Dave Barham peers through the Professional Airgun Optics (PAO) 3-12 x 44 IR PA ‘SWAT’ scope, available from The Shooting Party, and finds a whole lot of scope for the money!

credit: Archant


This Professional Airgun Optics (PAO) scope is an absolute belter. Costing just £159.99 you get whole lot of scope and extras for your money, without scrimping on quality. It’s actually the ‘Mark II’ version of the hugely popular original ‘SWAT’ scope, with quite a few improvements.

After my observations with the F1 scope, the guys at The Shooting Party informed me that they had upgraded the lens covers. The ones supplied with this new scope are absolutely superb, they’re rugged and push onto each end of the scope, so they can be removed easily if desired.

credit: Archant


The ‘SWAT’ nickname comes in as (Side Wheel Adjustable Turret). This 10cm diameter wheel has a rather unique fixing via a small Allen screw with a little rubber end on it. You simply undo the screw and push the wheel over the IR dial and onto the parallax adjustment knob. The reason for the rubber-ended screw will then become apparent, because the parallax knob has diagonal grooves in it, into which the Allen screw can be tightened – rather nifty if you ask me.

The wheel is designed in such a way that it doesn’t impair the turning of the illuminated reticle dial, which is also housed on the outside of the parallax adjustment knob.

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The rheostat dial has been repositioned from its place on the original scope, and this new one provides three different colours of illumination; red, green and blue. What’s more, each colour has three different brightness settings, all changed with a simple turn of the knob. You simply insert the battery provided and off you go. There are also three ‘off’ positions on the rheostat, in between each of the colour choices.

The next improvement is the half-mil-dot reticle. The original scope had mil dots, but this one gives you more aiming points for more accurate shooting at varying distances.

The lenses are excellent quality too, being high quality, multi-coated topaz green, the clarity is superb, even in low light conditions.

credit: Archant


This scope is tough and it’s rated for all firearms including air rifles, rimfire and centrefire rifles. Constructed in 30mm tube from high-quality, aircraft-grade aluminium with a hard anodised finish, it’s shorter and lighter than the original model.

I put this scope on top of my Weihrauch HW77 within a matter of seconds. It’s a really nice touch to have the scope already levelled for you, leaving you simply to screw the base of the mounts to the rifle. It’s shockproof, waterproof, dust and fogproof too, as well as being nitrogen purged.

PAO have utilised their oversized ‘Push-LOK’ turrets on this scope. They’re easy to adjust, and the locking feature means that they don’t need to have those fiddly screw-on covers, and you can adjust your elevation and windage easily.

The magnification zoom ring is rugged with good grip, and the operation is smooth, as is the fast-focus eyepiece.

What a great little scope this is! It’s packed full of features and is extremely good quality. I’m struggling to find anything I’d change, it’s as close to perfection as you can get!

credit: Archant

3-12 x 44 IR PA ‘SWAT’scope - TECH SPECS

Chassis: 30mm

Optical System: 3-12×

Objective: 44mm

Reticle: Half Mil dot

Illumination: Red, Blue and Green

Focus/Parallax: Side 10yds to infinity

Length: 305mm

Weight: 675g

credit: Archant

RRP: £159.99

Web: www.shootingparty.uk

credit: Archant