SWFA SS 16×42 30mm Rifle Scope

This is a quick look at my new (to me) rifle scope I received today.  One of the problems that I have run into lately is more rifles than scopes.  I am constantly swapping scopes and moving them rifle to rifle.  As most of you know I am a huge fan of Sightron scopes and picked one up last year on a 25% off sale after the 4th of July.  I have been patiently waiting for this sale to happen again, but it didn’t.  Last fall I ordered a SWFA fixed 20x scope and have been very impressed with it.  I got the 20x on a Black Friday deal with a ton of extras.  This time I wanted to try the 16x for my Savage Axis 223.  16x will be a perfect fit for this rifle because most shots are under 1000 yards, and the 16x will be perfect for coyote hunting.  The SS Series have over 100 MOA of adjustment making it perfect for long-range shooting.  These scopes run usually $299 new, however on the site is a section called Sample List, and there are tons of used scopes at great prices.  They have three grades of scopes, DEMO-A, B, and C.  A’s are new in box, B’s show slight signs of use, and C’s show heavier use or are painted.  They generally run $10 difference between grades.  I found the model I wanted in a DEMO-B and it included a free bubble level, sun shade, and Butler Creed Flip Caps. (An $85 value)  I even punched in a free shipping code and got everything ($385 value) for $249.99.  A great deal in my book.  After receiving the scope the only marks I could find on it were where the previous rings were mounted.  Other than that, it looks brand new.

SWFA SS 16x42 30mm Rifle Scope 3

I mounted the scope in a set of Vortex Tactical 30mm Medium rings on my EGW 20 MOA Base.  I also have a set of Lows that will work, but the scope sits so close to the rail, I can not move it any to adjust for eye relief.  These are great rings and I try to keep a couple sets on hand for future projects.  They are sold individually and run usually just under $20 each.  I have used similar rings from Burris and Primary Arms, and I think they are exactly the same.  I should have around 70 MOA of usable adjustment on this setup.

SWFA SS 16x42 30mm Rifle Scope 5


After getting the scope leveled and mounted, I went out to the range to get it zeroed and to plink around a little.  I did a quick bore sight, looking down the barrel at a target and aligning the reticle as close as I could to the target and bingo, after about 2 shots, I had it zeroed.

SWFA SS 16x42 30mm Rifle Scope 7

SWFA SS 16x42 30mm Rifle Scope 9

I have really grown to like this reticle.  It’s an MOA Quad.  Hash marks every 1 MOA, allowing for an approximate 35 MOA holdover.  I really like the fine dot in the center of the reticle, allowing for precise shots on small targets.

SWFA SS 16x42 30mm Rifle Scope 11

I brought 3 different handloads for the 223, the 55g V-Max, 40g V-Max, and the 68g BTHP Match Bullets, all from Hornady.  It was a little on the breezy side today pushing the bullet around a little at longer range but they did great.  Here are a few of the groups I shot today.

The first group is a 55g V-Max at 100 Yards, Measured right at 1 inch.

55g V-Max at 100 Yards, Measured right at 1 inch

This is a 40g V-Max at 200 yards, measuring 2 inches. 

SWFA SS 16x42 30mm Rifle Scope 13

The 300 yard group was the Hornady 68g BTHP Match.  The top 4 shots measured 2 inches, and all 5 came in at 3 inches.

SWFA SS 16x42 30mm Rifle Scope 15

The last group was at 400 yards.  The lower 4 measured an outstanding 1 7/8″ and all 5 came in at 4 inches.  

SWFA SS 16x42 30mm Rifle Scope 17

This cheap little Axis has always shot great for me, and this scope complements it very nicely.  The tracking on this scope is spot on, and the clarity isn’t bad.  I highly recommend these scopes, as they are the best bang for the buck.

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Good stuff, Sir! I’ve looked in that section of their website. Maybe I can pull the trigger on one soon. Nice shooting , as always, Brother. Keep up the good work.


Thanks for sharing, this is some great information.

Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

Nice article Josh. I have 2 SWFA 16x’s. They have held up fine to many years on a .308 and more recently a 50BMG.


Great article/review! I have three SWFA SS scopes, two 10x and a 12x. Glad you approve of them as I value your opinion! Keep up the great articles and videos!

The Big Man
The Big Man

Good stuff. Like Bacon said, Thanks for sharing the Sample List sight. Looks like that scope is a winner.

Loads of Bacon
Loads of Bacon

I was not aware of the Sample List site. Thanks for sharing!


So much respect for your knowledge and skills. Quite a deal on the SWFA.