I had the pleasure of trying a Hawke Optics Varmint SF scope in the 4-16X44 model. After a long career of predator hunting I have been through a lot of different scopes and I was looking forward to seeing how the Hawke Optics performed.
Since I was planning to put the scope through some serious testing I mounted the varmint 4-16×44 on my 220 Swift because I already knew the rifle was accurate and knew exactly how my hand loads performed through it. With an accurate base gun to go off I knew that the tests I would perform would be all about the optic.
Glass Clarity and Focus
For my initial test I put a predator magazine at 50yards and got behind the scope. Reading the print on the front cover was no problem at all, i could see it all nice and clear from the biggest print to the smallest. The glass is very clear and looking side by side with some of my more expensive scopes i considered the Hawke very close if not equal with most on glass clarity and focus. One of the things I really like is that the magnification ring turned nice and smooth without much force.
½ Mil-Dot Reticle Performance
Adjustments on the scope are easy to hear and the clicks are also easily felt, although there is a little slop in the adjustment knob. At 100 yards the scope tracked excellent and accurately. For my tracking test I adjusted the windage and elevation and between shots and then reverted back to original adjustments. The Varmint SF tracked perfectly, 8 clicks left moved the shot 2 inches, 8 clicks right moved it back to where the first shot was, 12 clicks up moved shot placement 3 inches up and 12 clicks down put it back to starting hole. The ability for a scope to accurately and reliably track through reticle adjustments is key and the Hawke reticle certainly surpassed my expectations. It has the 1/2 mil reticle which may be a little thin for some people but I found it nice to hold exactly on aiming point with it.
I am no master of optics but I have a lot of scopes and like when I can save some money. With the Hawke scope I feel you get more quality than you pay for. The clarity of the glass used by Hawke Optics is fantastic and at $219.99 the Varmint SF is holding its own with it’s competetors in the $450.00 – $500.00 price range. Overall the Hawke Varmint SF is a high quality scope that performs way above its price point and delivers a great value to the customer.
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FLG Pro Staff