Hatsan model 25 Supercharger breakbarrel air pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Hatsan model 25 Supercharger breakbarrel air pistol
Big and powerful — Hatsan’s new model 25 breakbarrel spring-piston air pistol is different.

Let’s take a look at the velocity and power of the new Hatsan model 25 Supercharger breakbarrel air pistol. I’m testing the .22-caliber version that I selected because of the advertised power. Hatsan has not disappointed me with their power claims in the past, so I’m expecting great things from this pistol. In fact, you’ll recall that I said I wished they would turn this pistol into a carbine at the same power. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Should you use heavy pellets?
I have read a lot about why I shouldn’t use heavy pellets in a spring gun. There seem to be several schools of thought on the subject. One of them says heavy pellets do not damage a spring gun in any way. That is my position as well, and it’s based on my never having seen evidence of damage done to a gun by using heavy pellets.

Another position is that heavy pellets may damage the mainspring of a gun, but they take a long time to do it. And those who believe this say they don’t mind changing mainsprings periodically.

And the final position seems to be that heavy pellets will damage the spring of a spring-piston airgun without question. These folks believe that spring-piston guns should use lightweight and medium-weight pellets but never heavyweight pellets.

I tell you this because I plan to test this air pistol with Beeman Kodiak pellets that weigh 21.1 grains in .22 caliber. I’m doing it because I’ve found Kodiaks are often very accurate at this power level. I’m not trying to bait the people who think heavy pellets are bad for springers; so if you believe that they are, don’t do what I am doing.

Note from Edith: In the 1990s, Tom and I heard that some RWS air rifles broke their mainsprings into 3 pieces at 2,000 shots or so. The spring would break off about 1″ from each end. We contacted Frank Turner, the president of RWS USA in Closter, New Jersey (not the same RWS USA company that now imports Diana airguns). Frank said the springs broke because shooters used pellets that were too light and didn’t have enough resistance. He advised Tom on how heavy the pellet had to be. Tom conducted a test using only the heavyweight pellets recommended by Frank. Things looked good for a while, but then the cocking effort of the gun became very light…a sign the spring had broken. He disassembled the gun, and the spring had broken into 3 pieces, as predicted. The gun we tested was an RWS 48, and I believe only one caliber of the 48 had this problem. The No. 1 comment we heard from RWS 48 owners was that the gun was broken in between 1,000 and 2,000 rounds because of the lighter cocking effort. The gun was, in fact, broken…not broken in. Since we no longer hear about this from RWS 48 owners, we assume that the problem has been fixed by the current importer.

I have selected three pellets that I believe will have a good chance for accuracy in this pistol. I plan to initially¬†shoot at 10 meters; and if the gun gives me good confidence in its accuracy, I may back up to 25 yards. But I don’t want a gun that sprays its shots all over the place since I’m shooting inside the house. Now, let’s look at the velocity.

RWS Hobby
The RWS Hobby pellet loaded very hard, telling me that the breech on this pistol is quite small. At 11.9 grains, the Hobby is among the very lightest of the lead pellets available, so I use it to test the velocity claims. In the test pistol, Hobbys averaged 525 f.p.s., or 75 f.p.s. slower than the claim. That’s too much to overlook, so I have to say this claim is ambitious. The range was from 517 to 536 f.p.s., so the spread was 22 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this pellet produced 7.28 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. That’s respectable for an air pistol and places the model 25 Supercharger among the top spring-piston air pistols for power.

JSB Exact Jumbo RS
The next pellet tested was the JSB Exact Jumbo RS, which in .22 caliber weigh 13.43 grains. They averaged 492 f.p.s. with a spread from 481 to 499 f.p.s. That’s 18 f.p.s. between the bottom and top speeds. At the average velocity, this pellet produced 7.22 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. And these also fit the breech very tight!

Crosman Premier and Beeman Kodiak
I’d planned to test both the Crosman Premier and¬†Beeman Kodiak pellets, but neither of them would fit into the breech! I could have made one or both of them fit with some kind of tool; but since I would never do that in the field, I left them both out of the test. So I didn’t get to test the heavyweight pellets I’d planned on testing.

JSB Exact 15.9-grain pellet
The JSB Exact 15.9-grain dome pellet was substituted for the Beeman Kodiak. It fit the breech the best of the three pellets tested, but it was still tight. This pellet averaged 449 f.p.s across 10 pellets fired, with a spread from 439 to 456 f.p.s. So, 17 f.p.s. between the slowest and fastest shot. The average velocity produced 7.06 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Cocking effort
I said in Part 1 that this pistol is hard to cock. Well, in this test I discovered that it has the distinction of being the hardest-cocking air pistol I’ve ever tested! And that’s not a good thing. It takes 58 lbs. of force to cock the gun, and at one point in the stroke the effort bumps up to 60 pounds for an instant. Most adult men will find that very difficult to do, and I have no hope for most women and children. As long as you know that before you buy the gun, then there will no surprises.

Trigger pull
The trigger on the test pistol releases at 5 lbs., 1.5 oz. The pull is smooth, though you can feel the trigger blade moving as the effort increases.

This is an adjustable trigger, so I followed the instructions in the owner’s manual. I found the adjustments to be very minimal. The first stage (this is really a two-stage trigger, but was adjusted as a single-stage from the box) is extremely short, despite the adjustment screw being all the way out. And the trigger-pull got no lighter than 4 lbs., 8 oz.

I discovered that there really is no distinct second stage. You just feel the trigger blade moving, and then the gun fires. It’s not that bad when you’re shooting it for score; but when you try to feel a second stage, it feels very mushy and indistinct.

Observations thus far
The model 25 Supercharger is made for a very specific owner who wants all the performance he can get from a spring pistol, regardless of the consequences. I sure hope it’s accurate!

27 Responses to “Hatsan model 25 Supercharger breakbarrel air pistol: Part 2”

  • Wulfraed Says:

    Count me in as another who doesn’t believe heavy pellets can harm a spring gun… But light pellets might! (Hmm, any specs on how many springs have broken from shooting PBA?)

    A really heavy — and thereby slow accelerating — pellet should result in a cushion of air slowing the piston to a near stop, and then letting the piston ease down as the pellet finally starts moving. That should be the gentlest motion for the piston seal.

    In contrast, a light pellet could accelerate so easily that the piston physically slams into the end of the cylinder (and maybe setting up standing wave of sorts as the central mass of the spring tries to continue moving forward, compressing slightly, then rebounding back — eventually rocking to a stop in the middle).

    Really heavy pellets may not be conducive to efficient energy transfer (my spring models show a distinct drop in muzzle energy when the pellets become “too heavy” — below that break point, the muzzle energy tends to stay in a close range even while pellet mass varies).

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    Sounds like this one is circling the bowl already. Brutal cocking force and a very limited pellet selection is going to do this one in.

    twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TT,

      I agree. But if it is accurate, that would cancel a multitude of sins. But I somehow don’t think that it’s going to be.

      B.B.

      • derrick Says:

        The breech issue is gonna be a deal breaker for many. Is it worth asking PA to check another model 25 to see if the problem goes beyond your pistol?

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          derrick,

          I don’t think so. This is what the company is shipping. You could have received this as well as I. Couple the tight breech with the cocking effort and the trigger and you have a profile of this gun.

          B.B.

  • /Dave Says:

    Lou Ferrigno might be ok with a 60 lb cocking effort, but I don’t know of many others that would be. That’s with the cocking aid on, right? Maybe this should just be a carbine…

    /Dave

  • Frank B Says:

    This thing sounds like A Gamo Hunter Extreme with the barrel shortened to 10″ to minimize leverage.What a beast.I cannot even picture how you managed to safely cock it while simultaneously
    measuring the effort! Not the one for me…..wonder how many potential enthusiasts will have their pilot light blown out by buying this one?

  • Vince Says:

    Totally generic question: At 10 meters, from a springer rifle, what constitutes a “good” group? How about a “great” group? And let’s say 5 shots.

    My own inclination is something like: 1/4″ and under is great, 1/2″-1/4″ is good, 1″-1/2″ is fair, anything larger is some degree of poor.

  • kevin Says:

    Every cloud has a silver lining.

    The best news in this report is that Tom has definitely gotten all of his strength back.

    kevin

  • Matt61 Says:

    Yikes, 2000 shots does not seem like a long time before the spring breaks, especially on a quality gun like the RWS 48. I tried to get Rich Imhoff to predict how long the Maccari spring that he installed on my B30 would last but he wouldn’t be drawn out. So far so good. But I remember well the lighter cocking feel when the first spring broke–into three pieces–so I will know what to look for.

    Wulfraed, owning guns is one thing. Diving into their interiors is another. If the main disadvantage of the single-action auto pistol is that the appearance of a cocked hammer will frighten the public that doesn’t seem like much. The holsters I’ve seen have a strap that fits over the hammer blocking it, and that should be pretty reassuring. You also make a good case for Condition three with the hammer down on a chambered round. It appears that there is just about no danger if the hammer is struck in this position. My concern was that the hammer would be inadvertently pulled back and then released. But it seems like the half cock takes care of this. So the danger window would be in the distance before the half-cock position is reached.

    If I’m understanding your description of the DA autos it seems like the danger from carrying a chambered round is practically nil because the firing pin is physically blocked. That’s reassuring although I truly disliked that initial double-action pull.

    Matt61

    • BG_Farmer Says:

      Matt,
      2000 shots and a broken spring is what I’ve read about D34′s currently; no big deal, just put in another one, preferably better than the OEM. The JM spring I have in my 36-2 (an e3650 ultra, I think) has lasted perhaps 10′s of thousands of pellets and several breech seal failures and shows no sign of fatigues. It wore out an Apex piston seal as well. It might be possible to shorten the life with excessive pre-load, etc., but I doubt Rich made that kind of mistake on your B30.

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        When I bought my current .22 Diana 34 and 48 (T-05′s) I bought spare springs and seals just in case. Still have them ,and that was like 5000 shots ago for each. My R-10 had over 10,000 shots on the original spring before I changed it out for a JM hornet kit. Most of the pellets shot were the heavy H&N (Beeman) baracuda match .177 pellets. The original spring had a slight cant to it, but wasn’t broke.

        • BG_Farmer Says:

          Robert,
          Thanks for that factual information. I was just going on what I’d read (I heavily research all purchases, to the point that I often don’t make them :)). I wouldn’t be surprised if I get more than the 2K shots out of my D34′s spring, either, as my equipment in general tends to last longer than for many. You know, the people that could destroy an anvil with a rubber hammer… Either way, replacing a spring is not that big a deal, and the JM ones are so good, it turns into an opportunity as far as I’m concerned!

  • no new jersey Mike Says:

    I have one, and Tom is right it is very hard to cock if any pistol deserved to have a piston
    spring installed,this one does, It would be a long time to get a follow up shot if you used it
    for pest control because of the cocking effort.
    I’m glad Tom could cock it,When I cock mine I’m thinking,because of the effort the gun will come apart.I read that the Webley Typhoon which I beleive was made by Hatsan before they started
    selling under their own name,did just that” I read about it from reports from owners.So far I have
    not had any complaints about either one,I think the Webley cocks easier but the Super has more power hence the trade off.
    I’m glad Tom mentioned some of the pellets that were tight fitting so I’ll go with the looser
    fitting one.”Too bad I have Almost a lifetime supply of .22 Hobbies”
    PS thanks to BB for info on finding older air guns in Florida.

  • Brookston john Says:

    This pistol looks a lot like that beast that’s marketed under the Ruger name. Hard-to-cock, heavy, and (at least on mine) shoots about 20″ low at 20 feet, and that was with all the elevation available cranked into it. I wouldn’t pay $60 for this, much less $130.

  • Titus Groan Says:

    Hello B.B. and fellow enthusiasts. When B.B. first started testing the Hatsan line of airguns, I was an enthusiastic observer solidly in their corner. After all, here was another competitor with a proven track record with their line of shot guns. They have also built a nice, solid pcp air rifle using different brand names. So now they enter the airgun market under their own brand name with a new line of guns sporting a supposed better trigger and a sas dampening system. The dual factors of extreme power and speed seemed like a winning combination at first. Then we discovered through B.B.’s exhaustive testing, the accuracy was sorely lacking. Add the excessive weight (10 lbs and up with a scope), and they lost their shine for me. With this latest test offering, the 25 Supercharger, the 50 + lb. cocking effort breaks it for me too. Maybe it’s the tight breech, but I would expect a lot more speed then was observed. If we use the axiom ‘action equals an equal reaction’, then a lot of energy is being lost somewhere. Perhaps it is too early in the test to call this one out, but I keep getting stuck on the cocking effort. As always, I know B.B. will give this pistol every chance to shine. So if by chance it shows decent accuracy, I may not change my personal view, but it may win a few converts. In the end, I hope some r+d person from Hatsan reads this blog, requests the needed changes, we might end up with a good product. Evan at $100.00 more, it would be a good buy.
    Caio Titus

    • J-F Says:

      I was thinking the exact same thing.
      Being one of the only detuned PCP’s up here Hatsan PCP’s quickly became very popular and for very good reasons, the PCP’s offer great accuracy for very little money (all things being relative). I was also rooting for them and hoped for much better results from the springers. I feel like they let me down, like they betrayed my trust in them because I was expecting quality to be as good as for the PCP’s…

      How hard is it to make a good springer?

      J-F

      • Frank B Says:

        J-F……I think you just stumbled on a GREAT topic for a blog,or at the very least a passionate rant!
        “How hard is it to make a good springer??” Duskwight certainly knows.

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Frank,

          I agree. This is a good topic. And reducing the power is not the only solution. There are several things that go into a good springer.

          I need to think about this awhile.

          B.B.

      • Oliver Says:

        They are simply over powered. At lower power levels Hatsans shoot very nicely. The race for magnum power has simply blinded them to the advantages (for their guns) of lower output and velocity. ts a fault of perception rather than manufacture (in most cases).

        • J-F Says:

          It’s “just” overpower.
          I have an older Hatsan springers, one of my first buys that dates back somewhere between 15 and 20 years, it’s Canadian detuned to somewhere under 500fps but it’s not even close to the Diana 24 or the Bronco. Even the Benjamin Trail NP that’s supposed to have a crappy trigger is better than the Hatsan. When they announced the new trigger and the dampening system I was happy and was expecting a lot better than that and I also know they CAN make a great trigger as I own a Hatsan PCP and the trigger is pretty good to me. Other Turkish manufacturers can also make good stuff, I mean look at the Alecto.

          Hatsan should be ashamed of selling these harsh shooting overpowered springers.

          J-F

  • RC1947 Says:

    I have a Browning 800 which, other than a different trigger and some minor differences, is the same, hard as hell cocking gun. My gun is quite accurate, running a close second to my superb Diana LP-8. I’m considering removing a couple of coils from the mainspring to detune it somewhat. I had to install a BLK 6-screw adapter in order to keep a scope, or red dot, from moving back on the, rather short, dovetail – I had to modify the mount in order to fit it onto the gun. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have bought it regardless of the accuracy. It seems that some airgun manufacturers are all about power and compromise user friendly concerns to accomplish it.

  • Stephen S Says:

    After rooting around in the garage, I found that a 1-foot long piece of 7/8″ ID Schedule 40 PVC pipe will fit over the Hatsan 25 “cocking attachment” and leave no marks. Then, you insert said 7/8″ ID pipe into the joint between your leg of choice and your abdomen and cock the weapon using the grip handle on the weapon, rather than trying to leverage the barrel.

    In other words, don’t try and “break the barrel” over. Use the grip on the weapon. It’s the same technique outlined in the Ruger break-barrel rifle manual, only backwards.

  • rob Says:

    I shoot rows hobbies exclusively in this gun. I did turn it into a carbine with the Crossman stock. They later came our with a carbine version that I bought for my son. Its slightly different in that it does not have the active recoil control. Both are easy to cock using body weight. Open sights are great fun on these guns.

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