Hatsan Vectis .25-caliber lever action PCP repeater: Part 1
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- No historical report?
- Hatsan Vectis
- The rifle
- Open sights!
- Operating pressure
- Short throw lever
- Manually uncocked
- Manual safety
- Silencer and barrel
No historical report?
You may be surprised that this is Friday and there is no historical report, but there is a good reason. I am so backed up with new products to report that I’ve decided to suspend the historical reports for a little while so I can get caught up. Don’t worry, they aren’t going away and I will get back to them as soon as I can.
Today I’m starting the report on the Hatsan Vectis lever action repeating PCP. Hatsan sent this rifle to me immediately after the SHOT Show, because I thought it is different enough that you need to know about it right away. The rifle I am testing is a .25 caliber and it’s a 10-shot repeater.
Lever action precharged airguns are not new. They have existed for many decades, starting with the Korean-made Career 707 that first entered the U.S. in 1995. The Seneca Sumatra 2500 rifle and Seneca Sumatra 2500 carbine that have some ties to the 707 are still being sold. But the Vectis is a different air rifle altogether and this report will highlight those differences.
The Vectis comes in three calibers — .177, .22 and .25. I specifically asked to test a .25 because of the rapidly growing interest in that caliber. Though it has been around since 1905, the .25 or 6.35mm as it is known around the world didn’t really take off until modern and efficient precharged pneumatics were chambered for it, less than two decades ago. Now it is widely embraced by hunters and by those who are just getting into precharged airguns because, dare I say — bigger is better.
The Vectis is a bargain PCP. At $360 it’s not quite in the price-point category, but it’s not that far from it. And it represents a different approach to precharged repeaters. For starters, it’s light — very light for a repeating PCP. Weighing just over 7 lbs., it is also slim and even short, at 41.3 inches overall. However, its 17.7-inch barrel delivers up to 40 foot-pounds in the .25 caliber I am testing.
To be so light requires shedding weight at every turn, and the outside of this airgun is entirely synthetic. Don’t think that you will wait for the same model to come out in wood, because it probably won’t happen. That would be like asking for a Corvette with a steel body — it kinda defeats the purpose!
The Vectis is also slim through the action and forearm. That, coupled with the light weight and short length, make it a very handy air rifle.
Yes, indeed! The Vectis comes with open sights! It’s almost as if someone is listening to what airgunners are saying! Up front is a post and bead with a large aperture in the rear. The rear sight adjusts in both directions with click detents that are both audible as well as tactile. Both sights fold down flat against the top of the rifle and both can be removed via a single thumbscrew.
Oddly — and I am serious — both front and rear sights have fiberoptics built in! This is the first aperture sight I have seen with a green dot on either side of the peep hole! Holding the rear sight up to the eye, it seems like the dots can’t work, but when the sight is mounted on the rifle (look at the picture above), the rear peep is far enough from your eye that you can see the dots. I think any aiming precision is out the window with these sights, though. I may try them at close range, but I am skeptical.
The top of the rifle has a long scope rail that’s both 11mm and Picatinny, combined. That has become a sort of trademark on Hatsan rifles. Naturally I will mount a scope because the rifle seems ideally suited for one. I think, given the light weight and small size of the rifle, the scope has to compliment that. We’ll see.
The non-removable 165cc air reservoir fills to 200 bar (2900 psi). That’s good enough for up to 35 shots in .177, 30 in .22 and 25 in .25 caliber. I will test that when I look at velocity. An on-board gauge tells you the status of the fill at all times.
Short throw lever
The Vectis lever has a very short throw. That means it’s quick between shots. If you have ever worked a lever action firearm you may understand that. If not it won’t mean much until you experience it. The thing about a precharged rifle, when compared to a lever action firearm, is the PCP lever has to cock the striker spring. In a powerful PCP that spring can be very stiff, which makes the lever hard to work. Think about cocking a Daisy Red Ryder for a moment. Most people know that cocking a Red Ryder while it is held to their shoulder is a difficult to nearly impossible task. The Vectis lever can be worked with the rifle on the shoulder. This will be a boon to hunters, no doubt.
The Vectis can be manually uncocked. A lever in the trigger mechanism can be pushed in while pulling the trigger when the lever is down and it will override the sear so the striker is no longer caught. Then you just raise the lever and the gun returns to being uncocked. This can be done quietly, to avoid spooking game.
One thing to remember about uncocking the rifle is that when the lever is returned to the locked position, the bolt goes forward and pushes a pellet from the magazine into the breech. You can uncock the action, but if you leave a pellet in the bore the rifle is still loaded. In fact it is more dangerous because there is no easy way to see that it is loaded. If you were to cock the lever again and pull the trigger, a pellet would shoot out!
There is no sense having a rapid lever if the safety comes on every time the rifle is cocked. The Vectis safety is manual, allowing the shooter to determine when it should be applied.
The Vectis comes with two circular magazines. In .177 the mag holds 14 pellets, 12 in .22 and 10 in .25. There is also a single-shot tray that comes with the rifle. The magazines sit above the top of the receiver when installed, so two-piece rings are required, unless you use a scout scope.
Silencer and barrel
The barrel sits inside a baffled shroud that swells at the muzzle. So it should be quiet. I’ll comment on that when I do the velocity test.
The barrel is choked for greater accuracy. A choke squeezes all pellets to the same uniform size before they exit the muzzle, and that aids their consistency.
The Vectis has the Quattro adjustable trigger. It’s two-stage and I will be adjusting it for my report.
The Vectis is a precharged repeater with a silencer, choked barrel, two magazines and a single shot tray. It promises a lot for a very nice price. We already know that Hatsan can make an accurate barrel; have they made your next PCP? I guess we shall all see very soon.