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Daystate Huntsman Classic

Daystate Huntsman Classic

Say Huntsman to any Daystate aficionados of a certain age and they’ll remember a rifle they once cherished, possibly still own or were sorry to see dropped from the roster in favour of the more modern styled multi-shots and the company’s hi-tech electronic superguns.

Well now it’s back and bears the rather grandiose title of ‘Huntsman Classic’, and I feel in many ways the name suits it, as the classic lines do show through, but it’s now running a 10-shot magazine with optional single-shot pellet tray, so from the outset it had me wondering how will this fair in the cut-throat world of mid price PCPs.

Well Rounded

Before we come to the action, which outwardly is pure ‘X2’, the rifle stock is much more rounded and elongated, however, even in places it does remind me somewhat of the X2W Sports.

Not wanting to ‘harp on’ too much about other previous Daystate stock designs, the radical and pronounced lines have disappeared to make way for a much more sleeker look on the Huntsman Classic. However, it’s at the butt section in particular that the styling goes much more retro with an ‘old school’ right hand roll over cheekpiece, shaped and smoothed to give a fuller appearance. The stock finishes at the shoulder with a ventilated black rubber butt pad which I found unusual in that it has a flat design rather than being curved to sit in the shoulder.

As we progress forward, approximately two-thirds of the way up the stock wood, above the black metal trigger guard, the Company has ‘stamped’ its name into the woodwork with the now familiar logo. The rifle also bears the name etched in white lettering on the action block just forward and above the previous naming – this is evident on both sides of the rifle.
At this section the stock is quite deep and slab sided with a flat underside with a button size air gauge. It’s just forward of this point on the forend that the rifle tapers into a slim rounded profile, finishing with a Schnabel Tip.

There’s neat black oil finished chequering at the grip and forend, with another nice touch being the sling swivel studs that are fitted as standard.

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Action & Performance

The Huntsman Classic, like most other mechanical Daystates, is charged via a bayonet connection at the front of the air reservoir. The inlet valve is protected by a chunky push fit dust cap. The new Harper Mk4 internal valving helps the rifle to be more air efficient and consistent with a 220bar fill giving approximately 55 shots in the .177 calibre rifle on test and 70 in .22 – not bad for such a compact air reservoir.

The Huntsman Classic’s action has a rear mounted cocking bolt arrangement running the 10-shot magazine or the alternative single-shot magnetic loading tray. Granted the 10-shot removable magazine has been upgraded and slips much easier into the breech, with bushes to guide it into position for use and a magnet to hold it securely in place. What is also good to see is that Daystate are using a black cocking bolt handle and a finger friendly chunky teardrop design - easy to operate and no shine to alert quarry.

The rifle without optional silencer fitted is just 38-inches long yet seems to look longer than it actually is, due to the relatively short action and air reservoir when compared to the free floating 15.75” barrel. However, though the integral silencer in the matte black barrel does reduce report to an acceptable level, fit an Airstream III Carbon Fibre Silencer (as I did) and the rifle pushes the tape up to 46.25”, but is deathly quiet in use. However, due to the lightness of the rifle, which is hardly over 6.5lbs scoped ‘n’ silenced, balance and handling don’t suffer in the slightest.

The .177 calibre rifle came for test with a Bushnell 3 – 9 X 40 on board. Using Daystate Select pellets one-hole groups quickly became the norm at a set zero of 30 and still clustered within ¼” at 40-yd. This high level of accuracy is due to the upgraded internals, quality barrel and certainly the superb 2-stage adjustable trigger unit. The set back polished stainless steel blade tripped the sears with a match like quality. Unfortunately I discovered that when using the rotary safety, there was no thumb channel to easily access it. The stock is rounded at the neck, with a slight flat at the base of the trigger safety so though you only have to move your shooting hand forward slightly, your trigger finger is moved away from the blade of the trigger to access and operate the safety.

Conclusions

Was it worth resurrecting the Huntsman?  Part of me is sceptical as to the reasoning behind the launch, other than to consolidate the many model options in the Daystate range. However, there’s no denying that the Daystate Huntsman Classic is a highly accurate, light and manageable air rifle that’ll be a good tool to have for hunting or HFT.

PRICE: £670
Optional Single-Shot Loading Tray: £11
Optional Airstream III Carbon Fibre Silencer: £51

  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

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  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

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  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

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  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Daystate Huntsman Classic - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Model: Daystate Huntsman Classic
  • Type: Pre charged pneumatic (PCP) single and multi-shot
  • Stock: Walnut sporter stock
  • Overall length: 38”
  • Barrel length: 15.75”
  • Weight: 6.5lbs
  • Calibre: .177 on test (.22 available)

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