So heres the big news for day one. Im a huge fan of Hatsan PCPs for a lot of reasons. They are rugged, accurate, and are priced aggressively. The ONE thing that I dont like about the Hatsan PCPs is that theyve always been really, really loud. Theyve never been what you could shoot in your neighborhood back yard. This is all about to change.
The challenge of quieting airguns.
There is quite the discussion about what is legal and what is illegal about airgun suppressors. Its very cut and dry when it comes to firearms. You need a license and you better keep your paperwork on you. But, with airguns, the BATF says we dont regulate airguns. So the dilemma is whether or not someone would press an airgunner for violating the suppressor law by owning and using a detachable suppressor. Frankly, if there is a gray area, I want to stay far away from it as Im allergic to vertical bars.
The way around this is to create a permanently attached suppressor thats integrated into a shrouded barrel. This way it cant be attached to a firearm and thus, there are no legal issues. The wildly successful Benjamin Marauder is an example of this method, which works amazingly well.
Send in the shrouds.
Taking a page from the Marauder and other airgun manufacturers, Hatsan has shrouded four of their most popular PCP airguns; the AT44, AT44 LONG, BT65, and the Galatian. The difference is simply amazing. I had the privilege to work on some of the prototypes and Im happy to say that my production sample far exceeds my expectations.
I received my AT44 Quiet Energy (Hatsans name for their new Quiet powerhouse airguns), a little over a week ago. The noise reduction is nothing short of phenomenal. The old AT44 topped out at 112 DB in my shop. The new AT44 Quiet Energy came in at 97 DB but its hard to tell if the meter is picking up just the rifle or the loud SAMCK of the pellet hitting the electricians putty in my silent trap. So I took it outside to compare. Now I would never shoot the standard AT44 in my yard, but the QE version only topped out at 83 DB at 15 feet from the gun. I was able to shoot all afternoon and not have a single issue with my neighbors. This thing is super quiet.
Quiets good.. but what did they give up to get it that quiet?
Well, you may think that velocity and power were on the chopping block but youd be wrong. The AT44 QE sends the 15.89 grain JSB pellets down range at 971+ fps. My average velocity has been around 964 fps.
So if its not power, maybe the accuracy if not as good as the original. Well, as a happy owner of several standard Hatsan PCPs, I can tell you the accuracy may actually be better. My out of the box test with unsorted JSB pellets gave me a 7 shot group at 50 yards that measured only .71 ctc. When I stretched that to 75 yards, it only opened up to .98 ctc.
So the power is there and the accuracy is there.. maybe the build quality and the trigger just dont meet up. Well, both are as good, or better, than the original. The new AT44 Stock now has sling mounts as well as a bottom rail where you can mount a bipod or other accessory. And the trigger a simple reduction in the trigger tension adjustment produced a 1 pound 3.6 ounce trigger pull with a very distinct 1st and 2nd stage. Im not sure what else you would want out of an airgun?
When will they be available?
The new Quiet Energy line of guns will be available later this 2014 so keep your eyes open for the details. Well that wraps up Day 1 of shot show 2014. Cant wait to see what Day 2 holds for us!