Hawke Endurance 1-4x24mm 2012 Shot Show mini review
By Les (Jim) Fischer (BigJimFish on AR15.com and Snipershide)
February 3, 2012
Though Hawke has become an increasingly popular purveyor of optics, Shot Show was my first experience with their products. This is probably not unusual since brick and mortar stores seem to carry less product every year and internet shopping becomes more and more popular. I suppose I should be happy since if everybody could go out and handle all of their perspective choices, I would be a little less important as a reviewer. Still, I have mixed feelings about it all. I fear that brand name and legacy has become too important and that perhaps a great many people end up buying the wrong product for lack of research. Well, you aren’t one of those people, so I should probably get back on point and talk about the scope.
The Hawke is a 1-4x24mm second focal plane scope with a German #4 reticle that has only a central dot illuminated. Despite being 2nd focal plane, this dot is not daytime bright, as is clearly apparent in the photos. The adjustments on this scope are 1/4″, click, capped, and are finger adjustable (I should probably stop even mentioning finger adjustable in my reviews as coin operated adjustments have become so rare). The adjustments feel pretty good, better than I expect in this price range. They also sport set screws around the top so I expect the zero can be adjusted by the user. Worth mentioning is that these scopes come with screw on scope caps for the objective and eyepiece. These covers do not flip up, though, so I expect you will still use Butler Creek’s to save time. The power ring felt smooth, but was a little looser than I would expect. The diopter was simply too loose for my taste and, oddly, had click adjustments. I have not seen click adjustments on a diopter before and I am not sure why anyone would want such a feature.
Overall the optics were not impressive. The field of view was small; smaller than I would expect in a 1-4x 2fp scope at this price point. The clarity was a bit better. It was more along the lines of what I would expect at this price point as well as can be told with only a $1k reference scope. The really problematic part of this optic was not the field of view or clarity but rather an odd effect I noticed at 1x. Every scope bends the image as you move your head off center behind the scope, but on the Hawke this effect was much more pronounced. Usually the viewer does not notice this bending when not specifically trying to look for it, but on the Hawke it stood out to the point that I think anyone would notice it and be annoyed.
The Hawke Endurance 1-4x24mm next to the GRSC reference:
The Hawke at 1x with maximum illumination:
The Hawke at 4x with maximum illumination:
Now, at this point, you might be wondering why I said all that stuff about folks putting too much weight on brand if the new guy I was preparing to write about was not going to be getting a great review. The fact is that Hawke is not a manufacturer: they are a brand name. They market a number of products from different OEMs under the Hawke brand. This means that someone rating things by brand will have difficulty when categorizing Hawke optics as they represent different quality levels under their different lines to a greater extent than, say, Leupold within its American made VX lines (all of which are made by Leupold). This practice of housing products made by more than one OEM under the same brand is becoming more common and, I think, can be difficult for the consumer completely sort out. Almost all of the “American” optics brands are now labels for products made by other companies overseas. The result is that the consumer must judge and shop carefully as the brand has more to do with the warranty service you will get than the actual optic.
My case in point is the Hawke Frontier compact binoculars. I was not overly impressed with the Endurance 1-4x scope, but these little binoculars looked quite nice. I had brought with me some reference binoculars to go with the scope, so I am not just blowing smoke. If you judged these binoculars based on the scope review you might not have had a look. You would be missing out. They are affordably priced at around $130 but perform significantly better than you would expect at that price.