I end up fielding a lot of product choice questions and there are some that pop up more often than others. Occasionally, I will answer here in my blog. This particular question was a PM on OpticsTalk forum.
Question: “I want to make sure that I get something that is a solid low light performer. Is there anything equivalent to the SS 3-9×40 with an illuminated reticle in the same price range? The SS seems tough to beat for price/quality. “
Answer (or my take on it, to be more correct): The SWFA SS 3-9×42 is indeed tough to beat in this price range and I am not aware of anything similar to it that has an illuminated reticle without costing a whole lot more. If you simply need a good low light scope in this general price range and you do not need FFP reticle, and tactical knobs, consider Trijicon Accupoint 3-9×40. Otherwise, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how well the SS 3-9×42 works in low light. I suggest you take a good look at the version with the new Mil-Quad reticle.
2 Responses to “Q&A: SWFA SS 3-9×42”
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As there is a $300 price difference in the illuminated vs non-illuminated model, what conditions necessitates an illuminated reticle? I have several in a low-end scopes but I am trying to decide whether this is a place to try and save $300. I must admit, some of my larger whitetails have been when light was at a premium (& they thought they were safe!) but I wonder what type of difference the illuminated reticle would have made.
SWFA SS 3-9×42 is not available with an illuminated reticle to the best of my knowledge. Are you referring to the SWFA SS 5-20×50? That one does indeed come with or without illumination and the price difference is $300.
If you do a lot of shooting in very low light, properly worked out illumination (i.e. not too bright) is veyr helpful and I would go for it.
If the bulk of your shooting is in decent light, save your money.