Capable yet affordable, in this review the author takes a closer look at the Swampfox Warhawk 5-25×56 FFP.
Swampfox Optics recently released its highly anticipated FFP line of riflescopes—the Warhawk. This line of optic has been in the works for literal years. “Warhawk was originally launched with a limited run in May 2020. Given limited material supply, and our unwillingness to sacrifice on glass quality, we immediately sold out and couldn’t relaunch until August 2022. We are just now completing our series by releasing the 2-10x,” commented Miles McKinney, operations director at Swampfox. This particular scope, the Warhawk 5-25×56 FFP, is the highest magnification range in the series.
With an MSRP of $689, you get a lot of scope for the money (on Amazon, at the time of writing you can get it delivered within a day for less than $600). While I wouldn’t call it a budget scope, as that brings up notions of cheaply made optics consisting of “Chinesium” metals and subpar glass. This one is what I would call a “cost conscious” scope. Its nearest competitor, to my mind, would be the Vortex Venom—another 5-25x FFP scope. However, this one comes with a standard illuminated reticle unlike the Vortex as well as more accessories in the box. And I’m not hating on Vortex, I run a 5-25x Strike Eagle on one of my long-range gas guns and love it, but for the same money (even slightly less) you get a lot of scope with the Warhawk.
Other scopes in the Warhawk series have various magnification ranges as well as other reticle options. The 2-10×44 and 3-15×44 are available with the Sharpshooter MOA reticle as well as the RECCE MIL reticle, the latter of which is kind of a fast-acquisition reticle set up. The Sharpshooter MIL reticle—which is the one I opted for—is only available in the 4-20×50 and 5-25×56 scopes. However, the Sharpshooter MOA reticle is available in all magnification ranges.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the Swampfox Warhawk 5-25x FFP.
The glass itself is great for the price point. Is it the best glass? Certainly not. But for less than $700 MSRP, it’s plenty clear with a true-to-color view and little hazing as you get higher in magnification. The glass quality proved to be more than adequate for the type of shooting I used the Warhawk for—punching paper at 100 yards and smacking steel out to 600 yards—so it should be plenty for most other consumers as well. The main thing the folks at Swampfox said is that they did not want to compromise on the glass. When you compare this to something like the Vortex Venom, the glass and features are much better.
Overall, the 34mm tube lets in plenty of light and allows the shooter to see what they’re looking at, even in dusk or pre-dawn shooting conditions, and it’s clear when you dial in the diopter and parallax adjustments as needed. Like most modern-day scopes, it’s fully multi-coated, anti-fog and hydrophobic; I’ve shot it on cold days and unseasonably warm days with no fogging, hazing or other issues.
The reticle is one of the sticking points for me on the Warhawk 5-25x FFP, as it’s a bit small and ill-defined on lower power. I found myself cranking up the magnification at shorter distances more than I usually would to get a MIL reading (yes, I shoot MIL dot, not MOA). Only the center of the reticle is illuminated rather than the whole thing, which I have mixed feelings about. While yes, I only need the contrast on the middle of the reticle, it can be a little distracting on lower magnification settings. The MIL grid (seen below) should be familiar to most, if not all shooters, and makes holdovers and ranging easy. They even include a little booklet to give new shooters a crash course in the wonders of milliradians.
Warhawk 5-25x FFP Features
Out of the box, it comes with a variety of goodies—sunshade, lens cloths, manual and 0.1-MIL tactical turrets that are much easier to zero than other scopes in this price range (ahem, Vortex). To adjust them, just unscrew the top with an included plastic tool or flathead screwdriver and line up the 0 with the hash mark. Boom, re-zeroed. No need to use another piece like a revstop insert. The eyepiece focus and adjustable parallax are on par with many other scopes on the market. While the glass isn’t in Strike Eagle 5-25x territory, that’s also several hundred dollars more. I think for a $600 scope, the Warhawk punches above its weight class.
It also includes a honeycomb glare reducer for the front of the scope, a nice addition for hunting or a tactical application that I didn’t know it would come with. What’s more, it has a 1-meter submersion rating, something that will definitely be appreciated on a hunting rifle setup. Another small detail that I welcomed is that the scope came with flip caps instead of a bikini cover (which I always lose).
Turrets And Controls
The turrets are quick and intuitive tactical turrets, but they do feel a bit less crisp than some other manufacturers I’ve used. They click in and out easily, but there is a bit of “plasticiness” when you adjust. The magnification is hard to work at first, but if you install one of the included throw levers, it mitigates that and breaks in over time.
The parallax is spot on, where targets at known ranges come into clear view when you dial in the distance, and long shots appear clear when you start dialing it to infinity. The illumination knobs have 12 settings, and one little feature I really enjoy is that in between each power setting the reticle turns off. This means that you don’t need to fully rotate it back to the space between 0 and 12 every time. Just one click in either direction and she’s off.
Mounting The Warhawk
Probably one of the most impressive things was Swampfox’s cantilever mount system. I threw this on an AR-15 with an 18-inch barrel for precision work, and it’s held zero and hasn’t moved. Even after a precision rifle match or two where my gun got banged around, I’m still shooting 0.5-MOA with match-grade 77-grain rounds. They also have rings that you can utilize for mounting the scope on a bolt gun if that tickles your fancy.
Overall, for the money, and for those of you that like me were just dipping your foot into the long-range competitive shooting game, you could do worse than the Swampfox Warhawk 5-25x. It gives you plenty of optionality and scope for the money. Is it something you’ll outgrow? Eventually. But you also won’t have buyer’s remorse for spending a mortgage payment on that Nightforce you never use.
While it’s not the best glass, nor the crispest adjusting scope, it has plenty of features for a casual precision shooter or an entry-level scope for a budding long-range shooter. And hell, I’d use this for hunting since it’s pretty solidly built and has a 50,000-round warranty, very similar to Vortex’s VIP. If you’re looking at scopes from Vortex, Primary Arms, and similar manufacturers, you should give the Warhawk a look as well.
Swampfox Warhawk 5-25×56 FFP Specs:
- Magnification: 5-25x
- Tube Diameter: 34mm
- Objective Lens Diameter: 56mm
- Exit Pupil (mm): 7.1mm (5x)-2.2mm (25x)
- Eye Relief (in.): 3.82-3.03″
- FOV @ 100 Yards (ft): 24.4′ (5x)-4.6′ (25x)
- Click Value: 0.25 MOA/0.1 MIL-10 MIL
- Parallax Setting: 15 yards to infinity
- Travel Per Rotation: 100 Clicks/25 MOA
- Max Elevation Adjustment: 90 MOA
- Max Windage Adjustment: 90 MOA
- Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated/Anti-fog/Hydrophobic
- Battery: Side-mounted CR2032 Battery
- Reticle: Sharpshooter MOA/MIL
- Focal Plane: First Focal Plane
- Fast Focus Diopter: Yes, -2 to +2
- Turret Style: Push/Pull Locking Turrets with Zero Reset
- Length: 15.2 inches
- Weight: 38.4 ounces
- Waterproof Rating: IPX7
- Impact Resistance: 1,000 G Forces
More Optic Reviews:
NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Storm Tactical Printable Target Pack
62 Printable MOA Targets with DOT Drills – Rifle Range in YARDS This impressive target pack from our friends at Storm Tactical contains 62 printable targets for rifle and handgun range use. Target grids and bullseye sizes are in MOA. Ideal for long-range shooting!
Subscribe to the Gun Digest email newsletter and we’ll send your print-at-home target pack right away. Just enter your email address below.