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Air Arms S510 SL

Pat Farey looks at the S510 SL (side lever) carbine, one of the latest rifles from Air Arms.

The test rifle is an example of the third incarnation of Air Arms mainstream pneumatic rifles, starting with the S300 bolt action PCP, refined with the single or multi-shot S400/S410 series and now a major design overhaul in the S500/510 series. Throughout their history these mid-priced PCPs have offered accuracy, reliability and value for money, making them favourites with the hunting community, and lately also with HFT competitors. In the past some S300 and S400 rifles have even been pressed into service for the highly specialised sport of field target shooting – and they’ve done well there too.

The S500/510 SL series show several modifications and at least one major change over the previous S400 models. The change that I refer to can be seen instantly; the replacement of the old bolt action (as in S300/400 models) with a side lever cocking system, hence the SL in the model designation.

All in the action…

As mentioned previously, since their launch the S400 and S410 have been popular for both hunting and HFT, and rightly so, but personally I always found a little niggle with the operation of the bolt action on the multi-shot S410 version. This was simply because as you drew back the bolt, the magazine would turn one notch putting the next pellet into battery, then pushing the bolt forward would seat the pellet into the barrel’s breech. All well and good… Unfortunately, if you hadn’t pulled the bolt back enough, you would have failed to set the mechanism for the next shot. To rectify this you couldn’t just pull the bolt fully back and then forward again, as this would put a second pellet into the breech. So to overcome the problem you would have to pull back the bolt enough to allow the magazine to be removed, then with the magazine out of the gun, pull the bolt completely back until you heard the distinctive ‘click’ of the firing mechanism resetting (as the trigger blade ‘kicked’ forward). You could then turn the magazine back one notch to the empty chamber, reinsert it, then push the bolt fully home. Long winded, huh? Well actually it didn’t take as long to do as it did to describe, and in truth if you used the S410 for any length of time you soon learned to listen and feel for the extra ‘click’ at the end of the bolt withdrawal to confirm that the action was set before you pushed the bolt back to seat the pellet.

The new lever action, while not removing that extra ‘click’, nevertheless makes it much more unlikely to occur because you automatically tend to draw the lever back to it’s fullest extent with one smooth pull. This is because the lever obviously gives extra ‘leverage’… thereby making the cocking procedure a lot easier. It certainly works for me, and removes the only significant ‘gripe’ that I’ve ever had with this Air Arms rifle.

Air Arms set great store in customer feedback, and have a rolling R&D programme to keep their products at the forefront of the market. Everything they do is tried and tested before it is finalised. For this reason the lever action replaced the bolt on the FAC version of the S400/S410 well over a year ago - long before finally making the move to the new legal limit S510 model. During this R&D procedure they found that they could significantly reduce the load factor on the lever mechanism by running it on ball-races; this not only gives a smooth unstrained action but also has the advantageous side effect of reducing the ‘gap’ beneath where the lever attaches to the side of the action (this is where some other ‘lever cocking’ rifles can have their mechanism exposed to dust, dirt and moisture).

The S510 rifles retains the true two stage trigger mechanism of the previous series. This allows a very fine but positive operation. The test rifle gave a crisp and predictable let-off straight out of the box, but the unit is adjustable for both first and second stage pull weight and length of travel between these stages.

Other features include a shrouded ‘bull barrel’ with a built in primary sound moderator. In the limited time that I had to test the rifle, I found the muzzle report to be muted enough and I would leave it ‘as is’, in order to keep the length of the S510 compact. However, if you prefer an even quieter shot, the barrel is threaded to take a secondary screw-in moderator if required. On the aesthetic front, the threaded muzzle ring has unusual diagonal fluting which matches the air cylinder’s screw-on dust cap. Even this dust cover is a well engineered piece of kit, covering the neat Air Arms quick fit ‘T’ connector on the end of the air cylinder. Maximum fill pressure is 200bar but experimenting at slightly lower pressures often gives better consistency. A full charge of air will give approximately 60 shots in .177 carbine or 80 shots in a .22 model. Around 20 extra shots should be expected from rifle length versions.

The stock for this model was in walnut, although beech should be available at a reduced price. We haven’t got the prices of the various models at time of press, however, for the S400/410 series, the difference between walnut and beech models was fairly small. So if you can afford it, I’d go for the walnut sporter with its laser chequering and contrasting rosewood grip cap and forend tip.

Shooting bench

Over the chrono, Air Arms own pellets gave some great results, with just 9fps spread over a five shot string – 773, 776, 778, 770 and 769fps - which is approximately 11.5ft/lbs of muzzle energy. Near identical Daystate pellets gave a slightly lower reading at around 11.3ft/lbs.

On the test range one hole groups (of 5 shots) were achieved right out to 40yds. An overall spread of just 20fps across a whole charge (60 shots at 185bar) were recorded with the Air Arms pellets.

The Air Arms magazine system is now a tried and tested unit and the new lever action operated smoothly and without fault throughout the tests. In my opinion this new sidelever action has absolutely transformed this rifle, so I can recommend the S510 without reservation. However, don’t worry if you prefer the bolt action of the S410, as these models will continue in full production alongside the lever action S510.

Technical Specifications
Model Air Arms S510SL carbine
Type Precharged pneumatic
Action Side lever cocking
Capacity Multi-shot, removable 10 round magazine
Calibre .177" on test - .22 available
Overall length

37.5 inches

Barrel length 18 inches (with shroud)
Weight 6.2 lbs approx
Fill Pressure 200bar Max
Trigger 2-stage fully adjustable
Safety Manual re-settable - cross bolt type
Power 11/5ft/lbs - 11.3ft/lbs
Sights No open sights. Action grooved for scope mounts
Stock Walnut sporter with high roll over cheekpiece, laser chequering, contrasting rosewood grip cap and forend tip
Price £650 approx
Contact Air Arms 01323 845 453

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

Gun Mart Shooters Forum - Get Involved in the Discussion!
User Comments
  • I have recently purchased an S510SL carbine. If I fill to 190bar using the gauge on the Air Bottle, it only ever reaches 150bar on the gauge on the actual gun. is this normal?

    Comment by: Scott Walker     Posted on: 15 Jan 2009 at 12:23 PM

  • Yeah thats normal on all air arms guages..just allow for it.Same on my S510

    Comment by: Jeremy     Posted on: 04 Mar 2009 at 08:52 PM

  • The only gauge to take notice of when filling is the one on your air bottle, and it should be accurate. If you have any doubt about it, get it checked at a compressed air supply specialist.

    The gauge on the rifle is not so critical, it's simply there as a quick indicator to let you know when the pressure is reaching a point where a refill is required. With practice you'll soon get to know what the actual reading for that point is, even if the gauge is not giving the absolutely correct pressure reading. If it really bothers you, take the rifle back to the supplier for correction under the warranty.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 04 Mar 2009 at 11:53 PM

  • I have recently purchased an Air Arms S510 and am very pleased with it. I spent 1 1/2 hours in the shop deciding between this and a Weihrauch HW100 and I have to say that I made the right choice, despite being a previous Weihrauch owner. This is a fantastic weapon. It is well engineered and a breeze to use, and far lighter than a Weihrauch. The only addition I would recommend if you are to use it for hunting, is to fit a Weihrauch silencer which works fantastically with this rifle, only hearing a slight 'puff' when firing. Well recommended for the price.

    Comment by: Bingbong     Posted on: 15 Apr 2009 at 05:26 PM

  • Yes - in my opinion the side lever action on the S510 and the HW100 has made them two of the top choices in hunting PCPs.

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 16 Apr 2009 at 12:20 AM

  • Just purchased s510 and am extremely pleased, amazed how accurate this is, sighted in with just 5 shots and its shooting like a dream. handels so well it replaced my Falcon FN19

    Comment by: phil     Posted on: 21 Apr 2009 at 10:31 PM

  • Is this actually made by Air Arms in the UK?
    Looks very somilar to the new evanix,if ive spelt that right,which is made in the USA,sure brocock use to import the older Evanix which was a revolver type magazine.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/zoomed_model.pl?model_id=1786

    we need to see some of these in the uk as well as the beeman range.

    Comment by: jay     Posted on: 30 May 2009 at 08:22 PM

  • The S510 is made in the UK as a side lever development of the S410. But I see what you mean about the Evanix.

    You can actually get the Evanix in the UK (in side lever, rear bolt or side bolt format). They are being imported and marketed under various names by a few UK companies, including Brocock (as you mentioned), Armex UK Limited (Armex Avenger), and Prestige Airguns (Kubs).

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 31 May 2009 at 02:55 PM

  • I bought my gun I was one of the first people in the uk to buy one. But im not happy with it. its innacurate majorly. one shot will hit the bull the next is 15 inches yes 15 high and about 3 to the right. I have the screw in silencer so i have tried with it off and on. Air Arms are puzzled also so unless anyone has any ideas im guessing im going to have to send it back. I thought i had a dodgy scope at first so i replaced the scope replacement came today and it seemed allright for the first 20 shots then miles out any ideas? Talk about 80 shots!! mine is .22 any ideas will all be appreciated. I have put about 4000 pellets through it. (yes i should have sent it back ages ago) i thought it would get better with use. Well back to the shop on monday to then be sent off to air arms. I keep thinking if only i got the HW100 but im sure my gun could work beautifully but i dont know whats up with it.

    Comment by: Dudlet     Posted on: 11 Jul 2009 at 07:51 PM

  • The cause of the problem could be a number of things, but your best bet is to return it to the shop where you bought it and get them to send it back to Air Arms for repair under the warranty. This is usually the best course of action with any problem with a new product.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 12 Jul 2009 at 11:01 AM

  • hi, ive just bought a air arms s510 , could anybody give me any idears how far i should sight rifle from?

    Comment by: jordan     Posted on: 07 Aug 2009 at 07:22 PM

  • I find normally the gauge on the underside of my S400 at 150bar is equal to 170bar on my fill bottle.(there is a delay on the guns needle which does catch up)It has been a similiar story on all of my air arms rifles but could differ from gun to gun.A good tip when filling using divers bottle is to let the air trickle if you can once it suddenly seems to slow down and use the valve on your divers bottle neatly to achieve 190bar which is a good fill to get maximum shots.I now have the multishot adaptor fitted to my S400 and find it a great accessory,self indexing was a bit weird at first but like most new gadgets you soon master it,even in the dark.I do not like the aluminium bolt on my rifle and never have so maybe santa will bring me the S510, ho ho ho!!

    Comment by: craig eddie     Posted on: 18 Aug 2009 at 02:21 PM

  • I bought the AA 510 SL last year, trading in my AA 400 (single shot). The 510 is a dream to use after the single shot especially when hunting, with one finger operation when reloading and not needing that extra jerk back to make sure it is cocked. Accuracy is great with good grouping out to 35 yards for humane head shots using Air Arms .22 field ammo and with 80 shots without any reduced accuracy. Highly recommended.

    Comment by: rob anderson     Posted on: 26 Oct 2009 at 07:59 PM

  • Just purchased an SL510 and gotta say, what a smooth gun to shoot ! had a problem when moderator fitted could not get a grouping at all, but without dead pan accurate ! took back to shop who were puzzled and in end changed gun for a new one and moderator shoots so quiet and dead accurate now, may have been a rouge gun or thread problem, confused us all ! However, despie that, would not change for any other gun at that price, light, easy to shoot and kind of sexy looking , Guess I am a fan !!!

    Comment by: Russell Parker     Posted on: 27 Jan 2010 at 12:38 AM

  • The s510 SL article I just read mentions: In the S500/510 series, and:
    The S500/510 SL series show several modifications. S500? I have been told there is not an S500. Can you elaborate? Thanks..

    Comment by: Jeff Mammele     Posted on: 27 Jan 2010 at 08:31 PM

  • When the article was written (quite some time ago) we were under the impression that there would also be an S500 (single shot) version, but to date Air Arms have only made the S510 multi-shot model. Sorry to have misled you.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 28 Jan 2010 at 12:31 PM

  • Hi, an aquaintance of mine has recently bought a s510 in .177. Testing with various pellets,AA, H&N,etc, shows the power to be marginally over 10ftlbs.....is this commonplace?.... I know the manufacturers nowawadays are careful not to fall foul of the law, but 10ftlbs???? this is plinker territory! P.S. Whilst I thoroughly enjoy your reviews could your testers possibly show a little more consistency to detail, such as high/low/ave velocity, pellets+weight tested, energy, shot to shot variation/consistency? I know of one such reviewer but how about all? Might sound " anorakish" but many of us punters thrive on such details to help make a more informed purchase. Thanks for your time, Mike.

    Comment by: mike rennison     Posted on: 29 May 2010 at 11:05 AM

  • PPS. Damn!!!! Forgot to request that you date your test reports ( relevent to current price?model etc ) unless i,m being a gormless sod and not seeing it! Cheers, Mike.

    Comment by: mike rennison     Posted on: 29 May 2010 at 11:11 AM

  • A pre-charged pneumatic air rifle designed for hunting should be capable of at least 11ft/lbs muzzle energy with the pellets recommended by the manufacturer - if it doesn't, take it back.

    With regards to our reviewers, they operate independently and in their own styles (we set no rigid format). Also the articles are extracted from a number of different Aceville Magazine publications. Hopefully the trade off in 'standardisation' against varied points of view and expression is worth it. However, your ideas on dating the reviews have been noted and we'll see what can be done.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 30 May 2010 at 12:52 AM

  • my air arms s300 wouldnt zero to within 30cm,tried 5.51 accupell,i now have the most accurate air rifle i have ever owned,pellet on pellet @35yards

    Comment by: paul robinson     Posted on: 16 Jun 2010 at 09:13 AM

  • when i first brought my s510 i was killing rabbits at 60 yards and now it will not take them out at 35 I have cleaned the barrel out every 2000 pellets we have been useing air arms hunter pellets I have shot about 6000 pellets is it the seals. what is the best pellet for this gun

    Comment by: Shaun Kiely     Posted on: 26 Aug 2010 at 09:37 PM

  • We need more information to help.

    You say that you can't kill rabbits at 35yds - do you mean that you are missing them or that you are accurately connecting but there is not enough power?

    Have you chronoed the gun to find out what power it is putting out, and how consistent it is?

    Have you tried to shoot a group at 35 yards. Is it within an inch?

    Is the rifle taking a full charge of air and if so, how many shots are you taking before it needs recharging (and what is the gauge reading when you decide to recharge.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 30 Aug 2010 at 11:32 AM

  • hi

    I'm looking into buying a AA S510. ( although money wise id have to save a while) is it better to get the pump or the dive bottle

    Also which silencer is best for it (i asked these questions at the shop and the guy serving is clueless).

    I took a few shots and was hitting a 1p coin at 35yds the gun feels right and is the best I've found on Guernsey so i want to get the right stuff before going all out on buying it.

    any help appreciated

    chris

    Comment by: chris T     Posted on: 02 Sep 2010 at 08:41 PM

  • Personally, I'd always go for a bottle rather than a pump, unless there was going to be any difficulty charging the bottle - but I imagine there are a lot of diving shops in Guernsey.

    The S510 already has a primary moderator in the shroud and Air Arms make their own secondary 'screw-in' mod for the S510, any decent one that fits will do.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 09 Sep 2010 at 03:28 PM

  • hi all i recently bout my 510 & im a little disapointed with it regaurds power issues, at 35yrds its pellet on pellet i thought this was the toy 4 me but out in the field its pants!!! i always go back 2 my ultra. i put it thru a combi crono & it reads 10-4/10-7 is this right? or will it get better with use, on paper its gr8 but on fur its the worst any advice please!!!!!!!!!!;-(

    Comment by: richard     Posted on: 23 Sep 2010 at 10:56 PM

  • please forgive the spelling lol

    Comment by: richard     Posted on: 23 Sep 2010 at 10:57 PM

  • bought the new s510 carbine super lite , hunter green stock.
    had it about a month now on zeroing scope at 30yards could easily hit bull and had good groupings and any stray pellets was due to me not the gun.
    this gun is very light weighted ideal for carrying around fields etc.
    the photos in this review r not the super lite gun but i believe it is only the weight and carved out sculpting of the stock which are different and any internals are the same.

    Comment by: tony     Posted on: 25 Oct 2010 at 03:46 PM

  • i think when you want to shoot more accurately outdoor huntingh etc. witha .177 all we want is the heaviest pellets say around 15 grains iterceptors and then will be the real results pl other members comment

    Comment by: bhupinder singh sandhu     Posted on: 21 Jan 2011 at 02:23 AM

  • Just dropped on a second hand 510. well i say second hand its fired 50 shots cost me £370.00 bargain! And that's with scopes bottle and bag!

    Comment by: Dave     Posted on: 15 Feb 2011 at 10:06 PM

  • some people have all the luck. i am looking for a 510 i hope i can pick one up for that sort of money at £350. thats a gift.

    Comment by: stan     Posted on: 20 Feb 2011 at 11:25 PM

  • i think it is anice gun tested and tried. iam intersted in the airgun if can get updated for export specifications imean the pwer siandards of the air gun are dtfferent in england.at your price iam ready to buy if you are ready to ship it to india;including the freight ihave to pay.pleaseconfirm it with with your bank account details ;because ihave to trans fer the funds toyou that i electronic money transfer from my bankand indian rules have to be followed.also please get the dun updated and checked at the range so i may not face any difficolties att my end with the guns performance;also youknow it has be done on only faith basis and itwill be irrerevsible your responsibilities willbe limited to you only.pl contact me on my mail that is bhupinder.sandhu23@yahoo.com thanks brother with allmy regards to you and your family.

    Comment by: BHUPINDER SANDHU     Posted on: 21 Feb 2011 at 01:54 AM

  • Hi Bhupinder. Please note that we do not sell rifles - we just review them.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 21 Feb 2011 at 11:36 AM

  • Bought my wife a Super-Light S510 in slime green last week as she was having difficulties with her Falcon Light Hunter. Its a graet rifle well put together and its a dream to use. The side lever is just right for her and although heavier than the Falcon, she says its got a good balance. Its so quiet with a Weihrauch silencer on and very accurate. The green stock is an eye catcher, only critisism is the magazine with the first pellet always falling out unlike the Falocn mag. Yes its so good i may get one myself.

    Comment by: JIm     Posted on: 06 Mar 2011 at 06:46 PM

  • great gun,good value for money.
    choose it and shoot it, you will never disappoint of your decision.

    Comment by: prasit     Posted on: 04 Nov 2011 at 02:20 PM

  • wher can i get s510 carbine in India

    Comment by: b.praneeth kumar     Posted on: 29 Nov 2011 at 05:28 PM

  • You will have to contact Air Arms direct through their website at
    www.air-arms.co.uk to find their agent or distributor in India.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 30 Nov 2011 at 01:20 AM

  • I bought an AA S510 SL Extra FAC.177 4 weeks ago. I put a Barska 4-16x44( Reticle was selling point ) scope on. I used the gun dealers range to zero in at 25 metres. Never got a chance to shoot again. Must say at 40 yards low power ( I actually forgot to check the setting, first time at new range etc ) that flat pellet could not miss the bull. I was a bit dumbstruck actually. I shot I think about 80 shots then turned up the volume to shoot to 50 yards. This is where I lost the plot with bulls and the gauge started to come down faster.Flat pellets do not like distance, I should have remembered that, chap next to me asked what pellet I was using. Changed to domes and voila ,bulls again. I own a couple Gecado 50,s so I think the love affair for this rifle/stock was already there. Smooth cocking, just like they all say, I love it, chap 2 stalls down pulled out a Weirauch 100 brand new, every 20 shots had to refill .20 I think . Boasting about his all metal magazine and now I read something about a plastic trigger ?? Here in SA we can hunt alot of animals but I prefer targets. Hunting for the pot is fine. Scopes parallax seemed to work well. I'm very satisfied with the performance of this rifle.Mike

    Comment by: Mike     Posted on: 26 Sep 2012 at 07:53 PM

  • I'm glad you got sorted with the dome-heads, flat heads are fine for short range paper punching but that flat front sure drags them down to Mother Earth at anything over 10 yards!

    What brand of pellets can you get hold of in SA? Air Arms pellets work well at FAC/Export power levels and are very accurate.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 26 Sep 2012 at 08:32 PM

  • Pretty much anything and everything available here. I went to a range a couple miles from my house( first time there, wow what a beautiful setting) and a chap there was selling JSB,s, heard of them but never seen them in a gun shop? Apparently everyone at the range swear by them. I did not open the tin as I started to use my dome H&N's. I do have a tin of Air Arms but have never tried them. Thanks for tip, I will now. For 20 years I have been collecting different pellets. I just do not get enough time to shoot them. I need to rectify that.

    Comment by: Mike     Posted on: 27 Sep 2012 at 08:22 PM

  • Hi Mike,

    JSB make Air Arms' pellets for them, so you won't have a problem with either!

    What power is your rifle running at and how many shots do you get per fill?

    All the best and good shooting.

    Troll Hunter.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 27 Sep 2012 at 08:38 PM

  • S510 xtra 22 . .when i fill to 200bar on the rifles gauge pellets shoot low for 15 to 20 shots b4 normal poi resumes? Power noticably down until carried fill pressure reduces?

    Comment by: dave     Posted on: 05 Jul 2014 at 09:35 PM

  • Hi Dave, Your rifle is unregulated, so you'll get a 'power curve' over a series of shots from a full pressure fill down to low pressure.

    The hammer spring is a constant power, so finds it hard initially to knock open the exhaust valve to fire the pellet down the barrel because of the high pressure in the rifle's air cylinder. After a while, when several shots have been fired, the rifle reaches the 'sweet spot' where the hammer spring and air pressure in the reservoir are working well together and you get a plateau of very consistent shots. This is due to the so called ;self regulating valve' fitted to most pre charged rifles. Towards the end of the charge, the power drops off as the pressure in the reservoir diminishes.

    If you were to use a chronograph to measure the speed of the pellet fired and the power, over a complete charge, you would find the optimum fill pressure. This way you would find that, say, 185 BAR, is the perfect pressure to put into your rifle. You'd then know exactly when your power would be spot on and when the power starts to drop off again.

    I do this with all my PCPs when I get them, write down the ideal fill pressure and how many shots I get per fill. I keep this info on an old fashioned price tag, attached to the gunbag the rife's in.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Comment by: Troll Hunter     Posted on: 07 Jul 2014 at 08:52 PM

  • reply to troll hunter's assistance of 7th July;

    Yes, exactly as you said, i'd decanted a lot more pressure into my portable 300bar bottle and was getting a full 200 bar fill in on a recharge of air where before this I'd a lot less. My first venture away from springer's and gas rams.

    Thought I'd upset something after I'd taken everything apart for a full clean!

    Thanks, very grateful

    D

    Comment by: Dave     Posted on: 10 Jul 2014 at 02:04 PM

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