Hawke Vantage 3-9x40 AO Riflescope Review


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Too often those on a budget tend to be recommended junky scopes from junky brands that aren’t worth two cents.

This is where reputable brands like Hawke Optics save the day.

The UK manufacturer packs performance, quality, and reasonable prices into their optics, and it’s evident with their Vantage 3-9x40 AO scope.

Don’t let your budget get you down as this is a scope worth buying for your Ruger 10/22 or even your .308 Win.

When it’s the best of what you can afford, it will be the best scope on your rifle.

Quick Overview...

What We Like: Good glass

What We Don’t Like: MOA/MIL

Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting, Scouting, Close-Range, Parallax Adjustments, Light to Heavy Caliber Rifles

  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Objective Diameter: 40mm
  • Coatings: FMC
  • FOV: 39-12.7 ft/100 yds
  • Eye Relief: 3.5”
  • Adjustments: ¼ MOA
  • Dimensions: 12.7”/17 oz
Hawke Vantage 3-9x40 AO Rifle Scope Review
Image Credit - Hawke Optics

Our Verdict: It’s perfect for sub-100 yard varmint hunting on rifles of all types. Some have mounted it to a .308 Win while others have opted for spring air rifles. With excellent performance, a lightweight setup, and an incredibly low price given the quality, the Hawke Vantage scope is one of the best budget scopes under $200 you could put on your rifle.

Who is the Hawke Vantage 3-9X40 AO Best Suited to?

If the specs fit your needs, this is a scope for you. Since it can handle recoil from light to heavy weapon systems, it doesn’t really matter what you’re hunting and what you’re using. Whether you’re plinking, keeping the coop free of rats, or big game hunting, the Vantage scope will perform.

However, if you’d prefer a MIL/MIL or MOA/MOA scope system, this isn’t the right scope for you. It has MOA turrets and a mil-dot reticle. It’s not too much of a big deal for many that do their due diligence at the range first, but this is a good feature to know about before you buy during your due diligence as an informed buyer.

If you’re uncomfortable with the combo, check out the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40 scope with the Dead-Hold BDC reticle that is in the same price range.

How Does the Hawke Vantage 3-9X40 AO Perform?

The Vantage scope is excellent for close-range hunting and gives both hunters and target shooters a quality optic at a low price point.

With its FMC optics, adjustable objective, and mono-tube chassis, it’s guaranteed to be a tough, clear, and accurate performer for plinking, target practice, rabbit sniping, and more.

While not specifically rated for airgun use, it has been mounted to dual-recoil action spring rifles and has lived to tell the tale. It’s regularly used on rimfire rifles but will hold exceptionally well to heavier recoil rifles too.

Needless to say, the Vantage is tough. It’s also weatherproof to see you through your Winter hunts as long as you can handle being out in harsh weather.

Unlike many budget brands that produce flimsy, inaccurate optics, Hawke manages to offer up something that’s better than decent for the same price point. It’s one of the best budget scopes you can pick up. Once you do, there’s no putting it down, and that’s bad news for rodents, coyotes, and hogs.

Features & Benefits

Hawke Vantage 3-9x40 AO Riflescope
Image Credit - Hawke Optics

Good Glass

The Hawke scope brags about nothing in regards to glass quality, and for a hundred bucks or so, you can’t expect too much, or can you?

The Vantage has better than expected glass performance. Optics have FMC (fully multi-coated coatings) that provides good edge-to-edge clarity with decent lowlight performance that you can expect of a 40mm scope.


It’s exceptionally crisp when you ensure you’re using the AO (Adjustable Objective) correctly, and of course, you can adjust the ocular focus to get a sharp image of the reticle for your vision.

Mil-Dot Reticle

Mil-Dot Reticle on Hawke Vantage 3-9x40 AO Riflescope
Image Credit - Hawke Optics

The Vantage scope has ¼ MOA low-profile turrets that are finger adjustable. This is a bonus feature for the price point because it provides ultimate convenience for returning to zero and does away with the tool-required slot-style turret system.

The mil-dot reticle is in the SFP (Second Focal Plane), so for holding, it will only be accurate at max power. The reticle has 4 mil dots along both elevation and windage crosshairs from the center. For those who want to practice milling targets, you got it with this simple mil-dot scope. Dots are spaced 1 mil apart.

The crosshairs are very thin as well as the dots. It’s not an illuminated reticle, so this may pose an issue for those who prefer something that’s easier and thicker to see.

Varmint Hunting

The Hawke 3-9x40 provides the right amount of magnification and lowlight performance for varmint hunting. The 40mm aperture isn’t huge but its benefit is a lighter overall weight. Whether you’re shooting from prone or while standing and stalking, it’s excellent for scouting, light-duty, and varmint rifle setups.

Many buyers consistently target rodents, prairie dogs, coyotes, and more. The mil-dot reticle gives you the flexibility to zero-in and then hold over or under depending on where your targets decide to pop up out of brush or the ground.

The AO will provide good performance when you need to move between targets between these distances to remove parallax. It will also provide a good idea of range estimates on your targets and focuses down to 10 yards. It’s said to be a little on the stiff side for adjusting, but when it holds up to repeated recoil of various types of weapons, it’s forgivable.

Recoil-proof

The Hawke Vantage is a great scope for AR-15 light caliber systems and medium recoil rifles. It can also handle recoil from heavier rifles but will likely need rings with a recoil stop pin.

Since it’s excellent for varmint hunting, it has been mounted to air rifles. If you’re packing a springer, you can start sniping off rats at close-range and rabbits at longer distances without too much worry of busting the scope.

.22 cal and .30-06 Springfield cartridges are vastly different and yet they’re popular choices for pairing with the Hawke Vantage scope. The .223 Rem, .270 Rem, and .308 Win cartridges are also excellent setups for the scope.

Warranty

One of the best things about this cheap scope is the fact that it comes with an awesome warranty. It’s covered under the Hawke No-Fault Lifetime Warranty. If anything goes wrong, contact Hawke and let them make it right.

You will need to retain your proof of purchase and be prepared to provide it with the warranty claim. In Europe, the warranty is limited to 10 years.

Limitations

MOA/MIL

The Hawke Vantage scope is a MOA/MIL combo unit. It has ¼ MOA turrets and a mil-dot reticle. This can be an issue for those who don’t like the mixing up of the two systems because it does require some conversion math. Just say “pass” if it’s not for you or check out the MOA VS MIL comparison guide.

However, if you’re willing to give it a try, just remember that 1 mil = 3.44 MOA (3.438 MOA rounded up). If you’re off by 1 mil when sighting-in at 100 yards, you’ll need to make a 3.44 MOA adjustment which in turn is equivalent to 14 clicks on the Vantage scope (give or take a click). This should put you within 1/2” of your POA (point of aim).

Popular Questions

Does the Hawke Vantage Scope have a Glass-Etched Reticle?

The Vantage 3-9x40 AO scope has a wire reticle. The Vantage IR scopes, such as the Vantage 3-9x40 IR, have the glass-etched, illuminated reticles.

What comes with the Hawke Vantage 3-9x40 scope?

The Vantage rifle scope comes with lens covers, lens tissue, and instruction manual. Mount and 1” rings must be purchased separately.

Is the Vantage 3-9x40 AO Scope Waterproof?

Yes, the Hawke Vantage scope is completely weatherproof. It’s waterproof and nitrogen-purged to protect the optics from internal fogging/condensation.

Is this Hawke Vantage Scope Air Spring Rated?

Officially, the Hawke Vantage scope is not air spring rifle rated. However, it’s consistently used on springer guns with buyer reports of excellent performance and retaining zero. The Hawke AirMax Airgun scope may be the better option if you’re specifically mounting to an airgun.

Where is the Hawke Vantage Scope Made?

Hawke Optics is a UK-based family-run business. They manufacture optics and distribute to over 60 countries globally. The Hawke Vantage is made in China.

Conclusion

The Hawke rifle scope is a budget buy but with excellent quality and better than expected performance.

It’s decked out with enough features like the AO, but it keeps things simple with an SFP reticle and non-illumination.

The Vantage gives you an advantage over similar scopes that cost twice as much – a low price.

Why pay more when you can get the features you want at a cheaper price?

There is no compromising here. Its quality, performance, and a lifetime warranty for the gung-ho varmint hunter.

Further Reading

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