Good break-barrel air rifles will never go out of style, as Mark Camoccio finds with the Hatsan Model 60S
Turkish manufacturer, Hatsan, has steadily eased themselves into the UK airgun market, gaining an ever greater foothold as opportunities have arisen. Production runs for Webley saw the company gain widespread acknowledgement in the industry, and subsequent marketing re-alignment has now seen them emerge as a competent force in their own right.
Edgar Brothers now deal with Hatsan’s distribution in the UK, and as a result, the company seems to be gaining in popularity on a daily basis. New products and variations have been arriving thick and fast, but it’s one of their more traditional offerings that I have under the spotlight here - the Hatsan Model 60S.
Whilst the Model 60S is a fairly conventional spring-piston powered, break barrel design, it does happen to possess, on paper at least, some intriguing features which certainly warrant closer inspection.
Configuration wise, it’s a full sized adult rifle, producing near legal limit velocities in .22 calibre. The sporter style stock is fashioned from Turkish Walnut, and whilst the test sample was a little bland, with regards to grain pattern, I have seen some extremely striking examples indeed. As always, being a natural product, stocks will vary enormously, and personal taste also plays a part where aesthetics are concerned. Timber profile is standard sporter, and reminiscent of my old friend, the Webley Vulcan. Curiously, the stock is near ambidextrous in design, save for one shallow scallop denoting right hand use. In practise, it’s purely academic, and as such, should be usable by all.
Grip is enhanced by those extensive panels of chequering, and the stock is set off nicely by the addition of the English style red rubber butt pad.
Fibre optic open sights add another dimension, and allow for any novice shot to ease themselves in gently, with some good old fashioned elementary lessons in marksmanship. This style of sight makes use of any available ambient light, and the notch and blade in use here, affords a good sight picture. Once the novelty wares off, the fitting of glassware is made simple with the provision of arrestor holes and even an arrestor block, set into the extensive scope rails.
An automatic safety catch sits at the rear of the compression cylinder, and highly reminiscent of the Webley Omega. The chunky push-button design is excellent, and whilst I am no fan of automatic catches, they don’t get better than this.
Cocking the Model 60S requires some effort; namely just breaking the breech open in the first place. In use, the mechanism should ease up a little, but the rigidity of the breech set-up should be acknowledged as a plus point, given that Hatsan’s attention to detail has even included a breech tightening bolt complete with retention screw. The break barrel design obviously allows for pellets to be fed directly into the barrel, and this in turn gives the shooter information as to whether a pellet is too tight or too slack in the breech. As an observation, pellets seemed fairly slack in general with my test model, although this could be due to a slight lead-in at the breech applied at the factory.
Drawing the barrel down during the cocking stroke, reveals an unusually curved cocking linkage, and one glance at the ‘SaS’ gold lettering on the rifle’s cylinder confirms that this is part of the proud boast concerning a ‘shock absorber system’.
This intriguing arrangement involves a metal leaf ‘spring’ held beneath the action, which supposedly absorbs much of the felt recoil. Hatsan deserve credit for trying to address a time-honoured problem, and according to the manufacturers, this system eliminates the need for a Dampa style mount to protect any onboard glassware; but in use to be honest, I was left of the opinion that I would have never have been aware of any such feature, had I not been informed. The action doesn’t seem overly harsh, granted, but does it feel significantly dampened…err, not really.
Elsewhere though, I’m pleased to report that the other main technical feature included, namely that of the Quattro trigger, is a resounding success. The relatively new, fully adjustable, multi sear design, is a huge improvement on previous offerings, and with its set back blade and 2-stage mechanism, it really is a delight to use. Trigger load, first and second stage position, and length of travel, can all be adjusted, although, understandably, Hatsan only advise on adjusting the length of travel via the accompanying instruction book. Experience would suggest that this is probably a wise move on Hatsan’s part, yet a multitude of settings and adjustments await the more adventurous and technically competent enthusiast. The flat surface and shaping of the blade itself makes for one of the most comfortable triggers in use, that I have encountered in a good while.
Accuracy over 30yds resulted in groups of around 1.25inches, which I obtained using Webley Xtreme pellets, and whilst being slightly disappointed with results, this type of action should improve with use, as the mechanics bed in. Unusually JSB’s in the form of Air Arms, didn’t suit the barrel at all, and the Xtreme’s topped the test after several leading brands were evaluated. As always, it should be noted that airguns can be fickle things, warranting full experimentation with an ever wider list of pellet varieties.
Consistency over the chronograph was excellent, with Air Arms Diabolo Field (JSBs) pellets recording a ten shot string with just 7fps variation. Webley Xtreme’s were still respectable, on 18fps.
In the Model 60S then, Hatsan have a hard hitting, consistent rifle, for anyone after a solid spring-powered workhorse, that should give years of service.
|Manufacturer:||Hatsan Arms Company
|Country of Origin:||Turkey
|Stock:||Turkish Walnut sporter
|Trigger:||Quattro 2-stage adjustable unit
|Average velocity:||580fps with Air Arms Diabolo Field and Webley-Venom Xtreme pellets
|Average spread:||7fps with Air Arms Diabolo Field and 18fps with Webley-Venom Xtreme pellets
|Average energy:||11.9ft/lbs with Air Arms Diabolo Field and 11.3ft/lbs with Webley-Venom Xtreme pellets
|Options:||GS Gas-ram version £229 approx.|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates