DAYSTATE HISTORY AND 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Originally made at Riddings Park Farm in Derbyshire, with the formation of the Daystate company in 1978, space was rented in a former brewery premises in Newcastle Street,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.