Airmax 30 SF 3 – 12 X 50IR
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- Last updated: 16/12/2016
Fully featured optics with multi-aim-point reticles are now commonplace and the first choice of many of today’s experienced airgunners. The latest offering from Hawke Sports Optics is the Airmax 30 SF range which currently consists of four 50mm objective lens models with magnification specifications of 3 – 12x (on test), 4 – 16x, 6 – 24x and an 8 – 32x option. All share a commonality of build and features and the list is a long and very impressive one.
The Airmax 30 SF uses a 30mm mono-tube chassis with all the expected modern airgun optic features - side-focus/parallax , 1⁄4” M.O.A lockable/resettable target-style turrets, fully coated optical system, glass- etched illuminated multi-aim-point reticule and a nifty step-less adjustable rotary rheostat. There’s also a fast-focus ocular, tactile rubber grip zoom ring, and the scope is water, shock and fog proof. Included with all models are a 93mm side-wheel, a 100mm sunshade plus removable metal ‘flip-up’ lens covers including all the tools needed to undertake various adjustments to suit your requirements.
The substantial eye-bell has an easy twist fast-focus; it also holds the uniquely designed rheostat dial. Forward of this is the rubber over moulded and grooved zoom ring with raised lug that offers a superb grip in wet/cold weather using gloved or un-gloved hands. The ‘off-set’ rheostat dial houses a CR2032 3V lithium battery and for ease of operation has a serrated outer edge. Fully rotated in the anti-clockwise direction turns it off and is clearly marked up to indicate this. Switch on by turning clockwise and wind the illumination required in a smooth and step-less motion, which offers an infinite level of adjustment, ensuring the red ‘lit’ reticule is visible in almost any light condition.
Another first for Hawke is the new design of the large ‘lockable’ turrets that dominate the saddle area. This consists of a knurled edge thumbwheel set on the top of the drums. To unlock, you rotate the wheel anti-clockwise and reverse the movement to set them securely in place. As usual the turrets can be slacked off once zeroed so they can be set at 0, an Allen key is supplied for the purpose. This also enables you to dial in BDC if you favour this method. Elevation give seven full rotations and windage five – both having 60 clicks per turn.
The side focus/parallax drum is range marked in yards from 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 and ∞ - you’ll notice the serrated edge dial has an interesting looking side plate with two pre-drilled holes in the outer face. Using the side-wheel removal tool which has two protruding lugs that engage into the side- plate reveals the side focus shaft. This has three grooves that mate up with the larger side-wheel and are designed so it can only be fitted one way so when fitted it’s correct in relation to the range markings on the smaller side focus dial. To secure the wheel, replace the ‘nut’ back onto the shaft and tighten it flush using the tool. The system is designed to ensure it’s located exactly on the central axis therefore allowing for a smooth and more accurate range reading.
Lens covers can be screwed on or off and due to an inner collar locked in any position you prefer for angle of flip. A lens cap removal tool is also supplied. The Hawke Airmax 30 SF 3 – 12 X 50IR on test gave an astonishingly clear and bright sight picture to the very edges of the lenses. Once the ocular is set to suit your particular eye-sight the glass-etched reticle is fine but well defined and when ‘lit’ is by far the most versatile of illuminated ret I’ve experienced due to the step-less rheostat. Turrets click positively to each station and the locking system works a treat.
When you consider how far the design of scopes - particular those specifically manufactured for airgun use - has come in the last ten years or so it’s quite staggering. I say this because the Airmax 30 SF series of optics are at the pinnacle of this development and where we go from here is anybody’s guess.
The Airmax 30 SF scope series feature the new ‘AMX’ airgun reticle design. Fully floating, glass-etched and set in the 2nd focal plane it’s based on the traditional Mil-Dot design being true at 10X magnification. Additionally on the lower stadia are Half-Mil Dot spacing’s which also have elongated hash lines at 1⁄2, 1, 1 1⁄2 Mil spacing’s plus others at 2 Mil intervals enabling it to be used for aiming-off to allow for windage. On both side stadia are additional segmented hollow bars also with 1 Mil graduations so are perfectly suited for bracketing a target. As expected the Airmax AMX reticle is supported by the free Hawke BRC and Chairgun software programs for PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
FOR: Bombproof build Superb lens clarity Versatile rheostat Useful multi-aim-point reticule
AGAINST: Not a Lot
VERDICT: Practical and fully featured airgun scope Will prove successful with both hunter and target shooters alike