Swarovski Optik is an Austrian company, based in Tirol, that since 1949 specialized in the production of top quality optical instruments. A business success determined above all by innovative capacity, aesthetics and functional design and, as mentioned, excellent optical quality. So much so that at HIT Show 2018 Assoarmieri, the Italian association of firearms traders and enthusiasts, elected the Swarovski Z8i as the best scope of the year.
The tradition continues
While it is true that Swarovski has recently appeared on the market with two major innovations (the X5 line for long distance shooting and the dS, a digital intelligence riflescope), on the other hand it is equally true that the Austrian company continues to manufacture traditional optics, improving what had already been done. This is the case of the Z8i line, the natural evolution of its predecessor, the Z6i line.
Swarovski Z8i riflescope: technical features
As the name implies, the Swarovski Z8i is a scope with an 8x zoom, which makes it extremely versatile and combines a large field of view when using low magnifications with the accuracy of details when using higher magnifications.
This allows for rapid target acquisition, especially in hunts requiring rapid changes of position and high accuracy when it is necessary to shoot at long ranges.
In addition, the design of the illumination unit and the large adjustment turrets have been refined, maintaining a 30mm main tube that fits elegantly to any type of rifle.
The parallax turret, on the left side, guarantees flawless images at any range and can be easily adjusted even in shooting position and in low light conditions thanks to the 100 m mark.
The unit that allows for turning on and adjusting the reticle illumination, both in day and night mode, is thin and integrates perfectly with the scope lines, while the buttons that control the 64 levels of brightness have been positioned on the top in order to guarantee maximum comfort of use.
The illumination system features a function that automatically stores and resets to the last brightness setting. The battery life is guaranteed by the Swarolight system that, with an inclination sensor, shuts on only when the optic is in shooting position.
Finally, some models combine the 4A-I reticle with the CD-I. This is the first reticle system that can be switched with the press of a button and can be adapted case by case according to the type of hunt performed.
A flexible ballistic turret
The Swarovski Z8i models feature an easily attachable ballistic turret flex (BTF), which can be used as a top turret to compensate for bullet drop or wind drift and for anticipating shots when moving.
This can be configured separately from the optics and can be fitted on all Z8i models.
The BTF can be assembled using 4 narrow rings pre-setting distances or can be even supplied with a ballistic ring customized to the chosen ammunition.
Swarovski Z8i riflescope: models and prices
There are five Z8i models currently produced covering all possible types of hunting. Two are designed for driven hunts: 0.75-6x20 and 1-8x24 (both with a price tag from 2410 euro to 2720 euro); one as an all-around scope 1.7-13x42 (from 2820 euro to 3140 euro) and two others for stalking and long range shots 2-16x50 (from 2940 euro to 3000 euro) and 2.3-18x56 (with a price tag from 3170 euro to 3230 euro).
Chamois hunting with Swarovski optics
It’s time to wake up and have a coffee when the strong wind, sweeping away the last cloud and exposing a starry sky, announces a clear and cold day.
We are guests in one of the most beautiful reserves of Tyrol and we are also lucky enough to chase the chamois after a night when some inches of snow have fallen. With us is Werner, a very nice and expert gamekeeper, who along with his Bavarian hound is already waiting for us in the church square.
The approach by car does not last long, while the one on foot lasts a bit more and when we leave the larch forest it’s already day. In front of us, the rocky walls appear majestic, and the ascent now is no less hard than before, but we proceed more slowly and with our eyes that after looking through the binoculars now rush between spires and gullies in search of chamois. Werner carries a Swarovski El Range 8x42 that he uses to identify the chamois and measure the range, I have the smaller El 8x32. Each time we see them, we use the classic CTC 30x75 instead to determine their gender and age.
We binocular and walk so much that the right chamois, a male sub-adult, is not slow to arrive. It is 230 meters from us, a shot that our Sako Carbonlight in 7mm Rem is prepared to deal with. To complete our equipment there is the beautiful and bright Swarovski Z8i 2.3-18x56, an optic that certainly needs neither introduction nor praise. A click is enough to compensate for the distance and wait for the bang produced by the shot to disappear among these wonderful mountains. I turn looking for Werner, always by my side, who glances at me with a sincere smile, just enough to make me understand that everything has gone well.
We tried to tell you about our hunting day in just over 3 minutes. Enjoy this video that we want to dedicate to those who, like us, love hunting. The most beautiful and pure one. Finally, a special thanks to the OrionJagd armory in Brunico.