The name Hawke Sport Optics may not be a familiar one to American shooters, but it is certainly well known in the United Kingdom, especially among air rifle shooters where other popular local names such as the notable UK brands Eley and Parker-Hale.
Due to restrictions on the types of higher-powered firearms that may be owned in the UK, airguns are extremely popular for both target shooting and hunting small game. Lamping, or spotlighting as it is known in this country, is a popular pastime and is quite often done on foot. This type of shooting demands a scope with better-than-average light gathering abilities. Nearly all of the Hawke Sport Optics range of riflescopes is listed as 'Spring Gun Rated'. If one puts a 'normal' scope on a spring-operated air rifle, it will quickly fall apart internally.
There are 11 different families of scopes produced by Hawke Sport Optics and each has a particular usage in mind. There is certainly something for just about every type of firearm use within this range.
There are three types of coatings used for the lenses depending upon the model. The HD (High Definition) coating is claimed to improve the brightness and contrast of targets. The CLS (Crystal Lens System) passes more light for shooting in lower-light situations, and the HT features fully multi-coated lenses for high performance in the lowest of light conditions. There are also six different reticules available, and some of these have an illumination system powered by a 3-volt lithium battery, with 11 levels of brightness. All Hawke scopes are manufactured with a one-inch body tube.
We were sent a variety of Hawke Sport Optic products for review. In no particular order these were the observations. The retail prices quoted were obtained from the supplying Gun Shop, and will, no doubt, vary around America.
From top to bottom; Hawke's Sport HD, Endurance and Nite-Eye scopes are purpose-built scopes and cover a wide range of uses.
This scope features a one-inch matte-black tube and quarter MOA click-adjustment turrets. There is a fast focus ring, and an eye relief distance of 3.25". The lens coating is described as CLS Gold. The field of view at 100 yards varies through the power range from 40.8 to 12.8". It weighs in at 17oz and has an overall length of a little more than 13". The illuminated reticle has 11 brightness settings, and is very handy for shooting in low-light situations. As with all Hawke scopes, it is guaranteed to be waterproof, shockproof and fogproof, and carries a limited lifetime warranty. Lens covers are provided.
RRP is $145.
This scope is designed for shooters who want to take those long-range shots, or perhaps do a bit of club competition work. It features CLS green multi-coated lenses, and Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) turrets. The ocular lens has a fast focus adjustment - there is 3.25" of eye relief - and the reticule in this model is of mil-dot layout. An optional sunshade is available. Clarity was good right up to full magnification, and the parallax adjustment tidied up any distortion. This would be a good scope for the occasional target shooter on a tight budget.
RRP is $245.
The one-piece mono-tube construction of this scope is claimed to be 25 per cent stronger than conventional scopes. The Endurance features CLS green multi-coated lenses, and a fast focus eyeball adjustment. The adjustment turrets are low-profile fingertip-style with each click valued at quarter MOA. A 30/30 reticule is used, which can be used as a rangefinder in the field. The fine cross-hairs in the centre represent 30" at 100 yards, when the scope is set at 4x. It would be ideal as a 'knockabout' scope for use on farm properties and the like.
RRP is $125.
Hawke's Varmint (top) and Airmax scopes offer plenty of magnification for the job in hand.
Hunting with airguns is very popular in the UK, but may only have a small following in America. However, a scope-equipped airgun is ideal in this country for removing feral pigeons and rats from farm sheds and the like. It requires a special type of scope to put on an air rifle, and the Airmax is specifically designed to be tough enough to cope with the recoil from spring-operated airguns. This is a nice looking scope and features CLS green lens coating, fingertip turrets and adjustable objective on the front lens. The usual 3.25" eye relief applies, and a mil-dot reticule isfitted.
RRP is $145.
What a handy scope this is for rimfires and air rifles. At 327g, it is lightweight, and features HD blue lens coatings and a 30/30 reticule. The coin slot adjusters give quarter MOA clicks. The standard adjustable eye focus is provided and the eye relief on this model is 3". The field of view at 100 yards is rated at 32 feet. Because of its size and magnification, it would be right at home on a higher-powered air rifle for ranges out to 40 yards and rimfires out to perhaps 100 yards.
RRP is $145.
These sturdy mounts come two to a pack along with three adjusting keys.
These sturdy-looking mounts would be right at home on a spring-operated air rifle, and, if they can withstand the recoil of that, then a rimfire would be no problem. We liked the four-screw system on the rings, and the twin screws through the base. These are available in various heights, and will fit mounting rails of nine to 11mm. Many rifles now have integral rails for the mounting of scope rings, and this does away with the bother of having to fit separate mounts on the action.
RRP is $30 per set.
This scope is lightweight and easy to carry, and with 15-45x magnifications, it has plenty of power in the field. The angled eyepiece is also handy when the scope is used from the lying down position.
This is a small spotting scope, which could be very handy for backpacking where space is at a premium, and it's a lightweight at only 483g. The multi-coated lenses give a field of view of 23m at 1000m at full 45x magnification. We found that focusing was critical at 45x, but by reducing this to around 35x, it was much easier. Clarity was quite good, and this scope could be quite handy at the rifle range for spotting shots from a firearm with a low-powered scope. Bullet holes at 300m were able to be seen at full magnification. It comes with a twist-out sunshade, a pan lever tripod and a carry-case.
RRP is $225.
This is a larger spotting scope and the angled eyepiece makes it ideal for range work and situations when size and weight do not matter. With 20-60x magnifications, it will cover most applications.
This is a larger spotting scope, and has greater magnification power and a larger objective lens. It comes with a small, but reasonably sturdy, tripod and pan handle. There is a twist-out sunshade, and covers for both front and rear lenses. The quality of the magnification is quite good up to around 55x, after which focusing became extremely critical. Again, 6mm bullet holes at 300m were clearly visible at full magnification. For the price, this scope offers good value for the shooter on a tight budget.
RRP is $275.
Hawke's Red Dot aiming devices, showing the RD50 (top) and RD25. These are ideal for thos e situations wher e fast shooting is required.
Red dot sighting systems have been around for many years now and are generally recognised as one of the best methods of sighting when very fast reflex shooting is required. They must be shot with both eyes open, and many people find this method easier to use than a normal riflescope.
Hawke Optics offer a range of Red-Dot sights. The RD25 has a 25mm objective and a field of view of 40 feet at 100 yards. It is of fixed focus and unlimited eye relief. The red dot covers five MOA and it mounts on any Weaver mounting bases. The RD50 is similar, but larger, having a 50mm objective lens and a field of view of 21.5 feet at 100 yards.
Either of these units would perform well when mounted on airguns - rimfire or centrefire. We have also seen them attached to shotguns.
RRP is $130.
RRP is $95 for the RD25 and $160 for the RD50
The Hawke Shot Saver will handle bore sizes from . 177 to .45 calibres - there are 14 'spuds' to pick from. This device will help shooters get on target without firing a shot.
This is a boresighter under another name. We have seen various offerings through the years, and they all rely on a steel shaft of bore dimensions, which is inserted into the front of the barrel. A scrcen is attached, and when one looks through the scope on the rifle, a grid square appears. In the case of the Hawke, it contains 400 squares.
Fourteen different shafts are supplied with this unit, and they cover all popular bore sizes from .177 to .45 calibre. This can be handy when replacing a scope on a rifle, or when putting a scope on for the first time. It can also be used in the field for checking to see if a scope has been knocked off zero. The idea is that one can do this without having to fire a shot.
Night vision monocular photo and video modes 5x magnification 40mm objective lens built-in infrared illuminator 2 meters to infinity range in low light 2 meters to 200 meters range in the dark 5 degrees to 3.75 degrees field of view +/1 0.6 ocular adjustment 9 infrared brightness levels 9 screen brightness levels up to 1.5 hours runtime without infrared up to 1 hour runtime with infrared illumination threaded tripod and weaver mounts still and video images are stored in the internal SD card up to 10 minutes of video storage provided power-saver (turns off after 3 mins. of no operation, except in video mode or playback mode) must charge battery for 10 hours before first use -5 deg. c to 40 deg. c operating temperature (23 deg. f to 104 deg. f) 14 Ounce (without batteries) 7.87L x 3.79W x 2.20H includes carrying case with belt loop and detachable shoulder strap, drawstring pouch, hand strap, AV cable, USB transfer cable, USB charging cable, ac power adapter, lens cap, RCR123A 3.7-volt rechargeable lithium battery.
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