by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Hatsan 135 30 caliber rifle
Hatsan’s .30 caliber 135 QE Vortex is a large breakbarrel — both in size and caliber.

This report covers:

  • Adjusting the trigger
  • JSB Exact 50.15 grains
  • Predator Polymag
  • Air Venturi .30 caliber balls
  • JSB Exact 44.75 grains
  • Cocking effort
  • Recoil
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Time for me to bend the bow of Ulysses, which no man but he could string. Today is velocity day, plus I said I would take a closer look at adjusting the Quattro trigger. I’ll do the trigger first.

Adjusting the trigger

All of the trigger adjustments work and I adjusted them all. The trigger came out of the box breaking at 6 lbs. 10.5 oz. and I was able to get it down to 5 lbs. 4 oz. When I did the first stage went away, so I added some and now it feels right to me. I also lightened the first stage pull (1 lb. 10 oz.) by a couple ounces (1 lb. 4 oz.), though it doesn’t seem any different when I pull it.

My take on the trigger is that it does adjust, but the range in which it works is still high. For a sporting trigger, though, it is fine. Stage two breaks cleanly, though I can feel some movement, so it isn’t crisp. Let’s look at the velocity.

JSB Exact 50.15 grains

The first pellet I tested was the JSB Exact that weighs 50.15 grains. It’s a dome and, if accurate, should make a good hunting pellet. This monster averaged 543 f.p.s. with a spread from 540 to 546 f.p.s. That’s just 6 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet averaged 32.84 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

No doubt 543 f.p.s. sounds slow to you. But bear in mind that a century ago the .25 caliber pellet rifles were only in the high 300s. Yes the trajectory will be pronounced, but at the close distance this rifle is meant for you should be able to estimate the range pretty close.

Predator Polymag

Next up were Predator Polymag pellets. They call themselves a pointed pellet because of the red plastic insert, but in fact they are really hollowpoints. Peformance on game should be stunning!

Polymags averaged 569 f.p.s. from the 135 QE Vortex. They ranged from a low of 565 to a high of 570 f.p.s.. So the spread was just 5 f.p.s. At the average velocity Polymags generate 32.18 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

If these prove accurate they will be an excellent hunting pellet. And Polymags often do prove accurate, so this is one to watch.

Air Venturi .30 caliber balls

Next I tried Air Venturi .308-caliber 44-grain round balls. But they were too big to enter the breech. Even after pushing on one hard with my thumb it didn’t go in halfway.

Hatsan 135 30 caliber ball
The Air Venturi .308 ball is too large to enter the Hatsan 135 breech. This is as far as it goes when firmly pressed.

JSB Exact 44.75 grains

The final pellet I tried was the 44.75-grain dome. Ironic, isn’t it, that JSB made the only three pellets that I could shoot in this rifle? This pellet was the fastest, at an average 580 f.p.s. out the muzzle. It also had the largest velocity spread, from a low of 573 to a high of 585 f.p.s. That’s 12 f.p.s., which is still very good for a new springer.

At the average velocity this pellet generates 33.44 foot-pounds, which is the highest energy I recorded in the test. As a dome, it is another good hunting pellet, as long as it’s accurate.

Cocking effort

Remember I said that this was the hardest rifle to cock I have ever experienced? I personally thought it was going to register 100 lbs. on the scale. Well — it didn’t! It registered 57 lbs. Apparently I am closer to 100 than this rifle.

Recoil

The recoil is heavy but not extreme. And the vibration is very much under control. For the power and caliber the Hatsan 135 QE Vortex is smooth.

Discussion

I was surprised by how consistent the powerplant is — especially for a new springer! I can now see why people like this large air rifle. I still find the Quattro on the heavy side, but well within the range of usability.

Summary

This is a civilized magnum breakbarrel air rifle. Before this test I thought it was just a gag, but with just what little I’ve done today I see that it’s much more.

My plan is to shoot it for accuracy at 10 meters with open sights next, and then decide which way to go afterward.