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Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32

Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32

A scope that has made a big impression on the airgun scene is the Connect Viper from MTC. Rival manufacturers have been surprisingly slow to bring out copies, but that now looks set to change, as Hawke’s latest design, the Airmax Touch, looks set to take on the challenge.

Eyeballing

Like its rival, the Airmax Touch 3-12x32 SF AMX IR is designed to operate with minimal eye relief, and the result, for those unfamiliar with the concept (or Connect for that matter) is a unique shooting experience. Hawke products always come nicely packaged, and this new Touch is no different. Rubber linked lens covers, cleaning cloth, rubber eye piece, 3” side-wheel, battery and instructions, are all here, along with 16-layer, multi-coated lenses, and a wide angle optical system. An RRP currently of £319 means it not only looks competitive, but also comes in at exactly the right point to pitch against the Connect sitting around the £300 mark.

Its 3-12x spec means Hunter Field Target (HFT) fans have the option of setting up between 8x-10x, (the popular mags for this discipline) and an objective lens of 32mm keeps everything compact. Target turrets, side focus, illumination, and the AMX reticle, are all welcome features, so on paper at least, the Touch is an intriguing prospect. As always, what’s deemed suitable for the sport of HFT should be equally applicable to real life hunting scenarios and that largely holds true here.

Get it together

The Connect’s cluttered body tube leaves very little lateral movement and a special mount is preferred, However the Touch offers a roomier design here, so conventional mounts are viable. The side wheel fits on the parallax drum on the left. The idea is it aids focussing and range finding and, as per Field Target (FT) use, it can also expand the gaps between target distances, in theory making them easier to read. Obviously, at the relatively low magnifications in use here, the benefits of the wheel are reduced, yet if you just like the feel of it in use, then it is simply a push fit, once the cut-out, and corresponding ranges on drum and wheel have been lined up. Minimum focus is 8 yards, with markings thereafter for 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 500, and ∞.

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Turrets are slick and feel nicely made, but with depth measured at around four inches side to side, they are unnecessarily bulbous, so requiring thick padding in any carry case. Unscrew and remove the caps, and the target-style turrets are precisely marked up. Click values are 1/10MRAD and are nicely positive, whilst both elevation and windage also get rotation indicators, so you can keep track during use.

Eyes wide open

And so down to business. Mounting this model is highly critical, as in use, the ocular lens surround actually touches the eye socket whilst in the aim. Therefore, final positioning is best achieved over a few shooting sessions, gently nudging the scope within its mounts to gain the perfect position for full comfort, before finally tightening the mounts. I tried mounting the small rubber cup supplied, but personally for my configuration and with the fast focus wound quite a way out for a clear reticle, I didn’t really have room for it, when in a position to see a full image. So, despite it being super soft and flexible, I dispensed with it early on.

Shoulder this scope, and the sensation of that ultra-short eye relief (Hawke call it zero) but it is technically 1.2” as opposed to the more usual 3-3.5 encountered on more standard designs, really does bring a unique feel. The usual fast focus adjuster sits at the rear, and its relevance with this scope is more critical, since the wind out to achieve a clear reticle at the start, actually brings the lip of the unit more into contact with the eye surround as it does so. The system really is ‘in your face’, so to speak, as the ocular surround, as mentioned, sits gently against the skin. This has the result of a much wider field of view, with the Touch offering around a 30% increase over a conventional layout with a similar specification. The minimal eye relief distance should mean in use, that parallax error is minimised, although consistent head mounting is still the key to accurate shooting, as with any optic.

Glass-etched

Clarity and image quality overall on test, were impressive, with no discernible aberration/ distortions and I soon had an efficient zero in place, with no fuss. Hawke’s AMX reticle is a neat ‘floating’ design, offering their Christmas tree layout, with Mil-Dots, half Mil marks, and outer hollow dots, which also offer Mil values. True Mil Radian values can be used when the magnification is set to 10x for the record and being glass-etched means that it is somewhat more robust than wire designs, where components can break under stress. If you fancy illumination, then the central area can be lit up in red, with the click of the rheostat knob on the left. One click switches on the first level, (up to six brightness levels) and alternate click points turn the unit off, which is a nice touch, meaning it is also less likely that the unit will be accidentally left on - my usual trick! Need to change the battery and the CR2032 coin-type cell is concealed within the cap of the parallax/ rheostat dial on the left.

Verdict

The Airmax Touch 3-12x32 SF AMX IR comes with Hawke’s lifetime warranty, and unsurprisingly comes nitrogen purged, and is water, shock and fog proof. I’m really not keen on the overly wide turrets, but otherwise, the Touch is a bold addition to this increasingly stylish brand. OK; it maybe stating the obvious, but this model is not suitable for recoiling airguns or for that matter rimfire rifles. This is due to the way that the scope comes into contact with the face, and the way they handle will not suit everyone, due to that slightly intrusive feel. However, if the system does appeal, then there’s no doubting the neatness of the execution, and the theoretical advantage on offer.

  • Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32 - image {image:count}

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  • Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32 - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Model : Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12x32 SF AMX IR
  • Reticle : AMX IR
  • Weight : 20.2oz
  • Length : 10.5”
  • Click Adjustment : 1/10MRAD @100yds
  • Field of View : 63.8-18.2ft @100yds
  • Eye Relief : 1.2”
  • Body Tube : 30mm
  • Min Focus : 8 yds marked and on test
  • Turrets : Tactical, with screw caps
  • Clicks per rotation : 60
  • Number of Full Rotations: 11 windage, 12.5 elevation
  • Price : £319 Inc. lens covers, lens cloth and, rubber eye piece, and 3”side-wheel
  • Contact : Hawke Optics www.hawkeoptics.com

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