Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Hercules 45
Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore rifle.

This report covers:

  • Big gun!
  • Description
  • .45 bullets and “pellets”
  • 1000 cc reservoir capacity
  • Onboard air gauge
  • 250 bar fill
  • Adjustable stock
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Barrel
  • Sights
  • I shot the Hercules
  • Sound
  • Evaluation

Big gun!

I’m starting a report on the Hatsan Hercules QE .45 big bore air rifle. First let me observe that this rifle is BIG. And I mean big in all ways. It’s 48.4 inches long and weighs 13 pounds before a scope is attached. I was surprised by that number, so I put it on a balance beam scale, and the rifle I am testing came to exactly 13 lbs.

The Hercules rifles come in the following calibers: .22, .25, .30, .357 and .45. Some of the specifications like magazine capacity differ by caliber (the .22 magazine holds 14 pellets), but the length and weight remain the same throughout the range.

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They have the wrong twist rate!: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Then came big bores
  • What am I talking about?
  • Bullets don’t work like pellets
  • Bullet length
  • Why bullet diameters matter
  • Hard cast lead bullets
  • Putting all of this together
  • Last story

Before we begin I have some startling news from Umarex USA. Sales manager, Justin Biddle contacted me and told me the new Hammer big bore is regulated.! I certainly did not know that, because this is huge news. It means that those three shots it gets on a fill can all be at the same power level. I have adjusted the SHOT Show report (Part 6) to reflect this new information. And by a strange coincidence, this dovetails nicely with today’s report.

For many years I have written about black powder firearms in this blog, and I have included things like rifling twist rates in those articles. And for years people have written me comments that they appreciate a look at something different, but they would never consider shooting black powder arms or even modern firearms, themselves.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

  • Umarex USA
  • The Hammer
  • .50 caliber
  • Repeater
  • 4500 psi
  • Absolute zero
  • Second Zero
  • MP 40 BB gun
  • Umarex Forge
  • Trevox and Strike Point
  • Optical Dynamics flashlights
  • Still not finished

Before we begin I want to tell you about a blog series I will start this week. I have the new Air Venturi air compressor on hand and I used it for the first time yesterday. It works so well that I’m jumping the line to get the report started. You can expect to start reading about it this week.

The 2017 SHOT Show was the biggest show I have ever experienced for airguns. Some manufacturers like Crosman and Umarex brought out many new gun models and related products that are really different. Others brought out only one of two items, like the Gamo Swarm Maxim, but they are so significantly different that they deserve to be recognized. My work is cut out for me this year!

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

  • Air Venturi
  • Lil Duke
  • New Air Bolts
  • Hatsan
  • Semiautomatics
  • Big Bore Carnivore
  • Sun Optics compressor
  • The year of the airgun

Air Venturi

This was the first actual day of the SHOT Show, and the crowd was excited! I stopped at the Air Venturi booth first, so let’s see what’s there.

Lil Duke

First up was the Lil’ Duke BB gun. As you can see, it’s styled after the model 92 Winchester John Wayne carried in a number of his most famous movies, including True Grit. This is the one he fills his hand with.

Lil' Duke
The Lil Duke is bound to become a favorite.

The John Wayne airguns have been quite successful for Air Venturi. They had a second booth upstairs this year where they showed a number of their other John Wayne handguns, including a 1911 that Wayne probably carried in the Sands of Iwo Jima!

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • What’s coming
  • Let’s get started
  • MP 40
  • Remington 1875
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Umarex ARX ammo
  • Umarex Hammer
  • Umarex Gauntlet
  • A shrouded Texan?
  • Other new things

Well, it’s that time again. Here I am at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This year will be the biggest one yet for new airguns. And when I say new, I mean really new designs. I’m not interested in a re-skinned gun that’s had other names in the past. There is so much stuff that is really new this year that everything else will get shoved to the rear.

What’s coming

Yesterday I was on the range with Sig and today I am out at Industry Day at the Range. That’s an event that allows gun writers to try out various new products at a gun range. Actually, it’s more than 50 ranges, all lined up, one after another, in a line that’s about a third of a mile long! A few years ago they started putting ranges on the other side of the walkway, for guns that don’t shoot as far — like shotguns and airguns.

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Wax on — wax off!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Some basic truths
  • What am I saying?
  • What many do wrong
  • Ready, fire, aim!
  • Back to airgunners
  • Use the sights!
  • The end

Homework assignment. You need to watch the movie, “Karate Kid.” The moral of the movie is to slow down, concentrate and focus power! At least that’s what Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel-san.

Another phrase from WWII is, “Straighten up and fly right.” It pretty much means the same thing.

I almost titled this report, “Why I shoot muzzle loaders,” but I thought that would turn off the very people I was reaching out to today.

Some basic truths

1. When shooting lead bullets in a big borte airgun, always size the bullet at least one-thousandth of an inch larger than the bore. This is the principal reason 9mm big bore airguns are not accurate when shot with 9mm bullets (0.356-inches) but tighten right up when shot with 0.357-inch and even 0.358-inch bullets.

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Some talk about airgun lubrication: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

    • Pneumatics
    • Single-stroke pneumatics
    • Multi-pump pneumatics
    • Other pump gun lubrication
    • Precharged pneumatics
    • Other lubrication needs
    • Lubing pellets
    • Keep the barrel clean
    • PCPs differ from spring-piston guns
    • What lube for your pellets?

    This is a continuation of our discussion about lubricating airguns. Part 1 is basic for spring-piston seals. We don’t need to cover that material again. Today I will look at some different lubrication applications for pneumatics.

    Pneumatics

    Pneumatic airguns are those that use compressed air to propel a pellet or BB. They may compress the air as they are used, such as single-stroke and multi-pump pneumatics do, or they may be guns that use compressed air from a separate source — guns we refer to as pre-charged pneumatics or PCP. I will address all three types, starting with single-stroke pneumatics.

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