Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan Bullmaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Comments
  • New Bug Buster
  • Power
  • H&N Baracuda 5.50mm head
  • H&N Sniper Light 5.50mm head
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • Shot count
  • Trigger
  • Sound
  • Summary
  • Next


I’ll start today’s report by listing some of the comments you readers made to Part 1. Several of you don’t care for the Hatsan BullMaster’s looks. That’s why I show a picture of the gun at the top of each report. You have to be satisfied with the appearance if you’re going to buy an airgun this expensive.

Next, several of you commented on the weight. At more than 10 pounds before the scope is mounted, this is not a lightweight airgun. Bullpups are small, but not necessarily light.

Then there is the size, itself. For a bullpup, the Bullmaster is on the large side. The overall length of just under 31 inches is very short compared to a conventional air rifle, but for a bullpup it’s on the long side. That length does give you a fully shrouded barrel that’s just under 20 inches, and you need the barrel length for power, but the point of a bullpup is its compact size.

And there was a comment about the trigger — as in they hoped it was as good as a Marauder  trigger. Guys — that just isn’t going to happen. The BullMaster is one of the very few true semiautomatic pellet rifles available and you already read about this trigger in my test of the Hatsan Sortie pistol a while back. This rifle has the same trigger, and it’s going to perform about the same. I told you then that I tested the pistol first to get used to the action, because the BullMaster was the same. Well, it is. So, sit back and let’s all start learning how this air rifle performs.

New Bug Buster

One reader, I think it was RidgeRunner, suggested I mount the new UTG 3-12X32 AO Bug Buster scope on the rifle. I knew that scope was coming, but I didn’t know it was already out. I asked Leapers for a sample to test and they graciously sent one, plus some of their new UTG Accu-Sync lightweight scope rings that even Pyramyd Air doesn’t have in stock yet. Bug Buster scopes can be tricky to mount because of their short scope tubes, but I have looked closely at these rings and I think it’s going to work.

The new scope is everything we have come to expect from Leapers. It’s clear, lightweight, bright and it focuses down to 9 feet! It’s perfect for a rifle whose weight we don’t want to increase.

So — this test just got a lot better. We have a powerful and accurate semiautomatic air rifle to test, a new Bug Buster scope with the highest power ever and some new mounts to evaluate. We are going to have some fun!


Today I will look at the rifle’s power, plus check the function of the 12-shot .22-caliber magazine. My large carbon fiber tank was down to just 3200 psi, so I put it on the Air Venturi compressor and had it back to 4500 psi in 15 short minutes! You guys asked me to keep on reporting how this compressor works, and that’s what I’m doing.

The specs tell us to expect 31 foot pounds from the .22 caliber BullMaster. I told you in Part 1 that Hatsan is always conservative with these numbers, so let’s see where this one is.

H&N Baracuda 5.50mm head

First to be tested were the H&N Baracudas with a 5.50mm head. Hatsan sent these with the guns and if you remember, the Sortie really liked this one. Ten rounds through the BullMaster averaged 842 f.p.s., which works out to a muzzle energy of 33.29 foot pounds. So Hatsan is being conservative, once again. The first shot went out at 812 f.p.s., but I included it in the string for the average. After all, hunters always shoot that same first shot. Velocity ranged from 812 to 857 f.p.s., which is a spread of 45 f.p.s., but if we throw out that first shot the next slowest was 840 f.p.s. So the spread was reasonably tight.

H&N Sniper Light 5.50mm head

The next pellet I tested was the H&N Sniper Light with a 5.50mm head. I have no experience with this 14-grain dome, but Hatsan sent them with the Sortie and BullMaster, and they didn’t do well in the Sortie, so I’m thinking they are for the Bullmaster. They averaged 965 f.p.s. for 10 shots with a low of 950 and a high of 974 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 24 f.p.s. At the average velocity the Sniper Light produced 28.96 foot pounds of muzzle energy.

H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head

The final pellet I tested was the H&N Field Target Trophy with a 5.53mm head. I usually don’t test pellets from just one manufacturer, but Hatsan sent these, too, so I have to believe they are the best for this rifle. They averaged 949 f.p.s. for 10 shots. The spread went from 943 to 955 f.p.s. That’s just 12 f.p.s. At the average this pellet produced 29.3 foot pounds of energy.

Thus far we see a rifle with a reasonable velocity spread. When I looked at the gauge it showed there was still 2/3 of a fill remaining, so I pressed on to get the shot count.

Shot count

The rifle is supposed to give 50 shots per fill. That’s in .22 caliber. In .177 it’s supposed to give 60. The shot count is where I usually part ways with the manufacturer, because they are willing to accept everything that makes a pop. I want to stay in the same power band. There were already 30 shots on this fill.

I chose the Field Target Trophy pellets for this next test, simply because I had just finished using them. This time I loaded the magazine with all 12 pellets. On the next string, which were shots 31 to 43, the BullMaster averaged 953 f.p.s. That’s a little faster than when I tested them before! The next 12 pellets — shots 44-56 — averaged 940 f.p.s. That’s a little slower, but still in the same ballpark! I was impressed. So I reloaded 12 more pellets. I’d like to show you what they did. These are still Field Target Trophys.


In case you are curious, that string averaged 936 f.p.s. You readers know that I don’t cut these airguns any slack. I report what happens and leave most of the discussion to you. But I have to comment today. WOW! I might have complained about the 250 bar fill pressure in Part 1, but Hatsan clearly did a lot with all that air. Remember — they are working the action with it, too! Good on you, Hatsan!


The trigger pull is two stage. Stage 1 is light and short. Stage 2 has movement you can feel, but it’s not too heavy or unpleasant. It breaks between 5 lbs. 15 oz. and 6 lbs. 6 oz. That sounds heavy if you are expecting a safe-cracker trigger pull, but it’s about where an arms room 1911 will be. It’s really not bad and will be no hinderance to accuracy.


Shooting the BullMaster in my office, it was loud, but not that loud. Louder than a powerful spring rifle, but still acceptable. You can’t shoot it in a small suburban back yard without notice, but it won’t deafen you, either.


The BullMaster is a rifle you can load on Sunday and shoot all week. At least it is when it comes to air. If this rifle is accurate, and we have every reason to suspect that it is, it will be one that hunters should consider.

56 thoughts on “Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 2

  1. Apologies for being so far off topic –
    Hi BB et all..
    This afternoon I recieved a new pistol in the mail. It is the Weathered Colt SAA Ace in the Hole Pellet Revolver by Umarex and I must say I am very impressed with what I’ve seen of the gun so far. For a snub nose 3½” barrel gun it shows excellent quality of build with a nicely weathered finish. Although modeled after a “make believe gun” it has good realism with no Mickey Mouse attributes. Closely resembling the Colt Sherrif’s model it is a near copy of Sly Stallones backup pistol that he carries in the small of his back in the Expendables movies – right down to the Magna-Ported barrel and lack of front sight. It even has a rounded hammer design to make fanning the hammer easier.
    BB – I think you need to take a close look at this pistol and maybe even consider it for a multi part review.

      • B.B.,

        In the U.S. Umarex seems not to have secured licensing (see below paragraph), so here it is the Ace-in-the-Hole, with a gambling motif on the grips. If you look at the front sight, you will see it is an unusual design, with it being removasble andf attached by prongs that sit in grooves cut into the barrel. Remove the front sight and Voila! The barrel now has a compensator to reduce muzzle rise — NOT an Old West innovation.

        In non-U.S. markets this model is called the Custom and is very much a replica, perhaps not licensed and branded, of a revolver Sylvester’s Stallone’s character uses in the Expendables action movies. These movies have made the single action short barrelled revolver very popular with quick draw speed shooters, as a this specific type of revolver is much faster fanned than any semiauto pistol. Someone who is quite practiced can draw and fire six shots in less than one second: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XRgvtxuwmQ


            • Michael,

              I enjoyed watching Terence Hill and Bud Spencer at the theater back win, and I have watch a few of those movies periodically. I knew the films were spaghetti westerns but I only recently learned Hill is Italian.

              I also watched (if you can call it that – I skipped ahead a lot), The Trial of Billy Jack. I have no idea how I sat through it at the theater. Of course, I am older and probably more jaded now.


              • Ken,

                The “Billy Jack” movies are VERY dated now. I was 10-11 years old when Billy Jack was a hit, so I cut myself a lot of slack for liking it at the time. Those were amateurishly made and frankly sanctimonious. It would be difficult to watch one today, I suspect.

                Terence Hill’s “My Name Is Nobody” was easily his best “Trinity” movie, and I’ve watched it again recently and still enjoy it. That is a pretty decent one. As I understand it, Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone approached Hill and Spencer and said, “If you’re going to parody our movies, let us join in on the fun!” One can definitely hear that the music in “My Name Is Nobody” is Morricone’s work. And it is difficult to miss when you’ve got Henry Fonda, who probably did it as a favor for Leone. He was an incredible villain in “Once upon a time in the West.” I’ve always considered that and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” to be the two very best so-called Spaghetti Westerns, just above “A Fistful of Dollars.”


                • Michael,

                  I agree with everything you said, here. I didn’t mention the humor/parody Hill and Spencer gave us, but you are right on. And yes, Henry Fonda almost always came through, regardless of what character he portrayed. Although dated, I remember him well in the movie, “Welcome to Hard Times”, in which he played a very different character. It came out in 1967 and was definitely revisionist.

                  As an aside, there is a scene in “The American”, with George Clooney (a movie almost universally panned by amateur critics because it wasn’t an action movie – Leonard Maltin called it a “slowly paced, European-style mood piece, short on dialogue and action and long on atmosphere”); the main character is sitting in a cafe; there is a television mounted on the wall; “Once Upon a Time in the West” is playing on the tube. Director, Anton Corbijn, openly stated his homage to the Spaghetti Westerns. For me, the only thing that would have made “The American” better, was if he could have assembled an Air Force rifle with a screw on moderator assembled as in the movie.

                  Regarding “The American”, see:
                  Although it is long gone now, Roger Ebert gave me a wonderful gift; he posted what I wrote to him after I saw the movie. He didn’t do that as a rule, although he did post one other along with mine.

                  Also see here, if interested, mostly because it references the stories influences and mood.

                  Have a good one.


                  • Ken,

                    Thanks very much!

                    I remember when Clooney did a remake of Andrei Tarkovsy’s “Solaris.” Clooney’s remake was almost as long and as slowly-paced as Tarkovsky’s! Critics just did not get it. I’ll never forget it (Clooney’s remake) because it was released just after I had written a paper on Tarkovsky’s Solaris for a grad course I was taking in European Art Cinema.

                    I love films that are like that, moody, atmospheric, character-based rather than plot based, etc.

                    As for Roger Ebert, I had the advantage of being in the Chicago area, so every now and then I would see him at theaters and such. Back in the 1980s, when I lived two blocks from the Loop in the Near West Side, I dated a gal who worked in the Chicago film community, and she had a spare ticket to an industry screening of a movie that was to come out in a couple weeks — it ended up being Adrian Lyne’s “9 1/2 Weeks.” The screening room was halfway up a high-rise office building on North Michigan Ave. It seated about 50 people. It was impossible for me not to notice that among other recognizable newspaper critics from the suburbs, Ebert and Gene Siskel were in there (no, not seated close to each other) to screen it for their reviews.

                    Very cool time in my life.


                    • Michael,

                      I am as glad for you as I am envious. I was never overly knowledgeable about films, but I did see at least one a week and often two. When I took a look at the AFI’s top 100 films of the 20th century, I found I had seen two thirds of them. Since that was incidental, it means I saw more than a few that were not in the top 100.

                      I had to look this up to be sure. Written soon after Roger Ebert died, it begins “There’s a vacant seat in the critics’ screening room on Lake Street where Roger Ebert used to sit.”

                      I had read before about that seat. Only the foolish would consider taking that seat.
                      I also read one of Ebert’s last interviews. He said the love/hate relationship with Gene was real, but Gene was also his best (male) friend.

                      I’m glad you got to make that trip.


      • Hi BB
        I could be wrong but I think the gun was modelled by Umarex to be an almost exact copy of Stallones gun in the Expendables movies. It was never a production gun – just a figment or make believe of Stallones imagination – custom made for the movies.
        The Colt “Shopkeeper” and the “Sheriff’s” model both had front sights and normal hammers on the production models. Also the barrels were not ported as with the “Ace in the Hole”.
        In Europe and the UK it is called the “Custom Shop Edition SAA .45” with the left side barrel logo “Single Action Army .45″. The North American model is called the ” Ace in the Hole” with the left side barrel logo saying the same and with the “Toy Warnings” on the right.
        Interestingly the American model comes with three plastic clip-on front sights whereas I could find no evidence of the sights being included with the European models. As well the Eoropean guns all seem to be 4.5mm steel BB and in North America only available in .177 lead pellet.

  2. B.B.,

    I suppose the report on the latest Bugbuster is going to be posted tomorrow? How does it feel when you peep through the scope while it is mounted on the Bullboss? Does the positioning feel natural or do you have to make some adjustment?


  3. The comments in the first part about the weight, the trigger, the looks, the cost, etc.
    Amazes me.

    It seems we want a 5 lb gun, that shoots like a 35 lb. bench gun when we want it to.
    But handles nicely when shot offhand.
    A semi auto rifle, with a Marauder trigger.
    A pcp that fills easily, but gets 100+ shots per fill, with a 10fps spread.
    That’s adjustable for power from 10 meter match velocities, to taking down an elephant with a simple twist of a knob.
    That’s shoots the heads off of a match at 100 yards.,
    But but is so quiet it doesn’t annoy the neighbor on the other side of a chainlink fence.
    Oh, and we want it to cost as little as possible.

    How hard can all that be?

    It’s a Hatsan, that means:
    It’s big,
    It’s heavy,
    It’s powerful,
    It generates real world useful numbers, not fantasies.

    Love it, or hate it, but it’s hard to beat…

    I look forward to part 3..

    • 45Bravo,

      “It’s hard to beat.” Yes, and even harder to lift! ;^)

      That rounded scoop on the underside of the butt-stock looks like it might be comfortable on the shooter’s shoulder. Custom mounts could align the scope down and to eye level. Is there any way the windage could be adjusted enough to compensate? We know about drooper mounts (reverse one) and shimming (for the front ring on a custom Shouldermaster), so I wonder less about elevation correction.

      This Hatsan might be easy to convert into a shoulder-firing air rifle.


  4. BB
    Pretty much when I get a semi-auto in my hands I’m pop’n shots off as fast as I can pull the trigger. So that’s a good thing the shot count is high.

    I could probably do 3 or 4 refills in a day of shooting if I was only shooting it. Probably even more. Especially since it’s a semi-auto.

  5. B.B.,

    Nice so far. Looking forward to the accuracy phase of testing. At the price, I am a bit surprised that it is not regulated. I am (not) sure, but I thought that most rifles at this price range were. Like you said though, they did nice job of making use of the air. Does Hatsan even make a regulated air rifle? Again, I am not sure.

    I do not see a “click on” link for the BullMaster. I had to go back to Part 1.

    Good day to you and to one and all,… Chris

      • B.B.,

        Thanks for the info.. I did not realize that could be done, but the I have never tried it either. If it has been awhile since the last report, I like to go back for a bit of a refresher.


      • GF1,

        I do not look at, or shop for rifles in the 1000+/- range often (at all?),.. so I was not sure. Thanks. I will be doing the 900 on the reg. on the Maximus this weekend. Hopefully get some good results. I may do the port drill, but will just do the reg. re-set first. So far, the reg. has proven to be well worth it, with regards to fps consistency.

        • Chris
          Yep and don’t do the 1322 striker spring yet. That way you should pick up velocity a little and some more shot count when you go down to the 900 psi on the regulator.

          Save opening the transfer port orifice up for later if you go down to the 1322 striker spring.

  6. BB,

    I guess I am one of those few that the looks do not bother. It is sort of sci fi looking to me. What would bother me is the size and weight, of course I do not need the power. The Sortie with a shoulder stock like it’s predecessor would be ideal to me.

    Now as for the Bug Buster and the new rings, I impatiently await your further comments.

  7. BB,

    Perhaps the ideal Hatsan bullpup for me would be to take the Sortie and build it into a bullpup with a slightly longer barrel / shroud / air tube, keeping the length to under 24 inches. That would be a fun little plinker.

  8. I have a couple of general questions about the Bullpup design (I have never handled one) …

    How quick/smooth are they to shoulder?

    Do they “point” well?

    How/where is the balance?

    Are they suitable for tracking running game?

    Just curious how bullpups are relative to conventional rifles, what their advantages/disadvantages are.

    Any comments about the design would be appreciated.



      • Hi TT,

        I have done a lot of instinctive shooting (slingshot, bow, and shotguns/rifles) and regularly practice on moving/flying targets. The rabbits around here are quick to bolt and it is a running shot or no stew 🙂

        With a proper fitting/balanced rifle and some practice it is not that difficult to hit a moving target… Quarterbacks, hockey players, soccer players do it all the time.


        • Hank

          The key here is PRACTICE . Most people don’t shoot animals running at full speed except in panic mode . Stick your head out the door around here on the first day of deer season . A big flurry of shots coming from a hunting gang when someone jumps a deer . Sometimes someone accidentally hits one .


          • TT,

            Agree completely – regular practice on moving targets, and lots of it are needed if you want to be successful on moving game.

            Jack O’Connor’s book “Complete Book of Rifles and Shotguns” was my favorite reference as a kid. It has a rifle shooting course in it that talks about practicing running shots with a target in a tire and rolling/bouncing it down a hill. We would spend hours and a couple of bricks of .22 rimfire every weekend for a month before the hunting season – the last weekend would include 3-4 boxes of center-fire to finish up. Rarely needed more than one shot at a deer.

            I found out real quick that you needed a gun that points clean and fast to have a hope in gaining proficiency on moving targets. A lot of times that means modifying the stock and adjusting the balance to make it work.

            Fun stuff.


  9. Michael——Check out the Burris Signature scope mounts. They adjust for windage and elevation. I am still waiting for BB to test them, ( BB—hint—hint ). Dont take my opinion, look up the Burris web site. —–Ed

  10. The Burris scope mounts look interesting. I have a Walther Terrus .22 synthetic that is about 29″ low at 40 yards. I got a set of FX adjustable mounts, but discovered that although they are drilled and tapped for a scope stop, they are not “springer rated”. They are currently holding after cleaning with brake cleaner and applying some blue loctite in an unconventional method, but I wonder for how long…

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