Swarovski DS

Tazz

Well-Known Member
I am a Swarovski convert having Z6 and Z8 as well as EL ranges. I am a bit of a gadget guy and of late have started looking at reviews and videos of the Swaro DS scope besides the price my other issue is have they stepped across the “Too clever” line. A review from someone with one would also help
 

Tazz

Well-Known Member
My point on this was the Swaro DS is the first scope that factors in humidity, wind angle and bullet drop using a load of clever tech including laser rangefinder, it won’t be the last I imaging S&B and Zeiss are developing similar products. Two views spring to mind, this is a step too far ant takes away some “vital skills” on the part of the stalker, or you look at it and say we owe it to the quarry to make the best shot we can make and anything that helps with that has to be a good thing. Someone on this forum most have one it would be great to get an owner review
 

Scapegoat

Well-Known Member
Interesting question. I haven't used one, but have seen one in the flesh, and done a bit of research on behalf of a buyer. It strikes me that the scope does nearly everything for you! You obviously have to have all your variables programmed, so the algorithm can work out your bullet drop, and in this respect you still need to do all the work from an initial setup. Here it got interesting for me, because loading, chronoing, testing, confirming etc all lead to using a BDC turret with confidence, and on a "traditional" scope, dialling in elevation and windage corrections based on knowing the round's characteristics. A successful shot then depends on your ability to measure accurately the range, angle, wind speed and direction. You then need to use your ballistics app of choice to input the data, including humidity if you know it, elevation, air temp etc.

So the dS takes away a great deal of work, and of course faff. It ranges, and sets the aim point for you. Quickly, quietly and efficiently. But that's only half the story, and where I realised that it wasn't going to be the answer to all of my prayers, and there was in fact (from my personal perspective) a fly in the ointment.

That fly is windage. You cannot alter or dial in an accurate windage correction. The scope does try, inasmuch as you can set it for windspeed. In the App you have the option to set one of two windspeeds, ( I can't remember what they are, but) let's say 5mph and 10mph. Based on this setting, the reticle display then gives you brackets. The outermost mark is the aimpoint for a full-value windage correction at the speed you've set in the App. If however, the wind is not at 90 degrees, or isn't running at the same speed as you've set, you have to use "Kentucky windage" principles. Sure, the brackets give you a starter for ten, but the exact aimpoint for, say a quarter-value wind isn't there, so your success depends on your experience, not the gadgetry.

That for me means that the dS is not the correct scope for what I wanted to do with it. It is NOT a do-it-all solution for the sort of long range varminting I enjoy, precisely because of the windage limitations.

I then realised I was looking at this the wrong way round. I was trying to superimpose my personal experience and expectations onto an item that was designed for a different purpose. This is a hunting scope, designed to take away (some of) the guesswork and make things like a rangefinder redundant. At sensible ranges, with a round that is capable of bucking the wind, it would be ideal; a swift, reliable means of cutting out processes that only serve to delay the taking of an accurate and effective shot.

I therefore concluded that in the right hands, it's a great scope. Swarovski optical excellence (although some of the reviews appear to me to conclude that the overall performance in low light is not on a par with their clearest optics....) you simply need to spot your quarry, point your scope at it and pull the trigger. What's not to like? No need to carry a separate rangefinder, phone app or dope cards, just simple spotting binos and the scope does the rest.

There are of course a number counter-arguments, which I haven't articulated here, based on "who is this scope aimed at?", "who will the likely buyers be and will they get the most benefit from buying one?", but perhaps they should be saved for later.
 

Bds4roe

Well-Known Member
I used one, hit a 6” gong at 350m first shot with a friends rifle. I can hit the same gong with my rifle and an 8x56 scope.

lovely kit, great tech, yes i’d like one but i have other scopes/ballistic that let me do the same job, so i doubt i’d buy one. I like the rf in my bins so i can know distane without getting the rifle out.
 

Tazz

Well-Known Member
I am not sure I will buy one as I have Swaro EL that give me the distance and ballistic/angle plus I only shoot out to circa 300 yards even in Africa and my 300 win mag Z8 has ballistic turret for all of that. On the basis of all of that I struggle to justify the £3K+ for the scope the 400-500-600 yard hunters may have a different view
 

stubear

Well-Known Member
I've handled one and had a look through it but I've yet to use one in the field. Personally I thought it was a very bulky scope and, whilst the tech in it is cool, its not really real world valuable for a lot of hunting nor do I think the loss of light transmission is worth it (93-95% in the Z4/Z6/Z8 range compared to ~85% in the DS if I remember correctly). That extra 10-15 minutes at first or last light can be the crucial time as we all know.

Most hunting in the UK is done under 200y so for most people I would have thought zeroing the rifle to be bob on at 200y (roughly 1-2" high at 100y depending on your bullet speed) would be enough - Just set and forget. Certainly that would be sufficient for highland stalking I would think.

And then for lowland stalking quite a lot of the time you get mere seconds to take a shot. You dont get the luxury of digging your phone out to download the weather and then pinging your quarry with the scope to range it, its just "theres a buck, the shot is safe", rifle on sticks and bang. And I reckon 90% of these shots are under 100y where needing the range finder or worrying about wind is irrelevant.

Dont get me wrong, the technology is hugely impressive but I cant see many people getting much use out of it until you start getting into the 300y+ distances, and you're giving up low light performance which is pretty much the KEY reason to spend the money on makers like Swaro.

IMO its a great scope if you're a long range target or varmint shooter and low light performance isnt as important to you. If you're a sub 200y deer stalker who needs low light performance then (personally) I would pick up a Z6 or Z8 and some decent bins for the same money.
 

long_range_rob

Well-Known Member
Used one and it's a fantastic bit of kit. Would I want one, well not really. I think this has been designed for the US market where hunting seasons are short and the shots taken are long (too long IMO)

I feel this is a scope too far in the UK but very cool just the same
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
I have done a lot of reading about them and we had one in this week to fit to a customer gun. Not shot with one.

The tech is very clever. They have bought to the hunting market what the military snipers have had for some years in a package that might be £3.5k but cheap at that price in my opinion. Providing you are capable of setting it up correctly, which is no more than understanding all the variables and inputting them as we do on LR ballistic apps like Strolek, you will never have to worry about trajectory again, providing the batteries don't run out. Wind is a different issue as it always is. I use the reticule for wind correction anyway and the DS offers you that facility with it's markings. It will set up LR trajectory faster than we do when dealing turrets but you still have to take your wind readings and run the shot solution for that so overall not much faster than a scope with a dial turret.

My slight issue with the tech is that it will make people a little more brave than they should be. 600 yd shot, the scope does all the work, just press the button, put the crosshairs on it and squeeze the trigger. We all know that there is a lot more to it than that, but it may tempt the inexperienced to shoot at some beasts they really shouldn't be considering.

Add to that the quality of glass, 83% light transmission, size, 40mm tube, weight, 39oz (Z5 is 16oz, Z6 about 21oz) and I'm not going to be rushing out to get one.
 

Tazz

Well-Known Member
I did get to play with one at the Game Fair at the weekend at the Swarovski stand they are very clever and you can’t but be impressed by the Tech. However the max I shoot out to is 300 yards even in Africa and so I will stick with my Z8 with ballistic turrets and EL Ranges
 

JH83

Well-Known Member
I simply can’t see the application. At stalking ranges, even to 300 yards which is a hell of a chuck it isn’t at all necessary. As for ringing steel, isn’t the fun meant to be figuring the job out for yourself. Maybe foxing at night at a push, but then it’s got reduced light transmission! Not for me, especially at the price.
 

sako751sg

Well-Known Member
Had one for a few months but only set it up recently.

Have used on a rangy stag but out of the 11 roe last week didnt require once with the distances involved.

Great bit of kit imo,and will be used mostly for the stags where getting that close is an issue.Takes a wee bit of trusting but when you do and realise that cross hair is bang on then the confidence is there.
 

sako751sg

Well-Known Member
Did you have any issues setting up ? There was a bit of trial and error with mine!
If for me then no real issues at all.

After chronoing and putting in all data things were not far off taking in to account driver error.

Did have an issue with some of the Swarovski data they had on the APP for factory ammo but the bro phoned and they admitted it was a mistake and would correct

Am cooking up a load for the stags as think with this kind of equipment the ammo needs to be the most consistent you can feed.
 

Glen Cadwallader

Well-Known Member
Great thanks, I bought a digital micrometre but still not happy I have the centre bore measurement correct, I'm told this is not a huge factor, I've messed about with it a bit and seems not bad but one always hopes for more lol


If for me then no real issues at all.

After chronoing and putting in all data things were not far off taking in to account driver error.

Did have an issue with some of the Swarovski data they had on the APP for factory ammo but the bro phoned and they admitted it was a mistake and would correct

Am cooking up a load for the stags as think with this kind of equipment the ammo needs to be the most consistent you can feed.
 

Freeforester

Well-Known Member
I am a Swarovski convert having Z6 and Z8 as well as EL ranges. I am a bit of a gadget guy and of late have started looking at reviews and videos of the Swaro DS scope besides the price my other issue is have they stepped across the “Too clever” line. A review from someone with one would also help

Have you considered the "weight penalty", or discounted this, as you will likely be able to shoot them without stalking, probably from over the bonnet of the vehicle, and therefore will not suffer the inconvenience of dragging it up any hill or bank/slope?
 

Tazz

Well-Known Member
Have you considered the "weight penalty", or discounted this, as you will likely be able to shoot them without stalking, probably from over the bonnet of the vehicle, and therefore will not suffer the inconvenience of dragging it up any hill or bank/slope?

I am struggling to see the link between my quote that you used and your reply.
 
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