MAP Reticles are big news for airgun hunters! Jim takes these scopes out in the field and has the chance to try them on a number of springers and PCPs.
With this as a backdrop, let me say that when I was contacted by Hawke and asked to test out a couple of their products I jumped at the opportunity. Hawke has been providing scopes to the airgunning world for several years, and has a very strong following in the European marketplace. In our first call we discussed the guns I would be using, both spring piston and pcp power plants, and the type of field conditions Iâ€™d be shooting under. A few days later I was unpacking the companies MaxPro and Airmax models, both 3-9x variable magnification, with the 40mm and 50mm objectives respectively. I now have had a few weeks experience with these products and have mounted them on everything from a Webley Patriot .25 magnum springer to a DAQ .457 pcp, with many other test guns in between. While intending to spend a lot more time with these scopes during the upcoming small game seasons, I feel comfortable giving a preliminary review based on current experience.
Both of these scopes are well made and built on a shockproof 1â€� mono tube, with multi-coated lenses that are waterproof and said to be fog proof. I compared the image quality obtained with these scopes to several models of Leapers, Burris, Tasco, Niko Stirling, and Leupold that I own, and would rate the clarity and sharpness of images at the upper end of the scale. I had these scopes out in the low light of very early morning or right before nightfall, and found the light transmission characteristics and image contrast quite good, but will talk about this a bit later when reviewing field performance.
I used the scopes on several PCP rifles including the Webley Raider shown here.
The eye relief on these scopes is just a tad under 3.5â€� and allowed me to get on target quickly. I found it easy to set this scope up in a comfortable shooting position, and the ability to adjust the ocular lenses permitted me to optimize the image with or without glasses. The two models I looked at were well balanced and fit in a variety of mounts on a wide range of base configurations. Both scopes offered an adjustment ring on the objective lens that allowed correction of parallax distortion from 10 yards to infinity, and facilitated acquisition of a crisp and focused view at any range. On the Airmax scope the elevation turret is open and can be finger adjusted without necessitating the removal of a cap, which makes sense as this is the most common field adjustment. On the MapPro both turrets were capped.
These scopes are said to be rated for magnum springers, and to put this claim to the test I mounted both the MapPro and the Airmax on three springers that can really hammer a scope; the Webley Patriot .25, the BAM B-40 .177, and the Walther Falcon .25. I shot a few tins of pellets across these guns and did not experience any shift in POI or other malfunctions. Of course this is a limited evaluation. The real test will be to see how they make it through the upcoming squirrel season, as I put my gear through some pretty rugged use under a variety of conditions. However, my experience has been that if a scope is going to come undone as an effect of heavy recoil, it will usually happen in the first tin of pellets.
The Multiple Aim Point (MAP) reticle is a very nice feature on these scopes. Essentially, when combined with the companies Ballistic Reticule Converter Software it allows a number of crosshairs to be visualized which correspond to zero at various ranges. This allows the hunter to zero at 30 yards, then move one cross hair down at 40 yards, and one further down at 50 yards, so that exact shot placement is quickly achieved when in the field. And we all know that is the name of the game when airgun hunting. I never fumble around with adjusting the scope when hunting, so this type of set up resonated with me immediately. I find this a more useful arrangement than mildots and a swag. Both scopes held up well to intense shooting through my magnum springers, this untuned B-40 is a known scope eater!
Hawke MapPro and Airmax Airgun Scopes