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Advice Selecting A Scope

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by JBFUK, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. JBFUK

    JBFUK Active Member

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    Hey Guys,

    I'm looking to select a scope for a .22 HW95K. I definitely want a Hawke and AO model. So far I have narrowed it down to the following options:

    Vantage 4-12x40 AO MILDOT
    Vantage 4-12x50 AO IR MILDOT
    Panorama 4-12x40 AO 1/2 MILDOT (also IR)
    Airmax 4-12x40 AMX
    Airmax 4-12x50 AMX


    First of all I'm wondering about 40 vs 50 objective lens size. I've read in various places that the 40mm OL can actually be an advantage due to deeper depth of field, weight and being mounted closer to the scope. From what I understand 50mm OL can be of benefit in low light situations. The (rubbish) scope that came with my Stoeger ATAC is a 4-16x40 and I don't seem to have any issues with it not letting in enough light - so I'm leaning towards 40mm.

    Second I'm wondering about the value of IR. From what I've read in these forums it can be nice to have in some situations, at dawn/dusk or when hunting with a dark background but it's generally used very little. With that in mind it seems like a nice to have but not essential.

    Third, the reticle. This seems to be one of the main differences between the Vantage, Panorama and Airmax (I'm aware of a other small differences). Let's say I were to zero at 30-35 yards. With a medium weight .22 pellet would I be running out of MILDOTs for hold-over shooting out to 50-60 yards?

    Lastly the field of view. The Panorama is said to have a wider field of view and I'm trying to understand how this translates to what I would actually see. Let's say I am looking at a 2" target 35yds away at 12x zoom - with both the Vantage and the Panorama. Will the target actually still appear as large in my view with the Panorama as the Vantage - just the overall 'picture' is bigger or will the wider field of view have the effect of reducing the magnification?

    Thinking about these things I'm leaning towards either the 'Vantage 4-12x40 AO MILDOT' which is the cheap option at £80 or the 'Panorama 4-12x40 AO 1/2 MILDOT' which is quite a bit more at £170. (The Panorama EV 4-12x40 AO IR is around for £130 - looks like an older model?)

    My final question would be how I decide what size mounts to use (medium or high)? I don't want it to he mounted higher than it needs to be but also it needs to be high enough. I'm guessing a medium height mount would be correct for a 40mm OL?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  2. monsta41

    monsta41 Donator

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    i have Illuminated ret on both my hawke scopes. to be honest i dont use it as it can cause a halo around the ret.. and actually make thing difficult to see..
    regarding mounts, use the ones that allow you proper eye alignment with the scope, obviously with the larger scopes you might need higher mounts..
    have you looked at / considered the sidewinder? very nice optics and side focus/parallax, and resettable turrets
     
  3. Oat

    Oat Spud guns rule

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    I own a few HW95's and several hawke scopes.

    Broadly, the Airmax and Panorama are excellent and have nice fine rets. The vantage are pretty cheap and have poor rets by comparison.
    I would be happy with either the 4-12x40 airmax or panorama - the main difference being the IR on the panorama which is not something i can make use of most of the time.

    I have a few PCP's with Panorama 6-18x50, and they are excellent, with a really wide vision which is good for finding your target. particularly good for use with add on night vision also. However i cannot think that i'd fit one of these scopes to a break springer - especially not a underlever as the length of the scope would hinder pellet loading.

    With regard to to running out of mildots when shooting a .22 at up to 60 yards. There is a yes and no, on full mag you could run out of mildots, on low mag you would not. But then, i see little point in shooting a springer beyond 40 yards unless you're just having a casual plink.

    I need a new scope for one of my 95's, it will be the Airmax 4-12x40. My newly acquired TX200 has a Panorama 4-12x40 which i had previously used on s 95. To my mind, both of these are the ideal scope for springers whether you are hunting, plinking, target shooting.

    Really, you do need to go and view some of the scopes, as what i like may not be your flavour :D
    Hope this helps to some degree...
     
  4. JBFUK

    JBFUK Active Member

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    The sidewinder is way too expensive, not even in consideration.

    So it sounds like the AirMax or Panaorama 4-12x40 might be good options. Spending a similar amount of money, the Panorama sounds attractive with the IR available in case I did want it (don't have to use) and the wider field of view. If you were looking through the airmax and panoramas, at the same target, same distance and magnification - would you see the target as the same size in both, just you also get the wider field of view with the Panorama?

    I'm actually starting to think, given I'm a shooting newbie, I should perhaps not get carried away and just buy the Vantage 4-12x40 AO (non-IR) for half the price. Learn how to shoot with that and if I find later I'm shooting at longer ranges, running out of mildots or having issues with low light, then would be the time to buy something more expensive. Maybe that's the sensible things to do, otherwise I'll be one of those with expensive gear but no idea how to make good use of it... This is presuming the Vantage will still hold a solid zero on a springer?

    In terms of mounts I absolutely get what you are saying regards the height, but, just looking at the numbers I think the high mounts might be the only ones to fit? From the Hawke website -

    4-12x40 objective end is 54m diameter (Vantage, Airmax, Panaroma all the same)
    Tube has 25.4mm diameter
    This means 14.3mm from the bottom of the tube to bottom of the objective ring.​

    Looking at their 1-piece match mounts specs, the medium has 13mm clearance from top of the rail to bottom of the tube. High has 22mm. This would mean with the medium mount would not fit whereas the high would give the objective ring 7.7mm clearance.

    Does that sound right based on your experience with the 4-12x40 Hawkes on a HW95 or in reality have you been able to use the medium height mounts? Also everyone seems to recommend 1-piece but I see lot of 2-piece systems in use. What do you use?
     
  5. rich79

    rich79 Donator

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    My dad has bought a Hawke 50mm AO for his 77, to be honest I think it dwarfs the rifle & looks stupid, it's also unnecessary for what he shoots, I find most 40mm's perfect for airgun use.
     
    Oat likes this.
  6. PumpnGun

    PumpnGun Donator

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    That would be my plan of attack ;)

    Ray
     
    Gunfun likes this.
  7. Gunfun

    Gunfun Engaging Member

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    Regarding the objective lens size I'd go for the 40mm or less, the greater depth of field, lighter weight and less bulk of a smaller objective lens usually out weigh the benefits of 15 minutes of extra light at dawn or dusk of the larger objective lenses unless you use a particularly high magnification to shoot with.
    IR is great to have when you need it, which for me is less than 1% of the time, when hunting the first thing that stops me shooting at low light is not being able to see my crosshair or Mildots against the target (I can still see the target clearly through the lenses it's the crosshair I lose) so IR gives you 15 to 20 mins more shooting time until you can't see through the lenses. I've also used IR on shooting ranges when aiming at black coloured targets for a more precise point of aim.
    Reticle, I'd look on Chairgun and play around with a few different reticles to see what suits you. I prefer a full (not 1/2 it's too busy) true Mildot reticle for .22 and the Mildots work out at 28, 35, 40, 45, 50 meters so plenty of aim points and fairly easy to remember.
    FOV, I think what you're talking about is the AFOV (apparent field of view) which should be directly related to the FOV meaning bigger picture at the front equals a bigger picture at the back, but some of this depends on the eye pieces so it's not constant. As said above it's best to go and look through a few scopes or have a look for AFOV calculating formulas to figure it out.
    Scope mount height, for me the most important thing is the the scope clears the rifle/magazine, followed by cheek weld fit, followed by trajectory benefits (for example very low scope heights are great for a close range PBR and high scope mounts more forgiving of range finding errors at longer ranges).
    Also if you're going to use x10 magnification (or higher) and regularly shoot at targets from 10 to 60 yards I'd consider a side focusing scope instead of AO because of the amount of times you may have to refocus at higher magnification.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    PumpnGun and jps norton like this.
  8. metalman

    metalman Keyboard Hero

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    IR can be handy when the trees leaf up and woodland shooting
     
  9. Oat

    Oat Spud guns rule

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    @JBFUK
    One piece mounts won't fit 4-12x40. Use 2 piece sportsmatch mediums.

    If you buy a vantage it will lose much value should you want to sell it later. With the 'buy cheap, buy twice' mindset i would recommend buying what you want from day 1.
    I had a vantage once.... won't be buying another.

    I must add, you may be overthinking the whole thing. Got to an RFD, have a look, try, buy :up:
     
  10. Bilbobaggins

    Bilbobaggins Engaging Member

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    I’m sure I’ve got an old Hawke 4-16 IR AO going spare not sure what it is vantage or sport?, it’s got a few scratches on the turret covers but the lenses are A1 and it’s unemployed, £40 plus postage if your interested, I can send some pics Thursday evening.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  11. themadspread

    themadspread Donator

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    go for the smaller objective lens gives you a far greater chance of getting parallax error out of the equasion
     
    rabbitwrecker likes this.
  12. Trampilot

    Trampilot Post Whore

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    My 2p worth

    From the ones you've suggested I'd go with the 40mm ones. Just to note a one piece mount is fine on the Vantage 4-12x40 but you'll need a 2 piece for the other 4-12x40 options. I've got a 4x32 Vantage on my 95 and love it. Very clear and bright. If you want something simple then this is the one to go for.

    With regards reticles I find the Vantage ok but the panorama/airmax ones are too busy for my tastes. I reckon you should take a look through them first.

    I'm not a huge fan of Illuminated Rets. I've never really needed to use them. Just seems to add £s. Again personal preference.

    With regards mount height - Hawke medium mounts 1 or 2pc or fine up to 40mm (I use them -plenty of clearance). Sportsmatch medium are good up to 44mm - but Sportsmatch also do very low mounts for 32mm lenses. Anything bigger than 44mm you need high ones.
     
  13. cooper_dan

    cooper_dan Engaging Member

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    From what you've said I think a vantage max 4-12x40 might be a good scope for you.

    I think you are doing the right thing going for a 40mm. Bigger is not always better! The vantage max is the vantage body, but with the panorama finer half mile dot reticle. I use one for HFT and it's never let me down. Stunning value for the money. They were between £120 and £150 depending on if you have IR or not, and mine is mounted with a hawke 1 piece mount
     
  14. TORNADOS7

    TORNADOS7 Big Poster

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    40 or 50 is neither here nor there really, quality of glass is more important, only thing is you'll possibly need higher mounts for the 50mm lens which could consequently lead to a higher head position...
     
  15. edvard

    edvard Donator

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    The sports match Dampa mount fits the Hawke 4-12 x40 air max ao . Standard one piece mid is a couple of mm too long .
    This is what I use on my hw95 in .22 as well. I know Mikeyhall uses an Airmax as well on his hw 95 and it's him that put me onto the dampamount
    :up::up:
    The airmax are good scopes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  16. Rat Man

    Rat Man Donator

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    I recently bought a Hawke scope and it came with mounts of the appropriate height already pre-attached. Not sure if all of their scopes have this. I’m sure the experts on here would change them for something better, but as a recent newbie myself I’m happy with them so far.
     
  17. Bigjimknickers

    Bigjimknickers Busy Member

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    I have that 4-12x40ao Hawke vantage and I find it a nice cheap scope.
     
  18. Scubashot

    Scubashot Engaging Member

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    I also have the Hawke Vantage 4-12 x 40 AO on Sportsmatch medium mounts fitted to my 0.22" HW77.

    For most of the reasons already stated I discarded 50mm scopes requiring high mounts in favour of this more compact combination. I was able to buy it online at around £65.00 posted, so I will never lose a lot if I change it in the future.

    I zero at 30 metres and mostly shoot targets at 45mtrs/50 yards on x12, dialling in the elevation rather than using mildots but I would have thought that if you pick an appropriate zero distance you would not run out of aim points at 50 - 60 yards.
    I also have the Vantage 3-12 x 44 SF on Sportsmatch low mounts fitted to my HW100S and find both scopes to be more than adequate for my purposes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  19. JBFUK

    JBFUK Active Member

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    Well, I've gone an ordered the Panorama 4-12x40. The cost saving on the Vantage was very tempting and it seems to be reported as being fine, but looking over reviews I think the Panorama is better in terms of build quality etc. Hopefully it'll be with me for life, so paying a bit more initially will probably pay off in the longer term.
     
    Gunfun likes this.
  20. JBFUK

    JBFUK Active Member

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    So received the scope today and have to say I'm disappointed. It's actually a very nice scope, but the AO is very stiff - I'd expect this to an extent with it being new, but turning it there's a slight feeling of grinding. Looking at the front end, the thread is quite messy, bits of swarf and a few chips in the paint around the lens.

    I'm not sure whether this is how they come out of the factory or perhaps it's been used/returned before. Spoke with the supplier and they are swapping it no quibbles but won't have a replacement available until next week :(
     

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