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Hatsan Model 125 Sniper Air Rifle Kit .25 Cal ReviewThis is a Community Review of the Hatsan 125 Sniper Air Rifle Kit by Steve Scialli. The author of the following review are in no way affiliated with Airgun Depot. The views expressed below are personal opinion only.
|Overall Reviewer Rating
From the first time I read about the Sniper, it had my ears pricked. I quickly gave myself a history lesson, and discovered that Hatsan is a true arms manufacturer, and not just an assembler of parts. It's one of those rare companies where raw ideas & materials enter through front door of the plant, and a finished product emerges out the back. This is truly remarkable in an era of outsourcing, cost cutting, and lean manufacturing. Furthermore, these guys have been producing fine firearms since 1976, and are top dog in Turkey when it comes to shotguns. They export products to over 90 Countries throughout the world, and operate their business with the most cutting edge technology. Can you begin to see what makes them so special?
HATSAN ARMS ESCORT EXTREMEMAX SHOTGUN
HATSAN MOD 125 SNIPER AIR RIFLE
After reading all about these products online, I was eager to get my hands on my own. A phone call to Air Gun Depot made quick work of my need, and few days later my package arrived. The Sniper was packaged in a cardboard box as they all are, but with a twist. This rifle comes sealed inside of transparent plastic, well protected from the elements on its journey overseas. As I removed it, my first impression was that it was big! But big wasn't the only emotion I had coursing through my mind. There was an ambience of something else too... quality. This Hatsan oozes it. From its high grade skin-textured synthetic stock, to its beefy metal parts, and cut above the masses trigger, the Sniper is an absolute pleasure to be in the midst of.
Still in eager mode, I got to wiping the rifle down & to cleaning the barrel. I don't know that a barrel-scrub is necessary on a Hatsan, but it's a ritual of mine that I've had good luck with. And as it turns out, this Sniper certainly wasn't hurt by it.
As always, I begin with some chronograph testing to check the overall health of the power plant. The Sniper didn't disappoint. I ordered this one in .25 caliber, and I was looking forward to seeing what kind of muzzle energy it would produce. For the newer generation of air gunners it seems of great importance to have a lot of oomph in a rifle. I have to admit, I am guilty of getting caught up in this fashionable trend too. And while I do appreciate a soft spoken springer with manners, this isn't one of those, and I like it!
The chronograph validated my high expectations for muzzle energy. In short, this is a 29-30 FPE springer regardless of what pellet you use. For those of you that are just getting into the lifestyle, that's about double the power of a typical magnum spring power plant. The skeptic in me was quick to suspect new gun dieseling for power levels so high. But the chronograph proved me wrong, tabulating 10 shot standard deviations of a mere 1.41 FPS, 1.71 FPS, and 1.41 FPS across three different types of pellets. Extreme spreads were only in the 4-6 FPS range too. Furthuiemore, 500 shots later and the consistency from shot to shot grew even tighter... a clear sign that the gun's engine had broken in nicely. There is certainly a cool factor to being unusually powerful, but it is more often consistency that that hard core air gunners crave.
As for the highly regarded velocities, 20 gr pellets were averaging 815 FPS, 31 gr pellets were averaging 644 FPS and the rest fell somewhere in between. In the end, I tested 12 different makes of pellets over the chronograph and at the range. The Sniper had clear preferences among them too. For this rifle, they were the JSB Exact King, the H&N Hollow Point, and the Predator Polymag. Most everything else grouped at less than an inch, the worst offenders being the Superdomes, Baracudas, and Silverpoints. Those three didn't fare as well.
CHRONOGRAPH OF CLASS LEADING CONSISTENCY ACROSS 30 SHOTS, AND 3 BRANDS OF PELLETS
CHRONOGRAPH OF THE HIGHER VELOCITY 20.6 GR H&N FIELD TARGET TROPHYS AT 815 FPS
CHRONOGRAPH OF THE ULTRA ACCURATE JSB EXACT KING
JSB EXACT KINGS AGAIN – 500 SHOTS LATER (CHECK OUT THAT STANDARD DEVIATION “0.00")
WEATHER AT TIME OF TESTING – WINDY!
This Sniper lived up to its suggestive name in my tests. At 30 feet, it managed to put five JSB Predator Polymags into one .25 caliber sized hole. That's a lot of close range precision with 29.9 FPE.
5 SHOT GROUP OF JSB POLYMAGS AT 30 FEET
At 25 yards, those same Polymags opened up to into a .87" CTC group, still plenty sharp enough for this rifle's intended purpose.
5 SHOT GROUP OF JSB POLYMAG AT 25 YARDS
Another pellet that consistently grouped well for me in this rifle, and in other Hatsans I have tested was the H&N Holllow Point. It's a nice alternative if you wanted to transfer a lot of energy to your target, as they'll bring 29.5 FPE to your quarry.
5 SHOT GROUP OF H&N HOLLOW POINTS AT 25 YARDS
Of course if you feel you want the security of tightest groups at 25 yards, you can always turn to the JSB Exact Kings. They consistently managed .34" CTC groups of five in this Sniper... even out to 75 feet. FPE brought to target is 29.8.
5 SHOT GROUP OF JSB EXACT KING AT 25 YARDS
And for you long range fanatics, the JSB Exact King & Sniper combo delivered in spades. Even in windy conditions out to 53 yards, the Sniper managed an average of 1.59" CTC over 22 shots. That's darn impressive for a 30 FPE springer in the sub $300 price point. I suspect that without the wind blowing, sub ¾" groups would be the norm. How are you going to feel carrying that kind of confidence into the field?
53 YARDS (6 SHOTS A SIDE, WINDY CONDITIONS) LEFT 1.20" CTC, RIGHT 1.83" CTC
53 YARDS (5 SHOTS A SHIDE, WINDY CONDITIONS) LEFT 2.18" CTC, RIGHT 1.13"CTC
Getting personal with the Sniper is gratifying. While it is big, and takes some muscle to cock, the firing & cocking cycle is twangy but mostly smooth. The gun shoulders well and the raised cheek piece is a comfort when making those long shots count. The trigger is wonderfully predictable, and mine broke cleanly and when I wanted it to. The grey silicone rubber grips on the forearm and grip are more for handsome looks than anything else. The gun's stock texture by itself is plenty organic feeling, and inspires confidence in the field.
So the Sniper has good looks, was born of sound heritage, and can put its money where its mouth is. I'm pretty particular natured, and I am darn impressed with it. Now, the mere sight of the Sniper resting in the cabinet brings a tickle to my stomach in anticipation of having more fun. The true litmus test of any air rifle is.... "are you excited to take it out to play again." And I most certainly am!
June 3, 2012
Update: Steve did some further testing of the Hatsan 125 and graciously shared his results with us.
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