Hatsan 125TH air rifle combo: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Hatsan’s new 125TH breakbarrel is a large, powerful spring-piston air rifle.

Today is velocity day. Before I dive into the test, I want to say some things about today’s test. This is not supposed to determine the velocity of the best pellet for this rifle. It’s supposed to give a general range of power that can be expected from a rifle like this. That way, you’ll have an understanding of all the pellets that aren’t tested. They should either fit within the range or be very close to it.

The test
I must admit I had some misgivings about this test, because the Hatsan 125TH is such a powerful spring-piston air rifle. I already knew it took a lot of effort to cock. I’d estimated over 50 lbs. in Part 1; and when I tested it for today’s report, the bathroom scale went to 51 lbs. If you’d like to learn how to measure the cocking effort of a breakbarrel air rifle like this, watch this video.

Hatsan advertises this rifle as getting 1,250 f.p.s. with lead pellets in .177 caliber. And this one does! I’ll spare you the anticipation — the 125TH hits its advertised velocity on the head!

Three things to watch
There were three things I was curious about. The performance of the new Quattro trigger, the amount of vibration transmitted through the stock with the gun’s Shock Absorbing System (SAS) and the general firing characteristics. Let’s look at the trigger first.

The Quattro trigger resembles the Air Arms TX200 trigger more than a little, which in turn is an improved Rekord trigger. The Quattro has adjustments for the length of the first-stage pull, the pull weight (which is the weight of the second-stage release) and the weight of the first-stage pull. I adjusted it several different ways, and the lightest pull I got was 6 lbs., 5 oz. — which is heavy for the best work. The letoff is very crisp after adjustment, and I do like the wide trigger blade very much. But this is not a TX200 trigger.

I believe the SAS is doing its part to attenuate vibration, but there’s still a lot to be felt when the gun fires. Perhaps nothing can completely tame this action short of a master tune, because the long piston stroke makes the rifle leap forward at the end of every shot. So, those scope stops are not there for window dressing! The vibration dies off fast, which I attribute to the SAS doing its part.

This is a really big spring-piston air rifle, and it does move around a lot when it fires! I believe it’s fully the equal of the old British-made Webley Patriot, which was legendary for its recoil. Factor that into your buying decision. The 125TH is a hunting rifle — pure and simple. Or buy it for the bragging rights. But don’t expect to plink a lot with it unless you have 18-inch biceps.

Velocity test
As I started the velocity test, I noticed two things. First, the rifle is not over-lubricated. There was some honking during initial cocking, but that went away after 30 shots. Second, the big gun diesels heavily with the first few shots. I saw Beeman Kodiaks clocking 1,194 f.p.s during the initial shots! That’s to be expected with a rifle of this power — but it never detonated. So, praise for the spare lubrication!

Beeman Kodiaks
The Beeman Kodiak, whose weight is back up to 10.60 grains, following several years of lighter weights, averaged 1,021 f.p.s. in the 125TH. The spread went from a low of 1,013 to a high of 1,042, but only two pellets went faster than 1,024 f.p.s., once the big gun slowed down. The total spread was 29 f.p.s. I think it’ll stabilize around this speed, if not increase just a little with a break-in. At the average speed, this pellet generated 24.54 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. That’s really cracking for a .177!

Crosman Premier 7.9-grain
The next pellet I tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier dome. This is a light pellet for a rifle of this power. Plus, it’s a Premier, and the antimony in the lead will tend to lead the bore at these velocities. These pellets averaged 1,186 f.p.s. and had a spread from 1,167 to 1,191. At the average velocity, they produced 24.68 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. Did you notice that the velocity spread of 24 f.p.s. is tighter with these than with the Kodiaks? I believe that shows that the rifle is settling down quickly.

RWS Hobby
Hatsan advertised 1,250 f.p,.s. with lead pellets, and RWS Hobbys are the normal test pellet for velocity with lead pellets. Of course, any of the other 7-grain RWS pellets would work just as well. The Hobbys fit the breech of the 125TH loosely, yet they produced the tightest velocity spread of all three pellets, varying by just 19 f.p.s. They averaged 1,254 f.p.s. and went from a low of 1,248 to a high of 1,267 f.p.s., generating an average of 24.45 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Overall observation
This was my first test of a true Hatsan airgun, so it represented an introduction of the entire line for me. I’ve tested other air rifles they’ve made, but always under other names; and the specifications are subject to change when someone else sells the gun. This time it was just them. I think the impression is a good one, in general. The Quattro trigger could be a lot lighter without compromising safety, but the SAS is probably doing everything it was designed to do.

They met their velocity specification with lead pellets, just as they advertised. That was both surprising and encouraging.

This is a big, powerful spring-piston rifle and my plan is to treat it that way. I’m not looking for quarter-inch groups at 25 yards, though I would be delighted to get them. But next I will test the rifle using the open sights. They look like a good set, and that will give me some time to find a good pellet for this rifle.

44 thoughts on “Hatsan 125TH air rifle combo: Part 2

  1. Hello B.B. and fellow Airgun enthusiasts. This Hatsan 127th, is a gun that to me, seems to defy categorization. On looks alone, it could be mistaken for a Gamo or one of the new Crosman or Benjamin’s. However, upon closer investigation, the Quattro trigger and the SaS recoil suppressor most definitely bump it up a notch or two. In my opinion, what we have is a $300.00 rifle for half the price. If you exclude the scope. I am amazed at the low velocity spread at the speeds this rifle is capable of. It would be interesting to do a long term test, to see how the major parts hold up. It takes quality materials to stand up to the forces this rifle generates. Such as the spring, stock and piston. I realize the impossibility of you doing such a test, and I would volunteer, if I had a valid PAL. Being Canadian and all, eh?
    I also would like to add how much I have enjoyed reading the technical blogs of the last couple of weeks. This is the material of which I thirst. I particularly enjoyed yesterdays blog on pellet sizes. We are fortunate indeed to have this free knowledge from you and participating readers like… well there are too many to name and it would be criminal on my part to leave anyone out.
    Nite all. Titus


  2. 6 lbs., 5 oz! That’s twice what I expected for this rifle! I can’t help thinking that this will factor significantly into the accuracy test’s. I hope I’m wrong. Why would Hatson sabotage a product this way?


    • I don’t get it. I’m used to triggers down around a pound (well, 500gm) for pistols and a lot less for rifles. How do you keep the sights aligned?

      pz


      • Might depend on how long the stage is… If one has to maintain 6lbs with a trigger travel of a quarter of an inch — ugh… But if the 6lbs is only for the last thirty-second of an inch there is minimum “counter movement” (by which I encompass the concept of the rest of the gun moving around to take up some of the trigger travel — out of that hypothetical 1/4″, how much is the trigger-only-moving and how much was the stock moving forward/around). And then there is over-travel. I believe I own three guns with over-travel stops: T/C Contender [I had the embarrassment of having the stop screw shift under recoil — and it was so tight to begin with that after it shifted the gun could NOT be fired], Baikal MP-46m, and Crosman Silhouette…


      • Pete,

        In centerfire target pistols the minimum is three pounds. In certain military rifle the minimum is five pounds. Ten-meter air pistol minimums are very low, compared to everything else except 10-meter air rifle triggers.

        B.B.



      • Pete,

        Matt61 is correct. You must be much more deliberate about your trigger squeeze. But that is not enough. You must also try to perfect the grip so that the trigger squeeze doesn’t pull your sights off of alignment (admittedly easier said than done). It will all come down to the quality of the trigger in terms of crispness, as B.B. found after adjustments, and Wulfraed has suggested.

        If the quality of this trigger is excellent, then a rifle like this can make a good training gun because it will allow you to identify your weaknesses and correct them. If not, then the weight of the trigger will make it a very poor choice. Guns that are too hard to shoot well can cause one to learn bad habits. I’d say away from any gun that’s too hard to shoot. We’ll see how things pan out in the accuracy test’s.

        Victor


  3. I too am greatly disappointed in the trigger pull. I was seriously considering the Dominator, but with a trigger pull like that… I guess I will just have to stick with my FWB 601 as my plinking rifle for now.



  4. BB,

    Like the Patriot, I think this gun’s power plant is overkill for the .177 caliber. It’s a shame they did not send you a .22 or .25 to test. Still an interesting gun, though.

    Paul in Liberty County


    • Paul,

      I asked for this in .177. Since Hatsan is a new mark to us, I wanted to test all their claims. I will ask for their other powerhouses in larger calibers.

      B.B.


  5. Is anyone else having a problem loading and viewing this main blog page:

    /blog//

    Blog reader CJr has emailed me that the above page hangs and does not load in IE9. He gets a message that “pyramydair.com is not responding due to a long-running script.”

    Is anyone else experiencing issues with IE9 or any other browser when they load the main blog page?

    Thanks,
    Edith



  6. Edith…
    Sure.
    I fought with the computer almost all day yesterday. Got some different errors at times. Only having trouble with the blog.
    Once in a while, more of the blog loads before it ties up. Maybe only once out of 20 times.
    The high cpu memory use warning (almost 100 percent) . The mouse still functions, but there is a very long delay before anything will happen when it’s clicked. It’s going into some kind of loop.

    twotalon


  7. I’m with Paul from Liberty on this, too much gun for the caliber. But hats off to Hatsan (?) for making the beast as advertized. This thing would put some holes in the barn in .25!

    ka

    Oops on the captia again… 1 + 8 = 7? Need some coffee


  8. The Quattro trigger resembles the Air Arms TX200 trigger more than a little, which in turn is an improved Rekord trigger. The Quattro has adjustments for the length of the first-stage pull, the pull weight (which is the weight of the second-stage release) and the weight of the first-stage pull. I adjusted it several different ways, and the lightest pull I got was 6 lbs., 5 oz. — which is heavy for the best work. The letoff is very crisp after adjustment, and I do like the wide trigger blade very much. But this is not a TX200 trigger

    Now there is a subject for a blog entry… The tedious procedure(s) needed to adjust a trigger…

    My RWS m54 still needs a second look — I think I can take out a bit more of the second stage travel and still have a sharp/distinct stacking at the end of the first stage. But I suspect I may have done a bit of damage to the piston head from accidental dry-fires while trying to /find/ the transition point. I’d even cut away part of the trigger (T01, plastic) to increase first stage adjustment range (as seen on some m54 related web sites) before realizing the “as delivered” settings were for ALL second stage — that is, looonnngggg and creepy (with shuddering starts and stops).

    You can’t really adjust the trigger out of the stock since there isn’t enough leverage to keep recocking the action to reengage the full trigger, once you’ve pulled back some to observe visually the engagement points. (And I’m pretty sure the range I used to visit would have been VERY uncomfortable seeing someone flipping a rifle on it back and working screws on the trigger mechanism).

    At least the m54 is usable now; I still can’t feel the transition on the Gamo NRA 1000, even with the after-market trigger… Maybe once I get the “silent” trap back from my father I can adjust this one in my basement (and hope the neighbors don’t complain — conjoined “town houses”.


  9. hey there..

    I wanted to make a note about the pull weight on the quatro trigger. I have a 95 and was surprised to find that the pull weight, as its lightest, was around 6 pounds? It certainly did not feel like 6 pounds!.. Then I realized that the way the trigger blade rotates is more up and back than just straight back.. I carefully examined how I actually pulled the trigger and then used my trigger pull gauge in the same manner. The pull dropped to right at 4 pounds..

    Cheers

    Rick


    • Rick,

      Good note. I pull the trigger straight back, so that’s also how I measure the force with a gauge. Next time I shoot the rifle I will experiment with different styles of trigger pulls.

      B.B.


      • Yep.. it had be a bit baffled at first.. I know a 6 pound trigger when I feel it.. my 95 (or my 125 for that matter) certainly did not feel like 6 pounds. The settings that I found that worked best for me were:
        1. Front screw – (towards the muzzle) all the way in
        2. Back screw – all the way out.. just watch to see when it stops adding pressure to the spring
        3. middle screw – out between 1 and 1/4 and 1 and 1/2 turns.. the smallest adjustment between that 1/4 and 1/2 makes a huge difference.

        Let me know how it works for you!

        Cheers

        Rick


  10. Measured cocking force multiplied by a factor of two for the length of the cocking level implies a spring with a 100lb compression weight!

    B.B., I thought that once the Minie ball expanded to fit the bore, you had a kind of perfect fire-formed fit, but perhaps the explosion that powered this did not lead to precision.

    Duskwight, how about that, a combat knife derived independently that looks almost identical to an American Kabar. I had noticed the Systema practitioners using knives of this design and thought it a little odd that they would be using an American knife. I had also thought for awhile that the Bowie with its clip point was an American invention, but apparently the clip point goes back to Mesopotamia! Obviously, this is a fundamental principle. And one thing you can say for gangsters is that their equipment is probably well-tested and practical.

    Matt61


    • The Minie Ball can suffer from poor accuracy due to a thin skirt that is distorted upon firing. If the plug that forms the hollow base in the mold is turned down a bit, the skirt will be thicker and the accuracy can improve. But don’t expect a miracle with the Minie as accuracy is not better ,if as good as a patched RB ball. It does carry more energy due to greater weight of it’s conical profile.


      • The Minie Ball also is often more accurate with moderate powder charges due to the thin skirt. In a .58 Caliber, about 60 grs. of FFG should be good. If I remember correctly, this was the standard rifled musket powder charge during the US war between the states.

        Mike


    • Matt,

      Then it must be NR-43, “Vishnya” (cherry), http://i2.guns.ru/forums/icons/forum_pictures/003827/3827697.jpg – standard issue up to this day. Or the NRS-2 shooting knife http://russian-weapons.com/2008/09/nrs-2/ which is less possible, or Smersh series knives – limited-issue modern commercial product. Every other is not standard issue and just an army amateur art.
      Just don’t be fooled by ads “spetsnaz knife” 🙂 “Spetsnaz” is just an acronym for “special forces detachment” or “dedicated” – every branch of service has its own SFODs. It became a beaten word in 1990’s and there is _no_ such category as “spetsnaz” knife in Russian army lexicon.

      duskwight


Leave a Reply