Hawke Sidewinder 4-16x50 30 FFP - test & review

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 February 2021

Well worth the wait, the new Sidewinder scopes are superb!

Well worth the wait, the new Sidewinder scopes are superb!


The new Sidewinder range of scopes from Hawke are here, and Dave Barham has the 4-16x50 30 FFP model on test in this riflescope review

The triple turret configuration with the 'Witness Window'The triple turret configuration with the 'Witness Window'

The much anticipated, new and improved Sidewinder range of scopes from Hawke Optics has just been launched. Featuring a complete redesign and sporting the new System H5 Optics system, they’re also lighter and stronger than their predecessors. Available in First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane models, there are no less than ten new additions to the line-up.

This little lever is a godsend!This little lever is a godsend!

New Optical System

The backbone of the new design lies within the System H5 optics. 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 comes with the battery suppliedIt comes with the battery supplied

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, it’s a brilliant innovation for rimfire and centrefire rifle shooters, and can also be used in extreme benchrest competitions.

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.

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.

There are loads of extra goodies in the box, including a sunshade and 100mm sidewheelThere are loads of extra goodies in the box, including a sunshade and 100mm sidewheel

Zoom Lever

One of the key additions to the new design that I absolutely love is the zoom magnification lever. It’s not fitted at the factory, but comes supplied with the scope in the box. Simply use the Allen key provided 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.

The sideweheel makes minute adjustments very easyThe sideweheel makes minute adjustments very easy

Quality 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.

The FFP Half Mil reticle is superbThe FFP Half Mil reticle is superb

Set And Forget

Another 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.

FFP Half Mil Reticle

The FFP Half Mil reticle was developed specifically for first focal plane optical systems and based around the common principles of mil spaced reticles. With half mil spaced markings out beyond 5 mil in all directions, the FFP Half Mil is a versatile reticle that provides aim points no matter how extreme the conditions. I like FFP scopes, because the reticle changes in size in line with the magnification as you zoom in or out.

A series of crosses etched on the lower section of the reticle in the ‘Christmas Tree’ formation make for extra windage aimpoints and act to give an easy quick-glance method of counting which mil spacing you’re aiming with. Outer posts are segmented into half mil spacing and 0.2 mil spacings, so can be used for bracketing and rangefinding.

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.

Parallax Adjustment

This scope comes supplied with a 100mm 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 small 65mm sidewheel if you prefer..

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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.

Sidewinder 30 SF Features

Resettable locking turrets with witness window

30mm Mono-tube chassis

Side Focus


Side wheel - index-matched (removable)

Ultra-wide Angle 24° FOV

High volume eyebox

100mm eye relief

Multi-LED high intensity reticle

High grade, low dispersion Crown glass

18 layer Fully Multi-Coated lenses

Zoom magnification throw lever (removable)

Fast focus eyebell with lock ring


Model: Sidewinder 30 FFP

Manufacturer: Hawke optics

Tube Size: 30mm

Optical System: 4-16x

Objective: 50mm

Reticle: FFP Half Mil

Illumination: 6-stage red

Focus/Parallax: 10 yards to infinity

Field of View: 10.6-2.7mm @ 100m

Eye relief: 102mm

Length: 339mm

Weight: 725g

Battery: CR2032 (included)

RRP: £599

Website: www.hawkeoptics.com

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