Posts Tagged ‘Daystate’

The Daystate Air Ranger is a beautiful air rifle.

I guess the good folks at Airguns of Arizona got tired of my whining: “How come you never send me any of the really nice airguns, huh?” (The real answer is that they can hardly keep them in stock. Commander in Chief Robert Buchanan tells me that the most expensive airguns they stock are also their best sellers.)

So, to quiet me for a while, they sent me a Daystate Air Ranger. Not just any old Air Ranger, mind you, (It’s available in four different calibers: .177, .20, .22 and .25.) but a 50 foot-pound .22 caliber model.

My first impression of it is that it is just flat gorgeous. And this is not just an opinion of one – my wife wandered by while I was writing this review. She stopped. “Is that real wood?” she asked. “Yes,” I said. She said: “And a compass in the stock . . . ooh, I’m getting goosebumps!”

Okay, it doesn’t really have a compass in the stock, but the Daystate symbol — crosshairs through two concentric circles with stars around the perimeter – really resembles one at first glance. Even without a real compass, you’d have to be pretty jaded not to recognize that the Air Range is a nice looking rifle in a 40.5-inch, 8.6-lb package.

Starting at the back, you’ll find a soft rubber ventilated butt pad. Forward of that is the ambidextrous, oiled-walnut thumbhole stock. Moving forward again, just ahead of the thumbhole itself, the pistol grip is knurled on either side and finished on the bottom with a dark hardwood cap separated from the pistol grip itself by a thin white spacer. Above the pistol grip on either side is a shelf for parking your thumb while shooting.

Ahead of the pistol grip, a black metal trigger guard surrounds a silver metal trigger that is adjustable for second stage weight, trigger angle, and first stage travel. Moving forward again, the walnut stock overlaps the trigger guard somewhat. The forestock has a groove on either side that I found quite handy for pulling the Air Ranger down onto my knee while shooting from the sitting position.

Next, underneath the forestock you’ll find a single allen bolt that secures the action in the stock and black cap that can be slipped off to expose a quick fill fitting (a male Foster fitting) for charging the Air Ranger. Above the quick fill fitting on the left side is a gauge to show how much pressure is left in the air reservoir.

Beyond the end of the forestock is a 500cc non-removable air reservoir. Above the air bottle is the barrel, which has a full-length shroud. The aft end of the barrel attaches to the matte black receiver. The top of the receiver has dovetails fore and aft of the breech for mounting a scope. On the left side of the receiver, you’ll find the serial number, the words “Air Ranger” and the Daystate “compass” – all in white. (On the right side of the receiver, you’ll find “Air Ranger,” “Harper Patent,” and “Daystate England.) In the middle of the receiver is a slot for inserting a 10-shot rotary magazine.

At the aft end of the receiver, you’ll find a black metal righthanded bolt, and, to the left of the bolt, the rotary safety. Flick it up to fire and down to SAFE the action.

That’s all there is to the Daystate Air Ranger. Next time, we’ll see how it shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

If you have never tried field target competition, you really owe it to yourself, as an airgun enthusiast, to give it a go. It’s a lot of fun.

On May 1, 2011, I attended and competed in a field target match put on by the Eastern Field Target Competitors Club (EFTCC) at the Dutchess County Pistol Association in Wappingers Falls, NY.

Field target is the fine art of shooting at metallic silhouettes of squirrels, rabbits, birds, and the like. These silhouettes are generally 4-12 inches high. There is a hole, called the kill zone, in the silhouette, and behind the hole is a paddle. If you put a pellet cleanly through the hole, it hits the paddle, and the target falls down. If you hit the face plate of the target or split a pellet on the edge of the kill zone, the target stays upright. What makes field target challenging is that the range to the target can vary from 7 to 55 yards, and the size of the kill zone can range from .25 inches to 1.875 inches. Further – and this is key – there is no correlation between the range to the target and the size of the kill zone. A one-inch kill zone at 10 yards is fairly easy to hit, but a one-inch kill zone at 50 yards can be downright challenging.

Normally, you score one point for each target you knock down (and no points if you fail to drop the target), but the May 1 EFTCC match was scored on a risk/reward system: you got one point if you knocked the target down from a sitting, prone, or kneeling position, but you scored two points if you dropped the target from a standing position. 

The catch in all this is that it is harder to shoot from a standing – or offhand – position. Most lanes had two targets, and you could take two shots at each, four shots in all in each lane. If you were successful with all four shots from, say, a sitting position, you would get four points for that lane, but if you were successful with all four shots from a standing position, you would get eight points. So, is it worth the risk to attempt the more difficult by higher scoring standing shots? That was the question facing the competitors.

Six classes were available for competition at EFTCC: Hunter, WFTF (World Field Target Federation), Pistol, PCP, Spring Gun, and Junior. There were entrants in all classes but Pistol.

Below is my attempt to capture the day in pictures.

The day was gorgeous: mid-70s and low wind. It started with signing up for a class to compete in.

The shooting lanes are along the left edge of the photo, the check-in table on the right.

A couple of typical field targets. Hit the yellow kill zone, and the target goes down.

Can you spot the field target on the tree?

Here it is up close.

 You could spot just about any type of air rifle in the competition.

Tom Holland took first in the WFTF class with this Steyr LG110FT.

Michael Arroyo finished second in Hunter with this Beeman R11.

Glenn Thomas campaigned a Gamo CFX.

Hector Medina took second in Spring Gun Division with a Diana 54.

Veronica Ruf competed with an HW95.

Brian Williams goes prone in Hunter class with his .20 caliber Daystate Air Wolf.

In Hunter class, Greg Shirhall reloads his custom-stocked Marauder.

Robert Bidwell shot a QB78PCP in Junior Class.

Paul Bishop won Spring Gun Division with this custom-stocked HW98.

Jerry LaRocca won Hunter class with his .22 caliber Diana 56TH.

Ron Zeman shot an Air Arms S300 in PCP Division.

Art Deuel finished second in the PCP Division with this customized Marauder.

Nathan Thomas sights in a Marauder. He won the PCP Division with it.

Your Humble Correspondent with his trusty FWB150.

Match Director and Team Crosman member Ray Apelles shot a Marauder Hybrid bullpup that was specially built for ease of transportation to the FT World Champsionship in Italy.

Ray's father Hans is co-Match Director and the other half of Team Crosman. Here he is shooting his lefthanded Marauder Hybrid Bullpup.

And a good time was had by all!

The FT match was a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of nice people, enjoy shooting for half a day, and see some interesting equipment. What’s not to like?

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

To get the Daystate Huntsman Midas 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. (I didn’t have a 230 BAR air source, so I charged the Huntsman to 200 BAR. You can do that, no problem; you simply won’t get as many shots as you would from 230 BAR.)

The 10-shot magazine, shown here in the breech, is very easy to load.

To load the 10-shot magazine, first apply the safety catch. Lift the bolt handle at the rear of the breech block and pull all the way back until fully cocked. Next move the bolt forward about 10mm until you feel a click. Now the magazine can be removed. (Any attempt to remove the magazine before you feel the click will simply end in frustration. I know; I tried.)

Next load one pellet head-first into the large hole at the bottom of the magazine, making sure that the pellet head passes the seating o-ring. Rotate the pellet ring counter-clockwise to bring the next empty bay in line with the loading port. Continue this one click at a time until a maximum of 10 pellets has been loaded. When this has been completed, replace the magazine into its position in the breech block and return the bolt forward to the closed and locked position. Now you’re good to go.

The red anodized safety lever can be seen just below the gold finished bolt handle.

Take aim at the target, flick the safety off, and start to squeeze the trigger. This is the point at which things begin to get astonishing. On the sample that I tested, the first stage required only 4.5 ounces of pressure. At about 8 ounces – that’s right folks, just one-half pound – the shot goes off.

Further, considering the Huntsman was launching JSB .22 Jumbo Express pellets at a lively 840 fps (average) the report was remarkably subdued. It wasn’t dead quiet by any means, but it was a lot quieter than I expected to be. There are two reasons for this. First, the new Huntsman of 40% more efficient than the old model, which means that it uses a lot less air and causes a lot less noise for each shot. Second, the barrel is shrouded, which definitely takes the top end off the report.

The chief reason the new Huntsman is so efficient is because of the Steve Harper designed patented “slingshot” valve. This innovative concept utilizes principles of inertia to mimic the operation of a solenoid-powered valve hammer and, therefore, eliminates the phenomenon known as ‘hammer bounce’ – a common problem on conventional PCPs where the valve constantly opens and closes after the main discharge, ‘wasting’ air long after the pellet has been accelerated up the bore. But with valve, the Huntsman delivers performance comparable to a computerized Daystate – namely extremely efficient use of air, a very high number of shots per charge, a flat power curve, an ultra-fast firing cycle and a quiet muzzle discharge. As effective as the slingshot system is, it’s also remarkably simple and, therefore, reliable. As a result, Daystate is able to back-up it up with a three-year warranty.

Here’s how it works. The slingshot hammer is contained within a cage, both of which move forward under pressure from the mainspring when the trigger is released. Using soft buffers, the cage’s forward motion is brought to a rapid halt, allowing the hammer within to carry on and strike open the main valve under inertia. A pulse of high pressure air is released from the secondary air reservoir, driving the pellet along the bore. Assisted by air pressure and a return spring, the open valve is immediately shut and the hammer moves rearwards – what would normally be the initial stages of a ‘bounce’. However, an internal buffer within the cage absorbs most of the hammer’s kinetic energy and, aided by the anti-bounce spring, the hammer does not open the valve a second time and therefore does not waste air. Even though the Huntsman has a relatively small air reservoir, you can expect 30 full power shots from a fill.

Neither does the Huntsman disappoint when it comes to accuracy. At 50 yards, five shots fell into a group that measured just .59 in. ctc.

In all, the Huntsman delivers the goods: excellent efficiency, sparkling accuracy, and a quieter-than-expected report, all backed up by striking good looks.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

The Daystate Huntsman Midas looks great, and it shoots as good as it looks.

“Hey, that looks like a real rifle!” That’s an exact quote from Dick Johnson, a benchrest competitor who frequently accompanies me to the range to test air rifles. In saying that, Dick showed that he had gotten the point of the new Daystate Huntsman exactly. It’s an air rifle that is designed to look and feel like a traditional firearm.

Dick is accustomed to me showing up with a trunk full of pneumatic arms that look like they came from Darth Vader’s workshop, so for him to say that he likes the way an air rifle looks is, well, remarkable.

And in this case, the object of Dick’s admiration wasn’t just a new Daystate Huntsman, but a Daystate Huntsman Midas. The gun I was testing was, in fact, #123 of a limited edition of 400. These special limited Midas Editions of the Huntsman were created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first Huntsman Air Rifle produced by Daystate on September 28, 1998. It’s fitted with the latest Harper Patent slingshot valve system, a special American Walnut stock, and Rosewood grip cap, as well as a gold-finished tube and fittings. How do I know? Easy: the rifle came with a hand-signed certificate attesting to its authenticity.

Over the years I have learned, through bitter experience, to harden my heart to the charms of shapely stocks, well-figured walnut, and snazzy accoutrements. It’s performance that matters, Darn It! Having said that, I’ll have to admit that the Huntsman Midas is pretty easy on the eye.

The Huntsman stretches 38 inches from buttplate to muzzle, and weighs six pounds. Starting at the rear, you’ll find a ventilated rubber buttplate attached to that American Walnut stock. The version I tested was righthanded and had a distinct cheekpiece on the left hand side of the stock. Below the buttstock and just ahead of the buttpad, a stud for a sling was attached. Forward of that is the pistol grip, which is checkered on both sides and is fitted with the rosewood cap and a lighter colored spacer.

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

Moving toward the muzzle again, the forestock is checkered on either side, and you’ll find another sling stud. 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. The gold-finished air reservoir is visible between the top of the forestock and the matte black finished barrel. 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 gold-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 Midas shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

We all crave power in our airguns, even though we also enjoy shooting quietly in our neighborhoods. There have been many attempts at bringing these worlds together, but none have worked perfectly in both areas. That is, until now. Enter the Air Wolf, Daystate’s latest advance in the electronic CDT firing system. By controlling the firing cycle electronically, Daystate has managed to not only increase efficiency by cutting off the valve-dwell duration, but they have tweaked the electronics to allow for consistent shot strings at power levels ranging between 12.5 and 40 ft/lbs! Via the 16-step electronic power adjuster, the user can adjust the power on the Air Wolf in about 1 minute’s time. You will need two tools, which Daystate conveniently included with each rifle; the safety catch and the trigger. The following is a brief summary of how to perform the power change with the rifle in hand:

Step 1: Power off the safety catch.
Step 2: Pull and hold the trigger, and power the safety catch on. (The rifle will beep once)
Step 3: Continue to hold the trigger back as the rifle completes several series of beeps, 2 beeps, 3 beeps, and so forth.
Step 4: After the rifle completes a series of 6 beeps, let go of the trigger. The rifle is now in power adjuster mode.
Step 5: For every pull of the trigger at this point, the rifle drops down one power setting. If you power the safety catch off without pulling the trigger, the rifle will set at full power.
Step 6: After you pull the trigger to the desired setting turn the rifle off.

That’s all. The rifle is now reprogrammed to the desired level, and will remain until you reset it. And, knowing that someone, somewhere would get mixed up and do something they did not mean to do, Daystate left a default sequence to reset everything back to the high power default. To default the rifle, simply power the safety catch off, pull the trigger back, and plug in the power charger (connected to the wall outlet). When you let the trigger go, the rifle makes a series of beeps and the default settings are restored. The user can rest assured that nothing can go wrong when adjusting the features.

Now, for the test, a .22 Air Wolf was used. The 16 steps gave the following results using the Beeman Kodiak 21.1 grain pellets:

 

 

Pulls of the Trigger = Power Output (ft/lbs)
0 = 38.47
1 = 38.21
2 = 37.96
3 = 37.70
4 = 37.37
5 = 37.12
6 = 36.29
7 = 34.98
8 = 33.70
9 = 31.20
10 = 28.88
11 = 26.08
12 = 23.23
13 = 20.11
14 = 16.42
15 = 12.57

 

Notice how the first-half of the settings are close together. Daystate did this so that the user can tune the rifle to the pellet of choice without losing much power. So, if your JSB Exact’s are a tad bit too light to perform down range, simply drop the power a bit and you are set. Then, if you decide to bring the Air Wolf indoors or into a backyard with nosey neighbors, you can dial the rifle down to the lowest setting and it becomes a silent plinker. And here is where Daystate’s CDT system shines above other power adjusters on the market. When powered down, the Air Wolf is not choking the air traveling through the valve; instead the rifle is actually firing as if tuned to the reduced power setting. This translates to better consistency from shot to shot, and better efficiency at the lower settings. When you dial it down to 12.5 ft/lbs, it shoots like a UK specification rifle through and through.

The fully functioning barrel shroud works great at maximum power, and gets better with every step down. At minimum power the rifle is mute. Add these features to the long list of features like pressure gauge, quick fill connector, zero-effort cocking, phenomenal trigger out of the box, and a whole host of electronic features and you have the most complete factory airgun on the market. When it comes to versatility, Daystate has the market cornered. Meanwhile, other brands will have to be customized one feature at a time to get close, and even then they fall short.

 

 

To read up on all the great features of the Daystate Airwolf, click here!

As the new Mk3’s and Air Wolf’s arrive, the new concept of what Daystate refers to as ” Lean Charge” is leaving some in the dark about what exactly is so great about the new electronic firing system which Daystate has developed for their Electronic Series of airguns. The following is a brief explanation from David Snook, one of the instrumental minds behind the CDT system found inside the Daystate rifles:

“The original CDT units used a 7ms pulse where the voltage was adjusted to vary the power. This results in the valve being opened in a similar manner to a hammer and weight, where the valve is opened by the potential energy contained in the moving armature. I call this a “ballistic” valve.

Lean charge uses a different concept, it uses the maximum voltage level (approximately 70V) and adjusts the energy using the applied current pulse length, this can be between 1200us to 5800us depending on power level and solenoid design. This uses a combination of ballistic and magnetic valve opening and timing. The potential “ballistic” energy of the armature “knocks” open the valve and then the magnetic field sustained by the current pulse length determines how long it is kept open for. This has the following advantages:

1. The initial acceleration of the armature is greater due to more current being applied to the solenoid.

2. In turn the valve opens faster giving a steeper barrel pressure rise time.

3. The solenoid is then switched off allowing the valve to close rapidly under the air pressure behind it, rather than waiting for a ballistic hammer to decelerate and then close. This action allows the natural self-regulating properties of the valve to be more effective and gives a sharp pressure fall time saving air use.

4. The valve is opened and closed when the pellet is still in the barrel, this is difficult to achieve with a totally ballistic valve operation.

5. Muzzle energy can be tightly controlled using this technique.

The overall benefits are very fast lock times (typically less than 7ms), excellent air economy with attendant large shot capacity and reduced muzzle blast giving a very much quieter gun. The most surprising benefit is accuracy, where reduced blast lessens destabilisation effects on the exiting pellet.

Shooting a high powered lean charge gun is a culture shock, even with a very modest silencer it is a fast, quiet and very accurate gun.”

Shrouded Air Ranger in either 35 or 50 ft/lbs with the newly designed walnut ambi thumbhole stock.

Daystate has responded to customer request by fitting a very nice thumbhole walnut stock to the Air Ranger as standard. This stock is a very nice grade of walnut with an ambidextrous cheek piece and a thinner profile for increased comfort and decreased weight. Laser cut checkering and finely a curved buttplate add to the overall increased comfort.Daystate has also installed a factory-baffled shroud to the Lothar-Walther barrel. We now have a combination of high accuracy, high power, and ultra quiet report in the 35 & 50 ft/lb versions. The 80 ft/lb version sports a heavy unshrouded barrel with a 1/2″UNF threaded muzzle. The 35 & 50 ft/lb models are free floated wile the 80 ft/lb model has a barrel support.

80 ft/lb Air Ranger with barrel support in Daystate's newly designed walnut ambi thumbhole stock.
These improvements to what has been a proven performer come at no increase in price, making the Daystate Air Ranger factory-built with NO need for extra tuning and customizing! We are certain that you will agree that Daystate has designed a winner with the Air Ranger!For more information on the Daystate Air Ranger, please click this link!