Hatsan Riptor Part 1

Hatsan Riptor Part 1 Part 2

And now for something completely different

By Dennis Adler

It’s safe to say that nothing else looks like the Hatsan Riptor, an innovative blowback action .177 caliber CO2 pistol from the folks that manufacture some of the finest precharged pneumatic air rifles in the world. The retro-modern semi-auto is Hatsan’s first blowback action pistol.

Hard to believe, but here we are at Airgun Experience No. 200, and to commemorate this little milestone we are going to look at a brand new CO2 pistol from Hatsan with an unusual name, Riptor. Now you’re thinking, “don’t you mean Raptor, like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park?” Nope, Riptor but you’re close. A Raptor is a predatory bird or the dinosaur genus Velociraptor, but Riptor is actually a real made up name. It is a futuristic, genetically engineered hybrid Velociraptor combined with human DNA in the video game series Killer Instinct. So, the folks at Hatsan didn’t pull the name out of their hat(san) but picked one that might aptly be used to describe their new CO2 powered, blowback action, .177 caliber semi-auto pistol. Like the Riptor in the video game, this new pistol is a combination of advanced technology that also has some very prehistoric features for a new CO2 model.

The top of the rounded slide has a grooved center rib and claw-like slide serrations along the entire length. The sound moderator comprises the forward 1.5 inches of the slide and has the front sight molded into its design. If it looks like an integral sound suppressor, that’s because it is. (The idea actually goes all the way back to WWII and the first use of Hi-Standard .22 LR pistols with integral silencers carried by agents of the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA).

Hatsan is, of course, very well known as a manufacturer of high end sporting air rifles, but the company had already delved into the 12 gram CO2 semi-auto market with its Ruger MK III .22 LR Hunter based design named the 250XT TAC-BOSS, which uses a self-contained CO2 BB magazine but is a non-blowback action design. The Riptor not only adds a blowback action but a unique exterior design that borrows from a variety of classic semi-auto pistols dating back to the turn of the last century. Unfortunately that gives the Riptor one of its least desirable features, an antiquated magazine release at the heel of the grip that requires two hands to open and withdraw the empty magazine; shades of ancient Mausers, Walthers and FN Brownings.

In profile the Riptor has a passing resemblance to a 1907 Savage semi-auto. The CO2 model has an integral Weaver accessory rail, a modern extended triggerguard; finger grooved front strap and an excellent wraparound one-piece molded grip with backstrap serration to match the slide.

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There is also a passing resemblance to the Savage Model 1907 semiautomatic pistol, a Tokarev-shaped knurled round hammer spur, and a modern, squared off variation of the Walther PPK triggerguard disassembly release (pulling down on the triggerguard unlocks the slide allowing it to be pulled fully to the rear, lifted up, and then pulled forward off the frame). The Riptor fieldstrips the same way.

Modern and Old World designs collide in the Riptor which is engineered much like a Walther PPK with a single, large recoil spring around the barrel. It fieldstrips by pulling down on the triggerguard, then pulling the slide to the rear and lifting it up and forward over the frame and barrel. Also note the unique two-step barrel which goes from a .380 ACP circumference to a .177 caliber circumference. The front half of the barrel inserts into the sound moderator.

In the end the Riptor takes on a look all its own with its distinctive claw like grooves along the entire length of the rounded slide, a modern Weaver accessory rail on the dustcover and what, for all intents, looks like an integral sound suppressor, which is exactly what it is.

This is the first blowback action CO2 pistol with a functioning sound suppressor. Hatsan calls it Quiet Energy. Note the red dot front sight which makes this pistol easy to hold on target.

On the QE

Hatsan’s QE (Quiet Energy) technology was developed to reduce dB levels. Essentially an internal suppressor, Hatsan refers to it as a “sound moderator” a design first employed in their precharged pneumatic air rifles like the BullBoss, SuperTact, BT 65, and lower-priced gas piston 87 QE, as well as the precharged pneumatic AT P1 Quiet Energy Tact Pistol. Quiet Energy is a suppressor-like design that reduces muzzle noise by as much as 50 percent in volume using internal baffles to absorb sound. This is done by redirecting the expanding gas as it exits the muzzle and enters the QE sound moderator. This is much more important on Hatsan’s high-power, precharged pneumatic air rifles which have a pretty loud report, but it’s still an interesting adjunct to the Riptor which is uncommonly quiet for a blowback action CO2 air pistol.

The slide locks back on an empty magazine like a good blowback action semi-auto should.
The rear sight is small but has green dots on either side of the sight channel. The left-side thumb safety is easy to operate and is shown in SAFE position with a white dot exposed and the letter S. The safety operates with the hammer down or cocked. Another plus to the Riptor’s design. The large slide release is also easy to operate.
The safety pulls down to put the Riptor into FIRE mode exposing a red dot and letter F.

All of the Riptor’s unique styling cues add to the airgun’s character with the exception of one, the exposed CO2 seating key under the CO2 BB magazine. Considering Hatsan has already moved past this outmoded configuration with the older 250 XT TAC-BOSS it is the one unforgivable feature of the gun that really offers nothing either to style or function.

Saturday in Part 2 we will explore all of the Riptor’s functions and shooting accuracy.

16 thoughts on “Hatsan Riptor Part 1”

  1. Interesting pistol. Agree with the co2 piercing . Obsolete technology . Wouldn’t have minded an ambi safety , but not a game changer . If it has decent velocity , could be interesting . I don’t really mind the heel mounted mag release. You need two hands but since you need two hands to put anew mag in, not a big deal. Those mag releases lock up like a bank vault and never inadverydrop a mag . . With practice these type pistols can be reloaded rapidly.

  2. I will also say that the CO2 loading wing nut must go. What was Hatsan thinking?

    Is the magazine full size holding both CO2 and BBs? Or is it a stick mag for BBs only?

    Otherwise, I like the appearance and design. Now if it shoots well, I may give it some serious consideration for purchase.

  3. A while back you were talking about silencers and suppressors and the government regulations that control them. Now you are saying that this Hatsan Riptor has a permanently mounted working sound suppressor. What do the government regulations have to say about that? Although the Riptor is a CO2 powered BB pistol, is it subject to the same restrictions on suppressors? If not, why not?

    • Would think common sense would play a role , but probably not with the Government making the decision. When was the last time a suppressed air pistol was used by a hitman?

    • U.S. Government firearms regulations do not apply to airguns. Sound suppressors have been offered on air rifles for years. This is, however, the first functional one on a blowback action CO2 air pistol. All previous ones have been cosmetic only.

        • I think there would need to be an original design to base it on. There is a Ruger MK Series .22 with an integral silencer, and of course for history buffs those famous c. 1944-1945 OSS Hi-Standard HD MS models. Now that that would be an interesting one to reproduce as a blowback action CO2 model!

          • It’s still a shame that although the regulations don’t apply to airguns no one can make a working stand alone suppressor accessory strictly for airguns without it falling under the government regulations because of the fear the suppressor would be modified to fit a firearm.

            I looked at Pyramyd Air’s list of new products to see if they have the Hatsan Riptor and didn’t find it. On the other hand, I did find something else that relates back to a previous blog discussion concerning semiauto BB pistols. Pyramyd Air now has in stock a new Sig Sauer P226 X-Five in what appears to be stainless steel with faux wood grips and rear sight fully adjustable for windage and elevation. Could this new P226 X-Five be a challenger to the Tanfoglio?

    • The suppressor issue is a long debated one. Nor sure where it will end up when current pending legislation goes through congress, but if regulations were to change, it still would not be reasonable to build functional suppressors for blowback action CO2 pistols, it would be cost prohibitive. The QE system developed by Hatsan is a less complex design that looks well for their precharged pneumatic rifles and PCP pistol. The version adapted for the Riptor is even less complex in design, but it does lower dB by about 50% on this air pistol. Now, for the new Sig P226 X-Five model, that is a question we will be answering very shortly, but so far the Tanfoglio is unbeatable. This could be the game changer.

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