HAWKE SIDEWINDER 30
The rifle needed a good scope. A few years ago I had a Hawke scope and it worked perfectly with the exception of a loose turret screw which I fixed. Hawke optics has been around a long time in the air rifle field. If you know anything about air rifles, you know that the rifles are very hard on optics due to double recoil. These scopes even though they are made in China are a very good buy in the midrange priced scopes. I cannot tell you about their customer service because neither scope has had a problem. They come packaged in a hard case and have screw in protective caps. Hawke also has a web site where you can go enter your load information and it will give you a cheat sheet or a round print out to fit your flip up lense cover. This software can also tell you the POI at different magnification settings. So at 24x you may be able to only hold for 550 yards but if you drop the power to 12x you can go out to 100 yards. This particular 6-24x56 Sidewinder 30 had the SR PRO IR reticle with elevation and windage marks. The print out will tell you exactly where your round will hit when these marks are used. Of course the scope is a second focal plane but the Hawke software gives you all you need to make accurate shots using any magnification. You can print out your drop information for different scope powers. I have to admit I did have to play around with the software and inputs, just for fun. This software is free and available on their web site. If you want to adjust the turret for elevation, it has a total of 62 MOA.
The scope has fully multi coated BAK4 lenses that bring in a lot of light. But if the light condition is dim, then they have a lighted reticle that is controlled by the very end of your side focus knob. It produces a red or green lighted reticle. The turrets have good strong clicks and are unlocked by pulling them out. So when the turrets are pushed in they cannot be turned by accident. Even at higher magnification you will find you do not need to crawl up on the scope to keep a full field of view. Hawke gives a limited lifetime warranty which is transferable. This is a great scope for less than $550.00.
AT THE RANGE
Now how did this combination shoot? It was put it through its paces before I came up with a hunting round for whitetails. Bullets used were Barnes 120 TSX, Lapua 139, Hornady SST 140, Berger VLD 140, Hornady Amax 120, Berger VLD 130, and Barnes LRX 127. I did shoot some Remington factory (green & yellow box) 140’s. The rifle has a 1-9 twist and preferred bullets in the 120 to 140 gr. range. Powders used were IMR4350, H4350, Varget and Reloader 15. It became obvious that the .260 liked all four powders but a slight edge went to IMR430 for consistency. Loads were very close to the very highest and produced velocities from 2750 to 2855 fps. Nearly all reloads and factory ammunition shot a ¾ inch group. The exception was the 139 gr Lapua Scenar which shot a 3/8” group. These were all shot at 100 yards. I decided to hunt with the new Barnes LRX 127gr. at a velocity of 2775.