The Daystate saga – Part 4 Moving into the Third Millenium

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Today, I’ll move from the 20th century to the 21st as we look at the .22 caliber Daystate Huntsman MkII PH6. The classic Huntsman was long gone by the time this rifle appeared, and before long the PH6 (6-shot repeater ) concept would also be transferred to the Harrier. While some companies put retrofit repeating mechanisms on their single-shots, this one is built for that purpose, as you can see from the closeup. The 6-shot cylinder does not detach from the rifle. You load it while it’s in the receiver.


Daystate PH6 is a top-grade repeater with a walnut thumbhole stock.

The loading gate on the right side is spring-loaded, just like it would be on a lever-action centerfire rifle. A groove in the gate aligns the pellet with the breech, pretty much like the groove in the rotary breech of a Gamo CF-X. You can hand-index the cylinder to load it, but don’t overshoot the mark because it doesn’t rotate the other way. You’ll have to go all the way around to find the chamber again.


The loading gate is pushed in to show the breech. Notice how the groove in the gate channels the pellet to the right spot.

I’m not usually a fan of repeating pellet rifles, but I have to say this one worked without a flaw. Of course, the length of the pellets is constrained to the length of the cylinder, but it’s long enough for any reasonable pellet you might choose. It handled 21-grain Beeman Kodiaks just fine. In this rifle, the bolt pushes the pellet from the cylinder into the breech, so accuracy is assured to be similar to a hand-loaded single-shot.

Rifle setup
I mounted a Swift 8-32x scope on the rifle, which brought the total weight up to 10.5 lbs. A deluxe walnut thumbhole stock doubtless kept a half-pound of weight from the total, as beech is heavier. Daystate has always had crisp cut checkering on the aggressive side for a truly good hold, and this rifle was a fine example of that. I was surprised to see the classic swan’s neck cocking handle on the bolt, as my much older Harrier no longer had it.

Power
The rifle I tested was set up at 29.4 foot-pounds with Kodiaks. That’s a pellet leaving the bore at 794 f.p.s. With 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers the rifle got 25.9 foot-pounds, which comes at 903 f.p.s. So, this is a hunting rifle.

There were as many as 24 good shots at 3,000 psi, if I was willing to accept a total velocity spread of 42 f.p.s. If I was shooting at 35 yards or less, that would be fine. I wanted to stretch out to 50 yards or beyond, I’d keep the shots per fill to 18, which keeps the spread under 20 f.p.s.

The trigger was a typically good Daystate trigger – light and crisp with several adjustments. The rifle I tested also had a rocker safety, though many shooters ordered it without the safety so they had an access hole into the mechanism (where the safety was anchored) to adjust hammer tension. That gives a type of power adjustment in the field.

Accuracy
Kodiaks were good, but Premiers were the best in the rifle I tested. JSBs were not available to me when I did the test, but I would think they would at least equal Premiers. Half-inch groups at 40 yards seemed to be the norm, and not at all difficult to shoot, given all that power.


Five Premiers at 40 yards went into half-inch groups regularly. This one measures 0.543″.

When I tested this rifle in 2001, the price was just under a $1,000. Time and the devaluation of the dollar have elevated that to about $1,200 for an equivalent rifle today.

The PH6 is not the absolute last of the mechanical Daystates, but it’s the last one I will cover in this series. Next time, the Mark III with its solenoid-operated mechanism.

18 thoughts on “The Daystate saga – Part 4 Moving into the Third Millenium

  1. Hi BB
    I love this blog! I’m 41 yeras old I have been into airguns,firearms, Archery and hunting before the age of 8. For about the last 8 or 9 years the hobby was put on the sideburner waiting for my 2 children to come of age. Recently I had a problem with a robo woodchuck eating the wires in my 2 cars! Yes a woodchuck, would not belive it myself until I found him under the hood! Knowing that my Powerline 881 is not good woodchuck medicine and a Firearm is out of question in my yard, I started my research and found this blog. Well for the last two weeks I have been reading all I can. Then realized you had turned up the flame on this simmering hobby. Before children I was at the range every week with my centerfire rifles; before I could drive I would spend many evenings in my basement with airguns. Always enjoying the science of the sport, handloading my own ammo, testing with my chronographs and then study ballistic charts. Well for years that was gone, and now I set up a make shift range in my garage, going back full circle to shooting airguns every night, sometimes with the children. What joy you, this blog and the robo woodchuck have restored. This blog is the best reading since Shooting Time of the 80′s and 90′s.
    Now I wish I didnt live in NJ so I can buy more airguns from Pyramyd.
    Thank you
    Joe G


  2. Joe G.,

    Good the hear from you. You are the sort of person we want to attract to this blog and to the hobby of airgunning.

    Living in NJ is a problem, I realize, however, there is one benefit. You are not that far from Roanoke, Virginia, where the largest airgun show on earth will be held this October 26 and 27.

    This is the 17th year of the oldest airgun show in the world, and you can see and buy brand-new guns as well as antiques dating back to the 17th century.

    I hope you can attend.

    B.B.




  3. solenoid operated huh. like an electric valve? sounds like a good idea. however it seems like the airguns are getting more complicated. if it is infact an electric valve then that will require batteries and such. it seems like the airguns keep getting more advanced. another thing ive noticed on some guns is an elctric trigger. i like the airgun because of its simplicity. i can do all the work i need to on my own airgun and have no problems at all. but as electric parts come into play it will make it way more complicated. i like the idea of a self contained system that will work indefiatly, just add pellets. this is why i keep hopeing someone will come out with a powerful match grade multi pump.

    Nate in Mass


  4. Nate,

    the reason the multi-pumps are not made to the qaulity you want is because thats expensive… So people would buy pcps. I have had no problems with my airwolf— so far. No, i did but it was with the shroud.

    -sumo


  5. sumo,
    yeah but imagine a gun with very tight velcity spreads, no recoil, high accuracy, and nothing else needed but a tin of pellets. sounds tempting to me. if crossman would do it they could take a 397 add a lother walther barrel, beef up the valve, add scope rails and reduce the cocking effort. i think the reason they wouldnt sell many is because people like the repeating capability and no pumping required of a pcp. someties it feels good to relax sometimes and just take your time to get a sweet shot. plus you wouldnt have to lug around a scuba tank or pump.

    Nate in Mass


  6. bb, and everyone else,

    i read on a website that one person put a .20 lothar walther choked barrel in a shadow, and that got me thinking. i want to get a hunter extreme, put a .22 choked lothar barrel in it, and get it tuned and put a grt-III trigger in it…that should make it an amazing gun. who here can help me to get a lothar walther choked .22 barrel to put in the extreme?(bb, could i just buy the airforce 24″ barrel, and get it custom cut?)

    DED


  7. When I read about Joe G and how he grew up with air guns, bows, reloading, shooting since he was 8 you could have just put my name in place of his. Except for no kids.

    I am no 61 and still have my air rifles and just bought a RWS46 the other day. But now just shoot all day right out in my back yard.

    I left NJ over 20 years ago. When I left there in order to buy the lowest power BB pistol you had to do the following. FIRST apply for a firarms ID card. Forms and finger prints and all the waiting. Then ONLY after you get the firearms ID will they let you apply for a PISTOL PERMIT, you have to start all over again with the figer prints and paper work plus hope that you can even get it. You can’t do both forms at the same time. And this what you have to do for the lowest power BB pistol.

    The best day was when I left and moved to Florida. Now I can have what ever I want.

    Bob



  8. Oddly enough, there are some retailers that WILL ship to NJ… since it is not against federal law, and a retailer in another state is obviously not bound by NJ law. I think Pyramydair (and Compasseco and some others) just do this as a courtesy.

    BTW – I was out in San Diego on business a few weeks ago… and Pyramidair had no problem shipping an air pistol to me at my hotel. Stuck it in my bag as checked luggage on the way home (which is perfectly legal).

    BTW – I think I’m now on week 6 of waiting for my permit to purchase a Springfield 1911A1 that I already bought (but can’t pick up yet). Any day now….



  9. Hello,

    I mounted a scope to my HW30S using B-Square mounts. I have two questions:

    The “post” in the rear mount is only about half the diameter as the hole in my receiver. Is that alright?

    My scope was new out of the box, and should have been centered. The windage and elevation were both on zero. At ten yards my groups were about three inches right, and two inches low. Is that acceptable?

    Thank You,

    Marc


  10. Reading about all the nonsense in NJ, I find myself depressed at how pathetically abusive of our Constitutional rights these so called legislators have become.
    Nanny statist do-gooders would be a more accurate description of these jerks who thumb their noses at our freedoms.
    I thought that federal law explicitly forbade classification of airguns as firearms.
    But, then again, since when did the law matter to a bunch of anti-gun pukes?

    -Scott


  11. BB
    I went shopping today and bought a Silver Streak. What a fun gun. With CrowMags the mv is 655 avg an honest 12 FPE with 8 pumps. 3 pumps gives me a mv of 479. Clean trigger shoots well. Yes in NJ we have it rough, you need the Firearms ID card for all long guns, which is good for life. But for each handgun you must apply for a seperate pistol purchase permit. So most people will by a firearm instead of an air pistol. Which means the sport shops dont even bother stocking them. What I dont get is airsoft is available all over, even WalMart. Good for airsoft fans.
    Thank You
    Joe G


  12. BB,

    I recently have been using my Chrony on my matching Gamo CFX set (.177 and .22) that I ordered from PA this summer, and the results were sometimes surprising.
    Beeman Ram Jet (.177) – 713fps
    Beeman Ram Jet (.22) – 735fps
    JSB Exact (.177) – 754fps
    JSB Exact (.22) – 767fps

    Further, there were several pellets that probably overlapped velocities, as they were so close together in the respective rifles:
    Beeman Kodiak (.177) – 715fps
    H&N Baracuda Match (aka Beeman Kodiak .22) – 704fps
    JSB Predator Polymer Tip (.177) – 778fps
    JSB Predator Polymer Tip (.22) – 756fps
    Beeman Crow-Magnum (.177) – 754fps
    Beeman Crow-Magnum (.22) – 720fps

    As you can see, the .22 version of the same rifle has a slight edge in muzzle velocity over the .177 with two of the pellets, and lags only a little behind with three others.
    I know that, with firearms of two different calibers, with equal case capacity, powder charge, bullet weight, and barrel length, the one with the larger caliber will almost always have an edge with muzzle velocity due to the larger surface area on the rear of the bullet that the burning powder pushes against to propel it.
    It would appear that something similar may be going on with my two CFXs.
    I would also like to comment that I have found perhaps my favorite (and relatively unknown) pellets of all for both CFXs, that being the Beeman Ram Jet.
    These strike hard, and the slight wadcutter lip around the round nose allows an edge strike to knock down a target as no other pellet will.
    I also find that the Crosman Ultra Magnum in .177 is an exceptional pellet with tremendous striking force and wonderful accuracy, even out to 75 yards.

    -Scott


  13. Marc,

    The diameter of the post is fine. It is made of steel and will not distort. Juts be sure you sink in low into the arresting hole.

    No scope is centered when it’s manufactured. You have to do it. Actually your scope is pretty good, compared to what I usually see. If the B-Square mounts you have are adjustable, you can find the optical center of the scope and remount it. Then zero with the rings.

    Or you can simply adjust the rings from where the scope is now and lock them down.

    The article on optically centering a scope is here:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2005/07/how-to-optically-center-scope.html

    B.B.


  14. Scott,

    Someone did once challenge New Jersey’s law. He was arrested leaving a gun show in New Jersey, because he lived in New York (licence plates).

    He was taken to the police station and detained. When he was allowed to speak, he brought up the Dole Act, which is now a federal statute that makes it illegal for any Federal, state or local municipality to decalre an airgun to be a firearm. After 20 minutes the police released him without an apology or explanation. He might have sued for false arrest, but her was just glad to be free again.

    B.B.


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