Another week starts dear readers. I do hope we all had a good weekend. Here it was very wet indeed.
So on to my first experience of firing the Hatsan AT44-10 Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) Air Rifle. I have included a few more pictures. Even though the bits and pieces will be fairly obvious. If you are like me, and haven’t been up close to an air rifle before, they may be of interest. I will now apologise for the overly long description of the rifle. Let’s get it out of the way now. Please bear with me.
As you can see from above, the rifle and accessories are all either black or dark gun metal blue. Starting from the front, you have the added on silencer attaching of course onto the barrel. Below the barrel is the air cylinder, which, has a pressure gauge built in. The cylinder is filled upto 200 bar, which gives you around 60 shots. Now I admit this doesn’t sound much, but unlike have the CO2 version of a rifle, you don’t have to pay for the air you put in it. Unless of course you do it at home. Myself, I pop along to the shop where I bought the rifle and they do it for free. Plus on a hunting trip, even with my skills I don’t expect to bring home 60 bunnies.
Behind the barrel is where all the working bits and bobs are. Including the cocking lever, the space for a 10 pellet magazine, (2 provided), and the gold plated securing pin to hold the magazine in place. With the safety catch at the rear, which is set automatically when cocking the rifle, or can be set manually at any time. On top a scope is attached, and quite helpfully there is a rail allowing you easily to do so. All this is attached to the polymer stock. Under the stock I attached the bipod, which is spring loaded and can be pushed forward, making it easy to pack away. At the end of the stock is an adjustable butt.
A close up of the pistol grip, and gold plated trigger. The trigger is full adjustable, but I found the settings out if the box perfect. The first movement when pulled shows little resistance, till you come to the second stage, which is stiffer making it obvious when you come to the business end. Below is a picture of the magazines, which are both easy to load with pellets and easy to load into the rifle.
All in all a very nice looking piece of kit and very comfortable to lay behind.
So, ‘yay’, I hear you all cry. That was about as technical as it gets and as technical as I want to get. Not only as you’re probably asleep by now, and who could blame you. I know I nodded off a few times writing it. Please dear reader do not get put off my writings as hopefully that’s as boring as it gets. And doing so contributes only to rapidly running out of the energy required to keep you entertained, and to keep you reading.
I didn’t start this journey for the technical side of things but for the emotional side of pitting my limiting skill as a hunter, with a piece of equipment that can be enjoyed for both its aesthetic values as well as (hopefully, if I don’t let the Hatsan down), it’s prowess and effect-fullness as a rifle.
So excited I am to finally fire my Hatsan, I surprise myself on not rushing straight ahead to the garden and firing off as many pellets I can at the various gnomes, pieces of wood, plants etc. Wreaking havoc Rambo style.
I reign myself in, because of course we all know safety is paramount. I’m fortunate to have the room and line of sight to set up a 28 yard range, of types. I pin my target to an extra thick Jamie Oliver Cook book (best use it’s ever had), and place inside an upturned stone birdbath. With this and the sight of me coming out with a rifle, the local bird population do not look impressed. I myself have to explain with my cat seriously not doing his job, I need all the help I can get.
I’m given instructions on how to zero in my scope, so the wildlife do not laugh at me when I do eventually get round to hunting for my dinner. Apparently doing this at a range of ten yards is best because it corresponds to the same at a distance of 30. I measure precisely 10 yards, to the inch, my steps shaky as I get closer and closer to firing my new pride and joy.
I lay prone behind my rifle. The target in my sights…….I cock the weapon and slowly pull the trigger. Doh, I’ve left he safety on! Ok push off the safety, take up the slack in the trigger then pull. The rifle makes a barely audible sound and if wasn’t for the thump of the pellet into Jamie, I would thought nothing had happened. I fire twice more. Quickly because of the magazine, and although way off the centre all three holes are just about on top of one another.
I adjust the scope up and down, left and right, and fire 3 more. Dead centre. I can hardly believe my eyes. I’m a crack shot!! I replace the target and go back as far as I can to test out the 30 yards theory, or as much as I can. And would you believe it. Replacing the magazine with a full one, I put 10 pellets all inside 3/4 of an inch. Well nearly all ten. One went about three inches high but I put that down to adrenaline. So, I did well, I tell myself. I do however forget to tell myself that it’s because of the outstanding rifle and scope, and not the sausage finger behind the trigger.
I put the rifle away, take my targets, and proudly stare at them for a good half hour. I am as I thought I was, going to be an expert hunter.
Just as long as the rabbits played the game and will be as easy to shoot as a static, 5 inch by 5 inch piece of thin card, reading how to make a lemon tart, instead of concentrating on me!