Product overview: Hawke’s Airmax range of air rifle scopes
- Credit: Archant
Mark Camoccio walks us through the extensive range of Airmax riflescopes from Hawke Optics
Hawke Optics have been going for around 40 years now, and in that time, they have evolved and improved their range significantly. Of course, market trends play a part in product development, but as more sophisticated manufacturing techniques and materials become available, so inevitably, this is reflected in the company’s output.
One aspect of Hawke’s approach that has always impressed me is their willingness to listen to customer feedback, and adapt and improve their products accordingly. The Airmax range of scopes is a good example of this company ethos, with these particular models largely aimed at airgun shooters. Signing up three times World Field Target Champion, Nick Jenkinson, to oversee development and advise on the reticle designs, was always going to be a clever move, and Nick’s involvement, especially in the early days, has played a significant part, influencing Hawke’s output and presence in the market place.
Early models could be tied in and experimented with alongside the free Chairgun software, but whilst sadly, Hawke no longer support the software approach, their Airmax range of scopes are still just as relevant to today’s airgunners.
Hawke now grade their glass for different model ranges, and the Airmax offerings get H2 optics, which feature 16-layer, fully multi-coated lenses. Five model groups exist under the Airmax umbrella, all aimed primarily at the airgun market, but offering a wide range of features, to suit different scenarios.
Airmax WA models offer a one-inch body tube, wide-angle (WA) field of view and low profile turrets, which keeps everything streamlined, and with two classic specifications of 2-7 x 32 and 3-9 x 40 among the models listed, in addition to a 4-12 x 40 and 4-12 x 50, these more straightforward scopes remain highly popular for shooters who just want to keep things simple. All scopes come with lens covers, and feature front AO (Adjustable Objective) parallax correction.
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Airmax 30 SF scopes feature 30mm body tube and side-focus adjustment (denoted by 30 SF), and the turrets here are of the exposed lockable target style, with clear external markings and rotation tracking. These are aimed at longer range shooting, with four options: 3-12 x 50, 4-16 x 50, 6-24 x 50, and 8-32 x 50. To exploit the side-focus facility, these models also come with a four-inch side wheel included, which is a pressure fit onto the left side turret. Increased spacing of the marked distances on the wheel makes reading ranges more accurate, so to have the wheel included is a nice touch.
If you fancy first focal plane (FFP), where the reticle proportions and aim points remain the same as the magnification changes, then there are two models; Airmax 30 WA FFP 4-16 x 50, or 6-24 x 50, both with side-focus parallax correction and bold, target-style turrets that come capped off. Rotation tracking is marked, and again, a side wheel is included.
There are three models in the Airmax 30 WA SF Compact range: 3-12 x 40, 4-16 x 44, and the 6-24 x 50, and these satisfy demand for shorter-bodied scopes, that won’t unbalance a rifle combination. Again, there are bold, capped-off turrets, along with a neat three-inch side wheel, and with two models featuring smaller objective lenses 40 and 44mm respectively; these can double up for hunting and possibly HFT shooting. However, with HFT competition shooting in mind, Hawke launched their Airmax 30 WA Touch model, designed to compete directly with the MTC Viper Connect scopes. The Touch has minimal eye relief, so offers a real ‘in your face’ experience as the shooter benefits from an enormous field of view. Strictly for recoil-free pneumatics, since the scope contacts the face whilst shooting, this model does have a unique feel, and comes complete with a rubber eye cup and small three-inch side wheel.
All the scopes shown here come fitted with a reticle based on Hawke’s AMX configuration, with the Airmax WA AO models featuring the standard AMX design, and the other four options all featuring the AMX IR, denoting an illuminated reticle. Both the AMX and AMX IR are glass-etched designs and are based on the spacing of a mil dot when viewed at 10x magnification. There’s also half mil dot spacing on the lower post, offering a wealth of aim points as target distance increases. This means the horizontal bars that create the Christmas tree layout, offer values of 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 mil spacing. Outer hollow posts help border the image, and the design works well, but if I had to criticise, it would be my main gripe with many reticles – namely, that thick, dark outer posts would be a great addition to help guide the eye when viewing into a dark, poorly-lit target area – treetops, foliage etc. As its stands, the reticle is undoubtedly very precise. Opt for the illuminated AMX IR, and the central cross hair Christmas tree area then illuminates, on demand.
Quite a comprehensive list of options then with Airmax, and whichever one you go for, each scope comes with an informative instruction manual, lens cloth, and lens caps of some sort as standard
All are specified as fogproof with nitrogen purging, shockproof, and waterproof, so the Airmax range of scopes are designed to be used, and give airgun shooters years of solid service. Hawke’s No-Fault Lifetime Warranty adds further peace of mind to the deal, so we really can make a purchase with confidence