Posts Tagged ‘Huntsman Midas’

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