Hatsan Nova Tact Com­pact

Airgun World - - Contents -

“As a prac­ti­cal han­dle for a hunt­ing gun, this Hatsan of­fer­ing scores highly”

Back in May, I tested the Hatsan Nova pre-charged pneu­matic ri­fle, and de­spite its ‘tac­ti­cal’ pre­sen­ta­tion be­ing just about ev­ery­thing I don’t pre­fer in a sport­ing air­gun, at least style-wise, its per­for­mance forced me to sit up, take no­tice, and ad­mire what it can do. There was one fea­ture of that Nova Tac­ti­cal that def­i­nitely didn’t grow on me, and that I said I’d change, which was its 28-inch shrouded bar­rel ar­range­ment. In fact, in my fol­low-up test, I made a state­ment. ‘I’m call­ing Hatsan, and its UK agent Edgar Broth­ers, to in­tro­duce a fac­tory car­bine ver­sion of this re­mark­able ri­fle.’


One glance at this month’s test sub­ject tells us that the Hatsan/Edgar Broth­ers axis has done just that, and five sec­onds’ thought will work out that the in­tro­duc­tion of a Nova car­bine has ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with my gob­bing-off about the need for it. How and why the Nova Com­pact came to be among us is of lit­tle im­por­tance. What mat­ters is that it’s here and, from my per­spec­tive, that I have suf­fi­cient re­call of the full-size ver­sion to make a mean­ing­ful com­par­i­son. This makes me more ex­cited than a man of my years has any right to be, but I’m tak­ing that as a bonus. Let’s get to it, then.


First, its bar­rel set-up and open sights aside, this ri­fle is ex­actly the same Hatsan AT-44 10, sidelever, 10-shot, bot­tle-fed, am­bidex­trous com­bi­na­tion of blued steel and syn­thetic com­pound I tested around 10 months ago. Rather than that be­ing a prob­lem, I con­sider the op­por­tu­nity for di­rect com­par­i­son I men­tioned pre­vi­ously to be my chance to see if what I wished for does what I ex­pected of it. Truth to tell, I’m writ­ing this af­ter hav­ing had my first fon­dle of the Com­pact, and the jury’s not out on this one, be­cause I al­ready know the ver­dict.


For those read­ers with­out a copy of the May 2017 is­sue in front of them, I’ll skip through the Hatsan Nova Com­pact’s im­pres­sive fea­tures line-up. Be­gin­ning at the back, that syn­thetic, skele­tonised stock slides in and out at the plunge of a but­ton to ad­just the ri­fle’s pull-length. This is a ma­jor fea­ture be­cause it can per­fectly ac­com­mo­date shoot­ers of almost any build, and hav­ing the pull-length work­ing for you, rather than against, es­tab­lishes the foun­da­tion you need for ef­fi­cient han­dling.

Next, the Nova’s cheek piece is ad­justable for height and po­si­tion, cour­tesy of an­other push-but­ton and a cou­ple of coin-friendly screws. This sorts the align­ment be­tween the shooter’s eye and the oc­u­lar lens of the scope, or in this case the ri­fle’s open sights, should any­one pre­fer to go old-school.


As ever, I’d have pre­ferred to see an ad­justable butt pad, but at the sub-£600 re­quired to own this ri­fle, its fea­tures list is com­pre­hen­sive to say the least. Of course, it’s far eas­ier to of­fer this level of ac­com­mo­da­tion in a de­sign built around syn­thetic mould­ings, rather than oiled wal­nut, or tim­ber of any kind come to that, but this be­ing a to­tally prac­ti­cal tac­ti­cal, we’re al­ways going to see func­tion over style.

That ap­plies to the Hatsan’s drop-down grip, with its fin­ger-guid­ing scal­lops and that hint of a palm rest. I re­call from my last tests with this ri­fle how I came to ap­pre­ci­ate its stock ge­om­e­try and fea­tures more as my time with it went on. As a prac­ti­cal han­dle for a hunt­ing gun, this Hatsan of­fer­ing scores highly.


Di­rectly above the Nova’s grip sits the auto-re­set­table safety catch and for­ward of that the ri­fle’s sim­ple sidelever, which cocks and loads the ac­tion, and in­dexes the stan­dard Hatsan re­mov­able ro­tary, 10-shot pellet mag­a­zine. This mag’ is se­cured by a slid­ing pin and cast from al­loy, mak­ing it all but in­de­struc­tible in ad­di­tion to be­ing chunky enough to make pok­ing pel­lets into it the eas­i­est of tasks. Two mag­a­zines are pro­vided with the Com­pact, and pro­vided you al­ways make sure each pellet is fully seated, you’ll have no glitches.

Sidelever ac­tion - 10-shot mag’.

Mag­a­zine stor­age is to­tally se­cure.

If ever a ri­fle was im­proved by chop­ping off its bar­rel, it’s this one.

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