Hatsan Vortex SpeedFire in .177

Monday, November 19, 2018

Springer air rifles can be very accurate and versatile for uses ranging from plinking to hunting.  However, loading pellets singly for each shot can be a bit of a fumble-finger exercise, especially when needing to make a follow-up shot on a wounded animal.  The Turkish company of Hatsan offers their solution as the new SpeedFire Vortex, a multi-shot break-barrel utilizing a 12-shot rotary magazine in .177 caliber. The mechanism used to automatically load a pellet during the cocking cycle is called the EZ-Load Action System.  It sits above the barrel/receiver joint, adding enough extra height to force the use of a high front sight.  The front sight consists of a U-shaped saddle with a bright orange TruGlo fiber optic rod in the center.  When optics are used, or to protect the front sight when it is not in use, it folds down into a protective channel.  The rear sight has green TruGlo fiber optics to help with obtaining a quick sight picture and it is micro adjustable for both windage and elevation.  The SpeedFire also comes equipped with a picatinny rail, which interestingly incorporates an 11mm rail running along the top.  The rail features a dampener technology designed to absorb some of the shock generated by springers, helping to protect optics mounted to the rifle.  Additionally, the SpeedFire ships with an Optima 3-9x40mm scope and rings.

I found the SpeedFire to be a soft shooter for a springer, no doubt partially because of the proprietary SaS, or Shock Absorber System, built into the gun.  However, the cocking force is such that this would not be a rifle for a youngster.  Having twelve pellets at the ready is a great feature but can be a workout when firing all twelve pellets quickly from the Rapid Performance Magazine (RPM).  An automatic safety/anti bear-trap mechanism activates each time you cock the SpeedFire, but unfortunately this multi-shot technology does not protect from double loading pellets if there is an attempt to cock the gun a second time.  If you experience this condition, then you must remove the magazine and gently push both pellets out with a cleaning rod.  The Owner’s Manual does not go into any detail on how to safely remove pellets from the barrel, which would be helpful, since the multi-shot mechanism covers the breech during the cocking cycle in its process of automatically loading a pellet.

Hatsan technologies such as the Quattro adjustable match trigger, Vortex Gas Piston, and SaS are all built in to this rifle.  It also sports some suppression, although it is not the “Quiet Energy” suppression found on other Hatsan guns.  It is lightweight at almost 6 ½ pounds without a scope, but it is a long gun at 47 inches.  Trigger pull out of the box was about 5 ½ pounds and is fully adjustable with the included allen wrenches.  My sample rifle shipped without a scope and I haven’t had it long enough to fully break it in.  It still produced good groups out of the box even though I was using open sights with aged eyes.

Hatsan rates the velocity of the SpeedFire out of its 14.5-inch barrel at 1000fps and it lists at an MSRP of $199.99.  The warranty on the SpeedFire is a one year limited.   It is also available in .22 caliber and if you’d like more information, please contact our friends at Airguns of Arizona.

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