Hatsan AT 44-10
By: Mark Camoccio
Mark Camoccio finds a good looking and great handling PCP carbine in the Hatsan AT 44-10 with walnut stock
Hatsan is a Turkish company and a relatively new brand to hit the airgun scene when compared to the old household names such as BSA and the like; yet there product range has slowly developed, to offer airgun shooters a choice of models, both spring powered and latterly, PCPs.
My test rifle is the 10-shot version of the popular AT44 pre-charged pneumatic. It also comes fitted with the walnut stock option, as opposed to the synthetic black stocks of the original; and it is here that those tell tale influences are most notable.
This Hatsan PCP is known as the AT44-10, with the ‘10’ denoting that multi-shot magazine addition. The Turkish walnut stock really is attractively styled, and despite being totally ambidextrous, results in a highly functional, supremely comfortable rifle to handle. Those full length finger grooves running along the top of the fore-end, are reminiscent of the Webley Longbow, among others, and result in an excellent grip, especially from the extended arm in the aim.
A near 90 degree drop down grip, allows for the ‘thumb up’ position, whilst a pleasantly raised cheek-piece gives good support for scope use. Fine tuning of the stock comes to a degree, with the inclusion of an adjustable rubber butt pad, and although an allen key is needed to perform the task, most shooters will set it to an optimum position, then probably leave well alone for a while. The fact that this option exists should still be applauded.
The AT44-10 follows the familiar modern PCP blueprint- i.e. the barrel sits over the top of the main cylinder, with a large chunky breech block connecting the two. The barrel could hardly be described as ‘floating’ though, since the rifled tube is held within not one but two large supports. Whilst the usual arrangement exists, with ‘o’ rings holding the barrel within the supports, I personally would feel happier allowing the barrel free unrestricted movement; in turn allowing for the cylinder to expand and contract as a result of normal pressure fluctuations. Removing both supports is a simple task, and would have the desired affect, given the barrels adequate rigidity to support itself.
Metal finish on this rifle doesn’t compare with the best out there, being rather dull and less than highly polished, yet the overall impression of this Hatsan is of a solidly made, well thought out design.
Charging is carried out via the probe adaptor supplied with each rifle. The probe is then screwed onto the chosen air supply, be that a dedicated stirrup style airgun pump, or divers air bottle.
One minor irritation came to light whilst charging the cylinder to its desired fill, pressure of 200bar; namely concerning the front valve. Hatsan supply a small plastic plug which just pushes into the valve inlet when it’s not in use. However, with the inlet hole accessible from underneath the barrel, pulling the plug from its home proved fiddly to say the least. With the main air cylinder offered as a removable item, I just gently unscrewed the cylinder an eighth of a turn to switch the inlet hole away from the barrel. This allowed for the plug to be gently pushed from the top and removed from the bottom. Nipping up the cylinder afterwards kept everything as it should be, but minor annoyance was noted. Some luck exists with PCPs as to where the valve inlet hole appears, once the main cylinder has been fully secured at the production stage, yet it seems fairly critical where this Hatsan is concerned, for just the above reason.
The AT44-10 comes pre-threaded to receive a silencer if so desired, with the neat barrel finishing cap just needing to be unscrewed. On test however, I found the report acceptably modest, and would only fit a moderator if hunting forays were to be undertaken. As usual, the effect of fitting a silencer to a PCP is normally quite dramatic, as the muzzle report is significantly reduced, so something to bear in mind to maximize performance in the field.
The ten shot facility comes to this rifle courtesy of a rotary magazine; the design of which is commendably robust. No plastic casings here; just a cast metal drum complete with a large ‘o’ ring to keep the pellets in place. Filling the magazine is a simple process as follows:
Firstly the side cocking lever is pulled all the way back to the rear of the action, which cocks the hammer and cycles the magazine. The brass spring-loaded magazine retention bolt is then pushed forwards and up into its slot. At this point, the magazine is now free to be pulled from the action, and the simple task of pushing pellets into each chamber can be undertaken. Once full, the mag is simply pushed back into its slot within the action, the retention bolt returned to its rearwards position, and the side lever pushed forwards, along with the safety catch.
Being an automatic safety device, the catch needs to be pressed before taking every shot; yet given the perfect location of the safety button itself, ready to be nudged off with the thumb, operation becomes second nature after a while.
On test, the whole process of cocking the AT44-10 and cycling the magazine, worked faultlessly throughout, and this style of magazine is among the most reliable in my book. Part of that reliability comes from the fact that each pellet sits perfectly centrally and snug within each chamber, rather than just sitting loose and rattling within a larger hole in a plastic housing, as per some designs on the market. When the time comes for the pellet to be indexed and fed to the rifling, a perfectly central pellet will keep the magazine cycling smoothly, which can only breed confidence in the long run.
Hatsan play it safe and quote the shot count as ‘50 usable’ with this rifle, in both popular calibres, yet my chronograph session confirmed that, the test sample at least, was capable of 60 good shots before velocities began to slide. The 14fps and 18fps velocity spreads over 50 and 60 shots respectively, showed that this compact rifle is par for the course in this department, and since ‘shot variation’ high to low, of sub 25fps rarely translates to much with regards to trajectory fluctuation, I consider the test figures to be pleasing indeed. If ultra consistent velocities aren’t vital, then expect a further 20-30 shots more, before the air supply runs out.
Bear in mind that I stuck to the manufacturers quoted fill pressure of 200bar. Filling to slightly lower pressures at the outset, may well result in even tighter consistency, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Consistent velocity coupled with a fairly light and predictable two-stage trigger, should and did result in reasonably impressive groupings when this rifle was shot over thirty yards. Air Arms Diablo Field were the main test pellet, and sub half inch clusters were easily attainable.
What sets this rifle apart though is the handling, and the overall package of that supremely comfortable walnut stock, ultra slick side lever, and wonderfully robust and reliable magazine system. The AT44-10 is pretty well guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
So if you’re in the market for a full-powered multi-shot, sporting PCP, this Hatsan deserves closer inspection for sure.
|Model||Hatsan AT44-10 Walnut|
|Calibre||.22 calibre on test/ .177 available|
|Power Source||External air supply/ bottle or pump|
|Shot Count||Manufacturer quotes 50 effective shots in both calibres|
|Average velocity||556fps using Air Arms Diablo Field pellets|
|Average spread||14fps over 50 shots (18fps over 60 shots)|
|Average muzzle energy||11.5ft/lbs|
|Options||Synthetic black stocked version; Single shot version
|RRP||£555 (AT44-10 Walnut on test)|
|Contact||Edgar Brothers tel. 01625 613177|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates