So the last time I talked about the Hatsan BT65 big bore rifles, the .30 cal was about perfect, with the exception of shot count, and the .35 cal needed just a little tweaking on power and range, as shot count was pretty darn good. Well, I’ve got a bit of an update for you on both of the new big bores from Hatsan.
Redesigned magazine and barrel means more ammo choices
The first major change, and you’ll have to wait just a while to see it, is the new upgraded magazine. The width has not changed, but how the ammo is secured, has. The o-rings have been moved inside which allows them to be spread apart, and the rifles, specifically the .35, can now hold round ball in the magazine without any issues. It will also hold the new H&N Grizzly Pellets and other “bullet” shaped ammo.
Another change on the .35 is a new barrel that has a slightly smaller bore than the original prototype. This will also help with ammo choices. The JSB pellets, which already shot really well in the original prototype .35, did so in part because they are over-sized just a bit. This, combined with their soft lead composition creates a very forgiving airgun round. The JSBs shoot better than before in the new barrel and the slightly smaller inside diameter may improve accuracy with bullet type ammo. We’ll have to test that when the production models start rolling off the line.
What about the power?
The big changes for me have come in the power levels and shot count. The .30 cal model was producing close to 80 foot pounds but only getting 7 useful shots. The final numbers are still be decided on, but I would expect the .30 cal to land somewhere in the 73 foot pounds and 21 usable shot range. My initial testing at 50 and 100 yards showed no significant change in accuracy, and the average FPS only dropped about 55 FPS while gaining 14 more shots. Again, we’ll only know the final settings once the production models start rolling off the line.
As for the .35 cal, with the improvements to the barrel and some other minor adjustments, I’m now getting an average or 95 found pounds across 18 shots. Accuracy at 50 yards has improved significantly, and I’m betting that with the right scope and some time at the range, I’ll see a good 100 yard accuracy as well.BT65 Quiet Energy .35 Cal 50 Yards – 5 shot group
And speaking about the scope, Hawke Optics just sent me their new Endurance 30 rifle scope. This is a beautiful scope with great features. The model that I’m mounting on the .35 cal is the 4-16×50 30mm side focus, with illuminated mil-dot reticle. This should prove a much better fit that the BSA 3-12×40 Contender that I had previously mounted. It was fine for 50 yards as that’s where I had the rifle zeroed for testing, but at 100 yards, the large triangles it uses instead of dots completely obscured the target. It’s a great tactical scope and I’ve moved it to another rifle, but it’s not for long range shooting in my opinion. With all that said, I still shot what I think to be a darn good 100 yard group for a .35 cal.Hatsan BT65 Quiet Energy .35 caliber – 100 yard 7 shot group.
The BT65 Line for 2015
Things look pretty good for the BT65 Quiet Energy line from Hatsan as we usher in 2015. This line has something for everyone starting at .177 and now going all the way up to .35. The rifle can be easily adjusted for power, which allows great flexibility for the end user regardless of caliber. The BT65 platform has proven to be very reliable and accurate. With the inclusion of the .30 and .35 calibers to the lineup, shooters will now have an extremely wide range of great calibers and power levels to choose from.Hatsan BT65SB Quiet Energy Air Rifle – Massively powerful and accurate to past 75 yards, this is a perfect example of a Hunting Class Airgun
My perfect airgun is an airgun that can consistently shoot 1 MOA or better out of the box and cost well under $1000. The BT65 Quiet Energy big bores, especially in the .30 cal, may be extremely close to achieving that goal. Power is great. Accuracy is better. Power and accuracy is what Hatsan’s delivering with their new BT65 QE Big Bores. I can’t wait till they hit the shores!