swarovski scopes

People tend to make excuses when it going against the grain and not buying something.

When it comes to hunting, many folks have decided that they have no use for a rifle scope. Many people believe that using a scope will decrease their natural hunting ability. These are perhaps the same people who don’t want to update their hunting gear.

If you are new to hunting, you are probably thinking that a rifle scope will not help you improve your skill as a shooter. That is simply wrong because a scope is a very beneficial add-on that will improve your overall skill as a hunter.

For today, we have a rifle scope that might just make a world of difference to your hunting experience. We will be reviewing the Swarovski Z3 Rifle Scope. For this Swarovski scopes review, we have tried to be as accurate as possible so you can have a better picture if this scope is for you.

The Importance of a Rifle Scope

First, let’s talk about the importance of using a rifle scope for hunting.

Longer Range

If you can’t shoot a game animal in a distance, then what’s the point of using a rifle?

The usage of a rifle scope allows the shooter to take out its target for a longer range. Targets that are in the distance will now be closer to you, thanks to your scope. This gives you the time, space, and comfort to make the shot without putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

With a scope, you will be able to take out your target at a higher success rate.

Increased Accuracy

As a hunter or shooter, you live for accuracy. You take aim with the intention of hitting the target with minimal attempts.

Everyone has their bad days but a scope can ensure that you can still take an accurate shot and succeed. There’s simply no comparison between using a scope and not when it comes to sheer accuracy – unless of course, you are a very gifted marksman. Even the best marksman in the world use a scope to maximize their potential.

With increased accuracy, you will make more successful shots, waste less time, and utilize less bullets.

Improved Confidence

Confidence plays a major factor when it comes to shooting.

When you’re using a very powerful weapon for hunting like a rifle, you need to have the proper level of confidence to ensure that you hit the target. Yup, psychology plays a key role in determining how good of a shooter you are.

With a rifle scope, you will not only hit the target more accurately, you will do in an easier manner as well. As you manage to make more successful shots, your confidence level improves which makes you a better overall shooter.

Z3 Swarovski Scopes Review

Swarovski is a rather interesting brand. This is not an American company and it certainly doesn’t make scopes that cater to the taste of American shooters. However, this doesn’t imply that they’re not a good company. On the contrary, they’re currently very popular for their rifle scopes.

Below is our review of the Swarovski Z3 3-10X42. First, let’s take a look at some of its key specs:

  • Magnification: 3.3x-10x
  • Objective lens (mm): 42
  • Exit pupil (mm): 12.6-4.2
  • Exit pupil distance (mm): 90 / 3.54
  • Field of view at m/100 m / ft/1000 yds: 11-3.9 / 33-11.7
  • Field of view (degrees): 6.3-2.2
  • Subjective field of view, apparent (degrees): 22.7
  • Dioptric compensation (dpt): ±2,5
  • Transmission (%): >90
  • Impact point cord. per click (mm/100 m / in/100 yds): 7 / 0.25
  • Max. elevation/windage adjustment range (m/100m / in/100 yds): 1.4 / 50
  • Parallax correction: 109
  • bjective filter thread: M 44x0.75
  • Length approx. (mm/in): 321 / 12.64
  • Weight approx. (g/oz): 360 / 12.7
  • Central tube diameter (mm/in): 1





Design and Form Factor

swarovski scopes image 2

At 12.5 inches long, 12 ounces in weight, and a 1-inch tube, the Z3 is just the right size. In fact, the Z3 is just the perfect size which should meet the most general hunting and shooting requirements. The size is also great for accommodating the most common ring and base sizes.

This is a great scope if you are looking for a lightweight option, so this one won’t weigh you down.

The scope features a very minimalist design which I certainly don’t mind since I like focusing on the essentials. The slim profile really adds a lot of in terms of aesthetics, especially after it’s mounted. The matte black finish looks unmistakably sleek and the exterior aluminum parts are anodized which help with durability and scratch resistance.

My first impression of the scope is that it’s a high-quality unit with a great design to boot.

Usability and Performance of the Swarovski Scopes

One standout feature is the 42mm objective lens which boasts 90% light transmission. On top of that, the 90mm works nice and feels very natural. For the uninitiated, eye relief refers to the distance from the rear lens that your eye requires in order to see the full picture. This stops you from getting the pleasure of getting smacked in the face with your scope.

Keep in mind that Swarovski scopes are known to have closer eye relief that might need some getting used to.

With the Z3, Swarovski has included several reticles which range from traditional to the more complex. I like that the turrets on the scope stick out just far enough so I can easily make adjustments.

The magnification control is mounted just a little bit forward of the eyepiece. From here, you can dial the focus or simply slide on the focus knob. I must say that the adjustments and rather smooth and flawless. It just feels like butter.

Making the reticle adjustments is very simple. The Z3 is equipped with 50 MOA of adjustment with ¼ MOA clicks. This really allows you to accurately make adjustments for that dead-on aim. As for the reticles themselves, I am happy to report that they look remarkably crisp. Again, the reticles really gave an impression that you are looking through a high-end scope.

Aftermarket Rings and Bases

The Z3 can accommodate various rings and bases and fortunately, there is no shortage of accessories that you can get from Swarovski and other aftermarket suppliers.

A lightweight aluminum based can add MOA of adjustment which can help you use the 10x magnification to its fullest potential. The rings for the Z3 are available in many different heights. The scope itself is very low profile so you should have no trouble finding the right ring height.

However, since the eyepiece has a pretty long design, you might need to mount the rings closer. Just ensure that the rings have enough height to clear both the turret and rifle’s action.

The Ballistic Turret Features Of The Swarovski Scopes

Hands down, the best aspect of using a Z series rifle scope is the Ballistic Turret feature.

Basically, the feature lets you set four different zeroes with just about any given range. That’s right, you have three extra zeroes on top of your original. The feature works by setting predetermined distances using color-coded rings.

For example, you can set 100 yard increments from your original 200 yard adjustment. After you’re done with the setup, it’s just a matter of rotating the turret to pair with the colored dots on the first ring.

Then, you can match it with the white dot on your elevation turret which effectively gives you a dead shot at 300 yards. By performing the same thing with your second ring, you get another 100 yards and so on.

To set up the ballistic turret feature on your Z3, you can visit Swarovski’s Ballistics Program online.

Image Quality

As you might expect from Swarovski scopes, the glass in the Z3 is just the best in class. The multi-coated lens allow for some crystal clear images that still remains uncontested in the optics industry. When it comes to scopes, you just can’t complain about this company.

Even with maximum magnification, I noticed no blurriness around the edges or any kind of image distortion. Also, color resolution always looks true to life.

The 42mm objective lens features a 90% light transmission capability which is likely more than what the eye can use. However, this feature will surely come in handy when you’re making a shot in low-light situations.


At around $700, the Swarovski Z3 3-10X42 feels almost like a bargain. This is actually my very first Swarovski scope and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. What I got is probably the best scope I’ve ever used.

Everything about the Z3 just screams premium and high-quality. Each time I look into the glass, it’s just like peering straight into a very expensive binocular. You can also see that every detail has been meticulously created. The funny thing is that the Z3 is an entry-level unit in Swarovski’s Z series.

For the money, the Z3 provides excellent value and is a great option for hunters who are looking to invest in a high-end scope.

What Other Customers Think

The Swarovski Z3 Rifle scope is a highly-rated product. Over at Cabela’s, the scope has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars, and that’s with a total of 40 reviews.

For the positive reviews, many users have commented about the Z3’s overall quality. Many thought that the durability and construction of the scope deserve the premium price tag. A few reviewers are also impressed with the scope’s form factor.

As you might expect, majority of the reviewers have praised the Z3’s glass which is simply world-class.

Here are a handful of the reviews praising the glass:

The clarity and light transmission are superb. There is not much difference during the day with this scope compared to other brands but Swarovski makes their money during the first and last hrs of the day. You can literally see better through the scope than with your naked eye at low lights.  


Bought this scope for my Rem. 700 BDL, to replace a smaller 3-9-40 scope I used for years. love the clarity of this scope, low light, you can almost hunt in complete darkness with this scope. Already took a nice coyote and a nice 8 point with this scope this season.


Overall, the majority of the users are very pleased with the Z3, from the design to the actual performance of the scope.

As for the negatives, I have to admit that I was hard-pressed to find negative feedback about the Z3. If there are indeed some complaints, it has to do with the price. While I can sing high praises about this rifle scope, it’s certainly not a cheap product. If you go shop around, you can probably get a scope with comparable specs for about $300 to $400 cheaper.

However, many positive reviews indicate that they are very satisfied with the scope regardless of the price. Many feel that they’d rather invest in an expensive scope with surefire quality than the other way around.

Swarovski Scopes: The Verdict

Forgive the pun but the Swarovski Z3 Rifle Scope hits the bulls-eye in well, just about every aspect that matters.

As far as Swarovski scopes go, the Z3 is not exactly a flagship model but it can certainly stand on its own. As I have mentioned, the Z3 is by far my personal favorite scope and I have used it for just about any rifle hunting situation.

The low magnification setting works wonders for stalk hunting while the high magnification is useful for ambush tree stands. The multi-coat lens that define this scope is simply on a league of its own, especially not at this price point. Swarovski’s dedication to quality translates into excellent light gathering and overall better experience for the end user.

Many hunters buy a high-end rifle but invest in cheap optics. I am sure glad I didn’t make that mistake. I just can’t recommend the Z3 enough.

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