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Thread: Hawke Scopes Vantage vs Airmax

  1. #1
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    Hawke Scopes Vantage vs Airmax

    Anyone know the difference between the Vantage and Airmax is it just build quality or are the optics better too?

  2. #2
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    Also be interested to hear about latest Vantage scopes. The reticle was much to thick on the old ones, it hid to much of the target for my taste.

    I like the Airmax - clear image, quite thin reticle markings, solid feeling to it, adjustments a bit tight when new (hoping they loosen up a bit with use), maybe too heavy.

  3. #3
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    As above. The glass and AMX reticle on the Airmax is far better than the Vantage mil-dot I have. Definitely worth the extra cost. Yes the AO is stiffer but is suited for springer use.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your reply's

    Not looking to spend too much been looking at the Standard Airmax 1" AMX, rather spend a bit more on optics than options like IR.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris77 View Post
    Anyone know the difference between the Vantage and Airmax is it just build quality or are the optics better too?
    Well there's a subject

    In simple terms there are 10 different levels of scope with the name "Vantage" they go from 49 to 349 there are also 5 different levels of Airmax scope 199 to 399
    And that's just the current model list, there's another 5 levels of Vantage that have been discontinued .

    With scopes you get what you pay for, I've had/got a Vantage SF 4-16x44 (14161), a Vantage SF IR 4-16x50 (14291), an Airmax 30 SF 6-24x50 (13320) & a Sidewinder 4-16x50 (HK4006) which is 8 or 9 years old now,
    and that's how they rate in quality the Sidewinder is still the best by far, I was very disappointed with the 14161 model.

    As you pay more everything improves, fit & finish, glass, reticle, turrets, illumination.

    I'd recommend a visit to hawkeoptics.com, but really you need to get your eye to a selection & see for yourself, and I always say try stuff that's a level above your price range & you might decide to save for a bit longer
    and buy the better one.

  6. #6
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    I don't think the glass is any better, they are not using ED glass for example in the Airmax range.
    Similarly the tube and turrets look the same too.
    The primary differences are :

    1. The Airmax has the AMX reticle which is excluded from the vantage range.
    2. The number of lens coatings - Airmax has 16 layers vs Vantage that has 11 layers.

    For me : I don't like the AMX reticle and the lens coating difference is imperceptible to me - but maybe if you're shooting well into dusk perhaps you may see an advantage?

    But on the other hand if you use NV maybe this is also a disadvantage - as I was reading something that suggested more lens coatings could degrade the image?
    But I could have that totally wrong...

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your replies will have to see how far the nearest dealer is with a selection to try then. Thanks

  8. #8
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    Scope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris77 View Post
    Thanks for your replies will have to see how far the nearest dealer is with a selection to try then. Thanks
    As you are only in Salisbury you could try TAL Arms in Christchurch, they have a good selection of scopes but not sure if they have opened up yet.
    I purchased a Hawke Airmax 6-2450 Compact from them to go on my Uragan and couldn't be more happy with it, image is crystal clear and the reticle is perfect.
    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by harvey_s View Post
    I don't think the glass is any better, they are not using ED glass for example in the Airmax range.
    Similarly the tube and turrets look the same too.
    The primary differences are :

    1. The Airmax has the AMX reticle which is excluded from the vantage range.
    2. The number of lens coatings - Airmax has 16 layers vs Vantage that has 11 layers.

    For me : I don't like the AMX reticle and the lens coating difference is imperceptible to me - but maybe if you're shooting well into dusk perhaps you may see an advantage?

    But on the other hand if you use NV maybe this is also a disadvantage - as I was reading something that suggested more lens coatings could degrade the image?
    But I could have that totally wrong...
    I have a 3 year old Airmax 30 and an old Varmint 2 AO.
    Is the V2 comparable with a new vantage? Don't know as already said there are so many levels and revisions.
    It has the thick mil-sih dor reticle but its clear (still) and nicer to use than the Airmax.

    Coatings? At best the Airmax coating reminded me of the UV coating on double glazed windows ( I worked as glass QC for a window manufacturerer) and to be honest I think it was awful in low light. If thats quality...I'll take less.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephyr View Post
    Also be interested to hear about latest Vantage scopes. The reticle was much to thick on the old ones, it hid to much of the target for my taste.

    I like the Airmax - clear image, quite thin reticle markings, solid feeling to it, adjustments a bit tight when new (hoping they loosen up a bit with use), maybe too heavy.
    Even within the Vantage range the reticles vary.
    I have a 4-12x40AO and a 3-12x44SF and the reticles are very different.
    The much cheaper AO scope has a thick, single mildot reticle whereas the SF version costing 2 - 3 times the price, has a much finer half mildot reticle.
    Funnily enough, I prefer the uncluttered image that the cheaper scope provides and don't usually use mildots as aim points anyway, as I zero on to the target.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubashot View Post
    Even within the Vantage range the reticles vary.
    I have a 4-12x40AO and a 3-12x44SF and the reticles are very different.
    The much cheaper AO scope has a thick, single mildot reticle whereas the SF version costing 2 - 3 times the price, has a much finer half mildot reticle.
    Funnily enough, I prefer the uncluttered image that the cheaper scope provides and don't usually use mildots as aim points anyway, as I zero on to the target.
    Then there's the 10x half mil dot, which is different again, as on the discontinued 4-16x50 SF IR I've got, but they were next price level over the standard SF range

    By far the best way to compare them is by the price level they're aimed at.

  12. #12
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    ive a airmax on my rapid I like it

  13. #13
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    I have a 4x16x50 sf Vantage on my prosport. That has a fine cross hair, model number 14291. It's that good that I wanted to get another one today but the rfd I used in Henley seems to have closed down permanently.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris77 View Post
    Anyone know the difference between the Vantage and Airmax is it just build quality or are the optics better too?
    IMO and yes I have owned a few over the years, Hawke stuff varys from good to okay but nothing outstanding. The only Hawke I have and kept are two Frontiers but they are the early Japanese made scopes. Even the Sidewinder 30sf wasn't much cop at 300yrd unlike the MTC Viper it replaced. We all make mistakes
    John Darling JD (1946-2004) was my inspiration to be the best i can and enjoy the sport i love. R.I.P
    A dedicated HW80 Fanatic and owner since 1986 to present.

  15. #15
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    Inconsistent standards

    I agree with the comments previously posted.

    Having had over 20 Hawkes scopes (that came with secondhand buys) I can honestly say I wouldn't wish to buy a brand new one. I have compared 3 scopes with the same model number and you will wince at the differences in their performance. Don't rely on the name range, however they call it, Airmax, Vantage etc the pricing variation already tell you they cover form basic through to expensive presumably to reflect the performance. Not so. I have had plenty of scopes that were cheaper yet performed better. You may end up paying for a smartly packaged scope, but not necessarily for the performance.

    Don't rely on their catalogue. It is next to useless. By the time you get the brochure, the model range and availability may have moved on. They like doing this to keep the range fresh cosmetics. You may not get the model you have painfully shortlisted. What the spec claims may not be to your satisfaction.

    My best advice is to go down to a decent shop and really check it out. Be hands on and go through your check list (thickness of reticule, size, weight, brightness, markings, etched glass, AO etc etc) and see if it really does meet your expectation. Maybe the shop may be able to recommend better performing alternatives based on their experience.

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