Hawke Vantage HD 3-9x50AO Crossbow Scope Review
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- Best-in-class optics and light gathering capabilities
- Perfectly illuminated reticles
- Magnification from 3X to 9X
- Requires high-profile rings to mount
- Quite heavy
- Fixed parallax
Welcome to our review of the Hawke Sport Optics Vantage HD 3–9x60AO Mil Dot Crossbow Scope. This is technically a riflescope, but it definitely has usefulness on a crossbow, as well. Hawke Optics is known for budget scopes, but how well do they perform? Let’s put this one through its paces and find out.
What Are the Dimensions of the Crossbow Scope?
Make no mistake, this is a huge scope. While the one-piece tube is your standard fare 1-inch diameter, the objective lens is 50mm in diameter. Overall, the glass measures 13.5 inches long, and weighs in at 17.6 ounces. It’ll add more than a pound to the weight of your crossbow, so you’ll need to consider this fact before making your purchase.
Eye relief on this scope is a very comfortable 3.5 inches, allowing you plenty of space between the scope and your eye. The parallax is fixed at 100 yards, which is far beyond what I would typically feel comfortable taking a crossbow shot at a deer anyways. If you choose to use this scope on a rifle, though, it’s important to understand that the parallax is fixed and cannot be adjusted.
How Much Magnification Do I Get From the Hawke Vantage 3–9×50 Scope?
With its 50mm objective lens, you can get magnification from 3X to 9X through the scope. The resolution and clarity are amazing for such an economical scope, providing you with a crisp, clear image of your target and beyond.
How Good Are the Optics?
The optics on this scope are fully multi-coated, providing optimum color accuracy and clarity. With the huge 50mm objective lens, there’s plenty of terrain to see through the scope, and the image is lifelike and close up. This is especially true when you zoom in to 9X magnification; you can almost make out the individual hairs in the deer’s hide before you take your shot and harvest the animal.
How Well Does the Scope Gather Light?
With such a large objective lens, you would expect the Hawke Vantage scope to have amazing light gathering capabilities. The scope meets and exceeds those expectations, providing a view in low-light conditions that is absolutely astounding.
The scope features Mil Dot illuminated reticles, glass etched with five brightness settings via an easy-to-use rheostat. You can also turn off the illumination for a black reticle, for daytime use. The brightness settings are nearly perfect, just a tad bit too dim when you get into brighter lighting conditions. In dark conditions, there is no ghosting or haloing to distort your view of the target. The scope requries a CR2032 battery, but one comes in the box. Be sure to pick up a spare or two, though. The scope doesn’t exactly eat through batteries, but it doesn’t have an auto-shutoff, so if you forget to turn the rheostat off you’ll discharge the batteries very quickly.
Using this scope on eearly morning, I was able to get a very nice sight on a large buck, almost seeing the rise and fall of the animal’s chest as he breathed. Heck, I might have actually seen it, but I was so excited that it’s hard to remember. This scope gave me an excellent target on the deer, and I took the shot. I got a clean kill that only allowed the buck to stagger off a few yards before he fell to the ground from blood loss.
How Wide is the Field of View?
The field of view is quite good on this scope. With 3X magnification, you can see a comfortable 33.6 feet of terrain from 100 yards when you are acquiring your target. Once you zoom in to maximum power, though, the field of view drops to 11 feet. This is completely normal, though, and in fact perhaps just a bit wider of a field of view than similar scopes provide you with.
Is This Scope Easy to Mount?
As long as you follow the proper procedures, mounting this scope is pretty quick and easy. The only caveat here is that you will need a set of high-profile rings, and the scope doesn’t include them. Without high-profile rings, you likely won’t have enough space on the rail to accomodate the large 50mm objective lens.
How Easy is the Crossbow Scope to Sight In?
Again, it’s all about doing the job right. If you follow the right procedure to sight in your scope, you’ll have the job done in no time flat. The Hawke Vantage 3–9x50AO crossbow scope offers you 1/4 MOA toolless adjustment, with a full 90 MOA adjustment range for both windage and elevation. The fingertip adjustment wheels work perfectly, just don’t try doing this with gloves on.
Once sighted in, the scope holds zero for ages. In fact, I’ve had mine mounted on one of my scopes for more than two years, and I’ve never had to make any adjustments to it since sighting it in.
How Durable is the Scope?
This scope is both shockproof and waterproof, and the barrel is nitrogen-purged to prevent fogging. I’ve used this scope in extremely cold temperatures, and can testify to the fact that it’s fogproof. I’ve also dropped it in a puddle (embarrassing confession here), and no water got into the glass. It’s practically bulletproof, to be honest, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use this scope under the harshest of weather conditions.