Posts Tagged ‘Trigger’
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
Test and photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald
Today, we’ll begin a look at a brand-new übermagnum from Ruger, the Ruger Air Magnum Combo. This is another spring-piston breakbarrel with smashing power, and I can tell you where that power comes from — in a moment.
Mac described the rifle as a Diana RWS 34P on steroids. And, then it hit him. Maybe, it’s really more of a Diana RWS 350P Magnum. Regardless of what it reminds him of, the report will focus on this new rifle, only.
Now, being both a breakbarrel and powerful is going to mean one thing for sure. This rifle will take some technique to shoot well. You’ll have to apply the artillery hold and find and use the one best pellet no matter how many tins of lead sinker larvae you can find on sale at Wal-Mart. You know, praying doesn’t make bad ammo good, and no amount of savings will ever be enough to compensate for the miss you know started out as a good shot.
The rifle comes with open sights. In this case, they’re fiberoptic, front and rear, which is probably the right choice for a hunting gun. And, the rear sight is fully adjustable.
A scoped combo
Being a combo, though, the rifle also comes with a scope. In this case, it’s a 4×32 that I’m sure you’ll want to upgrade at some time, though Mac tells me the one on his test gun is pretty darned clear. It doesn’t have parallax adjustment at this price level, but Mac will share how to adjust the parallax on this scope in part three of this report. You can set it to 25 yards, if you like, and you’ll be averaged for hunting. Or, if you just want to shoot it at 10 meters (even though this is not an indoor plinker by any means), it should be possible to set it for that range.
And, some very good news. The rifle has a Weaver base permanently attached to the spring tube. So, buy Weaver rings and forget all scope mount movement problems. Of course, if you get the combo you also get a scope mount set, so there’s nothing more to buy.
The rifle is very large, Mac says, though at 8 lbs. it isn’t a heavyweight. It’s 48.5 inches long, which makes it much longer than the average breakbarrel. The length of pull is a good 14.25 inches, which most adults will find in the right range. The barrel measures 19.5 inches, which you’re going to want for some cocking leverage.
Where the power comes from
The cocking effort on Mac’s test rifle measures 58 lbs.! Yes, I said 58 lbs. If you want to know how that would be measured, look at this video. Please, think that through before you order one, because at that level of effort you’re not going to use one of these rifles for plinking. Even bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno would soon tire of that much effort. But, hunters shouldn’t care one way or the other, because they don’t have to cock their rifles that often. Umarex, which imports the gun, lists the cocking effort at 42 lbs. Even that’s substantial.
However, it isn’t just the powerful mainspring that creates the extra power of this rifle. Mac reports that the barrel also comes back about 120 degrees from closed before the rifle is cocked. That extra stroke of the piston is where the real secret of power lies. We know today that swept volume in springers is the real secret of their power, which begs the question of why the rifle has to cock at 58 lbs. Maybe it was a poor mainspring choice and maybe an aftermarket tuner can chop out 20 lbs. of effort without losing much power, but that’s not a question we’ll address in this report.
The one note Mac added about cocking is that he cannot feel the sear set when the rifle is cocked. The safety comes on automatically, but you really have to give the barrel a hard last yank to ensure the rifle is cocked. Maybe that’ll change with break-in, like the older Gamo triggers and BSF triggers used to, but we shall see.
Mac measured the two-stage trigger at 53 oz. He says stage two is a bit vague, but you can feel it. The trigger is also adjustable, but only for the length of first-stage travel.
You can see that the butt is synthetic, and Mac noted the thick, smooth buttpad. The stock design is conventional Monte Carlo style, but without a raised cheekpiece. Note the complete ambidextrous design because of where the automatic safety is placed, at the rear of the spring tube. The metal is nicely finished medium satin and sets off the dark stock perfectly.
More toys, boys!
by B.B. Pelletier
Okay, today I’m going to shoot the Crosman TitanGP with Nitro Piston through the chronograph. Boy, did we have a lot of discussion about this rifle in Part 1, and a lot of folks surprised when they realized that I was talking about an entirely different air rifle than the one they were commenting on. I tried to explain in the report that this is a very different rifle, but quite a few shooters were confused by the more powerful rifle that goes by the same name.
Crosman Corporation, are you reading this? People don’t like it when you name two different guns the same, any more than you would like it if they referred to a Crosman Pumpmaster 760 as a Red Ryder. You drove airgun collectors crazy when you named a Chinese spring piston rifle the Benjamin Super Streak, but in light of the whole Benjamin Sheridan brand name mix, I guess that’s water under the bridge. The point is that different airguns need different names so people can refer to them without getting confused.
However, you’re to be praised for developing this rifle! It’s one of the smoothest-shooting recoiling spring-piston air rifles it has ever been my pleasure to test. I believe it’s almost the equal of the Benjamin Legacy I raved about in the last report, only you built this one with more power. How much more is what we’re about to find out.
The first pellet to be tested was the .22 caliber 14.3-grain Crosman Premier. When you think of Crosman airguns, you probably think of them shooting Premier pellets, certainly the spring-piston guns and pneumatics they make, anyway. I know I do. So, Premiers were the first to be tested. They gave an average velocity of 677 f.p.s. in my test rifle. The spread went from a low of 668 f.p.s. to a high of 684, so 16 f.p.s. overall. That’s not too bad, especially for a brand new rifle. The average muzzle energy works out to 14.56 foot-pounds.
Next, I tried RWS Hobby pellets. At 11.9 grains, these are about the lightest lead pellet around. They averaged 724 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 703 to a high of 742 f.p.s. That’s a 39 f.p.s. spread, but the one shot that went 703 was anomalous. The next-slowest shot went 715 f.p.s. That works out to an average muzzle energy of 13.85 foot-pounds.
The final pellets I tried were RWS Superdomes. I have no axe to grind when selecting pellets to test, but I always try to test at least one of average or middle weight and one of very light weight. Only if the rifle is a magnum would I also test a real heavyweight, because I probably wouldn’t be inclined to use it in the rifle. This time I let Mac influence me. He’s been having such good luck with Superdomes, lately, that I had to include them in this test.
Those 14.5-grain pellets averaged 689 f.p.s., or 12 f.p.s. faster than the lighter Premiers. They also gave a super-tight 12 foot-second spread of 682 to 694 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 15.29 foot-pounds, which is very respectable! Remember, this gun cocks easier than a Beeman R7, so having this much power is a good thing!
Several people have complained bitterly about the trigger in the TitanGP. I have to admit that it isn’t a great one, but it isn’t that bad, either. It just has too much second-stage pull that the shooter cannot cancel out. This pull has a lot of creep, which puts people off. I don’t know what can be done about this trigger, but it’s quite evident to me that many shooters are going to want something done about it.
Next, I’ll test accuracy for you. I’ll do it soon because I have major surgery coming up the end of November and will be unable to cock spring guns for a while following that.
And, now, for something completely different. Edith found this amazing video on YouTube. Watch it all the way. She no longer has any excuse when she complains that it’s hard to load rounds into her Glock mag.