make my target or hunting shots. I don’t need variable magnification. All these “features” aren’t necessary though they are nice. I like simple because simple works. As a LEO for several years we practice the “Keep it simple”, because it works. And keeps us alive. These scopes are a steal and in real world testing is where they shine. When the harsh treatments and crazy adjustments hit, most scopes will fail. As for the SWFA, not one time did I have that worry. I would gladly field these scopes for duty and can’t say enough about them. If you are in these comments reading because you are on edge about buying one listen carefully. A lot of reviews in comment sections are inexperienced shooters, with rediculous expectations, and little knowledge about optics. Spend the $300, buy one and never look back. -josh

David A. Smith

This scope looks great. I am going to buy it when I have enough money.
Buy a scope is a hard task, it much nice, useful and on budget.
Thank for your review!

Richard T. Baker

I have the side focus model with the moa reticle. I just got back from Thunder Ranch . I ran this scope hard for three days. I made quick adjustment from 100yds, -900yds. I also used hold over and hold under using the dots. This was after the airline beat golf ball size dents in my rifle case. The scope preformed great. No problems. I had no problem holding my own against scopes costing rive times more.

Jessica Rohbock

My brother just bought the SWFA SS 10x42mm scope for me and it works great with my rifle!! He brought the scope after reading this review. So I came here to thank you guys for publishing such a great post!


Just bought a Steyr SSG 04 and plan on using the SWFA SS 10x42mm scope. Had one mounted on a Savage 110 and it worked great.

Dennis Taylor

This is a really nice optic. On par with most $800-$900 scopes. All of my gun snob friends were really impressed with it, and they favor $2000 glass. I purchased for a .308 Custom DMR, and love it! And really enjoy my hunting games outdoors with it. Great article. Look forwards to new reviews from you!

Billy Clark

love this scope already! I ordered a mildot thinking it was a milrad, once I realized my mistake I sent a note to the company, and they made the switch, I got a milrad scope….just for the record, that was a very nice suprise. Thanks guys!!! Now to the scope, I bought one of their mounts too. This is a lot of scope for the money. Took just a few shots to zero. I must confess that I have never had a scope that I could look through, and judge accurately the distance and the settings needed to be on target… I have a lot to learn about long distance shooting, yet with this scope I can see that the learning process will be rewarding. Seems intuitive to use a description from the computer genera.

Sgt. Pop

In a F-Class AR platform, found it handy to keep an allen wrench to loosen the turrent caps inside a GI ear plug box (with emergency ear plugs) attached on the rifle with split-ring (key ring) on the rear sling swivel. Bent the allen wrench to fit. Works for me, your milage may vary……

S. Coffman

It’s a great scope without any doubt. But it is expensive as well. Using a vortex hst scope is much better option for long range shooting especially if you shoot with a 6.5 creedmoor rifle. Best scope for the value. No need to spend a thousand bucks to get it. Because of its outstanding performance its become a popular scope to the shooter and hunter.


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