Hatsan AT44-10 Long QE: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Hatsan AT44S-10 Long QE
Hatsan’s AT44S-10 Long QE is packed with features for airgun hunters.

This report covers:

• Fast becoming a favorite
• Accuracy test
• Stunning first group!
• Tried RWS Superdomes
• Finish with JSB pellets
• Overall evaluation
• 100-yard test

Fast becoming a favorite
Today, we’re back at the 50-yard outdoor range with the Hatsan AT44S-10 Long QE rifle — an air rifle that’s fast becoming a favorite of mine. I think you’ll see why in this report.

Last time, I showed you some excellent 10-shot groups from this rifle at 50 yards. That day was perfectly calm, and by chance the second pellet I tried turned out to be the one to shoot. The 16-grain Air Arms Diabolo Field pellet delivered some great groups, including one 10-shot screamer that was just 0.624 inches between centers. I resolved to return to the range another day to see if this was just a one-time thing or if the rifle could deliver such stunning accuracy all the time.

Accuracy test
This day was not perfect. There was a little breeze sometimes, but in the beginning it could be waited out. It was only 1-3 m.p.h. when I began shooting. Last time, I learned that the first 10 shots on a fresh fill weren’t as accurate as the second 10, so I filled the rifle to 200 bar and loaded ten 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets, thinking that I would save the sure-thing Air Arms pellets for the second 10.

Stunning first group!
But my first group was stunning! Nine of the 10 pellets went into 0.552 inches and only shot 8 strayed from the main group. It enlarged the group to 0.916 inches, which is still commendable for 10 shots.

Hatsan AT44S-10 Long QE JSB Jumbo group 1
Nine JSBs in 0.552 inches! Shot 8 opened the group to 0.916 inches, which is still excellent.

Now that the first 10 were shot, I thought the rifle was going to give me a wonderful second group with the Air Arms pellets — but for some reason, it didn’t. Ten went into 1.434 inches, with 5 of them clustered in 0.212 inches. How do I make sense out of that?

Hatsan AT44S-10 Long QE Air Arms group 1
Five shots in that tiny (0.212 inches) hole, but the other 5 went everywhere else (1.434 inches)!

The Hatsan is short of breath, and there are only 20 good shots per fill if you’re shooting groups at 50 yards. I filled the rifle, again, and once more I shot the first group of 10 with the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys. This time, they were a little more open than the first time, but they still managed to all be within 0.676 inches. That’s actually smaller than the first group was, and it’s close to the size of the best group from the previous session (0.624 inches).

Hatsan AT44S-10 Long QE JSB Jumbo group 2
The best group of this session! Ten pellets went into this 0.676-inch group.

The second group I shot was 10 Air Arms pellets, and this time they really opened up. Ten went into 1.334 inches, with 8 of them in 0.824 inches. Apparently, Air Arms pellets were not going to do as well on this day as they had during the previous session!

Hatsan AT44S-10 Long QE Air Arms group 2
For some reason, the Air Arms pellets didn’t want to group together on this day. Ten in 1.334 inches with 8 in 0.824 inches.

Tried RWS Superdomes
I brought some RWS Superdomes along — just to try one more pellet. But the first shot was 14 inches from the aim point (!!!) and the next shot was 6 inches from that! I ejected the clip and removed all the pellets. That’s just wasting air.

Finish with JSB pellets
I filled the rifle once more and this time decided to just shoot the JSB pellets since they seemed to want to do better. The first group of 10 went into a whopping 1.71 inches, which was surprising. The second group of 10 was 1.351 inches apart, and I was now having to fight a growing breeze. I can’t say how much the wind affected the last 2 groups, but it probably had some impact.

Hatsan AT44S-10 Long QE JSB Jumbo group 3
This time the JSBs didn’t stay together too well. Ten went into 1.71 inches. This just shows that sometimes the bear eats you!

Hatsan AT44S 10 Long QE JSB Jumbo group 4
The second group on this charge is a little better — at 1.351 inches. It isn’t always sweetness and light!

Overall evaluation
Based on the results of these two days at the range, I have to say the Hatsan AT44-10 Long QE is one of the most accurate precharged pellet rifles I’ve ever shot. It may not be the most accurate, but it has to be in the top 5!

It’s amazing that an air rifle this powerful is also quiet. It sounds about as loud as my vintage Diana model 27 spring rifle, yet I know it’s producing 35-47 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. And the trigger, while not the absolute finest I’ve ever tested, it still right up there in the top 10.

Hatsan has hit the ball out of the park with this rifle! They’re pricing it to compete with the Benjamin Marauder, and it absolutely kills the more expensive European PCPs in all categories except appearance. But I’m the kind of shooter who wants to hit the target. I don’t care that much what my rifle looks like — as long as it can deliver the mail.

100-yard test
The last time I had a PCP that was this accurate was when I tested the AirForce Airguns Condor SS, and that rifle put 10 pellets into one inch (1.003 inches) at 100 yards. This Hatsan isn’t quite as powerful as the Condor SS, but I’m willing to give it a try at that distance. So, there will be a Part 5 to this series!

73 thoughts on “Hatsan AT44-10 Long QE: Part 4


  1. I’d keep shooting different pellets and searching for favorites all while seasoning/breaking in the bore and other components.It’s early in the game still and this rifle shows a lotta potential

    Reb


  2. BB
    Have you ever tryed any of these pellets in your .22 cal. guns?
    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/JSB_Diabolo_Exact_Jumbo_22_Cal_15_89_Grains_Domed_500ct/584

    I usually have pretty good luck with them. And look they are sold out on these also. Hmm makes you think why.

    And ain’t it funny how a different day can produce a different result. Maybe the outside temperature was different between the different days you shot this gun. Maybe that affected how the pressure stayed more consistant in the gun. And maybe the humidity was different. There goes those variables again.

    But you still shot respectable groups with the gun. And if you do take the gun out to a hundred yards. Shoot it on a couple different days too. It use to aggravate me when I would shoot great groups one day and then go out the next day and I cant get the same results as the day before. Now I go out and shoot that day and accept what it is. I’m happier that way.


    • That can indeed be so aggravating sometimes. Recently I have been shooting my Edge, looking for THE pellet for long range shooting and one day I am shooting dime size groups at 25 yards with one pellet and the next I would have to use a quarter, and I am using an 8-32 scope with a level!


      • I have the exact same issue. I’ll have a really good day where everything just seems to fall into place, and the next time I’ll go out to shoot I feel like I have to start learning everything I thought I knew all over again. Granted I’m not trying to replicate some of the single ragged hole groups I see here because all that would due is frustrate me, but it sure is nice to hit what you aim at!


        • Usually what I am doing is like I said, searching for THE pellet for that particular airgun. My shooting sessions like this will involve shooting 10 shot groups of sometimes 15 different pellets to see which perform the best. When I have narrowed it down to 2 or 3 I will then shoot these repeatedly until one shows itself to be the best for this particular airgun.

          Most of the time when I am shooting, I drop into “The Zone”. Other days I could not hit the broad side of a barn while standing inside. Time to go do something else.





    • Now that is a loaded question, pardon the pun.

      At what range and power level are we considering? Very few air rifles can outshoot a 10 meter air rifle at that range, but many sproingers can do better at 25 yards and at 50 yards there are only a couple of sproingers that can come close to the accuracy of most PCPs.

      The same thing with triggers. Once you pull the trigger on a FWB 10 meter air rifle, it is hard to think of any other as decent. The trigger on my 1906 BSA many would consider horrible because it is a very heavy single stage, however I like it because it has no creep with a nice sharp, crisp let off.

      I would like to hear BBs opinion on this though.


    • Bob,

      That was an expression, not a statement of fact. In fact, other than a properly adjusted Marauder trigger and an Air Arms and Rekord, I really can’t remember.

      The UK Skan rifle remains the most accurate airgun I ever tested.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,
        Were you referring to the M32 Scan? That’s how I found the rifle listed when I googled your report. I did find your concluding report, but I could Not find your accuracy test.

        I tried to paste the broken link to the accuracy test for you here, but the link won’t copy/paste.

        Anyway (Edith?), I’d love to see pics from the accuracy test of the most accurate gun you’ve ever shot if you can direct me to that page.

        Rob


        • Rob,

          I guess I was referring to that rifle. I tested it way back in the “Airgun Letter” days and would have to search through the stacks of old newsletters to find the tests.

          That was a 12 foot-pound rifle in .22 caliber, so the high-power snobs might find it boring. But that rifle could shoot.

          B.B.


          • That is kind of funny to me because most of my air rifles are in the 6-7 FPE range. I am thinking of building my Talon SS in the 40 FPE range though.




            • RR
              My old style wood stock .25 cal. Marauder shoots up there. The 70 to 80 fpe. Its definitely not a boring gun.

              But I can’t use it on my 1.5” spinning resettable steel targets though. Not because I can’t hit it at 65 yards. Its because it is tearing up the steel spinner. The spinners are cup shaped now. :)


              • There’s an idea! how about a2.5″ 5 target resettable rimfire target? The targets are 1/4″ thick and the frame is built outta 1/2″ round stock. Literally bulletproof! Since the 392 is temporarily outta commission I have nothing that hits hard enough to knock ‘em around enough to set them.It’s about 18″ tall X 18″ wide. Interested?

                Reb


                • Reb
                  I saw them at the Rural King store by me. I just about got one. But I think it would only be good for my hot-rodded .25 Mrod. I don’t think the other guns would knock it enough.
                  Knowing me I would think I was missing all the time when I was using the weaker guns. I wouldn’t know if I hit till I went to look at the spinner.

                  But you wouldn’t believe the noise the .25 cal. pellets makes when it hits that steel target with those 31grn. Baracudas from the Mrod. And it will almost knock it out of the ground if I fire about 20 rounds or so at it. The holes in the ground will be good and wallowed out.

                  And just think sooner or later you will have one of those thumper guns to knock that spinner around. Or maybe you ain’t into thump’n power?


            • A Talon in the 70+ ft-lb range?

              That may take some doing — as I recall, my .22 Condor is only in the 60 ft-lb range with ~32gr pellets (no idea of the accuracy with them)


              • Talon Tunes is building a kit to convert to .30. 50 grain JSB leaves the 24 inch barrel at over 1000 FPS producing a muzzle energy of over 100 FPE!


          • B.B.

            Don’t worry about it. I just thought it would be neat to see. It’s amazing to me that it was so many years ago, and no one has built a rifle it’s equal. It’s always cool when a gun shoots hard…and even better when it whacks AND it’s quiet, but the best of all is just to be able to see those stacked shots. I’ve never had a rifle that could do that, but it gives me something to look forward to.

            Rob


    • I would love to see BB’s list on the 5 most accurate air rifles and 10 best triggers as well.

      BB,

      On a different note, with the groups getting larger you may want to consider cleaning the barrel before the 100 yard test as this appeared to significantly increase the accuracy for Rick Eutsler in his test of the short version of this rifle. Sorry to suggest more work for you.


    • Bobfrom Oz,

      Me, too. I’d enjoy further discussion of best triggers and most accurate airguns.

      The best trigger I ever pulled was on a Blaser rifle. I like the Rekord because it is a great trigger and is easily adjusted by a clumsy novice (me!).

      I’ve never shot groups with an air rifle as good as the ones frequently discussed here. Worse, I’ve seen some frustrating accuracy and wandering zeros. While it’s unremarkable, I appreciate my Discovery’s boring consistency and ability to shoot 1/2″ groups at 25 yards. I’ve shot some stunningly accurate firearms, though.

      RB


  3. The links to the historical archives (located on the old Blogger site), which were available in the right-hand column, have been deleted. Pyramyd Air has transferred all of them under the Archives header (also in the right-hand column). If you find any links that don’t work, please let me know.

    Also, you’ll be pleased to know that they managed to transfer all the comments when they moved the old blog posts. For that, I’d like to thank the members of this blog who told us that was possible. The service that was hired to make the blog transfer didn’t know you could move the comments, too. There was resistance and we hit some bad blips, but I badgered them mercilessly until they figured it out. Now, they’re experts at it!

    Edith


    • Mrs. Tenacious,

      That’s wonderful news. Think you get an idea of how often the old articles and comments are used based on frequent comments on the blog.

      kevin


      • kevin
        I was going to let you know this the other day and forgot about it.

        Remember when I posted the pictures of the groups of my HW50s at 50 yards and you suggested drawing a + on the paper instead of the round circle I was drawing. To help with cant and lining up the reticle better.

        Well a couple different things happened. The scope I had on it when I shot those groups had a dot in the center of the reticle. I was actually able to get better groups with that scope and drawing the round circle.

        Then I put my Hawke 1/2 mildot scope on the 50 with its fine line that makes the + on the reticle and tryed drawing the circle on the target and then right next to it I drew the +. I shot 5 shot groups at each at 50 yards. Guess what happened. Now I got better groups on the target with the +.

        So I think matching the sight to the target definitely helps to get a better group. I will have to post some pictures the next time I get a one hole group at 50 yards with the gun. How ever long that may take. ;)


        • And I forgot to say that the scope with the dot in the center of the reticle had thick lines.

          So that was a problem to try to see the lines I drew on the target to make the +.

          The Hawke scope has a real fine line reticle and it was easier to see the + that I drew.



    • Just goes to show how we are all still learning. Especially Gurus and experts. New problems pop up all the time and those who learn how to handle them properly stick around. Darwinism will take the rest.

      Reb



  4. BB, Now that I have a Beeman R7 (1999) and a C1(San Rafael) I have been re-reading my copy of your R1 book. Since they are used rifles, should I lubricate their chambers, or wait for signs that they need lubrication ? Does the C1 have a leather piston seal ( model with safety) ? Thanks, Ed


    • Ed,

      Definitely wait for the signs before lubing them.

      Your C1 has a PTFE (Teflon) seal that is actually fitted to the chamber by dry-firing the gun several times. PTFE deforms under pressure and does not return to its former shape. The Beeman P1 pistol has the same type of seal.

      Teflon is self-lubricating, so that gun should never need any oil. Nor should it have much blowback past the seal, since the seal is constantly refitting itself to the chamber.

      B.B.


  5. After watching Youtube videos of pellets spiraling I am convinced group size tests alone are not sufficient.
    The rifle may be a wonderful shooter but the pellet may have enough variability in dimensions that some will spiral and some won’t, thus giving a large group size. This is specially true at 50 yd.
    This is almost certainly what happened with the Superdomes.
    As I have stated previously, shooters need to move away from gross group size and focus on more meaningful statistics parameters, which might help with the spiraling evaluation short of doing high speed video. I know, when will enough be enough?

    TE


    • TE,

      You know — I think you must be right! I didn’t give it much thought, because I was so busy with other things, but now that you mention it I am sure you have identified the problem. Both pellets did land to the right of the aim point.

      I usually put a 2-foot by 4-foot backer paper on the target backer, just to see things like this. Both Superdomes missed the large target paper and hit the larger backer paper.

      As for enough being enough, since that is what keeps me writing, I hope the answer is never! ;)

      B.B.


  6. I wish you some fruitful experimentation sir. I look forward to it! I hope to see you at your show. Thanks for giving me a wonderful stepping stone into the next day. I read your posts at 11 pm on the dot here in central standard.


    • Pop,

      You be sure to look me up at the show.

      As for how tunable this rifle is, I have to say that isn’t its strong point. I’m sure some things can be done, but this one doesn’t have the tuning features that a Marauder has.

      B.B.



  7. Wow,what a gun! I want one but must contain self discipline and it is exciting living in this new world of airguns and watching them roll out as this one has.It well be the topic of many blogs and article’s for years to come just like the Talons and Mrods etc. Wasn’t that long ago in airgun history we didn’t have these super powered super accurate guns to drull over.Gunfun!,I will check out that screw you told me about last night and thanks and hope it works! I could not post? don’t know why.And Gunfun! is there anyway to tighten the bolt on my TalonP? It’s just as loose and will sometimes be in the middle position when I pull the trigger the pellet is about half the speed because the bolt was strait up and not to one side as it should be.Thanks.


    • Steve,

      Here is the secret to tightening the bolt on all AirForce sporting air rifles.

      The bolt handle has to be rotated either left or right when it is pulled back after cocking and loading. The frame has cutouts for this on both sides. If the bolt handle is loose like you describe, one of three things may be happening:

      1. You may not be rotating it into the notch on either side.
      2. The top hat may be adjusted out so far that the handle will not go into the notch on either side deeply enough to lock.
      3. The top hat may be adjusted too far back (too little clearance underneath) allowing the bolt handle to flop around in the notch.

      Determining the problem suggests the fix.

      My bolt handles will still jump out of the notch upon firing, but it doesn’t affect velocity. The pellet is out the barrel before it happens.

      B.B.


      • BB,from what you are saying the problem will be the top hat.I do rotate the bolt far enough for it to stop into that notch your speaking of.The top hat has been loose since day one. I take it that it should not rotate.Many times after filling the tank and unscrewing from the pump,I noticed the top hat will have screwed back some.One time last year it screwed back so far that the gun would barely spit the pellet out and that when I saw I needed to keep a eye on it.So I assume I need to put a 10 power loop on those two tiny holes in the top hat and see if there allen screws? If so just tighten them up so the top hat don’t move and the bolt catches correctly.And lastly,In case your wondering I do make sure the loading chamber is open before I unscrew and screw the take on or off so the top hat is not touching nothing.I’ll look at this Friday and thanks for the reply.


    • steve
      I was wondering what was up last night. And I’m glad BB answered about the AirForce guns. Because I didn’t really know how to answer.

      My Talon SS latches good on the right side but will come open on the left side. I don’t know if that is common but that’s what my Talon SS does.

      And when you adjust that screw on the Marauder leave your scope off and pull the bolt to cock the gun several times and dry fire the gun. Do that several times to make sure your happy with how it feels when you cock the gun. Then put your scope on. Don’t as k me how I know that. :)
      Yep I had to take the scope back off to get the bolt adjusted the way I like.


  8. B.B.

    Tested D470 with different grip style yesterday.
    It seems you were right – this type of power / stock style combination requires firm hold when shooting offhand and light down pressure when shot from soft rest. Not squeeze, but very firm and tight. And with butt end firmly against the shoulder, not touching like usual, but exerting some pressure. Best results were achieved with gripping hands as far from each other as comfortable or with stock forend on the rest and 2-hand grip machinegun-style on the pistol grip and above it, with light pressure by upper hand into trigger hand.

    duskwight


  9. BB, job well done sir, looks like another gun to add to the long wish list. Funny how everybody here doesn’t stop shooting when they are having trouble with a particular gun they just change guns, lol. I rotate guns in a session or day if I have time, I just want to shoot. Oh and if you have time go and read the airgun letter in the archives, I have read a bunch particularly when a older rifle or story is mentioned.


    • Ricka
      I almost always rotate shooting 3 different guns at one time. The only time I only shoot one is if I’m having trouble with a particular gun.

      And yes I just like to shoot too. :)


      • True on all counts, last Saturday I grabbed my hw97k to shoot exclusively for the day. I had been thinking about it alot and even though I have got decent groups in limited time I need all the practice I can get with her. Got her first kill too, large chipmunk at 15 yards, head shot, this gun shoots lazer beams. Time to dream some more about her… And all the rest of em’.


        • I was off work today. And it was a good shoot’n day for me. My eyes were bothering me a bit though because of allergy’s but I was grouping good with each gun.

          They called for a 3 mph wind today but it was super calm out. If there was a breeze I couldn’t tell. I love when that happens because there is usually a 10 mph breeze blow’n in some direction all the time.

          I got some really good groups today and I was going to post them but I didn’t because I think it was one of those special days of shoot’n that don’t happen often. If it keeps happening then I will post some pictures of the groups. But I know how my luck goes.


  10. I am amazed!

    Have you never tried any modern PCP before? Rifles such as Daystate, FX Airguns or even Air Arms? They never seem to be featured on your blog. These are rifles regularly shooting sub inch groups at 100 meter, rather then 100 yards.

    Here, one can only read about low or medium end rifles as Airforce, BSA, GAMO and now Hatsan.

    Why use the tiny 22 when shooting those ranges, why not 25 or 30?


    • Johnny,

      I have owned and tested many Daystate airguns. I have tested several FX airguns. I have also owned and tested many Air Arms and HW PCPs. You just have to read my blogs to find the past reports.

      I mean what I say when I praise this rifle. But I will not denigrate another airgun just to build up a gun I am reporting.

      I believe the .22 caliber is the best for most PCPs. Thirty is a science experiment, despite the fact that I own and shoot a Quackenbush .308. And .25 caliber only has a few good pellets for it.

      B.B.


      • But guns like the Shamal is ancient.

        I meant present time productions, the Wolverine, the Air Wolf and similar. New, modern highend rifles. To report more then an inch at 100 yards as “very good” is like making thumbs up for a modern car making 100 mph. Yes, 100 mph is a lot but these days just about any car can go even faster. In that perspective the 100 mph is not much to glorify.

        Speaking about 22 its kind of funny. Here all rifles above 8 fpe is on ticket but its just as easy/difficult to get a ticket for a 25 as a 22 so only guys with springers tends to choose 22.

        My local dealer have 13 different kinds of 25s, but in the US it can of course be less.

        The .30 is coming strong and there are more .30s then .20s selling here, PCP on ticket..

        The .20 is close to dead over here, fewer kinds of pellets then the 25s…

        I have been following your blog since its beginning, and I’m very fond of it. Keep up the good work!

        But…

        Some brands seem to be lacking, most obvious ones are those from FX Airguns – how come?


        • Johnny,

          It’s a very long story and it sounds like you are new to airguns.

          Pyramyd Air used to sell FX but the two companies parted ways years ago. Daystate will only sell to AoA.

          I have tested several new FX and Daystate rifles for Shotguns News, but for this blog I won’t test airguns that are exclusively handled by their competition.

          B.B.


          • I know the story, at least the version told by Fredrik.

            But besides the different dealerships and that you don’t want to promote guns not sold by your sponsor they still exist and the guns you test will face them on the market. So, regardless of who is selling witch brand it will be difficult for a buyer to get a grip on how good the Hatsan actually is if you just rate it against the other rifles your sponsor is offering and not against the total market.

            Perhaps you would consider doing like me, publish your blog independently and not be tied to a sponsor setting up the rules of your work?


            • Johnny,

              I did have an independent blog (actually 2 of them), but I just didn’t have enough time to tend to both of them and this one. This one has grown to such a size that it is now one of the most important blogs in the shooting sports, so to abandon it or water it down by writing a second blog would be a shame.

              I spend between 60 and 80 hours each week on this blog, or on work that relates to it. That’s about all I can do these days.

              I agree that FX guns, Daystates and some others don’t get as much of my attention as I would like, but that is why I also am the airgun editor for “Shotgun News,” where I write a column every month and six feature articles each year. I can write about anything there, as well as show it on “American Airgunner” when I am on.

              That will have to be my contribution to airgunning.

              B.B.


              • Fair enough.

                Good to hear that you publish other work too.

                Speaking about rifles that your sponsor do sell, I feel that the Challenger is a little underrated, esp in the US where its so inexpensive. I had to pay close to $1000 for it here. With a trigger tune (actually just a removed spring) and a drilled out transfer port it will give me 60 shots within a 16 fps spread just under our legal limit at 8.00 fpe.

                Perhaps time to highlight that model to the benefit of all indoor shooters over there?



    • ELB,

      This is the only caliber I have tested, but Hatsan does have a good reputation for accuracy in precharged rifles. Other PCPs in .177 have been very accurate.

      Maybe one of our readers has some practical experience?

      B.B.


  11. B.B.

    Afore I start let me say I have been in the hospital the last 7 days and have missed way too much. Glad to be back (I did have one short reprieve on Wednesday but went right back in).

    Anyway, my comment today is short. I think I will chalk up most of your results in today’s report as just “one of those days”(as Gump said “it happens”), and not really representative of this gun’s capabilities. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    G&G


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


+ 5 = 8

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>