by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Single shot?
- The test
- Remember the sights!
- JSB Exact Heavy
- Firing cycle
- RWS Superdome
- Baracuda Match
Today we start looking at the accuracy of the .22-caliber Hatsan Proxima. Since it has open sights, I started with them.
You guys dumped on me last time about the single-shot feature. Okay, I admit there are some aftermarket single-shot adaptors for the Proxima, but I doubt anyone will ever use them. You see, cocking this rifle and closing the cocking lever is a two-handed proposition. Don’t forget the cocking lever release has to be pressed to close the lever. Unless you have a third hand to load a pellet with one of those adaptors while all that is going on, I don’t think it will happen. Is it possible? Sure. But it’s a bar bet — not a way to shoot.
I shot the rifle off a rest today, using the artillery hold with my off hand at the rear of the cocking slot. I shot that way because the Proxima recoils significantly. I shot from 10 meters. All groups were 5-shot groups because the Proxima is too hard to cock to shoot more. Even 5 shots was tiring. Once the rifle was sighted for the first pellet I didn’t adjust the sights. I’m looking for possible accurate pellets that will be represented by their small group size — not for where they hit.
I sighted in with the first pellet I planned to shoot for a group — the Sniper Magnum from H&N. The sights were on for elevation but too far to the right. Four shots got them close to the center of the black, which was all I wanted for today’s test. The real accuracy test will come later.
Five Sniper Magnums went into 0.792-inches at 10 meters when using the open sights. The group is horizontal, with three pellets sticking close to each other in the center. It’s difficult to tell whether or not this pellet will work in this rifle. I think that will become clear as we progress.
Remember the sights!
Before we continue I want to remind you that I’m shooting with open sights. And not just any open sights. These are fiberoptic open sights that have a large front bead. So, some of the group size is probably due to the lack of precision of the sights.
JSB Exact Heavy
The next pellet I tried is one that was not shot in the velocity test — the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy. Five of them went into a group that is an impressive 0.464-inches between centers. For clunky open sights, that’s pretty good. It was also the best group of the test.
I must comment on the Proxima’s firing cycle. The rifle jumps forward in recoil, but there is very little vibration. Since I’m using the artillery hold, I notice the jump, but it always seems like the pellet gets a good sendoff. This rifle is smooth, and feels powerful.
Next up was the RWS Superdome pellet. I expected them to do great. Did they? Five Superdomes went into 0.708-inches at 10 meters. It’s a vertical group, which may indicate sighting issues. And the bottom pellet hole almost looks like the pellet went through the target sideways, though that may just be the way the paper tore.
The last pellet I shot was the H&N Baracuda Match with a 5.51mm head. Five of them gave a very horizontal 1.353-inch group. They are definitely not the right pellets for this Proxima.
We can see from the second target that JSB Exact Jumbo Heavys are going to be good in the Proxima. I think my next step will be to scope the rifle and test with them. After that I will try other pellets.
I want to say once more that the Proxima is a hunting airgun, only. This isn’t a plinker. The cocking effort keeps it from being that.
I am surprised that the groups are as good as they are today. I didn’t expect a group smaller than one-half inch. That gives me a good feeling that the Proxima is probably going to be a solid hunting rifle.