The edi­tor stud­ies the fea­tures, fit­tings and po­ten­tial of a brace of nextgen­er­a­tion Daystate rifles

Airgun World - - Contents -


If you’ve en­dured my ‘The Edi­tor Says’ page this month, you’ll know that this re­view is obliged to be a bit of a de­par­ture from the norm. Per­haps I jinxed my­self last month when I pref­aced my test on the Gun­power Stealth with a de­sire to do things in an en­tirely dif­fer­ent way. ‘My plan is to ob­tain my re­sults first, then in­ves­ti­gate what may have brought them about’, I stated, with un­lim­ited zeal and all sorts of pos­i­tive in­ten­tions.

Well, that worked out a treat, didn’t it? No, it re­ally didn’t. A lit­er­ally stag­ger­ing de­gree of

pain from a mys­te­ri­ously knack­ered knee changed ev­ery plan I had, in­clud­ing the one where I flew out to Las Ve­gas and had a proper fact-finding fon­dle of two new Daystates, the Lim­ited Edi­tion of the Red Wolf, and the Wolver­ine R, I knew would be wait­ing for me at the S.H.O.T. Show.

I’d al­ready dis­cussed these rifles at some length with Daystate’s Ter­ence Lo­gan and I was itch­ing to get my hands on them. As it turned out, I’ll be scratch­ing that itch by the time you read this, but for the pur­poses of this test, it’s go­ing to be a mat­ter of my sup­ply­ing you with as much de­tail as pos­si­ble, then get­ting the shoot­ing done next month. That’s more than enough of the pre­am­ble; let’s see what these new rifles have to of­fer.


First up, here’s the lim­ited edi­tion of the side-lever-ac­ti­vated, elec­tronic Red Wolf, which will even­tu­ally be of­fered in its pro­duc­tion form, with the op­tion of a wal­nut or lam­i­nate stock, and mi­nus the breech en­grav­ing of the Serie Rosso – Red Se­ries – ex­am­ple you see here. In con­junc­tion with Ital­ian stock­mak­ers, Minelli, Daystate will of­fer just 200 of these stun­ning rifles, and even with a price tag of £2499, they’re an ab­so­lute cert to sell out and leave scores of cus­tomers frus­trated that they couldn’t get their hands on one. Those who col­lect lim­ited edi­tion Daystates are se­ri­ous about what they do, and they can be found all over the world. In fact, one overseas dealer re­cently con­tacted Daystate and de­clared, ‘I’d like to know how many of the Serie Rosso I can buy, and if it’s pos­si­ble, I’ll take them all!’ Even at trade prices that’s some re­mark­able fi­nan­cial con­vic­tion right there.


My own knowl­edge of Daystate lim­ited edi­tion rifles has shown them to be a valu­able means of re­search and de­vel­op­ment into what can be ap­plied to the pro­duc­tion ver­sions, and the Red Wolf Serie Rosso is a per­fect ex­am­ple of this. Be­neath the ex­otic ex­te­rior there beats a com­pletely re-writ­ten elec­tronic heart, which will power the pro­duc­tion Red Wolf to­ward a truly im­pres­sive level of per­for­mance.

Us­ing the ‘beta MCT’, oth­er­wise known as ‘Mapped Com­pen­sated Tech­nol­ogy’ elec­tron­ics pack­age, which dig­i­tally con­trols the ri­fle’s out­put, the sub-12 ft.lbs., .22 cal­i­bre pro­duc­tion ver­sions of this ri­fle will re­turn 500, pre­cisely reg­u­lated shots from each fill of its Hi-Lite, car­bon-fi­bre bot­tle. For those who pre­fer the stan­dard bot­tle, this will be an op­tion on pro­duc­tion guns.


The Red Wolf, in Serie Rosso and pro­duc­tion guise, will of­fer three lev­els of en­ergy out­put over three cal­i­bre op­tions in sub-12, these be­ing the stan­dard .177, .22 and .25, plus another two in the ri­fle’s high-power ver­sion, with .22, .25 do­ing the busi­ness, plus a .303 op­tion for the pro­duc­tion Wolf, at lev­els up to 70 ft.lbs. These Hi-Power ex­am­ples will be fit­ted with 23-inch, match grade, Lothar Walther bar­rels, rather than the 17-inch bar­rels of the off-ticket mod­els.

The rifles’ MCT elec­tron­ics are ‘tog­gled’ via the trig­ger, and in ad­di­tion to the three lev­els of muz­zle en­ergy, the user can be alerted to the Red Wolf’s avail­able shot count, how many mag­a­zines it’s shot its way through, and its air reser­voir pres­sure.

Those MCT elec­tron­ics are pow­ered by a recharge­able bat­tery sys­tem that is in the fi­nal stages of test­ing as I write, and Daystate as­sure me that it will be based on ‘a read­ily avail­able, recharge­able bat­tery’. My pre­vi­ous tests of Daystate’s elec­tronic sys­tems have shown them able to pro­vide thou­sands of shots be­fore a re-charge was re­quired, and I can’t see the com­pany of­fer­ing a re­duc­tion in per­for­mance in this area.


Minelli has re­sponded quite mag­nif­i­cently to Daystate’s in-house stock de­sign, and ev­ery­one who re­ported to me on the Serie Rosso has re­marked on the sheer qual­ity of the ri­fle’s am­bidex­trous, lam­i­nated, ad­justable stock. Even from the pho­tos it’s a stun­ning piece of wood­work, and the com­bi­na­tion of ad­justable cheek piece and Daystate’s ‘3-D’ butt pad is go­ing to work ex­tremely well. Add scoops for the shooter’s thumb, plus fin­ger-friendly con­tour­ing on the grip, se­cured by ex­pertly ex­ca­vated stip­pling, and the con­trol as­sis­tance is all there, as it will be on the pro­duc­tion guns. Per­son­ally, I’d have liked to see more made of the grip cap, so that the trig­ger hand can be

rested dur­ing shoot­ing, but I’ll re­serve fi­nal judge­ment un­til the ri­fle is in my hands.

The pro­duc­tion Red Wolf will be of­fered in ei­ther wal­nut at £1799, with the stan­dard air reser­voir, or £1949 with a grey lam­i­nate stock and a car­bon­fi­bre Hi-Lite bot­tle. Check out the spec­i­fi­ca­tions panel for some im­pres­sive num­bers.


First, there’s that slick new sidelever to con­sider, and very nice it is, too. It can be swapped to suit left-han­ders, and the tried-and-tested Daystate 10-shot mag­a­zine can also be loaded from ei­ther side, pend­ing the repo­si­tion­ing of its stop-pin. We’re talk­ing fully am­bidex­trous, here, with­out ap­par­ent com­pro­mise, and that’s a fine fea­ture in it­self.

Daystate has gone with the ‘post and shoe’ trig­ger sys­tem, again fully ad­justable, only this time it’s backed by a me­chan­i­cal, re­set­table safety, rather than the elec­tronic de­vice we’ve come to know. Use it when you need to, ig­nore it when you don’t. That works for me.

The Serie Rosso has a car­bon-fi­bre bar­rel shroud to com­ple­ment its air reser­voir, and the pro­duc­tion Wolves will get the same, al­though only the lim­ited edi­tion ri­fle is pre­sented in a padded hard case to pro­tect that su­perb red-tinted stock and the en­grav­ing on the breech block. Pro­duc­tion rifles will have matte-black breech blocks, which should look the part above a black lam­i­nate or wal­nut stock.

All in all, the Red Wolf, in both pre­sen­ta­tions, is a hand­some beast, and so it should be for the price it com­mands. It’s al­ready ful­filled ex­pec­ta­tions in its lim­ited edi­tion mode, and only time, and test­ing, will show what the pro­duc­tion ver­sion brings to the premier league airgun mar­ket­place. In­ter­est­ing times ahead for this ri­fle, then, and I sus­pect more of the same for the next Daystate on pa­rade, the Wolver­ine R. Here we go, then.


The first state­ment I was given from Daystate was that their new brand-new Wolver­ine R is not, re­peat not, a re­place­ment for the com­pany’s mega-pop­u­lar Wolver­ine II model. Let’s get that one nailed right from the start.

With that point es­tab­lished, the next one up for con­sid­er­a­tion con­cerns the ‘R’ in the new Wolver­ine’s ti­tle. In this case ‘R’ is for ‘Reg­u­la­tor’, de­vel­oped and sup­plied by the Dutch spe­cial­ists at Huma, with whom Daystate has worked for sev­eral years. The in­tro­duc­tion of that reg­u­la­tor has had a dra­matic ef­fect on the per­for­mance of the Wolver­ine, as any­one who is steeped in reg’ tech­nol­ogy would ex­pect. For in­stance, Daystate claim the reg­u­lated, Hi-Power Wolver­ine has been given a 100% up­lift in terms of shot-pro­duc­tion, with a cor­re­spond­ingly sig­nif­i­cant in­crease for its sub-12 ft.lbs. mod­els.


Then there’s the shot-to-shot con­sis­tency, of course, which for many is mainly what a reg­u­la­tor brings to an airgun. For those out­side the reg­u­la­tor loop, these de­vices are in­stalled be­tween the ri­fle’s air reser­voir and its ham­mer sys­tem, and the reg’ en­sures that a pre­cisely mea­sured amount of com­pressed air is used for each shot. Con­sis­tent pres­sure trans­lates to more con­sis­tent pel­let ve­loc­i­ties, which means less vari­a­tion of im­pact points on the tar­get. Ba­si­cally, con­sis­tent out­put equals con­sis­tent ac­cu­racy.

There’s another ma­jor ad­van­tage to shoot­ing an ef­fi­ciently reg­u­lated ri­fle, though, al­though I be­lieve it’s more rel­e­vant to com­pe­ti­tion shoot­ers. The fact is, when you know that ev­ery pel­let you send down­range leaves the muz­zle at prac­ti­cally the same speed, your con­fi­dence is gen­uinely boosted and it eases your brain.

This is a real thing and it’s some­thing I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced per­son­ally. Reg­u­la­tors re­move con­cerns about ‘power curves’ and changes in point of im­pact, how­ever minis­cule these may be in the real world ... or at least that’s the plan. Reg’s can play up, and that’s why some shoot­ers don’t like them, but when they’re do­ing what they’re de­signed to do, they’re fine things to have on your side.


The Wolver­ine R is a ‘me­chan­i­cal’ ri­fle, in that its ac­tion has no elec­tron­ics in­stalled. In­stead, Daystate use the ge­nius of a hu­man brain which be­longs to Steve Harper. Steve has de­vel­oped many clever things in his in­ven­tive life and he’s an ab­so­lutely fas­ci­nat­ing per­son. Any­one with the slight­est in­ter­est in … well, any­thing, re­ally, would en­joy a con­ver­sa­tion with Steve, and I’ve been priv­i­leged to be such a per­son more than my fair share of times. The item of Harper ge­nius in this case is his patented ‘Sling­shot Ham­mer Sys­tem’, which max­imises ef­fi­ciency by min­imis­ing waste, when ap­plied to the fir­ing valve of a pre-charged pneu­matic airgun. The Sling­shot Ham­mer’s ef­fi­ciency comes from dras­ti­cally re­duc­ing the en­dur­ing PCP prob­lem of ‘valve bounce’, which is caused by the main valve of the airgun re­bound­ing, and slightly open­ing, after the ini­tial strike from the in­ter­nal ham­mer. This wastes air, and any­thing that pre­vents bounce is rightly con­sid­ered a good thing to have.

The Harper Sling­shot, teamed with the Huma reg­u­la­tor, pro­vides a fe­ro­ciously ef­fec­tive dou­ble-team against in­ef­fi­ciency, and that’s re­flected in the claimed sin­gle-fig­ure pel­let f.p.s. vari­a­tion. Again, I’m in­cred­i­bly keen to see what this ri­fle can do on a test range, and that op­por­tu­nity is be­ing sorted as I write.


As with the pro­duc­tion Red Wolf, po­ten­tial Wolver­ine R own­ers get to choose be­tween grey lam­i­nate, as shown here, and wal­nut fur­ni­ture. The am­bidex­trous thumb­hole con­fig­u­ra­tion is iden­ti­cal, al­though the pric­ing varies from £1349 for the wal­nut/stan­dard air bot­tle op­tion, to £1499 for the lam­i­nate/Hi Lite car­bon-fi­bre ver­sion.

The Wolver­ine R can be or­dered in Hi-Power for­mat by those with the re­quired cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, and I know this op­tion is go­ing to prove pop­u­lar, es­pe­cially with the new sidelever-ac­ti­vated ac­tion. Sidelevers de­mand no­tice­ably less ef­fort to cy­cle com­pared to a bolt-ac­tion, and even more so in FAC guns where a beefed-up ham­mer spring is at the cen­tre of things.


The new Wolver­ine’s bar­rel and trig­ger have been built around time-proven Daystate tech­nol­ogy, and it’s a cer­tainty that this ri­fle will at least equal, and pos­si­bly im­prove upon, what has gone be­fore. That tech­nol­ogy never goes back­wards, so it’s go­ing to be even more ex­cit­ing to see where the lat­est de­vel­op­ments have taken us. I’m ar­rang­ing tests of the Red Wolf and Wolver­ine R right now, and I’ll be be­hind both at a test bench as soon as pro­duc­tion sam­ples be­come avail­able. I only hope I’m fit enough to do full jus­tice to these re­mark­able rifles, but if I’m not, I’ll find some­one who is. What­ever hap­pens, we’ll find out what this new breed of Daystate can re­ally do.

Me­chan­i­cal meets dig­i­tal. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice!

Daystate’s Ter­ence Lo­gan has the fu­ture of the com­pany in his hands.

The fit and fin­ish of this ri­fle has drawn count­less com­pli­ments, and rightly so.

The lam­i­nate ver­sion of the Wolver­ine R comes with dou­ble-cov­er­age on con­sis­tency and ef­fi­ciency.

Note the Wolver­ine R’s twin gauges, cov­er­ing main reser­voir and reg­u­la­tor pres­sure.

The Serie Rosso is a lim­ited edi­tion su­per­gun in the true Daystate tra­di­tion.

Ad­justa­bil­ity means more ef­fi­ciency - even for su­per­guns.

Sidelevers both, and all the bet­ter for it in my opinion.

The new Daystates are de­signed to go global.

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