Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


The test rifle was prettier than the photo Hatsan provided for the website.

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.

10-meter testing
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
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.

Accuracy
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.


Eight of the ten Beeman Kodiak pellets made a 0.529-inch group at 10 meters. The last two shots opened it to 1.073 inches. While this looks good, don’t forget that it’s only 10 meters.

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.


Ten JSB 15.9-grain domes made this 0.648-inch group. This looks promising.

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.


Predator hunting pellets are clearly not the pellet for the Hatsan 95. Compare this open 1.548-inch group to the two before it.

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.


Kodiaks didn’t do so well at 25 yards. Most are in the black, but that stray one out to the left was not a called flier. 3.735 inches between centers for this one.

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.


Ten JSB Exacts made this 1.882-inch group at 25 yards. It’s not good, of course, but the sights are probably the main reason for that.

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.

30 thoughts on “Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

  1. While the Predators may not have grouped well — you can’t complain about how well they cut the paper <G>

    For some reason I’ve never looked on them as “hollow points”… The polymer insert reminds me more of Hornady “ballistic tip” (even though I know without the plastic point those would be jacketed hollow points with no exposed lead — cf the three types of .17HMR ammo: 17gr hollow point, 17gr ballistic tip [hollow point with plastic nose cone], and 20gr “game getter” exposed lead solid point)

    Regarding sights… If the barrel sheath is of a common size, might it not be possible to replace the barrel weight/cocking handle [to me, "muzzle brake" implies cuts for recoil reduction via redirection of expanding gasses] with one of compatible size but having better front sight options?


    • Given the results so far, I took a look at the actual sales page.

      Item 1: I now agree that it is NOT intuitive how to find the alternate calibers (a blue arrow/triangle pointing at the rated velocity gives no indication that there is a dynamic table with alternate caliber choices hiding there).

      Item 2: If the scope pans out, this could be a candidate given the price…

      Item 3: I really wish the makers of spring guns could come up with a trigger mechanism that put the pivot point over the finger position, so the trigger travel was more horizontal rather than the vertical arc. This one at least seems to be fitted low enough that the trigger blade doesn’t disappear into the stock/action (unlike the Gamo even with a GRT-III, where the trigger rises what feels like 1/4″ into the stock). I don’t want to feel the pad of my finger getting pinched into the trigger slot, and shooting from the tip of the trigger requires a longer finger than mine.


      • Wulfraed,

        Regarding item 1: Pyramyd Air is going to change that. It’ll take the IT dept. a couple months to come up with the new layout, but I guarantee it’ll be MUCH better and more intuitive to find the different calibers.

        Edith


        • Edith, What fun ! Yes, like many, I visit the Pyramyd Air Blog daily with my first cup of Java. We see that American Airgunner season returns this Friday night on Television. I’ll program DirecTV to schedule it and the VCR as well so we will not miss an episode. Surprised that it is not high lighted at PA.
          And for additional recreation, would like to see a Top Ten poll of Historic BB and Pellet gun icons of history. Like Red Ryder, Daisy Model 25, Beeman R-1, etc….
          Regards,
          Pete in California



          • Pete,

            For a top ten list we’ll need to have a big poll and vote. This sounds like a super task that will run across all of PA’s sites and social pages.

            B.B.


  2. B.B.

    You mentioned in part 2 that this rifle had a distinct foreward jump. Was this with all the pellets tried, or just one kind ?

    twotalon


    • TT,

      With all pellets, but it wasn’t bothersome in the rested position. Maybe I noticed it because I was holding the rifle for chronographing.

      B.B.


  3. Hello!

    Thank you for another interesting, and for me relevant test. Unlike many of the other guns tested here, Hatsans are readily available even in the small town near where I live.

    While I was looking at the groups the different pellets made, it occurred to me that in addition to the special coin you use for guidance in evaluating group sizes, it also might be informative to have an unused sample of the actual pellet in the photo as well. I tend to sometimes stubbornly stick with what I’ve always used regardless of gun (16 grain JSB Exacts for my .22′s, please), but seeing the different pellet types in the photo with the group they created might open up for new thoughts. Just an idea, if it is not too big a bother.

    best regards from an occasionally sunny Porvoo, Finland
    /Marcus Brunberg

    PS. The spell check suggested I change my last name to “Beanbag”. I was tempted :-).


    • Marcus,

      Hi from Colorado! Where it’s too sunny lately… “Beanbag”! I like that! :-) meena olla baha boyka…. (only Finnish my mom taught me)

      BB

      I second Marcus’ request for a picture of the unused pellet in the pictures. It might also help new people to get a grasp on what a hollow point, wadcutter, etc look like. I know you’ve posted all that before and they can look it up on PA’s sight by following the links, but then they wouldn’t have to take that extra step.

      /Dave



  4. Good shooting BB, especially with those fiber optic sights. You might try some Sight Black on them sometime. It will get rid of all the shine and make them a nice dull black. I use them all the time on regular iron sights. The brand I use most often is Birchwood Casey’s Sight Black. As a general rule, I really don’t like fiber optic sights!

    Mike


    • While shooting my Walther Nighthawk (minus accessories) in my cardboard box, I inadvertently moved so that I could see the white dot sights for the first time instead of just the black outline, and I found them very distracting.

      Matt61


    • Mike,

      I should have said it better, but these fiberoptics are black as night indoors. At least in the front where it matters.

      B.B.


  5. B.B., you are tolerant almost to a fault. Your assessment of this rifle reminds me of your follow-up test to the IZH 61. “That group proves this rifle wants to group!” :-)

    Victor, you are truly the voice of stability and consistency, just like the old Roman Centurions. Okay, slow and steady as she goes with my recovery.

    Desertdweller, you are relentlessly practical. :-) Okay, I’ll admit that my scenario of the oncoming 400mph car crash was hypothetical, and it would be hard to imagine what that would look like. And I am impressed too with the technology for crashes in race cars. Judging from the cockpit cameras in NASCAR vehicles, it looks like there is a sort of armored capsule protecting the driver and perhaps certain parts of the car that are designed to crumple protectively around him–sort of like the way the A10 Warthog attack planes have a bathtub of titanium armor surrounding their pilots. But judging from some of the crashes of Indy cars, it looks like the rest of the car is designed to fly apart, the more the better, to dissipate energy. I know that I’ve seen some people walk away from crashes that looked scarcely survivable.

    Nevertheless, there may be a way to indirectly observe truly catastrophic collisions. I understand that it was an entertainment in the 19th century for a crowd to gather and watch two old locomotives run together on a track at full speed. On at least one occasion, they blew up with such violence that there were widespread injuries in the crowd. A similar diversion was for crowds to watch old steamboats driven over Niagara Falls with all sorts of animals running around on deck. Well, some entertainments of the old days like shooting continue to wear well, but these others I do not get.

    Matt61

    Matt61


    • Matt61,
      I’ve gone through the cycle of “having it”, “losing it”, and then “getting it back”, and I’ve seen it with others. Even experienced shooters can lose faith in the fundamentals, and/or stop realizing how important they are. Sometimes we simply forget to something like follow-through, or we fail to realize that our whole hand is introducing disturbances. Lones Wigger says that to be a great shooter you have to be intelligent about your shooting because no one else can see or know what problems you need to solve.


    • Matt,

      It is true both of stock cars and Indy cars that the driver is encased in a crush-resistant area, surrounded by energy-absorbing crumple zones. NASCAR stockers have gone so far as to mandate styrofoam panels between the roll cage sides and the outer door panels. If these come out during a race, they are required to be replaced before the car can re-enter the race.

      Some of the most violent stock car crashes are survivable, while some doing apparently much less damage to the car have been fatal. Usually this is because of equipment failure. In the excellent race car museum at Talledega, AL, there is a wrecked race car #3 that Dale Earnhardt crashed. The car is virtually crumpled into a ball, but it was not the one he was killed in. The car of the fatal crash is much less damaged, but, apparently, Dale did not have his belts properly fastened. This resulted in a lot of bad feelings toward the belt manufacturer, Simpson, that was undeserved. I own a set of Simpson belts that were identical to Dale’s, and never had any problem with them. Dale was arguably the most popular driver in NASCAR, and his death had a chilling effect throughout the sport.

      I had heard of the crazy train crashes, but not the boat wrecks. Apparently, no one considered that steam locomotive boilers are potential bombs and subject to explosion if damaged, or merely neglected.

      As for the animals going over the falls, that is real Roman Coliseum stuff. Sounds pretty sadistic to me.

      Les


      • Let’s not forget about poor Zanardi who had both legs cut after Tagliani hit him on the side of the car and cut the car nose (and the legs that were in it) clean off.
        The poor Australian race marshall who was killed by a tire that gained a life of it’s own after a crash.
        Senna who didn’t hit hard but had the steering column snap and stab him.
        Felipe Massa who received a piece of spring on his helmet and suffered from skull fracture, 2 inches lower and it would have went thru his visor (and skull).
        Racing is dangerous no mather what the precautions are.

        J-F


      • Les,

        I believe that the cause of death for Earnhardt was finally accepted that he wasn’t wearing a neck brace that prevents the driver’s head from whipping forward and he suffered what is called a basilar skull fracture. The brace that comes down from the helmet mounts against one’s chest preventing the head from whipping forward. When Earnhardt’s car hit the Daytona Speedway wall, his head whipped forward and his spinal column was pulled from the base of his skull causing death. Other race car drivers have died this way. Despite initial blame of the Simpson made belts, follow-up showed that his seat belt harness was not the cause of death although improperly installed. Many racers were not wearing that neck harness prior to Earnhardt’s death but I believe it’s now a NASCAR rule that they use it.

        Wow, this is way off topic – sorry.

        Fred DPRoNJ


    • Matt61,
      To get more specific with an issue or concern of yours you’d need a coach. That’s why I always go back to the fundamentals. I went through a training with the Army Marksmanship Training Unit decades ago, and one thing that stuck with me is that even the best shooters in the world struggle with the fundamentals from time to time. That’s why dry-fire is so important to competitive marksman. Recoiess airguns are a close second, I think.
      Victor


  6. I just ordered this rifle from PA but the pellets i ordered went out of stock right after my order was placed so my whole order is now on back order =( Looks like im going to have to wait a little while before i can get my hands on the 95. You said the rifle prefers heavier pellets so i went ahead and used the PA’s buy 3 get 1 free offer to get the JSB Diablo Exact Jumbo Heavy (http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/JSB_Match_Diabolo_Exact_Jumbo_Heavy_22_Cal_18_13_Grains_Domed_250ct/691).Do you think that pellet is to heavy for the 95 or should it be fine. Thanks for the reviews and im looking forward to part 4.

    Kotah


  7. Hey BB
    I was just wondering what you thought of the shape and size of the stock? I know you reviewed it in part one, but now after shooting it more have you got any more comments? I found that the pistol grip was very wide in my hand but I don’t know much. Thanks for referring me to this air rifle rather than the mod 125TH, I think it is a much better gun for me.
    Thanks
    Ryan


    • Ryan,

      Funny you should ask today, because I am doing the first accuracy test. I find the 95′s stock to be large but not disproportionate, like the 125TH and especially the Torpedo 155! The 95 is about as large as a Beeman R1.

      Yes the wood is wide, but all large air rifle are like that.

      I think the 95 is a much better airgun for everyone.

      B.B.


  8. BB,
    I am very interested to see the accuracy test. Thanks for the insight. I think I have set my eyes on the 95.
    Thanks again
    Ryan


  9. B.B.
    What do you think is the better airgun the Gamo’s Silent Stalker Whisper IGT air rifle vs. the Hatsan mod 95 for planking and target shooting? I picked one up yesterday and was so amazed by the weight. Lightest air rifle I have ever picked up. I can’t wait to see part 4 of the 95.
    Thanks for an amazing blog.
    Ryan


  10. Main problem on Hatsans: there is no space for the pellet skirt at the breech… (and in many more other guns…)
    So when you snap up the barrel you end up with a deformed pellet/skirt: accuracy is gone, even on the BEST pellet you can find.
    I fixed mine (HT95): flared the entrance and polished/enlarged a bit (10 mm) of the bore length.
    Loading a pellet now is incredibly easy and the skirt stays about 1 mm below the block surface where it can’t be cut/deformed.
    You will discover that those cheaper pellets are now a lot better than you ever knew…

    Another tip: replace the o’ring breech with a viton material one and use a thin metal washer below that o’ring to make it protrude a little more outside…
    Viton material is more oil/solvent resistant.
    You’ll improve blow by at the breech: this also improving accuracy.

    Don’t expect a $150 gun to have these details already there, right out of the box!

    [ ]
    R.


  11. rwellerson please go into detail how you opened up the breech and the size of the viton o ring and I dont follow the washer under the o ring can youi explain it better to me thanks George


  12. Hi George

    Enlarging the breech entrance: you have to use a conical milling/cutter bit (by hand only) and make the breech lip radiused.
    The radius has to be about say 1~1,5 mm enough to house the pellet skirt lip in order to protect it from being smashed: imagine a horn instrument and you have the picture.

    You have to proceed with utmost care in this operation, a little bit at a time and NEVER NEVER be tempted to use a common drill bit to speed up the task.
    After the flare is done and using a fine grade metal sandpaper (start with 320 and then 400) polish
    the flared surface (circular movements) and about 10mm inside the bore smoothing the rifling: this is what will make inserting the pellet a LOT easier.
    In other words: you are “choking” the barrel/bore at its the very beguining…

    As this process is suitable for almost any spring airgun you will have to remove the original gun’s o’ring and take it to a specialized shop to compare (and size it) over the counter with a viton material o’ring they may have (#90 hardness is best)

    The washer under the o’ring: it has to be the same shape/diameter of the o’ring housing.
    Its thickness (about 0,5 mm) will make the o’ring protrude more and make the sealing much better.
    You have to evaluate your particular gun’s o’ring housing and choose the material for the washer: it can be made of thin sheet metal (brass, copper) or even plastic sheet.

    A LOT of words for a really simple but (has to be) precise procedure.
    And please consult a machinist if in doubt: any (gross) error and you are in trouble…
    If possible send me an e-mail: I have some pictures of this process.

    [ ]
    R.


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