by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- New adaptor failed
- Scope and mount
- JSB Exact Heavy
- H&N Baracuda Match with 4.52mm head
- H&N Baracuda Match with 4.53mm head
- Overall evaluation
We are back with the Hatsan 85 Mossy Oak Break Up combo today, looking at accuracy at 25 yards. We determined in Part 4 that the scope that comes with the package is unsuitable for the gun, so today I mounted a good scope on the rifle.
New adaptor failed
I was going to tell you about a new 11mm to Weaver adaptor today, too, but that part of the test failed when the scope fell off the rifle on the first shot. Since I am not sure how to mount this new adaptor, I’m not going to tell you who made it. I might have been the problem. I will converse with the manufacturer and see whether I did anything wrong.
Scope and mount
I went with a tried-and-true scope and mount. It’s an older version of the UTG 4-16X50. What a difference it made, too! I was able to focus on the target and get everything very sharp.
I had a set of medium height 2-piece BKL rings on this scope already, so it went on the rifle in seconds. Because it’s been used before, the scope reticle was aligned perfectly.
I sighted-in at 12 feet and was on paper close enough to move to 25 yards after one shot. It took a few more shots at 25 yards to refine the sight picture, but I was on target in a few minutes. I wasn’t concerned about hitting the dead center of the bull, because I will be testing three different pellets that will probably go to three different places. As long as I was close, it was okay.
JSB Exact Heavy
Because they have been the best pellets in all the testing until now, I sighted-in and shot the first group with JSB Exact Heavy pellets. If you’ll recall, I put 10 of them into 1.499-inches at 25 yards with the open sights in Part 3. That gave me a baseline for the accuracy I should expect when the rifle is properly scoped.
This time, 10 JSB Exact Heavies went into 2.233-inches at 25 yards. That’s quite a bit larger than the group made with open sights, but it’s very close to the 2.362-inches I got with the combo scope in Part 4.
This first group was disappointing. I knew the rifle was more accurate, so I tried an H&N Baracuda Match with a 4.52mm head next.
H&N Baracuda Match with 4.52mm head
Next up was an H&N Baracuda Match with a 4.52mm head. I hadn’t tried these pellets in this rifle before, so this would be a new experience. When 10 of them went into 1.422-inches at 25 yards I knew I had found a good pellet. That is the smallest 25-yard group I have seen so far in three separate sessions with the Hatsan 85.
H&N Baracuda Match with 4.53mm head
The last pellet I tried was the H&N Baracuda Match with a 4.53mm head. These had done well at 10 meters with open sights, and I hoped they would do well with a good scope. At any rate, we would get to see see the difference the pellet head size makes for a pellet that’s identical otherwise.
Ten pellets went into 1.585-inches at 25 yards. That’s certainly bigger than the group made by the 4.52mm head, but I would want to see five groups with each head size before making any conclusions.
I like the Hatsan 85, overall. It’s got a good trigger that can be made better by adjustment. It’s relatively smooth shooting for the power you get. I also like the shape and fit of the stock.
The accuracy is okay, but it’s nothing to get excited about. I don’t know if I’ve tested it with the best pellet, but I do know that for the price it’s doing okay. I cannot rate it as a best buy because for that I would have to see much smaller groups. But of all the Hatsan spring rifles I have tested, I like this one best.
I didn’t test the rifle on the bipod yet, nor did I test the trigger screw. Bulldawg, if you’re still willing I’d like to take you up on the offer of that screw. If I have to make it it’s going to take a lot of time.