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Education / Training Hatsan 135 QE Vortex .30-caliber pellet rifle: Part 4

Hatsan 135 QE Vortex .30-caliber pellet rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 

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

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • JSB Exact 44.75 grain
  • JSB Exact 50.15-grain
  • Predator Polymag
  • Next
  • JSB domes at 25 yards
  • Predator Polymags
  • Polymags with the tips removed
  • Summary

This Hatsan 135 QE Vortex .30-caliber pellet rifle is full of surprises and today is no exception. I scoped it in preparation for a 50-yard test. Today was confirmation at 25 yards.

I installed an obsolete UTG 4-16X56 scope in a pair of BKL 300 High Rings. The 135 has an adjustable comb that I raised about 3/4-inches to align with the eyepiece. It was very comfortable, shooting that way.

This scope had been shimmed for an earlier test, so it was very close to on target when the test began. I only fired one shot at 12 feet and one more at 10 meters to get on target. Then at 25 yards I refined the scope with two more shots.

The test

Today I’m shooting the Hatsan 135 QE Vortex off a sandbag rest at 25 yards. I’m using the artillery hold with my off hand back by the triggerguard. The rifle is still hard to cock, though I can now do it with one arm, so I’m still shooting 5-shot groups.

Feel of the rifle

I am continually surprised by how calm and normal this monster feels. The recoil is there but it’s not severe. And the vibration is virtually nonexistent. The trigger is a little heavy, but its clean and I can control it. All in all this 135 is pleasant to shoot — much more than I would have thought.

JSB Exact 44.75-grains

These are the lighter JSB domes. During sight-in I was shooting cloverleafs, but on the record target 5 JSB 44.75-grain domes gave me a horizontal group that measures 0.808-inches between centers. It looks larger than that but remember, these are 0.308-inch pellets.

Hatsan 135 JSB 44 grain
Five JSB 44.75-grains domes went into 0.808-inches at 25 yards.

JSB Exact 50.15-grain domes

Now it was time to try the heavier JSB Exact 50.15-grain domes. I didn’t know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised when 5 pellets went into a nice round 0.533-inch group. I did not change the sights from the first group, so this heavier pellet hits lower at 25 yards.

Hatsan 135 JSB 50 grain
How’s that for a group? One-half inch (0.533) for 5 shots with the 50.115-grain JSB dome.

Predator Polymag

The last pellet I tested was the Predator Polymag that also weighs 44.75-grains. They hit the target a little higher than the 50-grain domes, but lower than the 44-grain domes. They also landed to the right, just a little. Five went into a round group that measured 0.631-inches between centers.

Hatsan 135 Polymag
Five Predator Polymag pellets went into 0.631-inches at 25 yards.

One more test

Reader Kevin asked me to test the Polymags without their red plastic tips. He told me how to remove them with diagonal cutters (dykes). He feels the tips sometimes cause pellets to fly erratically, and by removing them he gets more stability. So I did what he asked.

Hatsan 135 Polymag tips off
I removed the tips from 5 Predator Polymags to shoot a group without them.

Unfortunately the Polymags with the tip removed were the worst pellets of the test by far. They didn’t even stay all on the target paper, so I had to photograph them still taped to the backer board. This group measures 1.651-inches between centers. Maybe I did it wrong, Kevin, but this isn’t the way for this rifle.

Hatsan 135 Polymags tips off hroup
When the tips were removed the Polymags flew erratically. This group measures 1.651-inches between centers.


I’m ready to move out to 50 yards with the 135. This is such a tractable air rifle that I really wish it was easier to cock. It was a breeze getting it this far.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

83 thoughts on “Hatsan 135 QE Vortex .30-caliber pellet rifle: Part 4”

  1. BB,

    This has turned out to be quite an air rifle. There are many sproingers out there that cannot shoot this well. It would indeed be a good hunter for a young, strong buck. I am afraid this old, fat, bald geezer would not last long with this one though.

  2. B.B.,

    Someone in need of an airgun to dispense large vermin and smaller pests on occasion (heavy cocking, after all) might consider this over a PCP plus hand pump.

    I also should add that I find the 135 QE Vortex to be attractive as well.


  3. BB,

    Once more Hatsan has shown themselves to be an innovative company. Though not the best, the Quatro trigger is well beyond anything in its price range. They do not seem to fear to try something new. They seem to research and listen to what customers are saying and try to deliver what they want. Hatsan has certainly come a long way over the years.

  4. BB,

    Is there any chance that you could shoot a string at 50 yards with the gun directly on the bag. I find that resting a gun on my palm makes the arthritis in my wrist flair up and that leaves me uninterested in springers that require that hold.


        • After trigger work and proper breech seal and tons of practice as it shooting characteristics are different than any of my other guns it was a pain finding what did work for my benchmark zero in. So in actual use the artillery hold is an absolute necessity and my best max range one inch grouping at 35yds so its a hammer & takes getting used to, but worth it.

          Now i am seeing this .30 and i just don’t see any advantage over my .25 besides the wow factor, but my situation not the same as ones i can imagine that might make this a good choice. My recent choices all .22 but i do wish i could get my hands on a 135 or a 130 QE just to give it a try, but that simply is not going to happen.

    • Halfstep
      I’m thinking it won’t do good directly on a bag. And I have the same issue as you if I try to rest my hand on a bag then the gun.

      And come to think about it. This gun must have more than a little bump when it fires if it needs the artillery hold.

      • GF1,

        I don’t see how it COULD have just a little bump with that cocking effort. I does sound like it may have less recoil than it did when BB saw the prototype that he spoke of in the first part of this report.


        • Halfstep
          I been reading BB’s blog for a good many years now. From what I have seen is if BB keeps the gun it’s for sure a winner.

          Then again he’s probably got so many guns that there is multiple reasons why he don’t keep one.

          Guess he’s not a switch hitter. In the case of this gun. Not a switch pumper. Meaning Pop Eye arms.

          I’m sure his work out with the gun over rode the accuracy this time.

          Sometimes you just don’t want to work that hard to shoot if ya know what I mean.

          The reason I would like to try one is because it’s different and so far it’s shooting good for the category it falls in.

          I really do think it’s the best shooting Magnum break barrel I have seen in some time. And yes I have owned some other Magnum break barrels and under levers throughout time.

          Oh and it’s a big bore at that. Noth’n like a big mass of led wiping out a target. That’s what I’m talking about. 🙂

    • Halfstep

      I too have arthritis and hand tremor but usually find ways to negate them. I have some springer rifles that perform very well balanced directly on one bag (not two). These tend to be either heavy rifles and or have smooth shot cycles. For example my Hatsun 95 gas springer and Diana 34 score best groups mounted this way. I have very little contact with the stock except the trigger hand.

      I should say I have other springers that refuse to be accurate except with some type of artillery hold.


      • Decksniper,

        Before the cocking lever broke on it, I was trying to get better accuracy from my RWS 52 by resting it on a bag of my own design.

        I made the bag by removing the gel beads from a hot/cold compress that I used for sprains and such and put them into a foodsaver bag and vacuum sealed them. The bag material is textured on one side and I thought that the texturing combined with the pebbly nature of the beads along with the jelly consistency would let a springer jiggle and slide and otherwise move as much as it wants. The bag is small enough to carry while hunting, if one wanted to, and is only about 3/4 of an inch thick. I was testing it just placed on a surface much like a fence post would provide. Now that I have repaired that gun I need to get back to my tests, I guess, since I was getting some good results,as I recall.


        • Halfstep

          This reply may show up twice.

          Your creation may be as good or even better than a flat palm, fingers or even the back of fingers providing the reticle or front sight does not jiggle. Let us know how this performs and if it will confirm.


        • Half,

          Check the computer related wrist gel pads and also the cooking accessory section at the local Wally World. Some shoe insert gel pads are another option for squishy, movable (palm like) resting bases.

          Let’s face it,…. a rest is much easier to use without having to contort the wrist and hand. Mimic the palm and job done with more comfort. I have no more springers other than the 499 and the 75th Red Ryder.

          Just something to ponder,…… Chris


          • Chris USA,

            I actually made these rests originally to salvage the gel beads from a heat pack that I melted. After I saw the texture and firmness of the result is when I had the idea of using it for a rest.


          • Chris

            I know you have been around the block a bunch of times in the air gun world. But why would you not want to keep your FWB 300S, Walther LGV Olympia, Walther LG 55 and several similar goodies of that era? Those triggers are fabulous!


              • Chris

                Maybe Gunfun1 will chime in. I think you deserve at least one of those in your inventory. Oh, and a 10 year old could cock two of those I mentioned with two fingers.

                Have a good day.


                • Decksniper,

                  That may be, but I am not a collector. Nor,… do I want a bunch of air guns around that I will not shoot. With just the TX200, LGU, M-rod and the Maximus,…. the TX and LGU were not getting shot and I decided to pass them along. Now,.. with the Red Wolf,… the M-rod and Maximus are not getting shot. The TX and LGU were both very fine guns and I had zero complaints with either.

                  If I was to get rid of another one,.. the M-rod would be it. You may recall it has the RAI stock and 6 position butt and more.

                  The Red Wolf and M-rod are both .25 and similar in power, so there is a bit of duplicity there already. The Maximus is just a really nice, pick up and go, light weight, accurate gun. Plus, I am more of the type of person that would rather shoot just 1 gun very well, as opposed to shooting many guns mediocre.

                  If I had a permanent set up like GF1 has, then I might consider a bigger collection.


    • Mine shoots terrible on a bag. It looks like the group bb made with poly pellets with the tips off, but at 10 yards.

      A neat trick I use is putting a silicone cutlet on the bag and rest the rifle on that. It works almost as good as a hand.

              • Edw,

                🙂 Whatever works. There is some shoe inserts, computer keyboard wrist supports and cooking hot mats (trivets),… all silicone based and ALL less likely to raise eyebrows at checkout! 😉 LOL! Hats off to you my friend. Believe me,… I have NO limits on what I will try when it comes to shooting my airguns.


                • I’ve tried them all! But the problem I had with them is that those are generally wrapped with neoprene, or very firm. I found the cutlet thing as I do the laundry, one accidentally made it into the dryer. Right next to my shooting bench. The rest is history!

              • Edw,

                Do you think that we all could B.B. to do a full report on these inserts that you mention? Or,…. do you think that would be asking a bit much? 😉

                Actually,… since springers are known to prefer an artillery “type” hold,…. it would make sense for someone to manufacture a “Jell-O” block/pad that would mimic an open palm. Yes?


                • I’d love to see BB review one!

                  I’m sure we could have them made for 1$/per on Alibaba, but we would need to order 5000.

                  Really though…if you feel your palm while it is on a bag it’s pretty jiggily, but that jiggle is limited to a few mm, and it’s not slippery.

                  I’m guessing there are some non-newton fluids that would act similarly.

  5. B. B.,

    Thanks for the extra effort with the Predator Polymags. Surprised at the 1.651 inch group. Maybe the FX Boss shoots better groups with these pellets because of the increased velocity? Don’t know but it’s interesting. Safe travels my friend.

  6. This sounds like a niche gun to me. I saw an Airgun Hunter episode where Jim Chapman was taking out pigeons underneath an overpass with open sights. If someone were to give me one lol I would put a red dot sight on it because it’s just going to be too heavy with a scope. Since I have an air tank now, if I needed a gun for pesting, I would probably get a Benjamin Maximus or QB Chief in .22. Actually, I have a Crosman 2200 and a Crosman 1400 So I would probably just pump them up. Good exercise if you don’t have to do it too often 🙂


    • Brent
      I’m with you. A red dot on this gun would be a excellent pesting gun.

      At 25 yards and in. Even standing and supporting the gun against a beem in a pole barn or such should do number on rats.

      To me I like what I see from this gun. What I would like to see is how hard it can thump a tin soup can.

    • Brent
      Forgot to add the magic words.

      That’s if it’s not rested and not using the artillery hold.

      That’s kind of hard to use that hold if your supporting the guns in certain circumstances out in the feild or around structures.

      Standing free hand using the artillery hold you need to be a pretty good holder of the gun to make those shots count on a rat.

  7. B.B.,

    When you get a chance:
    #1 Top Part 2 is repeated. Though the links are correct.
    #2 The “Popeye?” paragraph is missing?
    #3 The “What’s next?” paragraph is missing.

    Looking forward to seeing this at longer ranges. Though I would look at this one in a max of .25 caliber.

    Silver Eagle

  8. This thing continues to surprise. Hopefully it can hold 1″ at 50, but I am thinking more like 1.5″. For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on,…. I find this gun to be a bit rustic looking, in a good way.

    In place of my usual morning sign off,…

    Good Evening to one and all,……. Chris 🙂

  9. I would like to see this gun with a beech wood stock.

    I don’t like trees that are good for food (walnut, for example) being cut down for religious reasons (Torah).

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