Hatsan AirTact PD - test & review
- Credit: Archant
Dave Barham tests the new break-barrel springer from Hatsan - the Hatsan AirTact PD - and declares it a great value gun for fun that you can’t go wrong with!
Well, what can I say? I made a classic ‘schoolboy error’ this month regarding the ‘Big Test’. Note to self, always read the instruction manual …
I was supposed to be reviewing a CO2 rifle from Umarex, and like an idiot I simply assumed that it would take 2x12g CO2 canisters. As it turns out it requires a rather more specialist 86g canister, and with the postal service being a bit ‘hit and miss’ right now, I didn’t fancy my chances of getting a couple delivered in time for a proper test, so I’ve done the old ‘switcheroo’ trick and replaced it with another rifle this month – you’ll have to wait until the August issue for the Umarex review.
AN AIR GUNNER FIRST?
As I sit here tapping away at my keyboard, the only thing I can think about is ‘Is this a first for Air Gunner – a Big Test review of an ultra-low budget rifle?’
Would I normally dedicate four pages to a rifle that costs just £61, possibly not, but at this point in time my hand has been forced due to lockdown. At the end of the day, a rifle is a rifle is a rifle. Some are better than others, but they’re all designed to do a similar job, and this little gem from Hatsan is no exception to the rule.
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- 4 Ready for anything: essential shooting kit for airgunners
- 5 Watch: Hunting with the Sightmark Wraith HD day/night scope is a game changer!
- 6 Gamo Whisper Sting Kit - test & review
- 7 Artemis SR900S: Testing an unusual autoloader
- 8 Review: Hawke Vantage LRF400 Laser Rangefinder
- 9 Why the Weihrauch HW40 PCA deserves more of our attention
- 10 Weihrauch HW77K Special Edition - test & review
As you would expect from such a low-priced rifle, the Hatsan features a moulded synthetic stock, which is ambidextrous. However, it doesn’t look or feel cheap, in fact it’s as good as many other higher priced synthetic stocks I have handled. There’s adequate chequering on the fore end of the stock, as well as the pistol grip, and the whole thing feels really nicely balanced.
Speaking of the pistol grip, this has ergonomically moulded finger grooves, which allow you to get a really good grip. It all feels very natural and is a pleasure to hold.
Of course, all these plastic parts make for a lightweight rifle, and coming in a tad under 6.2lbs it’s one that will be well suited to our junior shooters.
This rifle comes fitted with fibre-optic open sights, again made from synthetic material, but you can also fit a scope. There is an abbreviated 11mm Weaver-style rail moulded into the top of the stock to take a scope. The one I have here is the 3-9 x40 Opti-10, which costs just £37, so for the fully scoped rifle it’s still going to cost you less than £100!
The fitted sights are more than adequate, though, with the traditional, adjustable rear ‘iron sight’ complemented with a shrouded post at the front. The rear sight has two small green fibre-optic pins each side of the groove, whilst the front post is ‘in your face’ red.
The shroud for the front post is moulded into the fake synthetic ‘moderator’, which is in turn moulded directly onto the barrel. It serves no purpose other than cosmetics and as a cocking grip, and of course, to house the post sight, but it does give you something to grab hold of when cocking the rifle.
EASY TO USE
I found this rifle very easy to cock, and for a budget ‘full-power springer’ that surprised me. A clean break with very little effort once you pull the barrel down whilst holding the ‘moderator’, is followed by an easy compression of the spring to a satisfying ‘click’ to inform you that it’s cocked.
Then it’s simply a case of pushing your pellet into the breech and closing it up – again, this is a very smooth and simple operation that requires little effort. I was expecting the old ‘couple of nudges’ to try to get the barrel to snap shut, but I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth and simple it was – top marks from me for that.
At this point, I should mention that the red safety push button is reset each time the rifle is cocked, and that too requires little effort to push forward with your thumb once you’re in position and ready to take your shot.
The AirTact has a two-stage, factory set trigger fitted. The first stage has a fairly long pull, I’m guessing it travels around 10mm or maybe a tad more, but it comes to a positive stop before the shorter second-stage pull, which although a little spongey is positive enough for the job in hand. It’s definitely a trigger that can be used to teach younger shooters some decent trigger discipline, that’s for sure.
I spent a fair few hours spread over five days in my back garden shooting the rifle for this review, between the bouts of raging sunshine – on some days it was just too hot to stay outside in the sun for more than an hour at a time. I even got my wife having a go with it one afternoon!
I can tell you that this rifle has plenty of muzzle energy, and if you do your job, it’s reasonably accurate, too. I wouldn’t have any second thoughts about taking it to one of my perms and knocking over a few close-to-medium range rabbits with it – yes, it really is that good.
One thing I did notice whilst plinking away in the back garden, this rifle is surprisingly quiet for the amount of power and build materials. When the pellet is released it goes away with a satisfying dull ‘thud’, with no high-pitched ring out that you sometimes get with cheap springers.
I don’t think you can go wrong with the Hatsan AirTact PD, especially for the price tag. It’s light weight and ease of use makes it an ideal ‘full-power’ springer for our junior shooters, or simply a fun, back garden plinker for more experienced hands.
Of course, it lacks the finesse and style of more expensive rifles, but what do you expect for £61? All in all, I think Hatsan has done a great job with it.
Model: AirTact PD
Distributor: Edgar Brothers
Type: Break-barrel springer
Stock Material: Synthetic, ambidextrous
Safety: Auto reset
Calibres: .177 and .22
Overall Length: 43.5in (110cm)
Barrel Length: 16.5in (42cm)
Weight: 2.8kg (6.2lbs) without scope
Energy of Test Rifle: Avg 11.2 ft.lbs. over 20 shots
Variation (20 shots): 44 fps