Tag Archives: PCP

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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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.



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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.

We sell replacement O-rings and covers to keep your fill probe clean. Click here to learn more.

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.

September 24, 2018 Update:  Still no problems.  I can’t begin to guess how many times I have topped off my Gladius now.  I did grease the shaft again just to be safe.  I also keep a very light film on the fill probe and keep the probe wrapped in a plastic bag when not in use to keep dirt off it.  I shoot two magazines (20 rounds) and then top off.  It’s as simple as that.

February 10, 2020 Update:  Had one of the O-rings on the fill tube fail and had to replace it a few months ago.  Am keeping the probe and pump shaft lubricated with silicone grease.

6/29/2020 Update: Still very happy with the Hill. 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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What to do if your Marauder Rifle Magazine is too tight in the BNM breech

My magazine was a bear to pull out from my CP1002 BNM breech.  I talked to Sergei at BNM about the tight fit and told me that they keep they keep their tolerances tight on purpose.  He would rather things be tight vs. loose and that makes sense to me.  So if your Marauder magazine is a bear to push in and out of the breach, a tiny bit of fitting is needed.  The bottom of the Marauder magazine can be lightly sanded to allow magazine to be inserted easier.  It probably is not the front to back dimension that you need to worry about so try the following first.

All you need to do is get some 320 grit sand paper, rub the bottom lightly, evenly and test.  You just need to do the part that slides into the receiver.  320 was all I needed it took off enough to do the job gut also left a fine enough finish.  Another benefit for those of you that may be nervous is that it can only take off a small amount of material.  It will fill fast so with each pass, use another exposed surface of sandpaper.  That is why you see two ends used on the second photo.

For mine to fit way better, it was just a tiny amount I had to take off.  So don’t go crazy and take off a too much too fast.  Literally, do 4-6 rubs, blow it off and test.  Do this until it fits.  I think I did all three of my mags with just a couple of rounds of sanding and testing each.

I could have sanded it with 400 grit and even gone up to a polish but just doing 320 seemed to work great so I stopped there.


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