ART stands for Accuracy Research Team. It’s a Daystate team guided by strict approval and testing protocols. Its role is to improve, wherever possible, the accuracy and performance of Daystate’s products and to do it with passion!

Designing a complete new airgun barrel is a task not often attempted. It’s tough, laborious and time-consuming, involving multiple engineers, developers and testers – not to mention costly. For it’s not just engineering involved here: there’s a real art in shooting barrels under development and interpreting the results.

So to read this “inside story” on how a complete new airgun barrel designed is created and tested is a rare treat. Especially when that barrel is the product of one of airgun’s leading manufacturers – Daystate.

The first ART project had a goal that was simple yet tough. Develop the best airgun barrel on earth for accuracy at long ranges!

Below. The first Daystate model to feature the ART barrel is planned to be the new Red Wolf Safari. This was launched at the 2019 IWA Outdoor Classics exhibition in Germany. Robert Buchanan of AoA shows us the new gun at this show.

Below. The first Daystate model to feature the ART barrel is planned to be the new Red Wolf Safari.

ART Barrel Project Kickoff

It all started at the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This was the venue for a meeting including Daystate, and it’s US distributor Airguns of Arizona.

The discussion centered around longer and heavier pellets. These are being developed to take full advantage of the ever-increasing power of PCP air rifles marketed in the USA. With this increasing power comes demand for increased accuracy at ever longer ranges. It was felt that this effect was especially marked with larger calibers at higher muzzle energies.

The outcome of the meeting was agreement to develop a new long range, high power barrel for Daystate. This would be not only a multi-disciplinary team, but an international one as well, with participants in England, Italy and the USA. It would also require a significant investment in both time and tooling costs.

The project would be especially tough given the benchmark against which the new ART barrel would be measured. This was to be Daystate’s existing polygonal design, a barrel already known for its long range accuracy capabilities. 

ART In .177 And .22 Calibers

Based on the initial meeting, a run of barrels was produced with multiple different internal profiles: choke, length, bore diameter etc. Each profile was identified by a letter. To ensure objectivity in the testing stage, one profile was actually the current polygonal barrel, but the testers didn’t know which one!

This testing concluded that the performance of Daystate’s current, 17-inch match-grade .177 and .22 caliber barrels could not be improved for shooting lead pellets at power levels up to 45 Ft/Lbs. The excellent results achieved by high-power models in competitions such as the 2018 Extreme Benchrest and the US FT Championships (among others) reinforced that view.

However, the ART project did identify one opportunity. It seemed that improved performance in high power .25 caliber was possible. The team focused on this with a vengeance!

Below. It’s not easy to photograph the bore of a barrel. But this is what the ART Polygonal barrel looks like…

Daystate Brings ART To Producing A Great, New Airgun Barrel

ART in .25 Caliber

Both English and US testing teams now concentrated on testing .25 caliber barrels for long range accuracy and pellet tolerance.

This .25 caliber testing was undertaken with Daystate Red Wolf HP and Wolverine R HP air rifles, set to standard factory power levels. Each barrel was rigorously tested with the rifles fired from bags on a solid bench and also with an Atlas bi-pod attached.

The guns were shot indoors and outside at 50 and 100 yards. A wide range of popular pellets were tested. Everything was documented. Hundreds of hours were spent testing on multiple days and different weather conditions in this trans-Atlantic search for the most accurate and the least pellet sensitive .25 caliber barrel.

It was easy to eliminate half of the barrels. The tough work was sorting out the remainder as one day a barrel would shoot better than the next. A cleaning regiment was followed to ensure that science would dictate the results.

Below. Here’s a close-up view of the new Red Wolf Safari.

Daystate Brings ART To Producing A Great, New Airgun Barrel

Once the shooting tests had been completed, the results were compared. The results were identical on both sides of the Atlantic. Two of the barrel profiles showed the best performance.

But that was far from the end of the project!

ART Stage Two

All of the results were shared and discussed thoroughly. Then stage two began! Another run of 23-inch long, .25 caliber barrels was produced, using the two favored profiles with variations in choke.

Now the testing started all over again, but with ranges stretching out past 200 Yards. Interestingly, the best results did not come from indoor testing, but from shooting outdoors in light winds.

At 100 Yards, it was easy to stack pellet on pellet with the best barrels. Pellets were touching at 190 Yards range. This was exciting stuff for the test teams!

Below. The UK test team also had a little fun, such as hitting exploding targets at 100 Yards!

Daystate Brings ART To Producing A Great, New Airgun Barrel

Again, both US and English test results matched. The result was clear. The new Daystate ART .25 caliber barrel profile had been found.

This ART barrel is now a Daystate proprietary recipe and is being incorporated into future production plans. ART barrels can be retro-fitted into existing guns to provide current owners with the ultimate in accuracy, if required.

Of course, you will be able to buy ART barrel-fitted air rifles from Airguns of Arizona. I suggest you give them a phone call to find out the latest update on deliveries…

For ART, This Is Just The Beginning

Now the ART team is applying its passion and expertise to .303 caliber barrels. Look for the forthcoming .303 caliber Daystate Red Wolf Safari to be released with an ART barrel. There will be more airgun ART from Daystate in future!

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

Yes, the Diana Outlaw PCP air rifle is good! I found it very easy and comfortable to shoot. 

At a Street Price of $499.99, the Outlaw is priced between the rash of $300 PCPs and the more traditional $1,000-ish starting point for the premium brands.

Probably the Benjamin Marauder is the gun to beat at the price. Compared to the Outlaw, the Marauder has a better trigger, is quieter and can’t be blank-fired with a magazine in place. But the Diana has a far more consistent regulated shot count, side lever action and more sophisticated looks.

In itself, this comparison to the Marauder means that the Diana Outlaw offers very good value for money. That’s always been the Marauder’s strong suit and the Outlaw clearly trades punches with the long-established champion in performance, value and quality.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

The stock design worked well for me, even though there is no adjustable buttpad or cheekpiece, as is now becoming common in similarly-priced PCP air rifles.

The Outlaw has a two-stage trigger. Sear release is predictable and the overall effect quite pleasant. Pull weight averaged a comfortable 1 Lb 11 Oz on test.

The cocking lever works well and easily. Again, it’s less slick than that of more expensive PCPs, but it’s definitely better than any bolt action I can think of. 

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

There was a definite roughness in chambering some pellets, primarily the alloys, FTTs and Baracudas. However, that clearly made no difference to accuracy so far as the heavier H&N pellets were concerned. Heavy, 21.14 Grain H&N Baracuda Match pellets turned-in the best accuracy of any I shot!

At 25 Yards, the 10-shot test group was very respectable at about 0.3-Inches center-to-center using a scope at 9X magnification.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

Muzzle Energy also peaked at 31.11 Ft/Lbs with Baracudas. However, it’s likely that many owners of the Diana Outlaw will choose to shoot mid-weight lead pellets in the 14 – 15 Grain range, they will see a Muzzle Energy of around 28 – 29 Ft/Lbs. That’s fine for much airgun hunting.

Accuracy was very good or better with 14.3 Grain and heavier pellets. As is frequently the case with quality PCP air rifles, the lighter pellets did not perform so well.

The Diana Outlaw has a regulated action. I tested this using JSB-manufactured Daystate Rangemaster, 15.9 Grain pellets. The result was a good, consistent Muzzle Velocity for 49 shots. 

From shot 50, pressure had fallen sufficiently that the regulator was no longer activated. The FPS then dropped steadily from shot-to-shot, as is expected and you can see in the graph below.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

The top of the breech is grooved with standard airgun dovetails. As there’s minimal recoil when firing, a Weaver/Picatinny mount is not required.

The magazine does protrude above the top of the breech. However, there’s still sufficient clearance for the scope above the clip, even when using medium height rings.

One issue is that the magazine is loaded from the left side of the gun. This may cause issues with large diameter scope sidewheels, so the new owner should check this aspect before selecting a scope.

Weight of the Outlaw I tested was 6 Lbs 10 Oz without scope. This compares to the 7 Lbs 5 Oz of a synthetic Marauder. 

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

This relatively light weight and svelte size of the Outlaw means that a mid-size scope – like an Aztec Emerald – is ideal. Bigger, heavier scopes run the risk of making the rig top heavy. 

The Outlaw’s magazine is an interesting, quite complex design. It has an 11-shot capacity in .22 caliber, one more than many competitive products. It feels robust and substantial in construction. 

It’s also easy to load without the need to hold back a sprung cover plate, as is often the case with other rotary magazines, due to an internal ratcheting system.

However, it does not block the action when all pellets are used and there’s no pellet counter. This means that it’s necessary to keep count of the shots fired to avoid a blank discharge.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

The magazine worked well in testing. It slides easily and slickly into the breech, being retained in place by a magnet. Capacity is 13 pellets in .177 cal, 11 in .22 and 9 pellets in .25 caliber.

The Outlaw is an attractive air rifle with an elegant look. Machining finish is very good, with most metal parts having a uniform, black matt  finish.

The stock has a simple design with no unnecessary curves or shaping. Wood finish is generally good and smooth, with areas of  machine-made “checkering” on the forend and pistol grip to aid a good grip. 

The expected rubber buttpad seemed well-shaped and comfortable against the shoulder.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

The Diana Outlaw uses a probe filling system to charge it with High Pressure Air. Personally, I’m not a fan of fill probes due to the lack of standardisation and potential opportunity for dirt to enter the gun through an open probe port. 

However, the Outlaw’s probe-filling system is by far the best I have yet seen!

Firstly, the probe itself has a standard “Foster” quick disconnect on the other end. This enables it to be connected directly to the standard female quick disconnect fitting found on HPA tanks and pumps without the usual, annoying need for an additional adapter. 

This makes it quick and easy to use, particularly for owners with other PCPs having a standard male fill nipple.

Secondly, the cover for the fill port is spring-loaded. It’s pulled forward to insert the fill probe, then released back after filling. This is a far better solution – in my opinion – than the more common separate screw-thread or push-in cover for the fill port.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

Now there’s no chance of losing or dropping the cover and the fill port itself is automatically protected from the possible ingress of dirt! This is a first-rate feature that we have not seen on other PCP air rifles.

Overall, the Diana Outlaw may be the best $500 PCP air rifle in the market today. Airguns of Arizona has them in stock, so you can get yours today 🙂

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. 

Daystate Huntsman Regal is a classic

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.

Rear of receiver showing safety switch

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.

Does The FPS For Gas Ram Air Rifles Change With Temperature?

For some years after their introduction, many manufacturers promoted gas ram air rifles as being unaffected by changes in temperature. The FPS would be pretty-well the same at any temperature, they said.

Is that true? Well, on the basis of some testing I’ve undertaken, the answer is definitely “no”. At least in the cold weather we have here in up-state New York.

I’ve found that here is definitely a change in FPS for gas ram air rifles at different temperatures. And it’s more than you may have thought!

To find out what the change in FPS can be with gas ram air rifles shooting at different temperatures, we used a new .177 caliber SIG ASP20.

Does The FPS For Gas Ram Air Rifles Change With Temperature?

We shot the ASP20 at a temperatures of both 20 degrees F and at 63 degrees F. In each case, the gun was allowed to “season” at the ambient temperature for several hours before shooting. This meant that gun and ambient temperature were definitely at the same.

Also, we shot the gun slowly – about every 30 seconds – for each test. This was to avoid any effects from the ASP20 heating-up as it was fired. We took 10 shots at both temperatures for each of the six types of pellets. Total 120 shots.

So what did we find?

The answer that – taking the SIG ASP20 as a representative of gas ram air rifles – the gun shot faster, on average, by 1.28 FPS per degree F at the higher temperature.

Does The FPS For Gas Ram Air Rifles Change With Temperature?

On average, that means approximately 55 FPS difference when the gun was shot at 20 degrees F and 63 degrees F. That is very definitely enough to make the point of impact on the target very different at most ranges.

So if you’re shooting gas ram air rifles, either on the range or hunting, make sure that your gun is sighted-in at approximately the same temperature as for that critical shot. If not, you could miss the target just due to the change in temperature!

Here’s a chart showing how the Muzzle Velocities changed with temperature for different .177 caliber pellets:

Does The FPS For Gas Ram Air Rifles Change With Temperature?

And here’s the average…

Does The FPS For Gas Ram Air Rifles Change With Temperature?

So if you’re shooting gas ram air rifles, either on the range or hunting, make sure that your airgun is sighted-in at approximately the same temperature as for that critical shot.

If not, you could miss the target just due to the change in temperature!

The first ever EBR Mexico 2019 has just finished. It was an outstanding success. All the competitors had a great time!

Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First Extreme Benchrest Mexico Competition

Alvaro López is the owner of Sun City Airguns of Hermosilio Sonora, Mexico. He deserves great credit for promoting, organizing and running this event. That’s Alvaro above, shooting the benchrest competition. He had fun, too.

As with the 2018 Extreme Benchrest competition in Arizona, Daystate and Brocock air rifles made some outstanding scores…

In the 50 Meter benchrest competition, Daystate Red Wolf HP air rifles placed first, second, fourth, sixth and ninth.

The 100 meter benchrest saw Daystate Red Wolf HP guns in second, fourth, seventh and ninth positions. In addition, Brocock Bantam Snipers placed third and fifth.

And a Daystate Red Wolf HP won the Speed Silhouette competition, too, in the hands of Alvaro’s son Sebastian (below).

Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First Extreme Benchrest Mexico Competition

EBR Mexico featured Benchrest and Speed Silhouette competitions, with categories for both PCP and Spring air rifles. Prizes were offered to the winners, with up to 20,000 pesos for the winner of the Extreme Benchrest PCP finals.

Here’s the EBR Mexico 2019 winners. Congratulations, gentlemen!!!

Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First EBR Mexico Competition

From left to right, they are…

– Gabriel Valenzuela – 65M spring rifle ( Benjamin Trail NP )

– Enrique Gómez – 100M EBR (FX Impact Mkll 30)

– Humberto López – 50M EBR ( Daystate Red Wolf HP 22)

– Sebastian López – speed silhouette ( Daystate Red Wolf 25 HP )

The 50 Meter benchrest competition was closely contested. Humberto López just pipped Sebastian López and Enrique Gómez, as we can see from the results below.

Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First EBR Mexico Competition

In the Speed Silhouette competition, the winners were (from left to right):
– Guillermo Días 2nd place
– Sebastian López 1st place
– Álvaro López 3rd place

Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First EBR Mexico Competition

Of course, the 100 Meter Extreme Benchrest competition was the highlight of EBR Mexico 2019. Those targets look a really long distance away!!!

Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First EBR Mexico Competition

The Extreme Benchrest 100 M winners were, from left to right:
– Edgar Escalante 2nd ( Daystate Red Wolf 22)
– Enrique Gómez 1st place ( FX Impact Mkll 30)
– Jesus Rodríguez 3rd place ( Brocock Bantam Sniper 25 )

Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First EBR Mexico Competition
Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First EBR Mexico Competition

Great work Alvaro and all the Sun City Airguns team. Let’s hope that this was the first of a long line of annual EBR Mexico competitions!

Daystate And Brocock Dominate At First EBR Mexico Competition

If you read Part I you know that the M17 semi-auto CO2 pellet pistol is one awesome replica of the SIG SAUER sidearm adopted by the U.S. Army in 2017. This is the follow up as to how it performed.

SIG Air’s M17 CO2 pistol — exact copy of the Army’s new sidearm

First, the pistol is substantial at 2 pounds. The fit and finish are excellent with stippling on the grip replicating the firearm. The controls and trigger are metal and there is a short M1913 accessory rail on the dust cover.  An ambidextrous safety disengages the hammer and while it was stiff to engage, it was easy to disengage. The front sight appears as if it is drift adjustable, but upon field-stripping the pistol and looking on the underside of the slide the front sight is actually pinned in place. The rear sight is also not adjustable.

As with many replica pistols, the CO2 cartridge and ammunition are contained in the drop-free magazine. Differences between the M17 and other replicas are the Rapid Pellet Magazine (RPM) belt-feed system, the cam lever piercing system and the valve not being part of the magazine assembly. Replicas I’m familiar with have the valve assembly included in the drop-free magazine and no gas is lost each time you drop the magazine. However, the M17 has the valve assembly attached to the frame and the magazine incorporates a self-sealing valve where a tiny amount of gas escapes each time the magazine is released. The system works well and I experienced no leaks. The cam lever piercing system worked flawlessly. No guesswork on how tight to turn a thumbscrew or hex wrench is a welcome advancement in technology. (A caveat: the manual suggests wearing gloves when installing cartridges due to the frostbite hazard. I concur because of an experience when the cam lever slipped from my grip after piercing the tip but before the lever was completely closed. All the gas escaped at once and luckily no harm was done.) The RPM system worked well and other than wishing for younger, more nimble fingers to aid in loading .177 pellets into the belt, reloading goes pretty smoothly.  At a mile above sea level I was getting between 4 and 5 full magazines of twenty pellets from one cartridge. That equates to around 90 shots before velocity drops off significantly.

M17 showing cam lever piercing system

The trigger has a long double-action-only pull at a pleasant 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Also, the trigger does not have a short reset. If this model was incorporated to augment skills of the firearm user, that limitation would have to be taken into account. Keeping in mind this is a modestly priced CO2 replica, some accommodations would necessarily be required.

Experimenting with lightweight alloy pellets the highest velocity achieved was 377fps using SIG Match Ballistic Alloy (5.25grs.) and Predator GTO’s (5.5grs.). Accuracy was lacking so moving to lead pellets helped somewhat. H&N Excites Plinking and Econ pellets weighing 7.3 and 7.45 grains respectively, gave velocities in the 300fps range. Crosman pointed pellets at 7.5grs. shot well as did Rifle Brand Premium Series flatheads at 8.18grs. but this sample gun tended to shoot low. Not that you’d go after prey with these replica pistols, but long pellets such as Predator Polymags will not fit the RPM magazines.

This pistol will sell internationally so the manual contains instructions in 5 languages. I also mistakenly referred to black & white photos in Part I when all the photos are actually color.

The M17 was fun, easy to shoot and quiet so for a one-to-one replica of a new U.S. military sidearm it doesn’t get much better for plinkers and collectors. Oh wait; maybe it does. I understand a SIG ROMEO1 reflex optic mounting plate is coming in the near future! I want to thank SIG Air for providing the M17 gratis. To get your hands on one reach out to my friends at www.airgunsofarizona.com.

BSA PCP air rifles have a long history of innovation and quality. But until recently the best and newest models from this famous British manufacturer were not available or supported in the USA.

This situation is changing, right now!

Exciting New BSA PCP Air Rifles Now Available From Airguns of Arizona!

Precision Airgun Distribution has announced that the company is officially importing a range of new BSA regulated PCP air rifles direct from the Birmingham, UK, factory into the USA. That means that they are available from your favorite local dealers – including Airguns of Arizona.

Among these models are the innovative and compact BSA Defiant bullpup. This has a midships-mounted side lever action and sleek walnut stock. The Defiant provides 26 consistent shots of up to 30 Ft/Lbs muzzle energy per fill of the HPA tube.

That’s the Defiant, below.

Exciting New BSA PCP Air Rifles Now Available From Airguns of Arizona!

Another interesting model is the BSA Ultra XL. This is a compact yet powerful PCP of conventional configuration. In addition, there’s the BSA Ultra JSR which is designed specifically for younger shooters of smaller stature.

Exciting New BSA PCP Air Rifles Now Available From Airguns of Arizona!

The BSA Gold Star SE (above) is bolt action favorite that’s now available with a new, improved match trigger. It comes complete with an adjustable palm rest (or “hamster”) for Field Target shooting. This is another model that will be available through Airguns of Arizona.

All these air rifles will be available in “full power”, US specifications, with Muzzle energies up to 32 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber.

The exception is the BSA Ultra JSR. This cute little air rifle is power-limited to 6 Ft/Lbs of muzzle energy . That’s due to its mission, which to appeal to enthusiastic younger shooters who are entering the exciting world of PCP air rifle shooting for the first time.

Exciting New BSA PCP Air Rifles Now Available From Airguns of Arizona!

“There’s a large demand for BSA PCP air rifles in the USA,” said Robert Buchanan, President of Precision Airgun Distribution. “This is because they combine distinctive design with high quality British manufacture. Now they will be readily available through Airguns of Arizona and Precision Airgun Distribution dealers across the country.”

Simon Moore, the Managing Director of BSA Guns Limited, endorsed this view. “We see a great future for the latest BSA PCP air rifles in the USA,” he said. “The Precision Airgun Distribution dealer network has many high quality, knowledgeable stores. They are a great resource to re-vitalize the BSA brand throughout the country and introduce our outstanding PCP air rifles to a new generation of enthusiastic airgunners.”

BSA PCP air rifles will be available in .177 and .22 calibers. They all benefit from the iconic in-house cold hammer forged barrel manufacturing that’s a specialty of this British airgun manufacturer.

Contact Airguns of Arizona for more details. These BSA air rifles are in stock today!

In 2017 the U.S. Army adopted a special adaptation of the SIG SAUER P320 pistol as the new sidearm to replace the Beretta M9.  The Beretta had served in that role since the mid-1980s and the military was looking for a Modular Handgun System to replace it.  Trials were held and when the smoke cleared (literally!) the SIG came out on top.  Obviously, a huge coup for SIG SAUER of New Hampshire, the U.S. arm of the Swiss-German parent company.  Being a large multi-national corporation has its perks and one of those is the ability to form divisions that make products which compliment your core business.  SIG did just that several years ago to license and sell branded airguns and accessories known as the SIG Advanced Sport Pellet line.  It’s really nice when your parent company owns all the rights to a design because they can copy that design into a new airgun in a very short turnaround time.  By SHOT Show 2018, a 3-D printed prototype M17 was on display.  As of SHOT 2019 it was a production reality that was already shipping to retailers. [Side note: in 2018 SIG SAUER also increased their commitment to the world of airgunning by becoming a charter member of the Airgun Sporting Association, an industry association promoting all aspects of airguns and airgun hunting. (Airguns of Arizona is also a charter member by the way.) Along with that they began to pull all airgun manufacturing back to the U.S. and re-branded as SIG AIR.]

The M17 is a cool .177 replica with even cooler bells & whistles such as an all-metal slide with blowback feature, ambidextrous safety, dust cover rail for mounting accessories, field-stripping capability and the Rapid Pellet Magazine.  For those unfamiliar with RPM, it is the SIG AIR patented belt-feed system.  Holding 20 pellets, the belt rides inside a plastic stick magazine which, in turn, is inserted into the drop-free extended magazine.  The RPM only fits one way in its channel so all the user has to do is avoid loading the pellets backwards by paying attention to the wording molded into the plastic RPM housing.  The CO2 cartridge, along with a clever cam lever piercing mechanism is also housed in the magazine.  Open the lever, drop in a cartridge, close the lever and the magazine is charged.  No hex wrenches to misplace and no exposed wing nuts to fiddle with or spoil the lines of this replica. 

The only operator control that is non-functional is the ambidextrous slide lock release lever.  It is there just to add to the realism as the slide does not lock back.  The take-down lever, however, is operational and the owner’s manual shows black & white photos with text on how to remove the slide and barrel housing to clear a jammed pellet.  The steel barrel is 4.6 inches long and SIG AIR claims a velocity up to 430fps.  The color is called “Coyote” tan and the pistol weighs in at slightly over two pounds. The MSRP is $140 and a one-year warranty is provided. My sample is marked “Made in Japan”, but as mentioned earlier, eventually all airgun production will be in-house in New Hampshire.

Being the windbag that I am, I’ve run out of my allotted space so details on how it performed will have to be in a separate blog.  Airguns of Arizona does not yet have this model listed on their webpage, but if you are a replica collector and can’t wait to get your mitts on one of these beauties, reach out to them and they’ll help you out.

This pistol can be field stripped easily

IWA Outdoor Classics is the major international outdoor industry trade show. It’s held annually in Nuremberg, Germany. As always, Daystate was a major exhibitor, together with its associated brands.

So, let’s take a look at the exciting new products from Daystate, Brocock and MTC Optics that were to be seen on the booth.

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition

Above we see Robert Buchanan from Airguns of Arizona with the new Daystate Red Wolf Safari that was being launched at IWA 2019. This version of the Red Wolf is distinguished externally by a new brown wood stock with unusually strong surface texture – you have to handle this yourself to understand what I mean!

But the real interest of the lies inside. For this is the first Daystate model to feature the new technologies that the company is developing as building-blocks for future designs. There’s a new Daystate ART barrel and Version 2 of the internal GCU – Gun Control Unit – circuit board.

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition

The GCU 2.0 system is an electronic control board, battery and other components. It provides infinitely variable control over the opening and closing of the air rifle’s firing valve. This makes multiple power level adjustments available, for example.

Of course, Daystate has been making electronically-controlled air rifles since 2003. The GCU 2.0 system shown at IWA 2019 is the latest iteration of their expertise in digital air rifle control.

Alongside this new control system is the Daystate ART barrel. ART is an abbreviation for Accuracy Research Team. It’s a new barrel system with outstanding claimed accuracy that’s been developed through a collaboration between Lothar Walther, together with shooters from Italy, the UK and Airguns of Arizona in the USA.

The ART barrel features a polygonal bore and slow-twist rifling. Daystate says that this reduces friction and optimizes pellet spin for improved downrange in-flight stability.

The designer of Daystate air rifles is the Italian Adriano Nodari. Here he is showing us the beautiful, limited edition Daystate Genus at the 2019 IWA show. Great work Adriano!!!

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition

More new products from the Daystate group to be seen at IWA 2019 include the Brocock Concept Lite, with collapsible stock below…

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition

… and the Brocock Bantam Sniper HP in a new laminated stock colorway. Robert Buchanan is delighted with both of them, as you can see!

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition

MTC Optics is, of course, another part of the Daystate group. Sales Director Terence Logan showed me two new – and interesting scopes – that were being launched at IWA 2019.

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition

First was the MTC SWAT Prismatic. This is a fixed 12X riflescope with an extraordinarily wide field of view. In fact, Terence told me that it has the same field of view as a typical 4 x power scope.

With a large 50mm diameter objective (front) lens, the MTC SWAT Prismatic also promises to offer outstanding light-gathering capabilities. With that huge diameter tube, it also requires a very special mount, as you can see from the photograph above.

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition

The second new scope MTC Optics was showing at IWA 2019 was the 6-24×50 King Cobra F1. This has a first focal plane reticle and side focus parallax adjustment. It’s part of a clear trend towards first focal plane (FFP) scopes that is currently being seen in the airgun optics industry.

The Daystate/Brocock/MTC booth was also completely redesigned for IWA 2019. It had a stylish, minimalist look that focused attention on the new airguns.

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition


The booth itself was located in the bright, airy and modern Hall 3A at IWA OutdoorClassics, along with a number of other top-tier players in the outdoor industry, as you can see from the overview below.

New Daystate Products Star At European Exhibition

Of course, you can expect to find these new products become available from Airguns of Arizona in the near future!

There’s a steadily-increasing number of First Focal Plane (FFP) riflescopes becoming available. But which is better, First or Second Focal Plane (SFP)?

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

Most riflescopes used on air rifles have the reticle in what’s called the Second Focal Plane. But new technological developments are seeing the introduction of First Focal Plane scopes.

So should you choose a First or Second Focal Plane scope?

In the end, it’s down to a matter of personal choice. But – as many airgun shooters are not yet over-familiar with FFP scopes – it’s interesting to compare the effect of reticle placement inside the scope.

To make the comparison, we’re looking at two scopes from Aztec Optics. Apart from the reticle placement, they’re extremely similar. They have the same zoom range – 5.5 to 25 x – the same objective size – 50mm – and the same size tube, 30mm.

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

Moreover, they both have the same reticle pattern – called the DYND-1. The only really significant difference between the two models is the positioning of the reticle. This makes them ideal to compare that positioning – first or second focal plane.

To make the comparison clear, we took photographs through both FFP and SFP versions of the Aztec Optics 5.5-25 x 50 scopes. Deliberately, we conducted this comparison under poor lighting conditions.

The light was dull and overcast. We also aimed at some almost monochromatic tree trunks to make the challenge greater.

Here’s what we found…

First The Second Focal Plane Scope

Here’s the view through the SFP scope at 8x magnification.

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

And here it is at 25 x magnification.

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

As you can see, increasing the magnification magnifies the target. But the reticle stays the same size.

Next The First Focal Plane Scope

Now, let’s see the difference between First or Second Focal Plane reticle positioning…

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

This is the view through the SFP scope at 8x. The reticle is somewhat smaller than the SFP version at this magnification.

Now we have the FFP scope at 25x.

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

Wow, what a difference! The reticle has increased in size in proportion to the target. It’s clear that this makes aiming MUCH easier in these dull conditions.

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

Now if we switch on the illuminated reticle capability of the Aztec FFP scope, it’s even easier! (Red illumination is also available, should you prefer).

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

Most of us know how many reticle graduations (Mil Dot or MOA) to hold over – or under – to achieve a hit at a specific range when sighting through a scope.

But not so many of us have really thought seriously about how the value of those graduations can change when ta Second Focal Plane scope is zoomed. Because they do…

With a conventional SFP scope, this means that a mil dot graduation at 9x, for example, will have a much different value from that same mil dot in the same scope when at – say – 16 x zoom. That difference likely will cause a miss unless you are aware of that change.

The Aztec SFP scope has red marks on the zoom ring at 9x and 18x because these are the magnifications at which the reticle graduations can be used for holdover using Minutes of Angle (MOA).

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

In a first focal plane scope, the effect of a mil dot holdover is the same, whatever magnification is chosen in the zoom range. As we can see below, there’s no red marks on the zoom ring because the MOA graduations work for holdover at any magnification.

First Or Second Focal Plane Riflescope. Which Do You Prefer?

This makes the probability of a hit much higher if you use variable magnifications on your zoom scope.

The main benefit of FFP scopes will be found by hunters. In hunting, it’s often valuable to glass the area at low magnification and then zoom-in for the shot.

That advantage is a huge one where you use varying magnifications in your zoom scope and need to take quick shots.

If you always use use your scope at a fixed magnification, there’s no benefit however. That’s why first focal plane scopes are of little value to Field Target shooters, for example, who always use the same magnification, even though the distance to their target is unknown.

And, if you’re used to Second Focal Plane scopes – as most of us are – it’s a little disconcerting to see how large – and thick – the reticle grows on a first focal plane scope when it’s zoomed-in.

There’s a concern that the thicker apparent reticle till obscure the target or somehow “hide” it.

But these concerns are likely to fade with time and when they’re considered alongside the massive benefit of consistent effective mil dot holdover at any point in the zoom range.

So do you prefer the First or Second Focal Plane reticle? Either way, you can find your choice available at Airguns of Arizona!