Rifle Scopes  IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

Mr.Maim

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Nov 6, 2011
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I want to say thanks in advance for all the knowledge invested by SH members into this forum. I think I have learned enough about optics to have come to a final decision based on the MANY, MANY hours of reading posts here.
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I have been looking at my FIRST scope purchase (other than 1-4x Burris Tac30 and several Aimpoint red dots) for a mid-range AR-10 platform shooter. I plan on shooting local competitions that will range from 100 to 650 meters, and maybe take it out into the desert and go for 1000. The life of this rifle will be spent at the 350 to 600 meter range. That being said, I have narrowed down my selection to first focal plane, scopes that have illuminated reticles for better reticle contrast against distant steel targets. I'm looking in the $1300 to $1500 range after deciding that NightForce F1s were just too much for a first scope for me.

I've settled on two scopes:
1) The soon to be released IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP Illuminated here: http://www.libertyoptics.com/index1.html

and the:

2) SWFA Super Sniper 5-20x50 Tactical (which really needs no introduction because it seems well known here) here:
http://swfa.com/SWFA-SS-5-20x50-Tactical-30mm-Riflescope-P51642.aspx

My quandry is that I am torn because of the illumination of the reticles. My eyesight isnt that great any more.

The IOR has only the center dot illuminated and I feel that this would be a great benefit for distant targets where you would not want the crosshairs obstructing your target. The downside is that the 1 mil and 1/2 mil marks are not illuminated and may get lost in the background when trying to holdover targets in timed competition where using the knobs is not practical.

On the other hand, the SWFA is fully illuminated but seems like it may have too much illuminated and may block the distant targets with the crosshairs in the middle.

It seems that both manufacturers have had a large improvement in quality of glass over the past few years, so I'm really torn.

As a newbie, what is more important? Full illumination or just the center dot? What do you distance shooters say? How do other manufacturers do their illumination?

Thanks.
 

lionsden

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Re: IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

MM,

I own a IOR 3.5-18x50 and think its awesome. The reticle is fully lit and honestly couldnt say whether its better than just the center dot, but it certainly works and works well.

I think you best bet would be to look through both if you have the opportunity.

My own personal opinion would be to check the optics for sale forum as there are a lot of great deals on near new if not new SS 5-20 for around $1200 or sometimes less. Thats a great deal and if you didn't like it you could sell it for probably around the same price.

Having an IOR, I am very pleased as the glass is amazing, turrets are nice and big, and the service from LibertyOptics was perfect, but the resale on a used IOR if you keep up on it in the for sale forums is significantely less. I never plan to sell mine so I dont mind but something to keep in mind.

Good luck with your decision and dont worry as either way I dont think you can go wrong! Both companies stick by their product as well and have lifetime warranties if im not mistaken.

Steve
 

BCP

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  • Dec 4, 2008
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    Re: IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

    You won't lose the IOR MP8 reticule the bars are fairly thick.
     

    RotARy15

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    Nov 17, 2011
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    Re: IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

    I thought the SWFA was center dot as well...

    ETA: Nevermind, you got a typo in the OP.
     

    Mr.Maim

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    Nov 6, 2011
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    Re: IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

    Thanks Lionsden and BCP, I'm still undecided. Maybe I'll call Liberty Optics today and let them talk me into buying an IOR.
    smile.gif
     

    BCP

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  • Dec 4, 2008
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    Re: IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

    You really should say whether you will be dialing or holding over, ranging with your reticule, care about weight, do you want a zero stop, and what sort of reticules appeal to you the most...
     

    Mr.Maim

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    Nov 6, 2011
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    Re: IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

    BCP: All great questions:

    My past experience has been holdover, but with tactial scopes turrets, dialing is now the way to go. I will be dialing.

    - Ranging wiht the reticle: probably not, at least not initially. The targets at the range are all known distances so maybe in the off chance that I do off-range distance shooting, but I'm not 'read up' on that concept yet. Baby steps.
    smile.gif


    - Weight is a factor, which is why I am looking at 30mm tube scopes instead of 34 or 35 mm tubed scopes.

    - I do want zero stops if possible, but this is not a priority item on my list.

    - The last question is a tough one, and really the question that has brought me back to manufacturers pages... staring at reticles for hours upon hours. Again, this is my first good scope so I have not really established any "likes" or "dislikes" at this point.

    - I know that there are crosswinds at the range where I will be doing most of my shooting so a reticle that can help with wind compensation would be a plus. It seems that the IOR has the better reticle for holdover with wind compensation, and the SWFA is more geared towards dialing the height and just compensating for the wind with the horiz. reticle line. Correct?

    - My home range is located between several bluffs that are several hundred feel tall and the range is on the east side of them, which means shadows in the afternoon. This is why illumination is high on my list.

    Other than that, I'm not entirely sure what to look for, and thus the reason for this post.

    Thanks for the questions BCP, those really made me stop to think about a few things!
     

    Mr.Maim

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    Nov 6, 2011
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    Re: IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

    Just to close the loop on this post:

    I got a great deal on a SWFA Super Sniper 5-20x50 Tactical Illuminated optic, so that is the direction I went on this.

    Thanks all for your opinions!

    Mr.Maim
     

    Mr.Maim

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    Nov 6, 2011
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    Re: IOR Valdada 4-16x50 FFP vs. SWFA SS 5-20x50 FFP

    Further closing of the loop. I returned that Super Sniper after looking through it for 10 seconds.

    Bought a Vortex Razor HD. 1000% better optic.

    Thanks everyone!

    Mr.Maim