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Hatsan FLASH Review/Hunt

This field use review of the new Hatsan FLASH .22 caliber entry level PCP was one I had been very excited for. The market for entry level PCPs has become what almost seems like a race between many different Airgun manufacturers. I believe this is a great time for people to get sucked into this sport as the market has produced so many budget minded PCPs. HatsanUSA sent me the .22 caliber FLASH that was set to debut at the 2018 Shot Show in Vegas. My job was to simply field use the rifle and to document my experiences through video and my writings here. I received the rifle on a Friday and was eager to spend some time with it at the range to test various pellets and to site the rifle in for a two day hunt the following week. My initial thoughts of the rifle out of the box were very good, the gun was obviously very lightweight coming in just under 6lbs. The thumbhole ambidextrous stock was very comfortable and with the raised Monte Carlo cheek the rifle shouldered very well.

The FLASH felt very sturdy and super solid, I checked for flexing of the barrel, stock and breech, finding no movement. The rifle came with two rotary style magazines, single shot tray and quick fill probe.

Model FLASH
Caliber .22
Max Velocity*  From our field use

(Lead Pellets)

.22 915 FPS

18gr

Shots At Optimal Velocity**  

.22 25 shots

Stock Advanced polymer, ambidextrous thumbhole with monte carlo raised cheek and piccitiny for bi-pod mounting.
Key Features Bolt action

Fully shrouded choked barrel

165cc fixed aluminum air cylinder

Optics Rail (11mm and 22mm)

Spring-Loaded Rotary Magazine, single shot tray

Quick fill probe

Under 6 lbs

Anti Knock System

Onboard pressure gauge

Overall Length 42 1/2″

MSRP $299

After some time looking the gun over in the shop and mounting the Hatsan Optima 3-9x40ao scope I was ready for the range. Here are several more detailed photographs of the gun that may help to show a bit more of the gun not represented in the video.

Adjustable (metal) Quatro trigger with manual safety

Rubber butt pad with raised Monte Carlo cheek, very comfortable.                                                                                                               

Bolt action design with 11mm&22mm dovetail rails for mounting a wide variety of optics.

Single shot tray that snaps into place, perfect for range use.

Quick fill probe

Pressure gauge, gun fills to 3000 psi

Two 12 shot rotary magazines included

My main goal was to get to the range, use the chronograph and to test a wide variety of pellets to match the best accuracy and power. I was very happy to have the provided single shot tray and I prefer single loading from the bench, much easier than loading magazines. The gun was easily filled with my air tank and can see someone with a hand pump having no trouble filling the small 165cc air reservoir. The FLASH was very quiet and what I would consider backyard friendly, the QE shroud did an exceptional job quieting the 30 fpe bark. The Quatro trigger was a bit heavy but had a very predictable break, the trigger is fully adjustable and the gun includes the two small allen wrenches to easily do the job.

After some work with the chronograph the rifle was starting at a 3000psi fill with first shot 915fps using 19gr H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme’s shooting 25 shots with the last settling at 863 fps at 1700 psi. I wanted to keep the gun as is out of the box but can see some tuning potential to bring a flatter shot string. After documenting the numbers I moved onto accuracy and found the 18gr H&N Sniper Magnums to be the best I was able to achieve. Hatsan has incorporated a new Anti-Knock System into this rifle, what is this system? The Anti-Knock System is essentially a safety device that keeps the hammer in place during times the gun is bumped, bounced or knocked or dropped. This system ensures the gun cannot discharge air without the trigger being engaged. This may be a fix to a problem that was never there and one I personally have never encountered. I think this safety device does add a bit of further comfort and piece of mind added to a field gun such as the FLASH.

5 shots at 25 meters

After spending a good part of the day with the FLASH I was very excited to get out into the field with it that following weekend. I packed the gun away in a soft case and inspected it several days later for any loss of air, it held exactly at 3000 psi where I left it. Friday evening I packed up the Jeep with all the equipment and gear Marley and I would need for the several days in the Mojave desert. My good friend Tom Costan was accompanying us for the several day trip where I had planned to do some video work for several different field use projects. Marley and I left the house very early to make way through the desert in good time and to try to make the most of the day. From the highway we followed a rough motorcycle trail near 16 miles into one of the most remote areas of the Mojave desert.

As we drove through the whooped out trail Marley was keeping watch for the occasional Jackrabbit that would bolt in front of us. The area had many large rock outcroppings, Joshua trees and miles of animal trails heading from the desert floor into the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

These areas of the desert are very unforgiving and are home to many dangers such as snakes, mountain lions and birds of prey. After arriving to our spot nestled between several large rock outcroppings I set up camp and unloaded my camera gear and Airgun. By this time it was 11:30am and the temperature was in the high 60s. I checked the zero of the gun as I had packed the FLASH into a soft case, sometimes the rough ride can knock the scopes out of zero. The gun was still perfectly zeroed and ready for the day of hiking. Marley and I slowley hiked a bit South of camp where there was a huge amount of rock outcroppings, we made our way up to the base of it and sat for awhile looking for movement.

After filming several segments for the video I had spotted several Cottontail’s moving about through the many rocks and small crevices. I spotted one at near 70 yards sitting in a small crevic on the side of the adjacant rock outcropping.

I lined up for the shot that was across the canyon only to be to low just skimming its right front leg, it ran down to the left stopping just behind a boulder where I was able to make a finishing shot at 35 yards.

The FLASH is extremely quiet, especially in the unconfined spaces of the wide open desert. When hunting small game it’s sometimes important to have a quiet report as so it doesn’t alert the many other animals in the vicinity. After collecting and bagging our kill Marley and I continued around the mountain of rock formations hoping to spot several more rabbits. As we continued down a small animal trail I noticed a squirrel ranged at 68 yards off to my left sitting atop a large sagebrush.

For longer offhand shots like this the FLASH really shined with it’s lightweight shoulder-ability.

68 yard head-shot

After another short break Marley and I headed back to camp to have lunch with Tom before venturing out again into the afternoon sun. The area was very beautiful and so quiet with the only sounds being heard were from the many different types of small birds that move through the dense sagebrush. I couldn’t help but to stop and take a photograph of the FLASH.

After continuing our hike along an animal trail the sun was beginning to set over the mountain that dropped the temperature by near 20 degrees. After hiking around for a good bit of time seeing nothing within range Marley and I headed back down towards camp to see if Tom had better luck. Tom was sitting on top of a huge rock outcropping that looked over miles of desert floor.

That evening was not as cold as we had expected, we made a nice little campfire that warmed us enough to enjoy the beautiful night sky. I slept all through the night and awoke by 7:15am to air up the FLASH and head out due South towards the large outcroppings from the previous day. Marley and I slowly made our way, stopping frequently to scan the many nearby rocks. Early morning is an excellent time to Cottontail hunt, better than late evening from my experience. As we made it to the top of this hill I spotted some Cottontail ears from behind a large rock at 40 yards.

I made a nice headshot that thumped the rabbit down without even a twitch where Marley made her quick recovery.

Marley and I continued on over the hill making a big several mile circle that would ultimately lead us back to camp.

As we made our way down to the valley floor I spotted several more rabbits scurrying away with one that left me with a split second shot that was a near miss.

By this time I had to end my time with the FLASH and work on some other video work with Tom. My time spent with the FLASH was very successful and can’t wait to get out with it again very soon. The rifle is an absolute pleasure to carry around all day and made offhand shooting in off camber terrain much more doable.  The FLASH is a laser accurate rifle out to 70+ yards and is no doubt a great entry level choice in the PCP market. I hope my short adventure may be enjoyed and too will bring someone closer into purchasing their first PCP rifle. I will enclose this video that documents everything I have written and can only hope to share more very soon. Till then, “The best gun is the one your shooting” take care!!

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Hatsan Sortie Semi Auto Airgun field test

Several months ago I came across a short YouTube review of the Hatsan Sortie semi auto pistol that immediately got me excited. As some of you know I have quite the collection of pistols as well as several I frequently hunt with. For me I enjoy pistols for the simple reason of being able to transport and carry them easily into the field. This pistol looked to be a great match for me to use for a project field review. I wrote to Hatsan USA  and ultimately got the go ahead to be sent the pistol to be sent out to me for a 4 day adventure in the Mojave desert. I received the Sortie pistol several days before my departure and it was packaged very well. The gun arrived in a very nice hard case and enclosed were 3 magazines, fill probe, extra o’rings and a manual. Hatsan was kind enough to enclose several tins of H&N Sport pellets, some 19gr and 14gr. The first thing I noticed was just how large and very futuristic the pistol looked. Cosmetically the gun is something that needs to grow on you but I was more concerned with its performance and function as a hunting tool. The gun comes equipped with fiber optic front and rear sights that can easily be adjusted or removed. After some debate I decided to mount a dot sight that I felt may add to quicker target acquisition. The magazines are very well made from aluminum as well as having thicker plexiglass front covers.

 

Model Sortie Pistol
Caliber  .22
Max Velocity*  

.22 – 700fps

Shots At Optimal Velocity**  

.22 – 36

Stock Advanced polymer, ergonomic pistol grip.
Key Features Semi-Automatic Action

Fully shrouded barrel

62cc on-board air cylinder

Combo Optics Rail (11mm and 22mm)

Spring-Loaded Rotary Magazine

Overall Length 15.5″
Barrel Length 7.9″
Weight 4.4 lbs.

* Above maximum muzzle velocity figures may differ depending on the pellet weight & shape.

Filling the gun to 3000 psi was easy and the 62cc reservoir is small enough that it may even be hand pump friendly. After setting up the gun, sighting it in etc, it got packed into the Jeep for its long drive into the heart of the Mojave desert. I had planned to spend several days hunting Ground Squirrels, Rabbits as well as scouting some new areas for future projects. Marley and I left the house late Friday afternoon and arrived to our camping area to meet my good friend Mike by 8:45pm, wow was it cold. Upon arrival Mike and I immediately set up camp and started a fire to keep us warm as the temperature was rapidly dropping.

The next morning Mike, Marley and I got up fairly late as we were waiting for the sun to come up over the mountains to provide us a little more warmth. We soon headed South away from camp and down to an area known to have supreme Ground Squirrel habitat such as large rock outcroppings, fallen logs and miles of Oak tree pastures. Within a few minutes of hiking I spotted my first target that was sitting just on top of a large boulder at 28 yards. I aimed the dot sight at center mass and made a devastating spine shot that sent the squirrel tumbling down the other side of the rock leaving quite the blood trail.

After doing some more hiking around I spotted several more Ground Squirrels scurrying about, not easy to get in close to a spooked squirrel. From my experience with hunting them is once they get spooked it may take up to 20 minutes for them to come back out again. Mike continued on in a big circle while I stayed put with Marley to sit and wait for movement in the nearby rocks.

I really much enjoyed just being out with my good friend Mike and my dog Marley for several days and getting to do what I love. After what seemed like forever I finally spotted a Ground Squirrel popping it’s head just over the top of a flat rock at 25 yards.

I had to slowly set up my camera as I was trying to document as much as possible on video, this is sometimes very frustrating. Filming can sometimes be out of our control and we find ourselves having to position ourselves in uncomfortable positions to capture the shot. In this case I was having to hold my tripod down with my foot while trying to line up my shot, well it didn’t work out as planned and I pulled the shot hitting about an inch to low. After this I decided to head back down to do some other film work and to take some photographs of the gun.

Hatsan Sortie .22 Semi Auto PCP

After using the pistol I have concluded that front handle is very useful, the ugly thing was really starting to grow on me. I have learned that function over form is one of the most important things in designing a gun. I commend Hatsan for really thinking out of the box as far as design and thoughtfulness in ergonomics. One of the other things that stood out to me through use was how convenient the safety was to use, easily flicked on and off with my index finger. When doing a project field test we sometimes find out things about a gun that you just can’t get from the bench. After heading back around towards camp I spotted another Ground Squirrel high up on a rock at a very far 40 yards.

The shot made a perfect arch right into the Ground Squirrels shoulder sending it flying down off the backside of the large outcropping. This shot was really pushing the limits to what the gun is capable of with a dot sight, this made me realize a pistol scope may be a better choice for really pushing the limit to this pistol. In most of the reviews I have seen they classify this as a plinking type pistol, I really believe the gun was designed with hunting in mind. In the next week or so I plan to mount a pistol scope and take it out again for some Jackrabbit hunting. To note, the gun does have some recoil that in turn makes the muzzle jump a bit. The balance of the gun really aids to the guns accuracy, it does take some practice to get used to shooting it well. The semi auto feature will cycle shots as fast as you can pull the trigger but would be impossible to stay on target in most cases. The semi auto feature is very nice for simply not having to cock the gun after each shot and always being ready to fire. I was taking one shot, pausing, and then taking another giving myself time to recover my target acquisition. The 62cc air reservoir provides more than 25 powerful shots at over 700fps using the 14gr H&N Field Target Trophy’sThe gun is a prime candidate for a good pair of shooting sticks, this may even further aid in making further shots possible. My final thought is that this pistol has a ton of potential beyond just a plinking gun and may just take some patience to learn what works well. Here is the video of my adventure with this gun I hope you can enjoy. If you like what you see and have serious interest in owning one of these very unique Sortie pistols, you can visit HatsanUSA.

 

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