Every once in a while a game changer arrives, though we don’t always know it when it happens. After a brief exploit with the Swarovski dS 5-25x I have to say, I think we will see this optic steer the direction of things come in the world of high end hunting scopes. Being a long range shooter for nearly 20 years now, I was a bit skeptical of how the dS would perform at long range, but I was quite relieved when I ran it out to 1050 yards recently on the Accuracy International AX.
A note on setup: The setup and zero were very simple and the app is very intuitive for pushing the ballistic variables to the scope. A simultaneous 3 second push of the + and – buttons of the illumination control allows the scope to be found by Bluetooth thru the app. Once found, the load info is entered and then a button click on the app transfers the data to the scope. You can control the aimpoint size and brightness along with the wind gate showing 5-10 mph wind brackets or 10-20 mph brackets (hash marks left and right of center line), along with some other display variables and duration. After that the scope is all you need to engage a target up to 1120 yards.
The Swarovski 5-25x dS is not going to be the scope for everybody – whether due to the power range, size, or cost, but it very cleanly and efficiently combines features and quality that exists nowhere else – that is what makes it unique. With a single push of the button, it lases the target and displays your elevated point of aim, wind gate, and bullet energy at the target of you choosing. This allows the shooter to pull off a fairly long range shot with incredible efficiency.
While the top power may be a bit much for many hunting situations, 5-25x is the most universally useful magnification range on the market and will allow varmint hunters to get the most out of the scope as well. The range is just fine for most big game hunters and they can exploit the high magnification for spotting if needed. The upside is that you can always dial down, but can’t go the other way if you don’t have it to start with.
As for the heft, coming in at 38 ounces, it may seem a bit chunky in the realm of 1000-yard-capable “hunting style” scopes, but is right on par with other target/tactical style ~25x scopes – it is even lighter than some in that class - all while containing a rangefinder! Once you consider it is saving you 1/2lb or so on a rangefinder, the weight doesn’t sound so bad. Also, 40mm mounting options are becoming more available now, so that solves that problem immediately. We have several options in stock currently.
Now to the cost... When we consider the inclusion of a rangefinder that has shown it can reach 1 mile or more on pine trees, along with the high quality optics and relatively compact size, the cost makes much more sense given all the features.
All in all, within the scope of its design for long range hunting out to about 1000 yards (ballistics will max out at 1120yds), the dS combines all the tools needed for a field expedient and ethical shot. Yes, it is a bit heavier and costs a bit more than most scopes in the same realm, but that's because it is unique in what it offers. This scope is the single easiest way (once combined with a good rifle and decent shooter of course) to engage a target in the field at long range. Even more good news is that the Swarovski dS should be available to start shipping as early as Monday, February 11th, 2019!