Daystate Huntsman Revere, fully-regulated hunting air rifle - test & review
- Credit: Archant
Airgunner editor Dave Barham reviews an updated, fully-regulated hunting air rifle from Daystate - the Daystate Huntsman Revere is available .177, .22 and .25 (FAC)
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When it comes to out and out hunting rifles, they don’t come more traditional than the original Huntsman from Daystate. Their latest model, the fully-regulated Hunstman Revere is a marked improvement on the original, with many features that will appeal to hunters all around the globe.
THAT SEXY STOCK
Before I get into the nitty gritty of the Daystate Huntsman Revere rifle’s performance and qualities, I’ve got to kick off by talking about the magnificent stock. After all, it’s the first thing we see when opening the box. Crafted from specially selected walnut, the stocks for these rifles are created by world-renowned Minelli in Italy. The double-oiled finish really is a sight to behold, it’s silky-smooth and feels beautiful to the touch. Carefully positioned cross-hatch chequering on the foregrip, coupled with more stippling and a signature ‘R’ carved into the pistol grip, ensures that good grip can be obtained in the field, no matter what the conditions.
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick the Daystate Huntsman Revere up is just how light it is. Weighing in at gnat’s under 6lbs unscoped, it’s clear to see why it is such a big hit with hunters. You can carry the Revere all day and not feel like you’ve been lugging a suitcase about.
The first time I took it out I felt like I was able to wield the Revere, shoulder it and settle down for a shot quicker than I could with some of the other rifles I use. Maybe it’s just my head playing silly games, but I honestly believe that the lightness of the Revere actually speeds things up a tad, even if it’s just milliseconds.
The Daystate Huntsman Revere range encompasses something for everyone, with .177 and .22 sub-12 versions for UK hunters, plus FAC-rated .177, .22 and .25 models for FAC holders and hunters around the world who don’t have such restrictions.
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Each calibre is also available in both left- or right-hand stock models, with dedicated cocking actions for each.
This new rifle utiilises Daystate’s latest incarnation of their rotary self-indexing magazine. It’s a clever design with a flip-up metal cover, which gives quick access to the ‘loading bay’. Simply twist the internal mag’ round until it stops, drop in a pellet, then you can let go and fill the other voids with your chosen pellets and close the lid back down again, which snaps shut with a satisfying ‘click’ thanks to the rare earth magnet used to hold said lid in place.
There’s another magnet to the rear of the mag’, which helps it snap into place when pushed into the action, and a small metal pin to help keep the mag’ from being pushed out the other side by accident – there is only one way in and one way out for this mag’.
Depending on which calibre you opt for, you get 13 shots for .177, 11 shots for .22 and 10 shots in the .25 mag’s. There’s also a magnetic, single-shot tray supplied for the purists.
I do have to mention that when it comes to scope choice, just be aware that these new mag’s are a couple of millimetres taller than their predecessors, so a scope with a large saddle in the middle might well come into contact with the mag’. Just bear that in mind if you’re purchasing a complete outfit. The scope I’m using for this test is the magnificent MTC Mamba Pro, and that fits like a glove.
So, on to the cocking then. There has been a little controversy from traditional Daystate lovers regards the new sidelever. Personally, I love it. It’s seamless and faultless, and I believe that it brings this rifle into the 21st century. It’s sleek, sexy and modern, to boot.
If you hold the rifle vertically with the butt pad on your thigh, then gently pull the lever back for just an inch or so, it opens itself in a controlled manner. I can only describe it as quality engineering, it’s like those posh kitchen drawers that close themselves slowly once you’ve given them a helping nudge, just in reverse!
Once the lever is open it’s simply a case of pulling it back the inch or so to actually cock the rifle. Unsurprisingly, there’s just a subtle click to tell you that the rifle is cocked and ready to go.
TRIGGER AND SAFETY
I really like the trigger on this Revere. It has a wide, curved blade which gives plenty of control and feedback – essential when out in a hunting scenario in the middle of December!
It’s a two-stage, fully adjustable unit with a good range of movement for both length and weight of pull. The one sent to me for review had been set just how I like it with a long first-stage followed by a crisp release. I measure the pull weight and it was little over a pound, which is again just right.
The safety is a large red anodised metal lever, which is positioned to the left of the thumb rest on the stock, immediately above the pistol grip. It’s a manual safety, so you have to flick it left to turn it on, then push right to take it off. It’s smooth and positive in operation, but then I’d expect nothing less on a rifle of this quality.
Something that rarely gets a mention during air rifle reviews is the instruction manual. I’ve got to make a point of Daystate’s offerings, which are now included as standard with all their rifles. These are by far the most comprehensive, well-designed manuals that I’ve seen, written in plain English with step-by-step photos covering all aspects of the rifles, magazines and operation. There’s even an exploded schematic of each rifle’s inner workings, so you can see what makes them tick, and the quality of these manuals is testament to just how proud Daystate are of what they do – everything is of the utmost quality, right down to the instruction manual.
I spent a good month getting acquainted with the Revere, mostly shooting in my back-garden range, but also during a couple of fruitless hunts at a new permission I’ve obtained. A couple of hours wandering through the woods here and three hours there was more than enough to tell me what I needed to know about the weight and useability of the rifle. I even got a couple of my friends involved too, with my good mates Roger Cooling and Roger Tipple getting in on the action. Roger Tipple is a gamekeeper, and his first comment when I passed him the rifle was “Wow, that’s light!” – reinforcing the fact.
As far as grouping and pellet choice goes, Daystate supplied me with a tin of their Sovereign Hunter 18.13 grain pellets as well as some Kaiser 14.06 grain pellets. I have to say that both performed extremely well, with consistent groups of 15mm at 30-yards, which says a lot about the pellets and of course the HUMA regulator and inner workings.
I really can’t fault the Revere, not at all. For me, it’s the perfect hunting rifle, and a real stunner, to boot. The sleek lines coupled with the rather sexy oiled walnut stock gives you the impression that it’s a thing of beauty, but it’s not until you actually take it out and use it that you realise that it really is a magnificent tool to hunt with.
If you like your airguns you’ll love this one, whether you’re a hunter, collector or back garden plinker, the Daystate Revere’s quality and performance speaks for itself.
Model: Huntsman Revere
Type: PCP, multi-shot rotary mag’
Stock Material: Minelli Walnut, left or right-handed
Trigger: Two-stage, adjustable
Trigger Pull: 1.1lb
Safety: Manual, switch
Calibres: .177, .22 and .25 (FAC)
Magazine: 13-shot .177, 11-shot .22, 10-shot .25
Overall Length: 928mm
Barrel Length: 430mm
Weight: 5.95lbs without scope
Fill Pressure: 250Bar
Shots Per Fill: 140 (.177), 160 (.22)
Energy of Test Rifle: Avg 11.3 ft.lbs. over 20 shots
Variation (20 shots): 7fps