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Definitive Guide to Hatsan Gladius

The famed Gladius was the preferred weapon of the Roman Empire. These strong and reliable short swords were the constant companions of the Legionar. Like its namesake, the Hatsan Gladius air rifle is designed to be the perfect companion. With Hatsans reputation for reliability combined with a compact bullpup package, the Gladius makes for a great hunting rifle for getting in and around thick brush, dense woods, or moving in and out of vehicles. Available in .177, .22, and .25 caliber the Gladius can suit any need from small to medium game. Designed to be an "everyman's bullpup" the Gladius ushers in an affordable yet highly accurate and powerful bullpup for airgunners.
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Detailed Review
The Basic Anatomy of the Gladius
The Gladius is a bullpup design, meaning that the action is behind the trigger. This puts most of the weight closer to the shooter making the rifle easier to shoulder and aim, as well as reducing the overall length of the rifle without shortening the barrel causing accuracy to suffer. The bullpup design of the Gladius is a nice compact package that makes moving through the woods and brush with the rifle a breeze. The Gladius also makes a great "truck gun" for packing around in your vehicle.
The compact size does not come with any sacrifice on quality either. The Gladius is a well built rifle, constructed using many of the same components as other Hatsan rifles. The charging handle is borrowed from the Galatian, the action is very similar to that of the AT-44, the removable air tube system is very familiar as well.
Of course the Gladius features Hatsans adjustable Quattro Trigger system. We have said time and time again that the Quattro trigger is one of our favorites and the same hold true here. Many bullpup guns will use a transfer bar system to link the trigger to the action, this result is many bullpup triggers having either a very heavy pull or a lot of play in the trigger, however this is not the case with the Gladius, the entire trigger mechanism has been moved forward making the trigger pull on the Gladius just as clean and crisp as on Hatsans other guns.
The stock on the Gladius is a much more innovative design than other bullpups on the market. Hatsan opting for the rugged toughness of a synthetic stock rather than the wood stocks of most other airgun bullpups which require a constant eye to watch over to protect. The butt stock features storage for extra mags as well as an adjustable comb and butt pad. And the forend includes x3 picatinny/weaver rails for mounting your favorite accessories.
The Hatsan Gladius bullpup includes three extra magazines, a hard case, sling, an air fill probe, and a small tool kit. Hatsan really has thought of everything with these guns, all you will need is an air source and ammo and you are up and running. The magazines themselves are very easy to load, and with no springs or winding to worry about. As with many of the Hatsan mags, they do run a bit on the narrow side so be careful when choosing your ammo. Pellets like the Predator Polymag or the H&N Hornet may be too long for the Gladius (instead pick up the Polymag Shorts, perfectly suited for shorter PCP mags.)
Shot Performance, Calibers & Loudness
The accuracy of the Hatsan Gladius was phenomenal, we were able to achieve sub 1 inch groups out to 50 yards using JSB pellets (which it seems almost all Hatsan rifles favor). The German steel barrel of the Gladius really does a great job of stabilizing pellets.
The Hatsan Gladius air gun is fully shrouded so the accuracy comes in a quiet package. With an average dB reading on our sound meter of 68dB, that puts the Gladius on par with some of our favorite guns from Benjamin and Air Force in the noise reduction departement. Hatsan is known for producing powerful PCP air rifles and true to form the Gladius is no slouch in the power department. We tested 3 different pellets, all in different grain weights to get a good idea of what kind of power the Gladius makes. We tested 25.39 grain JSB Exacts, 28.4 grain H&N Baracuda Hunter Extremes, and 27.8 grain Benjamin domed pellets. All performed well in the Gladius and cycled flawlessly, check out the power numbers in the graph below!
The Gladius' power wheel setup means that you can tune the gun to your specific needs. Shooting around in the back yard? You can dial your gun down to as little as 9 ft/lbs for .25 caliber, 7 ft/lbs for .22, and 5 ft/lbs for .177. Maybe you are doing some longer range work, or hunting some tough skinned small game, you can dial your power up to 42 ft/lbs in .25, 38 ft/lbs in .22 or 27 ft/lbs in .177. The flexibility of the Gladius to be a gun for any shooter is a big part of what makes it so appealing.
As with all PCP rifles the great challenge is finding a way to keep it filled. Seasoned PCP owners can skip ahead but for those new to PCPs, here's the lowdown: A hand pump is the most economical option, however be ready for a bit of a workout. Really you'll hate it the first time as you go from zero psi to a full 3,000 psi. After that it gets easier as you top off the tank every 20 or so shots. The Air Venturi G6 can pressurize guns up to 4,500 psi, more than enough to get your Gladius to a full fill. It ships with spare parts so you can maintain the pump over time. We also highly recommend the Hill MK4 pump with it's smooth & efficient pumping action.
If you'd like to skip the workout of pumping up your PCP, then you'll need to invest in a carbon fiber tank rather than the standard aluminum scuba tanks. The carbon fiber allows you to fully fill your Gladius due to the higher psi demands to gain a full fill. The smaller 90 cu in Carbon Fiber tanks are small enough to tote around in a backpack and fill to 4500 psi allowing for quite a few fills before needing to be refilled. Not all compressors can fully pressurize to 4500 psi, so make sure to call ahead to your local shop to confirm their capabilities. (Most local paintball stores can handle carbon fiber tanks and some scuba shops can as well if given notice).
The fill port on the Gladius is a probe type (behind the slide away port cover which helps keep debris out). So whether you're using a hand pump or a carbon fiber tank, we recommend you pick up an Air Venturi Male Quick-Disconnect adapter so you can quickly switch out the probe when filling other PCPs you own.
Make sure to post your own review of the Hatsan Gladius once you've received it and shot some lead down range. We welcome your comments and questions.
Highly Ergonomic Bullpup Design The Gladius is one of the most comfortable and quick point air rifles on the market. The bullpup design puts most of the weight of the rifle towards the rear of the gun, nearest to the shooter. This makes shouldering and aiming the rifle very quick. The stock and cheek rest are fully adjustable for length and height and the ambidextrous pistol grip makes the Gladius comfortable for any shooter. Coupled with the integrated picatinny rails on the forend for attaching a bipod, these features make the Gladius a great platform for either shooting off hand or off a bipod.
Fully Shrouded and Baffled Barrel The Gladius, like all Hatsan guns, features a hammer forged German steel barrel. These highly accurate barrels combined with Hatsan's proven Quiet Energy sound suppression system makes for a very quiet shooting rifle. Our preliminary sound tests with a .25 cal Gladius found it metered at 68 dB.
Accuracy & Power Being that the Gladius is so comfortable to shoot, getting some great groups out of the rifle is relatively easy. We found that 1 inch groups at 50 yards were easily achievable. Though we tested a few different pellets, our .25 cal Gladius seemed to prefer the JSB Exact Diabolo pellets the most. The Gladius .25 that we tested was more than capable in power for small game hunting, throwing the 25.39gr JSB pellets at over 800 fps and making a max ft/lbs rating of 40.63 ft/lbs!
Adjustable Power Wheel Hatsan has added a new feature to the Gladius that has not been seen on their rifles in the past. An adjustable power wheel allows you to tune the performance of your gun to better match the pellets that you are using, allowing the Gladius to be effective with multiple types and weights of ammunition. Another added benefit to the power wheel system is being able to turn the pressure down to conserve air while target shooting or plinking, less air use means less time spent filling the rifle, which means more time pulling the trigger!
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