Hatsan SpeedFire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 4
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- 10-shot magazine
- The test
- Hatsan Vortex Supreme
- Rest on bag
- Off hand under the cocking slot
- Sig Wraith Pb
- JSB Hades
- H&N Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
- Ten Baracuda Match
Here is a report that has been languishing since the end of March. The report on the Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle got out of sync because I returned it to Hatsan after the velocity test. It turned out the rifle was functioning fine, but we discovered it doesn’t like pellets with thin skirts.
On Monday I received a comment from new reader, ￼Polank, who had bought one of these rifles and asked where the accuracy test was. Fortunately I still had the rifle on hand, so I shuffled the schedule to run this first accuracy test today. I had to read the back reports again to learn how the rifle behaves.
This breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle has a spring-loaded 10-shot magazine. So it’s a repeater. The magazine functions perfectly and there were no failures to feed in any part of the test. The magazine is also one of the easiest spring-loaded circular magazines to load.
I have never fired a Speedfire Vortex at a target before, so today I’m getting acquainted with the mechanism. I shot using the open sights and I shot from a rest at 10 meters. I shot 5-shot groups until I found the best pellet of the ones tested, and with that one I fired a 10-shot group.
Hatsan Vortex Supreme
The first pellet I tested was the Hatsan Vortex Supreme dome. Pyramyd Air doesn’t carry them, but they look very much like and weigh the same as H&N Field and Target Trophy pellets. This would be the ideal pellet to use to familiarize myself with the rifle.
Sight-in took 5 pellets and then I shot the first group. I shot using the artillery hold because the Speedfire moves around a lot when it fires. I wanted to cancel that, so the artillery hold was the correct way to go. That may sound counter-intuitive, since with the artillery hold you want the rifle to move as much as it wants, but it also move in the same way every time, and so the muzzle is always in the same place when the pellet exits the barrel.
I held the open palm of my off hand back by the triggerguard for this group. Five pellets went into a group that measures 0.593-inches between the two holes farthest apart. It’s a good group for a repeating springer. Then again, I really don’t have a lot of experience with repeating springers because, until recently, they weren’t that reliable.
Rest on bag
Now that I knew the Vortex pellets were accurate I wanted to try a couple other things with them. The first was to rest the rifle directly on the sandbag. Some spring guns can shoot well that way, though not many and none that recoil as much as the Speedfire.
This time the group opened up and 5 Vortex pellets went into 0.86-inches at 10 meters. The point of impact changed a little, too.
Off hand under the cocking slot
The last variation I tried with the Vortex pellet was to rest the rifle on the palm of my off hand that was under the cocking slot. The point of impact changed and the rifle put 5 pellets into 0.66-inches at 10 meters.
Based on what I have seen so far I think I will use the artillery hold with my off hand back by the triggerguard for the remainder of the test. It may not be the best, but so far it has been.
Sig Wraith Pb
I tried 5 Sig Wraith Pb pellets next. This is a domed lead pellet (hence the Pb) that I have tested with the ASP20. Pyramyd Air doesn’t carry the pellet that’s made with lead, but they do have the ballistic alloy version.
These pellets hit the target above the bullseye and 5 went into 0.972-inches at 10 meters. This is not the pellet for the Speedfire.
The Speedfire put 5 Sig Wraith Pb pellets into 0.972-inches at 10 meters. The impact point was much higher.
Next up was the new JSB Hades pellet. They have a thin skirt so I didn’t have much hope for them, and I was right. Five went into 0.782-inches at 10 meters. Given how good the Vortex pellets are I probably wouldn’t use these Hades pellets again.
H&N Baracuda Match 5.53mm heads
I tried The H&N Baracuda Match pellet because it has a thicker skirt. I thought it might do well, so I shot five at a target. They landed in a group that measures 0.541-inches between centers. That’s the best of this test by a small margin.
Ten Baracuda Match
Since Baracuda Match pellets made the best 5-shot group I decided to shoot 10 of them, also. Ten went into 0.715-inches, in a very round group. I know it’s large for 10 meters, but it still impresses me.
I have to thank new reader Polank for reminding me about this report series. And I have to tell you this Speedfire rifle is fun to shoot. Yes the magazine sticks up in the air, but it works smoothly and the targets speak for themselves.
Though it has a gas piston (powered by a gas spring), the cocking effort is just 28 lbs. It’s easy to break open and a one-hand cocker.
I will scope it next and move back to 25 yards for the next and final test. If you are wanting a repeating spring-piston air rifle you could do a lot worse than a Speedfire Vortex.