Gun Digest

Scope Review: Hawke HD IR 3-9X40 Rimfire Riflescope

Hawke HD IR 3-9x40 Rimfire riflescope review.

Mount a Hawke HD IR 3-9X40 Rimfire scope on your favorite .22 rifle and the way you approach squirrel hunting will never be the same.

The squirrel sitting on a branch far, far away is now within reach. The illuminated holdover reticle has glass-etched yardage numbers set next to hashmarks just above the lower vertical post.

The yardage numbers are in 25-yard increments: 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175 and 200. There is no need to memorize those numbers as they are right there inside your sight picture.

The reticle is illuminated in green or red and can be adjusted at five levels of brightness. The scope is calibrated to work best when set at 9X magnification and used with .22 ammo with a velocity of around 1,300 fps.

If the magnification is decreased, the scope can be recalibrated with the ¼ MOA fingertip turrets for use with subsonic or other types of ammo.

Long-Range Rimfire Scope

This past winter while hunting along a cross-country ski trail, I took a shot at a gray squirrel that I normally would have passed on or at least would have tried to sneak in for a closer shot. After some practice at the range with the scope a week before, I was confident enough to take the 125-yard shot.

Kneeling next to a boulder and using my backpack as a rest, I put the corresponding hash mark on the squirrel, fired and it tumbled off the oak.

I skiied over to where it fell and observed that it was a clean shot through the upper vital area. My conclusion: the scope is a game changer for small-game rimfire riflemen.

As long as your marksmanship skills are solid, it will allow a hunter to take some longer but ethical shots at small game which means a heavier game bag at the day’s end. ($140,

This review is an excerpt from the Gun Digest Shooter's Guide 2014.

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