Swarovski Z6i Review
Peter Jones Reviews the Swarovski Z6i HD 2nd Generation Rifle Scope and considers if it is worth the money?
Swarovski Z6i HD 2nd Generation Rifle Scope Review
Firstly a big thank you to 'Swarovski Optik' for lending me the Z6i HD 2nd Generation 5-30x50 for the later part of the doe Season. This scope has taken pride of place atop one of my estate rifles a 202 Sauer in .243 calibre for the last three months.
(Swarovski's Z6i HD 2nd Generation and Sauer 202 Elegance in .243 calibre)
So what did I make of this top end bit of kit? Well at an RRP of around £2390-00, I was initially a little taken aback when sitting around the house over the Christmas holidays my sister took a spy through the lens and reported that according to her eye it was: "a bit fuzzy". Needless to say I didn't prompt her for further critique!
This offering from Swarovski Optik is in fact, undoubtedly one of the best telescopic sights that money can buy.
Swarovski have for some time now been producing probably the finest lenses in the world, the clarity of which is truly superb. This is enhanced in this 2nd generation Z6i in part due to the High Definition (HD) element. This basically means that the lenses contain fluoride, an element which has been proven to insure even brighter images, excellent contrast and true to life colour.
Along with superb clarity the scope I had on trial had the now well known ballistic turret which allows you to set your zero to different ranges. Each distance corresponding to a different coloured ring that allows you to adjust the turret to your chosen distance without the need to 'aim off'. Swarovski's online programme is available to help you with the ballistic's, the calculations for which can be fine tuned to calibre, bullet weight and a whole host of other variables.
How useful is this? Well to long range target shooters this will be seriously desirable, however for Deer Stalking? Well it's nice to have it available however with hunting distances typically varying between 50 - 250 yds and bullet drop being at these distances no more than say a maximum of 6 inches on most calibers, do we really need to adjust a turret or do we simply aim off by a few inches?
The next thing to mention is the Parrallax turret. The scope is set to be parallax free at 110 yards insuring that the image of the object aimed at and the reticule are in a single plane. With the Parallax turret it is possible to insure that this is true for all distances by simply adjusting the dial to the required distance.
So on to the reticle itself. The scope that I had on trial was of the 4A-i variety. It is unquestionably very fine and remains fine even at high magnification insuring that the target is not obscured. The illumination of the centre dot is adjustable in day or night mode and finer adjustments can be made via the +/- buttons.
I am pleased to report that unlike some illuminated reticle systems the adjustments are fine enough to be able to accommodate all degrees of brightness from broad daylight to moonlight.
One other feature which I really like is the intelligent tilt sensor which means that the illuminated reticle is automatically turned off when the rifle is tilted vertically, thereby saving the battery life when the rifle is slung over the shoulder. A simple bit of technology I suspect, but one which is very useful, well done Swarovski.
One bug bear however if I may, the trend to finer and finer reticles is in my view a mistake. This is very much a personal thing however for deer hunting I prefer scopes that have at their edges slightly broader vertical and horizontal posts. I find this actually aids fast target acquisition and I would like to see wider use of those type of reticles in manufacturers design. Enough said.
In summary there is no doubt, this is one of the finest pieces of optics that money can buy. The scope itself has everything anyone could ever need from a rifle sight. Do deer stalkers need 30x magnification and ballistic turret I suspect not but if you can afford it then why not? If you are a long range specialist then this is truly an awesome bit of kit and I should start saving because I simply don't believe there is anything out there that can compete.
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