Review: Hawke SideWinder 30 Tactical Rifle Scope Part 1

June 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Hawke Optics Tactical Rifle ScopeDisclaimer: I just want to be clear, I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review and all expressions and opinions are my own. Heck, I even have to return the scope as soon as I’m done with this review. ­čśë

A little while back Hawke Optics contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their rifle scopes. I jumped at the opportunity in order to provide the community some fresh unique content. Since I had the option to select the scope, I chose the SideWinder 30 Tactical Series 4.5-14×42 rifle scope.

A little about Hawke Optics

Hawke Optics is a UK based company who has been silently making their brand known through the shooting community and are increasing their dealer base here in the United States. You can find a list of dealers who carry Hawke Sport Optics here. Like I said before, in order for Hawke to spread the word about their optics, they contacted me to review their Tactical 4.5-14×42 rifle scope, so here we go!

sidewinder 30 tactical rifle scope

Hawke 4.5-14x42 IR SF Tactical Scope Mounted on my M1A Scout Rifle

The SideWinder Tactical 30 Series

The Specs:

Manufacturer: Hawke Sport Optics
Model Number: Tactical 4.5-14×42 IR SF
Finish: Matte
Magnification: 4.5-14
Objective: 42mm
Tube Diameter: 30mm
Weight: 1lb 11oz/775g
Length: 14.6″/370mm
Eye Relief: 4″/102mm
Click Value: 1/4 MOA
FOV @100y: 6.9′-2.1′ m
Reticule: Mildot
List Price: $429

The SideWinder 30 Tactical Series rifle scopes are one of the higher end rifle scope line for hawke optics. I’m not going to say it’s their highest line of scopes like their Japanese made Frontier series but, according to their sales team, they are becoming one of their hottest sellers to date and I think I know why.

The rifle scope comes packaged well with it’s own rifle scope case filled with cut out egg crate style foam that fits the outline of the scope and it’s accessories. Included within the case is the rifle scope, instruction booklet, lens cloth, screw on lens covers, 2″ side focus wheel, wheel pointer, and 4″ sunshade.


Rifle scope case and contents

Rifle scope case and contents


The single tube scope is┬á 30mm in diameter making it strong and durable. It also comes with a black matte finish making the surface of the scope less reflective. The tube comes nitrogen purged/filled making it water, shock and fog proof. The tube is pretty smooth and there are no over the top features with it’s construction leaving a simple, clean and QUALITY feeling to the scope. The turrets do remind me of the Leupold Mark 4 LR/T style turrets, giving it that mark 4 look and feel.

Rifle Scope Turrets

Rifle Scope Turrets

The turrets have some nice features to them. They are 1/4 MOA and large for easy use. They also have a nice locking feature to them. Pull the turret up or outward and they are unlocked, enabling for easy smooth adjustments. Once your settings are complete, just simply push the turret in or downward to lock it in place. They are resettable but one thing I did notice was the fact that when adjusted, I couldn’t count up or down with these turrets. The parallax knob rotates nice and smooth and ranges from 10yds-infinity. Attached to the parallax knob is the illumination know with 5 levels of brightness for both red and green reticles. I found level 3 to be the best during low light conditions.

Fast ocular focus with lock

The eye piece is also pretty nice. It contains a fast focus ocular lens adjustment with locking ring. Simply adjust until focused, then lock by moving the locking ring back toward the eye. It allows for a nice amount of adjustment before it reaches maximum capacity, allowing for a sharp, crisp view of the reticle and target. The power ring is a little stiff upon it’s first few uses but then moves back and forth smoothly. It’s not too stiff nor too loose but moves smoothly when zooming in and out.

Eye relief and reticle

The eye relief is outstanding. I have this scope mounted on my Springfield M1A Scout and eye relief is a must on my rifle. Once mounted, I took this picture about 4 inches back and the reticle is still visible and crisp.

The reticle is clean looking. It’s a free floating, glass etched, mil dot reticle with hollow bars for easy bracketing with dot and tie aim points. The mil dot and tie aim points are spaced at 1/2 mil dot spacing. The hollow bars are spaced at 0.2 mil spacing and whole spacing.

As you can see, the glass on this scope is superb. The scope comes with fully multi-coated lenses for increased light transmission and low light conditions. It took me by surprise on how clear the scope really was when viewed for the first time.

Ok, now that we have covered most of the specs, we are now going to see how this scope holds up at the range. Once I zero it with my M1A Scout, I’ll fire about 75-100 rounds of .308 ammo. That should be sufficient for testing the recoil hold up.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Hawke Optics SideWinder 30 Tactical Rifle Scope Review.

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8 Responses to “Review: Hawke SideWinder 30 Tactical Rifle Scope Part 1”
  1. steve says:

    What kind of mount do you have that scope on? I have found something similar called a 4 point locking mount for 30 bucks, but I don’t know about quality. Will it hold zero?

  2. Please see the question above and answer when you can… I have the same question.

  3. Jeff says:

    Same question, mounting seems to be the biggest issue

  4. m1arifles says:

    I currently use the Springfield Gen 3 scope mount. I also used it for this review.

    The mount is not as stable as I would like. It loosens after about 50-100 rounds. Not the best scope mount.

    I haven’t tried a mount like that but it should do fine. Let us know if it works out for you.

  5. Matt says:

    Thank you for the review. Has the Part 2 been completed yet? I am looking to put the 20x, next model up, on a .338LPM and am very interested in seeing the rest of your review.

    Also was wondering if you have been able to see the other higher power models and curious how it compared.

    Thank you in advance – Matt

  6. Zane says:

    First off, thanks to all for this website, I am a new M1A owner…

    Any idea how the scope (Hawke SideWinder 30 Tactical Rifle Scope) will handle after 2-3,000 plus rounds? I have been told many are not designed to handle the volume/vibrations generated from the M1A.

    Also, I have seen many posts about various mounts…mostly speaking about the SA 3rd GEN mount and others…does anyone have any insights about the SA 4th GEN mount?

    And finally, what about the Zeis Conquest 4.5-14×44 Mil Dot or even the ACOG (seems easy to mount/use).

    I finish going back through the other posts/threads…but any help is appreciated.

  7. Pelagatos says:

    I have the sidewinder 30 – 4-16X50 (milDot) on my Savage 10PC (.308)

    I really like this scope. Excellent glass, easy adjustements. top quality overall…IMHO, Best scope for the money, hands down.

    I recommend it highly.

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