Hatsan Proxima underlever repeater: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Proxima
Hastsan Proxima underlever repeater.

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Firing behavior
  • Feel of the rifle
  • Sights
  • Scope rail
  • Made for hunting
  • Safety features
  • Trigger
  • Power
  • Summary

Today we begin our look at the Hatsan Proxima undelever repeater. As you may recall, I was testing the Hatsan Speedfire breakbarrel repeater, and it had a problem in the velocity test. That rifle is now back at Hatsan for repairs, so I thought why not look at the other Hatsan springer that’s a repeater — the Proxima, which came out in early 2018 and was a contemporary of the Gamo Swarm Maxxim?

Description

The Proxima is an underlever spring-piston repeater that uses a gas piston for power. It’s available in .177, .22 and .25 calibers and I am testing a .22. The circular magazine holds 14, 12 or 10 pellets, depending on the caliber. The cocking effort is listed as 45 lbs. for all three calibers, so this is a big boy air rifle.

Firing behavior

I tried cocking the test rifle and had to use 2 hands. I will measure the cocking effort in Part 2, but right now it feels like more than 50 lbs.

The gun fires with quite a lot of noise. It’s a very high 3 on the 5-point scale — maybe a 3.8.

The recoil is significant, but the vibration is under control. That’s the Hatsan Shock Absorption System (SAS) in action.

Feel of the rifle

The rifle’s dimensions are also big — 45.4 inches overall with a weight of 9.3 lbs. That’s about a pound less than an M1 Garand, but several pounds heavier than an AR-15. The pull is 14.5-inches, but if you need more they also pack a 10mm extension plate with the rifle to fit between the rubber buttplate and stock. The stock is Turkish walnut, which has a nice figure. The figure on the test rifle stock isn’t as vivid as the one shown above, but it does have some figure.

The stock is not checkered but it doesn’t need to be. The thumbhole pistol grip is straight and has finger grooves to lock your shooting hand in position. The forearm is sculpted with grooves on either side for a conventional offhand hold — holding the off hand close to the triggerguard. The rifle balances well when held that way, with some muzzle-heaviness for stability.

The cheekpiece adjusts up and down to position your eye for the scope that most shooters will choose. Hatsan includes a tool for loosening and tightening the two screws that control this. Coins don’t work because the screws are too deep in their holes.

Sights

The rifle does come with fully adjustable open sights, and yes, they are fiberoptic. The rear sight can be removed but the front sight is integral with the muzzle cap that also houses the cocking lever. It’s not coming off.

Proxima cheekpiece
The cheekpiece adjusts up and down to center your eye on the eyepiece of a scope. A second magazine fits in the bottom of the butt (arrow).

The front sight is a post and bead with a rather large bead on top. I will shoot the rifle with open sights and this time I will sight with a snowman stack (bull resting on top of the front bead).

Scope rail

The scope rail is Hatsan’s typical two-level rail that accepts either 11mm scope mounts or Weaver mounts. It has what Hatsan calls a shock-absorber scope stop that I think refers to rubber in the scope rail. There are four threaded holes for 11mm scope stop pins on the top of the rail, but nothing to screw into them. If you use Weaver scope rings, their cross-blocks will serve as the scope stops.

The rotary magazine stands proud of the spring tube. It’s out in the open, unlike the Speedfire, whose mag is contained inside a mechanism. However, the designers get away with a lot less complexity because the Proxima is an underlever with a fixed barrel. There is a rod that seats the pellet from the magazine into the barrel breech, and that rod is hollow to pass the air that comes from the compression chamber.

Proxima action
The Proxima magazine sits out in the open, above the spring tube.

Proxima probe
This probe passes through the magazine, pushing each new pellet into the breech. It’s hollow, for the air to pass through.

Although the rotary mag does stand proud of the spring tube, the rear sight is not exceptionally high. I think this means the scope can be mounted lower as well. We shall see.

Made for hunting

I don’t think Hatsan left any doubt that the Proxima was made for hunting. The overall size, cocking effort and onboard magazine storage all point to spending time in the field. rather than plinking. Two sling swivels come mounted and there is a fabric sling inside the box. The rear swivel is on the bottom of the butt and the front one comes mounted as the left forearm screw. It looks like it’s a easy switch to the right side if you prefer.

Safety features

The Proxima comes with three safety features. An automatic safety comes on when the rifle is cocked. It can also be set and taken off manually at any time, except when the cocking lever is open. Then it’s always on. The anti-beartrap mechanism prevents releasing the safety at that time. The safety blocks the trigger.

The Proxima also has an anti-beartrap mechanism. You might wonder why it needs one, since the underlever prevents you from endangering your fingers during loading, but that same underlever is the reason for the beartrap. If the gun were to fire with your hands in the way and if the cocking arm safety were to fail, I hate to think of what might happen!

Yes, there is a safety on the cocking arm, as well. It’s a lever on the right side of the receiver (look at the left side of the photo above) that must be pressed in for the underlever to return to the stored position. Other underlevers have similar safeties, so this is nothing unusual.

Trigger

The Proxima trigger is a Quattro adjustable trigger that I will test for you. It adjusts for the first stage weight, the length of the first stage travel and the let off weight where the gun fires.

The way the trigger came from the box, stage two has a lot of travel. It’s not crisp, like I want it to be. So the adjustments are necessary.

Power

Despite the large size of the Proxima, the power is in the midrange. In .177 Hatsan advertises 820 f.p.s.; in .22 caliber they tout 720 f.p.s. and in .25 it’s 620 f.p.s. Hatsan has always tested their guns with real-world pellets, so these numbers are probably what we will see in the test. As for why a rifle that’s so mild cocks so hard, I think it has to do with the repeating mechanism. The piston stroke has to be shorter, despite the rifle’s length, because there is a pellet probe between the compression chamber and breech. The piston doesn’t have as far to move as a result.

Summary

Hatsan’s Proxima is a different gun from their SpeedFire that we recently looked at. This should be an interesting test for all of us.

45 thoughts on “Hatsan Proxima underlever repeater: Part 1

  1. I keep wondering if we’ve reached peak Springer? I have a couple hatsan gas Rams and they are good. A supercharger pistol and a .30 Springer. But they aren’t great. I would I think like both better powered by a real spring. That I can work with. A gas ram as we all know from the places we’ve used them for the last 40 years will start sagging. Then what? Its harder to find a replacement ram than a spring.


    • Edw
      I feel that way too. A spring gun to me is much more tunable.

      If the gun uses the air ram that I have seen in the past from Hatsan it would be good if we could change air pressure in the ram at will.

      I have one of these on the way. Suppose to be here tomorrow. Almost went with a .30 caliber version like you have. But not ready to have to supply another caliber. Although I want to eventually go .30 caliber. Just not yet.
      https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Hatsan_Edge_Air_Rifle_Vortex_Piston_Black/3724

      But I’m willing to bet I’ll open it up and see if they are still using the same air ram that I seen in the past. And it just might get a spring conversion if it don’t do what I want.


      • Gunfun 1
        Hatsan used to offer the choice of the gas ram, or a spring on some of their models. I don’t know if this is an option with this air rifle though. The Proxima is a good looking rifle that isn’t any heavier than the Air Arms TX200, Walther LGU, or Weihrauch HW97-77. With the walnut stock, it is quite a pretty air rifle that’s either an option, or isn’t available on these more expensive airguns.
        I feel the same as you about most gas ram air rifles, and pistols concerning tun-ability. The one exception is one of the original gas rams, the Weihrauch HW90. The unit used is a Theoben which is etched on the right side of the breach. At first I was struggling to cock the 50lb plus stock break barrel, but I was able to easily lower the air pressure to anything I want using the optional gauge in BARs. It now shoots it’s favourite food, 21.14gr barracuda match pellets at 610fps. It is now a joy to shoot for as long as I want with no decline in accuracy. Weihrauch cautions you not to over charge the unit past 26 bar. According to the optional, but necessary gauge, mine is currently set at 16 bar. You can also purchase a proprietary air pump, but I have found most airgun pumps will do the job. Just be aware the little piston fills quite fast, so be very careful if you use a compressor. I would think you have much greater control of the pressure by using a hand pump anyway. By the way, BB tested the equivalent Beeman RX-2 in .25cal a half dozen or so years ago.
        Ciao
        Titus


        • Titus
          Yep I had a couple Hatsan’s in the past with the air ram. They were not bad. At least you don’t get that spring vibration like springers have if they ain’t tuned right.

          And yep know about the Theoben. I do like that adjustable system. I wish that would happen more now days from the manufacturers.


      • GF1,

        What???? is the reason for you getting this? Some new experiment. Would not the piston end and the stationary end (also) be able to accept a spring, if you wanted to convert it to a springer?

        Chris


        • Chris
          Well it’s kind of like this. Years and years ago I had a Benjamin Trail XL Nitro piston in .25 caliber. It was actually a pretty good shooting gun out to around 35 yatds. Worked real nice for popping starlings.

          So the reason behind this Hatsan Edge is for what I mentioned with the starling’s and some feral can pesting too.

          I had the Hatsan air rams in the past and they were not bad shooting guns. And also AGD just had a sell for 11% off. The price of the gun is only $99.00 plus the 11% off. And the gun even comes with a Optima I believe it is 3-9 power scope. Which I have had in the past and aren’t bad little scopes.

          So that’s pretty much why.



            • Chris
              If anything it will be a good can thumper in at closer distances if it’s not accurate out at 35 yards. That big pellet moving slow should knock them cans pretty good.

              I think I’ll at least have some fun with it.




      • BB,

        Thumbhole stocks are not my thing either, but the front part of that stock is sweet! I cannot speak for all of their stocks, but the Hatsan walnut stocks I have had the opportunity to look at up close and personal have been very nice in quality and fit.


        • Sorry, I guess I should have asked, does it fit you properly? I believe that most stocks are to “one size fits all” and end up not fitting anyone right.
          Do you dislike thumbhole stocks because they mess up the artillery hold, where you want to hold the stock lightly?

          -Y


          • Yogi,

            I do not know about BB, but I have never liked them on any rifles, air or powder burners. Part of the issue is aesthetics and the other is many do not seem to “fit” right to me. I myself prefer more of an angled grip seen on “sporter” style stocks than the more pistol grip angle of most thumbhole stocks. The rifle “lays” in the hands better.

            The pistol grip style is better for “pulling” the rifle back into your shoulder. In a combat situation this may help to maneuver a light weapon better, but is not conducive to accuracy at long ranges.

            Of course, this is my most humble opinion. I am sure others may differ.


          • Yogi
            I love thumbhole stocks. You did see the wood thumbhole stock I recently put on my Gauntlet.

            It is now even more so comfortable to shoot with the wood thumbhole stock.

            Reason being is I broke my trigger hand wrist when I was a kid motorcross racing. It’s hard for me to bend my wrist to shoot conventional stocks without hurting. So that’s why I like the pistol grip or thumbhole stocks.


            • GF1,

              I have never had or shot a thumbhole, but I do like a fatter, more vertical grip with finger grooves. Ambi.. The RW is a good example and so is the M-rod with RAI stock that accepts AR parts. The fatter UTG grip is perfect on that one and has a matching one up front.

              Chris


              • Chris
                Yep and just to mention the factory synthetic stock that comes on the Gauntlet does have the vertical trigger hand grip. I do like the Gauntlet factory stock. It is ergonomic.

                I just basically wanted a wood stock on the Gauntlet. And I guess also to let people know that the QB series guns for the most part will interchange with the Gauntlet.



  2. B.B.,

    This looks to be an interesting one. Lot’s of features,… butt spacer, adj. comb, repeater, adj. trigger, fixed barrel, dual rail, stop holes, thumb/hand hole stock, finger grooves at grip. The hollow probe is interesting. Have we seen that before in anything modern?

    If new, I might go for it. But not new, the weight and cocking effort would be a deterrent. I do like the overall looks.

    Looking forwards to more.

    Good Day to you and to all,……. Chris



      • GF1,

        Well,… if not,…. Hatsan innovation once again. I do think that the air passage through the bolt would need to be bigger as caliber increases,… even if the bolt OD stays the same. I would assume that the piston stroke and diameter is the same among calibers.

        Probably, we will never know. Unless of course,.. Mr. B.B. ask the question directly to Hatsan.

        Chris



  3. B.B.,

    That long transfer port that is there by necessity from the magazine, is also another source of power loss. Maybe you will have to search out for the pellet that will give the best performance for this rifle. Nice design though.

    Siraniko



  4. BB,
    I find it interesting that the probe is hollow. I wonder if that is the reason it is a mild shooter. The outside diameter of the probe can only be as big as the pellet size. I would like to know if the wall thickness of each caliber on the probe remains the same or if they use a thinner wall, for a larger inside diameter, to get more air to pass with the larger calibers.

    I also wanted to thank you for the report on the 300S, I just got one at a local gun show for under $300 and it works perfectly. It was on my bucket list of airguns to acquire and I finally got lucky!


    • Slider,

      Nice pick up on the FWB. They are such nice shooters.

      On the probe size I would think that if they kept the wall thickness the same in all of the calibers, the hole through the middle would be larger in diameter as the outside diameter increases.

      As you suppose, the probe which in effect is the transfer port does end up robbing valuable power from a sproinger by providing volume for the very limited amount of compressed air to expand in before it even reaches the pellet. Reducing the diameter will help, but only to a point. Then you have the issue of restricting the air flow too much.


    • Slider
      FWB 300’s are very nice shooters. Had one factory tuned. And one modified. The modified one shot 50 yards very well. Better than some of the pcp guns I have.


  5. BB,
    There’s no mention of a Single Shot Tray ? Seems to me that considering your assumption that this Big Boy airgun rifle was meant for hunting and not necessarily for Plinking…well, when hunting one rarely gets to do some ‘follow-up’ shots on the quarry..’cause if you miss…it’s gone already: thinking of rabbit or squirrel for example. So having a mag is not a bonus feature here.
    Anyway, not sure about that hooded Front Sight standing really high would interfere with a low mounted scope. But I like the underlevers. I have a spanish made Norica Quick .177cal. Very accurate. It also is a long gun, but not as heavy as this Hatsan.

    HawkEye


    • HawkEye
      You got it with the follow up shot when hunting.

      It better be a very silenced shrouded air gun to have a follow up shot.

      Then a repeater is nice. And just for the record. I like a single shot air gun too. Well unless it’s a semi-auto. A nice shooting semi-auto airgun is hard to beat.


    • HawkEye,

      “…when hunting one rarely gets to do some ‘follow-up’ shots on the quarry..’cause if you miss…it’s gone already: thinking of rabbit or squirrel for example.”
      I’m glad you identified the quarry in your post. If the quarry spooks it usually means the sound is recognized as a threat. In areas not hunted often I have found that the report of an Airgun (as well as subsonic PB rounds) often doesn’t spooks game. With larger game, that is not in an overhunted area, I find that even BIG BORE PCP report (subsonic) is not recognized by most Prey, at a minimum you get a hesitation before they bolt! With multiple quarry standing in close proximity the non targeted Prey often just stand there looking at the shot animal for some period of time.

      Of course if you don’t miss a vital the Prey doesn’t remember hearing anything! Hopefully it is immediate lights out on every shot. But if NOT, a quick as possible follow-up of some sort is called for.

      I’m certain you know most all of what I have posted but some of our fellow readers don’t hunt or have little hunting experience.

      Wishing you good clean HARVESTS,

      shootski


  6. B.B., this rifle stock on the .25 Air Venturi, or similar. The stock on the Seneca leaves me cold. Plus, there is a quicker follow up, if needed;) Is weight the main way a big springer balances the hammer blow of the piston stop?
    All the carbon, titanium, magnesium and aluminum can’t help with that, then. Thanks to Vana2, and his nicely patterned stippling punch, the Bandit grip will get some texture. Wood and metal is like PB. and J.!
    Thankyou, Rob


    • Rob,

      I’m not sure I’m following you. Is weight the main way a big springer stops the hammer blow of the piston stop? Do you mean the weight of the gun? No. That has nothing to do with cancelling the piston stop. The weight and fit of the pellet is what stops it.

      B.B.


      • BB
        Your are sort of right.

        The pellet fit and weight does matter. And weight of the gun matters too.

        You know this. If it’s a heavy gun it will help dampen the guns recoil. Right?

        And a different weight piston will also change the firing cycle just like a heavier or lighter piston or a tighter or looser fit pellet.

        It all makes a difference.


      • B.B.,

        My understanding (maybe mistaken) from being on this blog for around 4 years is,.. that weight does matter.

        If I hit a 100# steel block with a hammer, nothing will happen. If I hit a 1 oz. steel block with a hammer,… I will send it flying. (blow from the side)

        Weight may do nothing to what is (actually) happening inside,… but the felt recoil will be less and if the actual recoil (movement) is less,…. then that keeps the rifle more stable/steady until which time,.. the pellet leaves the barrel.

        That at least (was?) my understanding of a heavier weight springer.

        Chris


  7. Gunfun1,

    I concur with you on recoil being based on pellet energy mitigated by total rifle weight. And logic says the piston movement is what makes a Springer RECOIL both ways…should we call that first part PRECOIL? But the pellet fit theory goes out the window (at least partially) with the hollow probe on this transfer system! It will be interesting how B.B. finds it effects accuracy since it will probably delay the pellet starting down the barrel by some small amount of time. Could make this rifle more accurate or a real can-of-worms.
    My bet is that it improves accuracy if the shooter let’s it!

    Thoughts?

    shootski


    • Shootski
      Disagree with you about the fit of the pellet. If it fits tighter it will change the way the pellet moves in the gun. Or if it’s looser.

      Try it and see. Let me know how it goes.


      • Gunfun1,

        In wild agreement actually.

        Notice, I said with the hollow probe and added only partially. So I totally get your take on pellet fit.
        My point is that the hollow probe pushes the pellet into the rifling engraving the lands and grooves into the pellet bearing surface (head and skirt) prior to the air impulse. But both the airblast delay (compared to a typical breakbarrel’s loading port configuration) hitting the pellet, tube restriction and extra volume was most all that I was trying to point out. Pellet/slug barrel fit, as we both know, obviously have big impact on performance.

        Most of my experience comes from the hollow bolts on most DAQs compared to DAQs with bolt probes and regular transfer ports. I do have some experience with 10M using both approaches. Interestingly Dennis mostly abandoned the hollow bolt approach on the largest caliber Airguns he makes.

        shootski


        • Shootski
          We are going into different subjects here.

          We was talking about fit of the pellet and recoil.

          And even if the probe pushes the pellet into the rifling you still have the blast of air that seals the skirt. So that’s another variable of how and when the pellet moves.

          And originally the conversation started about the hollow probe and that this is possibly the first spring gun with a hollow probe.


  8. I feel that these magazine fed springers are coming out 20 years too late. What would have been a “wow” 20 years ago is now a yawn. If I wanted to sell a springer these days, I would try to make a better R7, or a better Slavia 634.

    But, this is coming from an airgunner. The general buying public may still be wowed by these mid quality springers with new doodads added.

    Mr. Law and Mr. Beeman used their advertising to not only promote their guns but to educate buyers about airguns in general and their products. That advertising worked on many of us. I wonder if well written educational advertisements would still create demand for better springers instead of just faster ones with more and more doodads.

    David Enoch


  9. shootski,
    Yep…got all that in my ‘hunting skills’. And again, it would be obvious that the POI on a ‘prey’ has to be in the ‘kill zone’ for humane dispatching. Thanks for the added commentary.
    Still would have appreciated hearing from B.B. with a comment about ‘no sign of a single shot tray’ with this Hatsan.
    Seems to me most ‘mag’ rifles are supplying such. Heck, I have Daystate Huntsman Regal xl .25 cal that comes with one; a Kral Puncher Mega Marine..comes standard. I’m going to be acquiring a DIANA Gen 2 Stormrider in .22cal that will be coming with that ‘single shot tray’ feature + the magazine. And yes…most of my airgun time is out hunting or dispatching ‘pests’ aka: ‘tree rats’.
    I’m not here often, but do read and follow the reviews that interest me and appreciate your inclusion today.
    Cheers!
    HawkEye


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