Hatsan Torpedo 155 underlever air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Hatsan’s Torpedo 155 underlever is a large and powerful spring-air rifle.

Let’s look at the accuracy of the Hatsan Torpedo 155 air rifle. The thing I was concerned about was how the movable barrel affects accuracy, and also how the gun handled in general.

The artillery hold
I knew the rifle would be sensitive to how it is held, so I approached it with kid gloves. I initially balanced the rifle with the forearm resting on my flat open hand while the heel was touching the triggerguard. That makes the rifle muzzle heavy and often it stabilizes the gun.Β Beeman Kodiaks were the first pellets I tried. The distance was 25 yards off a rest, and this time I used the open sights, exclusively.

Open sights
The open sights are fiberoptic, so you know they are large and somewhat imprecise. I used a 6 o’clock hold but couldn’t see the sides of the rear sight, so there was more horizontal dispersion than there normally would be. The rifle was very close to being on target right from the box, and it took only a few small adjustments to get it shooting where I wanted.

Kodiaks were first
At 21 grains, the Beeman Kodiaks are heavy enough to keep the rifle from breaking the sound barrier. Since I was shooting inside my house, that was important.

But they didn’t group — no matter how I held the rifle. With my hand back against the triggerguard, 10 Kodiaks made a group larger than four inches! I moved my hand forward to the cocking slot, hoping the change would improve things…but, again, I got a four-inch group. Kodiak pellets were just not right for this rifle.

JSB Exact Jumbo heavies
TheΒ 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets were next. This is a pellet that really does well in more powerful PCPs, and I thought that might carry over to the big Hatsan. Again, no dice. I shot them with both handholds previously mentioned and also with the rifle rested directly on the bag. Nothing worked, and the groups were all around the three-inch size. So, another pellet that I couldn’t get to shoot. The only interesting thing I noticed was that resting the rifle directly on the bag didn’t make it any less accurate. That was an exception to the norm.

Gamo TS-22
The final pellet I tried was the Gamo TS-22. This is a 22-grain dome that you haven’t seen me test very much, because I haven’t found it to be accurate in anything until now. But in this Hatsan underlever, it was the best pellet I tested. The group was much smaller than all the others, plus I tried a third variation of the artillery hold — with my hand under the brass button that releases the cocking lever. That’s about halfway between both of the other two holds, and the rifle seems balanced at that point. What I’m going to show you is not a great group for 10 shots at 25 yards, but it is significantly better than those made by the other two pellets.


It’s not a great group, but these Gamo TS-22 pellets stayed together better than the other two I tried. Group measures 2.658 inches between centers. It indicates the rifle wants to shoot, but the open sights may be holding it back.

After shooting this better group, I tried another target with Kodiaks using the new holding method. The group opened back up to over three inches, so the assessment that Kodiaks were not right for the gun still stands.

Break-in
Remember what the cocking effort measured during the velocity test? It was right at 64 lbs. of effort. After today’s accuracy test in which another 60 pellets were fired, the cocking effort had fallen to just 54 lbs. As expected, the rifle is clearly breaking in.

The trigger releases with a lighter pull than before, though I didn’t measure it again. Stage two has a bucketful of creep, but it’s now very light creep. I think the trigger is getting better with use, as well. I’ll measure it, again, when I do the next accuracy test.

The overall firing behavior is now faster and has less recoil than it did during the velocity test. That’s one more indication that the rifle’s breaking in.

Conclusions thus far
The Hatsan Torpedo 155 seems to need a prolonged break-in, like the air rifles of old. It’s a shame I can’t give it that kind of attention, but all indicators are that it will smooth out as the shots stack up. It’ll never be a plinker because of the size, weight and power it projects; but if I can get it to shoot accurately, it might be a viable spring hunting rifle.

Next, I’ll test it with a scope.

58 thoughts on “Hatsan Torpedo 155 underlever air rifle: Part 3

  1. Those Hatsans are nice looking though. With the limited number of air gunners in the first place, I guess that if they sell a hundred of them, they are a success.I am sure that is true with all air guns.

    With the right marketing, they can make their numbers before the consumer even has a chance to shoot one of them and find out a sling shot would probably do better. It is pretty, marketing has given it incredible velocities and the price is relatively low. It is bought, shot a few times and stacked with all the others in the air gun room, likely only to be pulled out when another kid comes over to play and then only for bragging.

    When it comes time to actually playing with one, a particular one is played with time and again, because it is truly what the kid wanted in the first place.



  2. I would guess that the fiber optic sites are a part of the problem. That type of site is really poor for most types of shooting. Still, I’m sure you can shoot well enough with then to be consistent. I would agree that the rifle needs to be shot a lot and with different pellets too. Perhaps RWS? I have had good luck with them in RWS airguns. You never know what will work. This may be one of those rifles that will only work it’s best with one pellet. It may take a lot of time to find it though.

    Mike


  3. Several years ago when Compasseco had just come out with the TF99 I visited their warehouse in Kentucky. I don’t remember the man’s name that he showed me the rifle. He showed me a method of cocking underlevers of putting the butt of the rifle on the ground, holding the barrel with one hand hand the lever with the other and just bending over letting body weight cock the lever. That technique is not necessary on most rifles but it might be good on this one.

    David Enoch


  4. I can concur on the TS-22 pellet. I think it is designed for high-powered springers. It wouldn’t hit a 7″x7″ target out of my B2, but out of the 10 pellets I’ve tried, it was one of the more accurate out of my TF87. I’m REALLY glad I have a gun that will shoot them, because I hate expensive pellets that don’t shoot.


  5. With sites that “glow” do to their material or lighting conditions, I often spray them with “Site Black”. This makes them dead flat black and is easily removed with a little powder solvent. I like the Birchwood Casey brand.

    Mike


  6. BB,

    I wasn’t holding out much hope for this one, although I do agree that those sights need some black. I did that with the red and green glow sights on my 634 and my groups instantly got smaller. I just used a sharpy pen to blot out the visible ends. I’ll be interested to see how the 155 does with a scope. If that doesn’t shrink the groups some more, then maybe nothing can be done without major surgery to the moveable barrel where it locks up. Springers have a chisel or a ball to keep them close to the same position when locked up. Does this rifle have anything similar, or does it just butt up against the breach with just the bolt lever holding it?

    /Dave


  7. Oh dear, a Turkish Bazooka that doesn’t shoot straight! For an underlever, the accuracy is appalling. Hatsan need to put quality sights on their rifles couples with better quality control.


  8. BB,
    Getting accuracy out of an old, seldom used pellet not known for accuracy? I’ll never get the hang of this sport/hobby/pursuit/challenge/surrender. Remarkable intuition!
    -Chuck


  9. I start with SuperDomes for all calibers. Then branch out from there. Speaking of Lock Up, my Webley Tomahawk ( Hatsan) has a chisel lock up, and it very positive. Better than my R-1 or HW 30 was ( yes, I sell good stuff too ..)

    Pete


    • Pete,

      I will try Superdomes in the next accuracy test with a scope.

      I will also address and even test the plastic “bipod” that comes with the rifle.

      B.B.


  10. BB: You said that resting the gun directly on the bag did not affect the groups with the JSB jumbos. Why don’t you try to hold this one like you would a medium light .30-06 sporter , or similar recoiling centerfire rifle? Maybe it’s one of those rare air rifles that you need to hold firmly, and not with the normal artillery hold.



  11. Hello B.B. I thought you had said “plastic bi-pod” earlier in a reply, and thought maybe a typo? I guess not. Come on Hatsan. A plastic bi-pod for a 10 lb. plus high power springer? Now I know this rifle was designed and marketed by bean counters. No self respecting airgunner would use a plastic bi-pod. It will be interesting to see how you mount it on the barrel too. It is a shame this rifle is turning out the same as the 125th you tested a couple of weeks back. I think all the comments were positive on the way it looks. What I do know is because of the relatively low price and the high fps., this 155 Torpedo has a ready market with the power hungry. Reminds me of the muscle car era, when some of my friends laughed at my second hand 1963 Porsche 365 I bought for $1000.00 in 1969. After all, I could have bought a 440 six pack Super Bee for a couple thou. more. Great straight line performance. And a killer with the stop light racers. I liked a twisty mountain road. Loved that car.
    Titus


    • Whoops. I must have been counting the number of days in the year. It should read ” Porsche 356″. As indicated, this was over 40 years ago. That is my excuse anyway.
      Titus





        • JMDavis984,

          Normally that’s true, but this Hatsan moves the entire barrel for loading. So I will clean from the muzzle with the breech open.

          If you wonder what I mean, please look at the last photo in Part 1.

          /blog/2012/04/hatsan-torpedo-155-underlever-air-rifle-part-1/

          B.B.


          • Sure, the breech is accessible, but you can’t get a rod and brush in there, can you? I have the same situation with my TF87. It has a typical sliding compression chamber, like the TX200 or HW97. I’ve heard that using a rod and brush from the muzzle end of the gun is a “no-no.” Is it possible to polish the bore using a pull-through method?




  12. Hi Tom/B.B.

    I’ve been following your Hatsan 155 post, and looking forward to the next one next week. But I’m curious if you’re going test the Hatsan 95 .22. I watched Rick Eustler’s review (http://www.airgunweb.com/2012/02/hatsan-mod-95-airgun-review) last week, and he gave it a positive review. I’m interest in buying the 95 over the Benji Trail NP or the Stoeger x20 because I think, for the money, the 95 .22 would be of better value, considering its trigger, and the SAS, and (according to Rick) the build quality. In particular, I’m also curious as to how the 95 compares to the RWS 34 .22 (either model) as far as build quality and accuracy are concerned.

    Currently, I’ve been using my 392 to the thin out the squirrel population in my backyard. It’s a great rifle, ultra-accurate with the peep site. But I’d like to get a springer just to get away from the multi-pump process. Yep, I realize that springers are very hold-sensitive, and I’ve been doing my homework, studying up on the artillery hold before I get a springer.



      • Thanks, Tom.

        Yeah, I’ve been interested in the 34 ever since I bought my 392 back in ’05 or ’06. But, the one obstacle to the 34 one has been trying to get my wife to sign off on it. πŸ™‚

        So, I’ve been going through the pricepoint-comparison thing to see what might be a decent, cost-effective alternative to the 34. From reading the Hatsan 95’s specs and viewing AirGunWeb.com’s video, I thought this might be a good alternative to the 34 for my backyard needs, price-wise and maybe from a quality/accuracy perspective.

        I originally thought that the Benjamin Trail NP might be the way to go, but I really don’t need that much power (not that I expect to get a full 950 fps out of the gun, by the way); the gas piston looked like a viable option for dealing with vibration and such. But I just don’t need that kind of power in the backyard.

        But before I purchase anything, I want to feel reasonably confident about the quality and performance that I’ll be getting.

        Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog ever since I bought my 392, on a daily basis I might add; it’s in my morning news line-up. I’m really not that much into guns as others might be, but I find the concept of what makes an airgun and “airgun” very intriguing in the same way I find bicycles (I commute to work by bike) intriguing because of their simplicity, and that they’re both very effective and efficient in what they do. And they don’t cost a mint to own.

        Steve D.
        Seattle, WA


        • steve,

          Well, I probably won’t get to the 95 for a month or more, so you’re going to have to go with the other reports you have read. I do understand a budget– despite what it may look like in the blog. I wish there was something else I could recommend, but I don’t know what it would be.

          B.B.


  13. Yeah, I think for my needs the 95 “might” be the way to go. Although, your comments have swung my thoughts back around to considering the 34. In any case, I would still like to see you review the 95 just to get your opinion. It sounded like you were somewhat pleased with the 155’s SAS; but that you might have some reservations about the trigger, which were top selling points for me for the 95. But are guns accurate?

    I’ll start lobbying for the 34 and see what falls out.

    Steve


  14. Steve,
    Since you’re just doing .177 backyard shooting (and not hunting or critter killing) why haven’t you considered the Bronco? Very accurate and inexpensive. If you’re going to do critter killing you should be getting a .22 pellet rifle anyway.
    -Chuck


  15. i couldnt wait, so i bought the T155+bushnell sportsman 3-9x32ao.
    Now i hope your scope test wont turn out bad, otherwise lets just say i wouldnt feel very well πŸ˜€


  16. I have a question Pelletier,
    i have 5,52mm pellets and they are kind of difficult to load, as if theyre too wide. if you dont align the pellet perfectly, it wont slip into the barell. the whole process looks unnatural.
    Which exact calibers were the pellets you have used, and did they fit in easily or this is normal?


    • Tom,

      The 5.52 refers to the head size of that pellet. And 5.52 is on the large end of the spectrum.

      The pellets I used were either 5.5 or 5.51mm. You need to try a smaller 5.5mm (.22 caliber) pellet.

      B.B.



    • Tom,

      Many pellet tins are labeled in metric sizes. However, there’s usually a sticker applied elsewhere that indicates the head size (also metric). All the tins of pellets of that style look the same. If several head sizes are available for a certain pellet style/model, a sticker is applied to the tin with the head size. Head size is not usually part of the printing/graphics on the tin.

      Edith


      • Tom,
        I can verify what Edith said. In my case I ordered all the different head sizes of the .177 H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets and all the tins are identical with 5,5mm on the lid. On the bottom of the tin is a bar code sticker and at the top of that sticker in small print is the correct head size out to two “decimal” places.
        -Chuck


  17. thanks for the info.
    ive seen that on youtube posted by some edgun guy, who uses 5000$ kit. he showed that some tins had that label on the bottom, and some did not…
    The thing is, i live in Serbia therefore i havent seen any such labels yet πŸ˜€


    • Tom,

      Most tins don’t have that info since most pellets do not come in more than one head size. If there’s only one head size, then the head size is not indicated anywhere on the tin. I have detailed spec sheets sent by manufacturers of high-quality pellets, and they don’t supply the head sizes if there’s just one head size for a pellet. Usually, varying head sizes will be made only for pellets they expect people to use in competition. Sporting guns generally have enough slop in them that head sizes aren’t that critical.

      Edith


    • Tom,
      Recently we have been having a television series titled “Frozen Planet” on the Discovery Channel. They have shown episodes containing beautiful shots of Siberia above the Arctic Circle and your animals that live there. Absolutely gorgeous!
      -Chuck


  18. Chuck if youre referring to the ones showing those polar bears and walruses, ive seen it just the other day, as im a huge fan of Discovery. Yes, Siberia is indeed beautiful. The thing is i live in Serbia, not Siberia πŸ˜€
    google it out πŸ˜›




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