Swarovski Optik introduced their Z8i variable magnification scope for the North American market during the NRA 2016 Annual Meeting at Louisville, Kentucky. This 8x magnification scope was first unveiled at the IWA Show in Nuremberg, Germany in March and it is scheduled for production in mid-summer 2016.
Comparing to other 1-8x scopes on the market, the Swaro Z8i stands out with its lightweight 30mm tube size instead of the more common and thicker 34mm diameter. In my few minutes of handling it at the booth, I found the Z8i’s field of view is huge and the eyebox is very good, at least for a 1-8x scope, throughout the magnification ranges. The optical performance is excellent, being a Swarovski after all.
Like all illuminated Swarovski models, the Z8i features the superb Swarovski’s digital illumination system with easy accessible control system on the top of ocular eye piece. The reticle illumination is daylight visible, and offers an impressive 180 hours of battery life at daylight bright illumination, or up to 1,400 hours of low-light reticle illumination using a common coin size CR2032 lithium battery. The little switch lever at the back of control unit allows quick switching from the “off” position in the middle to either “daylight” or “low-light” illumination at either sides. The two press-in buttons on top controls the brightness level.
The optional modular BTF (Ballistic Turret Flex) turret is on this Z8i sample. The Swarovski BTF has adjustable settings and replaceable index ring that allow the shooter to either compensate for bullet drop or for different loads. However, I found the BTF is a bit too much for the Z8i and I think the low-profile capped turret would be better for the types of hunting the Z8i is designed for.
The Swaro Z8i 1-8x24mm seems to offer a true 1x at the low-end. The reticle show in the picture is the new 4A-IF “Flexchange” hunting reticle with the outer ring turn off and it’s showing just the daylight bright center-dot. Holding down both the illumination brightness buttons on top for 3-seconds, it will switch on or off the illuminated ring between the center-dot and the three black subtension lines. It’s a very clever design but I would like a dedicated button for just turning on or off the ring.
Also will be available for the Z8i is the 3-Gun competition BRT-I reticle with the tree-shaped BDC holdover hash-marks. It’s a carryover from the extremely popular Swarovski Z6i 1-6x24mm 3-Gun model and I could foresee the new Z8i will be just as popular once it’s available. The estimated MSRP of the Z8i 3-Gun model is only $150 more than the Z6i 3-Gun model.
Swarovski Z8i 1-8x24mm Specification:
|Eye Relief:||3.74 inches / 95mm|
|Field of View at 100 yds:||127.5 ft @ 1x, 15.9 ft @ 8x|
|Dioptric Adjustment:||-3 to +2|
|Turret Adjustment:||0.36 MOA / 10mm per click|
|Turret Adjustment Range:||72 MOA / 2 meters|
|Lenght:||11.9 inches / 301mm|
|Weight:||18.2 oz / 515 grams|
|Reticle:||4A-IF and BRT-I|
|Power:||1x CR2032 lithium battery|
|Battery Life:||180 hrs @ daylight or 1,400 hrs @ low-light|
|MSRP:||4A-IF switchable reticle model: est $2,600 USD|
|BRT-1 3-Gun competition model: est $2,400 USD|
More info available on the Swarovski website.