The Hatsan Carnivore .30 cal
Break Barrel Springer!
Publication Date: Aug 2016
Up until now, the largest caliber production spring piston or gas ram rifle
has been the .25, which has been available from a number of
manufacturers. But in keeping with a bigger is better philosophy Hatsan
has released the .30 caliber Carnivore break barrel! I shot this gun on the
range and found that a) it is a big gun, b) it was surprisingly accurate, c)
and it took some effort to cock. But this gun was made for field work, and I
decided that I needed to get it out on game to really appreciate what it was
capable of. I should mention that the gun I used was one of the first one
produced and it used the spring piston mechanism, but the production
guns being imported to the USA are all gas ram power plants.
The Carnivore break barrel springer is based on Hatsan’s 135 frame. The stock on my gun is a checkered Turkish
walnut with an adjustable cheekpiece that comes with the sling swivels mounted. The rifle uses Hatsan’s Quattro 2 stage
adjustable trigger, and leverages their SAS (shock absorber system) to reduce vibration, but the gun still has a kick!
Unlike the 135 which is available as either a standard coiled spring or Vortex gas-piston configuration, the Carnivore will
only be released to market in the gas-piston specification.
The gun is a handful, which is probably a good thing because that helps (along with the SAS) to dampen the recoil. The
Carnivore weighs in at approximately 9.5 lb, and has an overall length of 47.2” with a 17.7” barrel. I like the fact that the
rifle has the Dual Accessory Rail accepting both Weaver and 11mm dovetail scope mounts, which I have always though
was a simple yet very clever design on Hatsan’s part.
The .30 pellet availability is limited at the present time, JSB makes their 50.15 grain Exact Diabolo pellet, which they also
private label for Daystate as the Emperor (same weight). I was told that JSB also white labeled the FX .30 pellets, though
these weigh less at 46.30 grains. Right now I have the Rainstorm, Sniper, Carnivore, FX Boss, and Wolverine .30 PCP’s
sitting in my gun room, and with this interest I would expect to see further development in .30 pellets which will trickle
down to the springers. Another thing we need to wait and see is whether other manufacturers will jump on the .30
springer wagon. I did get my hanmds on the new Predator International Polymags in .30, which actually worked well in this
rifle. As we have seen in the past, as more guns become available in a certain caliber, there will be a concurrent
development of new pellets to feed the gun.
The performance of this Carnivore is appropriate for its primary mission, hunting. At 25 yards my five shot groups were
around ½” off a rest, and at 35 yards a bit over ¾”, not a target gun but up to par for my intended use. Let me quickly
mention how I rested the rifle; my forward hand was laid palm up on the rest, then the rifles forestock laid on my open
hand, and I did not grip so much as lightly cup my hand around the stock, letting it move freely through the firing cycle.
After shooting several groups on paper, I went out and set up spinners at ranges from 20 – 50 yards and spent a long
session shooting from various field positions; offhand standing and kneeling with and without sticks. My accuracy with the
rifle was good and I have confidence in this as a hunting gun.
In terms of velocity and power output; the rifle was getting an average velocity of 550 fps with the 50.15 grain JSB pellets.
The average power generated is in the mid 30 fps range, which coupled with the increased wound channel over the .25
may prove advantageous, though I don’t have enough hunting experience with the gun to say for sure.
Keep in mind that this gun is definitely not a plinker, it is big and heavy, and it takes some effort to cock. I’m guessing the
cocking effort is around 50 lb, and after a few rounds through it could feel the burn baby! Trust a guy who put 60
consecutive shots through a test gun, it rattled my teeth and wore out shoulder. I will say that with the Vortex Gas-piston
the cocking action is smoother than the prototype mechanical spring gun I tested. But shoot 25 or so shots throughout
the day, and for most average sized shooters it’s manageable. If you want a gun for punching holes in paper or sending
spinners spinning, I would recommend a lower powered .22, as I have repeatedly said, this is a hunting gun pure and
Caliber ................ .30
Power .................. 30 fpe
Power Plant.......... Vortex gas ram
Action................... Break Barrel
Weight.................. 9.9 lb
Barrel Length....... 10.6"
Trigger.................. 2 stage adjustable
Cocking effort ...... 50 lb
Let's start off by saying there is
probably not much you can do with
the .30 you couldn't do with the same
gun in .25. On the other hand, I can't
help but think that the large surface
area of the pellets do have some
impact on the terrific terminal
performance I experienced on small
game with the Carnivore.
It is a very well made rifle, the metal
work and the Turkish walnut stock are
well made and the level of
craftsmanship quite high for a rifle at
this price point. The checkering is nice
and provides a good grip on the
forestock, and the adjustable
cheekpiece lets it be individually
fitted.... not a bad idea with a gun that
kicks like this one.
A full day of shooting will ratle your
teeth, but used as a hunting gun,
which is what it is designed to be,
niether the recoil or cocking effort are
too problematic for most shooters.
I think if you are looking for a big,
powerful, small to medium game break
barrel hunting rifle, this is worth your
|I took the Carnivore for a few days of pigeon and rabbit
shooting in Texas; the rifle was accurate and powerful to
be sure, and the terminal effectiveness was impressive. Do
you need a .30 for this size game? Of course not. But it
doesn't hurt and it sure was effective and fun to shoot.
The Hatsan 135 QE Vortex
|"At 30 fpe this is a very
powerful springer, but
not that different from
what you get out of the
.25 caliber. I am
convinced that the
larger surface area of
the .30 caliber pellet
has more effect than
the power alone in
explaining the terminal
performance, This gun
hammers small game
and gives more
latitude in shot
I hunted the Hatsan 135 .30 (Carnivore) in winter
and summer, open sights and scoped, for squirrel,
rabbit, and pigeons, and it worked a trip in every