Hatsan Model 125 Sniper Air Rifle
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- Last updated: 27/01/2017
The reason for the Hagrid like proportions is that the Sniper and its smaller brother the Striker were designed as FAC rated air rifles but are then re-tuned for sub 12 ft/lbs for the UK market. It has everything a hunter wants; power, accuracy with a practical stock design and some nice extras like bipod and sling swivels as standard. All in all, a nice ‘straight out of the box’ hunting tool.
Barrel and Sights
Overall length of the barrel is 19.5 inches but that does include the sound moderator which is integral and also acts as a large cocking aid. The usual detent locking system at the breech end aligns the barrel to action and is sealed via a single circular ‘o’ ring and lock up was positive. The ribbed sound moderator has a similar matt gray finish to the barrel and is very good at noise reduction, I guess because it had to perform well at FAC levels, so at 12ft/lbs it’s over kill.
On top of the moddy is the foresight without hood cover but with a highly visible day-glo red dot element. This instantly aligns with the twin green dots of the rear sight that adjusts for elevation and windage via two turn wheels. Yes, you will probably fit a scope but the open sights are very good and actually good fun to use at close range.
Action, Trigger and Safety
The action is enormous, a full 15.5 inches long with a 6 inch one piece scope mount fitted to the top. This has an 11mm rail on top of a Weaver rail, so scope or night vision can be used with ease, a nice option! I could do with that on my .22 rimfire.
The finish is matt bluing with the logo etched to the surface. The legend ‘Shock Absorber System’ lettering indicates a dampening effect as you fire the Hatsan. In fact cocking required little effort after a smart rap on the barrel to unlock the detent system. There is a degree of spring compression noise but the actual firing cycle is smooth and very quiet with that good moddy up front.
The Quattro system trigger is very good too, with adjustment for weight and travel – the factory setting was 4.75 lbs. In fact the position of the first and second stage pulls can be adjusted to suit and if you take up the first pull and then decide not to shoot and release the pressure the Quattro resets back to full sear engagement. The adjustments are made by tightening or loosening three screws set into the underside of the trigger. There is also a safety device that has a drop down interlock so if the Striker is dropped without the safety applied it will still not go off.
The safety itself is automatic and resettable. Sited on the rear shroud with a central sliding section with rear thumb rest that slides back as the action is cocked. The anti bear trap stops the safety being taken off when the barrel is broken. Push in to fire or pull out again to reset, the safety blocks the trigger pull.
Hatsan make a good synthetic stock albeit a little flexible in certain areas but overall very nice. I like the even graphite grey colour with textured finish that is accented with soft rubber inserts to forend and pistol grip. These are a lighter grey in colour and have four cut-aways and grid like “checkering” for grip. It looks good and works very well.
Another great feature is the well defined cheek piece which is adjustable for height via two screws, so any scope height can be obtained for comfort and proper alignment.
The recoil pad is also inset to the stock and contributes to a very modern looking design and is ventilated and ‘squishy’, just what you want for a good grip. It’s a large overall stock but better for it to balance the barrel/action although it has that “hollow” feel that all injection moulded stocks do.
A good idea is the inclusion of a sling. As a hunter you really need a sling, so to have one supplied that easily attaches via spring clips to the sling swivels on the stock is brilliant. True it’s a little ‘rattly’ but nice to have none the less.
I fitted an old but good BSA scope and sighted in at 25 yards, and tested a variety of pellets of all designs and weights to put the Sniper through its paces and see if the accuracy lived up to the name. Along with the sling you are also supplied with a plastic bipod that spring clips the two leg section`s to the barrel. Bipods on barrels are usually a no-no to me, they upset the accuracy with barrel bounce especially on a rimfire or full bore so it would be interesting to see how the Hatsan faired. In truth it certainly steadied the shot in the aim but elevation was effected on some shots and accuracy was better when shot from a more conventional supported aim.
Pellet wise there were no surprises here, best accuracy coming from the FTT, AA Fields and Hobbies. The AA Fields shot an impressive 0.75 five shot group with a velocity of 573 fps for a very healthy 11.7 ft/lbs energy with the FTT`s not far behind. They shot 0.85 inch groups with 579 fps and 11.2 ft/lbs energy.
Highest velocity went to the RWS HV a light pellet of 10.6 grains with a 683 fps velocity for 11.0 ft/lbs energy but accuracy was only ‘OK’ at 1.5 inches.
The Accupell shot well too at 0.95 inch groups with a very high 617 fps velocity for exactly 12.0 ft/lbs energy so very close to the legal limit - so take care.
Another good offering from Hatsan especially when you consider the price of the Sniper and the level of standard equipment supplied with the rifle. A little pellet fussy but with most of the pellets tested it shot very well and would make an ideal hunting rifle but probably not for the smaller framed shooter because it is a big rifle and quite heavy at 9.25 lbs.
I like the stock design which was very comfortable to use and the smooth firing cycle certainly helps with the fine accuracy for field use against vermin. Hatsan have a good range of air rifles and there is likely to be one that suits you at a price that is very realistic and reasonable. GM