By: Pete Wadeson
Pete Wadeson tests the under-lever action Hatsan Dominator 200W Carbine and reckons the Turkish gun manufacturers are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with...
When I tested the Hatsan 125 Sniper I remember thinking the company are taking the ‘big’ macho looking man sized rifle approach. Granted, it was originally designed for FAC power levels but it was a useful tool running at 12ft/lbs. So when I received the Dominator 200W featured here, I was pleasantly surprised to see they’d sent us a carbine sized version of the under-lever action fixed barrel springer - with more than a few tasty new features. The Dominator is available in synthetic or Turkish walnut stock and as I seem to have tested mostly synthetic dressed Hatsans in the past, the fact that it was a wood version was also welcome.
The fully ambidextrous walnut stock boasts a height adjustable comb; a slim ventilated rubber butt pad and forward of this you have the option to fit 3 stock spacers. These increase the reach to pull in increments of 5mm but the one that’s fitted as standard gives a ‘R2P’ of 14 ¼” which should suit most. The rifle omits the usual ‘Tru-glo’ open sights (the full length version has them though) in favour of a ½” UNF screw cut barrel, so will take any standard female thread airgun can. The 2-stage adjustable trigger with safety is the now familiar fully adjustable Quattro unit and the raised Weaver or dovetail mount base seems to be coming another of Hatsan’s trademarks.
I reckon the stock design and size is pretty much bang on for the action. A nice touch is the rifle name machined into the right hand side of the stock directly above the gold plated trigger blade.
The relatively lengthy drop down pistol grip offers a good hold from which to control your shot release. Fine cut chequering is applied in panels set either side of the pistol grip and along the slab sided forend. Within these panels are inset some unusual slim oblong strips of wood in relief with rounded off yet deep cut borders. There are four in each panel of chequering on the forend and three in each on the grip. Their positioning in the overall design makes them quite cosmetically appealing and presumably accentuates the grip. Cosmetically the 200W has got the ‘look’ but still retains the appearance of an air rifle that will be reliable and efficient in the field.
The addition of sling swivel studs and sling might seem minor but they are there and ready for use, so obviously a bonus that most will appreciate.
Unlocking, cocking and loading
The stubby looking under-lever takes a few cues from other established air rifles, such as the stainless steel sprung ball bearing that keeps the cocking arm in the closed position and a handy knurled grip aid which makes unlatching the lever easy while giving you a solid grip or drawing it back as you cock the rifle. Simultaneously as this is operated, the sliding breech automatically opens and comes back to reveal a roomy loading bay. Once in the open position you notice the 15.7” barrel extends back into the bay for ease of loading. I certainly appreciated this feature on the .177 calibre test rifle. To return the under-lever to its original position you need to slightly pull back the under-lever and push in the safety rocker catch positioned approximately midway on the right hand side of the action on the rifle. This releases the anti-beartrap safety feature.
The 200W boasts the Quattro trigger unit and rear safety catch. To make it even more of a standout feature on this particular model, the finger friendly reach back curved blade is gold plated.
The safety is a cleverly designed addition as it automatically returns to the ‘safe’ position upon cocking and then needs to be manually taken off, set to fire mode by pulling the ridged outer round end lever as you would a hammer on a pistol. Ideally positioned at the rear of the action it works faultlessly and is easily operated with the thumb of your trigger hand. As for handling and balance, again I can’t fault it, however, due to the articulated under-lever I was expecting the cocking stroke to be less strenuous but the lever is short so it stands to reason it takes a bit of heft to cock. Nevertheless on cocking and firing the action is surprisingly smooth.
Add a scope and a silencer of choice and the 200W becomes a serious option for general hunting use. Most often now, when testing rifles such as this, I use the Konus 1.5 – 6 X 44 M30. A big rugged optic with a chunky 30mm body tube, coated lenses, easy-lock turret adjusters – certainly one that deserves to be looked at by both airgun and rimfire hunters. Despite its low magnification it’s great for carbine sized rifles and one that always seems to suit and sit very nicely in these popular Weaver/dovetail dual mounting platforms. I spun a ‘black granite’ effect Swift silencer in place up-front and the combo felt very balanced in the hold, and ready for shooting at any angle.
Upon zeroing the rig I was impressed with the low recoil, which is aided by the internal SAS (Shock Absorber System) that reduces shock and vibration of a punchy carbine such as this - and it really seems to work. Also, there are few springers in this price bracket that are as quiet both from internal spring noise and muzzle report (when using the Swift silencer) during testing.
The barrel didn’t seem pellet fussy and I also got to try Edgar Brothers’ own brand pellets. I’d recommend these quality domehead ‘slugs’ to anybody looking to see if they can better their accuracy in the rifle they use. Zeroed at 30-yds, I was soon making ragged ½” hole groups and as we know that means if your shooting accurately it’s a clean kill.
Personally I feel the Hatsan Dominator 200W Carbine is one of the best air rifles Edgar Brothers import from these Turkish gun manufacturing giants, and it’s a rifle many airgun hunters on a budget will certainly appreciate.
|Model||Hatsan Dominator 200W Carbine|
|Type:||Under-lever spring/piston powered single-shot|
|Calibre:||.177 (on test) .22 and .25 available|
|Stock||Walnut or Synthetic sporter with height adjustable comb|
|Overall length||43.2” (1098mm)|
|Sights||None fitted but dual 11mm dovetails and Weaver style rail fitted for scope mounting|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates