Friday, July 13, 2012

Gear Review: Hawke Optics XB30 Crossbow Sight

My father is a disabled veteran.  He lost a lot of strength and cannot pull back a compound bow like he used to.  With the law changes for crossbows in North Carolina, he purchased a PSE Tac10 crossbow last Christmas so he could take advantage of the extended bow seasons.

In the process of the purchase, he let me know he was interested in the XB30 Crossbow Sight from Hawke Optics.  Guess what my Christmas gift to him was?

The XB30 is a nice sight that is easy to install. Once we had it on the crossbow, it had a sharp tactical look that was very impressive.  Next, we needed to get it sighted in.

The instructions were pretty simple.  Set the speed dial on the sight to the crossbow bolt speed, then sight it in at 20yards.  Yep, that is simple enough.

We took it to a local archery range.  I was hoping for a chronograph to get the actual speed, but it was down that particular day.  So we set the speed to PSE’s specs on the Tac10.  The sight was blurry, but Dad had moved it way out of whack when he installed a yellow filter lens cover.  After loosening the lock nut, we adjusted the sight until we had a clean clear sight picture.  The crosshairs are designed to be set up in 10 yard increments.  Then, we proceeded to take our first shot.

6 inches high, 6 inches right.  We removed the covers for the horizontal and vertical adjustments.  Each click represents ½ inch MOA.  Wanting to take it easy since it was our first shot, I made adjustments for basically what a 3 inch change in each direction would dictate.  We used a penny to turn the adjustment dials.

Next shot, 3 inches high, 3 ½ inches right. Pretty close what it should be. Again, we adjusted the horizontal and vertical.  Dead on with the height on the 3rd shot, slightly right.  One more click.  4th shot, nearly perfect.

Satisfied with the way things were going, we moved in the crossbow to 10 yards.  Dad shot and vertical was just a little high, horizontal was in the bullseye.  I shot once as well and was way high!  Of course, I forgot to shoot with the 10 yard mark! I shot once more, this time using the correct crosshair, and nailed the same hole as Dad.  For hunting, this would be no problem at all.  Still, we wanted to pinpoint it as much as possible. Figuring our speed may be slightly different than specs and accounting for the shot being a little high, I deduced the crossbow was likely a little faster than specs (which would make sense as the crossbow string had not had time to stretch and the bolt’s fletching was also brand new perfect as well).

After dialing the speed up about 5 feet per second we shot again.  20 yards; bullseye.  To confirm the accuracy after changing the speed, we shot again from 10 yards.  Still a bullseye.

This is, as advertised, an easy sight to adjust quickly.  After we get some shots through the crossbow and the string stretches some, instead of having to adjust to 5 or 6 different distances, we would just need to turn the speed down on the sight and then take a confirmation shot from each distance.  How can it get any easier?

Other features of the XB30 include a lighted reticle that can be dialed to different intensities or off completely.  The crosshairs are thin (which I like) for accuracy, or when lighted, become right much bolder.  This works well depending on how well your eyesight is.

The scope is also vacuumed and sealed to prevent fog and moisture intrusion in the lens.  For a crossbow scope, it is very bright and clear.  I have seen comparisons with the XB30 scope to other scopes.  After reading them and noticing the XB30 was rated less bright but still very bright, I always found the scopes it was being compared to were rifle scopes.  Those comparisons should never have come to pass! Always check any reviews you read!
So, in the end, I would have to say the XB30 not only met our expections, but clearly exceeded them.  Quick recap: the adjustments are very close to being dead on, the speed rating adjusts the reticles properly, the lens is clear, and the lighted reticles are not overbearing.  This makes it a definite ‘buy’ in my book.  If you have a crossbow and need a scope, do yourself a favor and check out the Hawke XB30.


  1. I have been sports freaky from the college days, and I very good at shooting with the help of a crossbow, so I loved visiting the post.

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  3. This is the post i like most and looking the gear review is very good and producing a high quality crossbow. I will definitely buy one.

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  5. Yes, I have a crossbow and need a scope. Thank for your post!