Deben Hawke X Bow Scope
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- Last updated: 15/12/2016
I recently started using a crossbow for the first time, and coming from an airgun shooting background, I thought I could just install a spare 10 mag scope onto the bow and all would be well. Hmmm, it’s not quite as easy as that, as the trajectory of the bolt makes high mag scopes a bit of a no-no.
There are a number of specialist low powered crossbow scopes available in America. Typically they are around 3 to 4 mag and have xbow specific reticules, to allow the user to aim dead on at a given range, very similar to a Mil-Dot and exactly the same as the less well known ‘Christmas tree’ style reticules. The trouble is, everything from America tends to have a bit of a price tag attached.
I was aware that Hawke made a range of crossbow scopes, but imagine my reaction while reading Internet forums in America, to find that the Hawke scopes are held up as an example of just what a xbow scope should be, “about time I got me one of those” I thought, and that’s exactly what I did, in the form of the Hawke 3 x 32 Crossbow MAP.
The Techy Bit
The scope is not very big, in fact it only measures 250mm long. It has a 25mm body tube, a 32mm objective lens and the ocular lens is a little bigger at 38mm. It is also very lightweight, so it adds almost nothing to the weight of the bow.
There is no parallax adjustment (rangefinding), and there is no magnification adjustment either. This little beauty is fixed, full stop. You can, of course, adjust the focus to suit your eye, but optically, that’s it.
Construction is of aluminium, with the matt black finish common to most of the Hawke scopes. The caps over the turrets are also aluminium and very neatly machined. The turrets themselves are of a high quality, with good solid ‘click’ and unusually they are ½ MOA; this is because of the much slower velocity of crossbows in comparison to rifles or air rifles, 300 fps, as opposed to 800 or 1200 fps. All the engraving is neat and sharp, and to fit in with its hunting application, the Hawke name embossed on the front of the scope is not coloured in.
All the way round, this is a well built, quality piece of kit.
On The Bow
Hawke have several different reticules for their range of xbow scopes, some are also illuminated. My choice was for the MAP multi line reticule.
It has a single vertical line, with a small cross that should correspond to the peak of the bows trajectory. Below this there are four complete side to side lines that are fine in the middle with posts at their outer edges. There is also a bottom post to the vertical line.
The reticule is designed to allow you to aim pretty much dead on at 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards, using the horizontal lines, and then finally 60 yards using the top of the post. There are also further ‘bracket’ marks on the horizontal lines, to help the hunter to range find. I have to confess that bracketing is a skill I have never developed. It is also difficult (if not impossible) in field archery, as you will see a different face or 3D target on each lane, so you are never looking at an object of a known size, which is one of the most important requirements when bracketing.
The scope was fitted to my test bed Petron bow with a set of Sportsmatch low mounts and as it has a 25mm (1 inch) tube, most air gunners will have a few sets of suitable mounts knocking about the place.
With its ½ ” MOA turrets, setting up was very quick and painless and I soon had the bolts on the top crosshair at 20 yards.
I have never used such a compact scope and I was not sure how good the optics could be. Believe me, they are more than up to the job; the clarity is excellent with a sharp bright image and I was able to watch the bolts flying all the way to the target (very satisfying). If you start to get a little fish eye effect creeping in, then your eye is misaligned to the scope.
The reticule was pretty much spot on; certainly at the ranges from 15 to 40 yards that I tested it at. A little hold over at 60 yards may be required, as my bow is currently producing 250 fps, but shots at that distance are unusual, and the real scores are made at shots out to 40 yards, so I’m more than happy.
This scope does exactly what it is supposed to, and no wonder the very demanding American hunters like it, as it is tough and yet easy to use. There are black and camo versions of most models and it also has a big brother in the form of the XB30, which is supplied complete with a one piece mount. The other major attraction is the price, with the MAP around £50, the SR £90 and the big daddy XB30 at £190
I will be using this little scope for the foreseeable future and given the level of construction, and the price, you have to wonder why anyone would look further afield than the Hawke range.