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Optical excellence at the right price

Mat Manning pits the Hawke Endurance telescopic sight against woodland pests and finds that for the money, it’s hard to beat

Optical excellence at the right price

Manufacturer: Hawke

My usual advice to anyone buying any item of shooting equipment is to buy the best you can afford without stretching yourself too far. By and large, the more you pay, the more you get, although the increments by which build quality, performance and general features improve tend to shrink once you pass a certain threshold.

As far as I am concerned, the optic I have been testing over the past few weeks marks that threshold for what I regard as mid-priced telescopic sights. The Hawke Endurance 30 WA SF 6-24×50 IR was supplied to me by Just Airguns. It is listed on their website at £558.99 and I honestly think you would have to pay significantly more for a scope that stands any chance of beating it as a reliable all-rounder.

Owing to its comparatively high top-end magnification, this scope measures a fairly substantial 369mm and weighs 644g. Planning to use it mostly for rabbit shooting, I mounted it on my Weihrauch HW66 .22 rimfire. This made for a nicely balanced setup, and I also think this offering from Hawke would be a great choice for serious airgun shooters.

A chunky rubber dial makes for swift zoom adjustment,even with gloved hands

Optical quality

The first thing to really strike me about this second focal plane scope was its optical quality, which really is quite exceptional for its price point. It features Hawke’s H5 optical system with high-grade, low-dispersion crown glass, and the lenses are multi-coated with no less than 18 layers. In real terms, that amounts to a sight picture that is sharp right to the edges and also, thanks to the 30mm tube and 50mm objective lens, impressively bright in a wide range of light conditions.

The scope’s low-profile turrets pull up to unlock for quick adjustment

I really liked the Endurance’s low-profile, resettable windage and elevation turrets. Pull them up and they unlock to turn with very positive clicks, each of which adjust point of impact by ¼ MOA. Once I had them zeroed, I snapped them securely back down into the locked position, which is where they would stay as I prefer to use the reticle to make adjustments to my aim rather than dialling in on the turrets.

The inner wheel on the left-hand turret is the parallax dial and the outer one operates the illuminated reticle

There are several reticle options across the Endurance range, and I was more than satisfied with the LRC configuration on the review sample. This reticle is of what is commonly referred to as the ‘Christmas tree design’, with gradually widening aimpoints stretching out from beneath the crosshairs. Although it is geared for centrefire use, the reference points provided useful holdover markers when using my .22 with subsonic ammo and will no doubt also be relevant to airgun shooters.

The central ‘Christmas tree’ element of the reticle can be illuminated red in six levels of brightness by turning the outer dial on the left-hand turret. This feature is no gimmick, and the Endurance’s multi-LED system makes for a bright, though still sharp, aimpoint, which really stands out against dark backgrounds. The inner dial on the left-hand turret adjusts parallax very smoothly from 14m to infinity.

Bait stations

As previously mentioned, my main intention was to use this scope for rabbit shooting. I had a few productive outings doing just that, but the presence of livestock ruled the rabbits out on my most recent evening foray. The back-up plan was to bag a few grey squirrels during a rove round the woods to check on my bait stations.

As expected, the bushy-tailed diners had been hitting my feeders hard, but countless smashed hazelnut shells on the woodland floor suggested that they were also enjoying a natural food source. Greys have a habit of devouring nuts before they are ripe enough for other animals to stomach, and that means there is precious little nourishment left when vulnerable native wildlife needs to feed up in readiness for the winter. The invasive grey squirrel’s negative impact certainly stretches far beyond the more obvious damage it causes to trees.

The review scope’s versatile 6-24x zoom range means it can cover close-up work as well as longer-range shooting off sticks or a bipod. In the gloom of the woods, I wound it down to 12x – an easy task with gloves on, thanks to the chunky notched rubber sleeve on the zoom ring. This level of magnification was sufficient to take precise shots at the small target presented by squirrels while maintaining a wide field of view to help me pick them out in the shadows.

A couple of sightings of squirrels up in the treetops left me wishing that I had paired the Endurance with an air rifle for this outing, but we eventually encountered one that presented a safe shot at about 35m. Peering through the scope, I could see that the greedy rodent was foraging among hazelnut scraps that it and its mates had presumably dropped from above. The important thing was that, with a steep slope rising behind, it was safe to shoot.

A quick squeak through my pursed lips persuaded it to freeze bolt upright, offering me a clear target that resulted in a clean kill and one less unwelcome diner in the woods.

The grey squirrels are plundering hazelnuts before they are ripe enough for other wildlife to eat


Our outing was rained off shortly after that first shot. I would have happily stayed out in the rain – the Endurance is waterproof and nitrogen-purged to stop it fogging up, but the camera gear was slightly less robust and we didn’t want to wreck it.

That short session in the woods, and my longer outings targeting rabbits, proved the Hawke Endurance 30 WA SF 6-24×50 IR to be a very good telescopic sight at an extremely competitive price. It comes supplied with lens covers, a lens cloth, a 100mm screw-on sunshade and a CR2032 battery for the illuminated reticle, and is covered by Hawke’s nofault lifetime warranty.

Most importantly, though, it does what it is supposed to do and it does it very well.

With the rabbit fields out of bounds, Mat takes the Endurance for a mooch around the woodland

Also consider


This telescopic sight has a 4-16x zoom range and 44mm objective lens. It is 360mm long and weighs 700g with the supplied flip-up lens covers fitted. Features include illuminated multi-aimpoint reticle, side parallax and exposed lockable windage and elevation turrets. Price £490 Contact Edgar Brothers


A comparatively large telescopic sight, this version of the Konus Pro is 417mm long and weighs 810g. It’s a first focal plane model, and packs a lot of features into its substantial frame, including side parallax, illuminated reticle and a 52mm objective lens for improved light gathering. Price £450 Contact Range Right


Another scope boasting a versatile 6-24x magnification range and large objective lens, the Diamond FFP is built to withstand the rigours of field use. It is 360mm in length and tips the scales at 680g. Features include side parallax adjustment and a glass-etched HMD reticle. Price £409.99 Contact Highland Outdoors 

A greedy squirrel goes into the bag after the
Endurance delivers the goods once again

Need to know

  • Manufacturer Hawke
  • Model Endurance 30 WA SF IR
  • Length 369mm
  • Weight 644g
  • Magnification 6-24x
  • Objective lens 50mm
  • Eye relief 100mm
  • Field of view 6.9 to 1.7m at 100m
  • Features Illuminated reticle, 18-layer lens coating, side parallax, low-profile turrets.
  • Price £558.99
  • Contact Just Airguns

The Endurance 6-24×50 makes for a balanced set-up when paired with Mat’s HW66