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