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First Impressions... Hawke Panorama EV 4-12x40 IR 'Tactical'

Discussion in 'Equipment Reviews' started by AirArmsDavid, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. AirArmsDavid

    AirArmsDavid Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Near Lutterworth, Leics
    Club:
    Kibworth
    :)

    Firstly, I am a fan of Hawke scopes having amassed 8 of their SR6 3-12x44 (as used by this year's UKAHFT winner, Dave Ramshead), various Varmints, and a few others, plus the two Sidewinder 30 4.5-14x42 'Tactical' scopes my son and I now use the most and which have become firm favourites due to the great reticle, depth of field, and optical clarity.

    My aim on Saturday was to compare the Hawke newcomer, the Panorama, with an SR6 and a SW30. I imagined the Panorama would fall somewhere in between the two.

    I set targets out at 8, 25, & 35 yards and an empty Hull Cartridge box, with different sized lettering on the side, at 45 yards.

    I had already set the fast focus eye ring to suit my eyesight, and loosened the front lens on the non-AO Panorama so I could focus it in at the same range as the SW30, around 25 yards. Then I set the Panorama's magnification to match the SW30 using the 25 yard paper target with 25mm squares on it. I adjusted the Panorama mag until 1 mil dot equalled 25mm, as it does at an indicated mag of 10x on my SW30.

    Once set, the Panorama's mag ring showed a setting of 9.3x mag. This is a perfect illustration why not to buy a fixed mag scope when a variable mag version is available, as is the case with the SW30 (but not the Panorama). If you want to shoot with 'true' mil dots you'll find different manufacturers' fixed mag scopes don't always work out precisely true and so variable mag lets you set all your scopes to the same measuring system. Even with the same manufacturer, as here, we have a variance between marked mags. You may get a very slight improvement in depth of field with a fixed mag scope but I'd go for the flexibility of the variable mag every time.

    Comparing the Panorama with the SW30 at 45 yards, lettering on the Hull box was very slightly clearer with the Panorama. At eight yards there was no difference between them! So a little bit of a suprise that the new scope seemed better for depth of field at 50% of the SW30!

    What I immediately noticed comparing the Panorama to the old SR6 was the wide field of view with the Panorama. Hawke claim it is 20% wider than normal and I can vouch for this. We had some metal plates set up for pistol shooting and the edges of a 250mm square plate at ten yards on 10x mag were all just visible at the same time with the SR6 whereas with the Panorama I could see all four corners of the plate. Swapping back to the SW30 I noted a very similar FOV to the Panorama. The SR6 looked very dated all of a sudden! The wide fields of view of both the 30mm tubed SW30 and 25mm tubed Panorama give a much lighter, brighter, image and allow you to see more of the effect of any wind in your peripheral view. Also, both the SW30 and Panorama have much finer lines to the reticle compared to those of the old SR6, allowing a better view of what your aiming at.

    The Tactical half mil dot reticle borrowed from the SW30 is what attracted me to the non-AO version of the Panorama. For HFT, which is all I shoot, an ability to adjust focus regularly is unnecessary as once set the rules don't allow it to be moved. The lack of a front focus ring also makes for a sleeker profile and the use of low mounts on some rifles, often preferred by HFT shooters. Although an AO version is availble, it has a new MAP6A reticle which is very similar in function, if not design, to the old SR6 having hold under/over aiming lines and 'hollow bars' similar to the Tac reticle but this time containing different sized 'brackets' relating to the old SR6's bracketing section. If you're not sold on the new Tac reticle and prefer your SR6 then have a look at this version maybe?

    The Panorama comes with red and blue illumination courtesy of the left hand 'sidewheel' intensity adjuster which also makes for a good looking scope. It also comes with see through flip-up covers which were a good fit and seem robust enough for the job.

    I did the 'switch' from SR6 to SW30 last year and the Panorama's relatively cheap price at £115 from BAR makes me think I will replace a fair few of my SR6's with it in due course. (For a £10 discount on Panorama scopes for forum members at BAR, mention my name, David Chapman)

    I've only tested the new scope on the range in the fairly poor light of last Saturday afternoon so no real test in a comp yet but I am expecting good things of it from this first impression.

    Go have a look through one and see for yourself!

    ;)
     
  2. AirArmsDavid

    AirArmsDavid Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Near Lutterworth, Leics
    Club:
    Kibworth
    2nd impressions.....

    Shooting yesterday in the HFT comp at Kibworth in the cold, snow and wind I didn't notice any difference between the Panorama and my SW30 Tac in practical terms. Same bright wide image, same depth of field, same bracketing. First time out with it and I hadn't used my .177 Pro Sport in a comp for over two years but the combo gave me a joint first in the recoiling class.

    :)
     

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