HAWKE X-ACT Ballistic Reticle Calculator – How to Guide

HAWKE X-ACT Ballistic Reticle Calculator – How to Guide

X-ACT is a free ballistic calculator designed by Hawke Optics to help you get the most out of your riflescope. With this tool you can plot your trajectory and find suitable aimpoints on your riflescope’s reticle. Hawke has carried out the complicated ballistic math, so you don’t have to!

Hawke has a made it even easier, downrange accuracy straight out-of-the-box, with X-ACT reticle riflescopes. Exclusive reticle designs, carefully calculated to match up to your favourite centrefire and rimfire rifles, allow accuracy from the start. Find out more about the Hawke X-ACT Riflescopes – see it in action in our shooting film with a .308 & .22 rimfire

How to use the X-ACT App

X-ACT has a built-in library of many different rifle types and calibres, so you can easily choose the preset to match your rifle. The more discerning shooter has the option and ability to enter their own rifle data to really get the most out of this ballistic tool. To achieve real accuracy you’ll need to know your Muzzle Velocity, Sight Height, and Zero Range. 

Hawke X-act Quick How to Guide

Select a Hawke Scope from the ‘Hawke Scopes’ Menu

Choose your scope (or the nearest equivalent) from the ‘Hawke Scopes’ menu. Once selected,
X-ACT will set the reticle (crosshair) pattern to match your scope and will also set defining
parameters like Magnification range and the turret Click Unit.
If you are not able to find a suitable scope from the Hawke Scope menu, or have an older scope that is no longer in production, it is also possible to select the correct reticle from the Reticles menu at the top of the screen.

Select a rifle type from the ‘Preset Menu’

The Preset menu is divided into five classes. Choose the class that matches your rifle, and then choose the specific calibre from the Preset Type window that pops-up on screen.

Set: ‘Sight Height’, ‘Zeroed Range’ and ‘Magnification’

Using the Data Input Bar at the top of the screen edit the preset values to match your actual values. Sight Height is defined as the distance between center of the scope tube and center of the rifle’s barrel.
Zeroed Range is the distance your scope is set to for the middle aim point of your reticle. Magnification is the magnification setting your scope is currently set to.

Save your settings

Go to File > Save As to save a new file containing your new settings. You can change save location and choose a name for the setup.

Extra Settings on the Hawke X-act App


At the bottom of the screen you can show/hide the following pop-ups:

  • Environment settings – set environmental settings including altitude and wind speed.
  • Full Reticle view – shows an image of the currently selected reticle and gives detail of the reticle’s design.
  • Intercepts view – shows what distance each aimpoint on the reticle is equal to. These are known as the ‘holdover’ and ‘holdunder’ aimpoints.
  • Scope Cap view – replicates the Intercepts view, but formatted into a smaller, circular image that can be printed for storing on your riflescope flip-up cover.
  • Rangefinder – allows you to use aimpoints on the reticle to measure target distance.
  • Energy Calculator tool – calculate your bullet’s energy, velocity or weight.
  • Utility settings – quick access to the display and parameter settings.


To set the units as imperial (inches and yards) or metric (centimetres and metres) go to the Toolbox menu at the top of the screen and choose Set Imperial/Metric Units.



This view displays the reticle markings and the distance relative to each aimpoint. The center of the reticle is your set Zeroed Range. Alongside each marking below center is the calculated distance based upon your input values from the Data Input Bar.
As default there are two sets of numbers; Near Ranges on the left and Far Ranges on the right. The Near Ranges represent the distances that the projectile first intercepts as it travels up from below the center of the crosshair. The projectile then travels above the center aimpoint before falling and intercepting the Far Ranges.
There is option to disable the Near Range values by right-clicking on the Intercepts view and selecting to duplicate the Far ranges on both sides of the reticle image, or you can simply disable the values on the left side.
While right-clicking on the Intercepts view it is also possible to activate/deactivate rounding of the values to the nearest 5 yards/metres.



The Scope Cap view replicates the information from the Intercepts view, but in a smaller, circular display that can be resized and printed for installation on flip-up covers.



On the left side of the screen the ballistic information is displayed in table format. This shows the Point Of Impact (POI) and Wind drift of the projectile at range.
The POI is relative to the center aimpoint of the reticle, so will always show as 0 when at your Zeroed Range.
The wind drift increases with range.
The POI and Wind can be shown in inch/cm, MOA, Click, Mil, or Mil-Dot. Tick boxes for each parameter can be found in the Utility settings.

  • Inch/cm – the distance from the central aimpoint. Negative numbers are shown when the distance is below center.
  • MOA – Minutes Of Angle are an angular measurement used for small angles. 1 MOA = 1/60th of a degree. Often turret clicks are measured as 1 click = ¼ MOA, so every 4 clicks equal 1 MOA.
    Click – the number of clicks required to change from your Zeroed Range to the new target range. For this value to be correct you must ensure the Click Unit from the Data Input Bar matches your riflescope’s turret click value.
  • Mil – short for milliradian, or sometimes called MRAD, the Mil is another form of angular measurement used often in ballistics. 1 Mil = 3.6 inches at 100 yards, or 10cm at 100m.
  • Mil-Dot – Similar to the Mil setting, the Mil-Dot measurement shows how many Mil-Dots are needed for different distances. This will only show when a Mil-Dot reticle is chosen.
    It is possible to choose how frequent the range distances are, i.e. every 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 or 100 yards/metres. To select this, right click on the table and make your selection.



On the right side of the screen the projectile is displayed as a graph. The standard graph view shows the POI vs. Range. The horizontal line at ‘0’ range represents the center aimpoint of the reticle. The curved line is the projectile’s ballistic curve – it shows how the projectile rises and falls compared to the center aimpoint. Other aimpoints on the reticle are also shown as straight diagonal lines – the intercepts between the curved line and diagonal lines represent the distances that each aimpoint relates to.
It is possible to change the graph to show Velocity vs. Range, Wind Drift vs. Range, or Elapsed Time vs. Range by right clicking on the graph and making your selection.


It’s possible to print or save an image of the Graph, Intercepts and Scope Cap views. Do this by right-clicking on the chosen view and selecting Print from the menu.
The Table view can be printed in the same way, or can be saved as a spreadsheet compatible .csv file. This can be opened on spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel.

At the end of 2018 we are ending support for X-Act software. Desktop and smartphone apps will no longer be updated or supported by Hawke. They may continue to work for sometime, but as operating systems are updated we cannot guarantee this.

For more information please visit: hawkeoptics.com/x-act 

Find out more technical tips from Hawke here | Learn more about Hawke Life | Like Hawke on Facebook | Follow Hawke on Twitter | Follow Hawke on Instagram