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Daystate MK4 iST

Daystate MK4 iST

The Daystate MK3 was the first electronically controlled sporting air rifle, bringing us Capacitor Discharge Technology (CDT), which uses a digital microprocessor to control a solenoid-powered, highly advanced air valve, thereby giving competition winning accuracy and consistency, as well as; patented trigger and firing mechanism;  magazine counter; low pressure warning; key switch ‘trigger lock’ located in the trigger guard that stops the gun from firing when locked; red light ‘gun live’ indicator and charging led; rotary safety catch/immobiliser that completely stops the rifle from firing when applied.

Then the new Mk4 version took it all a little bit further with a Mapped Compensated Technology programme (MCT) that enables the rifle’s computer to precisely calculate the amount of time and distance the valve needs to open to ensure identical air releases. The air cylinder is pressurized to the usual 230bar. As shots are taken, the pressure gradually goes down in the cylinder. A built-in pressure sensor detects this and compensates accordingly. It basically monitors the pressure against a ‘map’ with a pre determined power curve. The system then hits the hammer progressively harder to maintain a consistent velocity. In addition a Mapped Velocity Technology (MVT) programme gives a choice of two power variations so the shooter can match his chosen pellet precisely to the gun while ensuring that it stays within the legal limit.

Programming is a familiar feature on these hi-tech models, and the MK4 comes suitably equipped, with no less than 7 functions as follows:-

Stage1 - Reset magazine shot count
Stage2 - Illuminated safety catch LED off/on
Stage3 - Enable magazine counting
Stage4 - Program low pressure warning from 50bar, in 10bar increments (everytime trigger is pulled)
Stage5 - Power adjustment, allowing the user to fine tune power level
Stage6 - Enable single shot operation
Stage7 - Default settings

All this is clever stuff, and although it may sound unnecessarily complicated, in practise, you don’t even think about it. The circuitry just quietly goes about its business, and the tight pellet groups keep forming.

And now we have our test gun, the Mk4 iST, which takes it further still. The ‘i’ in the name signifies that the rifle is fitted with an optional LCD digital readout screen (on the left of the action), previously only seen on Daystate’s electronic flagship hunter – the Air Wolf MVT - and the top of the range Grand-Prix FT model. The fitting of the illuminated liquid crystal display screen has resulted in many of the features already incorporated into the rifle ‘coming to life’, as the user can for the first time actually see what is being programmed. Cylinder pressure, battery voltage, magazine status and shot counter can all be seen at a glance. This optional display screen is a factory fitted extra, and is only available on new build ‘i’ rifles, not as a retro fit to previous models.

Good Wood

The top quality Turkish walnut woodwork of the test gun is in a sports thumbhole (hence ST) format, designed by custom stock-maker Gary Cane, then machined and given a hand oiled finished by Minelli in Italy.

It has a high swept cheek-piece; scalloped underside; finger grooves along the forend and a pistol grip with a rosewood cap and laser cut-chequering. A generous thumb shelf offers an alternative grip, if you prefer that to the thumbhole – mind you,  an ‘S’ version is available with a standard sporter stock, and you’ll save a few bob on the price too.

A ventilated rubber butt pad keeps everything hugging the shoulder, whilst the sleek tapered forend catches the eye at the business end. OK, it’s only a piece of wood, but it does its job superbly.

Bull Barrel Shroud And The New Daystate Airstream Reflex silencer

The MK4 match quality barrel is fitted with a full length barrel shroud. Sleek looking, and with internal baffles sitting within the shroud, much of the rifle’s report is muted just using it straight out of the box. An optional Airstream Reflex sound moderator was kindly included with the test rifle, and with this in place the muzzle report was virtually silent. The Airstream Reflex has a high-grade 30mm diameter carbon fibre body and sits over the bull barrel, retained by an internal ½” UNF thread machined in the end of the alloy baffle stack. An O-ring seals the rear of the body. Although it’s 7” long, the ‘over-the-barrel’ reflex design means it only adds 3 ½” to the overall length of the rifle. The alloy/carbon fibre construction results in a weight of just 99 grams, so balance isn’t affected as much as a standard screw-on moderator might.

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All the metalwork on the MK4, is treated to a durable zinc based coating. On the air reservoir this coating is both inside and out, giving a welcome safeguard against corrosion. The other main components of the MK4 are reassuringly solid and oversized, such as the chunky breech block, scope rail, stainless steel bolt and rear mounted illuminated safety catch.

Both the standard issue interchangeable 10 shot rotary magazine and the single shot pellet tray are included in the package. These are fitted with neat but effective magnets that keep them in place, and in the case of the mag, actually pull it into place. The magazine has undergone minor tweaks too, and with its new low profile, scopes can be mounted lower than on previous models.

Filling the mag is a simple affair, just turning the chambers anti-clockwise in turn. I did find seating pellets gently with another pellet kept them snugly in place, encouraging smooth operation. Loading an electronic Daystate is a civilized business indeed, bearing in mind that the bolt has no spring pressure whatsoever to deal with. Cycling the magazine is hardly strenuous, and with the pellet tray in place, the effort is precisely zero.

Electronic Trigger Control

Triggers are always an important feature, and the MK4 is fitted with an electronic unit that’s both reasonably light and consistent. The nature of the system, however, means that the trigger is live unless the safety is applied. An isolator key is provided to ‘power on’ and ‘power down’ the rifle, with an automatic shutdown after 15 minutes if the rifle is left switched on but not used.

The rechargeable battery that supplies power to the system comes with a plug-in transformer, but since the battery is good for around 5000 rounds, charging becomes very few and far between.

All these electronics are understandably a concern in a product destined to spend most of its life outdoors. With Daystate only too mindful of the public’s pre-conceptions in this area, they have taken it upon themselves bring in an outside consultancy to advise about weather proofing components. To this end, the gun’s electronic innards have gone from receiving one emersion dipping at the factory, to having 3 layers of emersion dipping applied by an outside agency. Contact plugs are then injected with silicon grease in-house. I’ve seen these electronic actions left in a water tank throughout a 48 hour show, then taken out when required for a demo, wiped down with a towel and then fired with no problems at all.

Accurate and Consistent

Accuracy is first rate with Daystate rifles, and this Mk4 in .177 calibre was no exception. With sub 0.4” groups at 35yds, and still under half inch at 50yds, the MK4 certainly has what it takes. Chronograph testing showed 160 shots within a 20fps variation, before the figures tailed off, which is more than enough for the keenest enthusiast.

Hi-tech electronic rifles may not be to everyone’s taste, and the MK4 certainly carries a serious price tag, but even its detractors must now admit that this is a ‘state-of-the-art’ air rifle. In the Mk4, Daystate have cleverly advanced their cause, with a top class rifle armed with MCT technology that evolves the system and now the LCD screen to help the shooter stay in control and make easier use of all these electronic features at his disposal. 

VELOCITY:
Using Daystate Select pellets
Highest - 795fps
Lowest - 775fps
Average - 787fps

PRICE: £1022

OPTIONS:
MK4-iS sporter stock model (£914)
FAC up to 30ftlbs - add £50 to above prices
Left hand versions - add £30

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gun
features

  • Model: Daystate MK4 iST
  • Type: PCP with fully electronic action and LCD display
  • Capacity: Ten shot magazine or single shot loading tray
  • Calibre: .177 on test (.22 available; .20 to special order)
  • Weight: 7.5lbs
  • Overall Length: 38inches
  • Barrel Length: 15.75inches
  • Stock: Walnut thumbhole sporter
  • Energy: 11.6ftlbs average
  • Shot Count: 160 shots on test within 20fps (expect 190 in .22calibre)
  • Fill Pressure: 230bar
  • Trigger: Electronic semi-match

8 Comments

  • Been shooting air rifles since 1976 and have owned dozens of makes and models. My current tools are Air Arms FTP900 for FT & HW100 for hunting. I've had a Daystate MK4 IS for around 18 months and been totally impressed with it. The electronics are faultless, the accuracy is as good if not better than the HW100 and it's light enough to lug around all day on a hunt. I particularly like the audible warning for an empty mag and near silent cycle with the HW100 silencer. My only whinge is that the standard single shot tray is not really up to it especially with large fingers but a rowan pop out single mag solved this.

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    Russ
    14 Mar 2016 at 08:36 PM
  • daystate poor service
    1st daystate was mk 4 is gun arrived with marked barrel gun was returned and took six months for them to sort out they then sent me a new gun
    2nd daystate was a huntsman on arrival the stock was dented and scratched took weeks to sort out
    then I send the mk4 back to daystate as a shotgun had a better group and could not trust the gun for hunting due to poor group. daystate said nothing wrong and charged me best part of 90 pound. the warranty expired so I sent the gun for a service @ cost of £243 the gun is sent back to me with a bolt that will not pull back and is stuck after emailing then I get message saying the gun was fully check etc before sending it back to me. if it was checked how can I receive a gun that don't work????? they then tell me to take it back to the gun shop for them to have a look and see what they find
    gun shop agree with me and send gun back. the gun has had a new bolt fitted and I have been charged for this (and I will not be paying this fee)
    if the quality control they say they have was any good this would not of happened so don't be fooled into buying a daystate the customer service is rubbish I will never buy or use daystate again they are just a rip off and take for ever to sort thing out should of stuck to airarms as they never let me down or the guns
    happy shooting

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    shaun
    19 Jan 2016 at 07:25 PM
  • Well I have taken the plunge and have bought a 6 month Mak 4 the wood work is amazing and in perfect condition I agave it a realy good going over before buying it I was even allowed to zero the already zeroed scope.very nice or so I thiught.
    I arrived home around 1830 hrs to test out my new toy now bare I mind that my brand new air Rangers/regal and wolverine are all leaking at the moment all from the little hole on the gauge.One is I the factory at the momen once it's back to more will follow a dammed shame thank god it have back ups mainly BSA R 10 and air arms along with my Armex reaper which is the dogs dangley bits only one issue with it and that when filling the adapter blows off.

    Now the new slightly second hand one it leaks at the fill point 20 minuets of owning it and for bugger all.I took it back and was promised tat it would. E ready for my range day on Saturdayill I keep hearing sorry we have a few teething problems . So what get a grip Daystate you make loads of money
    from. Us loyal shooters I would love to be able to turn up at the factory.
    I have offered the chance of setting up with an air rifle shooting are military bar one who sadly who is a civil servant they yep it's me. The will be using my baby's at first once us to to them they will get there own.I have to admit that yes they have had some problems and they starting to realise that poor customer service lead to a bad taist in the mouth .
    I was asked by my mate the other day which one he should get as a first weapon my answer was the R10, they have realy got on top of there problems.It would be a good idea for them to have to have a drop in service weapon goes in at say 0730 hrs worked on a a text/call to pick it up.
    Having to find RFDs that are willing to help out Sending them back is a right pain and some lads the bang stick back ASAP.

    Now do I stop moaning the Mark 4 is a fine bit of kit and I love it.
    I am so confidant in it I will be using my best mates mark four in club shoot on Saterday,the motto for the week will be go daystate an,d go team.




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    Second hand mark 4
    14 Jan 2015 at 10:05 PM
  • This review us about the electric based Daystate not about the ones based on mechanic, so no Huntsman or Air Ranger here, its not ny point in writing about the problems with those as they are almost totaly different built.

    I dont get hov a mk4 electric could shoot with the safety on, the saftey on these are like an on-off switch, with no power on how could it shoot?

    In on mode you could turn of the warningsystems like the irritating noise forcing you to switch it off and the red diode showing red when switched on.

    In single shot mode it fires semiautomatic if you do this, but notif you turn it off.

    I think you caused that problem yourself maybe Daystate, its easy to get back to factory reset again in the program.

    The loose stock problem s something i got too, if i tighten the tockscrew too har it wil move from side to sude in the front part if the stock, i dont get in Minelli dont have tollerances that fits, i have to put two tapestrios on the tank an not tighten the screw that hard.

    Still that shouldnt happen on a gun like this.

    I dint use the mag but have seen how many diffrent versions they had just over the last 5 years or so, not that brilliant to change it over and over.

    Otherwise i like my mk4, but its still a gambke to trust electric guns as i could not fix a problem in those parts of the gun, themechanical based ones is just ti take apart.

    Maybe i wil get a problem tomorrow i dont know, but until something happens i have used lots and lots of worse built guns.

    Default profile image
    Silwer
    22 Mar 2013 at 12:23 AM
  • mark robinson
    i havejust had more or less the same problems with my brand new daystate air ranger
    promises of contact from daystate never happen terrible attitude from members of their staff gun when i ring them
    it has been sent back twice told second time (with bolt jammed with mag in) that there was nothing wrong with it and no work was carried out even though it came back the bolt was never this smooth the first time it was shot put a post on daystate owners web site and when i went back to B.A.R to pick up my rifle i had to sign a lettter telling me never to contact daystate (daystate have asked for this) or i would not get my rifle which is legally mineand i will be banned from B.A.R
    thats daystates customer service for you!!!!!!!!!
    we have your money now we dont care
    barrel loose
    shroud loose
    safty catch falling out
    and low powerd rifle seem to be a very commern fault with daystate
    you should never come across these problems when buying a new rifle

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    jez
    16 Dec 2012 at 05:05 PM
  • I have been the proud owner of a MK4 for a few years now and can honestly say the rifle is a joy to have and use.The MK4 has proved itself to be very reliable, accurate and very user friendly. All features on the MK4 are well thought out and well engineered ,build quality is up with the best and I can find no fault in form or function.
    I use the rifle for hunting,HFT and printing target cards all of which the rifle excels. The MK4 is a sporting rifle by desighn, but is a popular choise by FT and HFT shooters and can print target cards as well as dedicated target rifles.

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    Dave will
    21 Mar 2011 at 12:04 AM
  • Purchased mine from a reputable dealer who provide a lifetime guarantee against any faults. They simply replace the rifle if there are any issues, I would suggest that for the extra cash this is well worth it. Have had no problems with my rifle apart from the magazine takes a bit of getting used to when loading. Have only had mine a few weeks and am astounded by the consistent accuracy. Am proud to own such a beautiful rifle and think the technology is great in keeping with modern times. Have had no problems with the safety issues but the electronic trigger takes a little getting used to as it's very sensative, but due care and diligence will eradicate this. Will say the gun is on the heavy side, mine has bipod, scope and silencer, so get yourself a comfortable shoulder strap. Good shooting : )

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    fred ralph
    11 Oct 2010 at 12:50 AM
  • I sadly can only place safety concerns, quality control issues along with negative feedback about this gun and Daystates attitude to its customers.

    I purchased the gun from a very reputable gun shop in Newmarket, when it arrived the gun was loose in the stock it had to go back. It returned and when I got it home the list of problems went from - faulty magazine - magazine was also showing signs of corrosion on the metal - had been filed to fit in the breech - breech had misaligned screw it was raised by at least 2mm normal mag would not fit breech - shroud loose - loading bolt proud of stock by 5mm - gun fired on safety (very dangerous) - gun went back - Daystate forgot about me phoned 5 times - after 3 weeks promised issues had been sorted - daystate forgot about me (again) - promised it was sorted - 3rd gun came out - loose shroud - faulty magazine - loose in stock.

    Many promises made by 2 managing directors - 4th gun supposed to have been sorted - spoke to central point of contact they knew nothing about it - follow up phone call and email - promised call back - forgot about me again. Now refunded - trading standards now involved.

    Safety concerns - Tony Belas stated to me that the safety was either knocked when replaced back in its stock by the technician who fixed the first gun or during transit it got bounced around causing the safety to become faulty. Please be very aware not to trust the safety if you do then please be very aware of the consequences.

    Default profile image
    mark robinson
    05 Oct 2010 at 07:20 PM


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