Hawke Airmax Scopes
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- Last updated: 21/04/2021
Hawke Optics has become a significant player in the scope market, with models to suit most shooting disciplines right across the board. However, it’s the Airmax range, dedicated to airgun shooters, that’s in the spotlight here. A reputation for taking on board customer feedback has seen the company maintain a presence, and adapt as well as improve along the way. With new models being released periodically, this kept the brand firmly in the limelight.
As with any sport, signing up talented individuals who can advise and guide product evolution is the name of the game. Hawke was quick to invite three times World Field Target Champion, Nick Jenkinson, to spearhead the project in the early days of development.
Having Nick’s involvement in reticle design, and then allowing customers access to free ballistic software, with which to experiment, and improve their understanding, was a masterstroke, and whilst the Chairgun software is no longer officially supported, the principles behind the company’s enthusiastic investment in this area, remain just as relevant.
There are five model groups under the Airmax product umbrella and they are all dedicated to airgun use. Hawke’s latest upgraded versions now get H2 optics, which feature 16-layer fully multi-coated lenses.
First, we have the Airmax WA (wide-angle) models. These have a 1” main body tube, a larger field of view and low profile turrets. They also feature an adjustable objective lens (AO), where the front collar is used for parallax adjustment. Everything stays streamlined and with two classic scope specifications of 2-7x32 and 3-9x40 in the listing, their popularity is unsurprising. Two further models are available, the 4-12x40 and 4-12x50, and for those who wish to stick with a conventional approach, these are the models to focus upon.
The Airmax 30 SF models are built around a 30mm main body tube and feature side focus adjustment (denoted by 30 SF). Large target turrets are fitted, and these are of the exposed lockable type, clearly marked with graduations and rotation trackers to keep a proper check on turret adjustments and settings. These are available with higher magnification to suit longer range, and there are four specifications: 3-12x50, 4-16x50, 6-24x50, and 8-32x50. A 4” side wheel can be used to maximize accuracy when reading off target distances. The wheel is a simple pressure fit onto the left side turret.
There’s often a need for a more compact optic, and Hawke has that covered too with the compact versions of the wide-angle models. They are available in three different specifications: 3-12x40, 4-16x44, and 6-24x50. These come with clearly marked oversized turrets with screw caps to keep everything neat when necessary. Dimensions are such that these models won’t easily unbalance a rifle combination, and with a modestly proportioned 3” side wheel, all part of the package, the compact remit remains the driving force. There are two models, both with smaller objective lenses, 40 and 44mm respectively, making them equally at home, whether hunting or navigating an HFT course, where a mid-range spec comes into its own.
If HFT shooting is the main aim, then Hawke’s new Touch model has to be a strong contender. Designed to take on the super successful MTC Connect, the Touch takes a similar approach, offering as it does, minimal eye relief and an enormous field of view. With the eyepiece lens right up to the eye, the ‘in your face’ experience does take some getting used to, and won’t suit everyone. Close contact also means these models are strictly for recoil free pneumatics, but for those that appreciate the benefits, and can take to the close quarters approach, there’s also a rubber eyecup and small 3” side wheel to play with.
First Focal Plane (FFP) models have their fair share of devotees and are becoming increasingly popular. FFP in practice means the reticle proportions and aim points remain the same as the magnification changes. The Airmax 30 WA FFP 4-16x50 or 6-24x50 both offer side focus parallax correction and bold target style turrets complete with screw caps. Here, the turrets are again fitted with rotation tracking markers, which can be a big bonus. A side wheel is also included.
What all these scopes have in common of course is the AMX airgun dedicated reticle, which has a plethora of aim points and outer hollow points that act as borders. The Airmax WA AO models feature the standard version, whilst the other four options all offer the illuminated version, the AMX IR. All are glass etched designs, based on the spacing of a Mil Dot when viewed at 10x magnification. Look to the lower post, and there’s Half Mil Dot spacing, whilst the horizontal bars that create the ‘Christmas tree’ equate to values of 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 Mil spacing. It’s a great reticle design overall, but the downside is that it is quite fine, and in dark, poorly lit target areas, such as foliage and treetops, the fine stadia can be momentarily lost. In this scenario, opting for the illuminated AMX IR pays dividends, with a lit central crosshair and Christmas tree area available at the press of a button.
Of course, as always, there is an element of cross over, as what may be suitable for HFT will be equally suitable for hunting, and vice versa. All models come complete with a very comprehensive and informative instruction manual, lens cloth, and lens caps, and are fog proof, nitrogen purged, shockproof and waterproof, as you would expect. Factor in Hawke’s No-Fault Lifetime Warranty, and there’s company backup too, making the Airmax range an ever more attractive proposition.
Little wonder these scopes remain so popular with airgun shooters across the board.