by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• Lots of interest
• Firing and the report
• Sight options
One air rifle that surprised me at this year’s SHOT Show was Hatsan’s new Hatsan AT44-10 Long QE. Boy, what a mouthful! But, what an airgun, too! The way it was described to me, it seemed too good to be true.
The AT44-10 Long QE is a 10-shot repeating precharged air rifle that comes in .177, .22 and .25 calibers. In .25 caliber, the circular clip holds 9 pellets, but in the other two calibers it holds 10. I’m testing a .22-caliber rifle, which they say produces up to 38 foot-pounds of muzzle energy on a 2900 psi fill that’s good for 35-45 optimal shots. It has a 2-stage adjustable Quattro trigger that they say can be adjusted very light and crisp.
They also said the rifle is both quiet and accurate, but I don’t need anyone to tell me that. I saw host Rossi Morreale shoot one on the set of the American Airgunner TV show; and, at 35 yards, the pellets went into the same hole. The discharge sound outdoors was very quiet — sounding like a medium-powered spring rifle.
To see how accurate the rifle is, I watched a video of Rick Eutsler shooting it at 50 and 75 yards. The groups he was getting were impressive and exactly what I’d like to get with an accurate PCP at those distances.
The rifle I’m testing has a black synthetic stock — and, yes, it’s hollow. The serial number is 1213 21135. It’s huge! The overall length is 48.90 inches and the weight is 8.60 lbs. without a scope. The barrel is 22.80 inches, which is where the power comes from; because, as you know, a pneumatic always benefits from a long barrel. The length-of-pull measures right at 14 inches and isn’t adjustable for length.
The buttpad is black rubber and can be vertically adjusted for a better fit. The butt has a Monte Carlo profile with a rollover cheekpiece, and the automatic safety is centered at the back of the receiver, making the rifle almost 100 percent ambidextrous. The only thing that favors right-handed shooters is the sidelever bolt handle on the right side of the receiver (it can’t be moved).
The black synthetic stock has a rough matte finish that does not slip in your hands. The metal parts are also finished in black matte, so the rifle has the traditional “hunter” look to it.
The 10-shot circular clip (it has no spring, so it isn’t a magazine) fits into the top of the receiver and is locked in place by a brass bolt located on the right side of the receiver. The gun comes with two clips, and each one has a raised central section at the back, preventing it from being installed backwards. An anti-double-feed mechanism also prevents loading more than one pellet into the barrel, which is very handy for a repeater.
The air cylinder unscrews from the rifle and can be replaced in the field. That means you don’t have to carry a scuba tank with you when hunting. Just remove the empty cylinder, screw in a new one and you’re back in the game. Each air cylinder has a pressure gauge in its end. The dial is calibrated in bar, and the rifle fills to 200 bar, which is 2900 psi. You’ll spend some time over a chronograph to refine this to every air tank, as each gauge may read a little differently when full. I’ll show you how that’s done in Part 2 of this report.
The rifle fills with a proprietary Hatsan fill probe that inserts into the end of each air cylinder. The other end of the probe has standard 1/8″ BSPP threads that should fit most fill hose connections.
The rifle also comes with a set of o-rings and one seal to rebuild the air cylinder. A degassing tool is supplied, so you can empty the air cylinders without shooting the gun. There are 3 Allen wrenches for adjustments to the trigger and the buttpad.
The rifle comes with installed front and rear 3/4-inch sling swivels. In front of the forearm, there’s a short section of Picatinny rail that will serve as a mounting point for a bipod.
Firing and the report
I couldn’t resist firing the gun, so I loaded and shot five pellets. The report is very quiet, especially when you consider the power this rifle is generating. I won’t chronograph it today because that would be cutting into the next test, but I can tell you that the rifle is very quiet. I heard the pellets breaking the sound barrier (I think), so I’ll have to watch what I shoot.
I noticed that the trigger-pull was heavy, so I took the opportunity to adjust it. The manual was written by someone who understands our language and also understands airgunners. I would have described things in the same way. It made the trigger adjustment very quick and easy.
I’ll save the specifics on the trigger for the next report, but I’ll comment that the Quattro trigger adjusts precisely. I was able to quickly get it where I wanted.
This rifle comes without open sights, which is common for powerful PCPs. So, it needs a scope. And the circular clip sticks up above the top of the receiver, so you either need a 2-piece mount or a mount that will fit on the space behind the clip. I’m thinking that the rifle deserves a really powerful scope, so I’ll probably use a 2-piece mount.
One nice thing about the scope bases on Hatsan PCPs is that they accept both 11mm and Weaver mounts. The way they’re constructed, either type of ring base will work.
I like what I see so far. I’ve shot other Hatsan PCPs and found them to be good airguns, but the AT44-10 Long QE offers more than anything I’ve tested for this maker. If it lives up to all I have heard, we’re looking at a best buy!