Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Speedfire
Hatsan Speedfire Vortex breakbarrel repeater.

This report covers:

  • Breakbarrel repeaters
  • So, what’s new?
  • Outside the rifle
  • Pellet feed
  • Trigger
  • Power
  • Cocking effort
  • Tests
  • Summary

Once more I’ll remind you that I am suspending the historical reports for awhile to catch up on several things I have been putting off. There are also many new airguns I want to test. Some tests of complex guns like the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP have taken me many more than the usual three reports, and this has led to the current situation. The history section will be back soon, I promise.

Breakbarrel repeaters

Today I start looking at the Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle. It’s a breakbarrel spring-piston gun that uses a gas spring (this one is a contained unit that Hatsan properly calls a gas piston) for the powerplant. It comes in both .177 (12 shots) and .22 (10 shots), and I am testing the .22. read more


Hatsan Vectis .25-caliber lever action PCP repeater: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Hatsan Vectis
Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP repeater.

This report covers:

  • Flash Vectis
  • Filling
  • Fill probe port plug
  • What is the air stripper made of?
  • Velocity
  • Second string
  • Discharge sound
  • Third string
  • JSB Exact King Heavy
  • Predator Polymag
  • How smooth is the lever?
  • The trigger
  • Summary

Well, the discussion in Part 1 ended on the topic of UFOs. Let’s see where we go today with our exploration of the velocity of the .25-caliber Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP. I will begin by addressing two comments that were pertinent. The first was from reader Willyaimright, who said he had to return his first Vectis to Pyramyd Air because he couldn’t get it to accept a fill.

Flash Vectis

Knowing that some precharged guns have to be cocked before the initial fill (i.e. when there is no air inside the reservoir), I read the manual before proceeding. It’s an unmanly act, I know, but sometimes you just gotta cheat. read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen .25-caliber precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Not the accuracy test
  • Man plans…
  • Testing as a PCP
  • Filling
  • Mounting the scope
  • Sight-in
  • Back to 10 meters
  • Back to 25 yards
  • Scope adjustments
  • My test plan
  • First group of five
  • Shots 6 through 10
  • Second group
  • Third group
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Get ready to learn something, kids, because school is in session!

Not the accuracy test

Today would normally be the start of the accuracy test for a normal PCP air rifle, but the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP is anything but normal! I did shoot a lot of targets today, but there aren’t going to be any dimes in the pictures. I was just trying to figure this rifle out!

Man plans…

I figured I would mount the 4X32 AO scope that comes bundled with the rifle and at least start to shoot for accuracy. Well, there is a saying about thoughts like that. Man plans and God laughs! If you don’t believe it, read the book of Ecclesiastes. It was written by King Solomon, who was the wisest man ever to have lived. Near the end of his life he figured out the meaning of life and boiled it down to just that. Oh, he didn’t say it that way — he was more reverent and polite about it, but in chapter 12, verses 12 through 14, he pretty much sums it up that way. read more


Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Webley Mark VI
Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish. This one is rifled and shoots pellets.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Adjusted sight picture
  • Why not fix the front sight?
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • H&N Finale Match High Speed pellets
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Next — more sight corrections
  • Summary

Today I test the accuracy of the Webley Mark VI with battlefield finish. I decided to test it with all 5 pellets that were used in the velocity test.

The test

I shot from 10 meters, using a sandbag rest for the butt of the revolver. I held the gun with two hands for a steady hold. I shot 6 pellets at each target and I will describe what happened as we go. Let’s get started.

JSB Exact RS

The first pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS. The first three shots landed low, with one below the target paper. The group had to come up somehow. read more


Testing H&N Baracuda FT pellets: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Test plan
  • How many tests?
  • Backwards planning
  • Test design
  • Start — 4.50mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.50mm head
  • 4.51mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.51mm head
  • Discussion of today’s testing
  • Summary

On Friday I told you I wanted to clear a backlog of reports. This is one of them. When I was at the Pyramyd Air Cup in September of last year, I was given two sample packs of a new .177-caliber pellet from H&N — the Baracuda FT (for field target). Florian Schwartz, the director of H&N, told me this new pellet was designed for air rifles shooting at 12 foot-pounds and less. But new airguns and other equipment kept pushing the test back until last Friday, when I decided to suspend the history section for awhile to catch up.

Test plan

Many people think that testing a pellet involves putting a PCP into a vise and shooting it at a fixed target. Do you know what that will tell you — how well a PCP in a vise shoots the pellet. Will there be correlation between that kind of test and the real world in which a living person shoots the same pellet from the same gun that’s not in a vise? Yes — SOME. But not as much as many people think. read more


Hatsan Vectis .25-caliber lever action PCP repeater: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Vectis
Hatsan Vectis lever action PCP repeater.

This report covers:

  • No historical report?
  • Hatsan Vectis
  • The rifle
  • Synthetic
  • Open sights!
  • Operating pressure
  • Short throw lever
  • Manually uncocked
  • Manual safety
  • Magazines
  • Silencer and barrel
  • Trigger
  • Summary

No historical report?

You may be surprised that this is Friday and there is no historical report, but there is a good reason. I am so backed up with new products to report that I’ve decided to suspend the historical reports for a little while so I can get caught up. Don’t worry, they aren’t going away and I will get back to them as soon as I can.

Hatsan Vectis

Today I’m starting the report on the Hatsan Vectis lever action repeating PCP. Hatsan sent this rifle to me immediately after the SHOT Show, because I thought it is different enough that you need to know about it right away. The rifle I am testing is a .25 caliber and it’s a 10-shot repeater. read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen .25-caliber precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Important links
  • Filling
  • Benjamin domes
  • Test 1
  • Discussion 1
  • Power
  • Back to 3600 psi
  • Test 2
  • Discussion 2
  • Power on low
  • Pumping effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we look at the performance of the new Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP. Before I get to that, though, I will remind you that in Part 1 of this report (the one on this .25-caliber Aspen) I showed the links to the first 5 reports on the .22-caliber Aspen. I’m not showing those links today because they will become too confusing. If you want to see them, click on the link to Part 1 of this report and they are all at the top of the report that comes up .

Important links

Those links are important to me because I am testing this .25-caliber rifle in the same way that I tested the .22. That test was ideal to discover the performance parameters of that rifle and it will do the same for this one. I expect to see differences today, but this test will tell us how the .25 performs, relative to the fill pressure. With that understood, I am ready to begin. read more