The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • An announcement
  • Today
  • Familiarization
  • Still learning the magazine
  • The trigger
  • The test
  • The sights
  • RWS Superdome — sight in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • Summary

An announcement

This morning I shaved with a straight razor in a completely different way, after reading a book about shaving that was written in 1905. While very different from anything I had been doing, it all sounded very good and authoritative until I tried it. Then I needed a pint of blood after finishing! The author of this book says many things that run contrary to conventional wisdom and what is being taught today.

As a result of this experience, I have decided that there is more to sharpening a straight razor than I thought. There will be another report coming in which I examine some of the facts and some old wive’s tales about sharpening straight razors. I will try to show you the results more graphically. I don’t want to wreck the surprises that I hope are coming, so that is all I will say at this time. Let’s now turn our attention to today’s report.

Today

I will shoot some groups with the Hatsan Sortie today, but I don’t think I will consider this accuracy day. I’ll explain that in a moment.

Familiarization

I wanted to get familiar with the Sortie’s semiautomatic action. So, instead of my normal 10-shot groups, I only shot 5 of each pellet. I wanted to concentrate on learning how the Sortie action works, rather than to split hairs on target. That turned out to be the right decision.

Still learning the magazine

The Sortie magazine is still a challenge for me. I think if this was my only PCP I would get it straight much faster, but I shuffle between so many repeaters that, unless the mag is intuitive, it forces me to stop and think. And the Sortie mag is not intuitive — at least not to me. That said, I have shot the pistol about 90-100 times so far and the mag has never malfunctioned once. None of the three have. There is a lot to be said for that!

The trigger

I find the Sortie trigger easy to use. It pulls through a long travel like a single stage trigger, and there is no definite pause before the shot, but there is also no creep. This is a very comfortable trigger to use.

The test

I decided to test the pistol at 10 meters, just because I didn’t know it that well. That was a good decision because I wasn’t able to elevate the rear sight high enough to center every pellet tested in the bull.

I shot with the pistol resting directly on a sandbag. Because the Sortie is a PCP, there is no recoil to be concerned with and the vibration is negligeble.

The sights

This is why I am considering today familiarization day instead of accuracy day. The Sortie’s fiberoptic sights are pretty large for a good test of accuracy. Now I understand why Hatsan mounted a dot sight on the pistol when they brought it to the Texas airgun show! Also, my eyes could not focus on the front sight, which is a problem with me — not with the pistol. I have to admit it, the miles are starting to show!

I haven’t decided yet whether to mount a dot sight or a scope for the next test at 25 yards. The magazine sticks up 3/4-inch above the top of the scope rail, so whatever I mount will have to clear it.

RWS Superdome — sight in

The first pellet to be tested was the RWS Superdome . The first shot landed too low and off the target paper. I then adjusted the rear sight as high as it would go and shot number 2 was at the bottom of the bull when I used a 6 o’clock hold. That would have to do!

I reloaded and then shot a 5-shot group. It measures 0.593-inches between centers, which is too big for this pistol at 10 meters, but look how narrow and tall it is. The tall  is me not being able to focus on the front sight. You will see that in 3 of the 4 groups I shot. I think the narrow-ness of the group tells us the Superdome is probably very good in the Sortie.

Hatsan Sortie Superdome group
This 0.593-inch group of 5 RWS Superdomes at 10 meters is better than it appears. The vertical stringing is due to my inability to see the front sight clearly.

JSB Exact RS

The second pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome. Given the Sortie’s power level, I felt this one might be ideal. Five RS pellets went into 0.644-inches at 10 meters. This group is also vertical, with one shot straying to the right. Those other 4 holes are so tight (0.438-inches) that even though they are strung vertically, they hint at superior accuracy.

Hatsan Sortie JSB RS group
This group of 5 JSB Exact RS pellets is larger 0.644-inches between centers) than the first group, but the 4 that are together are 0.438-inches between centers. I think this shows promise!

H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head

Hatsan sent some pellets with the Sortie, so I tried a couple. First was an H&N Baracuda with a 5.50mm head. These really surprised me by putting 4 into 0.31-inches at 10 meters. Shot number 5 opened the group to 0.575-inches, making this the best pellet of the test. I will have to try this pellet again!

Hatsan Sortie Baracuda group
Five Baracudas went into 0.575-inches at 10 meters, but 4 are in 0.31-inches.

H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head

The last pellet I tested was the H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head. Hatsan also sent this one. Five went into 0.796-inches at 10 meters. As you can see, this one hit the target higher and also spread to the left and right rather than up and down. Given the performance of the first 3 pellets, I don’t think I will try this one again.

Hatsan Sortie FTT group
Five Field Target Trophy pellets went into 0.796-inches at 10 meters. This one is a little too open for my taste.

Summary

I learned quite a lot today, so I’m happy to have had this chance to get familiar with the Sortie. I especially know what I have to look for in a scope or dot sight to clear that high magazine.

I think the Sortie has a lot to offer and we will see it in the next test.

24 thoughts on “The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 3





  1. B.B.,

    I usually like futuristic designs when it comes to airguns. For example, I love the look of the old Umarex Red Hawk, perhaps the most futuristic looking air pistol ever.

    But I have to disagree with Coduece about the looks of this one. This Sortie just might be the most homely air gun I’ve seen to date. It looks like a pneumatic stapler — an UGLY pneumatic stapler.

    Michael



      • B.B.,

        I agree that performance is what really matters. Good looks are just icing on the cake. I suppose because I’m a lefty, this air gun was not for a second something I have given serious thought to, and therefore its looks are what I’ve focused on.

        If it turned out to be an incredible air gun, I guess a grinder could make it ambidextrous. Better yet would be entirely new furniture in a nicely figured wood.

        Michael


  2. B.B.,

    Now that I’ve studied the Sortie’s looks more closely, I noticed its lack of a trigger guard. Sure, there is a little nub that is positioned between the shooter’s trigger and middle fingers, but still.

    Also interesting are the contours designed to make the “knuckle guard” a fore grip.

    Michael



  3. I’m a classic rifle, wood and steel guy. But I find the more I learn-see this pistol, the more I like it. It would be right at home on Star Trek, or star warz. The rifle pictured above is a real masterpiece.
    I eagerly await tomorrows blog. BB, have you heard about the straight razor lore that the stropped edge grows if left alone for a few days? With all that cutting you must be trying draw cuts or slicing technique.
    Rob


  4. Yesterday I tested some pellets in my Crosman 1322 with the Maximus Barrel. They were 5 shot groups just to see which ones had promise. Today I shot some 10 shot groups. Calinb, saw more in the Falcon pellets than I did and they are included today. Up until now I have been shooting mostly the JSB 15.89 grain dome pellets.

    I also said I would figure out how much I have in the gun:

    1322 pistol………………………………$60
    Maximus Barrel………………………..$29
    Steel Breech……………………………$38
    Stock………………………………………$12
    Barrel end cap…………………………$12 not needed for looks
    Metal Barrel Band Pump Pivot……$49 no longer available I had on hand
    Total……………………………………..$200

    I had forgot about the metal pump pivot and barrel band. I think they are well worth having but the cost is high. I don’t think they are still available in the US but are in the UK. If Crosman sold them they should be about $12 in my opinion. They are difficult to machine but could be made in two parts that should work just as well.

    Not done yet:
    Hawk 4-12 Scope…….$130
    Centerpoint Rings……..$12

    Grand Total…………….$342

    I think that is it on the cost. My time is not considered as this is fun and a hobby for me. Well it can be frustrating also. That seems a good price for a gun that is shooting pretty good and not very pellet picky so far.

    Ok below is the target from today it is 10 shots each bull’s-eye and 25 yards. All are domed pellets.

    First group top left is Crosman 14.3 grains out of the cardboard box.

    Second group top right is Falcon 13.42 grains. The shot top right I should have held up and started over I lost my focus and body control.

    Third group bottom left is the JSB 15.89 grain pellets I have been using up till now in this gun. I called the top right a flyer only because it did not fit the group and I felt I had a good shot on that one.

    Fourth group bottom right is the Crosman cardboard box pellets again. I thought they deserved another chance after both me and the gun was warmed up. They showed they did.

    Conclusion: These were not sorted pellets and there was some wind gust up to 5 mph. I tried to wait for a calm period from the wind before shooting. There are at least three pellets that do well with this gun and I think they all can do a little better with some work.

    The falcon pellets had at least 5 of 6 that went through the same hole.

    Don


    • Don,

      It sure can add up, can’t it? 😉 Fine shooting by the way. 25 yards is the bare minimum to test accuracy for me. Past that, good ~ great accuracy is a blessing For one, the gun can do it and second, that I can do it. Your reporting and visual aids are nice too.


      • Chris U,

        Thanks after I put up the shooting bench I lost my 46 yard range. I need to trim some bushes and tree limbs and can get back to about 43 yards. Wish I had 50 yards that is enough for me. I do some long range plinking up at my cabin but for targets 50 would be ideal for me and air rifles.

        You are lucky to have a location where you can stretch it out on your target shooting. I think 50 yards will be pushing the 1322/Maximus but will give it a go soon.

        I have a tank now to fill my Marauder and have not spent any time shooting it lately. That needs to change. Also my left arm is getting too big from all the pumping. Good thing I pump with my left arm, I have bowling tonight and if it was my right arm it would be too tired.

        Don


    • Don
      I used the barrel band pump pivot from 760’s in the past.

      And yes the old ones were made of steel. Now they are also plastic.

      But I think that contributes greatly to acurracy when you put a long barrel on the gun. They have that screw and nut on the other side that secures the barrel more firmly and locks it all up more precisely.


  5. B.B.

    Kate was going through some stuff today an found two of my Dad’s old straight razors. I think I have a couple more around maybe they are good ones. One was rusted though looks like it may be ruined.

    I do remember the barber when I was younger using a straight razor on my neck and around my ears. I was always a little scared when he went around my ears. Never was cut though that I can remember. You are brave to be using a straight razor.

    Speaking of ears. I just about took my ear off a couple of weeks ago with a flowbee if you know what that is. It is suppose to be safe. You hook it up to a vacuum cleaner and then put tubes in front of the cutting blades for the length hair you want. Kate decided to shorten her hair last time she had it cut so I followed suit. Well I put a short tube on and the first pass near my ear sucked the earlobe right into the cutters. By the time I got the flowbee with rabies of my ear it was quite a mess. Blood everywhere and a couple of days before the bleeding stopped. I think I will let my hair grow for a while. I will still be using the flowbee but with a longer tube and keep it away from my ears. Lesson learned.

    Don


  6. Just wait till you pick up the pace with the pistol.

    That will be the true test of the magazine. Or the action.

    From exsperiance with the FX Monsoons semi-auto action and same mags as this pistol. That’s when you will find out how well the semi-auto feature works.


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