Test: Swarovski X5(i) 5-25x56 Plong range rifle scope

Quality manufacturer Swarovski makes no bones about its determination to leave a mark on the ‘long-range shot’ segment. Read here how our Swarovski X5(i) 5-25x56 P rifle scope with 1/4 MOA adjustment fared in our own long-term testing.

Swarovski rifle scope X5(i) 5-25x56 P: A lithe beauty

Swarovski rifle scope X5(i) 5-25x56 P
The Swarovski X5(i) 5-25x56 P rifle scope with EAW 365 roll-off rings, mounted on a Sauer S202.
Swarovski rifle scope with the sun shade accessory
The Swarovski X5(i) 5-25x56 P rifle scope with the sun shade accessory included as standard.

Compared with the long-range rifle scopes by the usual suspects like Kahles or Zeiss – which have an average central tube diameter of 34 to 36 mm – the Swarovski X5(i) rifle scope with its slender 30mm tube looks far more elegant. The slim central tube compared to the relatively short body length of 37.7 cm, the ocular and the objective

diameter make sure that the X5(i) cuts a good figure even on a hunting rifle, despite the large ballistic turret. And this elegance does not come at a cost to stability.

The scope weighs a full 910 g owing to the numerous steel components. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that a Swarovski X5(i) is more than capable of withstanding the stresses of high-performance, rapid caliber, even in constant use.

Despite the modest tube diameter and powerful zoom ratio, the X5(i) astonishingly comes with a whopping 240 cm maximum adjustment range for elevation correction. To make this possible, a new reticle adjustment system was designed. Even from the outside, the belly housing a kind of deflection system is seen opposite the ballistic turret. A lever attached to a powerful coil spring presses against the internal tube to create the support for elevation and windage adjustment. We even measured 253 cm in the rifle scope we tested, and not just the 240 cm that the manufacturer declares. In theory, this would mean the following: If the rifle scope is mounted without tilt parallel to the barrel’s bore axis, a shooter would have around 100 to 120 cm to play with, which in turn would be enough for target ranges of up to 900 m with a .308 Winchester. It’s good to know that this scope has plenty in reserve in terms of elevation adjustment, especially when mounted with a forward tilt, particularly if one considers that the adjustment ranges of other scopes reach the end of the line at a distance of just 400 to 500 m.

Swarovski X5(i) series: Subzero function offers new possibilities

Swarovski X5(i)-ballistic turret with window
The Swarovski X5(i) ballistic turret with window: The arrow indicates the rotation direction. ‘0’ is visible in the window.
Swarovski rifle scope
Swarovski subzero function: The slide is now raised and a dash marking appears in the window – the ‘Subzero’ function is now active.
Swarovski subzero function
Swarovski X5(i): Shooters can now rotate counterclockwise by 20 MOA (or 80 clicks in increments of 1/4 MOA). The window now shows ‘1’.

In premium class long-range rifle scopes an illuminated reticle with automatic shutdown function and an end stop for the zero position of the ballistic turret are nowadays de rigeur, but Swarovski Optik has taken things to a new level with its subzero function, as it enables impact point corrections and settings below the sight-in range.

Swarovski Multi-Tool
Swarovski rifle scope X5(i): This tool is used to remove the lid on the battery compartment.
Swarovski rifle scope reserve battery
The Swarovski tool is also used to remove the cover on the reserve battery.
Swarovski X5(i) Torx-key
Adjusting the Swarovski rifle scope X5(i): The miniature Torx key supplied with the scope is used to loosen the set screws on the rotating cap.
Swarovski rifle scope adjusting windage
Swarovski X5(i) series: The ‘0’ marking to adjust windage is engraved on a separate level to ensure that the shooter gets correct information, even from a difficult angle.
Swarovski rifle scope Ballistic tower
The Swarovski X5(i) riflescope can be sighted-in after loosening the three set screws on the ballistic turret’s rotating cap.
Swarovski  rifle scope Allen key
Swarovski X5(i) series: The tool’s Allen key is used to adjust the rifle scope.

However sophisticated and accomplished this engineering may be, it does make the sighting-in procedure more complex. After all, the small set screws need to be fixed in place while applying light spring pressure to push the ballistic tower against its end stop using the multi-tool supplied. This needs sufficient light, a steady hand and patience, which may not be to everyone’s taste.

The Swarovski X5(i) 5-25x56 P rifle scope in practice

Target at 100 m
Swarovski rifle scope X5(i) series: 0.2 mm lines are discernible on the target in razor-sharp clarity, even at a distance of 100 m.

An EAW 365 roll-off mount was used to attach the new Swarovski rifle scope X5(i) in 5-25x56 to a trusty old Sauer S202 in 6.5-284 Norma caliber from our own collection. Hunting at long range is probably the most challenging area for any shooter, as the hunter will not have a ‘trial shot’ and cannot range-in on the quarry. This is precisely the scenario we were looking to replicate, so we sighted in the Sauer S202 at 100 meters and then took aim at a young wild boar target with a single shot from long range. Our rangefinder showed 535 m, and so the turret was adjusted upward by 11 MOA according to the ballistics table.

Young wild boar target
The Swarovski riflescope X5 (i) helped us hit the wild boar target without a trial shot at a distance of 535 meters.

Gusts blowing in from the northwest at a speed of 8-13 km/h proved a handicap to this scenario, requiring an adjustment of the probable bullet deviation to allow for the wind. The wild boar was extremely sharp in the crosshairs, even at a distance of 535 m. 

The shot hit the mark, as the spotter saw the soil kick up behind the target. A brief stroll to the paper boar confirmed that there was a hole at the correct height in the target, but unfortunately around 10 cm too far to the left. But this only indicates how difficult it was for the shooter to correctly read the wind and to get the first and only shot precisely where it was meant to go. There’s no doubt: the Swarovski rifle scope X5(i) brings the performance. Of course, one could debate at length on the fairness and ethics of hunting animals at such long range, especially as so many factors can affect the attempt to hit wild game flush in the chest.

The Swarovski rifle scope X5(i) 5-25x56 P in sport

The Swarovski rifle scope X5(i) would also cut a dashing figure in the long-range sports segment for distances beyond 1000 m. The 4W reticle we used would be equally suitable here as well, as it allows elevation adjustments using turret and side corrections to the turret and the reticle. The 2 MOA dashes, which at a thickness of 0.2 mm for 100 m do not cover an excessively large section of the target, provide good reference points to assist with side wind corrections. The sporty long-range scope to top them all is likely to be the X5(i) model 5-25x56 P with 1/8 MOA adjustment, which is available exclusively with a fine PLEX reticle. The two other models X5(i) 3.5-18x50 P and 5-25x56 1/4 MOA are available with a 4 EX or BRM reticle, in addition to the 4W variant. These models have dashes on the vertical lines to enable elevation corrections using the reticle without ever losing sight of the target.

Swarovski riflescope X5(i) 5-25x56 P: Our summary

Swarovski rifle scope ocular
Swarovski riflescope X5(i) 5-25x56 P ocular casing with reticle / illumination unit.

The new Swarovski Optik X5(i) 5-25x56 P tested here has everything a modern long-range rifle scope needs. Users in the military/police sectors might possibly complain that the settings are not locked and that the elevation adjustment mechanics perform more than one rotation. 

Nevertheless, the Tyroleans have brought sophisticated engineering skills to bear to create a large elevation adjustment range of 240 cm, despite the svelte 30 mm body. The optical performance in terms of resolution, contrast and brilliance is superb and is matched by very few competitors, if at all. A real viewing pleasure!

The manufacturer’s recommended retail price for the Swarovski X5(i) 5-25x56 P rifle scope is €3200.

Click here for the Swarovski Optik website

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Swarovski rifle scope X5(i) 1/4 MOA
Technical Data


Swarovski Optik
ModelSwarovski X5(i) 1/4 MOA
TypeLong-range rifle scope
Objective lens diameter
63 mm
Eye relief95 mm
Exit pupil diameter
9,5 -2,3 mm
Dioptric compensation+2 / -3
Central tube
30 mm
Total length
377 mm
910 g
Accessory: sun shade:50 mm
Adjustment range:240 cm (elevation, 100 m); 150 cm (windage, 100 m)
€3200 (RRP, including sales tax.)