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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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By The Ole Hedge Creeper
Aka: Rob Collins.