Hawke Sidewinder Tactical 30 review

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Virginian
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Hawke Sidewinder Tactical 30 review

Postby Virginian » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:50 pm

I've been meaning to get around to writing a review on this particular scope. I will try to be subjective and point out it's pros and cons for this review. The models in the Tactical Series offer variable power in 4.5-14x42, 6.5-20x42 and 8.5x25x42, with a fixed 10x42 to round it up. It’s a 30mm tube design with a 42mm objective lens so make sure you’ve got the proper rings and bases of adequate height. In my example I'm using on my Dtech AR Ruger .204 using model #HK4030 8.5-25x42 with the 10 1/2 mil dot reticle, illuminated in red or green.The eye relief is 3 1/2" but I'll comment on that more later. I presently own three of these scopes in various powers. One is on my .204 and the other is on my 6mmPPC, the third is on the shelf for a TAC 17 upper coming from Dtech next month.

What's in the box?
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Well, for starters, it comes in a very nice hard case with cut out foam inserts. I was kind of surprised when I open the box and saw this. Kind of nice touch in my opinion...
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Inside the box, you see the scope, 4" sun shade, lens cleaning cloth, metal lens covers, a spare battery for the illuminated reticle, tools for turret adjustment, a removable large wheel for parallax adjustment, and owners manual. Again, nice accouterments with this scope for the price range.

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Here's a close up of the removable parallax wheel and the second ring clamps to the scope as a dial indicator for the parallax wheel. My comment on this parallax wheel are a mixed bag. This particular design is a pain in the rump to install and get it set up right, but once it is installed, it performs flawlessly. These type of exaggerated parallax focus wheels are more common in the air gun world than the center fire cartridge shooters. With that said, now that I actually opened up mind and decided to give it a try, the daggone thing works really nice. I actually prefer it rather than fishing around for the small wheel or rotating the front ocular bell on my other scopes. When ever I pull this AR out and others see this, I get the same response, "what the hell is that?" :lol:

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Here's a pic of the screw on lens covers. It comes with one for both ends of the scope. If you opt to use the 4" sun shade, it will not accept the lens cover. I thought that was rather odd and kind of wish it did.

OK, let's move on to the clarity and reticle. I'll try to explain my perspective on why I chose this particular set up. The reticle is very, very fine and could be a problem in low light conditions. It's so fine that I had some issues getting my camera to focus on the reticle. These pictures are not a true representation of the clarity of the reticle. The reticle is very sharp because it's etched into the glass. Here's a picture of the reticle against a light background. The view was crisp & clear across through the whole diameter of visible area. This picture is at 8.5 power at 100 yards and again, please don't judge the clarity on my pictures.
Image

<more to come>
Last edited by Virginian on Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical review

Postby Virginian » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:51 pm

This is a great example of how fine this reticle is, take at this picture against a dark background. It was an overcast evening about 1/2 hour before dusk. You can see the reticle is has just about disappeared in the backdrop. This picture is at 8.5 at 100 yards.
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Here's where the illuminated reticle kicks in and gets the job done nicely. Again, 8.5 power at 100 yards and I believe this picture illustrates how this scope works well in low light conditions with this fine reticle.
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Same view at 25 power at 100 yards.
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Here's the green illumination but it sure doesn't show up on my camera very well. I should mention that there's 5 power levels for both re and green illumination.
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The scope adjustments are very 'tactical' if you will. They are large and their adjustments are somewhat click or fall into their detent well. I would not say they are as good as I would hope for but considering the price point of this product. I can live with it.
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1/4 MOA tactical turrets, they offer push/pull locking and easy zero adjustment.
Locked
1/4 MOA tactical turrets. Besides looking exceptionally cool, they offer push/pull locking and easy zero adjustment
Unlocked
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The cap is removed with the supplied tool and makes it a snap to set your turrets to zero.

<more to come>
Last edited by Virginian on Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical review

Postby Virginian » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:51 pm

Eye relief? I said I would comment on this later. The eye relief is truly 3 1/2" when on the 8.5x power, it drops to a tad under 3" when zoomed up to 20x power. The objective in the view gets a little tricky to see, meaning that you must be lined up perfect to see out the scope at max zoom. From my experience, this is typical for lower end scopes and you would have to spend 4 times the price to overcome this small issue.

Hawke BRC (bullet reticle calculator) is a free utility software that you can download http://www.hawkeoptics.com/apps/brc.html. You have the ability to enter in your caliber and ballistic to match your reticle for your scope. It even has software to print trajectory charts that you can tape into your flip up scope caps. Pretty cool! The software is available for both Windows and Mac users.

Here's an example of it.
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A little about the company. Hawke has been primarily doing business in the UK for over 30 years and just recently entered into the US market in 2007. Their products are sold to over 40 countries globally and they continue to expand their product line.

Where is it made? The short answer is China. Lake many Americans we are sometimes overwhelmed with products that are made in ROC and this is sometimes viewed as a negative. The reality of modern globalization is you have to do it to be competitive at all. If you don't and these products were produced in the UK, it's likely that the price would double. On a side note as I sit here and write this review, my iPhone next to me, the television on in the background, my Nike sneakers, and many other products within arms reach are all made in China. Welcome to the new millennium. Just my .02¢ as we all adjust to a change economy.

With that said, Hawke's target audience is me. You, the guy or gal that wants a scope packed with lots of options at a reasonable price. Sure I would like to have high end scopes, i.e. Nightforce, Zeiss, Swarovski, Schmidt & Bender, etc. but I'm not in a position to put thousands of dollars on every one of my rifles. I have tried some of the other brands that come from Asia like Vortex, Konus, Meuller and they are all just OK. Vortex has made some FFP high end Vipers that I've read good things about. Dollar for dollar or £ for £, I'll put this scope up against any of the Asian brands in the same price range. I've heard most of the negative comments about scopes made in Asia. Some of these remarks are warranted and earned the bad reputation. Questions like "why would you put an airgun scope manufacturer on your rifle?". Actually, most people don't realize that many of the airguns are spring loaded and the recoil is worse than most center fire cartridges.

What turned me onto this brand and particular scope? Actually I was looking at a youtube video of a young man using one and taking amazing shots with his airgun. If you have time, take a look at this one video of the many that he has posted. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emz_-bbTpb4&feature=g-user-u He takes over a 100 yard shot using the 10.5 mil dot on this very scope using the BRC charts from Hawke. That EdGun that he's using by the way is a mere $2,500 that's made in Russia. Watch some of his other videos if you get a chance, incredible shooter! Sold me on this scope. :ugeek:

In closing here are my thoughts in no particular order:

Pros
- Clarity is excellent
- +++ options
- Value for the money
- passed the box test with flying colors
- Great dial system that works
- Etched reticle that is sharp
- Low light shooting with a fine reticle
- Easy to use mil dot with software support
- Coil erector spring supports internals during violent recoil

Cons:
- Weight 29.1 oz.
- Clicks on turrets are not as crisp
- It's big! 16"
- Some won't like the tacticool look
- At max zoom 20x, a little tricky getting a perfect view

Parting shots (pun intended)
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Head shot at 549 yards
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I usually get a lot of questions on how I take pictures through the scope. I use a devise called the Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0069VXY7K/. I take a lot of scope cam film clips in slow motion and this set up works great for most bolt rifles, ARs the slide interferes. The price is about $50 bones delivered. When attached I use the view finder on the camera to take the shot. Kind of cool actually.
Image
Last edited by Virginian on Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical review

Postby larry » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:06 pm

Nice write up. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical review

Postby Song Dog » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:00 am

Well done! Enjoyed it.

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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical review

Postby K22 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:22 am

Nice write up and really good photo's. You need to be complimented for your time and patience.
I've heard some pretty good things about those scopes. I don't do any Varmint or benchrest shooting any more so all of my rifles are of the light weight persuasion. They would look more like a Hubble Telescope mounted on a flimsy platform than a rifle with a scope mounted on it. :lol:

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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical review

Postby Virginian » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:53 pm

Final notes added this morning. Sorry I didn't finish this review last night, the bourbon was kicking in and I had to call it a night.

Thanks for reading,

Eric
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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical review

Postby CRT » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Eric,

That was an excellent review, I agree with your points 100% and feel that your review was a very fair representation of the Hawke scopes. Hopefully this review will encourage more people to at least consider the Hawke scopes before making a purchase. :D
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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical review

Postby RedMist » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:03 pm

Schweet!! I need to get one of those camera mounts...I love pics of critturs with the cross-hairs lined up on them. That would be a cool addition to my trophy room. Pic of a PD facing left, pic of one facing right, straight on...facing away...well you get the picture! :D
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Re: Hawke Sidewinder Tactical 30 review

Postby CRT » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:30 pm

I reread this review today and wanted to say Thank You to Eric again for writing such a fantastic review. It was very informative to read and also had some good pictures. Thanks Eric ! :D

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If you are interested in a custom delrin bore guide, modified CZ 527 bolt handle, or 7/8" round cotton flannel cleaning patches for small caliber rifles please PM me or email: admin@smallcaliberclub.com


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