Hawke Airmax 30 Touch – It’s A Dedicated PCP Riflescope With BIG Benefits!
The Hawke Airmax 30 Touch is an interesting new addition to the range of riflescopes from Hawke Sports Optics. It’s designed for use with “regular power” PCP air rifles only – oh, and maybe CO2 guns as well.
That’s because it’s a “zero eye relief” scope. Yes, that’s right, zero eye relief. The scope actually touches your face, or – in my case – glasses when in use. This means that it’s completely unsuitable for any gun with a recoil, such as spring/piston and gas ram guns, or big bore PCPs that have significant recoil.
SAFETY WARNING! Do not use this scope with any recoiling airgun, or firearm, for that matter. If not, you’ll certainly receive a painful case of “scope bite”.
So why would Hawke produce such a riflescope?
The reason is that a zero eye relief design provides some HUGE benefits compared to a conventionally-designed scope of similar general specifications. To illustrate the difference, I compared some headline specifications between the Hawke Airmax Touch 3-12 x 32 scope (Hawke Model 13260) and the broadly-similar Hawke Airmax 30 SF Compact 3-12 x 40 (Model 13200). Both have – 30 mm tube, Second Focal Plane reticles and the same magnification ranges.
Here’s the similarities…[table “614” not found /]
Now look at the differences. Wow![table “615” not found /]
As you can see, the Airmax Touch provides massive increases in both the Field of View and adjustment ranges for both elevation and windage. These are very significant differences that provide major benefits in use for airgunners.
The wider Field of View makes it much easier to acquire a target, particularly when hunting. The elevation and windage ranges make it so much easier to sight-in, allowing for pellet drop and wind effects. What’s more, these are real benefits that translate into big advantages in the field or on the range.
For a shooting test, I mounted the Airmax Touch using Hawke Match Ring Mounts (Model 22117) to a HAM Gold Award-winning Umarex Origin PCP air rifle.
The first change from normal practice is that the Airmax Touch needs to be mounted about 3 Inches further back on the gun than you would normally allow. Three Inches being a typical eye relief distance, of course. That distance shows clearly below.
This mounting position caused no difficulties with the Origin and I doubt that it would with most other PCPs. If an issue did occur, it could probably be overcome simply by using offset rings.
The illuminated Second Focal Plane reticle if of the AMX type. This includes half Mil Dot spacing on the lower post to provide increased aim points for long shots.
Horizontal bars are calculated at 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 Mil/MRAD spacing. The hollow posts are segmented into Mil/MRAD spacing and can be used for bracketing.
You can see the huge range of rotations possible on the elevation turret from this next photograph. Yes, that’s thirteen (13) rotations!
Normally, the elevation and windage turrets are capped for practical use.
Focusing is down to 8 Yards, controlled by the left side turret. In the sample tested by HAM, I found this parallax correction turret to be very hard to rotate by hand. However, it turned-out to be perfectly-weighted when the 3-Inch diameter sidewheel was fitted.
A special rubber eye cup is supplied with the Touch for those with normal vision. As I wear glasses, however, I found a better sight picture without it.
As the eyepiece is so close to the face (or spectacles), the eyepiece focus can be locked into place using the knurled locking ring. This prevents the loss of sharp focus that could happen through inadvertent rotation of the eyepiece during use.
Another useful feature for the airgunner is the detent on the zoom ring at the 10x magnification point. This provides a tactile confirmation that the scope is set to the correct magnification for use with the reticle, together with a slight, audible “click”.
So the shooter can find the target in a low-magnification view, then zoom-in to 10X magnification to hold over using the reticle without taking the scope from his or her eye.
I thought this is a great idea! However my preference would be for the detent to be slightly more definitive in use to ensure that the 10x magnification point cannot be passed accidentally in use. (It looks as if adjustment may be possible but only by use of a special tool).
Below is a view from the left side. As you can see from the relative size of the 3-Inch diameter sidewheel, this really is a pretty compact scope.
I’ve found the Hawke Airmax 30 Touch an interesting scope to use. Yes, it does seem strange having the scope’s eyepiece so close to your eye, but – like all things – you get used to it with time.
The vast elevation range is very useful when sighting-in the scope, particularly for longer range use. However the super-wide Field of View is something that has value every time you raise the scope to your eye. Once you’ve seen this, it’s tough to go back to a conventional scope.
I liked it a lot!