Posts Tagged ‘Hatsan 125TH air rifle combo’
by B.B. Pelletier
There has been a lot of interest in the .22-caliber Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel I’ve been testing! We have even had people emailing Pyramyd Air directly to ask when Part 3 was coming. Folks, they don’t know any more than you do. If you want to know something about the blog, post your comment on the blog and I’ll answer you here.
The Hatsan 95 represents a departure from the other Hatsan spring rifles I’ve tested so far. It’s sized for a normal adult rather than for a giant, and it doesn’t require the strength of Hercules to cock. I found during the velocity testing that the rifle seems to like heavier pellets, so I tested it with some for accuracy. I tested the rifle with open sights because they seem to be a reasonably set even though they’re fiberoptic.
Before testing the rifle at longer range, I first shot it at just 10 meters. Many of you say this is about as far as you can shoot an airgun in your homes, so today’s test should be very revealing.
The sights are fiberoptic and they don’t glow indoors. So, I used them as normal post-and-notch open sights. Unfortunately, the front bead is too large for the rear notch; but I did find it possible to see the top half of the front bead, and I could guesstimate where the bead was centered. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the best I could do.
Forget looking for aftermarket sights for this air rifle. Air rifle sights these days are mostly proprietary, which means the guns they’re on won’t accept aftermarket sights from another manufacturer, unlike a lot of firearms. Since most shooters will use the scope that comes with this combo package, that presents no problem — but I included it because there are always a few people who want to use open sights.
First up was the Beeman Kodiak that did so well in the velocity test. They put 8 of 10 shots into a round group measuring 0.529 inches between centers, but two other shots opened that to 1.073 inches. I can chalk up those two shots to the imprecise sights, so this group looks promising.
The firing behavior of the Kodiaks is so smooth that I think they have to be considered by anyone who buys a Hatsan 95. Not only do they generate more energy than lighter pellets, they also group well — at least at 10 meters.
Next up was the JSB Exact Jumbo that weighs 15.9 grains. It’s usually a good performer when Kodiaks are, so I gave it a shot. It didn’t disappoint.
At 10 meters, 10 JSB Exact pellets went into a group measuring 0.648 inches — besting the Kodiaks for 10 shots. However, as with the Kodiaks, I see a smaller group inside the main one on the left side. It’s too difficult to measure, but you’ll see it, too.
The last pellet I tried was one I don’t usually test, because I haven’t found it to be very accurate. Others have, though, and I think they must all be shooting them in pneumatics rather than spring guns. The Predator pellet is a premium hollowpoint that has a cone-shaped tip inside the hollow point of the pellet head.
At 10 meters, 10 Predators grouped in 1.548 inches between centers, and the distribution was open enough to show that it was no accident. This pellet is not for the Hatsan 95 and was eliminated from further testing.
When you compare this group to the other two, you can see why I think this pellet isn’t right for the Hatsan 95. A group like that at 10 meters is due to more than just imprecise sights!
Back to 25 yards
Now that I knew this Hatsan could shoot, it was time to back up to 25 yards and give it a go. This is where those sights would come into play; because at 25 yards, the bullseye I was aiming at was the same size as the front sight bead I could only see the top of.
I shot Beeman Kodiaks first, and 10 shots went into a group measuring 3.735 inches. That’s hardly a good group, but you’ll notice that just a single pellet opened up the group to that size. Nine pellets made a group that measures 1.613 inches. While hardly a good group for 25 yards indoors, this is where the front sight comes into question. I’ve shot 5-shot groups at 50 yards that measure a quarter-inch between centers with the best open sights, and I’ve shot 10-shot groups that measure three-quarters of an inch at the same distance with the same sights. Clearly, this group grew because the sights were not clear and not because the rifle is inaccurate.
Next up were the JSB Exacts. These had performed a little better at 10 meters, and I expected to see them out-group the Kodiaks at 25 yards, as well. And they did. Ten pellets went into a group measuring 1.882 inches. You can see the dispersion resulting from the fiberoptic sights, yet this pellet shows a tendency to stay together at this distance. Of course, this group is not acceptable, but it does give me hope that this rifle can shoot.
Where does this leave us?
I believe the Hatsan 95 can shoot, and this test shows that. Next, I’ll mount the scope that came with the combo package and try that at 25 yards.
If you’ve been holding off buying a Hatsan 95 until you saw the results of my test, I would say the wait is over. This air rifle can shoot. It’s a breakbarrel springer, so it needs the artillery hold, but it doesn’t seem to be overly sensitive to the hold. It cocks easily enough for a hunting air rifle, and the firing cycle is smooth if you use heavier pellets.
The trigger is very nice, with just a little creep in stage two. I like the wide blade and the general shape of the blade on this gun.
Next, I’ll test this rifle with the scope it comes with.
by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I’ll test the velocity of this Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel. After shooting it for this test, I have to tell you that I’m liking this air rifle. For staters, it isn’t impossible to cock. The barrel requires an effort of 40 lbs. to cock, which is light enough for one-hand cocking (for me) but too heavy for a plinker. It is world’s better than Hatsan’s portable gyms, which go by the model names 155 Torpedo and 125TH.
The second thing this 95 has that those other two don’t is a nice trigger! I mean — right out of the box. There’s a little creep in the second stage, but it’s not much and I can live with it. The trigger of my test rifle breaks at 4 lbs., 10 oz. and the only thing that would make it nicer would be an adjustable overtravel stop.
The rifle jumps forward when it shoots, plus there’s a small amount of vibration I can feel. It’s over quickly and not objectionable, but it lets you know that you’re shooting a spring rifle.
I like the way the trigger blade tracks in this rifle. It feels wide and comfortable to my trigger finger, and I cannot feel any raising as the blade comes back. It feels like a trigger on a far more expensive air rifle.
Velocity and power
If the Hatsan cocks with the same force or even a little more than a Beeman R1, it ought to have roughly the same power, to my way of thinking. So, that’s what I was looking for.
The first pellet I tested was the .22-caliber Crosman Premier. I know that this pellet will average around 750 f.p.s. in a .22-caliber R1. In the Hatsan 95, the average was 734, so pretty close to the R1. The spread, however, went from a low of 699 to a high of 763 f.p.s. The rifle is probably burning off excess oil because it’s new, but the increase over the break-in period will balance that out. We may be looking at the final velocity, albeit with a much closer spread once it’s broken in. At the average velocity, this pellet produced an average 17.11 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
Next up was the RWS Hobby pellet — that lightweight lead wadcutter that gives us a true sense of realistic top velocities for the rifle. Hobbys averaged 801 f.p.s. and ranged from 794 to 805 f.p.s. That’s a much tighter spread and perhaps indicative that the gun is stabilizing — but it’s still too soon to tell. At the average velocity, Hobbys delivered an average 16.96 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. They felt harsh on firing, though; in retrospect, I don’t think I’d use them in this rifle.
The final pellet I tested was the Beeman Kodiak dome. Many people think a Kodiak is too heavy for a spring-piston powerplant, but I disagree. In the Hatsan 95, the Kodiaks smoothed out the firing cycle so that it felt the best of all three pellets I tried. Kodiaks averaged 646 f.p.s. and ranged from 644 to 650 f.p.s. — an incredibly tight velocity distribution!
At the average velocity, Kodiaks generated an average 20.02 foot-pounds in the test rifle — confirming how they felt upon firing. Clearly, the Hatsan 95 has a heavier piston that’s best-suited for heavier pellets. And, since Kodiaks are often among the most accurate types in many guns, it’ll be interesting to see how they do in the accuracy test.
Observations thus far
To this point, the Hatsan 95 is stacking up to be the best Hatsan-branded spring gun I’ve tested. It cocks with a reasonable effort, the trigger is good (very much better than the two other Hatsan springers I’ve tested) and it develops decent power. The gun is also sized right for an adult male — rather than for a giant.
I think the next test will be the rifle without the scope that came with it. I want to really put this rifle through its paces, because it has the potential of becoming one of the best values for the money in a powerful spring rifle.
by B.B. Pelletier
Today’s blog is targeted toward our younger readers — I think (and hope!). Edith has been reading hundreds of Pyramyd Air customer gun reviews for the past week, trying to get caught up with a huge backlog. She has encountered several dozen complaints that should never have been lodged in the first place. They’re complaining about a product being exactly what it’s advertised to be, instead of what the buyer really wanted!
Think about that, because it’s also something that I encounter quite often in comments from new blog readers. A guy orders something and is then put off when it arrives, because it is exactly as advertised instead of being the fantasy he concocted while shopping. I’m using the male pronoun purposely because this is a trait I see only in young men.
It may not sound like anything worthy of discussion on this blog, but I believe this is at the root of a lot of potential new airgunners being put off airgunning forever. If that’s true, it matters a lot, because it will keep this hobby from growing!
To keep from embarrassing anyone, the following customer complaint is fictitious, but it is no more bizarre than many of the real ones I have read.
This Crosman 2100B is a piece of junk! I wish it was a breakbarrel and instead of 650 f.p.s. would shoot 1,200 f.p.s. with .25 caliber hunting pellets. The only thing I like about it is the price. Keep that.
To me, this review was obviously written by a very young man, someone probably under the age of 18, and this is his first experience with buying something for himself. The complaint is a thinly disguised plea for life to conform to his imagination, rather than the harsh reality that it is. I think this is what happens when too many video games have instilled the false belief that things always turn out for the best. After all, didn’t the magic scorpion turn into the Jewel of Osiris when he poured the Potion of Hope on it?
If he really wanted what he said, why didn’t he buy an AirForce Condor in .25 caliber? It might not have achieved quite 1,200 f.p.s. with .25-caliber hunting pellets, but it would have come closer than any other pellet rifle on today’s market. Of course, it also wouldn’t have been a breakbarrel, but do you know what that means? The young man telling himself a second lie. This one is that spring-piston guns can achieve similar velocities as precharged guns, because he can’t stand thinking about the extra expense and added effort that goes into owning and using PCPs.
He told himself all these falsehoods for one reason. Money. He hasn’t got any. The Crosman 2100 was all he could afford, but the dream rifle that doesn’t exist anywhere is what he really wants — or thinks he does.
Without analyzing the young man’s desires, let’s move on. There are plenty more where this came from.
I get this next one a lot. It starts out as a question from a new reader and it more or less goes like this.
I am new to airgunning and am considering buying my first air rifle. Can you please evaluate the following guns for me and give your reasons for what you say about each one?
When I see a list like this, I immediately know what’s happening. You probably do, too. This young man wants “The mostest, powerfulest air rifle” he can afford. Notice that he didn’t put one RWS Diana rifle on his list, even though there are some like the RWS Diana 350 Magnum that are in the same power class. Every rifle on his list comes with a scope, which tells me he also thinks he needs a scope to hit what he shoots.
Has he ever read about the artillery hold — or even thought about it? I doubt it.
Does he read the description that says each of these rifles is hard to cock? No! And what’s more, that information wouldn’t mean anything if he did read it, because he has never held a powerful airgun in his hands.
For that matter, has he read and understood what each of these powerful air rifles weighs? Once again, the answer is “no.”
When we get a comment like this on the blog, all the veteran readers take turns trying to persuade the new airgunner to reconsider his choices. It’s extremely frustrating, because what normally happens is that he posts a second list a few days later. One or two of the original guns will be on the new list, and he will have added others — hoping that we will now see his point of view.
We continue to try to persuade him to rethink his priorities, but he’s in a group of young men that is much larger than just airguns. In the world of firearms, these same new shooters are buying S&W .500 Magnum revolvers and .338 Lapua Magnun rifles, or .44 Magnum revolvers and 7mm Remington Magnum rifles, if they have less to spend. They end up selling their new guns after fewer than 50 shots, convinced that shooting is a harsh and painful pursuit.
I don’t see any way to reach people with this kind of mindset, short of mentoring them one at a time. They don’t read, as a rule. Or if they do, they only read things that support their personal viewpoints. Many of these are the guys who are so vocal on the forums but have zero experience to back up what they say. If you watch the forums over a long period, you’ll notice that they come, are active and very vocal for a brief period, and then disappear forever.
If a young person shows up at my rifle range and wants to learn about shooting, he’ll be overwhelmed by all the voluntary assistance and mentoring he receives. It has actually happened a few times. But getting him to come is the hard part.
I once had to finish a gutshot deer for a drunken neighborhood man who had wounded it with a single barrel shotgun (in our suburban neighborhood where hunting was not permitted!). He shot it with only two rounds in his pocket and hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to finish the job. After the animal was dead I told the young man that it was time to clean the deer, so he whipped out a bowie knife and made for the throat.
“Whoa!” I shouted at him. “What are you trying to do?”
“I’m going to slit its throat to bleed it out,” was the reply.
I then instructed him in the correct method of cleaning a deer, by opening its gut and dumping all the intestines, organs and pooled blood out on the ground. Then I watched him squirm when I made him reach up and cut the deer’s diaphragm, so he could reach up even farther and cut the esophagus and windpipe, releasing the remainder of the internal organs from the carcass. You would have thought you were watching a teenage girl in biology class being asked to dissect a frog!
I could have done all this for him, of course, but he had just ended this deer’s life and I wanted the full impact of what he had done to sink in. Now, let me show you what this looks like among new airgunners who are making choices of what airguns to buy.
They buy an air rifle without sights, then complain bitterly that it came that way — without sights. Now they have to pay even more money for a scope!
Hello? Did you read the description that clearly said the gun has no sights?
Of course not. They were too busy daydreaming about making fantastic shots like the ones they see on the internet.
So, they get their new scopes and struggle through mounting them. Then they shoot the new gun for the first time and are bitterly disappointed because it doesn’t print the tight little groups they’re so used to seeing elsewhere.
Well, of course it doesn’t! All the while, they’ve been mixing the groups shot by guns like the Air Arms TX200 and the Air Venturi Bronco with the power of the mega-magnums, whose velocities have mesmerized them. They couldn’t find as many groups posted from the powerful guns, so they just assumed they were the same as the ones they did find.
Someone recently commented that I always tout the Bronco because of the royalties I must get from the sales. Edith set him straight right away. There are no royalties in airguns! This is not rock music, my friends. This is a little niche hobby that doesn’t gross as much as quilting or the Sno-Cone industry! I “tout” the Bronco for just one reason: It’s accurate.
At the end of the day, if someone buys a Bronco I know it’s going to be accurate for them — no matter what level of shooting experience they have. That’s so much better than listening to a bunch of whining and crying because the gun of their dreams turned out to be a nightmare in their hands.
The school of hard knocks
The bane of youth is that there is no body of experience to temper their desires. I went through it and so did most of you. We made a lot of mistakes that became the price of our wisdom, such as it is. It seems there’s no shortcut through this kind of learning, either.