Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The test rifle was prettier than the one shown on Pyramyd Air’s website.

Today, I’ll test the velocity of this Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel. After shooting it for this test, I have to tell you that I’m liking this air rifle. For staters, it isn’t impossible to cock. The barrel requires an effort of 40 lbs. to cock, which is light enough for one-hand cocking (for me) but too heavy for a plinker. It is world’s better than Hatsan’s portable gyms, which go by the model names 155 Torpedo and 125TH.

The second thing this 95 has that those other two don’t is a nice trigger! I mean — right out of the box. There’s a little creep in the second stage, but it’s not much and I can live with it. The trigger of my test rifle breaks at 4 lbs., 10 oz. and the only thing that would make it nicer would be an adjustable overtravel stop.

Firing behavior
The rifle jumps forward when it shoots, plus there’s a small amount of vibration I can feel. It’s over quickly and not objectionable, but it lets you know that you’re shooting a spring rifle.

I like the way the trigger blade tracks in this rifle. It feels wide and comfortable to my trigger finger, and I cannot feel any raising as the blade comes back. It feels like a trigger on a far more expensive air rifle.

Velocity and power
If the Hatsan cocks with the same force or even a little more than a Beeman R1, it ought to have roughly the same power, to my way of thinking. So, that’s what I was looking for.

The first pellet I tested was the .22-caliber Crosman Premier. I know that this pellet will average around 750 f.p.s. in a .22-caliber R1. In the Hatsan 95, the average was 734, so pretty close to the R1. The spread, however, went from a low of 699 to a high of 763 f.p.s. The rifle is probably burning off excess oil because it’s new, but the increase over the break-in period will balance that out. We may be looking at the final velocity, albeit with a much closer spread once it’s broken in. At the average velocity, this pellet produced an average 17.11 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Next up was the RWS Hobby pellet — that lightweight lead wadcutter that gives us a true sense of realistic top velocities for the rifle. Hobbys averaged 801 f.p.s. and ranged from 794 to 805 f.p.s. That’s a much tighter spread and perhaps indicative that the gun is stabilizing — but it’s still too soon to tell. At the average velocity, Hobbys delivered an average 16.96 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. They felt harsh on firing, though; in retrospect, I don’t think I’d use them in this rifle.

The final pellet I tested was the Beeman Kodiak dome. Many people think a Kodiak is too heavy for a spring-piston powerplant, but I disagree. In the Hatsan 95, the Kodiaks smoothed out the firing cycle so that it felt the best of all three pellets I tried. Kodiaks averaged 646 f.p.s. and ranged from 644 to 650 f.p.s. — an incredibly tight velocity distribution!

At the average velocity, Kodiaks generated an average 20.02 foot-pounds in the test rifle — confirming how they felt upon firing. Clearly, the Hatsan 95 has a heavier piston that’s best-suited for heavier pellets. And, since Kodiaks are often among the most accurate types in many guns, it’ll be interesting to see how they do in the accuracy test.

Observations thus far
To this point, the Hatsan 95 is stacking up to be the best Hatsan-branded spring gun I’ve tested. It cocks with a reasonable effort, the trigger is good (very much better than the two other Hatsan springers I’ve tested) and it develops decent power. The gun is also sized right for an adult male — rather than for a giant.

I think the next test will be the rifle without the scope that came with it. I want to really put this rifle through its paces, because it has the potential of becoming one of the best values for the money in a powerful spring rifle.

34 thoughts on “Hatsan 95 combo breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

  1. BB,
    Over the weekend I had the opportunity to try out two nitro pistons. I found groupings were better when using a firm hold. Not a strong hold, but firm. What have you discovered? Also, I discovered something new regarding scopes and eye relief. Accuracy improved when I lifted the stop pin and moved out the scopes to a comfortable hold at the CENTER of the eye relief. Then I reset the scopes back to the position that allowed me to use the stop pin. Accuracy dropped as expected, but if I moved my eye back and forth to find the center of the eye relief, accuracy improved. I was surprised to find that the importance of not just finding eye relief, but the center can improve accuracy. What have you discovered with scope eye relief?


    • TC,

      The three gas spring rifles that shot best for me were a Beeman Crow Magnum, a Theoben Fenman and a Benjamin Legacy. All shot best with a light artillery hold.

      B.B.


      • Sidebar: B.B. we see this interesting springer is available in all three calibers. Do you believe that .25 is alright to order as well ? Have added the .25 cal.Hatsan 95 to my wish list because waiting for my lady to go to Sweden with her daughter and two grandchildren to order it. I have sold three of my springers that I did not need or use, which pleased her very much. To see the FedEx Ground truck rumble up our hill after days of trying to find us upsets her.
        Pete in California


        • Pete,

          I don’t know if the 95 is okay in .22 caliber yet, so I can’t guess whether it will be good in .25 caliber. All I know is there are fewer good pellets to choose from in .25 caliber.

          Let us know how it goes.

          B.B.


          • B.B. The weight with scope is a little heavy for us. Do you think the Mendoza aperture sight would serve, or the front sight is to low ? Yes, we’re aware of the limited variety of .25 pellets available, so I guess we may switch to .22 caliber.
            Thank you for your response.
            Pete


            • Pete,

              I don’t know about the front sight height, but the scope anchor plate seems too far forward for a peep sight to work on this gun. The peep sight would have to be forward of the anchor plate.

              B.B.


    • TC,

      I’m always interested in tips/techniques that improve accuracy.

      You’re saying that you moved your scope forwards and backwards to find the “CENTER” of eye relief. I don’t know what this means??!!

      By “center” of eye relief do you mean that you’ve eliminated all the dark edges in the scope or do you mean that you have created a dark, concentric ring around the outside of your scope image or do you mean something else?

      kevin


      • Kevin,
        I don’t know the correct terms, but letter me try and better explain. If I use the stop pin location, the scope is closer to my eye and proper eye relief just begins. I always concluded that at the point proper eye relief occurs, then I’m good to go. Well, not so fast. I’m finding, you just don’t want to be at the point proper eye relief starts, but at the center point between where it starts and ends. There is a sweet spot in between. Does this better explain it?


        • TC,

          Your terms are fine and I’m intrigued by what you’ve discovered.

          What defines your “sweet spot”? Is this the point where your head is in a position that the scope is focused the most or ?

          kevin


          • Turn your scope up to max magnification which produces the smallest eye relief range. As you move your eye back and forth, you will enter and depart proper eye relief. So, let’s say that the back and forth range is around 1″. What I discovered is that the optimal sweet spot is right in the middle of that range. It seems to act just like a parallax issue. The optics work better in the middle. This occured on two different scopes, on two different rifles, and was repeatable with two different shooters. I’m now resetting my scopes to a comfortable distance, so that it is very easy to find the middle sweet spot, totally eliminating the limitations incurred by using the mount stop pin.


        • Due to the relatively slow f/ratio of most riflescopes and the low magnification, there is a significant depth of focus, so it is difficult to get the exact focus which will eliminate parallax error. By moving your head fore and aft, you are finding the point of “best focus” more or less. Alternately, use the field stop (black ring around field of view) as a cue to where to hold your head before you set focus and be consistent with that “picture” every shot. Eliminating parallax error can shrink groups by 1/2 at 50 yards pretty easily.



            • This may be interesting also, if you don’t already have it:
              http://ateam.alotspace.com/ateamh/A_Team_Parallax_adj.htm
              Maybe overkill for your situation/scope, but instructive.

              I found that article a couple of years ago or more after discovering at range that my parallax correction did not coincide with best focus (due to incorrect eyepiece adjustment). I was bobbing my head to see whether the crosshairs moved, and noticed that they did at “perfect focus”. Shooting with proper parallax adjustment (verified by head-bobbing) shrunk groups from something like 3/4″ to 3/8″ at 50 yards pretty consistently, even with the target slightly fuzzy, then all I had to do was adjust the eyepiece correctly, following the A-team’s advice as closely as I could for my setup.


            • I also use the A-Team’s procedure. Works very well. The fact that the parallax-free objective setting often doesn’t equal the blur-free focus setting came as a surprise to me!

              -Jan



    • TC,

      Regarding the eye relief part of your question, you were experienceing a parallax correction. With the eye relief as it should be all parallax was minimized.

      B.B.


  2. Updating MY Hatsan-95 17-cal story: after the ‘scope failed and I reported the velocities at ~82% of “nameplate”, PyrAir VERY quickly replaced the rifle (6 days door-to-door-to-door!). I then began the detailed break-in and testing all over again. THIS rifle looked just as good (“A”), but handled even better: safety smooth & easy BOTH ways, barrel latched up far easier on cocking, & cocking fore was still in the high 30’s. Trigger is ~4.5#. 10-4-10 testing showed good 1022 fps aith 7.1gr pels, and I found the same here, though the bore was rec’d fairly dirty: cleaned it PROPERLY…
    After ~100 rds break-in/conditioning, I “seasoned” the bbl with US Bore Paste cleaning,then cleaned all that out: velocities dropped ~9fps: nil, but consistent with the 3 styles pellets Chrony’d, and speed RSDs were good & low: many at 0.4-0.5%.
    Moving on to accuracy, indoor testing at 33′ yielded 0.4 to 1.9″ 5-groups, though inconsistent in delivery. Later, I went to an outdoor range: shortest range was 75’, where I got 2.5″ to 5.5″ groups, again inconsistent “patterns” and groups. The guy I was with said “take OFF the scope” so I did: then I got 1.8″ 5-grp & he got 2.6″ 5-grp, and we BOTH have bad eyes!
    swithced over to an older “Crosmann” 3x9AO scope, adjusted for 75″ range (min. target shift with eye movement): again ~3-5″ groups. Guess I’ll buy a Leapers 3x9AO soon, THEN try again……….


  3. B.B., I wanted to update you on my Edge rifle. Got the chance to shoot it this weekend. Used several high quality pellets in it, H&N, JSB, R-10’s. As you recall, I couldn’t get the rifle to hit the target. Well, I still can’t. I tried the included Air Force peep, a peep that came with my FWB 700 Alu, and a couple scopes. I could not bring the point of aim to the striking point of the pellet. Even with the sights/scopes maxed out to the extreme windage, the pellet was still striking 2 to 3 inches to the left of the aim point. I even removed the air bottle and sighted down the breech and lined up the peep with the barrel, and still couldn’t hit the bull.

    I’m calling PA today to get an RMA to return it (first time I’ve ever returned something to them). I’m scratching the Edge and going for something else. I am extremely disappointed in the Edge.


    • Wow, how about that. I had the impression that the Challenger was moving ahead, but I didn’t expect the Edge to tank like this. Will be interested to hear B.B.’s comment.

      Matt61


      • Matt61, yeah, with Air Force’s reputation, and the edge being an entry level competition shooter, I was surprised. I talked with PA’s Technical department and they had never encountered my situation. I asked if I could be informed what the problem with it is, when they examine it.

        Stacey, once again, was great at PA. I got my RMA issued and will ship it back tomorrow.


    • Chasblock,

      I would be disappointed if the same thing happened to me, too! At least you’re dealing with PA, so I know you’ll get good service.

      Tell us what you replace the Edge with.

      B.B.


      • B.B., as soon as my credit card gets refunded I’m going to be ordering a Walther Lever Action CO2 Rifle. I have a Beeman P3 Gold Air Pistol on the way today. Should be delivered tomorrow. I think it was their last one. Got a call Friday late that they had one in stock from my back order, and of course I said.. “Ship it!”.



  4. Hallo BB

    I agree with most of your findings, but I would like to have your comments on the following velocity testing results. By the way, does anybody know the weight of the Dynamit Nobels?
    The tests were done at an altitude of about 5100 ft with a temp of about 18 deg. C.

    Dynamit Nobel Match Wadcutters Gamo PBA Platinum 4.7 gr
    Average FPS 824.4 966.6
    SD 8.8 19.6
    Spread FPS 23 50

    Regards
    Vasco


  5. Hi B.B.. (off-topic)

    This is probably a dumb question but…why don”t they make a .22 caliber steel BB? It would be perfect for my Gamo smoothbore shotgun.

    Or a .20 caliber steel BB, for that matter?

    Steel BBs should give higher velocities than lead pellets in these calibers, obviously.

    Or another odd thought: I used to have an adapter that allowed me to fire .30 Carbine ammo in my Winchester .30-30. Are there similar rifled adapters to allow shooting .177 or .20 pellets in a .22 air rifle, or an unrifled adapter for steel .177 BBs?

    Thanks.


    • Or another odd thought: I used to have an adapter that allowed me to fire .30 Carbine ammo in my Winchester .30-30. Are there similar rifled adapters to allow shooting .177 or .20 pellets in a .22 air rifle, or an unrifled adapter for steel .177 BBs?

      Note that .30 carbine and .30-30 use the same /caliber/ bullet (though the carbine tends to be a lighter bullet).

      Also note that the cartridges are stopped by the chamber dimensions.

      To use a .177 inside a .22 pellet barrel will require either fitting the .177 pellet with a jacket to fit .22 caliber (making it a Sabot round); OR using a .177 rifled tube that fits inside the .22 barrel. Problem with the second is that pellet barrels don’t have chambers on which to headspace such an insert tube.

      I suspect neither solution is viable (the overhead of fitting sabot to pellets properly would require a sabot design for practically every pellet on the market), and as mentioned, nothing to headspace a tube against.

      It would be easier, for a break-barrel, to obtain a .177 barrel assembly and just swap barrel and barrel block.

      Someone could, I suppose, design a barrel sleeve assembly to take a fitted (ie, something with a head-spacing shape at the “chamber” end) rifle tubes in the various calibers and swap the inner barrel tubes. Again, this would work easiest in break barrels where you can slide the tube out of the breech end. For under/side levers, you’d need something like the old Dan Wesson revolvers — where the barrel tube screws in the receiver block from the front, and a nut on the front end tensions the barrel (compressing the sleeve).


    • Joe,

      There are plenty of steel BBs in all calibers. They are called ball bearings. But who would shoot them when lead is so superior in every way? It doesn’t ruin the barrel and it deforms on impact.

      As for sub-caliber devices, yes, they do exist. Some of the vintage .25-caliber smoothbore guns like the Apache multi-pump have .177 rifled barrel inserts.

      B.B.


  6. What happened to the other PA web site I wanted to get the hw80 carbine 25cal and pre order the hw80 22 carbine The new site do not list them are they no more available I do not like the new site cant find all the pellets it was so easy before


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