Tag Archives: airgun

The ATN X-Sight 4K 5-20x Scope Is Surprisingly Effective But Expect A Learning Curve

I never was that interested in ATN scopes until maybe a two years ago. I was at the range fiddling with something and a fellow pulled in and set up a varmint AR with a big blocky optic on a Bog Deathgrip tripod. I could not help myself – I had to go over and ask what the optic was.

Thankfully, he was a good old boy and liked shooting and talking. He was having a coyote problem and wanted to get the rig sighted in. He told me it was an ATN night vision optic and the tripod was to help him keep it all steady. I looked it all over and headed back to my area. The ATN looked better in person than it did in the ads that I had seen in catalogs that made it look “gimicky”. Between my assumption about the quality and the price, I was never interested but after seeing it in person it was filed under “who knows – maybe someday” category in my head for future projects.

Fast Forward to 2021

I was researching high end airguns and some of the of guys were running various ATN scopes. I wanted to up my game on the computational ballistics front – yeah the calculation of trajectories – and I wanted a computer to do it for me. I really wanted to get surgical and modern with my new .25 caliber FX Impact Compact pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle. This desire brought me to ATN and their latest generation of digital X-Sight 4K optics because they have an internal computer that can crank the numbers.

An Auxiliary Ballistic Laser (ABL) good from 5 to to 1000 yards could be added that interfaced with the scope to provide range to target data to the computer. The computer can take the muzzle velocity of your round, the ballistic coefficient of your bullet (in my case pellet), distance of the optic from the center of the bore, angle and the distance to the target and automatically adjust the recticle. Whoa…. that’s pretty amazing.

Just a quick note on the ABL – based on my experience with laser rangefinders, usually maximum range comments by vendor are a bit of hype because it depends on how reflective the target is. In my case, virtually all of my shooting will be within 50 yards with a possible stretch to 100 but I doubt I will ever shoot beyond that.

Another feature that attracted me was the night vision capability. I’ve not had the capability to eliminate pests at night or at very low light levels.

The X-Sight scopes have a host of other features like taking photos and movies, recording just before and after sensing recoil, etc. Those are nice but not really features I cared about.

I shopped around and ordered an ATN X-SIght 4k 5-20x optic, Auxiliary Ballistic Laser (ABL) 1000 rangefinder, and a quick release mount. It came to just over a $1,000 plus I bought a SD memory card. The optic and rangefinder were from Brownells and I sourced the quick detach mount direct from ATN. A lot of vendors carry ATN products so you can shop around.

In case you are wondering why I would go to such expense for accuracy in a PCP airgun that will mostly be used within 100 yards, I can sum it up with the saying “aim small – miss small.” It’s one of my favorite lines from American Sniper but it is true. If you focus your aim on a very small part of the target then you will either hit it or miss by a small amount. This requires discipline and knowledge on your part combined with a capable weapons system to deliver the bullet or pellet.

The Scope, ABL and Mount Arrived

When the boxes came and I started reading the manuals, I had the same feeling when I read something that says “some assembly required”. I really hadn’t put much thought into how different a digital optic is from a traditional scope. Wow. This thing has a series of setup menus and then you need to learn your away around the scope. So right out of the box there was a lot of fumbling, swearing and my changing things.

So here’s my first recommendation – be sure to watch ATN’s videos about setting up the optic and using it. The manuals help but I found the combination of videos for the overview and the documentation to refer to as a very handy combination. Click here to go to the ATN page with all of their videos and/or click here for the manuals – it actually has links to PDFs videos and guidance on the page itself.

The X-Sight is mounted just like any other scope. Square the weapon then the optic to the weapon to ensure the recticle is level. I use a Wheeler scope mounting kit’s leves to do this. Note that the Impact Compact is being held in a Tipton Standing Ultra GunVise. Man, those are nice.

Here’s an example of needing to read the instructions. The threaded portion is part of a tube that is separate from the body of the ABL. You back off the two screws you see, remove the tube and screw it into the front of the X-Sight scope. You then clamp the ABL onto the tube and position it horizontal to the scope and bore.

Here is everything mounted.
Here’s another angle.

Now let me give you hope – once you start using the scope, it gets easier and faster each time. I turn on the scope so it has time to boot up as I am setting up – not at the last minute when I need to take a shot. Most of the time I am shooting at 14 yards so I dont need to range the target and the scope remembers the last range used. Instead,I zoom as needed, acquire the target and take the shot. That’s it – not a billion menus. So, stick with it – you will probably find it frustrating too at first and then it will get better with time.

Setup and Zeroing In Tips

When you are entering the info for the ballistic coefficient (BC) and the muzzle velocity, try and be as exact as possible, I obtained the BC from the manufacturer of my .25 pellets and the muzzle velocity was the average of 10 rounds fired through a chronograph.

I carefully measured out the range from the muzzle to the target. When I entered the range into the optic, I was precise and not guessing. I was being very careful due to the desire for accuracy.

Set your rifle up in a firm stand and fire a group then adjust the recticle. Their marketing comment of one shot zeroes is something they even mention is “in theory”. Repeat this until you have your zero consistently. This will all go faster and be easier if you have a solid stand – notice I mentioned this twice now 🙂 I used a Bog Deathgrip Carbon Fiber model to help me get the job done.

My Opinion

I’ve been using the X-Sight since late-April 2021 and like it. If I have a new distance to shoot, I range it, take the shot and then reset to my most common distance. I have made a few 35-50 yard shots that would have required some calculation, or at least experience, and hit less than quarter sized targets (squirrel head and heart shots) accurately.

Here’s another angle that gives you a good view of the mounted ABL. It connects to the scope via Bluetooth and you need to follow a zeroing process outlined in the manual. It’s straight forward but don’t skip it.

One thing I had to get used to was looking at a small monitor vs. glass. I’ve been shooting nice glass scopes for a number of years now – notably Vortex scopes – and looking at a monitor with a resolution lower than reality is different. I must admit that I prefer the clarity of good glass but it dawned on me that it was not fair to compare them at this point. I bought the ATN for the ballistics calculation capabilities and the potential for low-light/night-use — I did not buy it to be just another scope, That set my mind more at ease about the image difference – it is what it is with the current level of technology in these scopes.

This is an actual screen capture. The optic allows you to select from a number of recticle choices. Note the range information from the ABL down in the ower right corner. What you see in the scope actually has much more information but the screen capture does not include it.
This is an exciting shot of concrete but it lets you see the recticle better.

The combination of scope and ABL is a bit bulky and the ABL’s head is asymmetrical for the laser transmitter and receiver units. I set the Impact Compact on our tall kitchen table and it fell off onto the hardwood floor about three feet. It definitely made my stomach drop to hear all that money hit the floor. I’m actually happy to report that the rifle and optics system survived without any problems at all.

I was wondering how long the battery would live but that has not proved to be a problem. I fully charged it when I first got it and then again a few weeks ago. Now I don’t leave it turned on all the time. I’d say it runs maybe 5-10 minutes every 2-3 days and it’s not been a problem. I think I will just always charge it when it gets half way down or so plus I could always charge it from a powerbank/portable battery if needed. ATN even sells an extended battery if you need it.

The ABL is still on its first battery so I can’t tell you much there – I only use it as needed for longer shots so its had minimal use. I do have a spare battery just in case.

I wish the menus were a bit easier to navigate with very clear “back” or “cancel” options immediately available on every screen. For example, if you get into the manual ranging section or the part of zeroing the recticle by accident. For the most part they are pretty straight forward but I am not wowed by them from a user design perspective.

I opted for the ATN quick connect scope mount and it is okay but does not have locks on the throw levers. In hindsight, I could have used any 30mm rings I wanted including my preferred American Defense mounts. You have plenty of flexibility because one of the menu options lets you specify how high the scope is mounted.

Here’s a view of the ATN quick dtach mount’s levers. They don’t lock closed but have held no problem so far.

Last comment – I had the scope freeze on me twice. I found that turning the ABL off first, if I turned it on, seemed to cause the problem. Now, when I do use the ABL, I turn the scope off first and then the ABL. I’ve not had it freeze since powering down in this order. By the way, if your scope does freeze, hold down the power button for 10-15 seconds and it will shut off – kind of like notebooks where one push does a controlled power down of the laptop but holding it down does a forced immediate shut down.

ATN definitely tries to label everything outside of the scope to try and help folks learn the controls.

In Summary

I’ve been using the X-Sight 4K 5-20 and ABL 1000 laser for about three months and several times per week – sometimes several times per day depending on what is going on. I really feel like the combination has improved my actual accurage in terms of precisely hitting the target so I am happy with the purchase.

I’d recommend the setup for anyone looking for this type of optics system with similar intentions as I outlined at the start. It’s different from traditional glass lense optics but it brings a different set of capabilities to the table also. Let me put it this way,I would buy it again for my intended use.

I hope this helps you.


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


A Video Tour of the Hatsan Factory in KemalpaÅŸa, Turkey

Hatsan Arms Company is an innovative builder of air guns and shotguns that was founded in 1976 and produce over 300,000 units per year.  Hatsan is located in KemalpaÅŸa, which is a large town located in the Izmir Province of Turkey.  There they product Hatsan airguns, Escort shotguns and Optima shotguns.

   

One interesting facet of Hatsan is that they handle all facets of production – machining of wood, machining of metal parts, heat treatment, finishing of work such as honing, different types of chemical plating & bluing, injection molding, metal injection, mold making, welding, barrel manufacturing, laser marking, laser engraving on wood & metal parts, camouflage coating, assembly, quality assurance testing, and test shooting.

Hatsan has over 650 workers, 599 machines in 35,000 square meter production area.  To produce products to high standards, Hatsan uses total quality management (TQM) and are ISO 9001 certified.

You’ll note factory looks well used, is relatively organized and bright.

Work centers are organized and appear well equipped.

Substantial automation including a variety of CNC systems.

This is an interesting 5:28 video that showcased their facility in 2015:


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The Hatsan Gladius Long Precharged Pneumatic (PCP) Air Rifle and Hill Mk.4 Air Pump One Year Later

I’ve had this Hatsan Gladius Long PCP rifle in .22 caliber and Hill Mk.4 air pump for just over a year now and am very pleased with it for pest control. I have a few observations to share but first if you wish to read any of the original posts, here are the links:

At any rate, I’ve probably put about 750-1,000 pellets through this at least. It really likes the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy Diabolo 18.13 grain pellets. I can shoot overlapping clusters of holes at 30-50 feet over and over. I have some other weight pellets but haven’t had time to test them. I’m hoping a lighter weight will shoot flatter, expand faster and reduce over-penetration.

From a pressure perspective, the sweet spot seems to be if I keep the cylinder between 170-195 bar, just short of 200. At 200 the first round is a flier. I am not running a regulator on this cylinder. My second cylinder with the regulator is leaking out the end due to some problem from manufacturing that I need to track down some day. It’s not on my top 2,000 list of things to do.

If I had it to do over again, I would not have bothered buying the spare cylinder. I am using this air rifle for pests – mainly squirrels, rabbits and ground squirrels. I can get 16-20 lethal accurate shots and then I refill using my Hill air pump. I never use the second cylinder not to mention the oddball leak out the very end (it’s not an o-ring).

The scope and ring combination has held up great. The scope has held zero. I thought I would use the cheek riser and butt pad adjustments more but haven’t needed them much. I think the cheek piece is up just a hair.

You know, the magazine design is excellent. Some air rifles (Marauder) have real crappy plastic mags and these are metal and easy to fill.

The Hatsan is relatively quiet. I shoot with power setting #4 most of the time and it will drop squirrels and rabbits no problem. There is definitely a muzzle report and I have to worry about over penetration. It blows right through squirrels. On #3, it is remarkably quiet but I have to be very careful with shot placement on a squirrel within 50 feet and I will not use #3 on a rabbit. So most of the time I am on #4 and am very, very careful of what is behind the target. My preference is a tree or something else solid.

I really like the trigger and the safety. The trigger does the job – I haven’t checked the weight but I am able to stay on target with even ground squirrels. The safety lever in the trigger area takes a bit of getting used to but once you do, it is very easy to engage, disengage or check status.

Follow up shots are really nice to have. Up until the Gladius, I only had single shot air rifles. Now I have up to 10 rounds and a side cocking lever that you can quickly actuate while keeping the scope and your eye on the target.

The Hill Mk.4 pump has held up very well. Depending on my mix of #3 and #4 power setting shots, I can top off the cylinder in 25-45 pumps after 10-20 rounds. Because I fiddle with the power settings and I don’t always wait to shoot all 10 pellets I can’t tell you an exact count. By the way, it’s hard to tell if you are down to the last pellet so when I get down near the end of pellets, I will top of the magazine and either top of the tank then or after one more magazine of pellets.

I do periodically put silicone grease on the shaft of the pump and the Hatsan quick connect air fitting. I did find a little zip lock bag and keep the on the air fitting to keep it clean.

I bought this good sized container of silicone grease that is Mission brand and has worked just fine for me. I use it on the Gladius, car work, etc.

In summary, I still like it and am happy with the purchase. Power and accuracy – it’s a great combo and the Hill air pump lets me easily top it off whenever I want to.

6/29/2020 Update: Still very happy with both the Gladius and the Hill pump. We now have replacement fill-probe O-rings and caps to keep your fill probe clean. Click here to learn more.


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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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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.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


How to Degas / Depressurize 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, depressurizing the cylinder 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.

This is the back side of the magazine. Note it is not smooth.
This is the front of the magazine that faces the barrel. Note how the face of the magazine is completely smooth.

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.

March 11, 2020 Update: Still going strong. No problems.



If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.