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Thread: Falcon Menace v. SuperSniper v. Nikon Tactical2.5x10 Battle of the Scopes part2

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    Falcon Menace v. SuperSniper v. Nikon Tactical2.5x10 Battle of the Scopes part2

    Since I had a rare day completely off, with no research due this week, I decided to head out to the range. Lucky me, out of all days, we had wild thunderstorms here today. No worries, it ain't rain'n we ain't train'n.

    So since I had three of my precision rifles, I thought that I'd snap a few pics, and write that review that I had talked about writing for you guys... so here we go...

    First off, the scopes are way brighter than they seem in these pics. I needed to tone them down with my photography and post production. The pics are just to depict what you will see through the scopes at my 200m target.

    Three scopes we're going to review today:
    1. SWFA Super Sniper 10x42 fixed. Currently sitting on my accurized M14
    2. Falcon Menace 4-14x44 FFP. Residing on my Rem 700pss .300WM
    3. Nikon Tactical 2.5-10x44. Housed in a Larue 1.5 mount on my 20in HBAR.


    Overview:

    As previously stated, our Super Sniper is a Japanese manufactured fixed 10x scope that has a lot to offer in a no-frills package. Target turrets and mildot reticles give the shooter all that he/she essentially needs for longer range shooting at a very attractive ~$280 price range. It is military backed (USN contract) and .50cal rated.



    While the Super Sniper has made it's name in the entry level scope arena, the Falcon Menace FFP scopes have certainly turned the heat up for lots of manufactures. This scope is assembled in the UK with Japanese Glass and Chinese and S. Korean parts. At ~$450, it is an attractive FFP scope with a correct mil-hash reticle that comes in either mil or MOA turrets. This particular model is in 1/4MOA adjustments.



    Alas, the Nikon Tactical 2.5x10x44. This is one of the earlier models when they still sported a glass with the transparency that had been clocked to be on par with some S&B models. It is a second focal plane scope with 1/4MOA adjustments.




    SWFA Super Sniper10x42

    At 21oz/595g, the Super Sniper(SS) is the lightest scope out of the three. Rightfully so, since it does not zoom, have side focus or provide any high speed lit reticle.


    One of the reasons why I have been so in love with this scope is precisely the utilitarian aspects of it. On heavy rifles like my M14, the SS does well at cutting my weight down.

    The fact that it is cheap, however, does not take away much quality. The SS does well in almost all aspects aside being able to zoom(which it cannot... unless you get one of the zoom models, which i would love to test out). The glass quality is actually fabulous. Out of the three rifles, the SS is brighter than the Falcon. The mildot is also correct. There is a bit of haze in low light conditions when compared to the Nikon.


    The controls on the SS seem to be improved since one of the earlier generations that I had in the past. The dials are much more audible and click a lot crisper. One pet peeve that I have had is that I do not prefer adjustable turrets that lock down with multiple allen screws on the side. In the long run, they are prone to backing out and you may end up slipping out turret in the field. The turrets on the other hand are great and easily operable with cold weather gloves on. The turrets are easily track-able to see how many turns you have made and what your adjustments are.
    The parallax adjustment was superb. My model had the parallax adj in the rear and it glides like glass. It is by far the easiest to focus out of all three.

    Elevation and Windage adjustments were true and worked well.



    One thing to point out, however... I HOPE you guys aren't using the parallax to judge distance. Pretty please, use your mildots. I've always thought it was silly to try and use a focus mechanism to put ranges on there.. it's just not accurate, and it shows the most on the SS, mine focuses at 100m targets on the 250m mark.



    This is by far one of my favourite scopes out in the market. I would love to try their HD line soon.


    Falcon Menace 4x14x44 FFP


    Other than the ridiculous "Star Wars-esque" name to this scope, this is another entry level scope that is a great choice for a bolt rifle. It does not have military contracts like the Super Sniper does, but it does not perform any less. This particular scope has been on my .300Win Mag for the past 400-500 rounds with absolutely no loss of zero.

    At 26.4oz/749g, this scope is significantly heavier than the SS and Nikon. It is also MASSIVE. With the sunshade on, I think it's longer than my forearm. Honestly i think it's best suited for bolt action. If you were to put this on my M14 or AR15, the already high optics clearance, it is just waiting to get the sunshade swiped.



    Lets start with the reticle/zoom/glass.

    FFP means first focal plane. In simple English, the reticle shrinks or enlarges so one can keep an accurate measure on the target with the Mil-dot reticle to be able to range the target at different zooms. This is the most preferred zoom mechanism due to the consistency of the ranging reticule.
    Falcon manufactures these in 2 different reticles. I purchased a Mil/Hash reticle because I like having the dots break the reticle up so I don't double count mils. The other reticle looks like a Christmas tree and is too busy for me.



    The glass is clear... much clearer than many alternatives at this price, but I'm sad to say the the Super Sniper and the Nikon Tactical have this scope beat here. All three sport Japanese glass and truthfully, took a while for me to determine which is the best... but at 10x, the Falcon seemed the dimmest (not by much though).



    The turrets are great on this scope. The clicks are clean and not mushy at all. It is easy to track the elevation you have. Unlike the SS and Nikon, the Falcon sports a single "Axle" type of lock screw instead of the "Spoke" type the the SS and Nikon use. This does not wear the inner turret down near as much. Control is easy and also easily manipulated with gloves and is able to be tracked. Elevation and Windage adjustments were true and worked well. I have shot this rifle out to 1000m and returned zero every time.



    One of the things that I have not been too huge on is how stiff the zoom is. It's slow and feels like you're dragging a fat lady across railroad tracks. I prefer the Nikon in that aspect. The parallax adjustment is also very stiff and leaves much to be desired.


    Nikon Tactical 2.5-10x44

    Nikon has been a long time manufacturer of cameras and lenses... Being a photographer who started on Nikon lenses, I looked into this scope long before I got into precision rifle shooting.



    Then Nikon is a 2nd focal plane scope. That means that the reticle does not change during zoom. My understanding is that the mildot version is set for 10x. The scope itself weights 23.5oz/666g, in between the SS and the Falcon. It is a good moderate and goes down to 2.5x for some who need the low mag for more reflex shots. My Nikon tactical is a Duplex reticle, so I didn't give a rats a$$ if it was 1st/2nd focal place. Why you ask? I bought it for more $400 under retail for the nikoplex reticle... I'll spend that money to a good range finder instead of having mil dots to range targets... That being said, this is a $1k scope, and easily costs more than both SS and Falcon combined.



    Glass quality is the best out of the three. In low light situations, I was able to draw clear, sharp lines. Plus being able to dial it down to 2.5x, I was able to let in way more light than the other two if I really needed to. The reticle lines were clean and easily picked up in low light situations as well.


    The turret dials on this scope were clearly the best out of the three. Clean clicks without feeling over-springy. Nikon also put numbers to easily track the revolutions that you have thrown onto the rifle making it hard to screw up. The side parallax was easy to adjust and did not have mis-leading distance marks on it. Just a simple near/far/infinity dial.



    The zoom ring is a good design. It isn't stiff at all, and there Nikon put a "twist-tab" for operators to quickly switch from 10x to 2.5x or vice-versa. I put this rifle together for a cheaper precision rifle/varmint rifle, but now it has great potential in being a 3-gun competition rifle thanks to a versatile scope operation system.



    Conclusions


    Three different scopes for three different rifles. I specifically had these different scopes fitted for them.

    M14/21 w/ Super Sniper



    the inherently heavy as piss rifle that the M14 is drove me to get the lightest most bone stock precision scope that I could fine. The Army uses fixed 10x Leupy Mk4s anyways, so it was not an issue for me.

    The SS scores great with the cost/quality section and the reduction in weight. The controls are positive, and very well crafted, but there is still room for improvement. It is a rugged .50cal certified military scope. If you need something light and no-frills with great low light glass quality, this is your choice.

    Remy 700PSS w/ Falcon Menace



    I wanted the bells an whistles for my bolt action rifle. I wanted the FFP, the nice Mil/Hash reticle (EMD reticle), the 4-14x zoom with good reliability. The Falcon menace fit this bill. For a price tag of $450, it is hard to beat a scope that has lasted this many magnum rounds with out a single slip on the elevation/windage. Many of my friends have seen me shoot single hole groups at 100m with this scope/rifle combo.

    The Falcon Menace is a big scope and it probably suits heavy bolt actions with a low bore axis the best. Don't let the fact that it contains Chinese parts throw you off, the glass is still Japanese and will carry you long ways.

    20in HBAR w/ Nikon Tactical 2.5x10x44



    I set off to put together a more versatile .223 rifle and ended up choosing the Nikon tactical. This scope truly fits the .223/DMR AR15 type rifle well. Not only am I able to do close engagements, but I can pop things up to 750m with great accuracy.

    Out of all three scopes, the Nikon has best controls (Parallax, Turrets and Zoom). It also boasts the best glass in low light conditions. Problem is that it is still a bit heavy for inherently heavy rifles and do not provide FFP capability as many recent scopes have opted to do. Some newer versions of this scope have illuminated reticles, and that may be a consideration... however with a price tag of well over $1k.



    Alright guys, that's all I have... Shoot straight and shoot far!

    -Henry

    Last edited by Player; 11-02-2010 at 11:23 PM.
    "For every minute, the future is becoming the past."
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    some more pics of reticles:

    falcon menace:


    Super Sniper:
    "For every minute, the future is becoming the past."
    -Thor Heyerdahl

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    Awesome write-up, thanks for posting this!

    I'll have to keep this thread in mind next time I buy a scope.


    Awarded by a grateful public!

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    Senior Veteran rudrules's Avatar
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    I agree with you, I have an SS and like it a lot, also have a Nikon with BDC and think that the the glass is a little clearer, but for some reason the Super Sniper is my favorite, its seems to be more rouged.
    IMHO

    Thanks for the review, and the awesome pictures like always!

    Rudy
    COG # 1026

    "We will fight to defend our FREEDOM to the very end"
    and will let no one take it away!

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    Steve68's Avatar
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    Good write up Henry! I have a SS and I agree it is a good scope for the price. Now you have me interested in the Nikon.

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    Truthfully? I may switch my falcon out some time down the road. It's still a bit too hefty for what i'm looking for. I would like to get something like a nice Valdada or something.

    I can't say enough on how great the quality of the super sniper is, I can just imagine how the HD model performs.
    "For every minute, the future is becoming the past."
    -Thor Heyerdahl

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    19Charlie_84's Avatar
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    Awsome write up. I am always on the lookout for optics that dont cost over $1000. That SS and Falcon look like good choices. I have a .300WM Rem 700 with a Leupold VX1 3-9x40 on top that I think needs something bigger. Possibly one of yours. Thanks.
    "The reason the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis."
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    Charlie Don't Surf

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    Thread stuck!
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