Posts Tagged ‘Daystate’

Every year in March, the European version of the Shot Show takes place in Nürnberg Germany. IWA, as it is referred to, is where manufactures from all over the world gather to showcase their goods and release the new products that have been painstakingly developed in the previous years and are now ready for public admiration. Factory managers, design engineers, and marketing gurus come together with anxious excitement in hopes that their customers will be equally excited and fill the order books.  The 2015 IWA show brings exciting news to those finding there way to the stands of Daystate, FX Airguns, Weihrauch, and Brocock. These fine factories have each done their work to provide the airgun enthusiast new reasons to add to their collection.

Daystate LTD


The firm that has pioneered the modern day PCP airgun and is credited by most in producing some of the finest airguns made in the world today.  The centerpiece of their new lineup will include the all new Pulsar Bullpup. This all new air rifle has years of research and design experience behind its creation. Specialists from many technologies have been brought together to build this elegant and advanced shooting machine. The Pulsar represents the next generation of quality and engineering for Daystate. Those that are fortunate to own one of these masterpieces will cherish it for years. The Pulsar sports features found on no other airgun such as a built in laser, an all electronic firing system with regulator, three tuned power levels, and a stock crafted by Italian masters that screams quality and elegance with interchangeable components to design the look of your choice.  The four current popular calibers .177 .22 .25 and .30 will be available. The new Pulsar represents a new benchmark in quality and design that will be hard to match.

FX Airguns

FX Wildcat Bullpup

This innovative airgun company has been very busy. The FX factory has moved and expanded into a new larger high tech facility with the most modern equipment and resources for design, manufacture, and assembly to provide the highest quality airgun products possible. The FX design team has worked literally day and night to bring to market the most exciting models ever to come out of the factory. First, the all new Wildcat Bullpup is a high power, light weight, short, and quiet tack driver that sports a FX made synthetic stock. Additionally, the new Impact air rifle ,although a Bullpup by definition, handles more like a AR15 live fire rifle with features such as external adjustable regulator, power adjuster, hammer, and valve adjustments with a quick change system for the caliber of your choice in minutes. The rifle will be available in .177, .22,  .25 and .30 calibers with maximum power of 90 ft/lbs on the big .30. Light in weight, short in length, and with the option of any production AR15 style grip, this new accurate wonder gun will definitely make an “Impact” on the customer’s choice. These two new models represent some of the highest levels of airgun design from one of the worlds best.

Brocock LTD

Brocock Contour XL G6

With the acquisition of Brocock by Diana holdings come fresh energy and investment from this British firm is famous for its production of small light weight rifles and high power field pistols. This year Brocock is proud to announce the new G6 Contour air rifle. This little gem sports an all new Italian made ambidextrous stock with a olive green soft touch all weather coating. The G6 includes top quality build with features normally found only on more expensive units. The list starts with the fitment of a highly accurate Lothar-Walther barrel, a six shot magazine system, and a Huggett moderator that turns the report into barely a whisper. The G6 along with its stable mate Elite models are a first choice for the shooter that desires a light compact quality target and pest control rifle.

Weihrauch Sport

Weihrauch HW100 Carbine Laminate

This German airgun company is world famous for its consistency, quality, and design. For more than 100 years, HW products have been proudly passed down from grandfather to father to son.  With years of experience in old and new world designs, the craftsmen at HW have few peers. HW is pleased to add new stock designs and innovative features to their rock solid line up. HW will continue to perfect the fine HW100 PCP model for the 2015 season.

FZ200 Daystate target 001

To ready the Daystate Mk4 iS Target for shooting, remove the cap at the end of the air reservoir and fill the reservoir to 230 BAR with a SCUBA tank or high-pressure pump. Next, load the rifle.

Because this is a target rifle, I didn’t mess with the 10-shot rotary magazine, since my preference would be to load single shots if I were shooting field target with this rifle. Initially I tried loading the Daystate Mk4 iS Target without the benefit of the single-shot tray, but I found this to be enormously fussy and difficult. Fortunately, single shot tray is included with the Daystate Mk4 iS Target. It drops readily into place, is held there by magnets, and makes loading single shots absolutely straightforward. You rotate the bolt up and pull full back, place a pellet headfirst on the tray, and slide the bolt back to its original position.

FZ200 Daystate target 006

It’s at this point that I encountered some of the weirdness that is associated with an electronically controlled rifle. The bolt, it turns out, doesn’t cock anything, so it operates super smoothly and very easily. The electronics do all the cocking of the action within the receiver. As a result, it is possible to trigger shot after shot, without moving the bolt, simply by pulling the trigger if the safety is set on FIRE. Now obviously, if you are not moving the bolt and loading any pellets, you will not be sending pellets downrange with those repeated trigger pulls, but you will be sending compressed air down the barrel, compressed air that could cause damage if in too close proximity to another object. (A fellow on one of the forums, using a different precharged pneumatic rifle, put his finger over the muzzle and pulled the trigger to see if there was any air left in the reservoir. The resulting pellet-less discharged wreaked havoc with his finger, and his next stop was the emergency room.)

When the electronics are turned off, the trigger has a small amount of play and feels as inert as if it were attached to a brick wall. Turn the electronics on, though, and it becomes a thing of wonder. There is a very light, but solid and unmistakable , first stage (which I found impossible to measure with the electronic trigger gauge), and at 7.3 ounces, the very crisp second stage trips, and the shot goes off

Mk4177

On high power, the Daystate Mk4 iS Target launches 10.34 grain JSB .177 pellets at 917 fps average for 19.4 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. On Power 2, it sends the same pellets downrange at 797 fps average for 14.7 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Accuracy was excellent, as you can see from the target below shot at 32 yards, and the report, thanks to the very efficient valve and control system (which will deliver more than 100 shots per fill on Power 2), was to my ear no louder than an average high-power springer.

FZ200 Daystate target 013-001

In addition, the electronic of the Daystate Mk4 iS Target offer a wide variety of control options for the shooter, including: magazine counter, shot counter, active display pressure, power, lighting, turning magazine counter on and off, single shot mode, and low pressure warning.

To be honest, I didn’t mess with any of these electronic settings. Instead, I contented myself with the pleasure of shooting an astonishingly accurate air rifle.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

FZ200 Daystate target 009-001

I have to get this off my chest right up front: I am not accustomed to air rifles that light up when you switch off the safety. Yet that is precisely what the Daystate Mk4 iS Target does. When you move the rotary safety to the FIRE position, a cheerful little screen just forward of the safety on the left side illuminates with messages such as “115.0BAR” (the pressure within the air reservoir), “Pwr 2” (the power level), “S69” (the number of shots that have been taken; it’s resettable), “73%” (the state of the battery charge), and so on.

FZ200 Daystate target 011

The Daystate Mk4 iS Target, you see, is a target rifle with an electronically controlled heart. It features the Harper patent Mapped Compensated Technology (MCT) electronic firing system, the Harper sling-valve valve, and an air-stripper out at the muzzle end of the barrel. We’ll talk about what all that means in terms of the shooting experience in a bit (probably in Part II), but let me cut to the chase: the Daystate Mk4 iS Target is a bona fide tackdriver and, it is a little unusual to shoot because of the electronics.

FZ200 Daystate target 005

First, let’s take a guided tour of the Daystate Mk4 iS Target. At the extreme aft end of the thumbhole stock, which is covered with a soft rubbery material for better gripping, you’ll find a soft rubber butt pad that can be adjusted vertically. Forward of that, on the right side of the buttstock is a large silver knob that, when loosened, allows the shooter to adjust the height of the cheek piece.

The pistol grip is almost vertical and has finger indentations and textured surfaces on either side. Above that on either side is a shelf for resting your thumb while shooting. Forward of that, the stock material surrounds an adjustable electronic trigger that has an adjustable trigger shoe. Underneath the trigger assembly is a slot where there is a lock that can lock the entire rifle as well as a bolt for attaching the receiver to the stock. The stock can be fitted with a rail underneath and a knee riser for field target.

FZ200 Daystate target 002

Above the extreme forward end of the forestock is the 144 cc air reservoir. There is a black cap on the end that can be removed to reveal a male foster fitting for filling the reservoir with a SCUBA tank or a high pressure pump. A barrel band connects the reservoir to the barrel, and at the muzzle end of the barrel you’ll find an air stripper that strips turbulence from the pellet as it exits the barrel to increase accuracy. The stripper is tune-able to your pellet. By loosening the screw and sliding the unit forward or back you can tune the harmonics and actually improve accuracy for your pellet/power combo.

Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find the black metal receiver, which incorporates a generous breech that can be fitted with a 10-shot rotary magazine or a single-shot tray. On the left side of the receiver is the digital display, and at the extreme aft end of the receiver is a large silver colored bolt handle.

The Daystate Mk4 iS Target stretches just 36.5 inches from end to end and weight 9.5 pounds before a scope is fitted. It is available in .177 or .22 caliber. www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me the .177 version to test.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Daystate Mk4 iS Target performs.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

G12 Wolverine 004

To ready the Wolverine B for shooting, pop the cover off the foster fitting under the forestock and fill the 500cc reservoir (that’s the displacement of a decent-sized motorcycle engine!) up to bar using a high-pressure hand pump or a SCUBA tank.

The underside of he forestock showing the Wolverine insignia and the cap over the foster fitting.

The underside of he forestock showing the Wolverine insignia and the cap over the foster fitting.

Next, pull the bolt all the way back so that you can slide the rotary magazine out to the left. Loading the magazine is pretty straightforward. On the back side of the magazine (if you see a full width horizontal groove, you’re looking at the front side of the magazine), there is an indentation at the bottom through which a pellet bay is visible. Push a pellet nose-first into the hole and then rotate the pellet holder portion of the magazine one click to the left (about a quarter of an inch). Load another pellet, click the magazine to the left again, and so forth. Pretty soon, you will have ten pellets loaded (they will be visible through small holes on the back of the magazine).

Slide the magazine into the receiver from the left side, slide the bolt handle all the way forward (this pushes a pellet out of the magazine and into the barrel), and you’re good to go. Take careful aim, flick the safety off, and ease the first stage out of the trigger. This requires just 8.3 ounces of effort. At 1 lb. 15.7 oz., the shot goes down range.

The Wolverine B with the shroud/moderator assembly dismounted.

The Wolverine B with the shroud/moderator assembly dismounted.

Now, before we get to what happens next, an enormous digression. You’ll remember that I mentioned the Wolverine B arrived with the shroud/moderator assembly not mounted on the air rifle. Further, I had heard very good things about the Huggett moderator. What better opportunity to find out how effective the Huggett moderator is than to shoot the Wolverine B with just the naked barrel, then mount the shroud/moderator and shoot it again to observe the difference.

The Huggett moderator is extraordinarily effective.

The Huggett moderator is extraordinarily effective.

So I shot the Wolverine B without the shroud/moderator, and all I can say is: DON’T! Without the moderator in place, this is one loud airgun. Even though Harper valve is efficient at metering the air through the action, the report is loud (not as loud as some of the Korean pre-charged pneumatics that I have shot), and it has a sharp crack to it that reminds me of a .22 long rifle shooting high-speed ammunition.

Slide the shroud/moderator over the barrel and screw it into place and shoot again, and you’ll find all that noise simply goes away. What was a loud and neighbor-annoying report becomes a soft “ping.” It is remarkable, and even more remarkable in an air rifle of the Wolverine B’s power. Take a look at the chart below. The .22 Wolverine gets at least 85 shots out of a fill-up and generates over 30 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. That’s more than enough power to take whatever game you might reasonably want to take with a .22 caliber air rifle.

WolvB22

The Wolverine easily produces dime-sized groups at 100 feet, and I’m willing to bet that, with care and optimal conditions, it will produce similar size groups at 50 yards. The state of the art in today’s pre-charged pneumatic air rifles is so high that it is fairly rare to find a PCP rifle that won’t do dime-sized groups at 32-33 yards and well under an inch at 50 yards.

In the end, I liked the .22 Wolverine a whole lot. It is a big, powerful, accurate, and incredibly quiet air rifle that would make any airgunner proud.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

 

 

 

 

The Daystate Wolverine is an air rifle that does a lot of things well.

The Daystate Wolverine is an air rifle that does a lot of things well.

What technology is doing with the latest generation of airguns is pretty amazing.

Recently, the good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me a .22 caliber Daystate Wolverine B for testing. The gun arrived with the barrel shroud, which incorporates a permanently-bonded Huggett moderator, uninstalled. The user has to slip the shroud/moderator assembly over the naked barrel and screw them together. And what the Huggett moderator does for the Wolverine B is pretty spectacular.

The walnut stock is ambidextrous.

The walnut stock is ambidextrous.

We’ll get to that in a little while, but first let’s take a guided tour of the Wolverine B which stretches nearly 44 inches long and weighs 8.1 lbs. without a scope. At the extreme aft end is a soft rubber butt pad which is attached to an ambidextrous Walnut stock crafted by Minnelli in Italy. The hand-finished thumbhole stock features a cheek piece on either side, a nearly vertical pistol grip with the Wolverine insignia on both sides, and a landing pad for the shooter’s thumb on either side in case you want to shoot with your thumb in opposition to your trigger finger.

The trigger, bolt, and breech.

The trigger, bolt, and breech.

Just forward of the pistol grip, there is a black metal trigger guard that surrounds an adjustable silver metal trigger. Forward of that, the underside of the forestock is adorned with the Wolverine insignia, and forward of that, there is an inlet in the stock that contains a black metal knob. Remove the knob, and you’ll find a male foster fitting for filling the air reservoir. Above the foster fitting on the left side of the stock is an air gauge that tells how much pressure remains in the tank. On either side of the stock, just below the receiver, you’ll find the Daystate name and logo embossed into the wood.

At the front end of the forestock is the air reservoir, a 500cc black metal bottle. Above that is the barrel, which is silver metal, and the matte black shroud and moderator assembly slides over it. At the aft end of the barrel is the matte black receiver. The breech, which holds a ten-shot rotary magazine is located roughly in the middle, and there are dovetails fore and aft of the breech on top of the receiver for mounting a scope. At the aft end of the receiver is the silver metal bolt handle, which can be mounted to the right or left side according to the shooter’s preference. Just under the bolt handle is a sliding-switch type safety.

The Wolverine B is equipped with the Steve Harper designed patented “slingshot” hammer and valve train. It uses inertia to mimic the operation of a solenoid-powered valve hammer and, therefore, eliminates the phenomenon known as “hammer bounce.” Hammer bounce is common in conventional PCPs and involves the valve opening and closing after the main discharge, wasting air long after the pellet has zipped down the bore. The Harper valve delivers extremely efficient use of air, a very high number of shots per charge, a flat power curve, an ultra-fast firing cycle and a relatively quiet (for the power level) muzzle discharge. The slingshot system is also remarkably simple and reliable. As a result, Daystate offers the Wolverine B with a three-year warranty.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Wolverine B shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

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

If you think that Airguns of Arizona is content to rest on its laurels, quietly baking in the Arizona sun, think again.

Recently I spoke with Robert Buchanan, president of AoA, about the company’s international connection. “At least once a year, I go to Europe. Frequently, it is to visit the IWA Fair, which is the European equivalent of the SHOT Show. All the major manufacturers display at IWA, and we have important meetings.”

“Some of the time is spent talking about how we can work together better,” Buchanan says. “The airgun manufacturers usually have some things they would like AoA to do better, and we usually have some requests of them. We try to work through those issues and find out what going on for the next year in terms of product, pricing, and so forth.”

He notes that the American market appears to be rising in importance for the European manufacturers. “Things appear to be worse in the European economy than they are here in the US, and the European airgun manufacturers are apparently looking to us for growth. Right now, AoA is on a track for very good growth.”

Buchanan sees a change in the way the Europeans are approaching the American market. “For most of our history in working with them, when they designed a new gun, they would first design it for the 12-foot-pound European market and then later they would see about boosting the power to meet the demands of American consumers.”

“Now, however, we’re starting to see some companies look first to the US when designing a new model. The Daystate Wolverine is an example. It is a big, powerful air rifle, two years in the making, and it was designed clearly for the American market. Sure, it will be sold in Europe, but its first market is the US,” Buchanan says.

Among frequently discussed topics on Buchanan’s overseas visits to manufacturers are customer service and parts. “We have tens of thousands of dollars in parts inventory at Airguns of Arizona, but we don’t have all parts at all times. I usually press manufacturers to be quicker about responding to request for parts, because American customers are pretty much accustomed to ‘instant’ customer service. And of course, we always stress the need for the highest quality products and quality control,” he says.

He adds that visiting the factories helps AoA to understand how and why some of the air rifles and air pistols are made the way they are. “Some of the top end elite air rifles are every bit as exotic as a Ferrari,” Buchanan says.

Every other year, AoA sends some of its employees overseas to train at the factories to learn how to service and repair the air guns that AoA imports. “We learn how to service a particular gun in a particular manner that is quicker and more efficient and also less stress on the components. Sometimes there are specific torque values on individual bolts that will bring out the best performance,” Buchanan says. “It’s no longer good enough to tighten everything until it is snug. You have to get it right.”

Sometimes the international connection works the other way. “Fredrik Axelsson of FX visited us a couple of months ago and was extremely helpful. Stefano Gervisoni of Daystate came over for the SHOT Show. It was educational for all of us.”

The bottom line for Buchanan, though, is that the international connection has helped, and will continue to help, Airguns of Arizona to deliver better airguns and service to its customers.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

It shoots as good as it looks!

To get the Daystate Huntsman Classic XL ready to shoot, remove the cap at the end of the air reservoir, attach a high pressure pump or SCUBA tank, and charge the reservoir up to 230 BAR maximum.

To remove the 10-shot magazine from the breech, first apply the safety catch. Next, lift the bolt handle at the rear of the breech block and pull it all the way back until fully cocked. Next move the bolt forward just a little bit until you feel a click. Now the magazine can be removed. (If you attempt to remove the magazine before you feel the click, it won’t work.)

There is a lot to like about the Huntsman Classic, but one of the things that I particularly like is the 10-shot rotary magazine. It is, hands down, the easiest to load magazine currently available. There is no twisting of top plates, no dropping in pellets to lock the top plate in place, no clicking your heels and saying “there’s no place like home.”

The magazine is super easy to load.

Instead, all you have to do is drop a pellet head-first into the large hole at the bottom of the backside of the magazine. You have to make sure that the pellet head slips past the o-ring that circles the perimeter of the pellet ring, and sometimes I use the tip of a ballpoint pen to give the pellet a quick poke to do that. Next rotate the pellet ring counter-clockwise to bring the next empty bay in line with the loading port and drop in another pellet. Frankly, it takes longer to describe the procedure than to do it. Continue this one click at a time until all 10 pellets has been loaded. When the magazine is full, slide it back into position in the breech block and return the bolt forward to the closed and locked position. Now you’re good to go.

Take aim at the target, flick the safety off, and start to squeeze the trigger. On the sample that I tested, the first stage required only 9.6 ounces of pressure. At about 1 pound 4.4 ounces, the shot goes off.

The Huntsman Classic XL launches JSB .177 Heavy 10.3 grain pellets at an average of 904 fps, making average energy 18.77 foot pounds. In addition, because of the extra large (that’s what the XL stands for) air reservoir, it delivers over 55 shots on a fill (see the curve below.)  Peak velocity is 918 fps, for 19.35 foot pounds of energy.

The XL produces a surprisingly subdued report. It is by no means completely silent, but it is not nearly as loud as I expected. There is some shrouding in the barrel, which helps to quiet the XL, but the main reason for the relatively quiet report is the Steve Harper designed “slingshot” valve. This patented valve design eliminates the hammer bounce that plagues so many other pre-charged, CO2, and multi-stroke air rifles and air pistols that store gas under pressure and employ a knock-open valve.

Here’s how hammer bounce happens.  When the airgunner triggers the shot, the hammer hits the valve and knocks it open. The very next thing that happens is that the compressed gas inside the reservoir acts like a spring and pushes the valve shut, often with enough force to drive the hammer back off the valve. The hammer then slams back down on the valve and pops the valve open again. When this happens, the gun wastes air (or CO2) and makes a louder report than necessary. Even worse, hammer bounce does absolutely nothing useful, since the pellet has already left the barrel when the hammer bounce occurs.

Because Harper slingshot valve prevents hammer bounce, it produces performance comparable to a computerized Daystate air rifle – including efficient use of air, a very high number of shots per charge, a flat power curve, an ultra-fast firing cycle and a relatively quiet muzzle discharge. As effective as the slingshot system is, it’s also remarkably simple and, therefore is backed by a three-year warranty.

The Huntsman delivers the kind of accuracy that I have come to expect from Daystate air rifles. At 30 yards, under far less than ideal conditions, the XL put five shots into a group you could easily cover with a dime. I expect that, under ideal conditions, it will deliver similar sized groups at 50 yards.

The Daystate Huntsman Classic XL has just about everything any serious airgunner would want: excellent accuracy, high efficiency, a very nice trigger, and a reasonable report . . .  and those good looks don’t hurt either. Who wouldn’t be pleased with an air rifle like that?

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

The Daystate Huntsman Classic XL

Some years ago, very early in my career as an airgun writer, I was taught an important and harsh lesson: when it comes to airgun performance, looks don’t matter. The gun in question was a Beeman Crow Magnum. It had been loaned to me, and when I pulled it from the box, I fell instantly in love. The exotic hardwood stock was a thing of beauty, and the bluing on the metal work looked like it was a foot deep. After just one look, I was already making plans to justify purchasing such an expensive springer.

As soon I shot the Crow Magnum, I rapidly changed my mind. I couldn’t adapt to the recoil of the powerful Theoben gas-ram powerplant, and I was unable to shoot better than 1.5 inch groups at 10 yards. Beautiful or not, I couldn’t wait to send that gun back to its owner. (Eventually I asked another airgunner who had mastered the Crow Magnum how he did it, and he said that the secret was to “apprentice yourself to the Crow Magnum and don’t shoot anything else. When you do that, the Crow Magnum shoots as good as it looks.”)

Having said all that, I would be less than forthright if I didn’t admit that I was taken with the looks of the Daystate Huntsman Classic XL in .177. It is a beautiful air rifle that stretches 38 inches from end to and weighs just a bit over six pounds.  The version that I tested was designated “XL,” which means that it has an extra-large air reservoir to extend the shot count per fill, although the folks at Airguns of Arizona tell me that the short air tube version actually out-sells the XL. Go figure.

The ventilated butt pad and other goodies.

At the extreme aft end of the XL is a ventilated rubber butt plate attached to a Walnut stock with a black spacer. The stock is right-handed and has a distinct cheek piece on the left hand side of the stock. Forward of the buttstock is the pistol grip, which is checkered on both sides and is fitted with the rosewood cap and a lighter colored spacer.

The trigger group, bolt, and magazine.

Ahead of the pistol grip is a metal trigger guard with a silver-colored metal trigger inside. The two-stage trigger is adjustable for second stage weight, trigger blade angle, and first stage travel. Above the trigger guard, on either side of the stock, the Daystate name and emblem are incised into the stock. Ahead of the trigger assembly is an allen screw for holding the action in the stock, and just ahead of that is an air gauge that reads in bar.

Moving toward the muzzle again, the forestock is checkered on either side. At the end of the forestock are a barrel band and a black metal cap, which when removed, reveals a foster fitting for filling the air reservoir. Above the air reservoir is the matte black finished barrel which is shrouded to reduce the report of the XL. At the end of the barrel is a cap that can be unscrewed for fitting a silencer where legal.

Traveling back along the barrel, you’ll find the receiver, which has dovetails for fitting a scope, the breech – where the ten-shot rotary magazine can be inserted – and the silver-finished bolt handle. Below the bolt handle on the left side of the receiver is the rotary safety. Flick the red anodized tab UP for fire and DOWN for safe.

Next time, we’ll see how the Daystate Huntsman Classic XL shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

To ready the Air Range for shooting, you first have to load the magazine, and, fortunately, it is one of the easiest loading magazines I’ve seen in a long time. Here’s the drill: hold the magazine so that the side with the multiple holes is facing toward you. Insert a pellet, nose-first, into the first pellet bay through the large hole at the bottom of the magazine. You will probably have to use something to push the pellet fully into the pellet bay. I used a ballpoint pen with the point retracted. Rotate the silver part of the magazine counter-clockwise until it clicks and the next empty pellet bay is visible. Insert the next pellet into that bay, and so forth. Just keep doing that until the magazine if full. It’s quick, easy, and straightforward.

To insert the magazine into the action, pull the bolt back and slide the magazine in from the left side with the multi-hole face pointed toward the buttstock. Note well: when you pull the bolt back, pull it all the way back until it clicks. Why? Because it is possible to pull the bolt back far enough that you can insert the magazine but not far enough that the action is cocked.

That happened to me the first time I attempted to shoot the Air Ranger. There I was – the magazine inserted into the rifle, the bolt forward so that a pellet had been pushed into the barrel, the safety off, and I couldn’t get the rifle to fire! That sort of situation makes me very, very nervous. After a quick phone call to Airguns of Arizona, I was instructed to pull the bolt back fully until it clicked. Unfortunately, that also cycled the magazine again, so now I had two pellets in the barrel. That happened to me three times while I was testing the Air Ranger, and the only cure (besides prevention) is to pull the trigger, send two pellets downrange at the same time, and try again.

So, having inserted the magazine and pulled the bolt back until it clicks, push the bolt forward to slide a pellet out of the magazine and into the barrel. Take aim at your target, flick off the safety, and squeeze the trigger. On the sample that I tested, the first stage came out at l lb , 1.4 oz. At 1 lb, 12.7 oz, the shot went downrange – with a tremendous bang and crack.

Okay, I know that's not a dime, but I literally didn't have a dime in my pocket when I was taking the picture.

I had not realized it at first, but I was shooting the 50 foot-pound version of the .22 Air Ranger. The light JSB .22 Express pellets were clearly going supersonic. I emptied the magazine and loaded some JSB .22 Jumbo pellets. There was no more supersonic crack, but the gun was still loud, although significantly subdued compared to some other very high powered air rifles I have shot. Even though the Jumbo pellets were ripping downrange at around 1076 fps (41 foot-pounds), at 30 yards I was able to shoot a pretty shamrock-shaped group that you could cover with a dime.

The folks at AoA tell me that most of the guys who own the 50 fp .22 Air Ranger are shooting Exact 18 gr heavy pellets (1041 fps, 44 fp) or Baracuda Match 21.1 gr pellets (1000 fps, 47 fp). You can expect around 45 usable shots from a fill to 230 bar.

The bottom line: the 50-fp .22 Air Ranger is a big, hairy, powerful air rifle that, aside from being louder than your neighbors might enjoy, does many things well. If you need an air rifle capable of taking down large pests with a single shot, the Air Ranger has all the goodies, and it’s nice to look at as well.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott