SWFA SS 10×42 Review (2024 Updated)

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Are you on the hunt for a riflescope that doesn’t just talk the talk but walks the walk? Enter the SWFA SS 10×42. This isn’t just another standard scope in a sea of optics options. It has a beefy 10x magnification paired with a 42mm objective lens, so you’re not just peeking at your target, you’re getting up close and personal. The MIL-Quad reticle is like having a trusted buddy guiding your shots. And let’s not even get into its rock-solid build quite yet, but it’s like the tough older sibling we all wish we had. But hey, I’m getting ahead of myself. Stick around, and we’ll unpack all the details of this bad boy and see if it’s the partner-in-crime you’ve been searching for.

My First Impression

I’ve got to say, right off the bat, the SWFA SS 10×42 had me doing a double-take. The matte finish gives it a sleek, no-nonsense look, and the feel? Solid. No rattles or wobbles here. The reticle caught my eye right away too, just begging to get put to use on some long shots. The turrets are exposed and have a beautiful tactile quality. On top of all that, there’s the rear focus parallax setting. It’s not every day you find that in scopes at this price range. All in all, first impressions? Pretty darn impressive. Feels like SWFA’s put thought into this one, and I’m eager to see if it delivers on the field as well as it promises.

Optics Quality

Now, let’s talk optics. When it comes to scopes, it’s all about that clear, crisp view, right? The SWFA SS 10×42 brings its A-game here. With a 42mm objective lens, it doesn’t skimp on light transmission, and you can tell. Images pop with clarity, even in those twilight hours when you’re trying to squeeze in that last bit of range time.

The fully multi-coated glass is the icing on the cake. Glare and reflections don’t stand a chance, letting you focus on your target without distractions. The MIL-Quad reticle is thin enough to not hog up your view, yet pronounced enough to aid in those precise shots. And the 10x magnification is typically the sweet spot for a lot of shooters. It offers a wide enough field of view for tracking moving targets but zoomed-in enough for those longer shots.

In a nutshell, SWFA’s put together some darn good optics in the SS 10×42. Whether you’re on the range or out hunting, you’re in for a visual treat.

Build Quality

Alright, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. Picking up the SWFA SS 10×42, the first thing you’ll notice is its heft and solid build. This isn’t some flimsy toy; it’s built like a tank. And with a matte finish, it doesn’t just look sleek—it’s practical too. No annoying reflections or glints giving away your position.

The 30mm tube diameter provides increased durability and ensures optimal light transmission. Plus, with the exposed target turrets, adjustments are a breeze. No fumbling around, you get tactile and precise clicks for every move.

Waterproof? Check. Fog proof? Double-check. And, oh yes, it’s shockproof. So, whether you’re in the rain or fog, or accidentally knock it around, this scope’s got your back. To sum it up, the SWFA SS 10×42 is rugged, reliable, and ready for whatever you throw at it. It’s the kind of quality you’d expect from SWFA, and they sure didn’t disappoint.

You can also check my Trijicon 1-8×28 review and Leupold Vx-3i review for other excellent scopes.

Turrets & Adjustments

This isn’t something that a lot of people worry about, particularly if they don’t vary their shooting style or ranges at all, but trust me when the time comes that you need to make reliable adjustments to your optics, you don’t want to be stuck in the field with optics you can’t rely on. The SWFA SS 10×42 sports exposed target turrets, and if you’re anything like me, you appreciate the quick and tactile feedback they provide. 

Adjusting on the fly is simple, with each 0.1 MIL adjustment giving a satisfying, tactile, click. And the elevation and windage knobs? They’re a dream. You get a smooth turn every time, and the markings are clear as day. With a max adjustment of 40 MIL for both windage and elevation, you’re given ample room for those long-distance shots or if you’re just trying to counteract some pesky wind conditions.

What genuinely had me nodding in approval was the rear focus for the parallax setting. It lets you fine-tune your focus without shifting your shooting position—a handy feature, especially when the clock for your optimal shot is ticking away.

Check my best quick detach scope mounts suggestions for options to mount the scope.

Reticle Performance

Let’s chat about that MIL-Quad reticle. For those new to the game, it might seem a tad intricate at first. But trust me, once you get the hang of it, it’s a game-changer. The reticle provides you with precise hash marks, giving you on-the-fly windage and elevation adjustments. No need to guess where your shot will land, it’s all there, right in your line of sight.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about SWFA is how they ensure that their reticles don’t overshadow the target. The MIL-Quad achieves this perfectly. It’s there when you need it and fades into the background when you don’t. The thin lines ensure you have an unobstructed view of your prey, while still giving you all the information you need to make that perfect shot.

Since the reticle is on the second focal plane, it stays the same size regardless of the magnification. That means no funky size changes as you zoom in or out, making it simpler for quick target acquisition and range estimation. It’s all about making your life easier, and this reticle nails it.

Real-Life Testing: A Day in the Field

Now, sitting at home and geeking out over specs is one thing, but the real test? That’s out there, under the open sky, with unpredictable conditions and maybe even a little mud under your boots.

I decided to head out to my favorite shooting range, tucked away amidst rolling hills. Perfect spot to push this scope to its limits. It was a typical hot Texas day with a gentle breeze, and the sun played hide and seek with fewer clouds than I’ve got fingers on a hand. Setting up my rig, I took a deep breath and scoped in.

First impressions? That MIL-Quad reticle was sharp as a tack. I’m talking needlepoint precision. The surrounding environment was crystal clear, and the scope showcased its true colors (literally and metaphorically). Adjusting for some distance, those exposed target turrets made life a breeze. The clicks were solid and consistent, and there was no guessing how many MILs I’d clicked through. Shots were precise, and the feedback from the turrets helped me quickly adjust for the next round.

Hours flew by, and with the sun quickly setting, I realized that this scope’s performance had been remarkably consistent throughout the day. The nearly 4-inch eye relief was perfect for me and allowed me to have an entire day of comfortable shooting. Morning glare or evening dimness, the scope took everything in stride. No fogginess, no distortion, just clarity.

Pros & Cons


  • Optics Quality: Crystal clear view, especially considering the price point. That Fully Multi-Coated glass ain’t just for show.
  • Turrets: Responsive and tactile. The exposed target turrets with .1 MIL adjustments are easy to get on point.
  • Build: Feels rugged and ready for the outdoors. This ain’t a fragile piece of gear.
  • Reticle: The MIL-Quad reticle offers precision aiming, without cluttering the sight picture.
  • Weatherproofing: Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. This scope is prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at it.


  • Fixed Magnification: Some folks prefer a bit more flexibility in their zoom. Being fixed at 10x might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
  • Weight: At 20.6 oz, it’s a bit on the heavier side for some rifle setups.
  • Parallax Setting: While the rear focus is something I personally enjoy, a side focus can sometimes be more intuitive for quick adjustments or certain shooters.

Who Should Buy This Scope?

Put simply, there are three categories of shooter that this scope is going to be great for. Beginners, experienced shooters, and those working with a limited budget.

  • Beginners: The SWFA SS 10×42 is straightforward and user-friendly, making it a solid choice for those just dipping their toes in. With its fixed magnification, there’s less fuss and more shooting. It’s a great tool to learn the basics of long-range shooting without getting overwhelmed.
  • Experienced Shooters: For the seasoned marksman, this scope offers reliability and clarity. It’s perfect for those who appreciate the simplicity of a fixed magnification but still want quality optics. The MIL-Quad reticle and tactile turrets are a nod to those who are serious about their shots.
  • Budget-conscious: Let’s not beat around the bush, this scope offers a lot of bang for your buck. If you’re watching your wallet but don’t want to skimp on quality, this might just be your match made in heaven.

The Final Word

Having spent a good chunk of time with the SWFA SS 10×42, I’ve gotta say, I’m enjoying it a lot. It packs a punch without knocking out your budget, and the quality of the scope itself just can’t be argued with. Sure, it might not have all the bells and whistles of pricier models, but what it does offer, it does well. If you’re on the fence, I’d say give it a whirl. The SWFA SS 10×42 is a testament to the idea that sometimes, less truly is more. And in this case, “more” means more money in your pocket and more targets hit dead center.

To find out more about rifle scopes have a look at my guide on best air rifle scopes or Bushnell Engage review.

2 thoughts on “SWFA SS 10×42 Review (2024 Updated)”

  1. Mike, Greetings young son. To be brief, I am retired from a management position. 70 years old. Married 43 years this month. A past varmint bow hunter. Back when Jennings was a decent compound bow. Enough backtracking. I enjoy your reviews (reports) a management term. Thorough, concise and understood well. (great report). I like this scope at this point in time. Now, to the meat. I’ve taken up gardening. Rabbits and tree rats are eating my garden. Now it’s war. I’m looking at the Barra made Black ops .22 lever weapon. Trusting your knowledge about these issues, your thoughts on a pairing of this weapon with this reviewed SWAF scope. Thanks in advance. Doug

    • You can pair it Doug, no issues, the SWFA is a top scope. You can also check my other article specifically for .22 weapons, you can also use a scope with variable magnification.


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