Phill Price gives an overview of the Frontier scope from Hawke Optics - does it tick all his boxes?
I’ve been searching for a scope that ticks all the boxes on my list for decades, and although I’ve tested some great scopes in my job, I’ve never found one that gave me everything I’d been looking for. I’m a hunter, pure and simple, and I want and need a efficient tool that gets me on aim and in the kill zone with the minimum of fuss. I use hold- over or -under for my range corrections and allow by eye for the wind, so have no need for fashionable exposed ‘sniper’ turrets. These just catch and snag at the worst possible moments in the field. I like low adjuster drums with screw- on dust covers which, once set, are completely forgotten about. This places me in a tiny minority it seems, but that’s okay with me. I don’t need to run with the crowd, I prefer to go my own way, and always have.
This was one of many things that caught my eye about the new flagship scope from Hawke Sport Optics, the Frontier. On looks alone it’s my kind of optic and as I ran down the specification list I became more and more excited. Had I really found MY scope? As seems to be the norm today, all the models in the hunting range have 50mm objective lenses. I’d be just as happy with a 40 to 44mm one, but they appear to be going the way of the diplodocus, so I guess I’d better get used to them. Sure, they gather lots of light for a nice bright image, but quite obviously they weigh more than the smaller dimension objectives and can mean higher mounts. On that subject, I noted that the saddle of the Frontier is slim and flat, offering maximum clearance for tall PCP magazines that can all too often foul on other scopes. In medium height, 30mm SportsMatch double-bolt mounts, the 2.5-15 x 50 Frontier fitted my high-power Daystate Huntsman Regal like a glove.
The brightness and clarity of the scope’s image is hugely important for me, and Hawke gave the Frontier the very best glass and coatings that they’ve ever offered. Of course, the best costs more, but in my book this is money well spent. I’ve long been confused about why so many people spend £ 800 to £1000 on their dream gun and then fit a poor- quality, cheapo scope. Nobody would buy a Ferrari and then fit remould tyres, now would they? The performance of a gun is the sum total of the rifle, scope, mounts and pellets, so every element should be as high in quality as every other part of the system. At £ 600 this is one of the more expensive scopes you might consider for
airgun use, but it seems the ideal partner for many of the top- end rifles on sale today.
The Frontier offers index-matched lenses, fully multi- coated with 21 layers to maximise image quality and it was quite obvious right from the start that these lenses are a step above what we’re used to. For example, shooting squirrels on a bright winter day; the objective lens simply refused to suffer flare, even at horrible angles to the sun, allowing me to take shots that lesser scopes would have failed on completely. The clarity was also superb, allowing me to sight squirrels lying flat against tree bark in the most awkward positions, and to achieve some truly satisfying shots.
THE RIGHT RETICLE!
Right near the top of my wish list was a bold, clear reticle without any unnecessary clutter, and the Frontier’s LR dot is as close to perfect as makes no difference. The simple design quite naturally draws your eye to the centre without any danger of confusion. I’ve used complex, apparently clever designs in the past, that I’m sure have made me miss because I aimed at the wrong part when under pressure in poor light, but that won’t happen with this. You know exactly where you are in a millisecond. It is illuminated, but only the neat and precise centre dot, so there no danger of dazzling your eye with unnecessary red glare. I was deeply impressed at just how precise the dot’s shape was, with no distracting flare or wobbles to be seen. In fact, it was so good that I found it quite usable in daylight, something I’ve never seen before.
You’ll understand by now that I’ve been enjoying this scope and be unsurprised to learn that I plan to keep it on my number one gun for the foreseeable future. This will allow me to really get under its skin and learn every small detail about it. There’s much more to tell, so I’ll report back later to update you with what I’ve learned about this incredible new scope, and to answer the question – is it really my dream sight?
The more time I spend in the field with this scope, the more I like it
Low turrets and screw- on caps are what I was looking for
Parallax adjustment and illumination controls are on the saddle
The LR Dot is just right for my hunting needs It’s not too big or heavy on a proper sporting rifle
2.5 to 15x is a huge range of magnification