Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 7

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
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • 50 Yards
  • Shot like a TX200 Mark III
  • Field target rifle
  • Pro-Sport
  • On with today’s report
  • The test
  • Air Arms 16-grain domes first target
  • Oh, oh!
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Summary

Today is the final report on the Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock, but this isn’t the last time you will see it. This rifle is almost or even just as accurate as my TalonSS from AirForce Airguns, and this one is a repeater with an adjustable trigger! So I am buying it to use as a testbed for .22 caliber pellets. I will leave the Meopta Optika6 mounted in the Sportsmatch 30mm high adjustable scope mounts so it is always ready to go. And I will buy an aftermarket Foster adaptor to get away from the proprietary Air Arms fill adaptor.

50 Yards

Today I will shoot the rifle at 50 yards. I normally go to my gun club for this, but this time I went to the Arlington Sportsman Club where the Texas Airgun Show is held each year. Jeff Cloud, the show organizer, had been touting his HW97 underlevers to me for over a year, after hearing of my problems with them. He brought several of them out to show me and also to let me shoot.

HW97 laminate stock
Jeff Cloud’s HW97 in a laminate stock.

Shot like a TX200 Mark III

Jeff told me he had tuned this 97 with a Vortek kit, and I must say — it shot as smooth as a TX200 Mark III! I can’t say whether it is as accurate, but it probably is. We had some swirling wind on the 50-yard range that was playing havoc with .177 caliber pellets. We would get two in the same hole and then the third 1.5 inches away. But the rifle cocked easily, and the Rekord trigger was adjusted very nice.

I once owned an HW97K and I also tested a second one and I found both of them lacking. I was comparing them to my HW77K that had been tuned and it was smooth and powerful, where both 97s were buzzy and weak (under 12 foot-pounds). That Vortek kit and the way Jeff installed it made all the difference!

Field target rifle

Jeff also brought out another HW97 that was tuned by Dave Slade. If you have been an airgunner for a few years you have probably heard of Dave. His tunes are superb!

HW97 FT
You would smile too, if you had an HW97 like Jeff Cloud’s!

This rifle sits in a field target stock and Jeff uses it to shoot in the Hunter class I believe. I may not have heard him right on that. It wasn’t sighted in so he wasn’t able to see what it could do after the tune, but he did say it shot quite smoothly.

I didn’t shoot that one because it wasn’t sighted in and also because you don’t shoot another man’s field target rifle. But I did shoot another rifle of his that was even better, in my opinion. Jeff didn’t know it, but until he told me this was one of his favorite rifles I was prepared to make him an offer for it. And it is another rifle I have panned in this blog several times — the Pro Sport!

Pro-Sport
Jeff Cloud’s Pro Sport is in a beautiful walnut stock.

Pro-Sport

Jeff tuned this rifle with a Vortek kit, too, and overcame all the reasons I don’t like the rifle — or didn’t before shooting this one! The Pro-Sports I have shot all had two things against them. First, they took an additional 10 pounds of cocking effort to overcome the location of the fulcrum of the shorter cocking lever. And second, they have all buzzed. But Jeff’s rifle cocks as easily as my own TX200 Mark III and is equally smooth. And the trigger breaks at an estimated three ounces! I didn’t have a gauge to test it, but it’s not half a pound. Like the 97 I couldn’t get it to group because of the wind, but I have no doubt that it can.

When we were done shooting airguns Jeff and I went to the pistol range and shot my Sig P365, Sig P320 M17 and my CZ75 Shadow SP01 firearms. I seldom get a day of fun like this, where I can just shoot and forget about things. It was so refreshing!

On with today’s report

But I really did shoot the S510 at 50 yards. That was one of the big reasons I went. Yes, I had to buck the same swirling wind, but the 510 is a .22 so it can do that a lot better.

The test

I shot at 50 yards with the rifle rested on a sandbag. I bumped the power up one notch, to make it one notch below maximum, both because of the distance and also because of the breeze.

Air Arms 16-grain domes first target

I was all set to see all ten pellets go into a single group, so the first group of Air Arms 16-grain domes was disappointing. Three pellets wandered out from the main group, opening it to 0.973-inches between centers. The other 7 pellets are in 0.527-inches, which is very good for 50 yards. My Talon SS can only put 10 in 0.6-inches at 50 yards on a perfect day.

S510 Air Arms S510 domes 1
The first group of Air Arms 16-grain domes went into 0.973-inches at 50 yards, with 7 of them in 0.527-inches.

The Meopta scope is so clear that even though I could not see the 10-dot on these targets out at 50 yards, I did see where the center of the target was, and the crosshair was clear against it. I’m sure that helped the accuracy. I’m really happy with the clarity of that scope!

Oh, oh!

On my 6th or 7th shot at this first target it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t filled the rifle since the last test. As far as I could tell, the rifle already had 20 shots on the last fill and was off the power curve. So I filled it and loaded 10 more Air Arms domes.

The second group was more like what I expected from this fine rifle. Ten Air Arms 16-grain domes went into 0.822-inches at 50 yards. This time there are no stray holes. This group is a little larger than I like from a premium PCP at 50 yards, but with the wind swirling like it was I doubt my TalonSS could do much better.

S510 Air Arms domes 2
This group of 10 Air Arms pellets measures 0.822-inches between centers. Notice how horizontal it is? That’s the swirling wind.

JSB Exact Jumbo

With that group under my belt I loaded the magazine with 10 JSB Exact Jumbo pellets. These look very similar to the Air Arms domes and we know that JSB makes both of them. At 25 yards previously this pellet did almost as good as the Air Arms pellet, but at 50 yards on this day there were two fliers. The 10-shot group measures 1.257-inches between centers with 8 of them in 0.821-inches.

S519 JSB Jumbo group
Ten JSB Exact Jumbos went into 1.257-inches at 50 yards, with 8 in 0.821-inches. No doubt the wind played a part again.

JSB Exact RS

The last pellet I tested was the lightweight JSB Exact Jumbo RS. At 25 yards indoors these pellets did very well, but out in the swirling wind at 50 yards on this range I wondered if they could keep it up. Not really. The first shot hit the bull almost in the center, but the remaining shots went high and wide. Ten shots are in a group that measures 1.525-inches between centers. The RS is just too light for such a breezy day.

S510 JSB Jumbo RS group
Nope! JSB Exact Jumbo RS pellets did not do well in the wind. Ten shots in 1.525-inches at 50 yards.

Summary

I find the Air Arms S510XS rifle to be a top-notch performer in all respects. It is very adjustable, the regulator handles air well, it’s powerful and accurate. Of the four power settings, the top three work well.

This is an expensive precharged air rifle, but it’s a repeater, it’s accurate, it adjusts for the shooter’s build over a wide range of options and the trigger is good. It’s also reasonably quiet. This is the sort of air rifle you save up for, because it does deliver all that you expect from an air rifle in this category.

35 thoughts on “Air Arms S510XS Ultimate Sporter with Laminate Stock: Part 7

  1. So many beautiful toys, so little time (and money…)

    I have seen over the years in both firearms, and air guns, that sometimes there is a inverse relationship between what a gun cost and how much it gets used.

    While this doesn’t normally apply to range use guns, it does apply to hunting guns.

    The prettier it is, and more expensive it is, the less likely you are to take it out in the woods, rain and mud.

    So your second sentence says it all, and seals it for me as to why I have a TalonSS, and not a AA510.
    $655 for the Talon SS
    $1275 for the 510..

    And I can take it hunting and not worry.

    I do have a CZ S200 for field target and absolute precision.

    That is some great shooting at 50 yards.


  2. I have a blue 97k, Vortek drop in, and also a scope that covers the loading port. Mine is in .22 though. It’s a solid 17fpe, smooth shot cycle, and dime sized groups at my 23 yard range, at worst. And it’s still breaking in.


  3. BB
    I would be more than happy with that group.

    Especially since it wasn’t a calm day out. That’s pretty much the same results I get from my modified .22 Maximus when it’s windy out. And of course much better when it’s calm. And that’s with JSB 15.89’s or the AirArms 16 grain pellets and the Hades pellets.

    Here this group after you refilled the rifle.


  4. B.B.,

    Is your normal 50 yard range indoors or outdoors? Either way, I look forwards to when you can do a 50 indoors or outdoors on a calm, perfect day. I know you are dying to know what it can do.

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



      • B.B.,

        In hindsight today,… I figured that 50 yards is not practical for a firearm handgun and pretty useless for firearm rifles,…. so why have it? There is probably not enough air gun users to make it worth their while.

        Still,… even a rough shod 50 yard indoor air gun range would be doable. Have a exterior doorway (from the main building) and extend from there. Even some of the green house set ups/structures would be an option. The main purpose being able to shoot free of wind influence, of course. 1 lane. It might double as an archer range too.

        Chris


  5. B.B.

    Glad to hear that the S510XS and the Meopta scope are becoming permanent residents – it is a fine rifle (been admiring them for years)!

    …”So I am buying it to use a testbed for .22 caliber pellets.” Tom, do you mind if I borrow this line?? I just placed an order for a .22 caliber FX Impact – to test pellets and slugs! LOL!

    The Impact is a major departure for me as I strongly prefer Traditional over Tactical style rifles and before now I would never considered a bullpup design. It does appear to be a “tinker’s dream come true” with a reputation for accuracy and hence the attraction to try something completely (for me) different. I do love accurate rifles!

    QUESTION: I would like to get a bipod for the Impact and don’t know what features are useful (never used one). I searched the blogs and there is little information. Could you give me a couple of pointers and maybe a few suggestions for what I should be looking for. I will be using it (mostly) for bench shooting and some pesting.

    Thanks,
    Hank



      • RR,

        Thanks for that link – I’ll check that out. Tomcat has some good videos out.

        Mind me asking what cheap Chinese knock-off bipod you bought – kinda blew the budget on the rifle and scope. (The Impact is actually an Anniversary gift from my wife …Christmas gift, B’day gift and so on for the next decade or so LOL!)

        Hank

        (Note to self… add RR to my will re: Impact and FWB 100)



        • Hank,

          “Will”? You need my address? SSI #? 😉 Just joking,… of course! Live long(er) and prosper.

          Congratulations on the new (seemingly heavily debited) acquisition. The Impacts show up (quite a bit) in long range competitions. Hopefully,… you will do a guest blog once the two of you have become better acquainted.

          😉 ,….. Chris


          • Thanks Chris!

            Yes, had to create a new category “sniper rifle” to justify the acquisition.

            Yup, I owe BIGTIME on the honey-do list LOL! See what happens when you watch too many videos of people pesting pigeons at 150 PLUS yards! Now I have to extend my shooting range.

            I bet your Red Wolf could make a good showing at long range – wonder how well it could shoot slugs.

            Hank


            • Hank,

              RW? It does (quite) well at 50,… even after me not shooting in awhile. I have not had the chance to really (seriously) test it at 100 yet. I (DO) look at what the experts are using. The Impact is getting used a lot! Modified though? The Red Wolf was big last year,… but seems to have faded this year. Excellent yes!,… but maybe? not the best. The RW Safari is new-er and upgraded with more power (20%) and newer electronics. No interchange to the older (ha-ha) RW. I have tried the HN slugs,… but the JSB’s were better. Twist and fps I think needs to be different/more specific for slugs,… but I am not as informed on the topic as I would like to be. Slug options are getting greater though.

              Shootski is a fan of the round balls,… so still watching that “front” too.

              Chris


              • Chris,

                Been looking into slugs quite a bit. Yeah, some special requirements needed to shoot them well.

                Pellets are good to about 75 yards and ok to almost 100 yards before things start unravelling fast. Slugs really start showing their stuff where pellets begin to putter out.

                Seen where a pellet shot at 50 fps faster than a slug is overtaken by the time it gets to 75 yards. The BC difference is that much!

                Basically, I will be shooting pellets until the price of slugs drops to reasonable levels (JSB and H&N are gearing for high volume production) and I will buy a “slug liner” barrel then.

                Some very interesting technology!

                Hank


    • Hank,

      I’m not a bipod guy, but tilt and pan are two big things you will want. Tilt lets you level the rifle on uneven terrain and pan allows you to swivel left and right.

      Also get one with legs that go up as high as possible. I find many bipods are too short for good work.

      And that’s what I know. Oh — get one that anchors solid — none of this wobbly quick disconnect.

      B.B.




        • Hank,

          The HAM review(ssss) of the ? event showed lot of pictures of bi-pods and some obviously over- engineered mechanical front rest.

          Maybe another place to look for ideas. Is there a downside to a panning option? Induced cant, other?

          Chris


          • Thanks Chris,

            I am kinda “reviewed out” but I will check HAM.

            Seems that a lot of the “knock-off” and economy bipods can be fixed up with a bit of TLC – the usual stuff: clean, deburr, shim, lubricate and upgrade hardware and be 90% there.

            A bipod with pivot and cant is ideal but it is difficult to have these movements and still have rigidity. On many bipods, pivot and cant movements conflict and cause binding. The better machining and tighter tolerances on the more expensive units manage this better.

            Kinda coming to the conclusion that it might be better to go with a simpler (more rigid) design that doesn’t cant (that can’t cant?? LOL! – sorry – I’m tired!) and work around that when needed. Cant is not much of an issue when shooting off a level bench – pesting in the wild is another story. I keep a couple of wedges (cut from a 2×6) to “adjust” the angle of my shooting rest when I am out at the sandpits shooting off the hood of the truck.

            Pivoting is important to save repositioning the rifle for each time especially when I’m shooting a string of 10 “one-per” targets while I am testing. Would not want to do without that.

            Anyway, I’ll take a look at HAM.

            TTFN!
            Hank


  6. B.B.,

    I am fuzzy on Air Arms in general, confusing the Pro-Sport and the Pro-Elite, and so on. But does the Pro-Sport have a recoil absorbing system like the Air Arms TX200SR? Or is it a GISS system? I thought it was a conventional underlever styled after the BSA Airsporter.

    Michael



      • B.B.,

        Thanks for clearing that up for me. I remember years ago I wanted to find a nice TX200SR until you wrote that it was heavier than the conventional TX200 and cocked harder, too. Because the regular TX200 is so smooth shooting as-is, I decided to look for one of those instead.

        Michael



  7. B.B.,

    Great Report series on rifle and scope!

    ” I seldom get a day of fun like this, where I can just shoot and forget about things. It was so refreshing!”
    When I’m visiting with my son and daughter-in-law we take turns spotting for each other. What fun to have someone knowledgeable keep you ontask which of course results in pure shooting joy!
    Get a good spotter to do all your setup, conditions, call recording, target read and results recording for your testing! You will enjoy your testing almost as much as your “seldom” day.

    Minor correction first Paragraph: ” So I am buying it to use (as) a testbed for .22 caliber pellets”

    I have an observation of the USB EXACT JUMBO target. The upper right pellet hole looks, to my eye, as if it was oriented almost upside-down (0700 -1300) and sideways as it cut the paper. All the other holes look normal for a dome pellet.

    shootski


    • shootski,

      Fixed it. Thanks.

      I know that pellet hole looks odd, but nothing was different. The pellet wasn’t loaded backwards. I doubt that a backwards pellet would fly that straight that far. I think I may have torn the paper back to open the hole for the photo.

      B.B.


  8. BB,

    I have an Air Arms Galahad. I came home after a month on the road and it had leaked down from around 250 bar to less than 100 bar. Would putting a little silicone oil in the fill port when I refill it solve the problem, and is that safe, or does it need a new o-ring somewhere?

    Randy



      • Thanks for the info.
        I assume that Crosman Silicone Chamber Oil or RWS Air Chamber Lube would be safe to use. How many drops would you suggest that I put into the foster adapter on my fill probe?

        Randy


    • If I can add my 2 cents, I own two Benjamin Marauders, one of them a refurbished factory unit. Both would leak down over time. For me, silicon oil on the foster fitting when I refilled the tank didn’t help. I traced the leaks to both having leaky end caps around the threads (I stuck the barrels into a pail of water to find those leaks). Teflon or plumbers’ tape stopped those leaks. But one still leaked. It’s amazing how well a bit of dish detergent with a little water works to show you that leak. Just put some on your finger, mix with some water and smear around every opening on the pressure tank. The second leak was coming from the pressure gauge. I don’t know if the threads on the gauge or the brass adapter that screwed into the pressure tank were to blame but plumbers/
      Teflon tape solved my problem again. A lot of tape!

      Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now happily in GA


    • Kansas Heat,

      Both B.B. and Fred’s suggestions are good ones. PCPs are unfortunately almost all designed differently and use different materials. When a PCP has an issue the first thing I do is check the owner’s manual for a problem section. If the owner’s manual has nothing I look for a manufactured site and do a search, next resource is the seller/repair station, then an owner/user forum and last on the list is a specific request on an internet Search Engine. Of course this blog is one of the few I trust for not having someone blow smoke up my _ _ _ about an issue; it seems to self police well ;^) and the readership virtually never speculate without telling you that they are.
      I’ll add my experience on leak downs: other than age too fast a fill will smoke O-Rings faster than you can say leak down…how do I know that…personal failure to keep the flow under control! Result burnt O-Ring.

      shootski

      PS: Some PCP (also CO2 and pump up pneumatics) will leak down if the hammer is allowed to rest on the valve stem



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