Hatsan has been building some high performance PCP rifles at affordable prices for the last few years, and more recently has been expanding their product line to incorporate new models, new technology, and new calibers while maintaining quality, performance, and value. I’ve been saying for years that the Hatsan rifles are one of the most under appreciated airguns on the market, but that is changing! I’ve been shooting several of Hatsans guns this season, but today I want to tell you about something I think is exciting, their new Carnivore series mid bore rifles! The Carnivore comes in .30 and .35 caliber versions…

The Carnivore is based on Hatsans BT65 QE model rifle, that has been available in standard calibers up to .25 for a couple years now. This is a large gun weighing in at 9.3 lb without a scope, and has a length overall of 48.9″ with a 23″ barrel. The gun uses an ambidextrous synthetic stock with an adjustable comb, an adjustable recoil pad, and textured grips on the forestock and pistol grip. There is another Picatinny mount under the forestock for mounting a light or biopod. The 255 cc under barrel air reservoir has a built in manometer at the distal end.

The two stage adjustable trigger is acceptable out of the box, and is a bit heavy with a bit of creep. After I complete testing I’m going to start working on the trigger. The barrel is shrouded and quiets the report down quite well, it has a bit of a bark still, but I’ve been shooting it on my basement range.

The gun uses a bolt action to cock the gun and indexes the seven shot rotary magazine. To remove the magazine the small bolt is pushed forward and locked, so that when the bolt is pulled back and slotted into the rear notch, it can be removed.

In the two twenty yard seven shot groups to the left, I used the Daystate Emperor Rangemaster 55 grain pellets and the JSB Jumbo Exact 44.75. Both of these printed a single ragged hole. In the closer target, I generated a twenty one shot group while shooting a string over the chrony. I took the gun out and set up a 2″ spinner at 60 yards and hit it 21 times in a row shooting out the window of my car. OK, so not the most serious bench testing, but until the Minnesota winter ends and I pack my mukluks away fro the spring, it’s the best you’ll get from me. I’ll go out in subfreezing weather to hunt, but for target shooting, not so much. I will say however, that I felt more than comfortable with this level of performance to take the Carnivore out hunting.

The Emperor weighs about 10 grains more than the Exacts. The body of the pellet is more cylindrical and the dome and skirt are both less pronounced. The Carnivore handles both equally well, though the Exacts are maybe just a little more accurate.

Below is a 21 shot string from the Emperor pellets, starting at 200 BAR and running it down to 110 BAR. The second string was shot with the Exacts, starting after the first magazine. Twenty one shots in a mid bore gun is not bad at all, and is enough for a day out after most small and medium game

The Carnivore is generating approximately 80 fpe, which is the lower end of the power spectrum for a mid bore gun. I will use this gun for predators like coyote, bobcat, and for rabbit squirrel and other small game. It is not a gun that I would use for larger quarry species. In a gun of this power I’d also refrain from using cast bullets.

So, if I’m going to get critical, what are the unfavorable aspects of the Carnivore. The trigger is fairly good but would benefit from a tune, I don’t care for an auto deployed safety, and it is a handful.

But I like the Carnivore, had a good time shooting it, and would recommend it ….. with a couple provisos. This is a rifle that was made to shoot Diabolo pellets, so stick with them. It is a gun that I’d keep to predator sized game inside of 60 yards. But this is a gun that you could also take out for smaller game without it being ridiculously overpowered.

Like all of the calibers I’ve used in the BT 65 platform, this rifle is very accurate, providing almost surgical precision. It is shootable, rugged, reliable, has a high shot capacity, and is a very good value. If you are looking for a solid mid bore performer, this gun is well worth a look.

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