Review: PAO 3-12x44 IR PA ‘SWAT’ scope

PUBLISHED: 11:58 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:58 09 October 2019

Oversized Push-LOK turrets add to the scope’s appeal

Oversized Push-LOK turrets add to the scope’s appeal


Fancy a scope upgrade? This little gem from The Shooting Party has got our editor all excited!

What a lot you got!

This Professional Airgun Optics (PAO) 3-12x44 IR PA 'SWAT' scope is an absolute gem. Costing just £159.99 you get whole lot of scope and extras for your money, without an ounce of scrimping on quality. It's actually a 'Mark II' version of the hugely popular original 'SWAT' scope, with quite a few improvements to boot.

I couldn't believe it when I opened the box. Inside is the main body of the scope, plus a bag of goodies to complement it. After my observations with the F1 scope a few months ago, the guys at The Shooting Party came back to me instantly to inform 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.

This scope even comes complete with a set of quality match-grade, two-piece high mounts and a couple of Allen keys - it really is the complete package!

The sidewheel is sturdy and smoothThe sidewheel is sturdy and smooth

What's a SWAT?

The next item in the bag is where the 'SWAT' name comes in (Side Wheel Adjustable Turret). This 10cm diameter wheel has a 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.

The zoom ring and fast-focus eyepiece are smooth tooThe zoom ring and fast-focus eyepiece are smooth too

MKII improvements

I've already talked about the rheostat, which has been repositioned from its place on the original scope, and this new rheostat provides three different colours of illumination, including 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, 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, and the clarity is superb, even in low light conditions.

It comes pre-mounted on match-grade, two-piece mountsIt comes pre-mounted on match-grade, two-piece mounts

Rock solid

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.

Simply pop in the battery (supplied) and you’re offSimply pop in the battery (supplied) and you’re off

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.

Editor's verdict of the Professional Airgun Optics (PAO) 3-12x44 IR PA 'SWAT' scope

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!


Chassis: 30mm

Optical system: 3-12x

Objective: 44mm

Reticle: Half mil dot

Illumination: Red, blue and green

Focus/parallax: Side 10yds to infinity

Length: 305mm

Weight: 675g


RRP: £159.99


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