Daystate Red Wolf Midnight
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- Last updated: 21/01/2023
Daystate is undoubtedly one of the success stories in the world of airguns, and its clever evolution over the last few decades has been nothing short of remarkable. A business model that centres around special edition production runs, has seen a succession of some of the most beautiful airguns ever produced. But another key factor which has helped them carve out such a niche in the market is their development of the electronic side.
Their MCT (Mapped Compensated Technology) system, originally developed for the groundbreaking Pulsar rifle, sees electronic management of the firing cycle. This involves a digital microprocessor and solenoid-powered air valve, monitoring and controlling velocity by compensating for the change in the onboard air supply. It’s truly ingenious and holds great appeal for a certain type of shooter that’s eager to embrace technology and revel in its application.
Several models have carried the electronics, but after the company’s ongoing product streamlining, we now have what looks like a balanced model line-up, keeping everyone happy, with mechanical PCPs alongside their electronically-powered stable mates.
Daystate’s best-selling Red Wolf utilizes the MCT system, and I’m pleased to say, leaving aside the Serie Rosso special edition version, that this model looks set to be around for some time yet. There’s a choice of furniture and on show here is the Red Wolf in Midnight Laminate, and it really is a mouthwatering creation.
A full-length carbon fibre barrel shroud sets off the action, but the features are many and varied. There’s side-lever operation, the new gate-style magazine, a single-shot tray, adjustable power levels, a 2-stage electronic trigger, an LCD display, a threaded muzzle, a safety switch and a carbon fibre buddy bottle.
OK, the first task is to adjust the cheekpiece and butt pad. Take the time to set these stock elements and you can fine-tune the shooting position to perfection, all at the twist of an Allen key. Charging the buddy bottle is via a Foster connection on the underside of the forend. Simply remove the neat magnetic cap and snap on the airline. Daystate supplies an elongated adaptor, so the task is no longer fiddly, which is proof they do listen to feedback! The fill pressure may vary slightly from gun to gun and Daystate’s usual policy is to specify the exact recommended pressure on a small disc on the receiver. My gun was 210bar. Begin the charging process and the pressure shows as it builds in the LCD display, recessed in the stock, which is quite a neat feature.
The Red Wolf models now come supplied with Daystate’s new gate-style magazine and this all-metal design has a quality feel. Just pull down the hinged side gate, rotate the drum and the first pellet can be dropped into the bottom centre. This locks the drum and all the chambers can then be filled. As usual, with the electronic models, the safety catch turns on the system and the trigger acts as a switch to program the power level (low or 12 ft/lbs), plus also adjusts the information on the LCD display - mag shot count etc.
OK, time to showcase the brand new add-on accessory from PRS (Precision Rifle Systems), which comes as a direct result of demand from Daystate Red Wolf owners. The Red Wolf Extended Rail is a beautifully engineered item, which will increase the gun’s versatility hugely, whilst not taking away from its flowing lines.
For those unfamiliar with PRS, it’s a custom engineering company based in Cheshire, headed up by a chap called Gavyn Jones. I know him from the HFT competition circuit and he’s not only a brilliant shot but a real enthusiast who understands the market. He started making custom parts for himself and friends back in 2016 but the sheer quality of his output is enough to sell itself and unsurprisingly, he soon found himself busy manufacturing a variety of add-ons. He now operates from a 1000ft² factory and turns out a variety of specialist aftermarket pieces, all designed to bolt straight on in place of the original factory components. Everything is machined from high-grade aluminium on CNC machines, using CAD/CAM software and a peruse around the company’s website will give you a better idea of what they are all about. The recent tie-up with Daystate, who officially endorse Gavyn’s classy products, just about says it all.
The new Red Wolf Extended Rail is designed to attach to the underside of the forend using the large extended bolt supplied, in place of the gun’s original stock bolt. It’s a simple process, just unscrew and remove the original bolt, gently locate the rail’s large circular protrusion into the stock’s bolt recess and then secure it using the new bolt. At this juncture, I need to add a warning, since I had an embarrassing episode with my test rifle. I undid the stock bolt and accidentally allowed the action to roll out of the stock, shearing off the two wires to the battery in the process! Grip and support everything properly whilst you make the switch over and you should be fine. As for my idiocy, I luckily have a Daystate main service centre nearby in the form of Range & Country in Sleaford, so a quick phone call followed by a visit meant that normal service could be resumed. Thanks, lads!
With it installed, you have a large Picatinny rail up front, as well as a UIT standard accessory rail, plus a wide ARCA rail further back. The design also includes a bump stop underneath to prevent any bottle contact. Also, production versions will get a sling stud underneath and even a replacement, elongated magnetic valve cover, to allow for the new depth underneath. Attention to detail or what!
My demo model had a temporary finish but production versions, already in the dealers incidentally, will be fully anodized for robustness.
Versatility is the name of the game here and with all those options for fittings, be they laser, bipod or whatever, the possibilities are endless.
Ok, so we’ve established that this model is drop-dead gorgeous, but we really ought to assess performance. I have a large frame and big hands but those graceful contours all seem to come together beautifully to do their job. The classic problem of the buddy bottle configuration is neatly bypassed too, with that subtle extended section of forend falling perfectly to my extended lead arm. As for the stylish, stippled pistol grip and thumb shelf, it just feels on the money, with fine trigger control and a relaxed hand the result.
A gentle nudge of the safety tab to switch on the system, and we’re ready. The side-lever requires little effort on these rifles to work the magazine, and cycling the action is silky smooth. If you’ve never fired these electronic actions before, then it really is a treat, with a unique feel. Unlike some PCPs, the action isn’t totally dead, but there’s an air of sophistication that can’t fail to impress. The Red Wolf is still pretty noisy, despite that full-length shroud, so I would screw on a silencer.
The shot count is huge with these models, so I opted to test the first 100 shots off the top of the charge, which still gives us a good indication of how the electronically regulated action goes about its job. Over the chrono, from a 200bar fill pressure, using Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets straight from the tin, I emptied eight magazines, which works out at 104 shots, given the .177 mag has a 13-shot capacity. The velocity readings showed a total spread of just 17fps, which is pretty damn good in the real world, and this tied in with average energy of 11.7 ft/lbs.
The barrel on my test gun showed a distinct favouring for Daysate’s Rangemaster Sovereign pellets and for the record, accuracy was marginally better with the single-shot tray installed. 1/4” c-t-c groups at 30 yards and 3/8” at 40 yards is fairly textbook, but then let’s face it, with the asking price of this incredible piece of craftsmanship, we shouldn’t expect anything less.
Two classy products then. The Red Wolf at this stage of the production run has well and truly proved itself and with high-profile successes in Extreme Bench Rest competitions in the USA (in FAC spec), it has become a firm favourite.