This Hawke Sidewinder ED scope is the latest release that we have purchased from Hawke and it is every bit as good as they claimed, in fact I think it is better. This is one large scope with 60mm objective in a 30mm tube that houses the new TMX reticle.
I think this scope is very well suited to long range shooting from some of the better PCP Air Rifles like the Weihrauch HW100, Brocock, Daystate and of course AirForce.
Hawke have learned lessons from the Airmax 30SF as one can clearly see some of the same componentry used in the Sidewinder ED. Some of this is no doubt due to the benefits derived by economies of scale and commonality of parts but also because these components work well in the 30SF. The adjustable illuminated step-less angled turret and the alloy dust covers that are locked in with the help of ‘C’ tools that are supplied, are already used in the Airmax 30SF.
What rifles would use the Sidewinder ED?
There are going to be those who react and say, ‘who needs a scope that powerful?”. Answer, me for one, my eyes aren’t like they were 40 years ago….. However, I like shooting out at distances of 100 metres or more using a PCP and at the end of the day, magnification, clarity, an excellent thin etched glass reticle and a large objective all contribute to accuracy and visible shot placement.
Try hitting a 5-cent coin at 100 metres with a wire reticle scope as used on some cheaper designs and you will find the coin is eclipsed by the thickness of the reticle. Not so with this scope as the optics are first class and makers of established scopes should be looking over their shoulders as Hawke scopes are fast coming of age and quality.
As I predominantly sell air rifles/PCPs this scope is perhaps too large for most them; but if you own a quality PCP like Weihrauch, Brocock, Daystate or AirForce, and you intend shooting out to the next level where a degree of skill is required, then maybe you should look at a Hawke Sidewinder. Anyone reading this who has a centre-fire will immediately see the advantage of using a x50 ED scope on distances out over 400 metres. I wouldn’t fit it to a springer due to the limited range of a spring gun and the cost ratio of the scope versus the cost of the spring air gun, as this is not a cheap scope in price or construction.
The Scope un-boxed.
As can be seen from the image below, the Hawke Sidewinder scope now comes in a well made cardboard box and not in the Aluminium box of the past that used to house the Sidewinders of yesterday. In the box there are two ‘C’ tools for adjusting the flip up alloy dust covers and a 2-pin knob used for tightening up the low profile knurled nut that secures the side-wheel. There is also a sunshade extension and a 100mm side-wheel that can be fitted to allow very small adjustments to be made taking out parallax, due in part to the large diameter of the wheel that also hosts distances in yards.
There is no point in fitting the side-wheel if you are comfortable just using the left side turret cap to focus but serious target shooters have come to realise its advantages. In some of these images you will see that I fitted the optional side-wheel that is 150mm in diameter, as this allows even smaller adjustments to be made with pin-point accuracy. The larger diameter allows for very precise adjustment to eliminate parallax error with greater accuracy, a key factor when tuning a PCP Air Rifle for distance shooting.
Note: Due to the size of the 150mm side-wheel, care must be taken not to load the side-wheel by leaning it against something while attached to the rifle or lying it down whilst under the rifle. As there is a large leverage effect that the wide side-wheel can impose on the turret shaft when supporting a rifle’s weight, damage may result. The same can be said about protecting the scope’s objective, especially when fitted with a sunshade: this poses a long unsupported scope tube that will transfer any load on it by several multiples that can’t be good.
The Sidewinder ED Reticle.
The etched glass reticle harbours some very fine lines and numbers not found on many other scopes. Buying a scope of this quality and expense dictates that you should understand the reticle and just how to use it to the best advantage possible.
The Sidewinder ED comes with ¼ MOA geared turrets and optional 1/8th MOA or 1/10th Mrad can be purchased separately for those guys who shoot to 5 decimal places.
Suitability of the Sidewinder ED.
This Hawke Sidewinder ED will likely find its’ niche with bench-rest shooters of PCPs and centre fire rifle owners who participate in extreme range targets. For myself, shooting a good group at 100 metres takes skill, a good PCP and a great scope in that order. I know quite a few of my customers who will dig deep to buy one of these scopes for the advantages it offers apart from cosmetic.
As for the zoom factor, one doesn’t need to run around all day with the scope zoomed up to the max as 10 power if quite OK for much of the shooting done today as it is.
Hawke Sidewinder Summary.
At the end of the day the Hawke Sidewinder ED fitted with a 150mm side-wheel makes an imposing sight that is in fact in keeping with its impressive performance. Having not fired too many shots using this Hawke Sidewinder ED scope I can say this, ‘what I have fired has impressed me no end’, to the point I will buy one for myself.