Hatsan 125 Sniper
By: Pat Farey
Pete Wadeson tests the Hatsan 125 Sniper break barrel springer and reckons the Turk’s have unquestionably got it right but it’s a weighty issue...
This is a beast of an air rifle and I love it! OK a bit dramatic, but the 125 Sniper (like its close relative the Striker) was originally designed to be a hi-power spring powered air rifle taking pellets into FAC land. For the UK, Hatsan importers Edgar Brothers are wisely being cautious and taking the ‘tuned’ down 12ft lb version for our ‘off ticket’ limitations. However, Hatsan haven’t changed the look of this macho looking springer, and I predict it could become one of EB’s most popular selling break-barrels.
First up is the simple fact that the glorious unashamed ‘machismo’ appeal of the Sniper is allowed to flex its muscles. From butt to muzzle it has everything to keep you intrigued. Super sexy stock design, eye-catching grip aids and twin colour cosmetics, a brutish looking silencer up-front and a generous amount of dual 11mm/Weaver ‘cut’ rail for scope mounting.
All weather furniture
It seems more and more air rifles are being dressed in synthetic ‘all-weather’ stocks but the Sniper has a more than cosmetic aces up its sleeve. From the rear it uses what is known as the ‘TRIOPAD’ butt system. Coupled with the ‘SAS’ shock absorbing system they negate the need to use a ‘damper’ mount for scope fitting so the scope isn’t given too hard a time due to recoil and vibration. These units are probably needed on the hi-power version, but they are just as welcome on this 12ft/lbs model.
There are four synthetic stocked models – only differing by way of the colour of the inlays found on the sides of the grip and forend. Most I think will opt for the rifle ‘colour combo’ on test, which consists of a black stock with grey soft rubber inlays along the forend and both sides of the grip.
A height adjustable ambidextrous cheekpiece and a system for extending reach to pull and reducing shock absorption may be needed when you get an FAC model but for now I’m going to enjoy this generously proportioned springer and see what it can do as a full power break barrel springer in .177 calibre.
Fibre optics and other features
The Dual 11mm/Weaver rail dominates the rear section of the top of the air cylinder while moving forward you can see Hatsan have stayed true to form and added a pair of fibre optic open sights. These are seen as a raised dot on top of the integral silencer and the rearsight is fully adjustable for elevation and windage.
The scope I chose was a 3 – 12 X 44 SWAT upgraded with the dual illuminated colour reticle system.
The 125 Sniper, as well as having a usable ‘clip on’ bipod, also comes with a useful adjustable rifle sling bearing the HATSAN name emblazoned in yellow down the middle.
There’s a few unusual features on the inside and out of this rifle. After releasing the height adjustable cheekpiece by turning the slot head recessed screws found on the right hand side of the stock I soon found a good position and nipped up the screw. Reach to pull was fine so I didn’t feel the need to use any of the three extra ‘TRIOPAD’ spacers that came with the rifle.
Breaking the rifle barrel to cock the action wasn’t strenuous but needed the leverage of the barrel, and I certainly appreciated the silencer as it acted as a superb cocking aid. With the barrel broken you can load a pellet direct into the barrel’s breech
After setting zero at 30-yds off the bipod, results soon started to show this was going to be one of those rifles, you know the pellet it likes but still have to really spend time on targets. The more I used the rifle though, the more its kill-zone accuracy started to show and it was only after using some Daystate Rangemaster HE pellets that my confidence returned, in fact I was now consistently grouping within ¾” c-c at 25yds.
You’ll welcome the sling the rifle comes with, as after a few forays I sure did, as it tips the scales at 9lbs un-scoped. I also appreciated the relatively lengthy 19.6” barrel’s integral silencer that acted as a great cocking aid while also being just as effectively at reducing muzzle report.
The trigger is specified as the ‘Quattro Unit’ that many rifles use from this part of the world. It had the set back blade fitted and on shooting it did feel like a good unit. Adjustable for travel and pull weight, a few tweaks soon had me achieving clean let offs every shot, helping me to tighten my previous c-t-c groups even further. The auto-safety catch is a strange one as it looks like a serrated edge wheel that pops out the rear of the action on cocking – it can be re-set at any time by ‘thumbing’ back.
In my opinion this is a rifle you’ll take to or not even consider. Not one for the weak or young, with an overall length of 48.8” it’s a man sized gun that can create a man sized punch at the target at sensible ranges. The main features I must recap on are; the very solid detente lock up, efficient silencer unit, highly ‘huggable’ ergonomic and cosmetic stock design, and the simple fact that certain companies in our trade have still got the cohones to bring in rifles that may at first be seen to be overly aggressive. Get to know the gun and its solid reliable dependability soon wins you over. Personally at this price, I’d certainly buy one, and relish those days I could sit out for a ‘one-shot pot’ that resulted in rabbit stew.
I could easily find a spot for this in my armoury.
|Model||Hatsan 125 Sniper|
|Calibre||.177 on test (.22 and .25 available)|
|Barrel||19.6” complete with sound moderator|
|Sights||Adjustable fibre optic open sights, plus 11mm/Weaver style rail fitted for scope mounting|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates