Airgun World - - Daystate Heritage -

The Daystate air ri­fle com­pany was reg­is­tered with Com­pa­nies House on the 23rd of Oc­to­ber 1978, mak­ing the com­pany 40 years old. In fact, Daystate’s ori­gins started a few years be­fore, al­most by ac­ci­dent, when a deer had to be put down for the want of an ef­fec­tive tran­quiliser ri­fle. The com­pany’s founder, Don Lowndes, was so dis­tressed by the event that he de­cided to build his own tran­quiliser gun. The very first of these were cus­tom-built to or­der and a steady stream of cus­tomers led to de­vel­op­ments which in­cluded the spin-off air ri­fles.

Orig­i­nally made at Rid­dings Park Farm in Der­byshire, with the for­ma­tion of the Daystate com­pany in 1978, space was rented in a for­mer brew­ery premises in New­cas­tle Street, Stone, in Stafford­shire, where pro­duc­tion com­menced in earnest.

The early Daystate Hunts­man (HH) ri­fle we have here is part of Daystate’s own col­lec­tion which has been loaned to Air­gun World to cel­e­brate the 40th birth­day. The ri­fle is se­rial num­ber 140. All early batch Daystates had a 1 in front of the ac­tual pro­duc­tion num­ber, so this is in fact the 40th Daystate made, which is quite fit­ting for the event! The ri­fle’s early num­ber makes it most likely to be a hand-built ri­fle by Mr Loundes him­self, at his orig­i­nal farm premises.

The Red Wolf is the cur­rent top ri­fle and is pro­vided to show a con­trast to what 40 years of con­stant de­vel­op­ment leads to. Daystate is now just 6 miles away from Stone and 30 miles from where it all started. It’s now sit­u­ated in a mod­ern, pur­pose-built fac­tory, but the com­pany re­tains all the pas­sion and drive founded 40 years ago.

Don Loundes with his tran­quiliser ri­fle, plus just about the largest amount of proof that it worked!

Daystate founder, Don Loundes, and the tran­quiliser ri­fle that would one day morph into the Hunts­man.

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