by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Why no single-shot tray
- RWS Hobby
- Teaching point
- JSB Exact RS
- RWS Superdome
- H&N Sniper Magnum
- Cocking effort
- Trigger pull
Why no single-shot tray
I am usually sensitive to the questions of my readers, but in Part 1 I missed it completely. Reader HawkEye asked why the Hatsan Proxima doesn’t come with a single shot tray. I ignored his first comment, thinking he was just joking, but he persisted so I finally answered him. I said this.
“This rifle isn’t made to be shot single shot. No tray because it doesn’t work that way. Cocking is too hard and the loading space too confined.”
And I wondered why he would even ask such a question, until it dawned on me that he couldn’t envision the scale. I had shown him an enlarged picture of the feed probe and, looking at that, he could see plenty of room to load a pellet.
Perhaps you had the same question as HawkEye. I hope I have cleared it up for you.
Today we look at the Proxima’s velocity. I’m testing a .22 that Hatsan rates at 720 f.p.s. We don’t know what pellet they tested to get that velocity, but today we will explore that question. Here is what I think, and I’m writing this before conducting the velocity test. I think Hatsan used a reasonable lead pellet for their velocity test, because they have a reputation for being conservative with velocity figures. Let’s say it weighed about 14 grains. The magic number is 671, at which velocity the weight of the pellet in grains is equal to the energy in foot pounds. So I am guessing the Proxima is in the 15 foot-pound range — 15 and change. And Hatsan is conservative, so it might top 16 foot pounds by a little. Let’s see.
I’ll start with the lightest pellet, the RWS Hobby. Hobbys weigh 11.9-grains and until lead-free pellets came along they were some of the lightest pellets you could get.
Okay, this doesn’t always happen but it did with the Proxima, so I’m going to use it. The first string of Hobbys looked bogus to me, and I will tell you why. Let’s take a look.
This is a brand new rifle and you can see what’s happening as I shoot. The velocity keeps dropping. The decline does seem to have slowed down by shot number 6. In an instance like this I wanted to see what a second string might produce. And, by the way, the average for this first string was 803 f.p.s. and the spread was 50 f.p.s.
Let’s look at the second string with the same pellet.
The average for this string was 792 f.p.s. and the spread was 25 f.p.s. You can see that the rifle is quieting down. It’s still a long way from fully broken in, but it’s a lot closer than it was on the first string. At the average velocity on the second string this Proxima is developing 16.58 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. Let’s look at another pellet.
JSB Exact RS
The next pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS. And I learned something with this one, too. The average with the RS pellet was 682 f.p.s. and the spread went from a low of 644 to a high of 694 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 50 f.p.s. At the average velocity the JSB Exact RS produced 13.87 foot pounds of energy. You can see that is way below the first pellet and this pellet is still varying too much in the shot string. I don’t think the RS pellet is suited to the Proxima.
Next to be tested was the RWS Superdome. They averaged 725 f.p.s., despite weighing 14.5 grains and the JSB Exact RS weighing 13.43 grains. The spread for Superdomes went from 701 to 753 f.p.s., so a difference of 52 f.p.s. At the average speed the Superdome developed 16.93 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. So the rifle hasn’t settled down yet, however it does seem to like this pellet. I think it has to do with how well it seals the bore.
H&N Sniper Magnum
The last pellet I tested with the Proxima was the Sniper Magnum from H&N. This is a 17.9-grain domed pellet that I have never tested. It averaged 660 f.p.s. in the Proxima, which is good for 17.32 foot pounds of energy. The spread went from a low of 646 to a high of 665 f.p.s., a difference of 19 f.p.s.
So — what do we have? The Proxima exceeded my estimate — producing energy of over 17 foot-pounds. I told you Hatsan is conservative!
This rifle needs to be broken in before it will perform like it should. And some pellets, like the JSB Exact RS, are not well suited to the Proxima’s powerplant.
The 12-shot rotary magazine functioned flawlessly throughout the test. I just had to remember to depress the cocking lever safety button to return the lever, after cocking the action. When you shoot the last pellet the empty magazine doesn’t permit the cocking to go forward all the way. It goes about halfway and then the probe stops it from going the rest of the way because it stops against the empty magazine.
I measured the cocking effort at 53 lbs. at the start of the test. But as the shooting progressed the rifle seemed to get easier to cock. So I measured it again at the end of the test. And, I was shocked to see it has increased to 57 lbs.! Apparently, I got stronger as the test progressed. “I’m strong to the finishchk ‘cause I eats me spinishchk…”
As the rifle came from the box the two-stage Quattro trigger released at 4 lbs. 4 oz. I was able to adjust it down to 3 lbs. 11 oz., but that was as far as the adjustment screw went.
This Proxima is turning out pretty good! The power is better than I expected and everything seems to work as it should. The cocking effort is on the high side, but I told you that in Part 1. I don’t think it matters that much for hunters, but know that the Proxima is not for casual plinking.
I’m excited to see how accurate it is. It has the same fat red dot bead on front with an open notch in the rear. This time I won’t make the mistake of shooting to the center of the dot, like I did with the Vectis.