Gear Review: Swampfox Trihawk 3X Prism Sight

Swampfox Trihawk Prism Sight

Travis Pike for TTAG

I’ve been a big fan of fixed power prism sights since my time behind an ACOG. I’ve also appreciated their simplicity, their compact and lightweight design along with a hair of magnification. Following on their Blade 1X Prism optic, I received the Swampfox Trihawk, a 3X fixed power prism sight that’s due to begin shipping next month.

The Trihawk is a simple optic as most prism sights are. One of the main benefits to me is I can buy a prism sight, toss it on my gun, and I’m ready to go. No mounts or rings needed. When you open the box, you’ll see your optic, a honeycomb anti-reflection device, flip-up lens caps, a sweet little tool for adjustments, and tethered adjustment caps.

Swampfox Trihawk Prism Sight

Well placed battery compartment frees up peripheral vision (Travis Pike for TTAG)

This 3x30mm sight is a healthy-sized optic. This isn’t a compact prism scope and it benefits from its full-size design. Power is provided by a CR123A battery, which can last between 3,000 and 40,000 hours, depending on the brightness setting used. The battery housing is built into the mount, which is smart positioning. It keeps the battery out of your sight and keeps your peripheral vision clear of a battery compartment.

The Trihawk Reticle

The glass-etched reticle is always there. If your battery dies, you can still use your optic. The glass-etched reticle can be illuminated and comes in either red or green. There are ten brightness settings, with setting number 2 being night vision compatible. If you leave the optic on, it will auto shut-off after 225 seconds. Once it senses movement, the optic snaps right back to the last illumination setting. 

Swampfox Trihawk Prism Sight reticle

The Reticle and it’s BDC markings (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The Trihawk’s reticle design is also brilliant. It incorporates a three-quarter circle that illuminates beautifully. When using the optic up close and personal with an occluded shooting method, the bright three-quarter ring is highly visible and very fast on the target. It makes steering the reticle on target quick and straightforward for rapid shooting.

You also get a 5.56 BDC for easy bullet drop calculations. BDCs are somewhat controversial, but on a prism optic they make a lot of sense. On long-range optics, maybe it seems a little silly, but on a 3X optic, I think it’s perfect. 

How’s the Clarity?

For such affordable glass, it’s surprisingly clear. The lens itself delivers a very clear, high definition picture. The clarity extends from edge to edge without any blurriness along the edges. I mentioned this isn’t a compact prism sight, and full size has its advantages. The Trihawk gives you a super-wide field of view and provides you with a 52.4-foot view at 100 yards.

For comparison, 3X prism sights from Vortex and Burris provide only a 32-foot field of view at 100 yards. This massive increase in FOV makes it really hard to go back to a standard prism sight with a regular field of view.

Swampfox Trihawk Prism Sight

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

Behind the optic, you get a very clear visualization of the reticle and the chevron that’s used for 50/200 yard shooting is very easy to see. The brightness is just bright enough for bright day time use.

At 50 to 100 yards, you can use the three-quarter circle portion of the reticle to be fast on target, as long as the target is rather large. One thing I love about prism sights is at 50 yards I can rapidly fire two shots to a man-sized target’s body and then swap my focus and use the precise chevron to score a well-aimed headshot.

Optical Ergonomics

The controls are placed forward of the adjustment knobs on top of the Trihawk and virtually flush with the unit. The buttons are brain dead simple. The up button turns the brightness up, and the down button does the opposite. The controls are just a push buttons that provide a bit of tactile feedback.

The turrets are capped and tethered. You’ll need something with flathead or a cartridge to make adjustments, and the included Swampfox tool is convenient for this role. The adjustments click as they should, and zeroing the optic for a 50/200 zero took me four rounds total on my BRN 180 18-inch upper. The .5 MOA adjustments per click are broad and make adjustments easy.

Swampfox Trihawk Prism Sight

Simple controls and tethered caps are simple and perfect for the Trihawk (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Prism sights have a reputation for being heavy, and when compared to the micro red dots out there, they are. The Trihawk weighs 15.4 ounces. That’s roughly the same as your average full-sized red dot.

Another downside of a lot of prisms is eye relief. The ACOG famously had only 1.5 inches of eye relief and was typically derided for this. The Swampfox Trihawk does a bit better, providing 2.4 inches of eye relief. That’s still a little short, but overall not terrible or inconvenient.

Swampfox Trihawk Prism Sight

The Trihawk is perfectly suited for semi-auto carbines (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Getting behind the Trihawk and getting on target isn’t an issue. The optic is very easy to use and provides enough magnification to increase your effective precision and your ability to identify a target. The optic is clear, easy to use, and comes ready to rock and roll.

Specifications: Swampfox Trihawk 3X Prism Sight

Length: 4.55 inches
Weight: 15.4 ounces
Objective Lens Diameter: 30mm
Eye Relief: 2.4 inches
FOV at 100 Yards: 52.4 feet
Illumination Settings: 10
Adjustment Value: 0.5 MOA
MSRP: $329

Ratings (out of five stars):

Clarity * * * *
The Swampfox Trihawk is quite clear and provides good edge-to-edge clarity. The picture itself is very nice and bright and perfect for the ranges at which the Trihawk is intended to be. The glass may not keep up with a Steiner 3X prism, but that optic costs more than twice as much.

Ergonomics * * * * *
The controls are very simple, the caps are tethered, and the weight isn’t bad for a magnified optic. The 2.4-inch eye relief isn’t bad and is more forgiving than other examples. It’s lean, clean, and well designed. 

Reticle * * * * *
The design is simple, but very effective. The large illuminated three-quarter portion of the circle is quick on target and easy to engage with. The chevron and built-in BDC are crisp, but thin and unobtrusive.

Overall * * * *
The Swampfox Trihawk is a well-designed optic with a lot going for it. The price is also very nice for what you are getting compared to competitors. It punches above its weight price-wise and is an excellent, very capable optic for semi-auto carbines.

 

comments

  1. avatar edward kenway says:

    With a .223 boresight laser getting a quick zero on paper before shooting would be stupidly simple and fast. I’m assuming the BDC for this is for 55grain ball, but with a mid-range carbine good to 500m or so, it wouldn’t be much of an issue.
    Set me straight if I’m wrong.

  2. avatar American Patriot says:

    Doesn’t look bad, did I miss the part about the warranty or was it not listed?? What part of China was it made in…..Like it makes a difference.

    1. https://youtu.be/S32EwV6nqV8

      We call it the 50,000 Round Guarantee. For most people, that’s effectively a lifetime warranty. We wanted to basically dare the customer to go out and actually shoot shoot shoot and shoot their firearms with our products on them. If it breaks after the first 50k rounds, we figure you got your money’s worth, and we’ll throw you a coupon code to get a newer, better scope at a good deal. — Swampfox Mike, product marketing director guy

      1. avatar butt impailer says:

        Sounds like something a homosexual in marketing would say.

  3. avatar Eugene says:

    Review their other scopes

  4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    was it named for alice cable?

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    Looks OK..Swampfox gets fairly positive review’s. I have a red/green dot backed up with a 3X magnifier so I’m certainly sold on 3X scopes. Getting bifocals & cataract surgery so I’ll see-I hope!

    1. avatar Defens says:

      I had cataract surgery on both eyes last December. I have/had astigmatism, which was pretty bad. Red dot sights, both prism and conventional were just about unusable due to all the blurring and sparkling of the dots and reticles.

      Now my astigmatism is nearly corrected. I still wear progressive lenses, but the prism scope reticle is sharp and clear. Red dots are still a bit fuzzy, but much better.

      Hope you do well with your surgery. I was driving the next day – not really recommended, but I didn’t have a choice.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        Thanks Defens! Wore glasses as a teen and early 20’s until an ex-wife broke them. Never wore glasses again except to read until recently. It all went to he!! in my 60’s. I do have someone to drive me. And night driving is pretty poor. I don’t expect perfect vision-just better. I was a good shot 8 or 9 years ago…

  6. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Just me, but I’d subtract a star just from the weight. (I’d bet the listed weight is sans battery too)

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      The weight is in line with other prism scopes. They’re full of glass, not air, so they’re inherently heavier than red dots. They also have limited eye relief and need refocusing to use a magnifier. The tradeoff is you get reticles that are etched, so they can work without a battery and are better for astigmatism.

  7. avatar Texican says:

    Does this scope do anything better than Primary Arms or Vortex offerings?

    1. avatar Travis Pike says:

      Has a 20 foot wider field of view.

  8. avatar neiowa says:

    What is the freaking country of origin? AND wtf are reviewers TTAG so shy about disclosing/admitting it? If you’re talking up chicom shit ADMIT IT. Then we can purposely avoid financing the R&D/mfg base of the PLA/enemy of the US.

    If its Taiwan, Japan, Philippines GREAT TO KNOW.

    1. avatar Travis Pike says:

      I’ve never stated the origin of any product I review simply because its not relevant to the review. Its like asking me to say if the distributor uses Fedex or UPS, it has no effect on an honest view so it doesn’t matter.

      If your personal politics play a roll in your purchases that’s great I believe in voting with your dollar but a review is not about politics.

      There is a website called DuckDuckGo in which you can search the answer to your queries not related to the review.

      1. avatar Freedom Forever says:

        Made in China. You’re welcome

      2. avatar Baldwin says:

        Product reviews influence purchases. You have two items. One made in China, the other not. All other things being equal, which one do you buy? Place of origin not germain to a product review? U. S. dollars funding China has a direct influence on your way of life.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          always go with the chinese pangolin.

  9. avatar rocky says:

    Well, it sure looks like it’s “unobtainium” based on a quick internet search… Possibly take off a buncha stars for that.

    1. avatar Skully says:

      It is releasing in July……………. there is a lot of chatter on AR15.com about it.

    2. avatar Boil says:

      From the very first paragraph:

      “…received the Swampfox Trihawk, a 3X fixed power prism sight that’s due to begin shipping next month.”

      Gotta do more than just look at the pictures!

  10. avatar Docduracoat says:

    Do any quality red dots or prisms use a crosshairs reticle?
    I much prefer a cross for an aiming point as it does not obscure the target like a dot.
    The only cross reticle ones seem to be very cheap models.
    Any suggestions?

  11. avatar Rufus Harris says:

    How easy is it to mount on a S&W AR 15 Sport II with iron sights?

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