Air Arms S410F Carbine Super-Lite
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- Last updated: 27/01/2017
On first hearing of these rifle variants, many will assume that they’re lighter and that’s it - but after a lengthy test period with the Air Arms S410F Carbine Super-Lite I can assure you that’s not the case. Obviously much stays the same but some key features of stock design and a new trigger unit put this rifle in a category of its own.
First let’s look at the ergonomically designed and well crafted ambidextrous stock. Yes ambidextrous – nice to see the Air Arms crew aren’t going to put out left hand stock versions of these rifles, I say this as I feel it would compromise the stock design they’ve now settled on. While on the subject, you can purchase the ‘lightweight’ versions in a choice of three stock options Traditional, Deluxe (High Gloss) or Hunter Green as per the .177 calibre test rifle. All are available as standard length rifles, termed as ‘Classic’ or - as is the case here - the more hunter friendly carbine.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the first thing you notice on handling is how light it feels weighing in at 5.86lbs un-scoped and of course how equally cosmetically appealing it is.
The stock, though stained - hence the ‘Hunter Green’ denotation - is actually made from ‘poplar wood’ which itself is inherently light. It has a high fully ambidextrous and distinctive cheekpiece standing out even more due to the wood below being stylishly scalloped and shaped from the rear of the pistol grip to the full yet still relatively slim section adjoining the ventilated rubber butt pad. The slim forend tapers inwards and then swells out to end in a semi-Schnabel tip. The quite steep drop down pistol grip has a rosewood end cap with maple spacer. Grip is aided by five pairs of fine laser cut chequered panels; two either side of the grip and three along both sides of the forend. Air Arms have also integrated their ‘AA’ logo at the bottom of both sides of the grip.
An air gauge is positioned on the underside of the stock and the rifle uses the same screw cover protected inlet valve now familiar to all S400/S410 and S500/S510 series of air rifles. From a recommended fill pressure of 190-bar expect to get 60 shots in .177 calibre or 80 shots in .22 in all carbine formats.
Cocking and cycling the action is as you’d expect, exactly the same for its ‘weightier’ brothers, though the ergonomic cocking bolt is now slightly altered in size, finish and contour making it even easier to operate. Still positioned at the rear and manufactured from aluminium alloy, it’s now bead blasted to give a matt finish. The slight change in shape allows you to effortlessly lift up to pull back where it will lock fully rearward. To remove the ‘un-sprung’ magazine you should grip it on the exposed underside and always ‘slide it’ out from the left of the housing. Don’t even slightly lift the magazine while doing this as you run the risk of damaging the fairly delicate indexing spring.
With the magazine removed and Perspex cover plate facing you it’s a simple matter of popping a pellet into each of the ten empty chambers via the loading ‘hole’ as you manually rotate the inner aluminium rotary disc around. Then slip the magazine back into the action applying downward pressure with the forefinger to keep the base of the magazine against the bottom of the slot in the bolt housing. Only when flush against the back of the raised angled magazine stop on the right of the action block should you push the cocking bolt forward, turn down to its original position and the rifle is cocked loaded and ready to fire.
I’ve fully stipulated the operation for removal and refitting the magazine so you’ve no excuses for damaging the indexing spring. This precision set component is often omitted a mention, however, if the procedure outlined isn’t done correctly, the result is a rifle that can jam, not load correctly, or not index the magazine around at all.
The 15.5” semi-free floating high quality Lothar Walther tube is strengthened where it leaves the action block via a stylish fluted and tapered ‘plug’, it’s also kept in-line and protected at the front from accidental knocks by a narrow barrel band that itself is recessed to save on weight without compromising performance or strength.
The Angle of the Dangle
Now to the feature of most change, and one that I and others have commented on in the past, that being, the metal trigger blade which when un-cocked used to ‘dangle’ from side to side. At last, this has been rectified by fitting a spring that visibly comes out of the underside of the action above the rear of the blade to rest on the top section of the rearwards protruding bar integrally manufactured into the trigger blade itself. This is the section behind the manual ‘through blade’ safety button where it has the words ‘safe in’ etched in white when looking at the rifle from the left. Internally the trigger has been improved further as Air Arms have in their words ‘stripped it down, looked at the whole design again and further improved the trigger chassis.’
‘Trigger Tweakers’ will love this almost match grade mechanism as it’s a true 2-stage unit with adjustment for both first and second stages plus weight of pull. Take note it is easy to upset the balance between the two stages and make the trigger inoperable if incorrectly adjusted. So if in doubt get someone with experience to do this correctly.
Keeping it Quiet
All the ‘lightweights’ have stylish muzzle weights but as a hunter these never interest me as I want to know is ‘will accept a silencer?’. True to the original S400/S410 series of rifles you can remove the ‘weight’ to reveal the Air Arms standardised turned down barrel end spigot. This accepts the very effective Air Arms silencer that slips over the spigot and is secured in place by a recessed Allen head grub screw. The rear of the silencer tapers stylishly to meet the barrel. Cosmetically it’s always been a nice touch and it still performs as effectively as it does on original models, reducing muzzle report to a mere wisp. Due to the silencer sliding back over the relatively lengthy spigot it doesn’t add much to the original overall length of 35.85” only extending it to 40” from butt to muzzle.
With a sensible sized scope fitted and the silencer onboard the rifle handles superbly. For test I used an MTC Optics 4 – 16 X 44 Mamba Lite that suited the rifle perfectly. I’m a big fan of the SCB reticle of this optic and I soon set a 30-yd zero and got down to some serious shooting both on the range and in the field. Using a variety of quality .177 pellets the rifle proved it wasn’t pellet fussy but it’s hard to beat Air Arm’s own brand or Daystate Rangemasters and of course H&N FT. It’s capable of shooting one-hole groups from a rifle cradle and even using the seated unsupported field shooting position I was creating clover leaf groups right out to 40-yds.
To sum up, the Air Arms S410F Carbine Super-Lite is an incredible rifle, it looks as good as it shoots, but then again it should as it’s based on the award winning S400/S410 series of PCP air rifles. Some may feel it’s too light, but then again many shooters really like the very light Air Arms S200. Personally I’m won over, but for various reasons would still use my original S410K’s - mostly because I’ve spent so much time shooting them and spending money on custom work to suit my own preferences. The good news for most is this version doesn’t need anything doing to it, so it could well be yet another PCP air rifle sneaking into my armoury.
£584.60 in Hunter Green Stock (‘Classic’ version – full length same price)
Air Arms 01323 845853 www.air-arms.co.uk