I’ve had the Hatsan Big Bore airguns in the shop for a little over a week. They’ve done a great job at taking a proven platform and adapting it for Big Bore use. I gave Hatsan USA a list some time back of what I would want in a Big Bore airgun from them and they’ve hit every item on my list.
The BT65 is a known platform and we know what it looks like and the various features that it comes with as standard equipment. What we don’t know is how it will push these larger pellets and bullets. Let’s start with the .357 as there are a lot of viable ammo options available right now.
Basic numbers first:
I’ve got 5 different types of .357 ammo here in the shop. I’ve got Eun Jin pellets, JSB pellets, AirVenturi Round ball, AirVenturi Round Nose Bullets, and AirVenturi pointed hollow points. I’ve shot them all here in the studio to see what kind of base velocity I’m getting from them. I also want to test how the various types of ammo cycle in the magazine. So far I’ve not had any jams with any of the ammo above.
Here’s some of the initial results. I topped off before each 6 shot test using my Air Venturi Regulated fill bottle so that I would always get a consistent fill pressure.
First up, the Eun Jin 77.8 Grain 9mm pellets. Being pellets they fit perfectly in the magazine and did not show any signs of feeding issues.
High – 711.6, Low – 693.2, Average – 702, Extreme Spread – 18.4, Standard Deviation – 7.3, Average Energy – 85.15 FPE
You can see how the power curve is going to develop with this airgun. So far it’s showing that it will easily get 12 shots which is 2 full mags. Having tested some other Big Bore airguns, that’s an amazing shot count with outstanding consistency.
Next are the JSB 81.2 Grain 9mm pellets. Again, they fit in the magazine without any issues and feed very reliably. These have proven to be VERY accurate in other guns that I’ve tested. My preliminary tests at 35 and 40 yards show the same great results.
High – 697.0, Low – 684.4, Average – 688.6, Extreme Spread – 12.6, Standard Deviation – 4.8, Average Energy – 85.52 FPE
Now we’re moving on to bullets and round ball. I’ve not tested these at the range yet, but I’m going to do so very soon. In fact, I’m scheduled to go to the range immediately after I finish this article!
I’m going to start with the Air Venturi Round Ball. This ammo measures .358 and weighs 66 Grains. Personally, and much to my surprise, I’ve found the round ball to be consistently the most accurate ammo, second to the JSB pellets if available in the given caliber, in the Big Bore airguns that I’ve tested. While it looks pretty ugly, it’s the results on paper that speak for themselves. That’s yet to be determined here with the Hatsan .35, so it will be very interesting to see if the trend continues.
High – 757.1, Low – 730.8, Average – 747.2, Extreme Spread – 26.3, Standard Deviation – 10.2, Average Energy – 83.08 FPE
I would have liked to see a lower extreme spread from these round ball. Let’s see how they do on the range later today.
Next up we have the Air Venturi 105 Grain .356 FP (Flat point) bullets. They are not as secure in the mag as the other ammo, but I did not have any feeding issues so they may be ok.
High – 617.9, Low – 608.3, Average – 613.9, Extreme Spread – 9.6, Standard Deviation – 4.0, Average Energy – 87.89 FPE.
Notice how the heavier bullets manage the air better than the lighter round ball with a greatly reduced extreme spread. Given the lower velocity, accuracy may be limited to 35 yards before the projectile starts to become unstable.
Last up are the Air Venturi 95 Grain .356 PHP (Pointed Hollow Point) bullets. These are the ones that really have my attention with regard to hunting. If they are accurate to 40 yards, they may be a great option for medium and large game.
High – 653.5, Low – 641.7, Average – 648.4, Extreme Spread – 11.8, Standard Deviation – 4.4, Average Energy – 88.71 FPE
These produced the most energy of all with a maximum energy of just over 90 FPE.
Now it’s time to hit the range.
Stay tuned to see how both the .30 cal and the .357 perform out in the field!