Hatsan 125TH air rifle combo: Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


Hatsan’s new 125TH breakbarrel is a large, powerful spring-piston air rifle.

Today is the day we see the accuracy of the Hatsan 125TH air rifle I’m testing. I have a surprise for you, and it isn’t what you expect. Just to review, the rifle comes with a scope that’s best not used. It’s very poor optically. And their mounts are very lightweight, so I didn’t use them today, either. Instead, I mounted my favorite scope, a Hawke 4.5-14x42AO Tactical Sidewinder that I have raved about in other reports. It’s the sharpest scope I have (don’t own it yet, but I expect to), so no one can say the Hatsan rifle didn’t get the best optics.

Hatsan has a scope base that gives you the choice of Weaver or 11mm rings, and the Hawke scope was already mounted in a set of BKL 30mm medium rings with double topstraps. With these butted against the Hatsan’s scope-stop plate, there was no way the scope or rings were going to move under recoil — even the heavy thrust of the 125TH.

Surprise, surprise!
After the scope was mounted, I cleaned the bore. And that was when I got the surprise. Even a brand-new brass cleaning brush slipped through the bore with little resistance! I thought for a moment the rifle was a .22 and of course I was using a .177 brush. But no — the rifle I’m testing is a .177. It just has a very large bore. How large? The rifle I’m now testing has the largest bore of any .177 air rifle I’ve ever examined!

I looked through the bore to make sure it’s rifled, and it is. But there are no pellets in my inventory that begin to be large enough to fit this bore — which is why I got the results that I did.

Note from Edith: I asked B.B. if this is so big that it might be .20 caliber. He took a .20-caliber pellet and tried to insert it, but it was too big. So, this is just an oversized .177.

Still a drooper
If you recall, this rifle is a drooper. I knew that, but there are ways to test droopers that don’t compromise the scope. Pick a small aim point located as many inches above the intended impact point as necessary and let that be your aim point for every group. After adjusting things as much as possible, the groups were still landing three inches below the aim point at 25 yards. But if the groups you shoot are tight, you can always replace the rings with a set of droopers afterwards.

Beeman Kodiaks
The first pellets I tried were Beeman Kodiaks — more to keep them from breaking the sound barrier in my home than for any other reason. I knew from earlier testing that middleweight pellets will go supersonic too easily in this rifle, and every shot will crack like a rimfire!

After I got the sight adjusted, I proceeded to shoot the best group of the day. In fact it was the only complete 10-shot group I fired in this test, because all other pellets scattered so much in the first three shots that it wasn’t worth my time to complete the group.


At 25 yards, 10 Kodiaks made this group that measures 1.336 inches between centers. The pellet at the low right isn’t part of the group. This is similar in size to the best groups made with open sights.

The group is terrible, but it tells me something important that I haven’t noticed until now. Notice that many of the holes are elongated rather than round? These pellets are wobbling as they fly downrange! Some look almost as though they were tumbling when they hit the target. There’s no way they can possibly be accurate when they fly like that, and that’s why I didn’t complete any other groups. Not only were the pellets scattered, many of them also tumbled or wobbled like these. Nothing I shot could ever be accurate in this airgun. When I looked back at the earlier targets from previous tests, I noticed some elongated holes there, too.

The other pellets
At first, I tried to keep the velocity below the sound barrier, so I tried JSB Exact Jumbo 10.2-grain domes and 10.5-grain Crosman Premier heavies. Both wobbled in flight and scattered worst than the Kodiaks. I don’t have the new JSB Exact Heavy 10.34-grain domes, but there’s little reason to think they would have performed differently.

I did try a couple middleweight pellets — just to say I did. Some old Beeman Trophy pellets I had on hand cracked like a .22 long rifle, and they did make a couple round holes, but they also scattered widely and one of them did rip an elongated hole.

On to other, lighter pellets. The H&N Field Target was on the border of supersonic. Some were, others weren’t. But I got more elongated holes with this pellet, as well.

Then I tried RWS Superdomes. I thought their thin skirts might blow out and hug the bore better than the other pellets. But, once again, I got all supersonics and elongated holes. Three shots opened to two inches, and I just stopped shooting.

That is as far as I am going to take the Hatsan 125TH. I’ve shot it with open sights, with the scope and mounts that come with it, and with the best scope available. I’ve checked the screws and cleaned the bore. I’ve tried a range of the best pellets. Nothing seems to help. This rifle I’m testing is simply not going to be more accurate than these tests have already demonstrated.

The bottom line
The Hatsan 125TH is a $200 magnum spring rifle. It has their best trigger, their shock absorber system and their Weaver/11mm scope base. Yet, it also has a barrel that’s so overbore that it doesn’t stabilize any pellet I tried. The trigger is too heavy and doesn’t adjust very far. The rifle cocks hard but gets easier as it breaks in. In the end, though, the test rifle wasn’t accurate. I could forgive everything else if I’d been able to shoot a good group with this air rifle.

113 thoughts on “Hatsan 125TH air rifle combo: Part 5

  1. Hmmm.
    I wonder if this over-bore-size is indicative of all the .177 125THs, or is this particular rifle out of manufacturing specs. Maybe the folks at Pyramyd should check their 177 stock to see if they all are like that or not.


    • Davee1,
      I’d also be curious about other rifles in PA’s inventory. Sounds very strange that a bore would be made so large. Is it somehow out of spec (i.e., a lemon), or does it just require “special” pellets?
      Victor


    • Davee-1,

      Overbore barrels are the result of a too-large rifling button that is selected to prolong the life of the tooling. The button wears and must be sharpened periodically, which reduces it’s size.

      It’s a manufacturing economy step that unfortunately has this affect.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        No matter if the button is too large, or the barrel was bored/reamed too large, they probably ran off a batch of bad barrels. Question is how many, and when will the tooling change to turn out satisfactory ones? Also, if too many barrels don’t pass QA, then it’s easier to loosen the standards so there won’t be as many rejects. Cuts down on tooling costs.

        twotalon


  2. I see Hatsan also sells pellets under their own brand. Maybe they are sized to work in the oversize barrels on their rifles.


    • David J1,

      That’s possible, but I don’t have any Hatsan pellets to test. If they become available in the future, I will look at them.

      B.B.


  3. B.B.,
    This is horrible! Anyway someone at PA can verify that others have this same problem with key-holing? Maybe someone there should try an H&N in 4.52. Only the most undiscerning customer could accept this rifle! No amount of lipstick can make this product right.
    Victor


    • Victor,

      I will be testing other Hatsan rifles this year, so we’ll see. PA has a 10-meter range that is too short to see problems like this.

      B.B.


  4. This is just sad. The only thing is that this rifle got in BBs hands, instead of ruining the airgun experience for a beginner.

    With a Diana / RWS 32 selling for 220$, who wants to buy this rifle?

    However, what I really like is that Hatsan did finally have the courage to sell airguns under its own flag. So far, its airguns were re-branded as Browning, Daisy, Webley, Walther, Hämmerli, Mercury..which makes you wonder what those “big brands” would do if they got an iversized barrel from Hatsan? Probably nothing, just sell it…



      • Please don’t get me wrong. What I wanted to poiunt out is that I really really hate to see how venerable manufacturers like Hämmerli, Daisy, Stoeger, Benjamin-Sheridan, Air Arms, Browning etc. stop making their own rifles and instead just become vendors that stamp their brand logo on some other manufacturer’s rifles. Doing this is makes sense for the guys in the sales departemend, as it is cheaper to buy the guns than to make them by yourself. But it is a nightmare for the customer. Have a look at Pyramydair..you’ll find exactly the same rifle, re-sold under different brand names, with very different price tags. And you’ll find many more rifles and even worse, rifle-scope combos, that give you absolutely no clue about the quality, type of trigger etc.

        Thus, I lile it that Hatsan finally stood up and decided to sell their airguns under their own name. Now the potential buyer can roughly estimate what he will get, has better access to spare parts, can see a diagram of the trigger etc etc….


        • Everyone,

          You have to understand who is making what for any of this to make sense.

          Hammerli no longer exists. It was bought by Umarex several years ago and the guns they now make are ALL made outside Switzerland.

          Browning never made any air guns. They have always sold their name to other makers. First it was Rutten, and now it’s Hatsan. Umarex is the one selling their guns.

          Daisy hasn’t made any air guns for years. They assemble Chinese-made parts for most of their models like the Red Rider and they buy some of their guns outright.

          Benjamin bought Sheridan back in the 1980s. Then Crosman bought Benjamin in the early 1990s. So the Benjamin Sheridan names are just names, only. Crosman is the maker who both makes and rebadges guns by those two names.

          And the list goes on.

          B.B.


          • Also, Hatsan has been selling their guns under their name for many years, I bought my first Hatsan rifle when I was 17 in a small local hunting and fishing store.

            J-F


        • Thus, I lile it that Hatsan finally stood up and decided to sell their airguns under their own name. Now the potential buyer can roughly estimate what he will get, has better access to spare parts, can see a diagram of the trigger etc etc….

          The converse of that is that final quality control is now in Hatsan’s hands…

          The contract production guns probably undergo quality control sampling by the company whose name is on the product. So a company with a highly rated name may reject shipments that vary too much from their specifications (one reason for possibly higher prices of these models).

          For all we know (and this is purely speculation for purpose of argument) Hatsan is using components for its branded products that had been rejected by “finicky” contract QA yet passed by Hatsan’s own QA.

          How much of Hatsan’s reputation is really from their manufacturing vs contractor QA blocking subpar units from the market.


  5. Because it is a break barrel AND a magnum, I personally would not have bought it. But because this throws Hatsan’s quality control and standards into question, I do not see me knowingly buying any of their air guns.

    As Mel has pointed out, they have built air guns for many top brands. And all of those top brand names have suffered for it. A prime example is Webley, one of the former icons of air guns. Unless it was made in England, I would not consider purchasing one.

    The sad part about all this is that because of the price, many of these things will get into the hands of the newbies and ruin it for them.


    • The new Webley Alecto is made by Zoraki, another Turkish maker and it works quite well and won’t ruin anything for the newbies.

      J-F


  6. B.B., you tried hard to find a way to give this rifle a thumbs up. Although I will certainly read any blog you do on Hatsan I look forward especially to the PCP airguns, especially the AT44 PA.

    Ken


    • Ken,

      Having tested two Hatsan-made PCPs thus far, I believe that their PCPs will be a much different story. The two I tested were very accurate.

      B.B.


  7. Well, I was waiting for the last nail to be driven. That was a really big nail too. More like a railroad spike.

    At least you could see the rifling. I have one around here that I could not see any signs of rifling in until I shot a hand full of pellets through it. Oversize bore for sure. Nothing would fit. The pellet skirts barely kept the pellets from falling through the bore.

    twotalon


  8. BB,

    You gave it a fair shake. Disappointing results. I could hope (but kind of doubt) that Hatsan reads independent reviews like this and adjusts their spec/qc to address the issues. I really hope this was just a lemon. I had a Chinese pistol with an oversize barrel and it wasn’t much fun having every other pellet just drop through and out the muzzle when closing the barrel…

    Let’s hope for the best with the other Hatsan tests coming up. Maybe you can use this one as a door stop in the mean time…

    /Dave


  9. BB,

    I hope this is just a bad barrel that got past QC; I have two Hatsan pcp’s that are quite accurate. Some of the Hatsan models are really interesting and I hope that your test gun is an anomaly.

    Just about all manufactures make less than perfect barrels – I have an HW30 with a tight bore that is very pellet picky and just not that accurate even with ammo it likes. Also have a .22 Marksman 800 pistol with an oversize bore that groups about 2 inches at 15 feet. I will try some 5.6mm Wasps this afternoon to see if that helps at all.

    Paul in Liberty County


    • The first barrel on my first R7 was the roughest thing I have seen yet. Imagine hammer forging the rifling, but instead of using a rifled spud( mandrel, or whatever they call it ) use a chainsaw file. A really SHARP new one. Probably ate away half of the pellet before it could get to the muzzle.

      twotalon



      • Assuming one can find Eley 5.6mm these days, I mean the original decent pellets, the versions they produce now are not a patch on them. So many older UK guns were basically made for 5.6mm pellets.


  10. I said to a Hatsan dealer that I wanted a 125th but with no scope, no rings, no scope base, no special trigger and no shock absorber system.
    My only request was a decent barrel.
    When I asked how much it would cost,he rubbed his chin and replied,
    “Mmm,with all those ‘extra’s”

    Only a joke of course and not meaning to have a go purely at Hatsan but why make something which is 99% there in terms of being an air rifle then blow it?
    A decent barrel would probably have cost half as much to make as those ‘extra’s’ they decided to put on it instead.
    Bonkers.

    Pete Zimmerman,
    Glad to hear you are back on the range mate.
    All the very best to you.

    Matt61,
    The taxi drivers lot is not a happy one sometimes but I still mananged to have quite a few laughs.
    Weekend evenings the job was more like garbage disposal than taxi work.
    Us clearing the streets of people as quickly as possible so the cops can get back to the Police station for a cup of tea and a bun.
    The interdependance between cop,taxi driver and drunk was not disimilar to stuff I’ve seen on ‘Animal Planet’ lol
    DaveUK


    • UK Dave,

      I drove a taxi in College in my senior year – Teaneck, New Jersey. Best tippers were the drunks when they didn’t throw up in the back. Scariest moment was going into a bar to have the boyfriend (described by the women passenger) come out and escort her into the bar. Bigggg guy who was very pleased I did that. Oh, I was the “lightest” guy in the bar.

      I hope Hatsun is reading this and will suggest a different 125 that meets specifications required to shoot a .177 cal. pellet. Otherwise, they’ve just lost an entire spectrum of buyers.

      Fred DPRoNJ


  11. This person sent this question to the wrong address, so I have posted it here for him.

    Mr Gaylord, after reading your outstanding suppressor article at Pyramid, I am now questioning how the Gamo Whisper, and Bull Whisper barrels are legal? Aren’t these sound suppression devices?

    Thanks for the article,
    Jarris


    • Jarris,

      The devices that are on the air guns you mention are permanent. They can’t be removed without destroying the gun, and they can’t be mounted on firearms and work. Their design renders them safe only for an air gun.

      However, there have been a number of arrests and prosecutions on people who are putting removable silencers on air guns. If they can be installed on firearms and suppress the discharge, they are illegal, and there have been convictions.

      B.B.



        • Edith,

          Yes, as long as they have a tax stamp for the silenced BY SERIAL NUMBER, they are good. The problem is, many of these silencers are being made by people who do not have a Class II manufacturing license and therefore cannot legally make them.

          The crime is illegally manufacturing a firearm (silencers are considered firearms under the law) and for manufacturing a firearm without a serial number. Both are serious crimes.

          B.B.


  12. BB, you should email Hatsan USA with that information, to see what, if anything, is the result. I have heard some positive reports from people on forums who have contacted Hatsan USA. If you have time, I would suggest you return that rifle to PA, and ask for a replacement, to retest the accuracy. Ask PA to pull one off the shelf and not inspect it. There is the possibility that you got the 1 in a 1,000,000 lemon. I would hate for Hatsan to be tarnished because of that. Now if you retest, and then next gun gives similar results, than say it like it is. Hatsan is sparking a lot of interest right now on forums and such. If there products are only mediocre, than that should be said. Rick Eustler did a review on his airgun web.com youtube site of a .25 cal Hatsan and he was very pleased. One persons review and opinion is only that, one persons opinion. Maybe you could force a .20 cal pellet through the bore and then measure it.

    Nathan


    • Nathan,

      I watched Rick’s video review of the Hatsan .25 and was prepared to do the same with this one.

      I could contact Hatsan about this rifle, but that isn’t going to help the guy who gets one like it in the next box. I prefer to remain in the role of average buyer, unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.

      When guns break, I do either get them fixed or fix them myself. But it depends on what the break is. In this case, I just got to sample the kind of barrel that Hatsan is putting on their air rifles for the U.S. I’ll test more Hatsans and let’s hope they have better barrels.

      B.B.


      • I’m an average customer and if got this rifle I would return it. I could barely endure the crappy scope and rings, but the too large barrel is too much, I would return this rifle to the store I got it from, would try another one and if it the same I would ask for my money back. Maybe if PA (or any other store) insisted I would try a 3rd one but after the 3rd strike your out, give me my money back.

        I really hope the other rifles can do better than this one.

        J_F



  13. B.B.

    I know how frustrating that over sized bore must be. I own an Air Venturi Bronco that has the same problem. It simply will not group. Pellets fall out of the breech into my lap when I flip the barrel closed. The dealer refused to exchange it for a good one and suggested that I did not have enough intelligence to load it properly.

    I feel sorry for whoever ends up buying this Hatsan 125 from PA.

    Mark N



    • Mark N,

      Sounds like you may have purchased from another dealer than PA? My few experiences with PA regarding products not up to par, as well as customer service sound just the opposite of what you’re describing.

      ka



        • That sure is sad, I bought many airguns and accessories from PA including a Bronco and I loved everything, the awesome service I got, the packing, the billing everything was perfect and it was quite important because I was ordering from out of the country and was having it shipped to someone else in the US or to myself while in the US so I had a small window of time to ship it and for me to receive it and my experiences with them is spotless.

          J-F



        • Mark,

          Are you sure you didn’t pi– someone off? Sometimes I do that out of frustration with a product and don’t allow enough cool down time before I contact customer srvc. Hard lesson to learn for me. Hope you get resolve…

          ka


    • Mark,
      I have experienced the pellet flipping out with my Bronco, also, with some brands of pellets. What were you using? I learned to keep the barrel pointing downward until the barrel was closed. It doesn’t need to be straight down but delineated enough to keep the pellet in there. Let me know what you’re using and if I have them I’ll try mine with them. Then we can see if it could be abnormal.

      As far as accuracy, mine is very satisfactorily so. I assume you are aware of the artillery hold? The Bronco is a springer and you need to employ that with springers. It’s not quite as sensitive as other springers but it’s still a springer.
      -Chuck


      • Chuck,

        You assume correctly I am familiar with the artillery hold. I appreciate your efforts but why don’t you just tell me what pellet you rifle likes and if I haven’t already tried them (unlikely) I will.

        Mark N



          • B.B.,

            Thanks. I have seen all of your vids on PA’s site. I am not the greatest shot around but I do have experience. I have been shooting spring piston rifles for 30 plus years. I do not have many of them. Only 5. My most accurate is a toss up between an FWB124 and an HW30. Also recently acquired a Benji Titan GP-Lower Power which is showing promise after installing an aftermarket trigger. Next an old Slavia 618. All these rifles out shoot the Bronco. I also own a Walther LP-53 which I think could out do it too. That rounds out my modest lineup of springers.

            I did not intend to open this bag of worms. I bit my lip writing the original comment. I stand by it, however. When you return that Hatsan to PA they will sell it as used/open box or whatever and I feel sorry for whoever buys it. Edith has asked me to email her about the issues. I have already been around with it and really don’t want to waste more time on it. If I get more time I will try to detail events from my perspective and email her.

            It has been a week of Mondays for me. I really do enjoy your blog and everything you and Edith do for air-gunners. I just have lemon Bronco like you have a lemon Hatsan.

            Thanks,

            Mark N


            • Ooooh a 618, it’s one of my favorite rifles but it’s not close to out shooting my Bronco… But I still love it and would only get rid of it to get another one in better shape (I’m not the original owner and while the previous owner took good care of it clearly has seen better days).
              Some people won’t care for it but for backyard shooting it’s really hard to beat.

              BB, want me to send you (or Vince) my 618 so it can be opened and to show it? It’s currently missing it’s rear sights that the previous had glued on and the stock has been sanded (Vince I could send you my 620 at the same time?). I’d like a blog on the 618.

              J-F


              • J-F,

                You made my look and I owe and apology. Mine is a Slavia 620. Don’t know why I thought it a 618. Mine has a Dan Wesson Arms sticker on the stock and brings back many childhood memories since I have had it since I can remember.

                Sorry for the mistake,

                Mark N



            • Mark,
              Hmmm…you have at your finger tips one of the most influential people with PA (Edith) and you refuse to take advantage of it? What’s wrong with this picture?
              -Chuck


              • Chuck,

                With all due respect. PA has already rejected my return of this rifle once. I have only so much time and it is only 110 dollars. Not 199 like the Hatsan………….

                Why don’t you just spell out what you think is wrong with this picture.

                Mark N


                • Mark,
                  OK, let me spell it out. Why won’t you let Edith at least try to resolve your situation with PA? It will take none of your time for her to make the attempt. What do you have to lose?
                  -Chuck


                  • Chuck,

                    I don’t have anything to lose. I am not trying to gain anything either and I did NOT ask for help. I think that we should leave this discussion as is. I will talk with Edith.

                    Mark N



                    • Not to add fuel to the fire (though I know it will), but if the attitude coming across here was the same as when you were dealing with customer service…well, there’s two sides to the story.


        • Maybe this will help. We use the JSB Exacts in the Bronco we have. Also RWS Miesterkulgens, CPHP’s, and H&N Finale Match pellets. None fall out easily, and the JSB’s so far, are the most accurate. Groups of ten shots at 25 yards can be covered by a quarter. I have a 3-9X Gamo scope on the gun now. We usually set it at 7X. Also, we have now used both the JSB’s from the old style tins and the newer ones, as we have run out of the older ones. The gun did take about 200 shots or so to settle in. Don’t give up…


          • Robert,

            Yes thanks I have tried all of these save maybe the H&N Finale Match. I would have to look. I usually stock 5 to 7 varieties of .177 pellets and have tried all that I have ever had. I obtained a sampler from a gentleman off the Yellow a few months ago with 15 varieties many of which I don’t normally stock. The best fit in my Bronco was an H&N of some type but it was very heavy and the shot cycle was very harsh. It did not fit tight. Just snug. I put the same pellet through my HW30 which is tightly bored and the pellet actually stuck in the barrel when I fired it.

            Thanks for the advice,

            Mark N


        • Mark,
          Try the JSB Exact RS. I have nothing to do with PA, I’m just a reader, but I assume you understand we are trying to help you. We do try to help anyone who comes to this blog legitimately looking for help. We are not a springboard for disgruntled shooters. I apologize if you don’t feel like we’re not doing you much good. We seem to be getting some new readers here recently with impossible situations and I’m not sure if it is because of decreasing manufacturing quality or what. I do hope we can help you, but you have to be willing to accept our help in order for it to do any good. Please work with Edith and BB, (and us readers) because you won’t get a better advocate with PA than them.
          -Chuck


  14. It’s always disappointing to learn that a test gun in the hands of one of the most experienced airgunners out there won’t perform well. Although I don’t enjoy disappointment I appreciate knowing the truth without any sugar coating.

    This is just one more of many reports by B.B. Pelletier that proves he’s not another “paid opinionist” who has succumbed to the pressure from sellers and manufacturers to say nothing bad about their guns.

    I was interested in this airgun. The new quatro trigger and new SAS introductions from Hatsan intrigued me.

    I’ve read other reviews. They’re the typical gun review that is a brief snapshot of the gun. I like the format of gun reviews as they’re done here. Much more indepth. A 3 part series is normal but when issues are discovered by B.B. Pelletier it can grow into a 5 part series like this one did.

    I’ve been a reader of this blog for a long time. It’s impossible for me to estimate the number of hours of frustration I’ve been spared because of the articles and information shared here. It’s also impossible to calculate the amount of money I’ve saved by being a better informed consumer. As a result of B.B.’s willingness to share his vast knowledge and experiences I’ve had so much more fun shooting airguns than I’ve had frustration.

    Now, as far as the amount of money this blog has cost me because I learned which airguns to buy and which to stay away from ………….that chapter has to wait.

    kevin


  15. Unbelievable! It twists my mind how corporate decisions are made that will only produce anti profit results. What Hatsan has done here, on a smaller scale of course, is like adding on to a customers house and cheating on the footings. Everything is great when finished, until the failure begins to show, rendering the entire project a failure.

    I can’t wrap my head around a company making such a basic and monumental mistake. What good does a rifle do if you can’t hit what you aim at, regardless how nice it felt missing your target?? This has Corvair written all over it!

    my $.02 ka


    • KA,

      Corvair? What about the Chevy Volt? The same people (or their kids) are now trying to spin all the performance problems of the Volt — the electric car that’s really a hybrid, but which Chevy only acknowledged as such after millions of people called them on it.

      This kind of corporate muddled thinking goes on all the time, with the absolute worst being foisted on the public in politics.

      Are your phones ringing off the hook right now, trying to get you out to vote? If not they will be. Because right now, and for the next seven months, you are an important and valued member of society, whose vote we appreciate more than you can know. :D

      B.B.


      • The 1965 and later Corvair was one of the best handling and fun cars you could own in it’s time. i know, I put 150,000 miles on a 65 4 carb. Corsa. Unsafe at any speed was a big lie.

        Loren


        • Loren,
          I had a 63 Corvair Monza Spyder which had the turbocharger. I loved driving that car. My future wife owned that car. After we were married I drove it from Illinois to Whidbey Island, Washington where I was stationed at the Naval airbase. It was so much fun the hear and feel the turbo kick in. I raced a Buick Wildcat through Montana until I hit a dog. It was no contest of course because the Spyder wasn’t that fast.

          It was always dicey driving through the mountain passes after I heard all the stories about the suspension folding under. Indeed, there was a webbed strap around the front axle that kept the wheel from folding under when you jacked up the car to change a tire. Good memories. Sadly, I don’t have either the car or the wife anymore.

          -Chuck


          • Chuck
            I too had a 63, handled like a VW bug, but the 65 was a much improved car. rear suspension was Corvette like double U joints and more h.p. The Yenko Stinger Corvair was a real killer race car

            Loren


        • uh, uh. The first Corvairs – 1960 to 64, had swing axle suspension – same as the English Triumph, MG, Beetle and 356 Porsche. What would happen is that on a tight turn, the rear end would jack itself up and due to the relatively high center of gravity (unlike the British Leland MG and Triumph), it would flip. In a hard turn, if one lifted their foot off the throttle, you would get “trailing throttle oversteer” – the nose of the car would suddenly turn into the turn and the rear would step out. The other cars mentioned above suffered the same problems. In 1964, GM installed a lateral leaf spring from rear wheel to rear wheel with attachment to the differential – essentially an anti-roll bar. In 1965, they changed the rear suspension to that used in a Corvette. I’m glad that’s when you bought your Corvair, Loren.

          But the damage had been done. By the way, GM’s initial response was to hire investigators to try and discredit Ralph Nader.

          Then there were the rumors of carbon monoxide leaking into the passenger compartment when the exhaust headers failed. The Corvair was an aircooled, rear engined vehicle referred to as “the poor man’s Porsche”. One Senator’s daughter (Harke?) was killed from CO poisoning.

          Fred DRPoNJ



            • No argument here. Just that GM initally produced a stinker of a car then had to improve it after the publicity and lawsuits started to deteriorate.

              My wife used to have a Vega – another great design from Detroit and GM. A cast iron block with an aluminum head that would wrap if the engine overheated. It was airconditioned but the AC couldn’t keep up with the heat thrown off by the transmission! What a pig that car was!

              Fred DPRoNJ


              • Nope. Vega had an aluminum block with high-silicone aluminum cylinder walls (not liners). That’s what was wrong with it. It used a mild steel head gasket which would eventually rust through and leak, and the aluminum walls would rapidly get scuffed.


                • YOU’RE RIGHT! I stand corrected. No cast iron liners in the cylinders. However, I think it had a cast iron head that sat on top of that aluminum block?

                  Fred DPRoNJ


                  • Nope. Aluminum head on aluminum block with a non-stainless-steel-shim head gasket. Coolant leaks after the head gasket rusted would destroy the cylinder walls.


          • Fred,
            So, do you suppose those straps were to keep the rear end from jacking up? I do know if it weren’t for those straps I would never have gotten the tires off the ground to change them. They would have kept folding under to some point. I don’t know how far they would have gone if left unchecked. Another thing, the rear floorboards rusted through on one side and the only thing between the passenger and the road was the carpet. Cars seem to be better at not rusting now a days.
            -Chuck


            • Chuck,

              I don’t think the straps would have been strong enough or lasted for any length of time if their purpose was to keep the rear end from jacking up under hard cornering forces. Obviously the straps didn’t do a good job of preventing that anyway in the ’60 to ’63 model years. I think GM found out they had to put them there so the owners could take a wheel off when needed.

              Fred DPRoNJ


              • For what it’s worth, the straps were there to keep the splines on the drive shaft from pulling out of their socket on the rear engine, rear drive independent suspension vehicles. The wheels return to the ground much faster than the body did and with long suspension travel, often the drive-shafts would pull right out of their fittings. Same problem for rear engine, rear drive, independent suspension race cars like F-V, etc.


      • Had to post and run yesterday, leaving me to catch up this morning… Yes the Volt is an Obama, a lie, a trick for the stupid. But the Volt is cleverly relabeled and is as far as I can tell, a nice hybrid car, if your into buying from companies that have government and union stake at the level GM has. I prefer to buy from the private sector. Ford for me, thanks.

        Loren, yes the Corvair was a fun car to drive, but so was my home built go cart when I was a kid! Seriously though, the later cars as others have said were different, and I could have named many other cars and things to make my point, just that Corvair came to mind at the time. Funny thing is, spell check is wanting to suggest other words than Corvair!

        ka


  16. Hello, BB,

    Evaluating springers prospectively, I think you have three main primary considerations:

    1) the quality of the barrel and rifling
    2) the powerplant and mechanical action
    3) the trigger group

    The first consideration is hardest to evaluate. It is impossible to make measurements directly. There is variation in the manufacturing result. Barrels get bent. Crowning is critical. The exact nature of the rifling is almost impossible to observe/inspect. Length of the barrel is important, and then you have the overall aspect of how well it balances and “feels” in the finished product.

    Most of the efforts of the “tuners” is to improve or correct flaws in the design and production of the action. Better springs, piston buttons, tophats and guides – these things can usually be improved to give significant improvement, because most of the production guns have some compromises. Surprisingly (to me, anyway) he correct cleaning and lubrication of this mechanism is often done improperly by the manufacturers.

    #3, the trigger – you have a lot of precision in this one very important assembly. It has to work totally repeatably, reliably, and it must on one hand have very delicate control “feel” and at the same time strong and certain spring restraint.

    It’s uncommon to have all three of these done well in a production rifle (of course, the top end of the market can usually deliver). In my observation, the variable of the barrel is one we struggle to evaluate. Wish I knew a better way.

    Regarding this review, BB, I appreciate the fact that you laid it all out for us to consider – nothing swept under the rug. Apart from any consideration of this product, thank you for showing us how to evaluate a new “unknown” rifle.


    • Jerry,

      The first consideration is, in fact quite easy to evaluate. Well, at least to distinguish between a good barrel and a bad barrel. Things you’ll need – daytime, a tin of pellets, a cleaning rod, a single 4mm white LED flashlight (they are often used to lighten things up when opening locks), 1 mm soft copper wire, a good steel ruler and an angle. At least 1 good eye and 2 hands are required too :) But first you must take at least 1 clean classy (LW or Anschutz) barrel and inspect it to see what to look for.
      This set of tools will allow you to determine and observe the nature of the rifling, choke/cylinder type, barrel caliber consistency, the way rifling is made, quality and precision of the work, any possible bend, crown’s condition etc. etc. Combining all this data you can quite precisely evaluate airgun barrel’s quality without making a single shot.
      Crowning is in fact not _very_ critical. Well, it is – when the rest of the barrel is all right. I think that if the specimen above would be crowned by Dave Mancon himself – it will still shoot almost the same, as the crown is like a cherry on a pie.
      And yes – changing barrels may be expensive (because a good barrel blank is not a cheap thing) but believe me, blank to barrel may not be _the_ easiest operation, but it’s one of the easiest things when constructing an airgun. So recrown, cutdown and change are just the simplest of barrel tuning. Another very inportant thing is breech end bevel, some springers may gain up to 30 m/s and minus 8-10 mm from the size of the group. Then come more delicate things – barrel polishing and weights on barrel’s “sweet spots” to eliminate “barrel buzz” and so on. So barrels can be tuned and they are tuned.

      duskwight


      • I think that if the specimen above would be crowned by Dave Mancon himself – it will still shoot almost the same, as the crown is like a cherry on a pie.

        I’m in trouble then — I don’t put cherries on a pie… The cherries are in the pie, and the only thing on top is the (in my case, likely lightly burned) crust..


      • Duskwight,

        Fascinating stuff, as usual. Care to elaborate, for those of us who are mechanically clueless, what your evaluation process is? I can imagine what most of the toolkit is for, but what about the copper wire?

        Thanks,
        Jan


        • GenghisJan

          Quite simple – to check the crown for burrs protruding into the barrel especially in grooves. It would “catch” the soft copper. Another useful tool is a common cotton bud – put it into the barrel and then remove, pressing against the barrel’s wall. If the crown is not ok some filaments will get caught by the burrs and you’ll see it.

          duskwight


  17. BB,

    Well, now what?

    It is obvious to me, at least, that this particular gun should not be on the market, and PA should be proving to their customers that it should be kept there. If you are the vehicle of that proof, I do not envy you your job.

    One of two things needs to happen: the gun should be taken off the PA site immediately, or it should be left there with a clear disclaimer that it is a rifle with serious problems and is under investigation. Personally, I prefer the later, but that is probably not going to foster a good relationship between PA and Hatsan. If Hatsan does make other guns that are good, PA needs to keep that relationship.

    I will be curious to see how this is going to be handled. As is, I think all sales should be suspended until something positive can be found. One more gun test isn’t going to do that, either. Several must be checked before I would be convinced.

    -Chuck


  18. I think future buyers may force Hatsan to revamp their guns to standard specs or face a loss of future sales.I think this blog is great” The tests are very fair and honest and they help me make up my mind about a gun that is new on on the market.By doing this Blog The Companies won’t take us for granted and tout a new one just because the new gun has power” What good is power on a gun that is so hard to cock” That it ends up sitting more than it’s shot” The barrel droop is also a very important factor IE: What is the sense of having a good scope when you have to put the ajustments at their extreme settings? with no wiggle room” We should keep their feet to the fire they will come around as long as this Blog continues it’s independent reviews. No new jersey Mike


  19. This really drives me nuts when sizes aren’t what they’re supposed to be. I had assumed .177 meant .177. But I guess that’s not true just as .223 barrels are actually in many cases .224; .303 can be anything from there up to .314; and 8 mm can be .318 or .323. This seems like such an unnecessary hassle. Let it never be said that B.B. doesn’t give every rifle it’s chance.

    Regarding the discussion about the TX200 and the Marauder, I must say that my heart is captured by a phrase used to describe Savage rifles: “You can pay more money but you cannot get more gun.” Marauder all the way! Chuck, regarding the beautiful woman comparison you might be amused at some wisdom I picked up from a Men’s magazine which said: “Fellas, a beautiful woman is like a sports car; she’s high maintenance. Unless you’re willing to fly your mate to Bali on a regular basis or have everyone in the world hitting on her, you’re better off with someone else.” (It is my curse to absorb all this stuff like a sponge!) And Victor, I have the perfect response to your ex-girlfriend who complained about you spending more time with the rifle. You just repeat the line from Conan (actually based on an ancient Norse saying I believe) about how everything in the world, listed one at a time, is ultimately untrustworthy (even the hearts of women which are “fickle”!), but your sword you can trust! Although I don’t know if this statement would have changed things for you in the end, and may be would havjust accelerated the process.

    Wulfraed, are you legally allowed to shoot your airguns in your apartment? I’ll have to remember your technique of pulling up the kneecap to break the assailant’s hand. That has roots in the techniques of Filipino Martial Arts for destroying the limb of incoming strikes, so don’t discount your inherent ability in the martial arts. If everyone should be familiar with guns, how much more so basic self-defense. Of course you can always get defeated, but this business of cowering helplessly beneath bullies (as I just heard about on the news regarding one 71 year old woman in relation to an aggressive 87 year old woman) just has to go. No reason for it. By the way, I admire the clever attack/defense techniques of Wing Chun as well and the fact that it is a highly practical style that is easy to pick up. But it seems to be adapted for fighting in very close quarters like you see in Hong Kong or a phone booth. Otherwise, one is vulnerable to getting overwhelmed by a simple bum’s rush. That is unfortunate stuff about your brother missing the bag and breaking his leg. I’m reminded of a guy in the gym who was lunging with his punches to give them more power (basic mistake). He mistimed the swing of the bag, and it flattened him. Embarrassing stuff. Your brother also reminds me of an ex-girlfriend who described how she used to punch holes in the door and walls in fighting her sister. She was a large girl although I never could get her weight out of her. Well, too bad, she was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met who can still have me laughing hard years later, and a fundamentally good person too, but a little high-strung…

    I’m pleased to say that last night I placed the capstone on my recovery effort, and shot as well as I ever have, except for throwing out number six of the last 10 shot string. My observation this time around is that frustrated as I might be at other times, when the shooting is going right, nothing seems as easy. You start to wonder how it is possible for anyone to miss (though not for long). I’m also led to think that unless there is some fundamental problem or unsuitability, it is not difficult to make good shots fairly early on. Much of one’s development must come in figuring out what are the key elements from the shooting experience, and figuring out how to repeat them. I feel like a sword with hard and soft layers (corresponding to knowing when in the shooting technique to apply the will and when to relax) forged in the fire of repeated failure until I get everything right. A lot of it seems to boil down to self-knowledge. As David Tubb says, “Your hold may be as good as mine, but you won’t know it.”

    Now, hunters, here is a sporting proposition. What do you pick for the best hand-portable weapon to take on the titanoboa? This is a recently discovered prehistoric snake from 65 million years ago that was as long as a school bus and reached waist-high from the ground while slithering along. It hunted like an anaconda and ate everything in sight including other titanoboas. Remember, your weapon has to be portable so no M2 Browning HMG. I choose the RPG or a minigun.

    Matt61


    • Once I get my bullet traps back I might get away with some in the basement… Cement walls so minimal chance of a pellet visiting the neighbors.

      But a 15-ft muzzle-target distance isn’t going to be of much use except in chronographing. Maybe the pistols…

      I also need to wait until my traps are back from my father… With luck the .22LR trap will survive chronographing a Condor at close range. The “micro-meter” tank may be okay, but I don’t know if I can dial down the high power tank and still have a meaningful test (I need to work out the fill/pressure curve on the Condor, for average pellets… and without a built-in gauge that means filling to 3000PSI, shooting until I detect the depleted drop-off, start pumping and note when the pump pressure actually adds to the tank… fill to 3000PSI and shoot down to the start of the desired curve, then attach pump and determine the upper bound.){and then, for kicks, repeat with Eun Jin adjusted for wicked energy — after all, the 32.4gr with the dial at “8-0″ was doing 940fps and there’s a whole four more rotations to the dial; 21.1gr Baracuda Match were doing the same velocity with the dial at “4-0″ [these are "single shot" samples, and I'm calling the 21.1gr BM "average pellet" for this gun])(The micro-meter tank, at 8-0, gave 15-20ft-lb with pellets from 13 to 32 gr, velocities 730 to 510fps)

      For the scaly… Fragmentation grenades and a big slingshot (or some sort of mount to fit long arrows and a compound bow [a bit faster than a crossbow, though not as easy to aim])

      If we only have to worry about one… a frag grenade, some high tensile strength wire, some rope, and Mary’s little lamb… Tie the lamb down, tie grenade to lamb, wire to grenade pin… let scaly gulp lamb, pull wire to release pin…

      {foomp} instant heartburn snake style


    • Matt,

      My choice would be a couple of RPO-A or a Kord 12.7 (quite portable, but fired from bipod). And you seem to break your own rules – M134 and even XM-214 cannot be fired offhand :)

      duskwight


    • Matt61,

      “I had assumed .177 meant .177.”

      When people look at the listings of any caliber of H&N pellets, they think we’ve duplicated the listings. What they don’t realize is several of the better pellets come in a variety of head sizes. So, some .177 H&N pellets (4.5mm) can have a head size anywhere from 4.48 to 4.51mm.

      On top of that, there are mfrs who don’t produce pellets with different size heads. Since they’re all one size, what size are they? One mfr might make his .177 pellets with 4.48mm heads but another might make all his .177 pellets with 4.51mm heads.

      Since pellet production dies don’t always get replaced as equipment wears out, the pellet’s dimensions will change over time.

      That’s the reason we continue to test and retest equipment and ammo.

      Edith






        • Wulfraed, Ha! Yes it’s very dated, but it’s still fun! I was watching a ‘Top Shot – a – thon’ the other day and in the elimination round the two guys got to shoot the M32A1 semi auto grenade launcher, that seems like a lot of fun too! Would I redeem myself if I chose one of those? :)

          ka


  20. Matt, I find those occasions you speak of (when everything is going right) to be somewhat frustrating.
    I had one of those days Monday evening. I was practicing my 10m rifle shooting. I literally just count not NOT hit the 10.
    It seemed every time I acquired the target in my diopter the whole image just seemed to hold rock steady till I was finished my follow through. And in every bull (I was shooting a string of 40) it seemed that tiny little period was obliterated.
    And yet throughout the whole process…maybe 45 minutes worth of shooting…I knew that it would be a long, long time before it happened again.



  21. I have a Daisy/Winchester 600X that has the problem of the pellet wanting to fall out of the breech when loading. A lot of times, the pellet will wind up getting crushed between the breech block and the barrel.

    It gets pretty aggravating. At least they do not fall through the barrel.

    I did not buy the gun from Pyramyd Air. I bought it from a gun dealer who sells mostly powder burners.

    Les



    • Michael

      Looking at the PA website I saw several 4.52 head size domed pellets from JSB and Air Arms (which are made by JSB), but I didn’t see any 4.53′s. The head sizes are listed for some but not all of the various versions.

      David H


  22. Edith,
    I was looking at the information on the Hatsan 125th on the PA site and one of your sentences says this:

    “You’re love the Quattro trigger, available only on Hatsan-manufactured guns!”

    Might want to change the “You’re love” to something like, “You’re going to love” or some such.

    -Chuck


  23. B.B.,

    For the benefit of the newest airgunner in the family, do you have a simple, one sentence guide that will help a person remember which guns are safe to dry fire and which one’s aren’t?

    NFS


    • NRS,

      Not a simple sentence or even a simple paragraph. You have to consider what the gun does when it is dry-fired. How about a blog?

      And why is this important to you?

      B.B.


      • Yesterday I visited my brother and my just turned 13 year old niece. She has decided she wants to shoot and her father came across a very nice, barely used Crosman 1077. She got it out for him, he showed it to me, gave it back to her, and she went into the next room and began shooting door knobs and light switches with a totally empty gun … no CO2 and no cartridge.

        My only experience with guns, other than for the airguns that I own, was in the Army. I definitely remember being told not to dry fire the M-1 rifle that I had. So, I just kept that habit going and I don’t ever dry fire the airguns that I have. I have never paid any attention to the entire subject of dry firing … until it came up yesterday. I believe that it probably never does the gun any good. She thinks she is practicing. So … I offered to let you draw the line. That’s why I asked.


        • NRS,

          This is where the best blogs come from! There3 definitely ARE air guns that support dry-firing, and there are many (most, in fact) that do not.

          So this is a good subject that I will pit on the list.

          B.B.


    • Simple: None…

      Less simple… Single stroke pneumatics, maybe multi-pump models — in which the firing valve stays open until the bolt is cocked (this discounts some multi-pumps if a max pump results in residual air when firing). Especially with a finger over the muzzle to supply some back pressure to cushion the valve system. {Of course, the first time you /think/ it’s empty, you lose the end of your finger}

      Next up: CO2 (and maybe PCP) with a finger over the muzzle for back-pressure — since back pressure controls the valve timing…

      Never: spring piston models; even a finger isn’t going to provide enough back pressure (especially when the pressure is spread over the entire barrel volume rather than in the pellet skirt and the first inch or two of pellet movement.

      ? + 1 = 2

      Back to basics? What’s next? 0 + ? = 0


  24. Hi. I have a Hatsan 1000s striker .22 in the mail right now and am distressed over the barrel issue. Is this the only Hatsan rifle you have reviewed? And is this the barrel they use on al their guns? I appreciate any feedback you have. And I will leave a review of my rifle when it arrives.


    • Nate,

      Yes, this is the only Hatsan spring rifle I have tested. I have tested guns Hatsan makes for others, but this one is theirs.

      B.B.



  25. The fps in this Hatsan review can catch anybody’s attention,and the price! The thing that kept me in doubt is that I have a RWS 350 feuerkraft that is more expensive,maybe a $100 more and it’s fps with 10.5 cp is about 920,which is more than enough speed to produce great foot pounds,20 or so,with very good accuracy. Then it dawns ,how can you make a better rifle for less. Just to good to be true. I have been in the hobby for over a year, in that time I committed the hype mistake, now thanks to these exceptional and professional reviews by BB Pelletier I am starting to get a grasp,small compared to all the pros.that comment here, of the enormity,and sophistication in the world of airguns. I laugh alone when some of my friend that are only fire arms enthusiast tell me why am I wasting my time on ” pee shooters”.. Ha! Thank you very much BB. P.S. today with my RWS 460 I was plinking at one inch sea shell at 60 yards and making them explode…I have entered a second childhood.
    M


  26. Hey B.B. Pelletier
    I am a young guy looking to further myself in this hobby. I was looking at getting the Hatson 125TH until I sow this blog; I am a bit sceptical now. What is you advise on this gun. Is it still worth getting it still or is there another air rifle that is of a similar price and better quality?
    Thanks for a very insightful blog
    Ryan


    • Ryan,

      No, I don’t recommend the Hatsan 125TH. But I wonder why you are lookin ga such a beast for a first airgun. These big magnums are not user-friendly. They are extremely hard to cock and not too accurate.

      I’m currently testing a Hatsan 95, which I find to be much easier to live with. It’s also less-expensive than this rifle.

      Monday’s blog will have part 2 of the test, so why don’t you watch that one?

      Or consider a Diana 34 as a possibility. It’s accurate, easier to cock and has a better trigger than any of the Hatsans I’ve tested to date.

      B.B. user-friendly


  27. B.B. Pelletier
    It’s not my first airgun but I was looking for something better quality and more accurate. I was looking at it because I have shot a friend’s one and loved the feel of the thumb hole but I found a similar thing with the accuracy. I will look into both those airguns.
    Thank you for your time and knowledge.
    Ryan


  28. Who gets a magnum airgun in a .177?? That’s like a 4cylinder Ferrari.. I have no problems with the .25 caliber..


    • lead cucker,

      Welcome to the blog.

      What does the term “magnum” mean when it refers to airguns? You have to go back to the 1980s to see when that term was first used, and it meant no o more then than it does today.

      B.B.


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