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.)
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.
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