[Hands-On Review] Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x

With low-powered variable optics (LPVO) being all the rage for target, competition, and defensive shooting, the industry has answered.

More companies are offering economical optics for just about anyone.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO (2)
Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x24mm LPVO

Enter Swampfox Optics, a relative newcomer to the firearm optics scene. The company was founded in July of 2018 and has already made a name for themselves.

Last summer, I reviewed two of their red dot offerings with the Liberator and Kingslayer.

They sent me two of the newest LPVO models in their Arrowhead line. Their 1-10x was used on a DSA SA58 review a few months ago, and I evaluated the 1-8x.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO
Arrowhead and Independence mount are shipped in attractive packaging

Between these two optics, I have spent over 6 months with the Arrowhead and nearly 3,000 rounds.

For an LPVO with an MSRP at $550 for the 1-10x and street prices at well under $500 for the whole lineup, how does the Arrowhead hold up? I put it to the test with drop testing, box testing, and water submersion.

370
at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Lets get at it!

Table of Contents

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Aesthetics and Function

First impressions with the Arrowhead line were positive. The aesthetics are superb, and nothing comes off as cheap with the LPVO.

It also has its own style and doesn’t come off as a rebranded import optic. Even the murdered-out company and model logo looks professional and stands apart from the competition. 

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO
Blacked-out model and manufacturer tags on the Arrowhead is a nice change of pace.

The optic was designed from the ground up by Swampfox, and they did a great job. Besides the fact that it looks good with its 30mm tube, and murdered-out logos, function-wise it is smart and meets the demands of shooters.

The first thing that caught my attention is the INCLUDED throw lever for the Arrowhead. At this point in 2020, this should be the standard with LPVOs. It is also sized just right IMO.

Too often, aftermarket throw levers can be too large.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO
That throw lever though… sized perfect and locked down like a bank vault.

It uses a four-bolt locking system that is exceptionally strong. I installed mine with a dab of blue Loctite. Rotation of the magnification is positive and moves relatively smoothly.

Function wise, the turrets are also well-designed. Whether you decide to go with an MOA or MRAD model, either model utilizes a push-pull locking turret cap that is easy to re-zero.

There are no special tools needed to re-zero the turrets which keep the system simple. A quarter will do the job.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO Side view
Push/pull locking turrets make for a quick and easy change of zero.

The illumination knob has intermittent off settings, which again needs to be an industry standard. This allows a shooter to stay in between normal operating illuminations without having to spin the dial around like you are on the Price Is Right.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO Side view
Close up of the illumination adjustment knob with intermittent off settings

Speaking of illumination, for its price point the Arrowhead is very bright. It isn’t at the same level as the retina scorching Aimpoint T2, but it is considerably brighter than my Trijicon Accupower LPVO.

It has 10 daytime settings and 2 NV settings.

Lastly, the Guerilla Dot reticles are intelligently designed and work well. I would prefer a little smaller reticle, but that is my personal preference.

The 1-10x that was sent used the BDC Long reticle that uses stadia lines and chevrons for holdovers.

It is calibrated for a couple of different calibers such as 5.56 NATO and .308 Win.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO Reticle
Manufacturer’s graphic showing the Guerilla Dot BDC Long (left), and MOA Long (right)

The 1-8x was the MOA Long. It uses stadia lines marked at 10, 20, and 30 MOA, and the reticle is calibrated at its highest magnification since it’s SFP. With a ballistic app, you could plot out holdovers for your specific cartridge.

Usability

What makes a great optic isn’t always the bells and whistles. If it feels like work to use it, ribbons and bows won’t save it.

Luckily, the Arrowhead performs in usability well above its price-point.

Clarity is above par with other LPVOs in similar price ranges. Bullet holes at 8x and 10x are visible at 100 yards.

The lack of distortion at 1x is noticeably better compared to other optics in its price point.

There is little to no “fish bowling” at the edges, even at distances of 15 feet.

Daylight bright reticle with the Swampfox Arrowhead at 1x.

Eye relief is generous at 1x and also at maximum magnification. Moving your head back and forth gives a lot of room while still allowing a proper sight picture through the scope.

This allows a lot of forgiveness when you need to quickly get a cheek weld for fast shots.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO at 8x
Magnified at 8x the eye box tightens, but doesn’t require change of cheek weld.

Listed on the Swampfox website, eye relief for the 1-8x is 3.35-3.54″. It felt much longer than that at 1x so I measured from the diopter to the front of my eye.

At full sight picture, the measurement was nearly 4.5” to my eye, and I could move to roughly 3” before getting too close. 

This was after I adjusted the diopter to my eye so YMMV, but you still have a good bit of wiggle room for cheek weld. Side to side play is also good for its price point, so the eye box makes the Arrowhead very user friendly.

MODELMAGNIFICATIONFOV @ 100 YARDS (6x)MSRP
EOTech Vudu1-6x16.7’$1399
Vortex Viper PST1-6x18.8’$899
Swampfox Optics1-6x19.27’$439

Field of view (FOV) is also much larger than other optics within its price-point. Comparing the Arrowhead to two optics at higher price points shows that the Arrowhead is leading the way at its price point.

While there are other features that dictate price, I found it interested that the Arrowhead is able to have a larger FOV than other LPVO’s at a much higher cost.

Bring the Pain

In my opinion, there is a lot of great things going on with the Arrowhead lineup as far as handling and aesthetics, but that doesn’t mean anything if it’s a pig with lipstick.

I went about putting it through some tests to verify that the optic performed. First up was a box test.

If you are unfamiliar with a box test, it is a way to test the accuracy of the turrets.

Once the optic is zeroed, the shooter makes adjustments for another known distance target, while maintaining the same point of impact (POI). It’s easy to do with a paper target that has separate targets at each corner.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO Target
Box test shooting 6 groups around the target using the same point of aim at the center target.

I fired 5 shot groups starting at the center target at 100 yards. Clockwise, I moved corner to corner adjusting the turrets while still aiming at the center target.

With each adjustment, I placed 5 shot groups at each target, finally returning to zero with my 6th group. Keeping in mind this is not a precision optic, I consider this a success.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO Target (1)
Targets shot at 1x, 4x, and 8x magnification with the Arrowhead

I also tested POI shift across different magnification settings at 100 yards. Starting at 1x, I shot a 5 shot group, then went to 4x, and ended at 8x.

POI stayed basically the same accounting for human error, and groups tightened up as I reached maximum magnification.

To test the hydrophobic nature of the optic, I chose to go with a scientific approach.

I used my kids’ baby pool. It was a hot day and not only was it refreshing for my soul, but the optic remained perfectly fine.

I did not push the limits of the IPX7 waterproof level, for most people, this is as wet as their optic will get.

Swampfox Arrowhead 1-8x LPVO
Waterproof – CHECK!

Drop testing was standard. The rifle was tipped over multiple times landing on the turrets under the weight of the rifle at different angles.

It was also tossed into a field a few times as well. Every single time, the mount and optic combo held zero at 50 yards and showed no real POI change out to 200 yards on steel plates.

As far as recoil testing, between multiple rifles of varying calibers and nearly 3,000 rounds, I had no loss of zero.

The DSA SA58 is the “grandfather” of the SCAR and I noticed no issues whatsoever so that says a lot.

DSA FAL Full Look
DSA FAL with a Swampfox Arrowhead

As far as the mount goes, I had no issues with installing/uninstalling on multiple rifles.

Overall, there isn’t much I would change with the Arrowhead. Considering its cost, everything is ahead of its class and exceeds its price-point for function and usability.

The warranty is their standard 50,000 round limited warranty that does not cover loss, theft, or deliberate damage.

By the Numbers

Aesthetics – 5/5

This isn’t your typical import optic. With the murdered-out model and company logo, it breaks away from the pack.

Function – 4.5/5

Between the locking turrets and the awesome throw lever, the Arrowhead scored high marks. The reticle could be sized a little smaller, but that is more personal preference.

Not to mention the fact they have a 1-10x LPVO that doesn’t break your bank account! The reticle could always be brighter though. 

Usability – 5/5

At its price point, I have yet to handle an LPVO that was this user friendly. With the large FOV, and forgiving eye relief and eye box, the Arrowhead sits well in front of competitors in its price range.

370
at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Durability – 5/5

After nearly 3,000 rounds and a fair share of bumps and drops, the mount and the Arrowhead proved to handle itself well and hold zero. After 6 months, the turrets seemed to maintain accuracy from being played with on multiple rifles.

Overall – 4.75/5

Conclusion

The Arrowhead LPVO from Swampfox exceeds its price point in usability and function which isn’t common with imported optics. Clear glass, forgiving eye box, and nice aesthetics, I would highly recommend buying an Arrowhead for your next sub $500 LPVO.

Have you checked out Swampfox Optics yet? Maybe handled their new Arrowhead, or used their economical offering with their Tomahawk? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to take a look at the Best AR-15 Scopes & Optics and the Best 1-6x LPVOs!

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4 Leave a Reply

  • Mitchell

    Picked up their 1-10 for my match rifle and couldn't be happier. Will definitely be picking up another eventually

    6 days ago
  • Allan J

    I currently have 2 Swampfox scopes in Kentucky Long FFP 3-18×50 and 5-30×56. I have another in 2-12x44 coming in. I can't be any more happier with the quality and price points especially with the mil/LEO discount. Originally it was meant to be a beater... But subsequently will be replacing my Leupold Mk4's...

    3 weeks ago
  • Confused Foreign Girl

    I just bought their 1-10. I previously had the Nikon 1-4 on my rifle. It feels really beefy but I must say that the Nikon had better target acquiring. With the swampfox if you move you’re head too much you can’t see through it as easily as the Nikon. Also agree on the retricule size, it’s pretty large.

    3 weeks ago
    • Ken Whitmore

      Even at 1x? Eye box tends to tighten at full magnification, but I felt the eye box was very forgiving at lower magnification.

      3 weeks ago
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