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Optics Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 5

Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Meopta MeoPro Optika6 3-18X56-scope: Part 1
Part 4

This report covers:

  • First group
  • Power down
  • Adjust the scope
  • Group four
  • Discussion
  • Last try
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I returned to the Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter to see if there was anything new to learn. There was, and here is my report.

First group

The rifle was already sighted-in from Part 4, so all I had to do was fill it with air and start shooting. The Air Arms 16-grain Field pellet has proved to be the best so far, so that’s all I shot today. I will need to try some different pellets in the future before moving on to 50 yards.

The first group was shot with the rifle set up exactly as it was in Part 4. That’s with the power set at one click below maximum. Ten pellets went into 0.30-inches at 25 yards. As you can see, this group is fairly round and not that bad. But I wanted better.

S510 25yd group 1
Ten Air Arms domes went into 0.30-inches at 25 yards.

Power down

Since I had already shot smaller groups in Part 4, I decided to drop the power one more click (2 down from the top) and see what that did. The pellets landed lower and to the right of where they were before. And this time 10 of the same Air Arms domes went into a very round 0.18-inches at 25 yards. Unfortunately when I measured it before photographing, I got a group size of 0.25-inches, so I used the dime for scale, where the trime was really indicated. This is the smallest group of this test.

S510 25yd group 2
When the rifle’s power was reduced by one level the rifle put 10 pellets into 0.18-inches at 25 yards.

Adjust the scope

As you know, I’m also testing the Meopta Optika6 3-18X56 scope. Given where the center of this group is, I adjusted the scope 7 clicks to the left and 5 clicks up and shot a third group. The groups shifted on the first shot, so the Meopta scope does not suffer from stiction (a failure of the impact point to move until the rifle has been fired several times). This time 10 pellets went into 0.34-inches at 25 yards — the largest group of the day.

The S510 put 10 Air Arms domes into 0.34-inches at 25 yards. This is the largest group of the session.

Notice that the group is now a little too far to the left. I had adjusted it 7 clicks left last time, so I went back 2 clicks to the right.

I also wanted to see if the S510 was still accurate even when the onboard gauge  reading was 150 bar. That’s where I have been refilling the rifle in the past. So, the next group was fired without refilling.

Group four

The power setting is still the same — two clicks down from the top, And the scope was adjusted two more clicks to the right. Once again the scope moved to the new setting on the first shot. Ten pellets made a 0.337-inch group at 25 yards. And the group is still slightly left of center.

This time the S510 put 10 Air Arms domes into 0.337-inches at 25 yards.


In part 4 I told you that the Meopta scope is so sharp and clear that I can see the tiny illuminated central dot wandering around inside the 9-ring of the bull. I can keep it on top of the central 10-ring (dot) about half the time. I thought that seeing it clearly would help me shoot better but instead it’s just showing me clearly why my groups are so large. Oh, well!

The group is still slightly left of center so I put two more right clicks of adjustment into the turret. I left the elevation where it was.

Last try

This would be the last group of this test, so I refilled the rifle to 250 bar. I decided to pull out all the stops and really concentrate on the final group. Unfortunately that went out the window with the second shot that doubled the group size. After that all the pellets went into the first hole, giving me a 10-shot group that measures 0.223-inches between centers. Yes — the centers of this group are a .22-caliber pellet apart!

S510 25yd group 5
The last group is 10 pellets in 0.223-inches at 25 yards.


I got to know the rifle and scope a little better this time. This S510 is so accurate and so easy to operate! There is nothing fiddly about it. It simply works as advertised. And the magazine is the easiest rotary magazine I have ever filled.

The Meopta scope is beyond anything I have ever used and that includes a $1,500 Nickel Supra scope I once owned. It’s so clear that all my foibles are obvious. The group sizes are my fault, not the gun’s. I bought the scope, so you will be seeing it many times in the future, but for now I’m leaving it on this rifle, as there is more to test.

I am also buying the adjustable Sportsmatch scope rings. I scope so many airguns that have droop and this mount is precise and easy to use. I will probably buy a second one.

Next, I want to test the rifle with a broad range of pellets, to see if I have overlooked anything. I may even include a group of these pellets that I have sorted for weight and size. After that I am ready to go out to 50 yards. If this rifle can put 10 pellets into less than 0.70-inches at 50 yards, I may be facing a tough decision ahead!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

31 thoughts on “Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 5”

    • Yogi,

      As much and I am excited with the features on the $300 entry level PCPs and as much as I like my Maximus, there is still a lot to be said for “high-enders”.

      “Nice” is readily available – smooth, accurate, precise, pretty, describes a number of rifle brands – it is just the price that is ugly.

      My two HW100 rifles easily shoot sub 1/4 inch groups with sorted pellets and sub 3/8 inch groups with unsorted pellets at 25 yards any day that I have my act together. Ditto for my FX and FWBs but none of them $300 rifles.

      Guess what I am saying is that if you are a serious shooter that you might consider treating yourself to a “high-ender”, they are worth it – buy once, cry once and enjoy forever.

      I have been lucky with acquiring the rifles I have, very lucky. Now I am lusting for a new FX gun to shoot slugs. Don’t have the cash but I know a guy who wants to buy a cedar-strip canoe; I can make him one of those with a set of matching paddles and that should cover the cost of the rifle… I’ve already started cutting the strips LOL!


      • Vana2,

        Hey Hank! Got room to build a Guide Boat? You could buy three (high enders and really nice glass for each) with your skills with wood!

        But look at all the trigger time you will lose; dang life just isn’t fair at all!


        • Shootski,

          I’ve posted this picture before, can’t remember if it was for you.

          Stats: 18 feet long; 16 inches deep; 56 pounds. Stressed-skin design, cedar/spruce/fiberglass composite construction.

          I traded this canoe for my FWB 603 SSP 10 meter target rifle. Like I said, I have had some lucky deals. Can’t make a 603 but it didn’t take me long to replace the canoe I traded with a new one. Now, I just need to do that again!


          • Hank,
            That canoe you built is drop-dead gorgeous! Beautiful, and for its appearance I would say useful too.

            I once built a plywood-fiberglass dinghy with my son and, well, although I wouldn’t dare to show any pictures it did work. It was OK sailing too.

            Do you have any recommendations on reading material for the techniques used in the construction of your canoe? Just interested (and a bit jealous!).


            • Henry,

              Thank you, strip built canoes and kayak are beautiful – its the nature of the materials!

              I have my own way of making these kinda watercraft which allows me to make them very light. I developed a non-conventional way of making my forms and strong-back to work on but it is not something that I could easily describe here. I will say that prefer square-edged strips as opposed to the bead&cove style that are commonly used.

              Ted Moores has several excellent books on making strip built canoes and kayaks and Nick Schade has a book on making kayaks that is very detailed. I recently saw that Nick has a video on YouTube that looked interesting.

              Very relaxing work and not difficult to do. Lots of instructions on the web, I highly recommend making one!


          • Hank,

            Without doing any research,… sorry,…. what is something like that worth-ish? Sure,… it is artesian and that alone can vary the price considerably. I would guess 2,000 to 3,000 US ???? (Plus,… any material costs) Also,… what is the total time involved,… approximately?

            Again,… your work is jaw dropping beautiful!


            • Chris,

              I guess that you are fairly close on your estimate. For that one it was a direct trade – rifle for canoe and we were both very happy.

              It’s not the kinda thing that is made on a production line so they tend to be one-off unique craft though some guys make them as a hobby and sell them to fund the next one.

              No idea of total time – I work on projects like this whenever I have a bit of time available so I never kept a detailed time log. I might try to keep track of the time I spend on the next one.

              Plan on making a small, light single paddler “Rob Roy” canoe for myself next year.


              • Hank,

                Thanks,…. I (have done) extensive stained glass work. I have traded my goods for something else in the past. I can relate.

                If it is of any worth,… I would give an easy 2. 🙂 That is coming from a real penny pincher too!


    • Edw,

      I don’t care for first focal plane scopes. The reticle enlarges as the power is increased and I don’t like that.

      And the little testing I have done shows no worthwhile difference in accuracy.


      I don’t think I tested that scope past Part 1 and I can’t remember why. It was a $500 scope and I’m sure it went back to the owner.



    • Edw,

      Only my opinion,… but I (love) my FFP Athlon. While I have not studied it in depth,… I like the simplicity of keeping the same hold over (while upping the magnification,…. for longer distances). I have no/zero/nada complaints thus far. This Summer was very poor for research,… lack of time to shoot.


      • I have a Hawke ffp on my 177 97, and yeah I’m never going back. I’m going to try an athlon for the new 97 in 22. The only downside I can find is that when zoomed in you don’t get as many dots, but I’m not trying to hold over 10 dots anyways. That’s generally and indication I need a different gun.

  1. BB,
    Great shooting. More relaxed this go around.
    Did you lighten the trigger per your comment on sniping in part 4?
    The last group picture looks like a duplicate of the one before it. – Don

      • B.B.,
        In your report on cant ( /blog/2019/06/what-cant-does/ ) you wrote “the higher the velocity the less affect cant has.” I took this to mean that the amount of pellet drop made a difference in the point impact when cant is present.
        So I thought that for the case where all other factors (distance, pellet, …) are unchanged, except for a slower pellet speed, that if the scope center line is not aligned with the barrel center line and with the pull of gravity, the change in pellet drop due to gravity would result in some horizontal shift of the point of impact.
        A part 2 of that report regarding pellet speed affects on POI with cant present would be helpful.

  2. Hi B.B.

    O.K. A couple of things don’t make sense to me. Correct me if I am wrong.

    1. The photographs are all upside down according to the numbers on them.

    2. The third photo you state that the pellets moved left of center and that looks correct.

    3. The fourth photo you state that the pellets are still slightly to the left, but they look slightly to the right of center in the photo.

    4. The fifth photo looks exactly like the fourth photo, which would be some nifty trick-shooting to produce the same pellets holes!
    I see Don425 agrees with me on that fifth/last photo being a duplicate.

    Did you shoot the targets upside down?
    If you shot them right side up then the third photo down would have the pellets slightly to the right of center and photos fourth and fifth down from the top would be correct. With the fifth photo still looking like a repeat of the fourth photo.

    Sorry that’s a long explanation, but I tried to cover it all.
    John Carlisle

  3. B.B.

    Nice shooting!

    I wish I could afford the higher end PCP’s.
    My friend just bought a FX Impact MK2 in .25 cal.
    That gun is a treat to shoot. Virtually soundless with the Donny suppressor. And tight groups like you are getting but at 50 yards. He also has shot it at 100 yards, .75-1″ groups dropping 11″ at that distance. He has on order a slug insert/barrel as well.

    John Carlisle

    • John,

      I really did not need you to bring up the Impact. LALALALALALALALA!

      I have one high ender, my RAW HM1000X in .357. Surprisingly I find my other airguns are not neglected. Maybe it is the caliber, or more likely the range. I pull the HM1000X out when I have the urge to shoot waaay out there.

      You really should treat yourself to one high ender. 😉

  4. B.B.,

    Some fine shooting. I am glad everything continues to go well. Very much looking forwards to the 50 yards. I think that .70″ at 50 will be no problem.

    Nice that the Meopta scope is so responsive.

    I personally would like to see some weigh and head sorted testing,… single loaded. Simply,… shoot 5 of the same and then a (known) “off” pellet all in the same group.

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

  5. BB,

    It sounds like the S510 is about to become a resident. I understand.

    I also knew those mounts were not going anywhere. Being able to center the adjustments on the scope and then rough zero your rifle with the mounts is so nice.

    The Meopta I am certain is very nice, but I do not think it is for me. I seem to be regressing to my childhood when lower power scopes did just fine. The adjustable power is also not much of an attraction to me either. I usually leave it on the highest setting and rarely fiddle with it. Now as for the clarity and etched glass reticles, those are becoming a priority.

    • Kinda figured the Meopa was’t leaving BB’s house. Now I don’t see this S510 leaving either. No one would blame you a bit. In fact I am sure most of us are jealous. I know I am!

    • RR,

      With a new rifle I look for the golden pellet; then adjust the regulator to get into the velocity range I want and tweak the hammer spring to suit. When finished with the rough adjustments I’ll spend some time making small tweaks to the hammer spring to fine tune to that pellet. I rarely touch the settings after that.

      The external adjustments on the FX Crown and Impact would make playing “what if” much easier for tuning but if you settle on one pellet become redundant. Think that the adjustments will be more important on a rifle platform that supports barrel swapping. I’m seriously looking at these two rifles as candidates for the “long range sniper rifle” category that has recently opened here. I am still debating caliber and model and as much as I prefer traditional style rifles it is looking like the Impact is more capable for shooting slugs.


      • Hank,

        The truth is I think there may only be room at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns for one more permanent resident. Oh, I am certain that there will be some ladies that will drop by for a bit from time to time, but I would just not have the time to take care of so many. These older gals demand a lot of TLC. So much so that I do not have much time for the others. I still have to finish fiddling with my 101, I have a Talon SS to put together and my HM1000X and Lloyd’s Benjamin Rogue are wanting some range time.

        It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

      • Hank,

        The adjustment(s) have to hold/lock. My .25 M-rod would lose striker adjustment after 100 shots or so. I know because I backed it out/full in/to rear and counted the turns out again. 2 turns in from full back/bottomed should be 2 turns back to back/bottomed,… for example. The final adjustment was done with a tear down and blue Loctite. Something to keep in mind depending on the set up.


  6. B.B.
    Dang, if it shoots as well as I think it will, the tough choice might be selling the house and getting a good deal on a lightly used double wide with some land. Near a river. Not too far from the emergency room.
    I would like to see how this rig shoots at differing ranges during a single course of fire, just to check out issues that may crop up.
    Thanks, and have nice day,

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