Huseyin Ferhat Gona, Hatsan’s international sales manager, talks about the Turkish gunmaker and how it’s grown
Did you shoot before getting into the industry, and do you shoot today?
I didn’t shoot anything before joining Hatsan. Now I’m an avid airgun shooter, and it is fantastic to have a job when I can get to try all the new models we sell and develop. It allows me to pass feedback to engineering as a real customer.
How did you start in the industry and when did you join Hatsan?
I started with Hatsan in October 2000, after my parents introduced me to some family friends who happened to own Hatsan. We spoke a lot and they asked if I could help find them new export customers. I have now progressed to be international sales manager.
How has the company changed in the years you’ve been there?
We have grown significantly. The company was unknown in the international market at that time, and now we sell around the world. We had 70 workers and now more than 700; there were four CNC machines and now we have over 200. Sales are 20 times what they were in 2000.
What was the first rifle you introduced, and which rifle are you most proud of?
My first rifle was the Hatsan Mod 70 break-barrel air rifle. I’m most proud of the Gladius bullpup PCP. It’s the first genuine bullpup design PCP with a cocking lever placed at the front, not near the cheek.
Has a rifle’s success surprised you?
The success of the Hatsan Edge break-barrel surprised me. I didn’t expect it would sell that many, but I’m very pleased it did.