Hawke Frontier 30 1-6x24 Tactical Dot Scope
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- Last updated: 20/11/2017
They say that good things come to those who wait and this review is a perfect example! For several years now, I’ve been ‘encouraging’ (Okay, badgering!) Hawke Optics to produce a scope suitable for my favourite past-time, Civilian Service Rifle (CSR) shooting. I’ve been using Hawke scopes for many years on a variety of airguns and firearms and I’ve always found them to offer a high specification at an affordable price and they often have features usually only found on optics costing an arm and a leg!
Hawke do, of course, make various scopes that can be used for CSR but only if you’re shooting in the ‘Practical Optic’ class, which is pretty much un-limited as to optic size and specification. I, however, shoot in the ‘Service Optic’ class, where the scope can be a maximum of 4.5 power. Of course, I could use any number of their scopes and just ‘dial down’ the magnification to 4.5 but then I’d probably be using a scope with a large objective lens, which adds unnecessary weight and bulk to the rifle/ scope combination. For a few years, I used a Hakko made 2.5- 10 x 56 scope, which is a great scope and performed very well but was just too bloody heavy! I could also only go down to 2.5 power. In competition, we are sometimes shooting at 25- and 50-yards and doing so rather rapidly, so being able to shoot on very low power, even as low as 1 power, can be an advantage, as you’re effectively using the scope with both eyes open, like you would a red dot.
I appreciate that Hawke weren’t just going to drop everything and make me ‘my’ scope, as they have a constant process of developing new sights but I thought that I was on to a winner, as scopes of a similar specification were popular with both fullbore and rimfire shooters who engage in more ‘dynamic’ shooting sports. Various low magnification scopes are seen at CSR matches, so I really thought a quality Hawke Optics product could do well.
At IWA in Germany earlier this year, I was walking towards the impressive looking Hawke Optics stand, when Steve Walker, one of the company’s directors, came over to greet me. I hadn’t met up with Steve for quite some time and it was great to catch up. He also had some fantastic news, they were just about to introduce a new scope that he thought would be right up my street! You’ve guessed it, it was the subject of this review – the Hawke Frontier 1-6 x 24! I couldn’t get it out of Steve’s hands quick enough! It was a demo model but on my return to the UK he soon got a production version to me.
The Frontier’s specification was just what I’d been after and is as follows:
30mm mono-tube chassis: This provides superior strength compared to a twopiece design and the tube’s diameter allows for the fitment of larger lenses compared to a 1-inch tubed scope.
24mm Objective lens: This keeps the weight of the scope down, which really helps in competition.
6x ratio precision engineered optical system: A 1-6 power magnification range is perfect for all CSR distances and one power is excellent for short range work.
21 layer fully multi-coated optics: The coatings allow enhanced transmission through the lenses for a bright image.
Long eye relief: This makes the scope suitable for use on high recoiling and magnum calibre rifles, so my 5.56mm straightpull AR shouldn’t pose any problems!
Glass etched reticle with red illumination: This super strong design is pretty bomb-proof and the centre dot and circle, when illuminated, can be used like a red dot on 1 power.
The rheostat on the saddle: This offers six levels of brightness for use in all lighting conditions.
1/10 MRAD exposed and locking turrets: The MRAD system is increasingly popular and the turrets can be locked in position to prevent loss of zero.
I intend using my straightpull AR15 carbine with a 14.5-inch barrel for the coming 2017/18 CSR Winter League, so I mounted the scope via a Weaver adaptor on the inbuilt carry handle/rearsight unit. I soon had the reticle nice and clear thanks to the fast focus ocular lens, the eye relief sorted and the reticle level, so went down to Bisley for a zero and familiarisation session. After getting a perfect 200-yard zero, I wound the turrets up, down, left right etc. and the point of impact returned to the original zero just as it should (I later did this at other ranges) and I was soon happy with the Frontier’s tracking.
The turrets have coin slots in the centre, so that the outer drum can be loosened to allow it to be set to 0 once the zero has been achievedmuch easier than looking for a tiny Allen key to undo a series of small grubscrews.
I’m used to scopes with ¼ MOA turrets, so had to get used to the new MRad scale on the elevation and windage turrets. I was shooting with a mate who was also using an MRad scope, so I ‘borrowed’ his ‘come ups’ for various ranges; he was shooting slightly heavier 77-grain bullets but I soon sorted the correct adjustment for 62-grain GGG NATO spec ammo.
The turrets clicked around nicely and are neither too firm or too loose and the ability to be able to lock off the turret is a real bonus. A simple pull up, adjust and then click down takes no longer than conventional, non-locking turrets and I’ve really got used to them over the last few years on other Hawke optics. The view though the scope is impressively bright, even with the comparatively small objective lens. The reticle is great, as it has thicker bars at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock with a series of aimpoints, 10 mils apart, on the lower portion. The centre circle is great for using at lower magnifications when illuminated (the rest of the reticle is un-lit by the way) but can of course be used with the dial in the off position. It should be perfect when engaging targets at short range. There are 6 levels of illumination, so more than enough variation for differing light conditions and there’s an OFF position between each ON.
I’m very impressed with everything about this optic and it really suited my carbine and at just over 500-grams it didn’t feel too heavy; I was able to pull of some pretty good shooting with it too, all the way out to 600-yards on 4.5 power– if I do say so myself! I look forward to using my carbine with the Hawke Frontier 1-6 x 24 Tactical Dot on-board in the coming months and I’m confident it will serve me well. I’ll write a follow up article when I’ve used it in a few competitions.
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