Earlier this year at the 2014 SHOT Show, Hatsan USA unveiled their answer for airgunners looking for quiet, hard hitting, accurate, and affordable PCP airguns. Their Quiet Energy line of PCPs has been a major player this year, impressing shooters with their power, flexibility, and accuracy.
Hatsan asked me some time back what they should be setting their sights on next and my answer was simple, build an affordable, multi-shot, big bore PCP. I recommended they take the BT65 and simply adapt it for .357 caliber and focus on reasonable power, shot count, and of course accuracy. Well, they’ve taken things one step further.
Last week I had two wonderful visitors show up at my door. The first was our local FedEx driver who delivered a curiously large box from Hatsan that was full of stuff that I had not requested. The second visitor to knock on my door that afternoon was the President of Hatsan USA. “Do you think we can go to the range?” wasn’t the first question he had, but it was up there on the list.
Now back to the curious box that had arrived. I received 2 prototype Hatsan BT65 Quiet Energy airguns. What made them special is that one was chambered for .30 cal and the other was chambered for .35/9mm. Figuring that a trip to the range was on the docket, I already had the .357 scoped and ready, but I’m going to get to that caliber at another time.
I’ve never shot a .30 cal…
I’ve heard that the .30 caliber may be the “perfect” caliber for long range airgunning and small game hunting. Well, my .30 cal JSB pellets arrived earlier this week and today I got the chance to try them out. I’ll get to that in a bit though as I want to talk a little about the .30 cal BT65 QE prototype.Hatsan BT65 Quiet Energy .30 Cal Prototype. One of 2 currently in the USA for testing and evaluation.
The rifle’s action and stock are just like the traditional BT65 QE with the exception of the magazine and the caliber. If you’re familiar with the original BT65, then this rifle will feel like an old friend. There are no open sights so I grabbed the only free optic that I had which happened to be a Hawke Sidewinder Tactical 8.5-24×42 Half Mil-Dot Side Focus scope. Since my plan was to stretch this out as far as practical, the extra magnification and quality glass should be just the ticket.
My initial shots across the chronograph were impressive. The 44.75 grain JSB pellets were averaging a blazing 903.6 FPS across 7 shots which equals 81.15 FPE at the muzzle. That seems to be where the rifle’s sweet spot exists right now so I’ll just top off between each magazine. The spread was only 16.3 FPS through the first mag making this a very consistent shooting airgun with a high potential for good accuracy.Normally you’d see .177, .22, or .25.. but soon you’ll also see .30 and .35 (9mm). I can’t wait till these come in!
A trip to the range…
I took a short trip to the range this afternoon with the sole purpose of testing out this new prototype BT65 QE in .30 cal only to get there and realize that I had forgotten the ammo back at the house! So I did the next best thing and sat and shot the Evanix Tactical Sniper in .45 cal with some folks who were out shooting their .22 long rifles. You should have seen the looks on their faces when I pulled out the Evanix Sniper and then proceeded to show them the .45 cal round ball I was going to be shooting. We all had a go shooting this monster and the results at 50 yards were just what I expected. You need to know the airgun’s shot to shot velocity, to maintain consistency through the full 6 shot magazine. From a full fill, shooting the 137 grain round ball at 50 yards, and with my Leapers Mil-Dot scope set on 12x, I had to aim 1 dot low for the first 2 shots, dead center for the next 2 and then 1 dot high for the last two. Once I figured that out, I was keeping all my shots in a 2″ group at 50 yards. The rifle is pumping out lead at an average of 652.1 FPS equaling 129.39 FPE at the muzzle. I’m VERY satisfied with how it’s shooting as it’s a big game hunting gun that can hit the kill zone of medium to large game 100% of the time as long as the shooter does their part.The .45 Cal Evanix Sniper Tactical put smiles on people’s faces every time it’s on the range!
Back to the Hatsan .30 cal already!
Ok, so the Evanix was a nice side trip and one that I’m going to be coming back to, but I know you all really want to know how the Hatsan BT65 Quiet Energy .30 prototype did on the range. Well, I did drive back and get my .30 cal JSB pellets once I had wrapped up with the .45 cal Evanix Sniper Tactical, and I have some pretty interesting shot cards to show you all. But, you’ll have to wait until my next article so definitely bookmark the blog and keep checking for my results at the range with the new Hatsan .30 cal. Did I mention yet how much I love my job?