Hawke Sidewinder 4.5-12 x 44 30SF scope - test & review

This scope sits perfectly on my R10 TH

This scope sits perfectly on my R10 TH - Credit: Archant

They’re here! The new Sidewinder range of scopes from Hawke has arrived and we’ve got the 4.5-12 x 44 30SF model on test

You get a generous 100mm eye relief

You get a generous 100mm eye relief - Credit: Archant

The extremely popular Sidewinder from Hawke Optics has just been taken to the next level, with a complete redesign sporting the new System H5 Optics system. Available in First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane models, there are no less than ten new additions to the line-up.

These new scopes are also lighter and stronger than their predecessors, and this particular model I’m reviewing here - the 4.5-12 x 44 30SF - sits perfectly on top of my BSA R10 TH!

Protect those lenses!

Protect those lenses! - Credit: Archant

System H5

This is the real story behind the new range of Sidewinder scopes, the H5 optical system. Basically, H5 gives a massive 24-degree ultra-wide field of view, which is up to 20 per cent wider than previous models. Increased clarity and improved sharpness are also part of the new package, with 18-layer multiple-coated lenses for intense light transmission completing the set-up.

It has a standard battery placement

It has a standard battery placement - Credit: Archant

Witness Window Turrets

The Sidewinder’s new push/pull locking elevation turret has a ‘witness window’ to ensure that you always know which revolution your turret is on. Whilst most of us will only ever be using the first level of rotation for our shooting, if you’re into extreme benchrest then this new feature is going to make things a whole lot easier.

It’s designed for shooters who like to dial out to longer distances and need to keep track of how many revolutions have been made. As the elevation turret passes through each full rotation, the internal scale travels up or down and can be seen at a glance. No more uncertainty or lengthy click counting needed to get back to your original zero.

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Both the elevation and windage turrets are operated by pulling the turret up to unlock it, then you can click away to your heart’s content before pushing the turret back down with a satisfying ‘click’ to lock them in place. Again, this is a great addition to any scope for any hunter, ensuring that zero stays locked, and providing extremely quick adjustment times if required in the field.

The all new Witness Window turret

The all new Witness Window turret - Credit: Archant

Crown Glass

Crown glass is used for the lenses in this scope. It removes radial distortion and gives a flatter field of view – very important given the increased 24-degree, ultra-wide FOV. It also reduces the effect of curvature and blurriness around the edge as you look through the scope, something you can quite often pick up on with cheaper scopes.

The lenses are 18 layers and multi-coated, including an ion-assisted coating that provides superb light transmission and a high level of abrasion resistance – far exceeding military standards for hardness and durability.

You get loads of extras included in the box

You get loads of extras included in the box - Credit: Archant

Zoom Lever

One of the key additions to the new design that I absolutely love is the zoom magnification throw lever. It’s not fitted at the factory, but comes supplied with the scope in the box. Simply use the provided Allen key to remove the ‘plug’ on the zoom ring and screw the little lever into place. This makes zooming in and out far easier and much more controlled – a must when out in the field in a hunting situation, especially if you are wearing gloves.

Use the Allen key provided to remove the plug screw ...

Use the Allen key provided to remove the plug screw ... - Credit: Archant

Set And Forget

Sticking with the eyebell, a great feature on these scopes is the ‘Set it and forget it’ feature, whereby you can twist the fast-focus ring, then lock it down via another locking ring to hold it in place. I found this to be extremely useful, especially if you opt for the optional extra flip-up lens covers.

By being able to lockdown the ocular focus, it’s one less thing to worry about when in a hunting situation – everything should be crystal clear, all the time.

... then screw the zoom lever into place

... then screw the zoom lever into place - Credit: Archant

10x Half Mil Reticle

There are various reticles available throughout the new Sidewinder range, but this particular scope has the 10x half mil one, which is perfect for us airgunners. The ‘Christmas Tree’ configuration underneath the horizontal hair provides multiple aim points for windage.

The centre crosshair is illuminated for 5.5 mil and it features six different levels of intensity via the click to level/click to off knob on the left-hand-side turret.

It comes supplied with a 65mm sidewheel

It comes supplied with a 65mm sidewheel - Credit: Archant

Parallax Adjustment

This scope comes supplied with a 65mm index-matched sidewheel ring, which simply pushes onto the parallax adjustment dial situated inside the illuminated reticle knob on the left side of the turret configuration. You can also purchase a larger 100 sidewheel if you prefer the larger ones.

As far as adjustment goes, it runs from ten yards to infinity, so you should have no problems getting things crystal clear at close range.

Simply push on to secure (ignore the moss)

Simply push on to secure (ignore the moss) - Credit: Archant

Sidewinder 30 SF Features

Resettable locking turrets with witness window

30mm Mono-tube chassis

Side Focus

Illumination

There are some handy charts for airgunners into extreme benchrest

There are some handy charts for airgunners into extreme benchrest - Credit: Archant

Side wheel - index-matched (removable)

Ultra-wide Angle 24° FOV

High volume eyebox

100mm eye relief

Multi-LED high intensity reticle

What more do you want from a hunting reticle?

What more do you want from a hunting reticle? - Credit: Archant

High grade, low dispersion Crown glass

18 layer Fully Multi-Coated lenses

Zoom magnification throw lever (removable)

Fast focus eyebell with lock ring

SPECIFICATION

Model: Sidewinder 30 SF

Manufacturer: Hawke optics

Tube Size: 30mm

Optical System: 4.5-14x

Objective: 44mm

Reticle: 10x Half Mil

Illumination: 6-stage red

Focus/Parallax: 10 yards to infinity

Field of View: 9.4-3mm @ 100m

Eye relief: 102mm

Length: 339mm

Weight: 680g

Battery: CR2032 (included)

RRP: £459

Website: www.hawkeoptics.com