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Swampfox Tomahawk II 1-6x LPVO Review – Range-Tested!

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How is the Tomahawk II an improvement from the Tomahawk I?

Can Swampfox pack in all these “upgrades” without compromising on something else?

mounted tomahawk ii scope
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

I’ve been field testing the Swampfox Tomahawk II 1-6x scope to answer these questions and to conduct my own secret squirrel agenda to determine if it’s an entry-level or mid-range scope.

In other words, my Tomahawk 2 review covers the optics, build, tracking, mounting, and more to see if it’s a cheap scope playing dress up or if it’s a mid-range scope at the entry-level price point.

Here’s my official report.  

Quick Overview...

What I Like: Optical quality

What I Don’t Like: Push part of locking turrets

Best Uses: Hunting, Target Shooting, Some Competition, Budget Tactical Scope, Small to Heavy Caliber Rifles, SFP Reticles, Illumination

  • Magnification: 1-6x
  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Coatings: FMC, Hydrophobic, Anti-fog
  • FOV: 120.43-20.9 ft/100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.5-3.4”
  • Adjustments: ½ MOA
  • Dimensions: 10.6” (L) / 21 oz

My Verdict: With a retail price under $500, the Tomahawk II has the right to boast value with its many high-end features. With two reticle options and colors that include amber and blue, push/pull locking turrets, intermittent off illumination, and more, the Gen 2 Tomahawk is a feature-packed deal.

Why Trust Me?

After hundreds of hours of hand-testing riflescopes in the field and on the hunt, and thousands more hours researching, writing, photographing and creating videos about them, I feel I have earned the title of expert when it comes to optics!

Optics are not just my passion, but also my full-time job!

I get my hands on as many of the optics I test as possible (through buying, borrowing or begging!) and run them through their paces to make sure they will perform out in field.

Check out our optics testing process here.

Over a decade of experience plinking, hunting, trouble-shooting my own optics & rifle needs, AR-15 classes, trainings, and more has been integral in putting together this Swampfox Tomahawk II scope review.

Who is the Swampfox Tomahawk II Best Suited to?

tomahawk ii whats in the box
What's in the box? Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Swampfox Tomahawk II is for shooters who want an LPVO with a reticle in the SFP for close quarter use at an affordable price point.

Swampfox made some changes to the Tomahawk series that has resulted in the new Tomahawk II scope available in the 1-4x and 1-6x configurations. It has a price tag that remains consistent with Swampfox’s mission statement to design “optics that won’t break the bank.”

The Tomahawk II is ideal for those who only use and want MOA as there isn’t a MIL version. With night vision compatible illumination settings, you could use it with NODS. Although it can technically be taken out to 550 yards with the 5.56 NATO, I think its strengths lie in its CQB performance up to about 200 yards.

How Does the Swampfox Tomahawk II Perform?

tomahawk ii at the range
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

From hands-on testing, I put the Swampfox Tomahawk II LPVO scope in the mid-range category for performance and quality. In my opinion, it’s up there with the Vortex Strike Eagle FFP and the Primary Arms GLx FFP scopes. The difference with the Tomahawk is that it’s in the SFP, and it’s priced better.

The Tomahawk II has the Guerrilla Dot BDC reticle that reminds me of the ACSS in some ways. The Guerrilla is easy to use, highly visible, and contributes to a red dot-like experience.

Parallax is fixed at 100 yards and adjustments are in ½ MOA, so there are some limitations for long-range shooting. What I mean by long-range is the max holdover on the reticle, about 500-600 yards. I think if you’re at the bench, have adequate target visibility with only 6x, and can align your eyes down the optical axis of the scope, you’ll be just fine to let those rounds fly.

However, I think the Tomahawk II is better suited to close quarter use especially given its impressive 1x performance. I can’t say that it’s absolute true 1x, but it’s darn near close. I like that Swampfox recommends a 50/200-yard zero, because I think this scope is a one-shot hitter within these ranges.

With time and ammo behind the Gen 2 Tomahawk scope, I can recommend it as an affordable competition or home defense scope and definitely as a target shooting and hunting scope. So, practically all applications short of professional use.

Please note that all through-the-scope (digiscoped) images have been sized, watermarked, and formatted which results in resolution loss. Also, almost all aberrations seen in the images are due to digiscoping struggles (lens alignment, eye relief, focusing differences, etc.).

Features & Benefits

Optical Quality

scoping antelope with tomahawk ii
Antelope just over 100 yards at 6x - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The optical quality is actually very good for an upper entry-level slash low mid-range scope. I thought there’d be some major fisheye, but there’s not. It’s very comfortable and easy to use with two eyes open to run this rig at 1x magnification all the time.

It has close to true 1x performance, but I’d say it’s probably more like 1.1x power. The Tomahawk II at 1x is impressively better than most other LPVOs I’ve used which are more like 1.2x.

With two eyes open, it really does feel like I’m using a red dot sight rather than a riflescope. Even with the magnification cranked up to 6x, I could use it with two eyes open quite comfortably – now that was unexpected.

I don’t think Swampfox uses ED elements in their optical assemblies, but the chromatic aberration is practically non-existent, and the overall resolution is commensurate for its price point. However, this could be due to the very low magnification range anyway.

Whatever is cause for the better-than-expected optical quality, Swampfox is using better glass materials and has incorporated a new step in their manufacturing process. They now account for co-axial lens alignment. This process contributes to some aberration reduction, so this is likely why we’re seeing clearer glass in the Tomahawk II.

Overall, I’d say the optics are terrific for an LPVO at its price point. It’s clear, has neutral color fidelity, and has close to true 1x performance that makes it extremely easy to use. I also want to mention it’s larger than life FOV. With 120-21 ft at 100 yards, it’s one of best LPVO scopes for its wide FOV. The optics are clearly my favorite thing about it.

Build Quality

water testing tomahawk ii
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Tomahawk 2 feels like a tank. It weighs 20.2 oz according to Swampfox, but I got 21 oz. Maybe I should've taken off the flip-up caps when weighing it. Who cares? Seriously. With the flip-up caps off and the diopter dialed all the way in, I got a length of 10.6” - a match for what's in the specs.

Though the Tomahawk 2 feels like a weight, it’s not outside the norm for an LPVO, but it is a little heavy for a 1-6x only by a couple ounces, if that. Seriously, don't split hairs over it.

The finish has held up well to normal abuse from field and range testing. It has snowed, rained, and been muddy over my hands-on time with the Tomahawk, so it’s seen its fair share of Winter weather.

I’m actually impressed with the coatings on the lenses. Those have held up well considering that I couldn’t quite get to the very edges inside the bells to dry some drops. This bothered me because I make it a point to avoid leaving wet spots on the lenses as this can ruin the coatings. After all that, the glass is squeaky clean.

Though the Tomahawk II has an IPX7 rating, I didn’t feel the need to give it a bath. I got it banged up and wet while I was shooting in the woods – this is something more likely to happen than anything else.

In total, the Tomahawk II isn’t lacking in quality. It’s a solid scope made with good materials, and it certainly feels like it will take a thrashing. It’s well-made enough that it could be a daily beater on a truck gun to handling the rigorous and repeated abuse of competition shooting.

Turrets & Tracking

swampfox tomahawk ii turrets
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

There’s a huge difference between LPVO scopes in the $200 range and LPVO scopes in the $400-ish range, and I’d say a lot of that has to do with the turrets and tracking accuracy.

I couldn’t be happier with the turret performance of the Swampfox Tomahawk II. They’re crisp, tactile, and positive. I really like the audible feedback as well!

Now the Tomahawk I had exposed turrets and Swampfox upgraded a few things here. The windage turret is now capped and the elevation turret has a push/pull locking mechanism. With windage capped, you won’t have to worry about any unintentional adjustments. With the locking elevation turret, you won’t have to worry about that either. In fact, try all you want to make adjustments with it in the locked position, you won’t gain anything except for sore skin from twisting.

Just like the older Tomahawk, the turrets are resettable to zero, and adjustments are in ½ MOA. The tracking tests were fantastic. I’ve shot the Tomahawk II with an M&P 15/22 and a Patrolman in 5.56 NATO and am very pleased with the tracking accuracy of the scope.

Guerrilla Dot BDC SFP Reticle

swampfox guerrilla dot bdc sfp reticle
No illumination (left) vs illumination (right) - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Tomahawk II scope I’ve been field testing has the Guerrilla Dot BDC reticle . With it being in the SFP I expect it to be highly visible regardless of the conditions. Combined with a superb illumination system, I can confidently report that it is.

If you’re using the BDC portion of the reticle, you’ll need to be at max mag to use it. With 6x magnification and shoulder ranging bars to help, it’s a basic setup for taking the Tomahawk out to those middling distances.

The center dot is round and crisp. I actually feel like I’m shooting with a red dot sight but in a riflescope. The Tomahawk's tried and tested 1x performance is intrinsic to a high quality two-eyes open experience.

The Guerrilla Dot BDC reticle is calibrated for the 5.56 NATO round putting that last holdover at 550 yards with a 50/200-yard zero. It’ll also work for the .308 Win/7.62x51 155gr loads to 610 yards.

I like the shoulder ranging bars. I tested its auto-ranging at 100 yards on an 18” target, and to my eyes, it was perfect. The reticle is technically calibrated for a 20” (wide) target, but I’m not really using it for exactness – we have rangefinders for that. The subsequent ranging bars would put the target at 300, 400, and 500 yards.

Overall, I think the reticle works very well for CQB in an LPVO. Being in the SFP is a significant benefit because of how big it is at minimum power (1x mag). The ring draws the eye to the center, and you’re on target all the way to 200 yards with a 50-yard zero. With the BDC crosshairs and a 1 MOA dot, it could be used for those longer shots when needed.

Illumination Quality

In my field-testing experience, scope illumination can’t be compared to red dot sight illumination. The Swampfox Tomahawk II is not as bright as a red dot, but its max illumination is far better than any other LPVO I’ve officially tested to date.

It’s very bright at max illumination of which there are 12. It's worth pointing out that many LPV scopes have up to 11 settings - max. As part of the new upgrades, the illumination knob has intermittent off positions, and it’s incredibly convenient to manually power it down.

Between the knurling, tactile feedback, and positive movement of the knob, I didn’t need to take my eyes off the sight picture to use it and there were no unintentional changes to the illumination.

I liked switching between max illumination and black (no illumination) for roaming around in urban terrain during daylight hours. I preferred no illumination while sighting-in and shooting at the range.

Swampfox tomahawk ii illumination knob
Illumination setting 12 - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Levels 1 and 2 brightness are intended as night vision compatible settings. I think it’ll be acceptable (maybe a little on the bright side) for this purpose because they are visible in lowlight conditions. Those dim settings will be perfect for indoor conditions like buildings where the illumination won’t bloom and wash out the FOV.

Overall, the variation of illumination intensity is applaudable. There’s a brightness setting that’ll work for the conditions you may find yourself in when black isn’t enough. Though I found black to be suitable for most of my needs, the illumination will prove advantageous for many.

Mounting: Freedom MSR Mount

swampfox freedom msr mount
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Swampfox Tomahawk II has a 30 mm tube, so it will need a 30 mm cantilever mount or 30 mm rings. Knowing I was mounting it to a flat-top rifle, I used Swampfox’s Freedom Mount which put the scope at a 1.6” height and a 2” forward offset.

The Freedom Mount isn’t a quick release mount, nor does it have thumb nuts for tool-less mounting. I don’t mind because Swampfox opted for mounting security over mounting convenience here.

It has two recoil lugs along its 2.75” (approx.) mounting length. The mounting crossbolts are a huge T25 size and torqued down to 25 in-lbs on the rail. The ring screws are T10, and I like how they’re sunk into the rings. According to Swampfox, these are torqued down to 10 in-lbs. Oops – I didn’t bother to check this and torqued mine down between 15-18 in-lbs… it’s fine.

The mount has held up very well so far, and the Tomahawk II has a very good fit. Even though it’s beefy and robust, I like that it’s also very lightweight at only 5.5 oz, and I recommend it for use with other scopes too. It should be able to mount scopes with up to 56 mm objectives and still clear the rail.

Moving Parts

Tomahawk ii diopter
Diopter & rear flip-up cap - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The diopter has softer knurling, but I like that it’s wide, so it’s easy to grip it. It has good resistance to adjust it for your vision. Though I don’t think it needs more resistance than what it has, I would caution you to watch what you’re doing when you put the flip-up cap back on – you could unintentionally twist the diopter out of position when re-installing the cap.

The magnification ring is stiff, but because it’s so wide and the knurling is raised, it’s decent to use without a throw lever. I still really like that a throw lever is included though. It’s the band style, so you can put it anywhere on the magnification ring. It remains secure via the tension created from joining the connecting ends with a tiny screw.

As far as installing it, it’s super easy, but you will want to pay attention to where you position the lever. I initially installed it over the ‘1x’ setting but have since moved it to the ‘2.5x’ setting. To get from 1x to 6x is almost a 180-degree rotation, so in the 1x position, the lever hit the rail, and I couldn’t quite get to max mag. In the 2.5x setting, it moves to a max of 90 degrees, so it’s not going to hit the upper receiver in either direction.

swampfox flip up caps
Flip-up caps - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The flip-up caps are awesome. They fit the scope very well without it being too difficult to put on, and not once have they come off unintentionally. I like the positive snap I get when I cap them in place which is easy to do. Though they’re not multi-position flip-up caps, I really like how tight the springs are because of the way the caps flick back when I open them. Obviously, they’re not quiet caps and definitely not silent like a scope cover, but they fit good, have tight seals, will keep dust out, and they work. I like them.

On paper, the Tomahawk 2 has 3.5-3.4” of eye relief. With my own crude measurements, I got almost 4.5” at 1x and about 3-3.5” at 6x. At the range, I remember messing with the brim of my hat at max power to avoid it hitting the ocular bell.

With that said, I have zero complaints with the eye relief. The eyebox is fussy at max 6x but if you’re holding over, you’ll take the time to get a full FOV to make an accurate shot anyways.

Aesthetic Appeal

tomahawk black out detail
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

For those who have heard me rant over the years about ugly logos and too much white lettering on optics, you can likely guess that I’m pleased with the black-out logo and lettering on the Tomahawk II. It’s there, and it’s subtle.

Obviously, I like the simplicity and the subdued but intentional attention to detail here. This is why the Tomahawk II has what I call ‘tacticool class.’ It’s tough, it’s ready, and it looks classy while doing it.

Though there’s a nice touch of subtlety to the logo aesthetics, I must call attention to the appeal of the beefy turret caps and the extra rigid knurling on all the moving parts. Complete with the Swampfox Freedom MSR mount, it’s a badass looking rig. I like.

Limitations of the Swampfox Tomahawk II

Push Part of the Locking Turrets

swampfox tomahawk ii elevation turret
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

I’m a fan of the push/pull locking concept, but I do think that the ‘pull’ part could stand to be exaggerated and the push part could be stiffer.  

While I was dialing at the range (in prone), I didn’t realize I was ‘pushing’ while I was making adjustments, so I kept locking the turret as I was trying to use it. I felt like it was too easy to push the turret down while using it.

Once I realized my mistake, I paid closer attention to this, but it was still annoying. However, once you’re zeroed in, you won’t really need to deal with it will you? At least you know you won’t accidentally lose zero because of unintentional turret adjustments – in the locked position, it ain’t happening.

Popular Questions About the Swampfox Tomahawk II

What is the BFO Reticle?

The new BFO (Bright Fiber Optic) reticle is a primary feature that sets it apart from the now discontinued Tomahawk I scope. It’s a BDC reticle with an illuminated center dot. In the 1-4x scope, the dot is 0.9 MOA in size while the dot in the 1-6x scope is 0.6 MOA in size.
It’s not a fiber optic reticle that has an exposed fiber optic that ‘gathers’ ambient light. The BFO refers to the tiny fiber optic tube installed in the reticle assembly that emits the illumination. It’s the delivery method of how you see an illuminated dot at the center of the crosshairs which is powered by a CR2032 battery.
The BFO reticle sort of reminds me of Steiner’s P3TR reticle which I really like. So, even though I haven’t had my hands on the Tomahawk with the BFO, I think it’s ideal for CQB and tactical engagements – an excellent option for the LPVO.

Does the Swampfox Scope come with a Cantilever Mount?

The Swampfox Tomahawk II comes with flip-up lens caps, throw lever, huge microfiber lens cloth, CR2032 battery, scope and reticle manuals, wrench for the throw lever, and a multi-purpose wrench for other components on the scope. The Swampfox scope does not come with an included cantilever mount.

Where is the Swampfox Tomahawk II Scope Made?

Swampfox Optics is based out of Colorado in the USA where the design development and engineering happens. The manufacturing and assembly are done by an OEM optics factory in China. The Tomahawk II riflescope is made in China and is stated so on the box.

What is the Warranty on the Swampfox Tomahawk II?

The manufacturer-backed warranty on the Tomahawk II 1-6x consists of two parts: limited lifetime and 10-year coverage. The lifetime warranty covers manufacturing and material defects while 10-year coverage applies to the LED emitter (illumination system).

Best Affordable 1-6x LPVO!

swampfox tomahawk ii lpvo
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

In view of its field performance during hands-on testing, I praise the Tomahawk II as one of the best affordable 1-6x LPVO scopes available. The mid-tier upgrades have definitely put it in a class above the rest.

I like what I’ve seen, and I like what I’ve got from the Tomahawk II. I think it’s ideal for CQB use, and the red dot style reticle is consummate with the optical system’s impressive 1x performance.  

For the money, the Swampfox Tomahawk II offers a lot of bang for the buck with convenience feature upgrades and quality improvements from the mechanics to the optical system. Compared to cheap scopes, it’s a fine example of what ‘more’ means when the advice of “spend more to get more” is given.

Tina with the Swampfox Tomahawk II
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Many thanks to Swampfox Optics for sending me this riflescope to field test. Please note, even though this product was provided by the manufacturer, all opinions expressed are my own and are not in any way influenced by any manufacturers.

scope digiscoping rig
Tina's digiscoping rig used for all firearm optics - NOT firearm mounted for digiscoping purposes in public places - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Further Reading

Photo of author

Tina Fa'apoi - Expert Optics Tester

Tina is a renowned expert in optics, having written hundreds of articles for Target Tamers over the past eight years and owning an extensive collection of optic's including binoculars, rifle scopes, red dots, spotting scopes and rangefinders. With years of experience in creating instructional videos and field-testing various optics, Tina brings a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge to the field.

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