Category Archives: Air & C02 Rifles and Pistols

Section to discuss air rifles and pistols include C02. So springers and C02 mainly.

Clean Your New Airgun’s Bore Before use

When any projectile weapon is made, there are machining operations, dust and lubricants.  Now a lot of this is down in the bore of your new purchase.  This is true of any arm – including air guns of all types and firearms.  If you shoot your weapon without cleaning it, you do risk hurting the barrel or maybe even a jam.  Think of it this way – all that crud has to go somewhere.  It may go out the end of the barrel or it may get pressed into the walls of the barrel affecting accuracy going forward.

So, clean the barrel.  Now, I’m going to focus on airguns going forward as there are some peculiarities to consider.

#1 – The steel used in air rifles and air pistols is relatively soft – way softer than that found in a firearm.  You must take care not to nick the crown of the muzzle and create a burr that will affect accuracy.  I would recommend aluminum or carbon fiber cleaning rods and not steel.  Look out for the pull through cords as many (not all) have a wire brush as part of the unit.  There are flexible wire units that allow you to pull the patch in from the breach and out the muzzle end.  Personally, I swear by carbon fiber rods and mainly use Tipton brand rods now.  I have 4-5 of them now for different calibers and lengths of barrels.

#2 – Because of the soft steel, do not use any form of wire brushes as they may hurt the rifling and accuracy going forward.  I just use a simple mop for the given caliber that screws into the end of your cleaning rod.  Tip – make sure the thread of your tip(s) match the size of your cleaning rod – for example, that if the rod is 8-32 (size 8 with 32 threads per inch) then the tips should be the same.  I have the following jag set from Tipton.  These impale a patch and allow you to push it down the bore while scrubbing the sides.

#3 – Look out for strong solvents.  I’d recommend something light such as WD40, CLP or any modern synthetic transmission fluid.  If you didn’t know it, automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is a great cleaner and lubricant for airguns and it lubricates the O-Rings.  Regardless of what you use. Run dry patches after to remove any extra lubricant.  By the way, WD40 can help with cleaning but it will not prevent rust.

The following is an example of a clean and dirty mop after going through my brand new Hatsan Gladius and note you would see this from just about any brand and I’m not saying anything bad about Hatsan.  My Gladius is fantastic.  To do the initial cleaning, I used WD40 with the mop and then ran patch after patch after patch until it was relatively clean.  You can decide where you want to stop or you may spend the rest of your life running patches down a barrel.

#4 – This is a bit of a general comment, but be aware of where all the junk is going when cleaning.  For example, don’t use a cleaning and was all the crud down into your action.  Unlike a firearm, it can be nearly impossible to clean from the breach end so you have to clean from the muzzle.  Thus, be sparing with the cleaner and inspect the breach end to see if you need to clean the weapon further.  My advice would be to go light on the cleaner and just make how ever many passes are needed with the mop and/or patches until the bore is shiny.

#5 –  I recommend using a decent gun vise to hold what you are working on to free up your hands.  I sure have cleaned a lot of rifles and pistols over the years sitting on the floor and still do from time to time but the Tipton “Best Gun Vise” has worked well for me.

So with that, you are done.  Guys ask how often should they clean and the answer is surprisingly little – you may choose to do it on a regular preventive basis or when you notice accuracy tapering off.  One thing I had told to me that I took as gospel and will pass on – beware of the harsh cleaners that have ammonia as it will attack/harm aluminum parts in airguns and airguns tend to use a lot of aluminum.

This last comment has to do with lubrication vs. cleaning.  Note, if you are ever lubricating the main spring, areas around the piston or other high pressure areas, you must what is recommended and it is probably some form of  silicone based lubricant vs. petroleum.  Be sure to read up on what is recommended for your application before doing anything in those areas.

In reading the above it sounds like a Tipton commercial but it wasn’t planned – the listed items are what I actually use.  I was not paid to write this.  I’ve bought all my Tipton stuff over the years from Amazon and Midway depending on pricing and availability.

At any rate, I hope these tips help you with your next project.


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Installing a Hawke Vantage II 4-12×50 AO Scope on a Hatsan Gladius Long Rifle

When I bought my Gladius a few months back from Airgun Depot, it came as a package deal with a Hawke Vantage IR 4-12×50 AO Mil-Dot illuminated scope with a 1″ tube [Model 14252].  I had heard some good reports about Hawke so I figured I would give the scope a chance.  It is bright, clear and decent eye relief (3.5″).  The controls all turn easily and I really prefer adjustable objective scopes (AO) for air rifles.  It lets me focus and get a range estimate of the target.  Most of my shooting is at 10 yards but I do stretch out further at times. 

Oddly enough, the Gladius does not have a standard Picatinny rail on top but rather some odd interpretation Hatsan came up with that allows the use of either Picatinny 22mm rings or 11mm dovetail rings.  It looks odd but it works.  Personally, I just wish they did a standard Picatinny rail on top vs. both but that’s just me.

First off, I looked at lots of photos of the Gladius and other bullpups and was rather surprised how high guys mounted the scope.  An air rifle is still beholden to the laws of physics and trajectories.  A scope mount should be as low as possible for two reasons:  First and foremost, it causes less parallax.  Just think about it this way, the higher the right triangle from your eye to the muzzle, the steeper the angle and the greater the change over a given distance.  Second, a lower scope tends to enable a more consistent cheek weld getting the shooter to be more accurate.  If you line up differently behind the scope each time, your point of impact will differ.  Consistent cheek weld and alignment behind the scope matter.

So, rather than use the high 11 mm Beeman rings that Airgun Depot sent me, I used a pair of low profile UTG RQ2W1104 LE Grade rings.  I have used many UTG rings over the years and find them to work fine in non-precision situations.  If I am doing a target rifle, I’ll use true precision machined rings from companies such as Vortex.  In this case, UTG would work just fine and I used their quick release rings which are nice when you want to get the scope off the rifle in a hurry.  What is important is that they need to be snug,  Tighten the adjustment screws so you get a nice solid lock up.

Now you may be wondering why I am using low profile rings with a 50mm scope and its because of the big scope mount riser that Hatsan put on the rifle.  It’s just fine for the front objective to extend down lower than the rings because of the riser and the rear eye piece clears just fine.  This is what lets the scope get closer to the center line of the barrel.

With this set up the center of the scope is 2-1/4-3/8″ from the center of the bore.

I spent the extra money on the Gladius thinking I would need to adjust the cheekpiece but I actually get a real nice cheekweld with this set up.  I have almost 250 pellets through the rifle and everything is working fine.  The scope and rings are holding zero no problem and I have adjusted the AO and power knob countless times.  On some scopes this would be the kiss of death but the Hawke has handled all the adjustments just fine.

The rifle cylinder you see has a regulated cylinder at 130 bar and is getting sub 1/2″ groups at 10 yards with 18.3 grain JSB Jumbo Diabolo Heavy Exact pellets and handles pests no problem.

Normally I would use a Vortex scope but I am quite pleased with the Hawke Vantage II.

Note, I didn’t list the sizes on the Butler Scope caps.  The front is too lose and I need to find something better as it wants to come off vs. flipping open right now.  That will be a future post.

2/22/2018 Update:  The scope and rings are holding up great.  I have no complaints at all.  The Gladius is an excellent rifle and this combo of rifle, rings and scope have really proven themselves to me.  I have not had any problems at all with the scope holding zero.


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Hawke Sport Optics Vantage HD 4-12X50AO Mil Dot IR Riflescope


Features: 11 layer fully multi-coated optics for excellent clarity / Adjustable objective for parallax correction, 1 inch mono-tube chassis for superior strength, Glass etched reticle with red and green illumination / Rheostat on saddle offers 5 levels of brightness, 1/4 MOA low profile ‘no-snag’ fingertip turrets, Fast focus eyebell and high torque zoom ring

Long Range, Low-Light Shooting

Designed for long-range shooting, especially in low-light conditions, the Hawke Sports Optics 4-12×50 Vantage AO IR Riflescope boasts a large objective to draw in generous amounts of light to allow its use at dawn and dusk, or in heavily canopied areas. To further improve the scope’s performance, all of its optical surfaces are fully multi-coated to boost light transmission and improve color fidelity, contrast, and image brightness.

Mil Dot Illuminated Reticle

The classic Mil Dot features multiple aim points for hold-over and hold-under. Accurate mil spacing on 10x, featuring 4 Mil Dots in each direction. Glass etched reticle that has 5 brightness levels of illumination in both red and green, or can be turned off for a solid black reticle.

Features

  • 11 layer fully multi-coated optics for excellent clarity
  • Adjustable objective for parallax correction
  • 1 inch mono-tube chassis for superior strength
  • Glass etched reticle with red and green illumination
  • Rheostat on saddle offers 5 levels of brightness
  • 1/4 MOA low profile no-snag fingertip turrets
  • Fast focus eyebell and high torque zoom ring
  • Chassis: 1″ Mono-tube
  • Optical System: 4-12x
  • Objective: 50mm
  • Reticle: Mil Dot Center
  • Illumination: Red / Green – 5 Levels
  • Focus/Parallax: Adjustable Objective – 9m / 10yds to Infinity
  • Field of View (m @100m / ft @100yds): 8.7 – 2.9m / 26.2 – 8.7ft
  • Eye relief: 89mm / 3.5?
  • Length: 349mm / 13.7?
  • Weight: 600g / 21.2oz
  • Waterproof, Shockproof, Nitrogen purged
  • All caliber rated
List Price: $189.99 USD
New From: $189.99 USD In Stock

Update on my Hatsan Gladius After a Month – Still very happy!

Well, I’ve had the Gladius for almost a month and the thing rocks.  I have dispatched about a two dozen squirrels strictly for pest control.  It definitely does the job and I only have it on power setting three.  I actually have to consider over penetration even on setting three the pellets go right through the squirrels.

For pests, I am still quite happy with the JSB Jumbo Heavy Diabolo 18.13gr pellets.  I have the rifle on power setting three and am getting about 1/2″ groups at 30 feet.  What I have found is that my first round is a flier if I go to 200 bar.  Instead, I stay between 150-180 bar and it is pretty consistent.  I have a Huma regulator in one of the two air cylinders but am still shooting with the one that came with the rifle until I get some time to use the chronograph and site in the scope with the new changes.

The Hawke scope is holding up just fine.  I did spend the money to get some Butler flip up lens caps.  Size 48 (2.5″) for the objective and 15 (1.558″ for the eyepiece).  They are working fairly well though I do wish the objective fit a bit tighter.

So far, so good.


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How to install a Huma Regulator in a Hatsan Gladius Air Cylinder

The Hatsan Gladius is a pretty cool precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle.  You get a long of bang for your buck but it does lack an important feature needed to get more consistent accuracy from the rifle – regulated air pressure.  The stock Gladius has a power setting but it does not have a consistent air pressure supply.  What a regulator does is allow you to have the reservoir set at one pressure and then the air fed to the rifle is set at another.  For example, the Gladius’ cylinder is rated for 200 bar (3,000 PSI).  You can set the regulator for 130 bar, which is a popular setting, and you always get 130 bar until the pressure of the cylinder dips below 130 bar.  This not only helps you have a far more consistent pressure but also the number of shots increases because a lesser volume of air is used with each shot due to the regulator.

In talking with folks, the most recommended regulator I could find for the Gladius is made by Huma in the Netherlands.  You can order direct from them, which I did and my two regulators arrived in less than a week.  I should also point out that they were very prompt in replying to my questions, which I really appreciated.

In this blog post I will cover how to install the Huma based on what I learned while trying to install the regular.  I would also recommend that you read the instructions from Huma to make sure you get a better understanding of what is needed.  With the Gladius, installing the regulator is relatively easy because it goes into the removable air cylinder.

Step 1:  Mark the bottom of the cylinder.  I put a piece of tape and marked the bottom of the cylinder while it is screwed all the way into the rifle.  You must do this because the regulator has a top position that must be oriented properly when the cylinder is screwed back in.

Step 2:  Remove the cylinder from the rifle.  It simply unscrews counter-clockwise and you may need to pull the cylinder to overcome resistance caused by the O-Rings.

Here are the instructions but before you do anything – MAKE SURE YOUR CYLINDER IS EMPTY [Click Here For Instructions to “degas” the cylinder].  There is a pressure gauge at the end of the cylinder and it should read zero.

Step 3:  Remove the brass valve assembly end of the cylinder.  Use a 13mm wrench to turn the brass fitting counter-clockwise and unscrew it from the black aluminum tube.  This should turn easily.  If it does not, install the degas tool, turn the set screw and ensure all air is out.  This brass valve assembly should unscrew fairly easily.  If it is taking a lot of torque to turn then this may indicate that the cylinder is still under pressure.  If it is empty and still does not want to turn then there may be a threading issue and you need to decide if you want to apply more force or contact Hatsan.  Again, on my cylinder this came off very easily with me holding the aluminum tube with one hand while turning the 13mm wrench with the other.  The 13mm wrench sits on a flat spot on the valve body made just for this purpose.

 

Step 4:  Watch out for burs.  The machining inside the cylinder and the valve body are all quite sharp.  Be careful when you are turning things by hand.  If you see any visible burs remove them or you may slit the O-Rings of the regulator by accident.

Step 5.  Prepare the Regulator.  The regulator is one piece.  The online instructions mention and show a separate spacer that is no longer there.  Set the pressure by aligning the brass dial with the pressure markings on the tape.  You would do this by removing the small 3mm screw and using a blade screwdriver to make the adjustment.  I ordered mine set for 130 bar so I didn’t need to do anything but the screw did confuse me as I couldn’t figure out what it was for – it was loose and just sitting there.  I contacted Huma and they told me that this screw is meant to be loose and serves as an air flow restrictor.  To set it, screw it down until it stops and then back it off two full turns.  I had to do this because I removed the screw trying to figure out what it was before I asked Huma.  What I did was hold the screw and rotate the body because that was very easy for me to count two full turns given all the markings.  Huma told me to leave the screw loose so that is what I did.

Step 6.  Grease and seat the bottom O-ring.  Grease everything lightly with silicone grease.  DO NOT USE A PETROLEUM GREASE.  It must be silicone grease to be safe.  Make sure the bottom O-Ring is in place.  This must be done outside of the air cylinder and greased there as well. This is critical – if you do not grease this O-Ring and the bottom of the valve then it may well twist out of position as you tighten things together.

  

Step 7:  Option – notch a small V in the front of the top of the tube to better enable venting. Huma reports there are two ways to make sure the regulator can vent properly.  One is to simply not screw the brass valve back in all the way or take a file and make a tiny notch on the top inside edge of the cylinder before the threads.  I opted to do this as I don’t like the idea of having a loose valve body moving around unpredictably when installing or removing cylinders so I just took a small file and made a tiny notch at the top of the cylinder (opposite from the bottom mark you should have made with the piece of tape).  I did this with the valve sitting horizontally and then wiped out the tiny aluminum shavings and then blew it out too.  I applied the silicone grease after I filed the small notch but took the photo after I greased it so that’s why you see the grease.

Step 8:  Grease everything and insert the regulator.  Ensure the regulator, threads and the first 7mm(ish) of the cylinder after the threads have the silicone grease.  To install the regulator, you must orient it properly.  There is a tiny vent hole in the body of the regulator just below the O-ring that must be at the top of the cylinder where you also made the small notch.  Now the screw end of the regulator goes in first.  So hole up and screw first.  Gently insert the regulator and use a dowel to push the unit into the cylinder.  There will be resistance as the O-Ring pushes past the threads in the cylinder walls.  You really do need a dowel or something to help you push it in while avoiding that bottom O-ring.  If you push on the O-ring with your fingers, it will probably come out — I know this because I did that and it came out and I had to tap the cylinder on my wood work table to get the regulator to come back down so I could fish it out.  What you want to do is slide it down just past the threads.  The air pressure will push it back against the valve body when you fill the cylinder.

  

Step 9:  Reinstall the brass valve body.  As mentioned previously, you have two options – either make the notch and screw the body back on all the way or do not thread it back on all the way so the air can vent from the regulator more readily.

Just for reference, if you don’t want to notch the inside edge of your tube, they say to tighten down the brass valve assembly and keep about a business card thickness gap in it.  Again, I made the notch in the top and tightened mine down.

Step 10.  Pressurize and check for leaks.  So, I used my Hill hand pump and gave myself three targets taking breaks at 50, 100 and 150 bar until finally I reach 200 bar.  It is a fair amount of work so take your time, take breaks and let your body weight work for you if you go that route.  At any rate, I checked for leaks at each stop with soap water.  So far, so good.

Now I just need some time so I can do some shooting and compare my unregulated cylinder to my 130 bar regulated cylinder and report the speed, accuracy and air consumption.  That will be for another day.


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Dielectric Grease / Silicone Paste / Waterproof Marine Grease (8 Oz.) – Made in USA – Excellent Silicone Grease


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How to Degas a Hatsan Gladius Cylinder

The Hatsan Gladius is a really cool bullpup precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle.  One really neat feature is that you can simply unscrew the air cylinder and install another.  A second cylinder is way easier to carry around than an air tank of you are hunting or doing pest control.  Also, you can have different cylinders regulated at different pressures that are tuned for combinations of pellets and distances.  Now the base rifle is not regulated and really all a spare cylinder does is give you a backup air source.  I’ll cover installing a Huma regulator in another post but this one will focus on how to degas, or empty, the air cylinder of the Hatsan so maintenance can be done.  For example, if you want to drain moisture, etc.

First, I need to give you a safety message.  A Hatsan Gladius cylinder may contain up to 3,000 PSI of air pressure in it.  This kind of pressure is dangerous.  Do not mess around when you are working with high pressure air (HPA) or you may get injured or killed.  Respect it and be cautious.  If you haven’t read the manual for your Gladius, do so.  If you lost your manual, click here for an online copy at Hatsan.

Okay, draining the air is very, very simple.  Hatsan includes the tool you need in the small white tool box that came in the original case with your rifle.  It consists of a heavy brass cap with a set screw in it and the appropriate sized Allen key.  The first step is to back the set screw out so when you thread it onto the cylinder it does not touch the conical shaped nipple on the end of the cylinder.  The third photo shows what the set screw will look like when you back it out.  You want to be able to screw the brass cap on all the way without that set screw touching.

  

Next, thread the brass tool all the way onto the cylinder by hand.  Do not turn the set screw until the cap is fully seated.  Note the little vent hole shown in the next photo.  This is where the air will vent.

Now, turn the vent hole away from you and do NOT look straight at it to protect your eyes.  Very slowly turn the set screw clock wise.  As it threads into the body of the cap, it will depress the conical nipple and high pressure air will start to vent.  It’s going to act like a jet and you will feel the cylinder move. I don’t advocate cranking it wide open so you don’t blow dust every where and you can maintain control of the cylinder.  It will empty very fast. In the next photo, you can see the set screw turned in.  The only reason the vent hole is showing is for the photo.  Normally I have it turned away from me.

Last step – the cylinder should be empty when you no longer hear air exiting.  Double check the gauge.  To remove the end of the cylinder should be very easy because Hatsan uses some form of silicone grease on the threads and doesn’t tighten it much.  If it is taking a ton of force, double check the gauge as there may be air in the cylinder.

That’s all there is to it.  I hope this helps you out.


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Video: Some really good review videos on the Hatsan Gladius

One of my favorite things is to do research.  Before I bought my Hatsan Gladius Long Bullpup in .22, I did a lot of reading and also watching of videos.  Youtube is a goldmine of reviews and insights that one should tap in to.  Here are three videos that helped me learn more about the Gladius and especially get a better look at its features and how loud it was.

The first video is my favorite as the two guys set up the rifle and then go through each power setting and record three shots along with their velocity and calculated foot pounds of energy (FPE) for the pellet they were using.  For some reason they did levels one through five but not six. Regardless, I was pretty much sold by the end of these three videos.

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Hatsan Gladius Long in .22 – First Take Out of the Box

I’ve been using a RWS Diana 34P for pest control for two years and wanted to get something without the recoil / spring bounce, had plenty of power, was quiet and also had a quick follow up shot.  To explain two points – a spring pistol air rifle has a rather bizarre recoil caused first by the spring triggering forward and then the pellet being pushed out the barrel.  This requires a particular way of holding the rifle to be accurate wherein it can actually move.  This is known as an artillery hold.  The other issue has to do with the follow up shot.  Now I got pretty good at taking a shot, whipping the 34P around while breaking the barrel open and using a pellet pen to insert the next round.  However, that all takes time and you lose sight of whatever critter you are trying to get – in my case it comes down to tree squirrels, ground squirrels and rabbits.

So, a pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) seemed to make a lot of sense to me and the first hurdle was to figure out how to charge it in a rural area.  After a bunch of reading, I decided to buy a Hill Mk4 hand pump so that part was covered (click here for my review of it).  The next question became, which PCP rifle to get.  On the low priced, quiet, effective and very popular side was the Benjamin Marauder.  The only reason I did not buy it was that I wanted something smaller.  I considered the pistol version of the Marauder but wanted a longer barrel to improve energy and accuracy.  I must admit that I may get one or the other of those some day in the future.

What really caught my eye was the large selection of bullpup air rifles.  I’ve always liked bullpups because they are relatively compact and balance well.  There are a ton of very well rated bullpups including models from Vulcan, Kaliber, Taipan and FX.  I also ran across two offerings from Hatsan – the BullBoss and the Gladius.  They are very similar except the Gladius has an adjustable cheek rest, recoil pad for length of pull and vertical placement, power adjustment and the magazine carrier in the stock.  The plus for the BullBoss is that it is 1.1 pounds lighter as a result.  I opted for the Gladius due to the adjustability.

The Gladius comes in three calibers and two lengths.  Long ago I switched from .177 to .22 for pest control and knew I wanted a .22.  They have a .25 model but given that I already have a ton of different pellets to test from JSB, Crosman, and so forth, I didn’t want to add yet another caliber.  I learned this long ago with firearms – each new caliber brings with it a lot of testing and learning just about what works and what does not.  It’s not as simple as just buying one tin of pellets and you are good to go – you need to be able to test and see what is best for accuracy and even for a given application.  Also, I went with the Long model – it has a barrel that is about 3″ longer and that gets you approximately an additional 100 Feet Per Second (FPS) and 7 more Foot Pounds of Energy (FPE).

I went ahead and bought the Gladius due to the adjustable stock and power settings.  I’m glad I did because I really like to get the stock just right so that when I bring the rifle to bear the scope is just where I want it to be to get a full sight picture and have a consistent cheek weld.  What is also nice about the Gladius is that it comes with a fitted hard case and four magazines total.

So the rifle showed up and I immediately mounted the Hawke 4-12×50 Mil Dot AO scope and took a couple of pictures.  I’ll do another blog post about the scope and rings later but you get the idea.

 

As a side note, guys reported that when you receive it, you can’t tell which side of the case is the top.  You know what?  They are right.  It was pure luck that I opened mine top up.  I took a silver sharpie and wrote a small stylized “T” on the top so I could find it going forward.

Now another thing I like about the Gladius is that the pressure cylinder can be swapped while under pressure.  I had seriously debated how to quickly charge the rifle if I needed to.  Actual PCP tanks are expensive and the spare cylinders are only $159.  Interesting enough, if you look at the case above, it has a cut out for a spare cylinder under the rifle.  Right now, I’m debating whether to use that for a tanks or a Lead Dust Collector (LDC) which is airgun speak for a moderator, which would be in addition to the stock suppressor that is integral with the shroud.  Out of the box, the Hatsan comes with the “probe” you will need to pump air into the cylinder.  It screwed right onto my Hill Mk4 pump so there were no additional adapter fees.  Here is the cylinder with Hill pump:

This is the end that screws into the rifle.  The supports are nicely done and guide it into position without any trickery needed.

This is the fill port.  The cylinder’s gauge is on the end and graduated in bars.  The cylinder and rifle are rated for up to 200 bar, which is 2900.75 PSI.

In the following photo you can see the power selector, thje empty breach where the brass rod is and the magazine locking lever just forward of that.  Note, to turn the power knob, you need to push the release button on the other side to push the knob out away from a set screw that prevents it from accidentally turning.

I find the safety really easy to use.  You simply slide the blade forward with your trigger finger and you are ready to go.  I appreciate things you can do by feel without having to fumble around and look.  The Gladius has the Hatsan Quattro trigger and you can adjust it.  I’m just using it as is right now.  There is a long pull but you can feel the resistance increase before the trigger breaks with not too bad of a pull.  I’ll play with it at some point.

Here you can see the adjustable buttpad and spare mags in their carriers.  You undo the screw with the supplied screw driver and pull it out however far you want.  I just needed to pull it out a bit.

I ran two cleaning patches down the bore to remove crud.  The first one had dirt and oil on it.  The second was much better.

I then loaded up a magazine with 10 JSB Exact Jumbo Diablo 18.13gr pellets and loaded the magazine into the rifle.  You load from the back (the first photo) and seat the pellets all the way.  I then flipped it over so you can see the front in the second photo.

Test firing was from 30 feet using my weighted MTM K-Zone stand

I got excited and shot 20-30 pellets before I realized I didn’t take any photos.  On power level 6 it was loud.  I’d heard to try 3 and 4.  I started with 4 and got it down to about 1/2″ groups.  I would shoot 4-5 pellets and then pump up the rifle and then do it again.  The below is on power setting three which is fairly quiet (not great but good enough) and it had enough power to take out a rabbit and two tree squirrels at 30-45 feet.  The following photo is at the end of sighting the rifle in.  I’d stuck new Splatterburst stickers on my target and was three bullseyes with three shots.  That was good enough for me.  In a future post, I’ll do more groups and post them.

So, this is my first take.  I like the rifle.  It’s heavy but that works for me because the weight of the rifle absorbs my tremor.  Accuracy sure seems solid.  Next up on my to-do list is to install Huma regulators on both of my air cylinders and to get an additional moderator to quiet it down a bit more.  I’ll get to the trigger some time but it is good enough for now.

Short answer – I like it.  If I had it to do over, I would have waited on the spare cylinder and the regulators and bought an additional LDC instead to quiet it down a bit more.  No big regrets for sure – I’m just very impressed with what this is doing out of the box is all.  The pump is also way easier than I expected too – kudos to Hatsan for a fine rifle and Hill on a very fine air pump.

January 27, 2018 Update:  I am very happy with this rifle.  It hits harder than any air rifle I have ever owned.  The accuracy is great and I have no problem taking care of pests.  The Hawke scope is holding zero also.  Note, the picatinny rings have worked great.  What I have come to realize is that Hatsan made a hybrid rail such that the little airgun dovetail rings will work or Picatinny rings.  The rifle really likes JSB Jumbo Exact 18.3 grain pellets, a power setting of four and the pressure between 160-190 BAR if unregulated.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something from one of the Amazon links, or use one of the links to go to Amazon and buy something completely different — as long as you use one our links to go and buy something from Amazon, it helps us out. For each item you purchase, we get a small bit of ad revenue from Amazon to fund the blog. The same is true for eBay as well — we don’t get anything unless you buy something.


Hatsan Gladius at Air Depot  – I bought my Gladius Long model here and got the bundle with the Hawke Scope.  I didn’t get the one with the AV pump as I wanted to buy a Hill and they couldn’t change the bundle.  Also, I bought low profile UTG rings separately and I will comment on the scope set up more in another post.

http://www.airgundepot.com/search.html?keyword=Gladius&submit=&prv=&adv=&hawkb=

Hatsan Gladius at Pyramyd Air
It’s a mile long link so click here

JSB 18.13 Pellets – Amazon sells them but it is hard to beat the pricing of Pyramyd or Air Depot so check around before buying.

MTM K-Zone Rifle Rest

Splatter Burst Targets

Hill Mk4 Pump – I bought mine at Airgun Depot

Hawke Scope – I also got this at Airgun Depot.  It’s bright and seems to be solid.  Time will tell.

Low UTG Picatinny Rings – these work just fine.  I bought mine from Amazon.

Hill Mk4 High-Pressure Air Pump for PCP Air Guns – Very slick and very do-able for guys wanting to get into PCP air guns

Well folks, I am taking the plunge into pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles.  These are the airguns you see (both pistols and rifles) than have a high pressure air tank to propel the pellet.  Now, I had to think long and hard about this.  I live in a rural area and there aren’t any SCUBA/dive shops in my backyard to fill an intermediary air tank to then fill the rifle.  I looked into high pressure air compressors (we’re talking 3-4,000 PSI here so this isn’t your average shop compressor) and the starting cost for the cheapest is about $1,100 and in the cost of the tank and the fittings and I was dead in the water.

Recently, I did more digging about hand air pumps.  I had heard and read a few things about what a pain they are to work with and it turns out that is either flat out wrong or you bought a bad one.  Now everyone is different.  I’m 5′ 8″ and about 22o pounds plus not in that great of shape if I am to be completely hones so I paid close attention to what folks said and how they described their physical condition.  Bottom line is that there are a ton of people out there using hand pumps.

So, I switched gears and started reading more about the various brands, the reviews they got, etc.  From what I gathered, it came down to two pumps at the front of the pack – the Air Venturi G6 or the Hill Mk4.  I then went around the forums, Amazon, Pyramyd Air and Air Depot reading comments, etc.  Frankly, the Hill Mk4 gets better reviews plus it has an air dryer.  Given how compressed air systems constantly produce water via condensation, I was sold.  I ordered my Mk4 from Air Depot.  For years, I have ordered from Pyramyd Air but Air Depot has great reviews and they had a great deal going for 10% off and free shipping when I ordered it.

Air Depot’s shipped the pump the same day via FedEx Ground and it arrived three days later.  It was partially disassembled and I’d say it took about 10 minutes to put it together.  I actually followed the directions and be sure to use wrenches on all fittings due to the air pressure.  It comes with a small tube of silicone grease and I went ahead and lubed the shaft just to make sure it was ready – they recommend monitoring that.

    

At the same time I bought the Hill, I bought a Hatsan Gladius Long bullpup in .22.  I’ll write about the Gladius more later but it came with the fill probe to screw onto the Hill’s male threaded end fitting.  I used wrenches to tighten things down really well, put the Gladius’ air cyliner in a cardboard box to cradle it so I could then pump air in.  The hose on the Hill is really short and I suspect it is because you need to pump and pressurize that hose also before the check valve in the Gladius’ air cylinder will open and let air in.

 

It does take effort as you reach 200 bar (that’s 2900 PSI).  The trick is to go slow and use your body weight to drive the handle down – not your arm muscles.  I’d bend my knees with my arms locked and down I went.  Don’t use your arms – let your weight do the work and speaking for myself, I have plenty of fat … I mean weight 🙂

Yes, it would take a real long time to fill the rifle if I let the cylinder go down to zero but the trick is to shoot a few rounds and keep the rifle in its ideal operating pressure range and refill when you get low — or shoot a few and top if off again.  For example, with my Gladius, after six shots on power setting three, it then takes 30 pumps to take it back up to 200 bar – it’s not that hard – really.  Why six shots?  Well, the pressure was still in the green just now but towards the bottom so I topped it off and counted just to write this post.

To remove the pump from the cylinder, you unscrew a bleed valve knob on the back of the pump to relieve the pressure in the line.  Do NOT try to remove the probe before the pressure is released.

The only con I have is that I wish that fill hose was a bit longer but I bet another guy would then say he wished it was shorter.  The reason I’d like it longer is so I could lean my rifle against some thing and pump.  I can’t do that today because the hose is too short.  I’ll probably build a cradle for the rifle at some point vs. unscrewing the cylinder (and it was designed for that which is really cool by the way) and filling it.

I have a Huma regulator on order for the Gladius and will try it and write more about both the rifle and the regulator down the road.  The purpose of this post is to recommend the Hill Mk4 pump and to clearly tell you that a hand pump absolutely can get you started in the world of PCP airguns.  In fact, I’m kind of embarrassed that I held off due to hearsay until now and want to clear up the misinformation – a pump can definitely get you started.  In fact, I do plan on getting a compressor some day but I am in no rush now.

January 25, 2018 Update:  The pump is still going strong.  I have topped off my Gladius  at least 30-40 times – I try to keep the pressure between 160-190 bar – every time the 10 round mag is empty or running low, I top the gun off and add pellets.  I just did a bit of preventive maintenance and applied silicone grease to the shaft of the pump and the fill probe.  I am still very happy and recommend this pump.


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Hill Pump MK4, Up to 4000 PSI


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Sluggish Marauder Mag Fix: Try #3 – Change the Internal Spring Position – This is the best fix!

Please note that there are three posts in this series.  The method in the third post would fix just about any magazine while the other two helped some of the magazines:

  1. Sluggish Marauder Mag Fix:  Try #1 – Loosen the Center Screw
  2. Sluggish Marauder Mag Fix:  Try #2 – Dry Film Lubricants – Not a Good Fix – But Avoid 3-In-1 Dry Lube Because It Isn’t Dry!
  3. Sluggish Marauder Mag Fix:  Try #3 – Change the Internal Spring Position – This is the best fix!

Now on to the post:


Ok, in the first couple of tries, I had some success loosening the center screw on a couple of the sluggish mags.  Marginal improvement with dry lube but that didn’t fix two.  What resurrected the two worst magazines was to disassemble the magazines and move the spring’s anchor leg to the center hole.   What this did was to increase the tension of the spring and boy, did that fix the problem in spades.  In the future, I would try loosening the center screw and if that didn’t work, I’d go right to this spring adjustment:

Here are the steps:

  1. Note where the spring is at currently my looking in the holes in the back of the magazine.  If you see metal, that is the leg of the spring.  All of my mags have had the spring’s leg in the same place from the factory thus far:
  2. Remove the center screw and disassemble the magazine with a 1/16″ hex key.  Pay attention to how it fits together and also look for any debris or burs that might be causing drag:   

    In this next photo, look at the spring.  The downward leg is the bottom and the sideways leg is the top and the center of the drum has a slot that the top part of that spring nestles into:


  3. Move the drum’s spring to the center hole in the track where the pellets are carried.  . See the oily crap … I mean “film” in the mag?  That is courtesy of the 3-in-1 supposed dry lubricant that I will never use again and got cleaned out right after I took this photo:
    If you aren’t sure what hole I mean, look at this next photo.  Magazines PA2 and PA4 have the spring located to the new hole half way around the magazine track.  PA1 and PA3 still have the springs in the original hole and seem to work ok.  This is also a good example of how labeling your mags helps you keep track of what is going on.  PA1 was the worst by far.
  4. Align the drum with the top of the spring and then carefully rotate the assembly clockwise slightly angling the long part of the drum so it will clear the part of the magazine that forms the start/end of the magazine area that holds the actual pellets.

  5. Install the top so the brass pin that is embedded in the clear magazine cover rides in the groove of the drum.  I slide the cover on upwards from the bottom while keeping the center secure otherwise it will fly out.
  6. Re-install the screw.  Tighten it down until the cover can’t lift up and adjust the screw in/out until you feel the right amount of tension on the cover and it can move.
  7. Test by turning the top – you should feel way more spring tension now.

So in my testing, this worked great.  If just loosening the cover a bit works for you, then great.  If not, take it apart and move the spring.  Note – I did try spraying the good Dupont Teflon dry lube in one of the magazines and I can’t say that there is a noticeable difference.  You can if you want to experiment, but I’m not going to bother going forward.

I hope this helps you out!

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something from one of the Amazon links, or use one of the links to go to Amazon and buy something completely different — as long as you use one our links to go and buy something from Amazon, it helps us out.  For each item you purchase, we get a small bit of ad revenue from Amazon to fund the blog.  The same is true for eBay as well — we don’t get anything unless you buy something.

Sluggish Marauder Mag Fix: Try #2 – Dry Film Lubricants – Not a Good Fix – But Avoid 3-In-1 Dry Lube Because It Isn’t Dry!

Please note that there are three posts in this series.  The method in the third post would fix just about any magazine while the other two helped some of the magazines:

  1. Sluggish Marauder Mag Fix:  Try #1 – Loosen the Center Screw
  2. Sluggish Marauder Mag Fix:  Try #2 – Dry Film Lubricants – Not a Good Fix – But Avoid 3-In-1 Dry Lube Because It Isn’t Dry!
  3. Sluggish Marauder Mag Fix:  Try #3 – Change the Internal Spring Position – This is the best fix!

Now on to the post:


I am less than impressed with Marauder airgun magazines to be honest.  Their spring tension seems to be inconsistent.  The springs are in the same hole and in some cases, simply backing off the center screw was enough.  In other cases, I am finding that it helps to use a dry film lubricant in the magazine.  Why a dry lube?  If you use oil, it will attract dust and grit that will build up and cause problems down the road.  Dry films do not have a liquid that captures contaminants.

I experimented with two types of lubricants – 3-In-1 and also Dupont’s Non-Stick Dry Film Lubricant, which is an aerosol Teflon.  In 3 magazines, the 3-in-1 helped.  In the fourth magazine, tension improved with the use of the Dupont product.   In spraying some test pieces of black Kydex, you can see the Dupont product leaves a thick coat of Teflon behind.  The 3-in-1 leaves a greasy residue.  I am betting contaminants will stick to it. Reviewers of it are not mincing words – despite what the label says, it is not a true dry lube.  The first photo shows the Dupont Teflon powder on the left and the greasy/oily feeling residue of the 3-in-1 on the right.  The second photo is a close up of the 3-in-1 residue.

After doing more reading and testing, I have changed all four magazines over to the Dupont product to avoid problems down the road.  To make a long story short, the magazines all turn much more freely and I would tell you do NOT to buy the supposed 3-in-1 dry lube because its greasy surface will likely be a problem down the road.  The next photo shows a magazine with the Teflon residue visible.

The magazines are better but do not feel as snappy as I think they should.  I’d say it helped some but my worst magazine, PA4, still feels way to light.   In my next post, I will adjust the spring position internally.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something from one of the Amazon links, or use one of the links to go to Amazon and buy something completely different — as long as you use one our links to go and buy something from Amazon, it helps us out.  For each item you purchase, we get a small bit of ad revenue from Amazon to fund the blog.  The same is true for eBay as well — we don’t get anything unless you buy something.


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