HatsanUSA’s AT44 QE
by Benjamin Smith
QuietEnergy or QE is the perfect name for HatsanUSA’s latest version of the solid AT44 platform.
The AT44 is an extremely powerful air rifle. During testing with H&N .177 caliber 10.65 grain Baracuda Match pellets, the AT44 was achieving velocities of 1050 fps. With my Hatsan being setup for Field Target use, I needed to actually lower the airgun’s velocity to meet the 20 foot pound limit of the matches.
The edition of the QuietEnergy Technology greatly reduces the report of the airgun. The technology consists of an incorporated fully shrouded barrel with integrated sound moderator. The QE is almost silent with more noise coming from the pellet hitting the metal target, than out of the airgun.
A trade off for quietness is the elimination of open sights that are found on the non QE AT44’s. For me, that was not a big deal as I mounted an Optisan Optics Viper scope on the Hatsan’s 11 mm rail.
The synthetic stock feels solid and is ambidextrous. I’m right handed, but I shoot rifles as a lefty. I found the Hatsan comfortable during my shooting sessions.
The rubber butt pad is also adjustable for elevation and fit angle. Shooting hunter class in Field Target, I’m allowed to use a bi-pod which was easily mounted on the Weaver/Picatinny accessory rail molded into the Hatsan’s synthetic stock and also includes sling swivels.
The QE uses a side lever bolt action with anti-double-feed system prevents more than one pellet loading into barrel, an extremely useful feature.
The AT44 QE is available in three calibers, .177, .22, and .25. The pellets are housed in an easy to load metal rotary magazine. The magazine has a capacity of 10 rounds in .177 and .22 calibers. The .25 caliber magazine has a capacity of 9 rounds.
For my purposes the .177 caliber works very well for hitting the target’s 3/8” kill zone at 30 plus yards. I’ve found my AT44 QE to be very accurate. The rifling is deep as can be seen from this pellet retrieved from a trap.
An auto safety is something that took a little while to get used to. It’s a good reminder of “Safety First”.
Being detachable, the air cylinder has advantages over fixed air tube rifles. First, you can carry extra air cylinders in the field. Image that you’ve had a good day hunting, but you’re low on air, just unscrew your air cylinder from the air rifle, and screw in a backup cylinder. Second, if you’ve gone to an event, and a bit of debris has caused a slow leak, you can switch to your backup cylinder and keep competing. Third, if in the future that valve needs to be resealed, having a second air cylinder will allow you to keep shooting while the primary cylinder (containing the valve) is repaired.
The air cylinder has a built in pressure gauge for easy monitoring of the air pressure. I’ve found I can get 30 shots before my gauge reaches 100 bar and needs to be refilled.
The AT44W has an overall length of 39.4” while the AT44 QE’s length is 45.4”. The weight of the QE is also about a half pound heavier at 8 pounds while the Walnut AT44W weights 7.5 pounds. Both versions have a barrel length of 19.5”
The AT44 QE is also offered in a long version with a barrel length of 22.8” and an overall length of 48.9”. The velocity also is increased with number of shots per fill.
Out of the box, the trigger on my AT44 QE seemed perfect for my liking. The 2 stage trigger is adjustable, if I want to change it in the future.
What’s the best part of owning my AT44 QE? Along with being extremely powerful, quiet and accurate, I can share rotary magazines, fill probes, air cylinders and other Hatsan accessories with my dad.