Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1
by B.B. Pelletier
This Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel is the third Hatsan-brand air rifle I’ve tested since the SHOT Show. I started out with very high hopes for the brand, but the two rifles I’ve tested thus far — the 125TH and the Torpedo 155 — have both been lacking in accuracy and refinement. They both met their power and velocity goals with no problem, but the Quattro triggers on them were not adjustable, as far as I was able to determine.
I’m aware that some people are advocating installing longer screws in the Quattro trigger for better adjustability, but I don’t want to test these guns that way. A new buyer will probably not make that kind of modification, and I want to test these guns as that new person will experience them.
I’ve read a lot of good comments about the model 95 that I’m about to test. In fact, it was those comments that guided me to this rifle. Owners say it’s accurate and also well-behaved. I hope so. I’ll bend over backwards to give this rifle every chance to shine, but I’m not going to do anything that an average new owner wouldn’t do.
The Hatsan 95 is large, but it’s not in the same league as either of the two rifles I tested before. It’s about the same size as other large air rifles, like the Beeman R1 and the RWS Diana 350 Magnum.
I couldn’t resist firing a shot, just to see how this rifle handles itself, so I triggered off one round. The rifle cocks about as easily as can be expected of a spring gun in this power class, and the discharge was relatively smooth. I’ll have a lot more to say about it after I put a couple hundred rounds through the gun.
The metal and part of the walnut stock were dripping with oil when I opened the sealed plastic envelope the gun comes in. I wiped it down carefully; but if there was that much oil on the outside, it makes me wonder about the inside. Let’s hope it isn’t full of oil like some spring guns.
For those who are keeping score, I am testing rifle number 101123711.
The Hatsan 95 is a large spring rifle that has a square-section forearm. The forearm is deep but not wide, feeling almost carbine-like in my hands. The line of the butt is straighter than most air rifles, meaning it has less drop at the toe. As a result, the rifle comes up to the shoulder ready to shoot. The sights will be on a level with your eyes, with no need to scrunch your head lower or higher. It’ll handle a scope well.
The wood is walnut, as mentioned, and few companies do walnut as well as Hatsan. It’s very smooth and even, and the stain is an attractive medium brown. Both the forearm and pistol grip have pressed checkering that’s reasonably rough. The pistol grip is too far back from the trigger and feels clunky to me. There’s no swell on either side of the grip and also no cheekpiece, making the 95 a truly ambidextrous rifle.
I will criticize how Hatsan attached the rubber buttpad, because it looks like they did it with hardware from Home Depot. Two bright-plated Phillips screws look entirely out-of-place on the end of the dark rubber buttpad, seeming to belong more in a men’s restroom on a West Virginia freeway than on a fine air rifle.
The metal is finished matte, which is to say virtually no polishing under an industrial black oxide finish. The triggerguard and muzzlebrake are both plastic, but the rest of the gun (other than the sights) seems to be wood and steel.
The open sights are fiberoptic and the front sight is too big to fit in the rear notch. I’ll shoot this gun with the open sights — at least at 10 meters; but with these sights, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for precision. The front red fiberoptic tube is very dark and doesn’t seem to gather light very well indoors. I took the rifle outdoors on a sunny day; and as long as I was in the sun, the red dot was okay. The moment I stepped into the shadows it faded. The actual dot is very small. When it’s lit, the sights look okay, with two green dots bracketing one small red one. But whoever designed these sights was not a rifleman, because they’re not very useful in the real world.
The rear sight adjusts in both directions and, except for the green dots, is a pretty nice sight. It has a square notch, and I wish I could use it with the front sight, but the housing for the red dot tube in the front is simply larger than the entire rear notch. The adjustments are crisp and positive, and there are scales on both adjustments so you know where you are.
The rifle I’m testing is in .22 caliber, which I thought was appropriate for the power. While I’m on the subject of caliber, have you discovered yet where Pyramyd Air shows the different calibers of the rifles on their website? There’s a small table showing a single caliber in the description, and it’s located to the right of the picture of the rifle. Put your cursor over the table or the words “Choose your airgun” directly below that area and it will expand to show all the calibers that model comes in. Click anywhere in the column for the caliber you’re interested in, and it’ll remain there when you move the cursor off the table. It’s a clever way to fit more information on the page!
The other Hatsan features
The 95 has the Quattro trigger and the SAS shock absorbing system. It doesn’t have the scope rail that accepts both Weaver and 11mm scope rings. The 95 takes only 11mm rings, though it does have a built-in recoil stop.
I normally don’t pay any attention to how much an airgun costs, except for perhaps a sideways glance to make sure it isn’t over the moon. This rifle certainly isn’t, that’s for sure. Until I looked at the price, I thought I was dealing with a $350 airgun — not a $150 gun! Yes, that’s right, the Hatsan 95 retails for under $150! Now, if it isn’t accurate, the price doesn’t matter. I’m not one of those shooters who evaluates everything by how much it costs. It’s either accurate or it isn’t, and I have NO time for guns that aren’t accurate.
If it is, then the Hatsan 95 could well be the best new buy of this year. If it isn’t, I will be sorely disappointed because they seem to have gotten almost everything else right.