In May, 2009, Daystate was acquired by the same group that owns Marocchi Arms. For the past two-and-a-half years, Stefano Gervasoni has been Export Director of Daystate.
JE: How did you get involved with airguns?
SG: In my last job, I was sales manager for Minelli an Italian company that made wooden stocks for airguns and firearms, so I was familiar with airguns because we supplied some of the components for them. Now that I am at Daystate, we make everything!
JE: Philosophically, how do you approach Daystate moving into the future?
SG: Daystate was already at the top of the airguns market when I joined the company. It was already the leader in PCP air rifles, thanks to the continuous development that had been done in the past.
Moving forward, Daystate needs to stay at the top end of the market and be the most advanced company in terms of new products, experimental work on airguns, which means research and development. Daystate is where it is because of the genius that was put in its air rifles in the past, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.
JE: How important is the American market to Daystate?
SG: The American market is very important to Daystate. US sales constitute about 20% of our total sales, and American sales represent 50% of our exports, so financially the American market is important to us. But there is another season why the US is important to Daystate.
JE: What’s that?
SG: The US is an airgun marketplace that is very sophisticated. The customers are very experienced, and they know what they want. The general culture of the customer is very high, and the competition is strong, which is good. That means the American market obliges Daystate as a manufacturer to continually improve and innovate.
It’s challenging, but it is good for Daystate. The US market pushes us to do our best.
JE: Speaking of innovation, do you have anything new and exciting coming along?
SG: At the SHOT Show this year we displayed a new model, a .30 caliber (7.62mm) big bore air rifle. We expect that it will produce 100 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
It is a new way to think about air rifle design. It is a pre-charged pneumatic, and it uses the air that would normally be wasted to index the magazine. It is a very efficient design. While it is not simpler to manufacture, it is simpler to operate.
At the SHOT Show, there was a lot of interest in this air rifle, and people in the US are waiting for it to come to the market. We expect that we will have product available in the US in April or May.
In addition to the .30 caliber version, we also expect to bring out .177, .20, .22, and .25 versions of the Wolverine, as well as 12 foot-pound versions for the UK market. We’re very excited about the Wolverine, and we think that the basic underlying principles of its design will help us to maintain leadership for the next five years or more.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
- Jock Elliott