The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 1

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie.

This report covers:

  • What is it?
  • Power
  • Presentation is important
  • Semiautomatic!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • The action
  • Silencer?
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will do the impossible. It’s not perpetual motion and it’s not levitation. Today I will scoop myself! Today I will start a report on something I was hoping to surprise you with in Part 3 of the Texas Airgun Show next week.

I haven’t reported on all the dealers who were at the show yet, and Hatsan is one I planned to cover next time. Well, I figured you needed to see an airgun after all these other reports, so I opened a large box Hatsan sent me recently and, lo and behold, inside there is an airgun I hadn’t heard of before seeing one at the airgun show — the Hatsan Sortie.

What is it?

The Sortie is a precharged pneumatic repeating air pistol, and besides that you can learn as much as I know right now  from looking at the picture. Pyramyd Air has them in both .177 and .22 calibers. It’s a repeater that gets 14 shots in .177 and 12 in .22. Is there a .25? Not that I know of, but if the Sortie is received well I would think they would have it in the works.

The air reservoir is 62cc, which is on the small side. Rather than being bad, that’s actually a good thing because this pistol will be easier to fill from a hand pump. I will test that for you. The gun operates on a 200 bar fill (2,900 psi).

Power

The Sortie is not a super-powerful air pistol. It’s a nice shooter that they say develops about 12 foot-pounds in .177. If that’s true I expect it to be over 13 foot pounds in .22, but that’s why we test these guns. The velocity claim is 750 f.p.s. in .177 caliber, but Hatsan has always tested their guns with real-world lead pellets. That’s one of their trademark operational concepts. I say that because an 8-grain pellet needs to exit the muzzle at about 822 f.p.s. to produce 12 foot pounds. So, they must have tested it with a heavier pellet.that weighs around 9.5 grains

As American airgunners become more familiar with all the technology and limitations of pellet guns, 12 foot-pounds is becoming a very useful hunting power level. The Brits have known that for decades, because that is the limit of their airguns before the Firearm Certificate is required.

Presentation is important

I have to show you this, because it is most impressive. I took the Sortie cardboard box out of the bigger box it came in and open it to find a hard case inside. Hatsan does that with a lot of their airguns, and I like it. It gives you somewhere convenient to store the gun when you aren’t using it. That’s a big deal in my world!

Hatsan Sortie box
The Sortie comes in a convenient hard case.

Semiautomatic!

Perhaps the biggest thing the Sortie offers is semiautomatic operation. Every time you squeeze the trigger it fires a pellet, until they are exhausted. I am most interested in this. Is it a true semiauto that cocks itself after each shot, or are they calling a double action revolver a semiauto, thinking most people won’t know the difference? Knowing Hatsan’s dedication to honesty in their claims, I’m thinking this one is the real deal. Of course I will report on that in Part 2.

Description

In the picture the Sortie looks big and that’s no illusion. The pistol is 16.5 inches long and weighs 4-3/4 pounds, so you know you’re holding something. Look at the first photo and you will see a second place for a hand to grip, forward of the trigger. I think they made this one for hunters and I can already hear the rumbling in the bushes — does it have a shoulder stock? I have to say not yet, because I know in my heart airgunners will not leave this detail alone.

The pistol is all black with a synthetic stock/pistol grip. The grip is sculpted for a right-handed shooter and I have to say a lefty will not be at all comfortable with this grip. I don’t see a left grip option at this time, but if the Sortie takes off I’m sure Hatsan will offer one down the road. The grip fits my medium-sized hand quite well.

Sights

The Sortie comes with open sights that are adjustable in both directions. They are fiberoptics, which makes sense on a hunting gun. I plan to test it with open sights first.

Hatsan Sortie sights
The Sortie rear sight is adjustable.

There is a scope rail on top of the receiver and it’s Hatsan’s rail that accepts both 11mm and Weaver type scope ring bases. When I scope the pistol I’ll have more to say about it.

The website mentions mounting a dot sight. I normally would mount a scope, but at the Texas airgun show the Sortie they had was sporting a holographic dot sight. I am going to have to get one of those because more and more airgunners want to put dot sights on their air pistols and the shorter holographic sight seems to be the best way to go. All my dot sights have long tube that do better on rifles. So, while I did say I was going to “scope” this pistol, I may very well mount a dot sight instead.

The action

I want to save my discussion of the action for part 2, but know that the pistol has a bolt that gets pulled back to remove and install the magazine. There was no owners manual with the pistol I received (this is a brand new release), but I think the action is close enough to the Barrage semiautomatic rifle action, that the operation will be the same. There is a manual on the Pyramyd website for that one, and I verified that is is the same.

Hatsan Sortie magazine
The Sortie magazine will seem similar to many PCP owners.

Hatsan Sortie action
The Sortie action has a bolt that is pulled back and locked to permit installing and removing the magazine.

Silencer?

Like many PCPs today, the Sortie has a coiled steel mainspring inside its barrel shroud. The coils break up the exhaust gasses and make them diffuse before they exit the muzzle. The hole at the muzzle is quite large, so it remains to be heard how loud this pistol is.

Hatsan Sortie silencer
A coiled steel mainspring inside the shroud at the muzzle breaks up the exhaust gasses.

Evaluation so far

So far it looks like there is a lot to evaluate on the Sortie. I think this will be an interesting report. I just hope you can live with the power. If it’s accurate, I sure can!

49 thoughts on “The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 1

  1. B.B.

    Neat thing….What is it? At 4 3/4 pounds it is NOT a hand gun. How about, Bullpump Pistol!
    I have and love my LP8 and that is about as big as you can go. What does a big powder burner pistol weight?
    I hope the next box that you open from Hatsan has the shoulder stock.
    Why didn’t they “bundle” their worthless scope with it to get it up to 5.5lbs? lol..

    -Y


  2. B.B,

    Very interesting. Looking forwards to seeing more. I was (very) surprised to see the spring being used as a noise dampener. You made it sound common with the ” Like many PCP’s today” comment,.. yet this is (first) time that I have seen it mentioned or discussed. My M-rod has a light spring, but that is mainly to hold forward pressure on the 7 baffles that are inside the shroud.

    Good Day to you and one and all,….. Chris


    • Chris,

      I myself have not seen springs used much in air rifles, however it is one of the types of baffling in some silencers. Now this pistol as it is will not be one you will want to shoot indoors. This one is going to have a little bark to it.



      • B.B.,

        An interesting idea in that it differs from the conventional entrapment/diversion/vented concepts. My first thought is that it would create (more) turbulence,…. but I guess not. No doubt cheaper and easier for the manufacturer. I wonder what a flat wire coil VS the round wire coil would do? Kind of like a Slinky, when stretched. Interesting none the less.


        • Chris,

          Quite often a wide, flat coil is used. The idea is to cause the gas to expend it’s energy before leaving the muzzle. The “conventional” method allows the gases to expand in a chamber and then forces it to squeeze through a small hole into the next chamber, etc. The shaping of the chambers can also help redirect the gases around to expend more energy before they exit to the next chamber.

          With the spiral baffles the gases are forced to spin around in the expansion chamber before exiting.


  3. BB,

    Very likely they will add a shoulder stock similar to the AT-P2 in the near future. The angled part on the rear would be an ideal point to attach it.

    http://www.airgundepot.com/hatsan-at-p2-tact-quiet-energy-qe.html

    This is what Hatsan did previously. They brought the AT out as a pistol and then later introduced it as a carbine. It would be nice when they do bring out the carbine version if they were to make the shoulder stock easily removable.



  4. B.B.,

    As you pointed out, not for lefties. Just the same, I am drawn to sci-fi-looking air guns, which means that I like the looks of this. Buck Rogers would approve of this one! (Unless like me, he is left-handed.)

    Michael


  5. 12fpe is no hardship, shoot a rabbit in the brain at 50 yards and it’s dead, shoot a rabbit in the ears, nose or shoulders and 30fpe won’t help you.
    It might be a limitation if you can consistently hit a three quarter inch rabbit brain at 60 yards, but, as nobody can, it isn’t
    The only time I wish for more power is when I’d like to use. 25cal, which at 12fpe and 450fps is a bit limiting for anything other than 20 yard barn rats and the trajectory is like a thrown housebrick
    I wonder if anyone does a light alloy 25cal? that would get along at 600fps


    • Dom,

      Here I must disagree. I have taken cottontails at 35+ yards with heart shots, and they died on the spot. Almost always they jumped straight up in the air when hit, but fell over where they landed.

      I don’t disagree that a perfect head shot is best. But it’s not the only shot that will take a rabbit. I would never try to take a large European hare that way, though.

      B.B.


      • Oh you can (and I have) put one in the engine bay, at 35 yards, even with 12fpe, it’s pretty effective (with rabbits especially) but you undeniably get more runners and I get less fond of that as the years go by.
        Took a doe and she birthed while expiring, it’s a bit much for me.
        Rather stalk a little closer and then all you get is either a tremble or a jump, sometimes absolutely nothing, so I think I’ve missed


  6. Hi BB
    A very unique concept useing a spring as baffles. Would I be wrong thinking this type of silencer is used only to reduce the sharpness of the report rather than silence the report as much as possible?
    Also, what is the purpose of the line of small holes just ahead of the breech block?
    Dave



      • BB
        My step dad once told my mom, “There’s a lot of boy left in your son”, I was in my 50’s and supervisor of aircraft maintenance for two major airlines in San Diego.
        He believed I never took things seriously because I was so carefree and amazed by so many little things life presented me. He never figured out that I was in total control of my life and had nothing to worry about and never tired of learning about something new and interesting, always wondering why , where and how.
        There an old saying, “The music is not too loud, your just too old”. I figure those holes in the barrel shroud were put there by a young designer simply to make it look “Tac-T-Cool” Like my Heavy Wi-Fi.

        Got my Remington 1875. Hell of a fine looking pistol. Etched print is kinda muted in certain conditions but not much room left for possible engraving. First time I held one and the pistol grip is nice and fills the hand. A natural pointer. Blister pack, not so good, but I imagine it sells well being out there in your face hanging from hooks.


        • Bob M.,

          That is a different one from the 2 pictures you posted last weekend? I am guessing that’s a M-rod? Tuff to tell except for fill cap. Very nice! Just looked again at your comment again. Don’t tell me that is a Wildfire? If so, I would have never imagined in a million years that a Wi-Fi could turn out looking like that. You are the master of Tact-T-Cool.


          • Hi Chris,
            I had a Crosman 1077 in there and I called it Crosman 10249 and the Wild Fire slid right in. .A lot of hand fitting work on that one. Also put a quad rail on my Hatsan AT-44 and Umarex MORPH.
            I’ll send a pic of the 10249, Hope I’m not abusing the privilege but it is a one off creation.

            I’m sure you figured out that the R Arms Innovations Marauder ‘Chassis’ lends itself to just about any configuration you can think of. Wonder if BB still has his? I added the folding stock and off-set adapter to the ‘Heavy Metal’ one.
            That’s a fully adjustable Luth-AR stock on the ‘Full Dress’. It’s a little too long for a folding or off-set adapter but then again it is fully adjustable with sling mount points. Pic may be fuzzy, used an old cam.


            • Bob,

              I pulled the folder. It “sagged” and was not true to alignment. It worked fine and was good for initial M-rod adjustments, but not a keeper. I also found that heavy after market nuts were key,.. more thread. I found some fiber washers at the local small hardware store that worked perfect for locking them up


              • Chris
                I understand and rotating it off center a little affects it too.

                You demand a lot more from your airguns than I do and with these Tac-T-Cool ones I compromise some performance for the look. Like a military weapon, form and function usually have priority over accuracy otherwise we would probably still have bolt action rifles.

                As long as I can hit small yard pests, fairly close, with one shot I’m happy. I also usually have a stock unmodified one. For instance I have two Armadas, one in 22 and one in 25. But to be honest, I usually grab my FX Independence for most pest control.

                I enjoy modifying rifles for the pure challenge of it, I really miss the daily challenge of rapidly analyzing and troubleshooting aircraft problems now that I’m retired. Doing it on a carriers flight deck during flight ops launching F-14s was a real adrenalin rush.

                By the way thanks for the new moniker …” Master of Tac-T-Cool ” I like it better than “Curator of a personal Airgun Museum” …. 🙂


  7. And the trend to miniaturization goes forward. That magazine looks to have a healthy capacity. I wonder how many hand pumps it would take to fill to capacity.

    Matt61


  8. Bb et al..
    Another off topic…
    Well, this morning was the first real shooting time I’ve had with the new Browning Leverage in .22 cal.. I decided, after the 60 yard plinking shots when I first received the rifle, that I would do the first 250 breakin shots on my range at 50 yards useing the big steel armour plate gong as the target.
    The first few groups were all over the place as the rifle began to diesel quite heavily. By the tenth group they were down to about 3½”with Beeman Laser 12.4gn pellets with a bit of horizontal stringing – not sure what the cause of that was.
    The iron sights are quite a bit easier to use and much better quality than the Hatsan Torpedo sights. I may mount the included Browning scope this evening.
    The cocking effort at 28lbs is so much nicer than the 65 lbs of the Hatsan.
    I’m still working on the hold, seems to like being balanced on an open hand about 1½” forward of the trigger guard. Direct rest on a sandbag gives a nice (ha ha) 12″ ‘shotgun’ group.
    With 150 shots on the gun this morning I’m happy with the results so far. I don’t think I’ll try different pellets until 400 or 500 breakin shots. For now I’ll just try to refine the hold. The gun seems to be staying tight but I’ll keep checking for stuff loosening up every 100 or so shots.
    Several reviewers on YouTube said the gun was ‘crunchy’ with a heavy trigger. This gun does not have any of those faults. The 28 lbs cocking effort is smooth, the firing cycle is without undue noise or vibration, the dieseling has stopped and the trigger breaks cleanly at about 4 lbs.
    Those reviews were quite a few years old so maybe later builds have corrected most of those problems.
    One thing I did noticed when cleaning the gun this afternoon was a lot of oil in the loading chamber when cocked open that was not there during the first shots.
    Also I’ve never seen a springer with this long of a throw. Fully closed to full lock back is a touch more than 4 inches. All my other springers never locked back further than the back of the loading port for a throw of around 2 – 2½ inches.
    That about covers it for now. Will let you know how the breaking in goes.
    Cheers
    Dave



  9. Thought you all would like to see this. Got this from by my steel spinner at 60 yards. Jsb 15.89 from my .22 Tx. You can plainly see the rifling marks in the head and skirt area of the pellet.

    Would like to push a pellet through the barrel to compare but it’s a fixed barrel. And the actual barrel is inside a shroud and shorter than the shroud. So difficult to push a pellet.

    But definitely got some rifling contact going on. And I mentioned this in the past. I can feel the pellet engaging the rifling.


    • GF1,

      I have cleaned out many a pellet from my indoor, homemade pellet traps. As you know, there is a 1/8″ thick steel plate in each. Some come out with a perfectly symmetrical “squish”. Very cool. Then there is pellet recovery tool made of 4″ PVC pipe packed full of pillow fluff. Shoot, unload the fluff and find the pellet. I do not have one of those,… or should I say,.. I have not made one.


      • Chris
        Check this out. Here is my flat spinner at 50 yards and a angled spinner at 50 yards. Yes I need to give them a new paint job.

        Remember this. These are not fixed solid non movable targets like the steel plate you have backing your indoor target. Which by the way my 50 yard target holder that I shown with the white paper and red target dots of the HW30s and FWB 300 and .22 Tx does have a 1/8″ steel plate attached to the back of the 2×4’s and 1″ of phone book in front of the 2×4’s Gorilla taped tightly together. It will stop my .22 rimfire rifle bullets at 50 yards.

        What I’m getting at is if I shot at a solid fixed steel plate. I probably could just about not find the pellets. These pellets I’m going to show a picture of are smashed thin as aluminum foil except for the skirt on all pellets.

        And if you look close enough on each pellet skirt even of the HW30s and FWB 300 you can see rifling. And notice the FWB 300 pellet is flattened out to a little bigger diameter than the HW30s pellet. That’s the extra 100 fps or so the FWB is make over the HW30s.

        Here is the angled target that the Tx pellet is from.



          • Here is the pellets.

            And remember this is 50 yards not 60 yards like the first picture of the Tx pellet. And if you compare. You can see how much flatter the 50 yard Tx pellet is compared to the first 60 yard Tx pellet. Distance definitely makes a difference in retained energy.


            • GF1,

              Yes, yes and yes. Nice pictures. You are getting pretty good at that stuff. No doubt some help from the youngin’s to get you going on the right track? 😉



              • Chris
                And I’m going to post a picture if I can get it to fit. I was going to back when we first got the picture posting option. But didn’t. But it really is amazing amazing picture and how awesome God is.

                A little scary but still amazing. It’s a sunset. And sorry BB if I stepped out of line posting this picture. I know where suppose to keep it air fun related.



                • GF1,

                  Wow!,.. That is amazing. Kind of looks like “the BIG ONE” went off, seconds before the tree’s get leveled and then,….. 🙁 Very nice. About 4 years ago, I was at work and some clouds came through that looked liked sea waves upside down and close to the ground, sort of. It looked like some end of the world kind of stuff. It was as far as you could see. Put it this way,… 200 people stopped working and went outside. Lasted about 15 minutes.


                  • Chris
                    Yes I know. You wouldn’t believe what it looked like in true life.

                    My oldest daughter takes pictures of sunsets and thunderstorms. She missed this cause she was sick and laying down sleeping. She was upset she didn’t get to see it when I showed her the picture but was happy to see it.

                    And yep I know. This lasted about 10 minutes and took many different shapes. I should of been taking pictures but I wanted to see it through my own eyes. It was crazy but cool at the same time.


                    • GF1,

                      Back to air guns,… my TX with the Vortek spring will punch (through) steel cans at 70 yards. It has been awhile since I have done that. The PCP’s got me plumb dumb, spoiled. From what I remember, the retained energy of a .22 wins out at distance. The retained energy is what matters on a kill shot.

                      I still remember B.B.’s comment on a 10# cannon ball? and going 300 fps? and what damage that can do. It is not all about fps.



                  • Chris
                    Yep so will my .22 Tx.

                    But so will the FWB 300 at 50 yards. And then go through a 12 oz aluminum can right through both sides behind it.

                    The .22 Tx won’t. It will go through the tin can at 50 yards. But when it hits the 12 oz soda can it nocks it flying. Usually with a massive dent in the aluminum can.

                    So there goes that effective range for diameter and energy of the pellet.

                    Don’t let a .177 caliber pellet decive you. I had a .177 Marauder and .177 Diana 54 Air King that would put a pellet through both sides of a sqerrial at 60 yatds with a lung shot.

                    It’s really about the right combination of things to make a effective shot. And then add in accuracy of the gun at that distance. Well and accuracy of the shooter too. 🙂



  10. Hello BB, and Fellow Airgunners
    Hatsan has always been honest when it concerns the pellet speed of their airguns. That, and the fact the Hatsan air rifles I have seen come with Turkish Walnut stocks make them a bargain at a relatively low sticker price. Unfortunately, the air rifles I have seen coming from the Hatsan factory are either quite accurate, or the barrel is too large for the advertised calibre. I have no experience with Hatsan pistols, so it will be interesting when accuracy day rolls around. Also, at the advertised weight of 4 1/2 lbs, I can’t see this air pistol selling well until they offer an optional shoulder stock. It will be interesting to see what this relatively heavy air pistol can achieve in the hands of a master, like The Godfather of Airguns.
    The unique design offers a love/hate relationship to my eyes. However, if this air pistol proves to be accurate, it is an air pistol I can learn to love.
    I’ve not read this blog for the past week as we left our iPads, and lap tops at home to commune with nature at our favourite lake, and camping spot. Due to the extremely hot, dry conditions we’ve experienced up here in British Columbia, Canada all summer, camp fires were not allowed. This ban seemed to have negatively influenced other would be campers from enjoying Mother Nature, as we practically had the lake to ourselves for 5 days. Having our 27 year old daughter drive from Vancouver to join my wife and I, made this trip extra special. We had originally planned this trip for last year, however I was sidelined with medical problems. My wife and I also celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on day 4 of the 5 days there. Experiencing good health, and enjoying the outdoors with the two most important people in my life, made the whole trip a most memorable experience.
    Back to airguns, I’ve also been reading favourable reviews of Weihrauch’s new HW44 PCP pistol. If the pistol has reached our shores from Europe, do you have plans to test this air pistol in the near future. I understand it is available in .177, and .22 calibre’s. Being the first all new airgun from Weihrauch in many a year, I suspect it may eventually replace the venerable HW45 spring piston model. I hope my suspicions prove false, as my HW45 Silver Star in .20 cal is super accurate up to 25 meters.
    Ciao
    Titus


  11. BB
    There we go again with ammanufacturer claiming that you get more shots per fill with a 177 thanwith a 22! (the Brits claim the. contrary). Wouldn’t it be great if they had sent you both calibers, giving you the opportunity to determine the truth?

    This pistol is a genuine 12 fpe gun according to the British standards. Remember the fpe would have to come in at around 10.5 to 11.5 as precaution against a heavier pellet tipping the gun over then12 limit.

    Another point in the argument about the relative inefficiency of the 177 over the 22 is with gas rams. John Knibbs states on his web site that one should not fit a 177 gas ram as n a 22 rifle as this would bring that rifle over the 12 fpe limit. Scroll through the Product Information on the link below.
    http://www.airgunspares.com/store/product/12046/GAMO-Gas-Ram-GAMO-Hunter-.177/

    I would really love to see a blog on the topic of which caliber gives the most shots per fill. The British are adamant that the 22 gets more while in the US manufacturers seem to proclaim the opposite. And it has nothing to do with the power levels of the guns compared.


  12. good that you refer to us brits occasionally but i must correct you here.
    the legal limit for air pistols is 6 foot pounds [in any calibre].
    and for rifles it`s 12 foot pounds [also in any calibre].

    you need a firearms certificate for rifles more powerful than that, however the pistols are limited to 6 foot pounds period. any that are above that are illegal, certificate or not.

    i`ve yet to see any ammo bigger than .25 advertised, tho, but then i haven`t really looked.

    as for shots per calibre per charge, the given knowledge on this side of the pond is, actually, that you get quite a few more shots at .22 than you do with .177, per fill. i don`t understand the physics of this i`m afraid.
    i don`t know where @Ton gets his info from, but i`ve never heard it.

    a majority of people prefer .177 because of it`s flatter trajectory.

    it is also convention that you should shoot `a deadshot or no shot`. wounding your prey is frowned upon.


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