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I'm liking my new 4-12×50 Hawke Airmax, so far!

Forums Optics, Scopes, Rings, & Mounts I'm liking my new 4-12×50 Hawke Airmax, so far!

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    nced
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    United States
    Accuracy: +30

    For a couple years now I’ve been using a (to me) very large and heavy 30mm tube 3-12×44 Optisan Viper “bolted to” either my HW95 and Beeman R9. I do have to admit that my Viper has been an excellent scope for hunter class field target with great crispness, snapped in and out of focus quickly when scope rangefinding, has a very useful reticle, and has held up well on my mid powered springers. As mentioned, the issue for me was both the size and weight, plus I personally wasn’t a fan of side focus mechanisms compared to the simple ao. Here is a pic of my Viper mounted to my HW95……….

    Well…..I decided to revert back to a 1″ tube scope with an ao rather than a side focus so I ordered this scope on sale from Optics Planet with free shipping for under $200 after using a “discount code”……….


    Here is a pic of the Airmax on my HW95………

    A few years ago I bought a Hawke Airmax EV with a 40mm objective and wasn’t very pleased with it since the AO would shift the poi laterally simply by focusing the scope and shooting at 10 yards and again at 18 yards. I tuned a gun for a fellow that had the very same Airmax I owned (again, an older model) with 40mm AO and found that it also shifted the poi when focusing like this………

    Because of these two mid priced Hawkes I kinda “swore off” this brand and used scopes that cost 2-3 times as much (my Viper was 350ish $) till recently when the new Airmax with the etched glass reticle and 50mm AO.

    Well………..the etched glass AMX reticle does seem to be very thin and prone to get lost on dark targets, I’m liking this “plain Jane” “Hawke with AO”, since the optics are “stellar” compared to my $70 CenterPoints (I have a couple) rivalling my 3-12×44 Optisan Viper. The clicks are very positive but the AO is rather stiff turning when focusing. Of interest to me was the fact that the 50mm Airmax AO only rotates about 180 degrees stop to stop which had me wondering how useful it would be for scope rangefinding since the “distance marks” would necessarily need to be close together on the tap at the longer distances. Well, this is true, however with only about 180 degrees of focusing the image does snap in and out rather quickly and the outside of the front bell measuring a bit over 64mm does spread these marks apart enough to be useful. In contrast my cheap CenterPoint with only a 40mm objective has almost 360 degree rotation from stop to stop so there is more of a spread between the marks from 30 yards to 50 yards. I guess this “AO rotation” is a compromise since having a 180 degree rotation vs the CP 360 degree rotation means that the focusing can be done with less “AO twisting”.

    Anywhoo…..seems that (so far) the “bare bones” 1″ tube 4-12×50 Airmax with AO is a good choice for my shooting since it is about 2″ shorter (even without the sun shade) and 2.5 ounces lighter than my 30mm tube 3-12×44 Optisan Viper for either my R9 or HW95! , While it seems that most folks prefer a “side wheel hanging on the side” of the scope, I personally prefer AO focuaing also doesn’t involve internal mechanisms to convert rotary sidewheel motion into “erector set focusing”.

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    JohnL57
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    United States
    Accuracy: +52

    Hi, Ed,
    That series of scopes caught my attention as well. Have you noticed any poi shift when changing magnification?
    Thanks,
    John

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    nced
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    Accuracy: +30

    Humm….I do all shooting at 12x so I’ll have to check out any poi shifts from focusing.

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    peole
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    United States
    Accuracy: +4

    I have next model Airmax 30 SF 4-16×50. I agree this is decent air rifle scope, most of others air rifle scopes that I’ve see are MUCH worse quality.

    But compared to standard scopes aka Leupold, Trijicon, Zeiss etc. Hawke 4-16×50  is really heavy, and optics are really really bad – one can go Wikipedia and search for optical aberrations. Hawke Airmax got all of them! I can not imagine how bad are bigger magnification hawke scopes.

    Hawke is pretty expensive – for about $100 above one can decent Leupold. Leupold is lighter, has much better glass, but has no close range parallax and mil dot – that is the problem and we end up buying Hawke.

    Ps. Just looked at your pics and fixed my post – I have Airmax 30 SF and yours is Airmax, so price wise yours is much more affordable price than Leupold.

     

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    nced
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    Accuracy: +30

    A few comments/opinions:
    “Hawke 4-16×50  is really heavy”
    They are heavy but not what I call “really heavy” compared to other scopes I’ve used. LOL……the Hawke is actually a couple ounces lighter than my 3-12×44 Optisan Viper.

    “optics are really really bad – one can go Wikipedia and search for optical aberrations. Hawke Airmax got all of them! I can not imagine how bad are bigger magnification hawke scopes.”
    I can see .177 cal pellet holes in my paper target at 50 yards with this scope so I really don’t care about “optical aberrations” if it doesn’t affect my aiming or how well the scope snaps in and out when scope rangefinding. 

    “Hawke is pretty expensive – for about $100 above one can decent Leupold.”
    Really? My Hawke was delivered to my door on sale for under $200. The problem with a “decent Leupold” is the fact that I need a 10 yard close focus and that means that I’ll be stuck with a Leupold VX-2 Rimfire 3-9×33 EFR Rifle Scope for about $400. The VX-2 scope I looked through years ago didn’t have especially good optics even compared to the 3-12×40 Bushnell trophy, but perhaps that has changed At only 9x this scope, while lightweight and small it would be near useless for scope rangefinding shooting hunter class at field target matches. Except for the target dot reticle the Leupold VX-3 Riflescope, Target Dot Reticle, 6.5-20×40, Matte, EFR  would be a very good scope for hunter class field target turned down to 12x and the VX-3 optics are really good but the problem is the $800 price tag. For a lot more money this Leupold could be sent in to have a useful mil dot reticle added. LOL……perhaps the “Mark 4 LR/T 4.5-14x50mm (30mm) M1 Illum. Ret.” would be an even better choice at about $1600.

    “Just looked at your pics and fixed my post”
    LOL….just noticed your correction and I do agree that the side focus Airmax is rather expensive, however I do see them on guns used for field target so they must be useful. The problem with the side focus Hawke AirMax 30 SF 3-12×50 (for me) is the weight of the beast at 27.5 ounces!

    Anywhoo……..when dealing with my “Social Security plus odd jobs income” there are compromises that need to be made when it comes to airgun optics and of priority is the need for a tought springer rated scope, a 10 yard minimum sharp focus at 12x, a “dotted reticle” of some sort, snaps in and out of focus well when scope rangefinding, and optics that are adequate to resolve .177 cal pellet holes in a paper target at 50 yards! One $300 scope that I used for a while that had good optics, was light weight, snapped in and out of focus well, and focused sharply down to 10 yards was the 3-12×40 Vortek Diamondback. Problem with that scope was the fact that when sitting in a sun lit shooter box at a field target match there was so much flare coming through the rear ocular lens that the image of a target set on a shady lane was completely washed out.   
     

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    nced
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    Update after using the 4-12×50 Hawke Airmax for one field target match shooting hunter class. Well…mediocre at best because the thin reticle really did get lost on the killzones of some dark targets. The AO only rotates about 120 degrees from 10 yards to infinity and even less from 10 yards to my max field target distance of 55 yards. This does bunch together the hold over marks on my range tape making it difficult to determine if I should hold “one mil dot high” or “one and a half mill dots high. I do know that my 70 year old eyes change focus every few seconds when simply looking through the scope so perhaps this is part of the issue. A the match where I used this scope I would focus on a longer target, use my holdover mark from the AO and miss the target. For the next shot I would re-focus the scope, get another holdover mark after the sharp focus and then knock down the target with the second shot. This happened several times so it was either my eye playin’ a trick on me or the “precision” of determining when the target is in sharpest focus. basically, the holdover marks past 30 yards are so close together that a holdover error of 1/2 mil dot from 30 yards to 50 yards is very easy. Here is a pic of the holdover marks showing that the sharp focus distance between my 30 yard zero, a + symbol, and the “hold one mil dot high” symbol ( . symbol ) is only 1/8″ apart on the AO. The distance on the AO between the “hold one mil dot high” and the “hold one and one half mil dot high” ( .|. symbol) are only 1/8″ apart. This means that the “holdover marks” between the 30 yard focus distance and 50 yard focus distance are only 1/4″ apart total! LOL….if I were marking yardages instead of symbols there wouldn’t even be room on the AO! Another “slight issue” is the fact that the Hawke AO is extremely tight turning which makes it difficult to quickly focus from “sharp to crisp” while trying so scope rangefind!…….

    Optically the scope is a BIT better than my $70 4-16×40 Center Point scope with TAG reticle, however the Center Point AO rotates about 120 degrees from “10 yard sharp focus” to “50 yard sharp focus” so my holdover marks from 30 yards to 50 yards are spaced about 7/8″ apart even though the AO is only 40mm……

    The Hawke PERFORMANCE certainly isn’t worth $120 more than the WallyMart Center Point. The CP reticle is a bit thicker than the Hawke being a wire reticle and the CP reticle can be lit if necessary which I did find to be a benefit for shooting dark targets on dark lanes!

    I’ll be using the Hawke at the next THAGC field target match on Apr 25th but I’ll probably use another scope for the remainder of the season.

     

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    rwsmike
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    Accuracy: +12

    Do they still make that cp scope or is discontinued ?

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    nced
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    The older one I have with the mil dot reticle and “fluted AO” hasn’t been around for a while but the newer one with the TAG reticle can be found online in several places, however the WalMart where I bought mine hasn’t had it for a while……….
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/CENTERPOINT-4-16x40mm-w-ILLUMINATED-TAG-RETICLE/45848946
    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/CenterPoint_4_16x40_AO_Rifle_Scope_Illuminated_TAG_Style_Reticle_1_Tube_Picatinny_Rings/5790
    http://www.crosman.com/riflescope-4-16×40-mm

    Here’s mine…….

    Instead of using the supplied Weaver style mounts which set the scope too high after clamping to the Weaver to dovetail adapter I opted to use a set of Weaver mounts that cost less than $10 at WalMart…..

    Matter of fact, I modified the adapter and bought a set of Weaver high mounts for mounting the 4-12×50 Hawke AirMax……….

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