Hawke 4-12x40AO Airmax
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- Last updated: 31/01/2019
The Airmax name will be familiar to those who favour Hawke Sport Optics, as it’s long been a range of scopes on the company’s roster. Recently, it’s been given a big ‘shake-up’, as Airmax scopes are now available in either 30mm or 1” body tube options; a smart move really, as given your needs, both are popular. A major feature that both share is the AMX multi-aim-point reticle – however, for those who like illuminated reticles, then these are only available in the larger, 30mm tubed models.
The latter also have side parallax focus and lockable turrets, but I’ll stop right there, as it’s an example of the slimmer, 1” body range here on test.
You could say that these models are a mix of the modern but with definite leanings towards what is often termed a traditional scope layout, as they feature a front AO (adjustable objective) focus ring. At the rear there’s a fast focus ocular, much preferable to the earlier lock ring type and ¼” MOA, low profile, capped turret adjusters. Combined with the use of a 1” mono-tube aluminium chassis, this results in a well featured optic with superior strength and of course practical weight reduction.
The 2nd focal plane AMX multi-aim-point reticle is glass-etched, and have 16-layer, fully multi-coated lenses, which give exceptional clarity, a rubberised high torque zoom ring and the objective and ocular housings are threaded to accept lens covers or other accessories such as a sun shade. And as you’d expect, they’re nitrogen-purged and of course; water, shock and fog-proof. Incidentally, the 1” Airmax family has three mag ranges through the four models available, these being a 2 – 7 x 32AO, 3 – 9 x 40AO, 4 – 12 x 40AO and 4 – 12 x 50AO. So, after that overview, now to the scope here on test, the 4 – 12 x 40AO model, or as some would say, a general-purpose scope with a bit of a ‘boost’ on the magnification range.
Measuring 12.9” long and weighing 18.4oz this a very practical and reasonably compact optic.
However, the eyebell is relatively lengthy but still manages to be quite a neat affair, forward of this is the high torque zoom ring and to the rear the ocular adjuster. The former being very praiseworthy as it’s generously sized and treated to a rubber over mould with ridging plus raised dialling hub that makes it very easy to use in all weather conditions.
The front adjustable objective ring has a generous amount of raised ridging for a sure grip and is range marked for 10, 15, 25, 45, 100, 200 yds and Infinity (∞). All adjustable rings are smooth yet positive in operation and help give the optic quite a unique character, especially the thoughtfully treated outer of the zoom. Incidentally, I’d say that the minimum focus of the scope is true to the lowest range marking. The low profile ¼” MOA cover capped turrets are finger-adjustable and click audibly and very positively to each position as you index them around. Both elevation and windage turrets offer six full rotations with 60 clicks per turn, which gives a top to bottom and side to side of 90 MOA, which is generous enough, certainly for air rifle use.
In use, the 4 – 12 x 40AO Airmax showed itself to be a very easy to operate and practically configured scope. Having a 1” body tube means that it can sit lower to the action, always a bonus and is lighter and far easier to mount on certain air rifles. The 16-layer fully multi-coated lenses give a very bright and well-defined image right to the periphery of the sight picture. Yet another major plus point, is that once you adjust the ocular for your eyesight, the reticle image is crisp and very sharp in the sight picture and the multi-aim-point design proves to be a very useful one for the airgun hunter who takes time to get to know how to use it.
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