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Hawke Optics Airmax EV Review

This is a Community Review of the Hawke Optics Airmax EV AO Scope by Dave Ez. The author of the following review are in no way affiliated with Airgun Depot. The views expressed below are personal opinion only.
Overall Reviewer Rating
  • Optics Clarity
  • Ergonomics
  • Accuracy
  • Build Quality
Before I start, I'll toss out this little reminder. I'm an airgun enthusiast, collector, shooter & tinkerer. I do not work in ANY airgun related business nor am I affiliated with airgun manufacturers, dealer, vendors or distributors. I do not get paid for my reviews and do not get to keep any products I do my evaluation of unless I decide I really want the item. Then I sometimes have the option to purchase the item. My reviews are unbiased and completely from an end user point of view.

I have over 20 airguns in my collection, at THIS time. My age and eye sight make iron sights almost useless. I have prescription progressive lens glasses but do not wear them when shooting. I choose instead to wear safety glasses and have all of my guns equipped with AO glass. That way I can adjust the eye piece for a sharp reticle and the AO for a sharp target picture. I also prefer 44mm or larger objective as well as variable magnification anywhere from 4-32X depending on the airgun and the shooting purpose of that rig. I like popping paintballs from 25 yards on out, as well as other interactive targets.

All this to let you know that I have and use glass on my variety of airguns. So on with the review. I was eager to check out the AirMax EV since this is only the second Hawke glass I have had in my possession. I really like the other one I have, but I just seem to buy other brands either due to the convenience or the price jumps out at me. This scope, on first look, appeared to be compact for the features at only 12.7". In picking it up out of the box, I found the 19oz felt very light and balanced compared to others with similar features. No bulky or heavy feel to it. Weight can become a factor when you start assembling a shooter. You want to keep it light but still have useful features.

With a choice of airguns to test this scope on, I picked a Turkish made Winchester 1000 springer. It just so happens I had removed the scope from this one and it eagerly awaited the remount of glass. Since these are truly close to 1000fps .177 springers, they have substantial recoil. For that reason, I chose a 5 bolt solid mount with integrated stop pin.

Hawke Optics Airmax EV Scope

The eye relief is advertised at 3.2" and with this particular gun, this particular mount and this particular shooter, this was not really comfortable. I found myself having to slide up a bit further on the stock than normal or natural for me. I adjusted though and went back to testing.

Next I removed the turret caps and examined the adjustment knobs. Comfortable size, easy to turn but gave a nice positive click with the 1/4" MOA adjustments.

After removing my prescription glasses I slid the gun into shooting position and adjusted the eye piece for a sharp reticle. Now I have to adjust some scopes quite a bit, but with the Hawke Fast Focus Eyeball, it took maybe ½-3/4 turn to have the reticle nice and sharp. Seemed like there was plenty of adjustment left for those that shoot the same way I do or have less than perfect vision.

I set my targets out at my usual test distance of 25 yards. I set the rifle into the rest and focused the objective. The AO was VERY smooth and quick to adjust. So far all adjustments are extremely smooth and positive. I'm a big fan of mil-dot scopes for shooting at a variety of ranges and found the MAP6 (Multiple Aim Point) reticle to be almost as nice as mil-dot but not quite. The dots are a bit close for me and not sure how useful they will be for me. Time will tell if I can make good use of them. Here is a better view of the MAP6 versus a mil-dot reticle.

Hawke Optics Airmax Recticle Comparison

For my type of shooting, I like a mil-dot reticle. The MAP6 is a nice reticle and may just take me some time to adjust to it. The graduation of the dots is advertised as being more useful and accurate than mil-dots. By zeroing at 30 yards, the top dot represents where to aim at 20 yards. Then 30 yards for the center. First dot below center is 35 yard aim point, second is 40 yards and the third dot is for 45 yards. I will experiment more with these when time permits. But I would also guess these ranges are relevant to the power of the airgun and the ammo you use. But they are good reference points.

It took 3 shots at 25 yards to get on paper. I had set out a 3" Shoot-N-C round target. After some fine tuning, the scope did what a good scope is supposed to do, lay the rounds in the same area. And as you can see from the scope picture below, the target picture was very bright. The scope has excellent light efficiency. I couldn't find in the literature what they actually spec the efficiency at but from my daytime testing I'd say in the mid to high 90 percentile.

Hawke Airmax Scope View

This particular airgun has a good amount of recoil and I wanted to test it on such a gun. A true airgun rated scope will hold zero with the double recoil. This one did just that. It would be even better on a PCP, Co2 or pumper airgun.

The scope comes packaged with a lens cloth, clear flip-up lens covers and detailed instruction pamphlets. They explain the proper use of different reticle designs. This scope is light, compact for the amount of features, all controls operate smoothly, a bright picture and it holds zero quite well. I will be adding this one to my arsenal but may find a better fit on a different airgun. Overall, the only negatives I found was the eye relief for this particular gun and mount system and the scope covers are a bit flimsy and did not stay in place or flip up easily. But I will mainly only have them installed when the gun is in storage anyway. And yes, I'm buying it. If you are looking for a relatively light weight AO variable, this would be an excellent choice.

Hawke Airmax EV Behind View

Till next time….SAFE & Happy Shooting!!!!

Dave Ez
July 9, 2012

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