Now I know I have written many times about my Pappy (grandad) but he was a wise old goat and had forgotten more about fieldsports and hunting the world over than I will ever know, I truly hope to fill at least one of his boots before the great spirit calls me up into his house and hopefully Pass On his teaching to as many young hunters or huntresses before I get that calling. Read More...
It has been well written many times all about my love of the Air Arms guns I love them all. As I have said before it started off way bay back in the late 80s early 90s with a simply brilliant gun called the Air Arms Camague (I think that’s how it was spelt) and I did a lot of hunting with that gun.
So when I was asked by the magazine that is The Countryman’s Diary (www.countrymans-diary.co.uk) what my thoughts were on modern PCP (pre charged pneumatic) air rifles and in particular the Air Arms S510 and the Daystate Regal I thought ohhhhh I can see a review with a difference coming on here.
Some may look at this as I have a biased approach but NO, I always review everything impartial and give my honest and humble personal thoughts on everything I test or review. I must admit I could not wait to get out and have a bash with these two top Air Rifles from two top gun manufacturers. I knew what to expect from an Air Arms and I was not be disappointed as I know what I was getting quality made precision engineering with a style I was accustom too. But the Daystate I knew nothing about and this intrigued me and fired a passion in me like a mysterious lady in the desert at sun down in our camp at the oasis.
First I fitted a couple of scopes not good ones just a couple of spares that were knocking about the place as I was waiting on a delivery from Deben/Hawk of a couple of my favourite scopes available from www.hawkoptics.co.uk . I just could not wait to get out hunting with these rifles so I gave it a go with the spare scopes I already had. I also fitted to both guns The simply brilliant Hugget sound moderators available from www.milbro.co.uk or www.huggettprecisionproducts.co.uk these really are the shizzle and now use them on all my rifles.
I did a pellet test up with my ole Mucker Air Gun Gear TV if you have not seen his channel I recommend you take a look on Youtube. I laugh and enjoy every time I watch his channel his wicked sense of humour and the way he presents the show just keeps me entertained let alone all the amazing guns etc he reviews and oh so much more.
Well the pellet test after zeroing with Air Arms Field Diablo pellets (in my opinion the best pellet there is) I set up some of the Jack Pyke target cards at 25 yards and 50 yards with a left to right crossing wind. Now I know this is not the perfect way to do it but I wanted to test it like out in the hunting field not like in range with no wind etc as out in the hunting fields you never get perfect conditions. Also I don’t do a technical article I have said this before if you want all that technical stuff you can read it all elsewhere a thousand times over.
My reviews are from the hunting field where I am going to use it and does it do what it says on the tin for me. I often find better results this way as what you do in a range etc often won’t work out in the field as everything can change in the blink of an eye and often does. Targets don’t move but a pigeon or rabbits head does and how long will a tree rat hang about for a shot. not long I tell you.
The Air Arms S510 was in sub 12ft lb .177 and the Daystate Regal was in sub 12ft lb in .22. I know you will say how is that equal well in some ways yes and some ways no but I wanted to see what the 2 calibres in each gun could do head to head? I will say I was not disappointed as both guns worked very well against each other. I have also done this test the other way around and there was nothing in it at all. But for now I will write about the review in question as with the results from all the tests I could write a book about.
As you can see from the target cards there simply is nothing in it between the two guns. And if I was out hunting I would be happy with both guns as I know I would have a bunny or a pigeon or three in the bag and won’t be going hungry that night. Oh the pellet at the bottom of the Regal 25m card was a miss shaped pellet I thought it looked a bit funny when I loaded it but kept it in to show how you must keep your pellets in good order and that pellet drop proved the point so well.
I then took the guns Verminating on a farm that was plagued all around its yards with woodpigeons/collard doves/ferals/rabbits/corvids and rats and put the guns to a hunting test on live quarry. The farm in particular was a haven for vermin and the poor farmers animal feeds were getting smashed and costing the farm thousands in lost yield etc.
I started off with the Daystate as this is a rifle I have never hunted with or knew much about. So this was a learning curve for me too as both rifle feel and shoot ever so subtlety different. I think of it like having two favourite pairs of slippers and putting one from each set on at the sometime even though they are comfy they feel just a little different and for me it’s the same with guns.
As I snook around the vast farm yard and outlying grain barns/mills and cattle sheds with the Daystate Regal at the ready I thought you know this is quite a long gun and needed a sling. My first target was a woodpigeon sat on the end of a silage trailer letting his breakfast settle so I lined up nice and slow using a gate post to steady my shot. There was a light left to right wind and as the rifle was zeroed at 25m and the pigeon a good 30m or so away I had to give just a touch hold over (aim high) and wind age (aim into the wind) to be able to drop the pellet on the pigeons head.
As my Pappy (grandfather) always taught me “See the shot feel the shot” as I squeezed the trigger and the rifle made a very quiet pheeeewt. That’s one thing I will say about these Hugget Mods they really are quiet even on my FAC Air Arms S410 and they don’t disturb the entire area of quarry that is a massive bonus as a hunter. I can see the shot in slow motion now as I write this and remember seeing the pellet go out of scope and back in and strike the pigeon perfectly in the head.
The pigeon lifting off in slow motion flapping at the pellet strike with a puff of feathers and that shock wave running right through it. If I had a camera rolling that would of made some impressive footage. Also how quite all this was a magpie popped up on a tyre on the muck pit to see what was going on and some fast shooting from me quickly re loading the Regal and getting on target put a magpie in the bag too. Alas I could not retrieve it as it was floating un retrievably out in the muck after me knocking it back a few feet off of the tyre deep into the muck pit.
I thought to myself this Daystate regal packs a mighty punch and is very sweet to hunt and I was satisfied with it so far. Now it was the turn of The Air Arms S510 so I stalked stealthily back to my truck to get the other gun. On the way back a rat presented itself to the Regal and well let’s just say that big sow rat sat feeding on my farmers grain never knew what hit it.
Back at the truck I boxed up the Regal and got the Air Arms out but not before the farm workers all came over to have a look at what I was using today and loved the look of both guns. Right time for another stalk about and well it was like stalking with an old familiar friend as the Air Arms just felt at home in my hands and this was for no more reason than spending a long time using them.
I first saw a magpie sat high up on the end of the barn some 50m away. Using a metal rail going over a drinking trough to steady my aim I had to allow for a reasonable wind coming from right to left and about a mill dot and a half hold over and squeezed off the trigger. The distinct phweeeeet of the Air Arms through the Hugget sound mod was like music to my ears with the pellet sailing true and striking the magpie at the base of the neck as it dropped like a stone off of the barn roof.
I went over to retrieve it but it had fallen deep inside a massive bramble bush so I could not retrieve it. I decided I needed a coffee so I went back to the truck and sat in there with the Air Arms out of the truck window covering a silage pit some 30m away while I drank my coffee and had a breakfast bar. As always I call this playing my joker how often to you open you flask or lunch box whilst out shooting and everything comes out to play?
This time was no exception as a flock of Collard Doves descended upon the pit right in front of me, so I put my coffee down and sat forward and watched for the best shot? The first on sat perfect right at the bottom of the silage lined up straight at it and squeezed the trigger. It folded on the spot and gave a little twitch the others just looked at it so I lined up another target 2m to the right squeezed off the shot phweeeeet and this gave a back flip spooking all the other doves and they flew of startled. I retrieved the birds and took some pics of both rifle and my kills that I could retrieve.
A phew days later Chris a shooting buddy of mine came over and I fitted the Hawk Scopes on both rifles and that coupled with The Hugget Sound Moderators also fitted to both guns. I actually think I may have found the perfect hunting combo of a life time, Either Air Arms S510 Hugget Hawk combo or Daystate Hugget Hawk combo is quite simply awesome.
My final words on these two amazing guns from two brilliant gun makers are they are both as sweet on the eye as they are to shoot. Both smooth as silk and deadly accurate and if I had never owned a PCP air rifle I would not be disappointed to have either of them in my Cabinet. However My love for the Air Arms is still as strong so for my own personal preference and nothing else I would choose and Air Arms first as they fit me like my favourite slippers.
I have not been paid to say any of this and this review is just my personal humble opinion of two brilliant, no awesome air rifle combos that I put together, If you would like The Ole Hedge Creeper to review your product please drop me a line either through www.theolehedgecreeper.co.uk or www.countrymans-diary.co.uk and I will be only too happy to give it the ole once over country boy style.
Please keep the sea of wonderful emails and letters coming in as we try our very best to get back to you all personally.
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
Aka: Rob Collins.
I felt it was time to do a review of some of my favourite air rifles but rather than being a technical article I will give you my humble thoughts on the fit, feel, looks and more importantly weather it does what I want it too. I won’t go into all the technical stuff as you can read that a hundred times over else were on every forum known to man and to be honest that is not my bag at all.
Before we get going I will put my hands up and confess that this piece is all about my Air Arms rifles as yes I can stand up and proudly say “MY NAME IS ROB COLLINS AND I AM AN AIR ARMS FAN BOY”
I started off with a love for Air Arms back in the late 80s early 90s with a rifle called The Air Arms Camargue. This gun was smooth and to be frank I have not used an Air Arms Rifle yet that is not been smooth like a well-oiled British made machine.
I know I have sang their praises from the roof tops but credit were credits due and they have never let me down. This is unlike some of the foreign makes including a well-known German brand which literally fell apart in my hands.
I expect a gun to not only be smooth but take a pounding and give me 100% reliability. I hunt in all weathers from high heat to freezing cold and monsoon rains and the Air Arms range has never failed me not once yet. I do look after them with a regular service. I also clean and oil them before and after every hunt which keeps them in tip top condition. My Pappy (grandfather) always taught me to look after your gear and it will look after you.
The four main air rifles I use are of course all Air Arms, each one in both .177 & .22 calibres. These are (in no particular order) TX200 (Springer), S200 (PCP), S510 (PCP), S410 (PCP). I have both the Sub 12 ft lb and the FAC versions of the S410. It is well documented that my favourite air rifle is the Air Arms S410. Be it the sub 12ft lb or FAC it matters not, that gun is a sweet lady and feisty to boot.
Air Arms TX200 Spring Power
This gun is very heavy I find this good as it helps with any recoil but I would not say this is a good starting gun for a Kid or Lady (oh dear perhaps I should not say that).
This is what I call a Man's Air Rifle. She is pretty on the eye and as feisty as an Italian house wife, but as my Pappy always taught me hold your woman firm and treat her right she will show you passion like no other.
This is so true of the TX200 as whatever you decide to shoot weather a live target or paper when you squeeze that trigger she whispers a voice like a passionate kiss from a lover in your ear and sends the pellet straight and true to target. As you can tell I am a pretty big fan of the spring powered TX200 and weather its in .22 or .177 when you hear the impact ahhhhh its like sweet music.
The TX200 is pretty on the eye accurate, reliable and powerful. Loading can be a little tricky at times with cold fingers but you will get used to that. Because of its weight if you are out hunting I would say get a sling put on it. But all in all a great all-rounder for the target man or hunter alike.
Air Arms S200 (PCP)
Wow what a sweet little gun light, pointable, durable, reliable and deadly accurate. This gun punches way above and beyond its weight. After using one I liked it so much I bought my daughter Emilie one to use. She loves it above out of all her shot guns and other air rifles and actually I have written several articles about her with that sweet little gun and how successful she is with it weather on the target range or out hunting with her old dad.
I would say this is a good starter gun for any kid or indeed anyone for their first PCP (Pre Charged Pneumatic). It is packed with all what I have come to expect from a Brilliant British Company although this one is made for them in Czechoslovakia. But don’t let this put you off by any means. Emilie often out shoots all the others in the club with it and now her older brother wont shoot against her as she beats him every time, well that will teach him to take the micky out of her and call her gun a toy gun.
My final words on this gun is whether multi shot or single shot in .177 or .22 you won’t find anything better for your starter gun or life time one as she sure is an addictive little gun that you can pick up at an amazing price.
Air Arms S410 (PCP)
Above all this is my favourite gun in the Air Arms range as it feels like a big bore rifle in your hands and it looks stunning. When it catches the light it looks like a chestnut mare (female horse) in a sun glazed Autumn paddock. This gun is pure class in my eyes, she mounts like putting on your favourite slippers with that ahhhhhhhhh factor of comfort. I am sure you guys will know what I mean with this when I say this gun just simply fits well and if I did not know better I would say it was tailored to fit me by Savile Rows finest.
To the eye she looks like a proper hunting rifle but would be as easily at home on the target range, in the hunting field were we dance together time and time again we are called upon by landowners to go and deal with vermin problems each and every time the S410 does the job asked of her with grace elegance, power and deadly.
The smoothness of the Air Arms magazines are one thing that has always impressed me as I have chunky hands they are easy to load even when freezing cold and I can’t feel my fingers. The smoothness of the action loading each pellet time after time I cannot fault. Saying this I keep my guns well serviced and have no problems but I have heard of those that don’t and do have problems? Again I suppose this comes down to what my Pappy taught me.
My Final words on the S410 weather in sub 12ft lb or FAC, it's simply a must have for any air rifle shooter. I am hearing constantly people telling me it’s the worst thing they ever did swapping in their Air Arms for something else. Well what can I say there will always be one in my gun cupboard. As a proud Englishman this brings a smile to my face as we are in my opinion still a world leader in the design and manufacture of air rifles and this no small part to my beloved Air Arms.
Air Arms S510 (PCP)
Well there is not much I can add to this gun that I have not already said about the S410, except that is this gun is a side leaver unlike that of the S200 and S410. The S200 and S410 being bolt action.
It is as I have come to expect smooth as silk when using and re loading, So I cannot as get a cigarette paper between the S410 and S510.
But for me it has to be the S410 as I love the bolt action of a traditional gun. My final word on the S510 is, It's every bit as good as the S410 so you will be hard to beat it with anything else.
I am often asked what are my favourite pellet and that answer is simple the Air Arms Field Diablo 5.52 in .22 16 grain and in .177 8.4 grain 4.52, (that’s about as technical as I get). Its quite simple they do what it says on the tin and kill humanly every time for me. On the occasion I shoot targets well they are the nail that gets hit in the hole every time.
I am always happy to have a go with anything and will give my honest personal opinion every time, but like I say these are what work for me what work for you may be different.
I have not been paid by anyone to say this about my beloved Air Arms guns but love them so much I could talk your ear off all day about them.
What I will say though is if you are new to air rifle shooting or an old hand coming back, try starting off with an Air Arms and you won’t look back,
Air Arms Review
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
Aka: Rob Collins.
To my Haters & Stalkers, I am a Lion not a Sheeple, my advice is to not poke the Sleeping Lion, for if you awake me from my slumber you will hear me ROAR, then you will find yourself staying at Her Majesty's pleasure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
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