Fine European firearms and airguns have a long tradition going back hundreds of years. Created at the hands of guild craftsmen who spent years perfecting their skills, their finest guns were masterpieces fit for royalty. Today, the guild system is gone but fine craftsmanship still exists and it can be seen in the products turned out by the 40-year old Daystate Company of Staffordshire, England.
What makes me wax nostalgic like this is the loan from Airguns of Arizona of a Huma Regulated Huntsman Regal XL in .177 to review. The latest iteration of the classic Daystate Huntsman, the Regal doesn’t disappoint. Collaborating with Dutch pneumatic specialist company, Huma, Daystate incorporates their well-known regulator into the Huntsman. It metes out an exact measure of air for each shot, giving shot-to-shot consistency and efficiently utilizing the available high-pressure air. Daystate indicates it helps increase shots per fill by as much as 70 percent. An additional gauge embedded in the stock shows the regulator pressure.
The XL designation refers to the high-power version above 12fpe only sold outside the UK (or to UK owners having a firearms license for it). We Americans tend to subscribe to the “more power” theory and the XL meets our criteria by cranking out 18fpe in .177 caliber. With Huma regulation, a shooter can expect 60 full-power shots from a 230 Bar (3300 psi) charge in its 162cc air reservoir.
Fitted to a beautiful, oiled walnut right-handed sporter stock with a monte-carlo style cheekpiece, it will provide the lover of classically styled airguns much to admire. A contrasting black grip cap and traditional style rubber buttpad that harkens back to an earlier age provide additional style points. Nicely done checkering on the pistol grip and fore-end area adds further elegance and excellent gripping surface. The action sits lower in this stock to more closely mimic a traditional hunting firearm and the fit and finish are superb, as would be expected on an airgun in this price range. Daystate offers an option for left-handed shooters as well. Lest I sound like a totally infatuated fanboy, my only negative comment regards the polymer trigger guard. My view is it diminishes a top-quality high-end air rifle.
A bolt-action repeater, it is fed by a 10-round rotary magazine; a single-shot tray also comes with the rifle. Both use neodymium magnets to hold them in place while in use. The receiver houses the patented Harper Slingshot hammer system to operate the valve. A self-adjusting system, it compensates for declining pressure in the reservoir to prevent wasting of air. The receiver is mated with a 17-inch match-grade barrel that sports an Airstream carbon fiber moderator on its threaded muzzle giving an overall length to the gun of 36.5 inches. Weight without optics is almost 6.5 pounds making for a light but powerful platform.
The two-stage curved metal trigger has a smooth face and is adjustable for both weight and length of pull as well as angle of the trigger blade. The safety is a manual type at the back of the receiver with a large red disk that is rotated away from the red dot to place it “on safe” and block the trigger from moving. It is easily manipulated without the shooter having to shift hand position.
Daystate recently upgraded their warranty from 3-years to 5 years and it is transferable to a new owner. The full color instruction booklet is easy to follow plus includes an exploded view diagram of all parts. Also included with the rifle is a completed Test Sheet showing velocity and power results plus a Quality Control checklist. MSRP is listed at: $1299 and AofA carries the full line of Daystate airguns. Details on how well it performed in Part II.