Today’s red dot sight market is saturated with various models, and practically every optics manufacturer has at least a few models in their offer, suitable for either hunting or sports shooting.
Last year (2019), Hawke presented their Vantage red dot sights. The series comprises parallax-free red dot sights, available in three different sizes. The biggest is of the 1×30 type, the middle one of the 1×25 type, while the smallest one is a 1×20 (the number to the right of the ‘x’ mark refers to the diameter of the objective lens in millimetres). The buyer can choose to have either the Weaver/Picatinny fixed mount or the dovetail fixed mount supplied in the box.
The red dot sight comes in a neat box. The scope of delivery includes a protective ocular and objective cover made of rubber, a honeycomb filter, a tool for the POI adjustment and battery replacement, a tool for the mounting procedure, a microfiber cloth, and an instruction manual.
I tested the 1×30 red dot – its objective lens measures 30 mm in diameter. The chassis is made of aluminium, and the exterior has a modern touch to it. The housing is anodized in a matte black colour. The quality finish makes the device look as if it was much more expensive.
The lenses are coated with 25 coatings to enhance the light transmission rate. The interior is filled with dry nitrogen to prevent internal fogging. The manufacturer states that the device is waterproof and can withstand the recoil of the strongest calibers.
The dot I tested measures 97 mm in length, 53 mm in width, and 59 mm in height. At 230 g of weight, it is quite heavy when compared to the competition. The dot’s size is 3 MOA and there are 11 illumination intensity settings at disposal. The illumination knob can be turned in both directions, a feature that even some of the more expensive red dot sights out there do not offer – this is a big plus of this series. The illumination is in red colour, no other colour optics are available. It is powered by a CR2032 battery. The elevation and windage adjustment knobs are covered with aluminium caps. Clicks are crisp, and the tracking works well. I tested the model with an integrated, fixed Picatinny/Weaver mount.
The mounting procedure & testing at the range
I mounted the red dot sight on my reliable Zastava M70, chambered in 8×57 IS (I have a Rusan Picatinny rail on it). The dot is attached onto the rail with two torx screws, a procedure that takes quite some time. A quick-detachable option would make for a much simpler process, but you cannot expect such a solution at this price point. Nevertheless, the attached mount is solidly attached to the rail and thus very reliable. I tightened the screws with a torque of 2.26 Nm.
At the range, I used a standard pistol target with the dimensions of 52×52 cm which I set at 70 m. The ammunition was Sellier & Bellot Sierra, 14.26 g, 220 grs.
When I first shot at the target from a rest , I hit ‘four’ in the upper left side. I adjusted the elevation and windage screws and landed the next three shots in the centre. I shot a 5 cm group which is a great result considering the dot size is 3 MOA. I lifted the rifle from the rest and made a few more shots at the target from the same distance. All the shots hit the target; it was a 10cm group.
The central dot is nicely visible. Its intensity is regulated with a knob (there are 11 illumination settings available). The knob can be rotated in both directions and used in all weather/lighting conditions.
I did not encounter any problems with the mount while shooting. Furthermore, there were no problems with the visibility or settings of the illuminated dot. Everything worked as it should.
Even though I am a huge fan of Aimpoint and Vortex when it comes to red dot sights, I was surprised by the incredible performance of the Hawke Vantage red dot sight. Its design convinced me to try it out at the range. When I learned about the price, I set myself a question – how much can a Chinese optics manufacturer offer for such an affordable price? At Optics-Trade.eu, the device can be bought for 79 EUR.
With the Vantage red dot sight series, Hawke proved that an affordable price does not necessarily mean low quality. Even affordable, Chinese optical products can be competitive. Hawke combined robustness and reliability with a low-price tag. At the range, Vantage performed outstandingly well. I can conclude that the dot offers a ton of features for a surprisingly low price.
The features of the Hawke Vantage 1×30 red dot sight
- All the lens surfaces are coated with many anti-reflective coatings to enhance the light transmission rate,
- There are three models available which differ in the diameter of the objective lens (20 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm),
- One can choose between two supplied adapters for mounting purposes (Weaver/Picatinny or dovetail),
- The dot size is 3 MOA, and there are 11 illumination intensity settings,
- The device is parallax free,
- The chassis is made of a single piece of light and durable aluminium,
- It is shockproof, and Hawke claims that it can withstand the recoil of even the strongest calibers,
- It is waterproof,
- Because it is filled with dry nitrogen, you do not have to worry about the occurrence of internal fogging,
- The housing is anodized in matte black colour,
- The illumination is powered by a CR2032 battery.
Technical specifications of the Hawke Vantage 1×30 red dot sight
- Magnification: 1x
- Objective lens diameter: 30 mm
- Weight: 230 g
- Length: 97 mm; width: 53 mm; height: 59 mm
- Mount type: Weaver/Picatinny
- Battery: CR2032
- Elevation & Windage adjustments: 1 MOA
- Size of the dot: 3 MOA
- Colour of illumination: Red
The advantages of the Hawke Vantage 1×30 red dot sight
- The knob for the illumination intensity setting can be rotated in both directions
- The elevation and windage knobs track well
- A great price to performance ratio
The disadvantages of the Hawke Vantage 1×30 red dot sight
- The size and the weight of the red dot
- The supplied mount is not of the quick-detachable type
- the flip-up covers are not included.
The test was done by: Stane Bajuk