Air Arms S410 sidelever - Part 4
by B.B. Pelletier
Initial sight-in was at 10 feet.
Today, we'll look at velocity and noise levels, plus I will comment on everything else that I noticed while working with this air rifle. A few of you are thinking about buying an S410 sidelever, and I hope my report helps you make your decision, whatever it might be.
S410 is a big, light rifle
The stock is very full and generous, yet it doesn't feel like lumber when you hold it. Some air rifles feel very large when you hold them in the shooting position. The Webley Patriot, for instance, makes me feel like a 14-year-old holding his father's 12-gauge. It's just a trifle too large for me. But the S410, while having a thick wooden stock, is rounded in all the rifle places and feels very comfortable.
The rifle is also deceptively lightweight. When you think about it, it's mostly air, isn't it? With a Swift 6-18x scope mounted, my test rifle weighs 9 lbs., 2 ozs. That's light! Get a walnut stock and lop off another 2 to 6 ozs.
Manometer helps keep you straight
Under the forearm, a manometer tells you the state of the charge in the reservoir. By now, all of you know that small pressure gauges are just approximations of the real pressure; but once you become accustomed to them, they are great references. The one on my test rifle reads a little low with a full charge and a little high when the rifle needs filling, but I learned that on the first try. Now I know at a glance if there is enough air to take a reliable shot.
The manometer is handy once you know what it's telling you.
This is a quiet rifle!
I have tested many precharged airguns for you. Some have been notoriously loud, like the Condor and the Career 707. Some have been quiet, like the AirForce Talon SS. I have also tested precharged airguns that were quieter than the S410, but never for this blog. I believe I am safe in saying that this is the quietest powerful PCP I have ever reported to you. In fact, it isn't just quiet for a PCP. For the power, it is quieter than most spring rifles, as well. Only the TX200 and BAM B40, which have internally baffled shrouds, are quieter and even they are close.
To get seriously quiet, you can dial the power all the way down. The rifle is then in the stealth mode and is quieter than a fully-silenced .22 shooting CB caps. I know because I tried it! Of course, the velocity drops way back when you do that, but sometimes you don't need velocity.
There's a cap on the muzzle that unscrews to reveal 1/2" x 20 threads - one of two popular thread patterns for silencers. My own Pilot silencer has 1/2" by 28 threads. If this were my rifle, I'd get Dennis Quackenbush to make an adapter for it. With a silencer, this rifle becomes seriously silent. I have paid for my legal silencer, but you don't have to, because you can get nearly the same benefit with this completely legal air rifle.
Speaking of velocity, what can the test rifle do? Beeman Kodiaks averaged 812 f.p.s. on high power, for a muzzle energy of 30.75 foot-pounds. I also shot 15.8-grain JSB Exacts on full power just to see what they would do, and they averaged 929 f.p.s., for a muzzle energy of 30.29 foot-pounds.
The most accurate pellet was the Crosman Premier, shot at just above half power, which is 874 f.p.s. and 24.26 foot-pounds. Cranked all the way up, the same Premiers go 937 f.p.s. in this rifle, producing 27.87 foot-pounds. On the absolute lowest power, they go 391 f.p.s., for 4.26 foot-pounds. That is a HUGE range of power adjustability, and I noted that, at any given setting, the velocity was stable. That held true across the entire range.
I'm not finished!
Just as I was about to wrap up this report, Scott 298 asked for a 75-yard accuracy test. I agreed, so we have at least one more installment coming. But not tomorrow.