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Air Arms S410 TDR

Bruce Potts tests the TDR version of the Air Arms S410 precharged pneumatic rifle.

Customers are fickle people who through purpose and/or desire require (or just plain want) something different to buy. Because of this one often finds really good rifles tweaked or customised to pretty them up, without really improving important details. One air rifle that does not, repeat, does not, fall into this category is the Air Arms Take Down Rifle (TDR).

A break down of the TDR

The Air Arms S410 requires no introduction to any hunters; a full length pedigree has been established to make it one of Britain’s best all round pre-charged hunting rifles. In this basically ‘anti-shooting’ political and social climate, many shooters would be interested in a full power hunting tool that could be carried discretely, so a radical new concept was drawn up based on the S410 to meet the demand. Well Air Arms really surpassed themselves with the new TDR rifle. This is not a ‘cut and shut’ S410 but a well though out highly practical hunting rifle that packs down to a very compact 35.5 inches.

This rifle comes complete with a Napier of London purpose built black nylon fabric case, that has the necessary internal compartments to store the rifle, scope, moderator and rear butt section. Strong elasicated straps and a foam interior makes sure the TDR is well secured and easily portable.

The whole essence of the TDR is its instant ‘bolt together and use’ appeal. The main components are the sound moderator, barreled action with air reservoir and the stock (rear section) which all assemble and disassemble without any special tools. This allows for a very speedy ‘set up and go’ rifle system.

The barreled action already has the forend stock attached, so simply slip on the semi sleeved Pro-76 moderator, which is securely fastened by simply tightening the large exterior knurled screw. It is fast, simple, and virtually impossible to misalign. To join this barreled action to the rear or butt section of stock, there is a great fail safe system of attachment consisting of a three pronged plug unit on the butt and a guide rod on the action. A large knurled securing wheel is located on top of the butt section and this is simply tightened to join the barrel and action. This is a very secure union (I’ve had my doubts about strength on some other take down rifles I have tested). Air Arms have ensured a strong non rotational union is enforced by recessing the two sections, so as they are tightened together no twisting is evident. Not only does this joint fix the butt to action, but it also functions as a safety feature to ensure the TDR cannot be fired without the butt section fitted. So to fire the TDR the butt must be properly attached to the action, really clever. (Note: If the action/barrel assembly could function without the butt assembly, it would basically be classed as an ‘air pistol’ which would be illegal as it generates a muzzle energy above the legal limit of 6 ft/lbs)

The action section is pure S410 territory, with the same bolt operation and magazine assembly. This arrangement has served Air Arms very well in this guise, so why change it?

Removing a magazine is achieved by cocking the bolt fully rearward and keeping a pressure on it, so the magazine can be removed with the other hand by simply sliding out to the left. Reloading the TDR mag is easy, as you just index the loading tray/wheel around and pop a new pellet into the exposed empty chamber via the see through Perspex cover. Once it’s fully loaded with ten rounds you just pull back on the bolt again and slide the mag home.

Closing the bolt pushes a pellet from the mag and seats it into the breech ready for firing. Thereafter, every cycle of the bolt indexes the magazine around and lines up the next pellet, ready to be seated when the bolt is closed. The Air Arms mag system has always been fast, efficient, and hassle free, which is just the way I like it.

The barrel is a Walther of just over 14 inches in length (with an accuracy enhancing choked muzzle I believe). It is free floating above the air reservoir and readily accepts the supplied moderator.

The trigger unit is an improved version of the old, having a crisper and readable let off that is achieved by the addition of another internal trigger sear. It is still a two stage affair, and now the narrow trigger blade has a simple cross bolt safety system fitted.

The stock is a two piece configuration to accommodate the take down facility. Both butt and forend are of walnut and are so much better in looks and feel to any synthetic alternatives. The forend incorporates a pistol grip that is large enough to accommodate most hand sizes and is stippled to aid the hold. On the underneath is a recess with a handy air reservoir gauge, allowing it to be easily viewed for instant fill pressure readings. There is no forward stippling or chequering, but the fore most section is lightly scalloped to fit the air reservoir and the underside has an accessory rail for fitting a bipod or other attachments.

The rear butt section is really only a central shaft to which a Walnut cheek piece is attached to give good eye alignment. It looks small and quite fragile but in fact it is very strong. The butt pad is adjustable for vertical correction and on the under side of the cheek piece is a housing for two additional spare magazines (not included), which is an excellent idea - no more fumbling for mags whilst out lamping.

Filling and pellet performance

Another new feature is the filling valve setup. Just remove the screw on cover and attach the hose; a simple pressure secured female connector pushes on to an external male coupling. The new filling valve has a sintered steel screen that removes any harmful particles and thus keeps the valve unit dust and grit free. Actual fill pressure is a recommended 190 bar /2750 psi that fills the air reservoir to allow an efficient 40 shots per charge at full power, mainly due to the frugal air intake from the valving mechanism.

Ever keen to see how it works out in the field, I checked the zero and filling pressures with a variety of pellets but erring on the heavier side, as PCPs usually prefer these.

As far as I’m concerned 40 shots per charge is ample, especially for hunting and in practice despite a slight power curve to start for the first 3-5 shots the power figures remained pretty constant and up to the legal limit.

Accuracy was good at 30 yards as you would expect the Walther barrel steering each pellet in the right direction and shot to shot consistency was pretty even too. The Air Arms Fields would be my choice - and usually are these days for hunting with a PCP.  They offer great accuracy, power levels and consistency often less than 20 fps from a string of 35 shots.

Conclusions

The bolt operation is fine, not my favourite, but none the less positive and trouble free. The mags are very good and the moderator is easily slipped on and off, and it really mutes the sharp muzzle report from the TDR.

Personally I was less enamoured with its looks – though lots of other people love them - but out in the field its compact size was a bonus in any hunting situation, especially when crawling and its full power shots gave predictable accuracy, even for a rabbit at 47 yards. I do really like the way the TDR comes apart and reassembles so easily and at £555 is a good value for money hunting rifle.

My thanks to Ivan at C.H.Westons of Brighton 01273 733832 for the loan of the rifle.

Technical Specifications
Manufacturer Air Arms Ltd
Type Pre Charge pneumatic
Action Bolt Operation
Magazine Ten Shot Rotary
Stock Take down
Overall Length 35.5 inches
Barrel length 14.2 inches
Weight 5.75 lbs
Fill pressure 190 bar
Calibre .22
Safety Cross bolt Type
Extras included Moderator and carry case
Price £555

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

Gun Mart Shooters Forum - Get Involved in the Discussion!
User Comments
  • would like info on how to change hammer spring as mine is worn would just like explained pics if poss how to repair it by myself as pressure is down to 9ftlbs as all other airarms has alan key on back would apprecait any info airarms s410 tdr thank you 0191-4208690

    Comment by: kev     Posted on: 01 Nov 2009 at 11:32 PM

  • i myself have the TDR and i am totally impressed with it , it's by far the best rifle i have had in a long time and i have only missed my target twice with this and i do ( or did ) a lot of shooting with it and it also saved me a fortune in dog food as the rabbits i got put a smile on my dogs face . Unfortunately due to housing schemes and railways being built i have very little land that i can hunt on now so have to sadly sell it but this is one amazin rifle.

    Comment by: james bond     Posted on: 11 Sep 2010 at 09:26 PM

  • I bought a TDR because I needed a good multi shot rifle to control rabbits and was offered a good secondhand deal. I regret not having had a chance to handle it first. The straight-through stock design is ridiculous. It evolved for assault rifles where the purpose is to direct the recoil straight back rather than have successive shots push the weapon upwards. Hardly relevant for a recoilless air rifle! The down side is it requires you to either lower your head right down to peer awkwardly through your eyebrows at the scope, or you must raise the sight line (as is the case with assault rifles, think M16 carry handle/sight rail!). The raised sight line is impractical with the pronounced trajectory of an air rifle. Furthermore the TDR design robs you of air capacity. Charge the rifle, zero it, shoot a couple of dozen shots, and you are low on air again. And the fore-end should be a couple of inches longer and more ergonomic - no need for it to be sawn off like that. Finally if we are honest about it no-one needs a take down air rifle! If you can afford one, you won't be travelling to your shooting ground on the bus. You'll do what everyone does - stick it in the car boot and get it out when you arrive at the farm! So a normal rifle in a gun slip is just fine. The take down thing is strictly a gimmick for people who want to play James Bond. Love the multi shot action and the accuracy of my TDR but you get that - and some major handling advantages - with an S410, which I REALLY wish I had bought instead of the TDR.

    Comment by: Angus McSlappentickle     Posted on: 04 Oct 2010 at 02:33 AM

  • Having noted your comments and your obvious dislike of the TDR, I have to ask why did you buy it? I can understand going for 'a good secondhand deal' - but only for something that you like in the first place. Some of your criticisms of the rifle would imply that you don't like this type of rifle even before you had tried it - so why buy it? One of the golden rules for any purchase, especially secondhand, is to try before you buy. Just assembling the rifle and putting it in a shooting position would tell you instantly if the head position/ cheekpiece/ forend position/ reach to pull etc. were suitable for you. One good point is that many people still find the TDR a desirable air rifle, so you shouldn't have any problem selling it on.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 04 Oct 2010 at 12:19 PM

  • Appreciate your comment Pat, you are absolutely right in principle but I wasn't in a position to try before I bought, I live in a remote part of the Highlands approx 2.5 hours from the nearest AA stockist. I got the TDR mail order before the new law came in. So now I'm also badly placed to sell the TDR but I will eventually go out of my way to do so as I've never got used to it. I guess I was a bit harsh on it in my comment but thats because I think a potentially excellent rifle has been spoiled by some poor and unnecessary design decisions made purely in the name of looks rather than practicality. There's no reason why the air cylinder couldn't be larger (I see AA have rectified this on the new .177 version) plus the fore-end could be longer and more comfortable to hold, ditto the stock which could be angled in the traditional way to bring the sight line comfortably to eye level with the butt pad tucked properly into the shoulder. As it is I have to shoot either with just the bottom half of the butt in my shoulder, or else lower my head uncomfortably. These things aren't a matter of taste, they are basic design flaws, and are not acceptable on a near £600 rifle. Anyway thanks for your input and taking the time to offer your advice.

    Comment by: Angus McSlappentickle     Posted on: 07 Oct 2010 at 02:57 AM

  • I have just purchased an Air Arms TDR, in .22 cal, It is he most accurate
    air rifle i have used to date, at 25 yards i was not just hitting the bullseye , but the drawing pins that held the target, proof enough, its good kit,
    my thanks to the crew at Melbourne Guns and Tackle for their help.

    Comment by: Tony Harrison     Posted on: 03 May 2011 at 08:40 PM

  • Hi, iam looking at the AA S410 TDR it will be my first gun and i would like for some suggestion on this rifle. 0/10 0 crap 10 brilliant.

    Thanks Joe

    Comment by: joe starmer     Posted on: 09 Jan 2012 at 09:40 AM

  • The Air Arms s410 is one of the most popular rifles for hunters and HFT shooters in the UK (and indeed other countries). It is accurate, reliable, versatie and reasonably priced. 8/10

    However, some people - myself included - prefer the s510, because it has all of the above factors, plus it is side lever loading instead of bolt action. This is a far superior loading method for an air rifle in my opinion and virtually eliminates the possibility of getting 'two up the spout'. 9/10

    Also you are choosing the TDR 'take down rifle' version. Unless you really need a 'covert' rifle, that you would prefer to carry in an attache case rather than a gun slip, why choose a model that has a restricted shot capacity and has to be 'assembled' every time you want to shoot it? 7/10

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 10 Jan 2012 at 11:08 AM

  • Love my .22 TDR, excelent gun. One down side is the eye level, i find it hard to line my eye with scope quickly. Great gun for lamping

    Comment by: Alex R     Posted on: 11 Feb 2012 at 09:06 PM

  • why does my airarms rifle perform better when the presure is down

    Comment by: richard     Posted on: 27 Nov 2012 at 08:35 PM

  • Hi Richard,

    An un-regulated pre charged air rifle has a power curve, so maybe, if you filled to a lower pressure to start with you'd get the performance you want without having to shoot off the excess pressure first.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 27 Nov 2012 at 09:09 PM

  • its got a regulator its supose to run at 190 bar its better at 140 bar all seals are replaced can you ajust regulator if so which way do you turn it

    Comment by: richard     Posted on: 28 Nov 2012 at 08:54 PM

  • Unless you have had an after- market regulator fitted, your TDR is un-regulated and relies on a self regulating knock off valve.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 28 Nov 2012 at 11:27 PM

  • its not a s410 tdr its a s410 carbine ive just brought it dont know much about them

    Comment by: richard     Posted on: 29 Nov 2012 at 08:34 PM

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