We’d arrived early at the Ragley Hall Game Fair with the intention of looking at air rifles and maybe having a go with a couple that I’d shortlisted. So I was slightly disappointed that none of the airgun manufacturers was there. There was, though, a shooting line at which you could try out a selection of guns for a modest fee. I was particularly keen to try out the FX Wildcat and the Daystate Pulsar. (Notice that airguns, the lowest powered beasts of the shooting world, get the most aggressive names. A big game rifle will be called something much milder like “Safari”.)
Anyway, I had a chance firstly to try the Wildcat. It’s made by FX in Sweden, and has a high reputation. It’s a so-called bullpup configuration, much more compact than a traditional rifle, and allegedly much handier to shoulder and to aim.
I certainly liked the bullpup style, and the way in which the gun can be cycled without taking your eye away from the scope. And it was very accurate and consistent. The demo rifle had no doubt led a very hard life, but the mechanism was now so worn that it was a struggle to mount the magazine, and once the magazine failed to index whilst I was using it. Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but not a good sign either.
So on to the Daystate. Not the Pulsar, but the Air Wolf, which is pretty well exactly the same action but mounted in a more traditional rifle stock rather than a bullpup. This gun has an electronic trigger, which has a break more akin to a mouse click than a mechanical trigger, and an electronic regulator, which meters the air precisely. economically, and consistently.
What can I say? It was a revelation. Even though the demo gun was equally as hard-used as the FX had been, and even though it wasn’t set up specifically for me, it shot as if by magic. It flattered my modest abilities outrageously. I still need to shoulder the Pulsar, but in whatever guise, an electronic Daystate it’s gotta be!