by B.B. Pelletier
I’ve had a sample Air Venturi HaleStorm on hand for a couple months, awaiting their arrival at Pyramyd Air so I could report on them. I want the things I cover to be in stock, or at least for them to be due in within days of the first report. Nothing worse than whipping you into a froth that cannot be satisfied!
Okay, let’s get this out of the way right now, because if I don’t the rumor mills will start cranking. This rifle is made in Turkey. Except for the repeating mechanism and the stock, it looks very similar to the Hammerli Pneuma. Testing will show how close the performance is. Rather than ask why the single-shot Pneuma costs more than the HaleStorm, I would think you would want to buy the one you want and not draw attention to it. But that’s just me.
The HaleStorm is stocked with a beautiful hardwood stock, with a high cheekpiece and an adjustable buttpad. The pistol grip has panels of impressed checkering on both sides, but the forearm is smooth. The stock is fully ambidextrous.
The shape of the forearm is very unique and quite reminiscent of the shape Ivan Hancock used on many of his custom rifles that were made in the Venom shop. A wide, flat-bottomed forearm tapers on either side of the stock into a finger groove that runs the full length of the forearm. It gives the shooter something positive to grasp; and even though airgunners, as a rule, don’t grasp their stocks with their fingers when shooting, it still feels pretty neat.
The rifle is a bolt-action repeater with a sidelever operating the bolt. A 10-shot circular clip extends above the top of the receiver, so two-piece scope mounts are necessary. I’ll tell you more about how that clip is installed in the velocity testing report.
The open sights have fiberoptic inserts front and rear and will be considered good open sights by those who favor them. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation with a crisp ratcheting mechanism. And, by the way, this front sight also adjusts for elevation, which adds to the range through which the open sights can be adjusted.
Because the HaleStorm’s receiver is lower than most PCP receivers, you’ll need to use high rings, or you can select scopes with smaller objectives (32mm or less) to clear the barrel if you want to stay with medium-height rings. Low rings are out of the question for most scopes, except for those with no swelling in front or back, and would require removal of the rear sight.
The rifle I’m testing is in .22 caliber, so you get a chance to see how that performs compared to the .177 Pneuma I’m also testing. Like the Pneuma, the HaleStorm has a scope mounting rail that accepts both 11mm dovetail bases and also Weaver bases, which have a wider dovetail. There’s a Weaver slot for the key in that base, but the 11mm bases don’t have to use it. This setup gives users the widest possible range of scope mounts to select from.
This rifle also has a muzzle cap that unscrews to reveal 1/2×20 threads. If you own a legal silencer, this is the perfect mount. It also allows you to remove the front sight assembly, which is pressed in place and held with a locking screw. Personally, I wouldn’t bother, because I cannot see a hint of the front sight with the scope set to 3x and focused to about five yards. The front sight looks good right where it is.
The barrel is connected to the rifle at the receiver and also through two synthetic hangers located halfway along the reservoir. It is completely free-floated at the muzzle, so I guess it’s a semi-free-floated barrel! There’s no such thing; and if the reservoir moves, the barrel will, too, but I can’t think of a better description.
The onboard manometer (air pressure gauge) reads in bar, as you would hope, so there is no conversion required when you fill the gun. A synthetic plug is inserted in the fill port when the probe isn’t there to prevent dirt from entering.
So, how does this rifle stack up against other PCP repeaters? Well, the tests still have to be done, but in terms of power, this rifle is under 30 foot-pounds, so it’s in the Marauder class. It’s not quiet, so expect noise when you shoot. It’s a sidelever like the Blizzard S10, but this one will have more shots at less maximum power. Finally, there’s that great price. After the Benjamin Discovery, the HaleStorm is the least-expensive precharged rifle around. So, if it’s accurate and as powerful as advertised, I’d say we have another good entry-level PCP from which to choose.
40 thoughts on “Air Venturi HaleStorm – Part 1”
Good Morning all –
Donna, sorry to make the assumption you were a man! Welcome to the blog, alot of great folks here. So what do you like to shoot?
Global warming – Here is a story I find interesting. The town I grew up in, Tawas City Michigan, is located right on beautiful Lake Huron, on the Tawas Bay. One of the bigger industries in Tawas is mining gypsum out of the bay. Now it is my understanding that the mineral gypsum only forms in hot, tropical, swampy type climates. And I believe it is also true that the great lakes were all formed by the movement of the glaciers many years ago. So, this leads me to believe at one time many millions of years ago northern Michigan was a hot, tropical type climate, which allowed the gypsum to form. And then, many thousands of years later, the glaciers moved through and "dug" the great lakes, which would mean Michigan had changed to a frigid "antarctic" type of climate or the glaciers would have melted right? Fast forward to modern times, and now Michigan has blazing hot summers and frigid cold winters, so try and figure that one out!!
Also, I shot the 10.5 grain premiers out of my RS2 last night and couldn't get them to group worth a crap, so no more worry about spring fatigue because I won't be shooting those pellets out of that gun anymore. However, those same premiers shot better groups out of my 1377 than any other pellet I've ever shot. Go figure!
Is the HaleStorm a Hatsan? Looks like one. Your comment about the Hancock style stock is interesting as the Hatsan/WEbley alliance has seen a number of old Webley ideas used in Hatsan airguns. The model 60 breakbarrel has a number of Webley features.
So the Webley legacy lives on, sort of, in Hatsan.
Good luck to them, if this a Hastan based PCP. Their springers seem to be going in the right direction, perhaps here we might see the beginnings of China alternative for reasonably priced guns.
Wayne, this one's for you –
Good luck, how about a full report?
Yes, it is a Hatsan.
Thought I'd chime in about noise in the backyard. As a sometime reloader, I occasionally end up with a shell that has the bullet cocked, a high primer or a crimped case that is deformed. Since the shells are loaded and won't fit in the firearm, I've taken the advice of Gen. Julian Hatcher, ret. from his book, Hatcher's Notebook and cooked the shells off in my Weber grill. For the few of you who are concerned about this, the bullets stay where they are because the brass case ruptures. While Hatcher stated a piece of cardboard prevents the brass shrapnel from flying around, I prefer the added bulk of the steel Weber and it's top. Anyway, I cooked off about 9 defective rounds (.38 and .45) in the grill – 2 at a time. The noise did not arouse any of my neighbors and as no police had shown up either, I considered myself lucky and called it a day.
It does add a unique, smokey flavor to the hotdogs, however. Don't tell my wife. 🙂
I'm a reloader who has the same problems as you. I pull my bullets with a kinetic bullet puller and start from scratch. I can't afford to waste those .43 Spanish cases that cost over a dollar each.
I read your old post on focusing a scope. Very useful, thanks. I was shooting with a clear target and a blurry reticle and couldn't figure out why I couldn't have both (non AO scope.) Now I'm shooting a blurry picture with both eyes open! Seems bassackards (I just realized maybe no-one knows that term – let me know if you do…) but I'll see it through since it is the right way to do it. I'm sure I'll come out better in the long run. I'm taking the 92 and 94 off the table to see if I can shoot them under simulated field conditions. Any tips for holding? (hint)
If you understand bassackards you'll be able to read the following two sentence dialogue (and you might be a redneck):
o s a r!
I've thought about getting a kinetic puller but since I can get plenty of brass from the local county range (not a lot of reloaders there), I haven't had to bother.
I'm looking forward to your review of the Nitro but this Hatsun repeater, er, Air Venturi HaleStorm, also has my attention! I just wonder about the Turkish quality and longevity.
I saw my brother this weekend, the one who works at Picatinny and he jokingly told me that every contractor who calls him also has no idea what an "Energetics" department is. He changed his phone message to "WMD Department". We'll see how long before the commanding officer makes a suggestion to him about his voice mail message 🙂
Are you kiddin me ?
Thats the way we learn to spell in Bama
fone etics doncha know:^)
I'm trying to find any past info on the lifespan & maintenance for pellets. That's if there is such a thing. I think we've talked about oxidization and what to look for, but are they toast when they get to that point?
or is it oxidation?
No they're biscuits.:)
How is the fit & finish compared to the Discovery, Marauder & Blizzard?
Found one biscuit report:
"Pass the ammo ma!"
or "praise the Lord and pass the ammo!"
Thanks, for that, and I'm already on it.. I've been talking with them for a week now, coordinating our events with theirs.
Ashland Air Rifle Range
The fit and finish of the HaleStorm is in the same class as the Marauder/Discovery/Blizzard. That will confuse some who feel the Disco isn't as nice as the Marauder, but they don't understand an oiled walnut finish. They think it should shine, when matte is the standard, Shine is cheap.
Nice-looking gun, but there's no shroud. I'm getting spoiled.
The plot thickens with the IZH 61. It turns out that PA does not repair this gun–another reason to buy US and not something exotic. I need to get the gun repaired at the import company which is EEA or something like that. Didn't you say once that they were very unresponsive and unhelpful? The receptionist I spoke with was rather unpleasant, and I am strongly tempted to pull the trigger on a new IZH 61. I guess I'll give them a try, but if there's any funny business after I send, I'll just write them off and get a new rifle.
Donna, welcome, but you have to admit that Aaron had the odds on his side. 🙂
My understanding of global warming from physicists that I've spoken to is that the planet is definitely getting hotter, but how much humans are contributing to it is not clear. The planet has gone through warming and cooling cycles on its own. My take is that there's no reason to wait around for the definitive answer, but to limit heat production as much as we can.
Bassackwards is in my vocabulary. But I am what is know as a "schooled" redneck. For example, I know that a conundrum is really a sadist's favorite method of birth control.
Hold both of those springer as lightly as is possible, with your hands always in the same place.
It's time to fish!
You now have the perfect reason to tear your IZH 61 apart. And what better time than now.
I have zero experience with the 61, but I know there are plenty of folks who do.
How about it, readers? Are we ready to help Matt tune his first springer?
I say go for it. If I can work on one, then anyone can.
Just be safe, use a spring compressor and you'll be all right.
If it doesn't work out, you can always send it to Vince….LOL!!!
The key word here is Patience.
I'm your neighbor here in Jawja. Although I learned to speak redneck from my parents, one from 'sippi and one from Nor Carlina. Endless debates on whether they are pecans pronounced pee-cans or picans and overalls as overhalss…
Glad your in the club.
I'm holding the rifles as lightly as I can. In fact, off of the table, I have had success so far in sitting down with one knee up and draping my off hand across my shooting side arm and placing the forearam of the gun in the crux of my elbow. I saw it somewhere on the internet – a posting of a field target comp. Seems to work great. Standing is another story, I can't keep the gun still. It keeps moving in little circles and my groups are strung out in little arcs as a result.
You are not able to stand perfectly still? What's the matter with you?
Oh! You're human!
Fused, the offhand position is the most difficult position of all to learn and to do well. However, there are some tips that can help.
Please read this:
Your stance is crucial to your steadiness. Like a baseball pitcher, where you place your feet determines where the rifle will point when you are relaxed and holding it.
What an idea. It had not occurred to me. But in the hard calculations of value, I guess this could be educational. I suspect that this is not a tuning job but that something is broken. However, I suppose if I can't do it, I can still send the parts off to repair and/or get a new one. I'll read the spring gun tuning series. With a low power gun like this, is a spring compressor really necessary?
Fused, I know the feeling with standing. I don't believe anyone gets the rifle still. So, my idea was to make the movement predictable, and this was confirmed by the David Tubb book. In his words, you want to identify an approach path that feels comfortable, then try to hold on target long enough for the shot. It might also help to establish as many references points as possible. Take the same amount of time for each shot, do the same breathing sequence, and make sure to follow through. This way you can attack the all-important moment of the shot from before and after. The more reference points, the finer control.
I will defer to others on the necessity of a spring compressor for the 61. But because this is your first gun, maybe yes, use a compressor. Maybe the gun will come apart easily but resist going together.
Helpful link, the picture is worth 1000 words. I'll try to copy it and see what happens.
Matt61, kind of like shooting a foul shot. Do the same thing every time you go to the line and you develop muscle memory that helps with consistency.
I've seen it mentioned several times, but I'm not sure what is meant by follow through in shooting. Are you just trying to keep your eyes on the target after the shot?
I have noticed that if I have mistakenly left the safety on and try to make a shot, it uncovers a world of extraneous movement that I can't blame on recoil. More like my reaction to expected recoil is making me move the gun. Obviously have to correct that one quick!
When I used to train shooters in the Army we would sometimes sneak a fired cartridge into their gun. What they did when no bullet was fired told a lot about what they did when one did fire. If a person jerks the handgun to the left as it fires, they will hit consistently left of their aim point. They will believe the sights are to blame when it's actually a flinch being acted out. You cannot correct the sights for a flinch because it's never the same twice.
Thanks, B.B. Safety first.
Fused, that's a good question about follow-through, and I don't know that there is a single answer. It's really the same concept as in TKD where you hit through a target like a board. In the case of shooting, the idea is not to break form prematurely after the shot in a way that will mess up the shot itself. On the other hand, you do not want to compensate for the shot in advance which will throw you off too. What I've found works for me is just exactly what you said. Keep the eyes on target while keeping the body relaxed (for springers). The eyes seem to tell the body what to do. David Tubb says to try to call your shots which means to predict where they will strike, and the follow-through happens automatically. I guess that this forces you to maintain your sight picture.
“I am looking at buying either the S410 or a Marauder”
Wish I could help, but since I don’t own either I will have to sit this one out. My outdoor shots are usually in the 40 – 45 yard range so I prefer a little more zip then I can get with CO2.
My RWS 850 in .22 cal gave the critters sufficient time to move while the pellet approached, and the quicker QB78 in .177 went to my nephew as a gift.
My current favorite for hunting remains an FX Cyclone on the medium power setting. No squirrel has required a second shot with that set up. I only take shots offered when they are on the ground so I can be sure the pellet will end up in the dirt on a miss or when it passes through.
Lots of rifles out there, but for me the Cyclone is like Goldie Locks said, “this one is just right”
Matt and all,
Here is a springer compressor, that is getting good reviews.. $89 delivered
Ashland Air Rifle Range
Here's a link to a FT shooting position video on YouTube. Seems like good advice.
I've bookmarked the spring compressor at yellow the other day. Been debating, if I should redo mine or buy that one.
I've also have the shooting video bookmarked too. A good video to watch. That shooter kinda looks like Seth Green when it first comes on…lol!
Hopefully, we'll see an artillery hold video up someday.
I'm a very new airgunner and since I studied your postings, I have improved a lot.I have a general question: How many shots are supposed to be fired with a magnum 350 for its mainspring to be replaced with a new one? (ofcourse under the correct and common use conditions)
I think your 350 Magnum will get between 5,000 and 10,000 shot before replacement becomes necessary. The 350 is very powerful and the spring wears out faster than on a lower-powered rifle. Also, Diana springs are very hard steel and when they fail they do so all at once. So watch for any change in how the gun feels when cocked.
BB can you post the performance, particulalry accuracy, of the HaleStorm?
I'm sure we'll read about the Air Venturi HaleStorm performance/accuracy in Part 2.
I know B.B. has an enormous backlog of airguns to test and a hectic schedule out of town with his filming schedule for the TV show.
I'm sure part 2 is coming. I'm trying to be patient.
Yes, kevin. It's just that I can't wait for BB's part 2 review of the Turkish made gun. I already asked a dealer to reserve one for me, which I can get after a week. It's known from where I am as the Hatsan AT 44-10. Thanks.
Is the Air Venturi Halestorm the same gun as the Hatsan AT44S-10? If so, are the parts swappable?
It sure looks like it.
Try to look up Hatsan's home page, they make a lot of the Airguns there are sold under different name in the US.