Hawke Optics Panorama EV: One of the Best Kept Secrets in Riflescopes?
Recently, during a test of the Ithaca DeerSlayer III twenty gauge, we had the chance to spend some quality time with the Hawke Sport Optics 3-9 x 40 illuminated reticle 1/2 Mil-Dot #HK5160 riflescope. We are glad we did.
This Hawke Panorama EV has features that are not easily found in a scope, much less in a riflescope this good and this affordable. One of the problems often discovered in slug gun and muzzleloading applications is scope that just plain run out of adjustment. Often, 40, 50, or 60 inches of internal adjustment in a one-inch tube scope is that's all there is, there ain't no more. It can be very frustrating when you are trying to move your group to the right spot, but your scope can't get it there. Then, it is time to consider MOA bases or a different scope. This Hawke has 90 inches of internal adjustment, roughly 50% more than generic scopes so this alone can be a blessing in several applications.
It also has a clean, etched reticle as opposed to wire. The reticle is where it belongs, in the center of your view, not noisily covering the edges with flattened wire. Not just a glass-etched reticle, this is a 1/2 Mil-Dot reticle offering you twice the precise aiming points of a standard Mil-Dot, a reticle normally only available as an extra-cost option. Not only is it an illuminated reticle with five settings, it is dual color . . . use the blue during the day, the red at dusk. Everyone that used this scope commented on how crisp the reticle was and how well it worked. Here are the basic specifications.
Hawke Panorama Model HK 5160
Range: 3 9
This Hawke is also a good looking scope, with very smooth working controls. The power ring is smooth, the reticle illumination knob is smooth with distinct stops, and the click adjustments are precise and repeatable. Sure, all scopes should be like this, but many are not. The EV (extreme view) design of this Hawke offers approximately a twenty percent wider field of view than conventional scopes. The knurling on the turret caps and the zoom ring is called a high grip design, with the zoom ring also incorporates a thumb bump, making this scope easy to use with cold or gloved hands.
This scope is also surprisingly bright and clear. It passed my dog-house test. I have a dirty beige colored igloo shaped dog house. After midnight, with all external lighting off, the basic scope test is can I make the shot easily? on the dog-house? It is a low-contrast target late at night. The dog is slumbering inside on his custom dog bed, so no scope or anything attached to it is ever pointed at Buddy the wonder dog. The Hawke passed this doghouse test easily, where many lesser scopes don't and are essentially black at this point.
The 1/2 Mil-Dot is there whether you want to use it or not. The same goes with the illuminated reticle; the scope works beautifully in most conditions without it, but when you need it you'll be delighted that it is available. All in all, we were surprised, very pleasantly so. This Hawke Panorama, taking into consideration its startlingly low bargain price, is one of the best scopes we've used in many years.
Copyright 2011 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.