Aim points for free with an FFP:First-focal-plane scopes are gaining in popularity, and as Mike Morton casts his eye over the Hawke Sidewinder FFP, it’s easy to see why
Manufacturer: Hawke (www.uk.hawkeoptics.com)
Model: Sidewinder FFP 4-16×50 Mil IR
Tube diameter: 30mm
Magnification range: 4-16
Objective lens: 50mm
Reticle: FFP Mil
Illumination: Red and green – five levels of each
Parallax method: Side focus
Parallax: Nine metres to infinity
Field of view: 7.7 to 2.2 metres at 100 metres
Eye relief: 90mm
Features: Waterproof, shockproof, nitrogen-purged
Rated for: All calibres
Working out a set of aim points for your rifle, pellet and scope combo at a specific magnification is a time-consuming, but vital and rewarding exercise. However, having to either repeat the process or use some convoluted maths to work out new aim points at other magnifications can be a bit of a chore. First-focal-plane scopes eliminate the need to carry out this extra work, as the aim points you calculate at your initial level of magnification remain true across the whole mag range of your scope.
The new Hawke Sidewinder FFP is one such scope. The one seen here is the 4-16×50 version, but a 6-24×56 model is also available. The scope has a glass-etched reticle with red and green illumination, adjusted by a rheostat on the saddle for five levels of brightness.
The exposed, lockable turrets offer a click value of 0.2 (1/10) of a milliradian. The clicks are positive, and once you’ve zeroed your rifle the turrets can be unscrewed with a T20 star bit and reset at the ‘0’ marker. That way, if you ever need to make a temporary adjustment or dial in your shots, you can accurately dial back to your set zero later on.
The ocular focus ring is lockable, which makes setting it up slightly longer, but means it won’t get turned by accident. The scope comes pre-fitted with screw-in metal flip-up lens covers. A sidewheel, caliper and sunshade are also included in the box.
Reticles can make or break a scope; this one uses the FFP Mil reticle, which was developed specifically for first-focal-plane systems. It offers 11 milliradian spacings from the central crosshairs in all directions, with half-mil spacings out to 5.5 mils.
The FFP Mil is a Christmas tree-style reticle, offering additional floating aim points for holdover and windage. These are spaced one mil apart, and give you a quick method of counting which mil spacing you’re aiming with. The hollow posts are segmented into 1 mil spacings and 0.2 mil spacings, so can be used for bracketing and rangefinding. Hawke’s Sidewinder FFP is beautifully made and should be an absolute pleasure to use.