Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Fill probe
  • First velocity test
  • High power
  • #3 power (one click down)
  • #2 power (two clicks down)
  • Low power (four clicks down — as low as the adjuster will go)
  • Discussion
  • Test 2 shot count
  • High power
  • Is there more?
  • High power
  • Magazine and feeding
  • Trigger pull
  • One last test
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • Summary

Today we begin looking at the performance of the Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock. This is the day we look at the power/velocity of this regulated PCP. The first order of business is to fill the 186cc reservoir to 250 bar. Reader Pelletpopper asked me to fill it with a hand pump to the maximum I was able, because Pyramyd lists a hand pump with this gun. I’m not going to do it. I’ll tell you right now I can fill it all the way, but after about 2500 psi it gets hard to pump. I see no purpose for filling by hand since I would never do it that way. If I wanted an inexpensive way to fill the rifle I would use the Nomad II compressor.

Fill probe

Air Arms pneumatics use a proprietary fill coupling. It works well but you have to have a dedicated hose or fit the adaptor with a male Foster fitting on the other end.

S510XS fill coupling
Air Arms fill coupling is proprietary.

S510XS fill adaptor
Air Arms fill adaptor is like no other.

First velocity test

How do you test a rifle that has adjustable power? My approach is to find out what it does on all power settings with a single pellet. That pellet will represent what it will do with other pellets at different velocities, because the relationship remains the same. Let’s see.

For this test I used the RWS Superdome because it’s medium weight and also pure lead. There is nothing to throw off the numbers. After the fill to 250 bar (tank gauge) the rifle’s built-in gauge read 240 bar. From here on I will only refer to the rifle’s gauge.

High power

240 bar start
Shot…..Vel.
1………937
2………958
3………934
4………937
5………939
6………942
7………933
8………942
9………944
10……..945

210 bar remains.

The average for the first string on high power was 941 f.p.s. The spread went from 933 to 958 — a difference of 25 f.p.s. At the average velocity the Superdome pellet developed 28.52 foot pounds at the muzzle.

#3 power (one click down from the top)

210 bar start
Shot…..Vel.
1………925
2………933
3………928
4………926
5………924
6………926
7………936
8………929
9………929
10……..935

175 bar remains

The average for this string is 929 f.p.s. It’s not that different than the first string at high power. The spread goes from 924 top 936 f.p.s. — a difference of 12 f.p.s. That’s considerably tighter than the high-power string and the power is very close. This is probably a better (more consistent) setting for the Superdome pellet when I want power. At the average velocity the Superdome developed 27.79 foot-pounds of energy.

#2 power (two clicks down)

175 bar start
Shot…..Vel.
1………833
2………828
3………838
4………835
5………841
6………828
7………834
8………837
9………842
10……..842

160 bar remains

The average for this string is 836 f.p.s., which is a big difference from the last setting. This is a useable power setting. The spread ranged from 828 to 842 f.p.s — a difference of 14 f.p.s. So the rifle is consistent at this power setting. At the average velocity the Superdome pellet generates 22.51 foot pounds of energy.

Low power (four clicks down — as low as the adjuster will go)

160 bar start
Shot…..Vel.
1………295
2………302
3………279
4………did not register
5………299
6………301
7………288
8………306
9………298
10……..303

150 bar remains

The average velocity for this setting is 297 f.p.s. In my opinion that’s not a useable velocity. The spread went from 279 to 306 f.p.s. — a difference of 27 f.p.s. At the average velocity the Superdome pellet generated 2.84 foot pounds of energy.

Discussion

This rifle doesn’t behave like a regulated rifle. Instead it acts like it has a balanced valve. Three power settings are useable and two of them — the middle two — are the ones I would select for the Superdome. The top and bottom settings have too much velocity variation with this pellet. That matters because when we find the best pellet, we should zero the rifle at those two powersettings — or at least at one of them.

The discharge sound on all settings is very low for the power generated. On the lowest setting the rifle is extremely quiet. You could shoot this rifle in most small suburban backyards at any power level without attracting attention.

Test 2 shot count

I’ve fired 40 shots since the fill. The onboard gauge still reads 150 bar, which is in the green zone, meaning there are more shots available. For this test I dialed the power back to the highest setting.

High power

150 bar start
Shot…..Vel.
1………974
2………967
3………963
4………961
5………953
6………944
7………938
8………930
9………929
10……..916

125 bar remains

The average for this string is 948 f.p.s. That’s 7 f.p.s. faster than the first string that was shot with the same pellet on the same setting. But look at how the shots all decline in velocity. The spread from this string is 56 f.p.s. That doesn’t look like a regulated rifle, does it? In fact I believe that at 125 bar the rifle has fallen off the regulator. That gives you an idea of how many shots to expect with this pellet from one fill — perhaps two magazines on high power and three on the setting that’s two clicks down from the top. At the average velocity for this string the Superdome pellet generated 28.94 foot pounds of energy.

What you should do is watch the onboard pressure gauge and refill when it gets to 125 bar. If you are shooting groups at distance (50 yards or more) refill at 150 bar.

Is there more?

Is the rifle really off the power curve? I fired 5 more shots to see what happened.

High power

125 bar start
Shot…..Vel.
1………915
2………917
3………905
4………890
5………880

Yes, the rifle has clearly fallen off the regulator. It’s time to refill the reservoir.

Magazine and feeding

The magazine functioned perfectly throughout these tests, but the sidelever did get stuck a couple times with each mag, having to be coaxed to go forward again. Once I learned that and came to expect it, I just powered through.

It is possible to double feed the rifle, so you have to watch what you’re doing. Also the magazine does not stop the bolt after the last shot, so watching the pellets feed is essential. Otherwise you’ll shoot blanks.

Trigger pull

The trigger is two stage and set up nicely by the factory. I will adjust it for you in the next report, just to tell you how it goes, but it’s working the way I like them right now.

Stage one takes 12 ounces and stage two averaged exactly 1 lb. 8 ounces. The pull is delightful and fully controllable. This is the kind of trigger I can work with!

One last test

My guess is that the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellet will be the best in this rifle. I will test it now on high power to see what we get. For kicks I will also shoot a string with the H&N Baracuda Match pellet. This will give us insight into the true power potential of this test rifle.

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

High power
250 bar start (gauge on gun agrees with my tank gauge)
Shot…..Vel.
1………883
2………886
3………880
4………881
5………876
6………879
7………870
8………885
9………871
10……..880

225 bar remains

This test was interesting, because there was no hesitation to feed the pellets. I think the Superdomes were the problem with that — not the rifle. the low is 870 and the high is 886 f.p.s., so a 16 f.p.s. difference. The average velocity is 879 f.p.s and at that speed the pellet generates 31.11 foot pounds of energy.

Now let’s see what the Baracudas do.

H&N Baracuda Match

High power
225 bar start
Shot…..Vel.
1………832
2………826
3………827
4………826
5………826
6………831
7………828
8………824
9………835
10……..835

180 bar remains

The first thing to note is the lower use of air with these heavier pellets. Based on what I’m seeing here I think 30-35 full-power shots are possible.

The average velocity for this string is 829 f.p.s. At that speed the Baracuda generates 32.37 foot pounds. So Air Arms has hit the advertised power level. The spread went from a low of 824 to a high of 835 f.p.s. That’s an 11 f.p.s. difference. Also there was no feeding problem with Baracudas, either. It makes me think the S510 might do best with heavier pellets.

Summary

Now that I have a handle on the performance the next report will be about adjusting the rifle to suit me. For that I will need to mount the Meopta Optika6 3-18X56 RD SFP scope in the Sportsmatch 30mm high adjustable scope mounts that I’m testing in conjunction with this rifle. I hope to also report on both the scope and the mounts by that time. Stay tuned!

58 thoughts on “Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 2

  1. B.B.

    Since your comments on Meopeta have been so glowing, I decided to contact them. They told me almost all their reticles are MOA based, they claim 92% light transmission, no 16X mark, dicromtic lens coating.
    For me, shooting a 12 fpe springer at 50 yards, a MOA is not helpful. Vortex and MTC claim similar light transmission. Hunter FT requires a max of 16X or set to that mark. Anxious to find out what dicromatic coatings offer.
    So far I think they missed the mark when it comes to an airgun usable scope. Hope I’m wrong, I’m starting to save my pennies in any case…

    -Y

    Maybe this one can shoot one MOA at 100 yards indoors and still be under 20 fpe. If any gun can do it, I think this one can!



  2. B. B.,

    Hmm… maybe the utility of the two extreme settings of the power adjustment will make better sense after this gun had been shot for a while.

    Siraniko

    PS: Introduction first paragraph fourth sentence: “Reader Pelletpopper asked me to fill it with a hand pump to the maximum I was able, because Pyramyd lists a hand pum (pump) wit (with) this gun.”


  3. B.B.,

    Looking forwards to more testing. What a bummer with that fitting. It may work fine,… but why not a Foster? It looks like a screw out swap/mod may be possible.

    Do we know what the regulator is supposed to factory set at? On filling,.. My Red Wolf is 250 bar and I need to fill it to 260 (very, very slowly) and it will settle back to 250 (digital readout) every time +/- 1 bar.

    Also,.. on the power adjustment,….. What exactly is it you are adjusting? An air transfer port restrictor?

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


  4. BB,

    Maybe this rifle needs more of a break in. I would expect a tighter performance with a regulator. I guess I am spoiled. I have seen regulators that would not give a 5 FPS spread.

    As for the fill fitting, it is no biggy. All you need is to get an adapter for it. If you can drop the bucks on this gal, you can afford that no problem. Also, if it just bugs you to no end there is a kit you can get to switch it over to a foster. Once again, if you can afford this rifle you can afford the kit.

    A hand pump? Really? Who would buy a hand pump for this rifle? PA must have an overstock of hand pumps. Yes, I can fill my HM1000X with a hand pump, but I am not going to. If you can afford this, you can afford a compressor and tank. When you sit down to shoot this thing you are going to want to shoot it all day long. Refilling with a hand pump every couple of mags will get real old real fast. I know. Been there, done that with a Benji Rogue.


    • RR,

      I think you’re right about the reg needing a break-in, though I also think heavy pellets are better for this rifle.

      I think what Pelletpopper saw was a hand pump shown below the rifle as a possible accessory. That doesn’t mean that Pyramyd is recommending it. It just means you can use it with this product. There is lots of stuff down there that I wouldn’t use.

      B.B.


    • RR,

      I consider the S510 to be in the same I’m getting category as my FX and Weihrauch rifles (which have an ES in the 6 to 8 fps range) so I’ll second that thought about a break-in period.

      I don’t even think about serious tuning/shooting before 2-3 cans of pellets.

      The Weihrauchs I have use a proprietary fill probe with a threaded end. It was only a couple of bucks to add a foster adapter to them.


      • Hank,

        I myself do not think proprietary fill probes are a real problem unless you are like BB and shoot a couple hundred different airguns a year. Then having to have a bunch of adapters is not only a pain, but can get expensive after a bit.

        The industry seems to be slowly migrating towards the foster, most especially since the major market is the USA and we want that fitting. Several of the European companies have already adopted the foster and I think the rest are heading in that direction.


        • RR,

          The probes are not a problem for me – I have the guns I want and Fosterizing the lot was not a big deal.

          The Weihrauch fill probes are still the same as when I bought mine a couple of years ago but I noticed that there are a after-market HW100 probes made that are foster compatible.

          Think that in North America we tend to have more rifles than the Europeans and swapping threaded adapters could be a nuisance.


          • Hank,

            It is also my understanding that Europeans are more likely to have much fewer airguns. That is likely why the quality of European airguns is generally much higher. If you are likely only going to own only one, you will be more demanding of its performance.

            Once we have filled a closet with the things and played with them a while, we figure out what we really want and start demanding better performance, sometimes. Despite what some believe, he who dies with the most toys does not win.


  5. Tom ,

    The regulators are set at 150 bar . The valve setup is different than the S510 series . I would only go as low as 150 bar then re-air the rifle . From what we have seen the gun is more efficient with the heavier pellets , this is due to the back pressure closing the valve quicker. Hope this helps .

    Gene




      • BB
        That also means they do have the regulator set at a good pressure at 150 bar as Gene mentioned. If you continue to shoot down to 125 and see the shots starting to change after the 125 bar that means the gun shot for 25 bar under the regulator. So the 150 bar is a safe setting for the gun. You just determined that the guns valve and striker pressure can shoot good still under the regulator. So if that gun didn’t have a regulator you end fill for a shot string would be 125 bar.


  6. Tom ,

    You will really like this one . A rifle that delivers hunting power with target grade accuracy . I am a fan of the stocks on these . Air-Arms had to redesign the firing valve to work properly with the regulator on these , due to sometimes if the regulator doesn’t recover quick enough the valve will seal instead of leak . This is a very common problem on standard dump valve guns that people install regulators on . This is why Air -Venturi wouldn’t install aftermarket regulators on the S410/510 platforms. Keep in mind a S410/510 gun needs 50BAR to seat the firing valve ( 750 psi).

    Gene


    • Gene
      Really only 750 psi. That’s less than a Co2 gun.

      And you say the reg is set at 150 bar. That’s like 2175 psi.

      Why do they have the regulator set so high if the valve still seats at 750 psi. Because the way they are controlling power. If the regulator was set lower that gun would get a great shot count with I bet a lower velocity spread.

      And Siraniko asked BB above about what does the power adjustment control. Do they have the psi up and step down the flow by restricting the transfer port from the valve to the barrel. That will give a consistent fps spread with a non regulated gun.

      My question is how did they come up with the regulator being set at 150 bar? Couldn’t the regulator be set lower and get more shots per fill with decent power and less hand pumping if that’s the way a person fills.

      Last question. Is the regulator adjustable? Are they similar to a Huma regulator or is the regulator a part of the valve and it can’t be replaced.

      Sorry for all the questions. But since your here. I felt like I needed to get money’s worth on the blog today. 🙂



  7. Good morning, all. This looks like a neat rifle. I don’t own a regulated PCP yet but I guess I will put it on my list of “needs” right after an air compressor. Still relying on my 80 cu. ft. steel SCUBA tank. Also, I am too busy playing with the Sig ASP20 that is the newest addition to my collection.

    One correction that no one has commented on yet, BB. In the velocity testing, you labeled Test “3” for one click down on the power adjuster and Test “2” for two clicks down. Did you mean Test “2” for one click down and Test “3” for two clicks down?

    Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now happily in GA


  8. GunFun1 ,

    Answers to Your questions .

    1) The 750 psi is the pressure to keep the valve seated in a NON REGULATED S410/510 and also most PCPS on the market .

    2) Regulator is set high due to the Ft. Lbs. of energy needed . This is a Field/Hunting gun not a 10m rifle .

    3) The power adjuster sets the size of the transfer port opening , just like a carburetor jet . It is mechanical .

    4) The regulator is Non-Adjustable . It doesn’t need to be adjusted due to the 5 positions on the power wheel . Remember a regulated gun is a BALANCED SYSTEM and too much change causes things to no longer work properly.

    5) The reason Air-Arms had to use a different valve is the dynamics of a regulator , it takes some time to refill the valve chamber and if this happens too slowly the valve can leak . the valve design allows for the chamber to seal quickly and refill . Remember in a non-regulated gun the firing valve is seeing whatever is in the tank !! A regulated valve drops to a very low pressure and has to come up to the operating pressure , in this case 150 BAR.

    I hope this has answered all of your questions.

    Gene


    • Gene
      Yep that’s what I thought.

      Maybe your out line from my questions will help other people that own one use it more effectively.

      So closing of the power adjustment (transfer port opening) should work like other pcp’s. Shot count should go up per fill and it should make for a better velocity spread.

      Too bad they didn’t make the regulator externally adjustable. A person could adjust the regulated pressure down and still use the power/transfer port adjuster to go up or down in velocity.

      Either way probably a good system high or low regulated pressure with the transfer port power adjustment. Then you can dial in your velocity for a specific pellet. I like.


    • Gene
      Should of mentioned this earlier.

      Does this gun have a striker spring adjustment they don’t mention?

      If so then the regulator could probably be made to work at much lower pressures than it does now. The 150 bar/2750psi regulated pressure. If you took some bevel washers out or ground the spring in the regulator you could have a lower working pressure and still actually use the same striker pressure and transfer port adjustment to get the same velocity the gun gets now at the higher regulated pressure. And have the striker spring adjustment for more fine tuning.

      If you did reduce the regulator working pressure to say 1200 psi and get the transfer port and striker adjusted for the higher hunting velocity your talking about the gun would have a way higher shot count then the 150 bar regulated pressure.

      Too bad stuff like that don’t go into a gun manual. Oh wait a minute. It does with the Marauder rifle. And now even the .177 and .22 caliber regulated Marauder.

      From what I see at least Crosman/Benjamin give you some knowledge about how to adjust thier gun.

      And BB is suppose to talk about this guns manual in the next report. Will be interesting to see about the manual.


      • Gunfun1,

        You know I’m in full agreement with you that knowing what makes a PCP function/adjustable (or anything else for that matter) should be available either in the Owners Manual or at least online in video(s) or PDF from the manufacturer/seller. Of course having a high level of generic knowledge on how various PCPs work (hands on is more better ;^) Now for the BUT…
        You also know that a bunch of buyers want a Turn-key experience; the proverbial Black Box! Add air, insert pellets, pull back the Thingies and levers: AND BANG! Those are the same folks that might not even look at the Quick Start Instructions! They are also often the folks who send back a perfectly functional rifle after they have “messed” with the controls/buttons/knobs/twisty thingies/levers. I don’t envy sellers and manufacturers that must deal with that type of buyer.
        Oh! They are also the ones who get on the review pages or Social Media and trash some hard working person, company or manufacturer without the courtesy of even a call to see what can be done to get satisfaction. In some countries/place you can still buy things from a shopkeeper who is an expert on what they purvey. I think PA (and some others) try to do that as best they can within the constraints of online sales and manufacturers that provide varying product information.

        Just like doctors say, All Patients Lie!

        shootski

        Late add: most don’t have a Chronograph, of any type, or even have a Degree in SPLATOLOGY!






        • Geo,

          With either the Maximum or the Latitude there are there are gee gobs of aftermarket parts out there as they are both really built up Discoverers. It would be easy to swap out a LW polygonal barrel. I even thought of making one into a carbine. Even more thought.


        • Geo,

          Yet another reason to hold off for a “Gen.2” of any new product. A personal rule I abide by (most of the time). 😉

          The flip side to that is if enough people do (not) buy the gen. 1’s,…. there will (not) be a Gen. 2!!!!

          A sticky wicket to be sure,………. Chris

          OR,….. they could get it right the first time. Just a random thought,………. 🙂


  9. BB,

    Why do you think the velocity is so low on the last power setting? I almost seems to be a malfunction of some sort to be that low. If it’s not a defect, then it seems disingenuous for the company to list it as a fourth power setting. For that matter, now that I think back on it, with setting 1 and 2 being almost identical, the whole power adjustable premise seems like a little shady advertising at first gloss. Maybe the manual can shed some light?

    Half



      • B.B.

        My S500 works about the same way.. The power adjustment works really fast at the bottom of the adjustment range..
        It also adjusts to an impractical low velocity.
        Maybe they could have used a screw type strangler, but it would not be as fast and easy..
        tt



          • GF

            Not regulated . I usually fill at about 150.
            It has a nice curve. I shoot at max power setting.
            Not a whole lot of shots, but adequate for most hunting. (S500 carbine).

            tt


            • TT
              I remember we talked about your gun when you got it. But don’t remember what all we talked about.

              So even non regulated is at 150 bar to refill. What happens after 150? Do you have very many good shots left before the pellet starts falling off?



                • TT
                  Sounds normal.

                  BB was making to many changes with the transfer port and fills to really see what a full fill to end fill would produce at a given transfer port setting.

                  So not really sure what his gun is doing.

                  And I have had different pcp’s throughout time do as you say with shot count and poi. Pretty normal I guess.


                  • GF

                    Since B.B. is working with a regulated rifle, it will be different from mine anyway….no curve to deal with.
                    Mine shifts the peak of the curve left with lighter pellets. So 16 and 18 gr Exacts center it up much better than anything else.

                    tt


                    • TT
                      Yep that’s what I thought about yours. It was not regulated. And yep on the poi.

                      But BB never did do a top to bottom fill on his gun at a given transfer port setting. That’s the whole point about a regulated gun is to increase shot count and reduce velocity spread.

                      So now that relates to this question. How many shots per fill at a given transfer port setting? That’s how the velocity test should go. Then fill his gun and change the transfer port setting and shoot from top to bottom fill again. That is what will show the true performance of his gun.



                  • GF

                    It is still one individual rifle. You don’t know what you got until you test your own.
                    Too much testing time for a review can be a waste of time when they are not all going to be the same.

                    tt


          • GF1,

            I would have to agree with your method. If time was no concern,… that would be the way to define each of the 4 settings.

            -Set power level
            -Fill
            -Shoot till POI drops off,…. (noting fill pressure along the way) and (ideally a chrony for each shot). POI and fill pressure readings would suffice though.

            Set to new power level and repeat.

            That,… is also a pretty extensive and time consuming test to conduct.

            Unpack and shoot does have it’s attractions. 4 settings is nice. On port adjustments,…. I think that a screw that had multiple # marks,… (BUT),…. would only take 1 rotation that would take it from full open to full close would be ideal.

            A fast thread pitch could easily do that. Locking the screw down would be the only concern. Maybe a 1/4 turn cam lock? Unlock, adjust, lock.

            Chris



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