Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Arms S510XS
Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock.

This report covers:

  • New scope!
  • Testing adjustable scope mounts
  • S510XS Ultimate Sporter
  • Regulator
  • Magazine
  • Sidelever
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Light weight!
  • Silencer
  • Stock
  • Sling swivel studs
  • Special stuff
  • Summary

Before I begin I have a word for some readers. While I was at the Pyramyd Air Cup last weekend I talked to Justin Biddle, the marketing manager for Umarex USA. Specifically I asked about the availability of the new Synergis underlever repeater. Justin told me that it’s coming to market soon and that I was one of the writers on his list to get one to test for you. There has been a lot of interest in all repeating spring guns and in the Synergis in particular, and I just wanted you to know what’s going on.

New scope!

Today we begin an interesting series! It will feature the Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock that’s in the title, but I will be testing two other new products at the same time. Since I have to mount a scope on this rifle I have held off until Meopta sent me their new Optika6 3-18X56 RD SFP scope to test. It is a scope with a 3X zoom ratio (3-18) and a second focal plane (SFP) focal package. Veteran readers will remember that I discovered Meopta at the 2016 SHOT Show and tested and then purchased their Meo Pro 80 HD spotting scope, after finding it the clearest spotting scope I had ever looked through, and that includes spotting scopes in the $3,000 range! A couple years later I bought their MeoStar 10X42 binoculars to use as my close range spotting scope because the optics were so sharp and bright.

I really like their high-end optics that sell for about half what competing brands cost, but Meopota hasn’t made an airgun scope — until now. I have in my possession a $650 (street price) 3-18 scope that parallax adjusts down to 10 YARDS!!!!! Say what you want — this is an airgun scope and a Meopta to boot! The rifle I’m now testing is worthy of a premium scope and if this one is typical of everything else I’ve seen from Meopta, it’s worth every penny!

Is it able to withstand the recoil of a springer? Nobody knows for sure. After testing it on this rifle I may mount it on a nice well-behaved springer. I don’t need to destroy it on a jackhammer Chinese gun, because I wouldn’t do that to any good scope!

Testing adjustable scope mounts

As you may have read, I always like to elevate the rear of any scope I mount to cancel the barrel droop problem. Even if the gun doesn’t droop, lifting the rear of the scope does no harm and gives me more adjustability at longer distances, so it’s always a plus. With that in mind I asked Pyramyd Air to send me Sportsmatch 30mm high adjustable scope mounts. Now you may balk at paying $150 for scope rings and I don’t blame you — it took my breath away as well. But the $1,500 S510 rifle I am testing is a no-compromise precharged rifle that’s worthy of every benefit you can give it. I didn’t spend $4,000 on a Swarovski scope and $500 on a scope mount to go with it, so in fact I saved a ton of money by going the way I did. But this will be a test of the very best. I even asked for the laminate stock on the S510 because that is the best they have.

S510XS Ultimate Sporter

The rifle is a 10-shot repeater in all calibers. It comes in .177, .22 and .25. I got a .22 caliber to test because at high power it produces up to 32 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The power is adjustable via a small knob on the right side of the receiver and there are 4 distinct settings. A set of marks on the left side opposite the knob tells you roughly where the power is set, but each pellet will have its own power range. So this rifle will take some getting used to.

I chose the laminated stock that does drive up the price by a lot. I wanted to test something that is the best for a change. Besides being attractive laminated wood does increase the strength of the stock but it also increases the weight.

Regulator

The 186cc air cylinder is regulated. The fill is to 250 bar (3,626 psi), so there should be plenty of shots, depending on where the power is set. The fill probe is an Air Arms proprietary attachment that does not have a Foster fitting on its other end. I will have to either rig one up or use a dedicated air tank — shades of 1990!

Magazine

Two 10-shot rotary magazines come with the rifle. The neatest thing about them is they are not advanced by a spring. Instead a hand or pawl advances them each time the rifle is cocked — much like the cylinder on a single action revolver. I’ll have more to say about them when I start shooting the gun.

The magazine does stick up above the top of the receiver, so 2-piece scope rings are necessary. Of course that was taken care of by the selection of the Sportsmatch rings.

Sidelever

The rifle is bolt action and cocked via a sidelever on the right side. The lever cannot be swapped to the other side. The stock is set up for shooters of either right or left hand persuasion, so other than the lever there is some ambidexterity. I will say this — I’m a righty and cocking is easy!

Adjustable trigger

The trigger is adjustable as it should be on a rifle like this. I will probably spend some time playing with the adjustments so I can report on that in detail.

Light weight!

This rifle is a PCP, so it’s going to be light. I selected the heaviest stock you can get and the rifle still only weighs 8 lbs. 7 oz. It feels like less because the stock is so well-proportioned. I remember when single-shot Daystates weighed this much — this is a repeater with lots of features!

Silencer

The silencer is a large can on the end of the barrel and so far it seems to do a wonderful job. I will probably say more when I start shooting it a lot.

Stock

The stock is adjustable in several ways. First, the cheekpiece adjusts up to position your sighting eye in line with the scope. But there is more. The cheekpiece sits on top of a ball joint on the riser whose locking screws can be loosened to allow a wide range of positioning. I plan to take full advantage of this and to report it to you.

The butt pad also slides up and down. I will play with that, as well. And finally the length of pull can be adjusted by installing spacers. The manual doesn’t say where they are found but I think they are inside the butt right now. As the rifle came the pull was 14.5-inches which is ideal for me, but I will also look at adjusting the length of pull for you. Apparently there needs to be a report just dedicated to the adjustments.

Sling swivel studs

There are two studs for detachable sling swivels. One is permanently anchored at the bottom of the butt. The other is on a forearm accessory rail (good for bipods?) and can be repositioned along the rail by loosening a 3mm Allen screw.

Many readers own S510s and are welcome to comment at any time. I’m sure there is a host of stuff that owners know that I probably wouldn’t touch on or even know about. Also — Gene Salvino mentioned to me that Air Arms has made a change to the design of the rifle’s feed pawl that advances the circular magazine. The older style feed pawl can break its spring, and the new one has a coil spring that won’t break. This change was made around May of this year — or at least that’s what Gene remembers. I will show the new part and how it’s installed.

Summary

As you can see this will be a long and involved test of a major rifle, a major new scope and a top-flight pair of adjustable rings. I will put the reports on the scope and rings into their own series but I’ll also link them to this report so you can keep track of everything. Stay tuned, kids, because The Great Enabler is about to embark on a dangerous (to his checkbook) journey!

55 thoughts on “Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 1


  1. Nice! My first adult airgun was an original AA410. It was the most accurate thing I shot ever, but sold it because there were no east ways to fill it on the cheap. Can’t wait to see how the platform has evolved.


  2. B.B.,

    Nice! Looks like a full spec rifle to treat yourself on your birthday! (Maligayang Kaarawan Tom!) To bad about the beating your checkbook is about to receive. }:‑)

    Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    Siraniko

    PS. Section New Scope! Third paragraph last sentence: “I don’t need to destroy it on a jackhammer Chinese gun, because I wouldn’t so (do) that to any good scope!”


  3. B.B.,

    Good to see you testing some high end stuff. It will be interesting to see if you end up keeping the entire package.

    Looking forwards to all (gun, scope and rings) parts of the future reports. I have given this rifle very hard consideration over the last several years.

    Good Day to you and to all,…….. Chris


  4. BB,

    You are going to really like those mounts. You can set your scope to mid range and at least rough zero your new rifle with the mounts. Then you can fine tune it with the scope. I have given these mounts the coveted 3R rating. They are holding one of these on top of my HM1000X.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/UTG_4_16x56_Bubble_Leveler_AO_Rifle_Scope_SWAT_AO_EZ_TAP_Illuminated_Etched_Glass_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_8_MOA_30mm_Tube_Weaver_Picatinny_Rings/7683


  5. If I ever ever win the lottery, this would be THE first PCP I’d get! I’ve always liked the classic lines of the 510. Your check book is really going to take a beating on this one. Wouldn’t the scope have a 6X zoom ratio?


  6. B.B.

    I’m looking forward to this review! Been interested in an Air Arms S510 for years!

    Know that a rifle like this is out of budget for the casual shooter but IMHO, anybody who is seriously into air rifles owes it to themselves to have at least one top quality gun in their collection. Expensive, yeah, but it is a one-time expense that quickly pays itself off in “smile-factor points” – the pleasure you feel everytime you pick the rifle up.

    Along with everything else, I like the 250 bar capability and that it is available in .25 caliber …hmmmm, will have to see what assets I can liquidate.




  7. It’s nice to hear that Air Arms continues to improve. The positive stops on the power adjuster, the regulator and a stock option with an adjustable cheek piece are huge improvements. I can’t stand proprietary fill adapters and the air arms “banjo” style is one of the worst. I changed all of mine out to foster fills. If I remember they cost around $20 and can be obtained from Best Fittings. Pyramyd Air should consider carrying these because any idiot (me included) can change these out.

    EDIT-My memory isn’t completely gone. It was best fittings: https://www.bestfittings.co.uk/shop/fill-probes-adaptors/best-fittings-fill-valve-upgrade-for-air-arms-t-bar-type-valves-only/


  8. I found an S510 FAC Extra, Super-Lite .22 in a local pawn shop for $99 (I kept the string tag for that!). I was astonished and bought it immediately. It looked rough, as the stock was all beat up, and I couldn’t get it to pressurize. I also noted that the magazine didn’t advance when cocked. I sent it off and got it repaired, and since the price of a new stock was so reasonable, in view of the low cost of the gun, got a new stock installed. It now wears a Sightron scope, and with what little pellet testing I have done, seems to prefer the 16 grain AA pellet, set at the 1/2 power mark. It isn’t near as quiet as a marauder, in spite of the shrouded barrel, not really backyard friendly. It will be interesting to hear how quiet the new test model is with the can. I have been living with the fill adapter, and see that the standard style is available, but haven’t been motivated to change it.
    A little looking around on the internet revealed that the single shot adapter could be a culprit in the failure of the advance pawl, and the new style pawl seems to be available in the UK, but not here as of yet, although listed as coming soon?


  9. B.B.
    I noticed Pyramyd is offering this rifle as a package with a scope and a Hill hand pump. As you test this rifle, is there any chance you could fill this with a Hill pump and report the pressure at which you no longer want to pump? No killing yourself. Then offer your opinion as to how many shots one could expect at this pressure. Thanks!


  10. My little airgun project this month. The link rivet pin and bushing were broken on my old Crosman 147 muti-pump that I bought when I was about 13 years old (72 now). My ex son-in-law broke this for me about 25 years ago and it’s been sitting in my gun cabinet every since.
    Recently I became inspired to repair it. Ben-Don posted here that he had acquired a box of old Crosman parts. I asked him if there might be a rivet pin and bushing in his treasure box. He had some but they were the wrong size for my 147, but was good of him to check through his stuff for me. This is what inspired me to fix my old Crosman.
    B.B. suggested that I contact Rick Willnecker at Precision Pellet, which I did. He had the parts and I ordered them from him. The parts list showed these part to cost $.16 each and the original cost of the rifle was about $24. The repair parts cost me $5 each + $5 shipping for a total cost of $15.
    After receiving the parts and installing them in my old Crosman, I thought about the rifle being over 50 years old, and that the seals might be brittle and need replacing too. Then I began the disassembly and it’s a good thing I decided to reseal it. The seals weren’t too bad but the piston seal cup was hard and brittle. The parts inside were in serious need of cleaning to remove the old sticky lube. The rifle may have shot okay without doing anything inside but I would have always thought that I should have torn it down to check.
    The disassembly presented some real challenges. The valve was fused together. I had to cut a piece of leather belt to wrap around one part while unscrewing the other part. I had to heat it with a heat gun and was finally able to get it apart. Another challenge was removing the piston cup seal. I had to make a tool using a fender washer by drilling a 5/16″ hole in it and using a hacksaw to cut a slot so it looked like a horseshoe. The I had to grind a taper on the edge so I could drive it under the aluminum washer below the cup seal. I then used a flaring tool, placing it under the washer, and pulled the brass bushing off the piston which is pressed on to hold the seal. This worked quite well without having to hammer on anything. It was fun thinking of ways to overcome these challenges, and not destroy anything in the process.
    I purchased a rebuild kit at http://www.airgunseals.com for $27.99 + $7 shipping. It has not arrived yet, but I have the rifle all ready for the rebuild. Here is a photo of the rifle disassembled:
    Geo


    • Geo791,

      This work looks like a great start for a Guest Blog series!
      Do you think a high quality anti-seize in select places might make a future teardown easier?

      shootski


      • LOL, it almost turned into a guest blog didn’t it? It was a pretty long comment. I did not take pictures during the disassembly process. Thinking back, I probably should have done that. But if anyone here is thinking of rebuilding their Crosman 140/147 or 1400, I can afford a few tips.
        Anti-seize may have helped but after 50 years, is it any wonder things were a little seized? I’ve been debating whether to use just Crosman Pellgunoil on parts as I reassemble, or to use silicone grease. Either should be good for the new O-rings and quad seal. Maybe someone here in the blog could offer an opinion. One thing is for sure, this rifle won’t need any tear down in my future. 😉
        Geo


        • Geo791,

          Did you use the leather belt as a strap wrench or just as a protector for a vice/gripping tool or your bare hands? I have found bicycle inner tubes of various diameters cut to various lengths slipped onto cylindrical parts allow my hands to apply way more torque than just the bare metal. I use leather or rubber strips to make any size strap wrenches to use with clamps or a trusty locking wrench of the correct size. Of course I prefer the maker to provide for the use of a C Pin Spanner (for everyone’s information: a tool that looks like the one used to adjust motorcycle and race car adjustable shock absorber.) on air cylinder ends, valves and other difficult spots.

          I have always used Secret Sauce (very little goes a long long way) from MAC1 on my pumpers, Tim says it will never gun up…I’ve never had the gummy deposits in my pumpers so I guess I have to believe his claim.

          shootski


          • Shootski,
            I wrapped the leather around the solid piece on the valve, and used pliers to unscrew it from the other piece. I screwed the location screw (far right) into the threaded piece (far left) so I could hold that end using that screw. Then I had to use a heatgun to get the pieces apart so I clamped the locating screw in between two pieces of wood in my vise, then used the leather with pliers to remove the solid piece. Hope I have described this accurately.
            Geo




  11. First off, Happy Birthday, Tom. Have a great day. Second, you did an article about building the accurate black rifle which, I remember, shocked you that it could be made so accurate. I’m looking for that blog and am having trouble finding it. Anyone – can you find that link?

    Thanks.

    Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now happily in GA



      • I FOUND IT. But for some reason, a search for accuracy, AR-15, Firearms didn’t turn it up alone but turned up literally hundreds of articles. I finally just went to the “Firearms” category and started going through blogs. About 15 screens later, it popped up. Patience, which I don’t have much of these days, is a requirement.

        Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now happily in GA



  12. B.B.,

    I read through the specifications on the PA listing before I decided to asked the following questions. I was disappointed with the limited amount of information available for a rifle retailing for this amount of money. I will go to the Air Arms home sight to see if more information is available from them directly.

    Please let us know if the rail is a UIT (Anshutz) or a Freeland:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/UIT_rail

    Also beyond the bespoke filler why does AA go with the 11mm receiver dovetail instead of a Picatinny/STANAGN rail? IF, they are concerned about appearance then this should be called something other than a Sporter! There are many choices for rail covers:
    https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&client=tablet-android-lenovo&q=picatinny+rail+covers&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi9t8Hn-6jkAhXLneAKHbdSBiAQ1QIoBHoECA4QBQ&biw=1280&bih=800

    Is the rifle in .25 capable of shooting slugs?
    Are barrels interchangeable with perhaps a bolt/magazine change?
    What are the available bore twist rates? Order option?

    And one final request: Is the rifle in any of the three current caliber a 10 shot repeater? Does it change the size of magazine?

    shootski



  13. B.B.

    When it comes out, we need a full report on the “affordable” Meopta scope. Sure hope it has an airgun friendly reticle. I’m thinking about getting a Optisan EVX 4-16 X 44 scope. Maybe I will wait a bit!!!!

    -Y


  14. B.B.

    Glad you are finally testing the “best of the best”! You deserve it!
    Must be frustrating at times to have to review products that are built just to a price point and not an accuracy point.
    Wondering if this PCP can shoot 1 MOA at 100 yards? If it can, the “darkside “just got a little brighter.

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      That (1 MOA) would be tuff. Real tuff. More like 2-3+” @ 100 with 10 shots. The .22 pellet is on a nose dive at that point in flight. The conditions would have to be perfect in all ways and you have to be at the pinnacle of your “game” for the session to even have a shot at 1 MOA.

      That said,… that does not mean that I would not at least try it just for curiosity sake. It should be very nice at 70 and under though,.. with a 1/2″ at 55 not surprising. A higher powered PCP might do better at 100 with more fpe/fps retained and a flatter trajectory.

      Chris



  15. Since things seem a bit slow on the blog,…. I thought that I would relay a couple of BEAR stories as relayed to me from a co-worker.

    1) While staying at a motel,… 2 story with outdoor entrance doors,…. a bear was in the parking lot and a couple pulled right up right near it (but did not see it) and proceeded to get out of their car. People already on the balcony and watching the bear quickly warned them. Later that night,…. the bear went up on the 2nd floor balcony and rummaged through the trash cans. This was in Virginia.

    2) Again at a similar motel,…. he was on the first floor just chilling out on his private patio just out the back of the room. A big mama bear and 2 cubs walked right up past the privacy fence between the room patios. He said he never moved inside so fast in his life! 🙂 This was in Pennsylvania.

    I found it all quite humorous. Lesson?,….maybe think twice about going to the ice machine at 12:30 AM for a refill!

    Chris


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