By James Dansie

Swarovski has been a leader in the optics market for years and they are known for having some of the best glass and design in their products. The Z5 and Z3 riflescopes are no different. They both are extremely lightweight and have 50mm objective lenses which provide a wide field of view. They have a one-inch tube design, keeping the scope slim and compact while cutting down on weight. The reticle is set in its own plane and I love having a second focal plane scope because the reticle won’t get bigger when you’re in those high power settings. This is important because when you’re shooting longer distances, the smaller or thinner the reticle is, the more accurate your shot placement will be.

The Z5 features a parallax adjustment to focus the reticle over your target. The parallax adjusts to coincide with the distance you are from your target. Both scopes feature a couple of different reticle options to guarantee that you can find the proper reticle for your shooting style.

On our Z3 test model, we had the 4w(I) reticle which is prefect for shooters who are used to using horizontal hash marks to adjust for windage. The hash marks are placed in 2-MOA (minute of angle) increments and by using the Swarovski Optik Ballistic Calculator, you’ll know exactly how many MOA to adjust for. The ballistic calculator inputs the velocity and ballistic coefficient of the cartridge you’re using in conjunction with wind speed and direction to tell you how many MOA to compensate for. It’s important to note that because of its second focal plane design, the scope must be on its maximum magnification to properly compensate for wind.

Both scopes feature a ballistic elevation turret. The different colored dots allow you to set your own individual distances and makes adjusting to those distances quick and easy. They also both come with a see-through lens cover, which helps to protect your lenses from scratches when walking through thick brush in pursuit of that trophy animal. It’s also nice that they are see-through because if you only have a couple of seconds to shoot, you can make the shot without worrying about taking it off. Swarovski is a leader for a reason and either one of these great scopes will work hard to get it done for you this hunting season.