This is a Community Review of the Hatsan Galatian air rifle 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.
Hit: Bold styling, quality metal & poly, accurate, gobs of firepower.
Miss: Pellet fussy, cumbersome loading magazine, black paint durability, loud report.
The Verdict: A bit of “edge,” graced with tons of attitude, gratefully diluted with a touch of civility.
|Overall Reviewer Rating
“Galatian” is a fitting name. Everyone knows that Hatsan is an organization proud of their Turkish decent, and it is said that Modern Turkey resides where Ancient Galatia used to be… but as it turns out, there may be more to this story. Hatsan’s chosen name, “Galatian”, was born of more controversial roots. In 200AD, Paul the Apostle was converting Jewish Galatians to Christianity, who were said to be especially susceptible his “different gospel of the time”. Reading between the lines… I believe Hatsan wants us to take notice of something: Galations 6:11 – “Ye see how large a letter I have written with mine own hand.” Yes Hatsan, we see.
If you’re not ready for it… squeezing the trigger on the Galatian .25 for the first time will have you walking shamefully to the bathroom to swap out your undershorts. The report is so startling that it brought my wife to the office to see what I had exploded. I’m happy to report though, that she found me grinning ear to ear in sheepish mischief. “Holy Sh** this thing’s a monster,” I said out loud. It’s seriously loud folks. Hatsan, it’s time to bring us a shrouded air gun lineup.
The Galatian’s sinister looks yearn for some hard core shooter’s bling. Why else would Hatsan have incorporated four weaver mounting stations if not to tempt us? I gave in without a fight, and slapped on my favorite UTG Tactical Bipod and UTG flashlight. Of course no long range rifle is complete without good optics, so out came my Tactical BSA 4-14×44 MRAD Reticle scope. It completed the package nicely but tipped the scales at 12.7lbs full of air and magazines hot. Yeah, it’s heavy but I’m alright with it. The Galatian comes with a sling and it makes one heck of a heavy hitting, long range package. It doesn’t have to be though… the Galatian is equally at home stripped down to its sights and on the sling.
Blasting 25.4 grain .25 caliber pellets into my 30 pound indoor pellet trap rocked it pretty hard. That’s a heap of power. Early on in my testing, I wasn’t impressed with the Galatian’s shot to shot consistency but as it turns out, the valve just needed a little breaking in. A few hundred shots later, velocities settled into a barely civilized 48 foot pounds of energy and averaged 920 fps. To get there and stay there, fill to 160 Bar, shoot a 13 round magazine, and repeat… this will keep you in the meat of the power band while keeping your 50-100 yard shots consistent. If you are using your Galatian for shorter duty, fill to 190 Bar and enjoy 40 shots that won’t have much of a change in their point of impact. The .25 Galatian wasn’t built for paper punching, so I’m quite satisfied with 13 very repeatable shots per fill… that should be plenty for a day of small game hunting at 50 yards and beyond.
It seems like Hatsan may have changed the dynamics of the Quatro Trigger in the Galatian. It doesn’t feel exactly like the others I have tested… Pneuma, AT-44, BT-65, AT-P1, etc… but it is still a very good predictable trigger. In search of making it as light as I thought it could be, before a lot of testing, I spent a few hours trying to adjust around the slightly heavier 2nd stage brake, but just couldn’t. Out of the box, it’s set to go off at about 4 pounds. I was able to easily adjust this down to about 2 pounds… but no less without running into a hair-trigger. In the others I have tested, I was able to set the trigger to a reliable 3/4 pounds or so right off the bat. While this likely won’t matter to most, it did have a small effect on my groups, causing me to pull a shot now and then. I’m happy to report that since I’ve now got 1,000 pellets through the Galatian, I was able to adjust the trigger to my light liking. Again, it must have been a matter of breaking things in, because now it’s quite nice. One of the keys to superb accuracy with the Galatian has been to first lighten the trigger as much as is safe, and then focus on pulling the trigger back and up. The safety on the other hand is definitely all new, and I love it. Its gimmicky looks are well made up for in snappy operation. Cycling the cocking lever engages it, and its super slick action means it can be flicked off with ease.
Here’s what I meant about those groups. This gun has an excellent barrel on it, which is capable of some seriously tight groups. The one below was shot at 50 yards, and sent 4/5 pellets through a .46″ hole… then the dynamics of the pre-broken in trigger interfered, and I pulled a shot.
Below is another such example. I emptied the entire 13 round magazine into this .67″ hole at 50 yards… which is VERY respectable by the way. This puts the Galatian’s accuracy on par with PCP’s costing much more. I believe that had the trigger been just a little lighter, this 13 shot group could have been sub half inch… which is something Hatsan can be very proud of. Even then, 10 of the 13 flew through the same hole, and that will inspire great confidence with any hunter.
Speaking of the barrel… I’m not sure who makes the one in the Galatian but it is an upgrade over those in the other Hatsan’s I have dug into. While those barrels have been good shooters, this one is a more refined successor. It is thicker, heavier, has a better finished crown, and a smoother breech lead-in. Also important … the barrel can finally be easily removed for cleaning without harming the gun or its breech seals. It’s a good thing too. Hatsan recommends cleaning every 500 shots but yours may need to be cleaned every 300-400 shots or so to maintain the best accuracy… mine did. To get it out, simply loosen the two grub screws on top of the breech and gently slide the barrel out of the breech. You’ll see the polished pellet lead-in, finished o-ring chamfers, and smooth outer barrel circumference that I’m speaking of. These are all significant upgrades as they lend to a more accurate barrel that can be easily serviced without harming the gun. Bravo Hatsan.
I am not sure I understand Hatsan’s reasoning for redesigning the magazine system. I don’t recall anyone ever complaining about the old one. The redesign is more difficult to use and it gets cumbersome in the field. The magazine is under great tension when you try to slide it in or out of its nook… so much so, that it needs to be forced into place and yanked back out. To further muddy the process, once the magazine has been forced into place, it still needs to be rotated counterclockwise to synchronize it against the indexer. And to finish things off, the magazine lock itself is no longer spring assisted and is overly stiff to slide. It’s all rather brutish and without fluidity now. Grrr Hatsan.
The new cocking arm’s concept is a welcome improvement over the BT-65’s bolt action. It requires less effort and doesn’t pull you off target as much when cycling a new round. Mine had an intermittent glitch though, and got hung up from time to time. When pulled back to cycle another round, it would get caught on something internally, and jam half way back. A release of tension on it and a do-over usually corrected the issue, but sometimes it took a few tries. So fighting this and the magazine made for a rather clunky loading experience. It’s a shame because this rifle has so many other things going for it. The good news is that Hatsan is never one to rest on their laurels and I’m sure we will see further revisions of this system.
The ergonomics of the Galatian were heavily invested in. The synthetic stock material is very nice to touch and offers a good blend of functionality and eye appeal. Anything blued is worthy of a craftsman’s approval… anything painted black, not so much. Its checkering offers solid bite, the mold flashing is minimal, and its many do-dads are advantageous to the platform, and fun to play with. The four weaver mounts, one 11mm mount, easily removable rear sight, sling studs, removable air cylinder, adjustable cheek comb and but plate, and on-board spare magazine holder all guarantee you a lot of tinkering options. Having so much versatility also means that you can pick from several configurations to mold the Galatian to your liking, and suit it to just about any duty. This is one of the rifle’s most redeeming qualities, almost guaranteeing that you’ll never grow tired of it.
I tried all of the below pellets through the Galatian. If you own a .25, you can save a lot of time and expense by sticking with the JSB’s or Air Arms… they both performed equally as well. At 25 yards they were lovely, and Hatsan’s barrel just kept flying them through the same hole. Of the others I tested, they grouped at anywhere between half inch and an inch at 25 yards, so I wasn’t even going to try them at 50 yards or beyond.
Speaking of beyond, what’s the point of having all this power if you’re intent isn’t to reach out and smack game? I suppose you could use the Galatian to smack big game in close, but one advantage of having a big heavy pellet is that it will fly straight in the wind over a longer distance. I tested the Galatian out to 100 yards, and into a 5-10 mph 2 o’clock head wind with impressive results. The rifle drew a crowd, and my range-mates that day were abuzz about its prowess for an “air gun.” For those that haven’t ever pushed an air rifle to these ranges, it’s a long way for a pellet to fly straight. They weren’t really designed for that, so anytime you can make it work, you’ve got a special gun on your hands. The below photographs pretty much tell the whole story. If you want to have the ability to pop a larger critter at 100 yards, and have it count, buy a Galatian.
If you’re a regular reader of my reviews, it goes without saying that I get pretty excited about reporting on the triumphs of an air gun and its manufacturer. If ever I find myself wanting to be critical, I try to take a step back and ponder the bigger picture of what I’ve got, and how it stacks up in the price point. Rather than focus on imperfections, I choose to focus on the product’s attributes, and unless there are real detractors, I let them fall by the wayside. So with the Galatian .25, I’m left torn. It brings to the table massive power, excellent accuracy, a super versatile platform, really handsome styling, a good fit & finish, and carries 26 pellets on board. Silencing the crowd is a super loud report, a fussy receiver, and an iffy black paint finish. For me, this is clearly going to be one of those love/hate relationships. In the end, it’s a rifle that does what it’s supposed to – purposefully put hard-hitting lead long down range.