October 29, 2019
By Dr. Todd A Kuhn
Crossbows are the ticket to the October deer woods for many hunters across the nation. However, few manufacturers include a quality optic in their standard equipment packages.
If the scope that came with your crossbow seems suspect, consider an aftermarket alternative from Hawke, such as the XB30 Compact.
You’ll immediately notice the XB30 Compact’s beefy build. The scope is built on a 30mm aluminum monotube, offering a solid platform capable of withstanding the rigors of crossbow hunting. Plus, the fit and finish of XB30 Compact are meticulous.
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The scope’s glass is treated with 14 layers of coatings for a distortion-free view. An etched reticle improves durability, while an onboard rheostat provides red or green illumination in five brightness levels. Hold points for distances of 20 to 100 yards are etched into the reticle in 10-yard increments. A speed selector ring resides forward of the eyepiece and adjusts from 250 to 450 feet per second. Windage and elevation turrets adjust easily without tools in 1/2 MOA increments and are low-profile to reduce snagging when carried through thick brush or over unruly terrain.
Attention to engineering design detail is evident in the mounting system. Tool-less hardware makes mounting the XB30 Compact about as fuss-free as I’ve seen. Both gross and finite adjustments are a cinch. Indexed scope rings firmly lock the optic onto a Picatinny rail.
Set up was easy. I shot the XB30 Compact on three crossbows, each with varying top speeds. The dial-up speed adjustment worked flawlessly, letting me match each crossbow’s speed to the scope effortlessly. Low-light transmission was considerably better than standard-issue crossbow scopes. The rheostat’s lowest setting was more than sufficient in all low-light conditions, and haloing wasn’t an issue.
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Much like a fine riflescope, the Hawke XB30 Compact provides crossbow hunters with excellent performance and will add low-light minutes to hunt times. MSRP: $249; hawkeoptics.com