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Air Rifle Round-up 2017

  • Daystate tsar

    Daystate tsar

    Price: £1949 Contact: Daystate, 01785 859122 www.daystate.com
    Daystate has a proud tradition in outdoor airgun competition, yet were absent from the FT scene for a few years, as they concentrated on other sectors of the market. Hard to believe that their Grand Prix model dates back to 2007, so another FT model really was long overdue. The Tsar, a joint project with Russian brand, Ataman, represents a welcome comeback to competition for Daystate, and this model is suitably sophisticated, aimed at connoisseurs, eager to fight for silverware. The stock is formed from distinctive slim-line laminate, with an adjustable anatomical pistol grip and cheek-piece, along with a striking multi adjustable butt hook assembly. Look to the forend, and there’s a fully adjustable stock raiser too. A stainless steel, Lothar Walther barrel is another impressive feature, and this is capped off by a sleek new design muzzle brake. Ataman valving and regulator are fitted, so all in all, a top-flight model, designed specifically for outdoor tournament shooting.

  • Air arms galahad

    Air arms galahad

    Price: £1059-£1241 Contact: www.air-arms.co.uk
    Consider just how popular Bullpup designs have become over the last couple of years, and it really was only a matter of time before top British manufacturer, Air Arms took the plunge. But project ‘Galahad’ wasn’t to be rushed; and the usual measured development process and product release has ensued. Apparently on the drawing board for a few years, the Galahad has now hit the shops, and it’s well thought through. Air Arms prefer the term ‘sportpup’, but get past that and in just oozes class! A quality 2-stage trigger, 3-way adjustable butt pad, and the company’s renowned magazine system, are just three reasons why it’s a head turner. That oversized, easy to work cocking lever is not only distinctive, but can also easily be switched for left handers! Two magazines are included, three types of stock are available (beech, black soft touch, or walnut), Weaver, Picatinny or conventional rails can be ordered, as well as the action -supplied regulated or unregulated. When a company like Air Arms get involved, you know their Bullpup vision has well and truly arrived, and the Galahad deserves to do well!

  • Zbroia hortitsia 450-22O

    Zbroia hortitsia 450-22O

    Price: £589 Contact: Sure Shot Airguns, 01284 850941 www.sureshot-airguns.co.uk
    Zbroia hail from the Ukraine, and the Hortitsia 450-220 model shown here, is a multi-shot, bolt action PCP, with a distinctive profile. Those 450-220 figures relate to the barrel in millimetres, and cylinder capacity in ml respectively. This is the full-length version, but a shorter model is also available in a 330-180 specification; so, lovers of carbines aren’t left out. Take a close look at the specification, and it soon becomes clear that there are plenty of features built in, 2 x 10 or 12-shot rotary magazines (dependent upon calibre) are supplied, there’s a fully shrouded barrel, Picatinny scope rail, 2-stage adjustable trigger, manometer, regulated action, and probe charging. Unusual is the rear-mounted locking; just push home the bolt, and it automatically locks and the shot is ready. The actions are available in either black finish or red, and the sporter stocks are available in standard wood, black or white, so there’s plenty of options. It is of course, the sporter that initially grabs the eye, and with a super sleek forend and nicely shaped, full, drop down pistol grip, there’s plenty of design flair to get excited about.

  • BSA R10 SE CCS

    BSA R10 SE CCS

    Price: £799 Contact: www.bsaguns.co.uk
    BSA’s popular R10 model is a multi-shot, bolt action pneumatic, utilising their latest 10-shot magazine, and has now established itself as a quality performer. Power comes from a 200cc, on-board buddy bottle, and with a super stylish walnut sporter stock, complete with adjustable butt pad, and 2-stage, semi match trigger, the standard spec has much to get excited about. The new version is a clever development and here, the ‘CCS’ in the name denotes ‘Customer Configurable’, allowing as it does for the owner to easily alter the look and feel. Set it up with a full-length shroud and silencer, or just the silencer. All components are an easy screw fit, and the full shroud, silencer and blanking rings are all supplied. Noise suppression and accuracy are pretty well identical, in either guise, so it’s largely a cosmetic exercise at the end of the day, with two distinctly different profiles possible. But for those of us who find themselves constantly wanting a change, moving from model to model for no good reason, this R10 SE CCS could just be the answer; effectively two guns in one!

  • Weihrauch HW44 (Pistol)

    Weihrauch HW44 (Pistol)

    Price:£620 Contact: Hull Cartridge Company, 01482 342571 www.hullcartridge.co.uk
    I’ve included a pistol in this line-up simply because it’s such a significant gun for Weihrauch. What makes the HW44 so intriguing is that it’s a pre-charged pneumatic pistol (their first), utilising the new ballistic polymer breech block arrangement from their latest HW110 rifle. So, if you thought the action looks vaguely familiar, that’ll be why. The ‘110 has made quite an impact since its introduction, and with Weihrauch announcing that the synthetic block represented the future, a scaled down version in the form of the ‘44, is a clever move. There’s a hat full of features too; recoilless/regulated action, a 2-stage semi match trigger, Weihrauch barrel, anatomical grips, side-lever cocking action, quick fill push-probe charging system, Picatinny style scope rails, accessory rails, manual safety catch, open sights, integral pressure gauge, 2x10-shot rotary magazines, silencer, scope, and left-hand action options. With the full palm swell and defined finger grooves, along with a palm shelf, the grips must be termed anatomical, yet the clever bit is that they remain technically ambidextrous. Quite a feat of design, and when you grip the uncannily comfortable HW44, you’ll see what all the fuss is about. Expect 100-120 shots from this slick performer.

  • Air arms S510 TC

    Air arms S510 TC

    Price:£993 Contact: Air Arms www.air-arms.co.uk
    When I first clapped eyes on the TC as a new concept from Air Arms a few years back at a country show I couldn’t help but marvel! Not only at the ingenuity of design, but also the quality of engineering. As our foremost producer of quality airguns these days, Air Arms carries the torch for British PCP design and engineering, and rifles such as the side lever cocking S510 TC are proof enough of their flare and commitment to the cause. ‘TC’ denotes ‘Twin Cylinder’, and the idea of connecting two main compression cylinders alongside each other, is an inspired one. Doubling the air capacity of the popular S510 shrouded barrel model, not only dramatically increases shot count, but it also handles surprisingly well. Akin to a side-by-side shotgun, clever evolution of the Minelli woodwork, also means that handling is enhanced, rather than compromised. Another unorthodox design for sure, but whilst opinion is divided, I can’t rate them highly enough. Blisteringly accurate, on test, with handling to match.

  • Hatsan gladius

    Hatsan gladius

    Price: £599 Contact: www.edgarbrothers.com
    Another Bullpup pneumatic airgun to hit the market of late, comes from the popular Turkish manufacturer, Hatsan, and their Gladius is a bold design indeed. Aimed fairly and squarely at fans of military-style hardware, this heavyweight model (it’s over 10lbs) is crammed with features, the most eye catching of which must be that one-piece synthetic stock moulding. A full drop-down pistol grip comes configured as a thumb-hole, whilst an adjustable butt pad, ‘overbreech’ cheek panel, and extended forend, complete with Picatinny rails, all adds to the functional remit. Additional neat design comes with the special provision to store no fewer than three magazines in the rear of the stock, whilst a lower forend rail allows for the use of add-on accessories such as grips, lasers or even a bipod. The usual extra high sight rail (intermount) synonymous with Bullpups, is included, but of course what lies at the heart of this model, is that fast cycling side lever action- and here the Gladius scores highly for pure enjoyment. In short, if the looks appeal, then this model is a good value option.

  • Rapid air weapons TM1000

    Rapid air weapons TM1000

    Price: From £1679 Contact: Michael Tawn Airguns, 01945 420770 www.tawnadoairguns.com
    Rapid are apparently a British company that produce their rifles in the USA, and their trademark over-engineered, chunky components are all part of the appeal. Their TM1000 competition rifle has earned quite a reputation, with several top-flight competitions wins at national level. What I like is the relative simplicity of the layout, with an ultra-robust breech block, supporting a free-floating barrel. Absolute direct feed to the barrel is also a feature of the design, whilst the delightfully slick side lever is a match for anything available, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. The laminate stocks, unusually made in-house at the Rapid factory, are particularly impressive, and can be supplied with either a butt hook or rubber alternative. A full-blown specification with laminate woodwork has proved highly popular, and looks fantastic, yet walnut stocked versions come in cheaper, trimming the RRP significantly. As an import from the States, final retail prices are dependent upon the exchange rates and duties applicable at the time.

  • Walther rotex RM8 varmint

    Walther rotex RM8 varmint

    Price: £400 Contact: Armex, 0121 6434900 www.armex.co.uk
    Walther’s Rotex RM8 was a looker from the start, but the trend for black tactical airguns inevitably lured the company’s design team, and the new Varmint version shown here, is the result. Being supremely practical, the use of synthetics as an alternative gun stock medium, is difficult to dispute; and Walther’s execution is excellent. Shoulder this Varmint version, and the first thing that notices is the weight. A combination of solid build and the density of the new stock, means this model is no lightweight. There is however an overall feeling of quality, justifying the payload of just over 8.5lbs. The new thumb-hole configuration feels distinctly different from the original spec, yet all the familiar features are here- including a free-floating barrel, threaded/ported muzzle brake, 8-shot rotary magazine, manual safety catch, 2-stage adjustable trigger, 200cc buddy bottle, manometer, Picatinny-style accessory rail, scope rail, and bolt-action cycling. UK importers, Armex, confirm that Walther now fit a regulator to this model too, so all in all, a tidy specifications sheet!

  • FX Impact

    FX Impact

    Price: £1688-£1732 Contact Anglo Spanish Imports, 01728 688555 www.a-s-i.co.uk
    The Impact model must be one of the boldest offerings yet from FX. For a start, the clever design means that despite being technically a full bullpup PCP, the Impact has a more streamlined appearance than many rival systems. It has a mouth-watering specification too. A specially constructed 500cc buddy bottle, made from a mix of carbon fibre and aluminium, weighs less than a conventional cylinder, and allows for a huge shot count of around 600! There’s a dedicated carry case, cassette-style magazine, 2-stage trigger, two on-board pressure gauges, adjustable silencer, Picatinny rails, side-lever cocking action, adjustable butt pad, smooth twist barrel, adjustable power, regulated action. There’s also adjustable regulator pressure on FAC versions, safety catch, a choice of action finish in silver or black, and finally, the option to switch barrels, pellet probes and calibres. OK; this model is not cheap, but there’s plenty to play with, from this highly innovative manufacturer.