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Tim Finley takes a considered view through the new Hawke Airmax 30 WA SF 10x44 scope, which has been specially designed for air rifle shooters...
Hawke has always made superb sights for airgun shooters and their latest Airmax range of 14 scopes has a lot to offer. One scope from the Airmax 30mm wide-angle side-focus group really caught my eye; there are four scopes in this sub-range, and the one that I’ve been asked to review is the fixed 10x magnification – the only fixed scope in the Airmax range.
Why 10x mag? Fixed 10x scopes don’t seem to be as popular as variable magnification scopes, but I use them for two specific and very similar applications, and I hope to convince you why Hawke knew just what they were doing when they added it to the range of Airmax side-focus scopes.
Ten times magnification is the value that I use for my variable hunting scopes when shooting. It’s also the most popular magnification for hunter field target shooters because it’s low enough for you not only to see targets close up, but also be able to place shots accurately at longer ranges.
The 10x is a 30mm tube scope with a side focus rather than objective front lens focus, and the tube is a one-piece construction, for strength. It has an etched-on glass illuminated reticle, running off a single CR 2032 three-volt battery.
Multi-coated lensesThe windage and elevation turrets are protected by screw-off dust caps and they have adjustments of a 10th MRAD per click, which makes the scope very precise. The reticle is a mil-dot type, with dots on each mil and half-mil hash marks. The hash marks also lengthen as they go down the lower vertical line, to aid aiming off in windy conditions. There are five hash marks to give the shooter many aiming points. Not all of the reticle illuminates, just the ‘tree’ on the bottom section of the reticle and the three other dotted lines. The box structures on each subtention are not turned red when the dial is operated.
The lenses are multi-coated, with 16 layers on less for optical quality. The reticle illumination has six settings for any type of shooting/hunting situations. One really cool thing is the metal flip-up lens covers; fitted both front and back, these are a massively useful feature and have very secure closures on them, as well. They are thin and fold right back on to the body of the scope. The eye end has a warning label for heavy recoil weapons.
Useful accessories There is a bigger, 100mm diameter sidewheel included in the box, along with a lens cloth, battery and a hex key for setting the windage and elevation turrets to your zero. The bigger parallax wheel is already marked out with ranges from 10 yards to infinity, so if you’re just plinking, or doing informal target work, the larger wheel does make it easy to re-parallax the scope.
Another accessory you get is a 100mm-long sunshade. They also give you tools to unscrew the scope caps from the body of the scope. You will need the larger objective one to fit the sunshade and refit the lens cap to the front of the shade, and if you want to fit a rubber eye cup, you will need the smaller tool. I fitted the Airmax 10 x 44 onto my superb Air Arms 400 HFT rifle, and my initial opinion of the new Hawke scope was good – when I actually had in on a rifle and used it, then my opinion got even better. I did my homework before shooting it, of course, and used Hawke’s BRC computer ballistic programme to give me my aiming points.
What I should have done was just look in the small AMX booklet that Hawke supply with the scope because there are pages of holdovers for guns, ranging from .177 and .22 airguns, through rimfires and up to .308 centrefires. The half-mil spacing is what we shooters need now – the days of 30/30 reticles are numbered, thankfully. The AMX reticle is brilliant, it really is. The thicknesses of the lines is not too much, and with the added illumination you never lose the aiming marks in thick woodland, or even shooting with a lamp at night.
Conclusion Hawke’s range of scopes is superb; they cater for every type of shooting, with well-designed reticles and top-end build quality. The WA SF 10 x 44 is a world-class optic, it has to be a scope near the top on the shopping list for both hunters and HFT shooters. Airmax is a very apt name, it maximises the airgun shooter’s potential of hitting their target.
Tech specsModel: Airmax WA SF 13305Magnification: 10xObjective Dia: 44mmBody Tube: 30mmMax Adj: 16 MRAD Finish: Matte blackField of view @100m: 4m @ 100mFocus: 9m (10yds) - infinityEye relief: 102mmExit pupil: 4.4mmOverall length: 330mm (add 100mm for sunshade) Weight: 640 grams Features: Comes with metal flip-up lens covers, lens cloth, hex key, sunshade, 100mm sidewheel. Instructions and CR2032 3v batteryPrice: £339 Distributor: Hawke
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