How hard is it to load pellets into the breach? I have large hands and am concerned about single shot loading.
Not hard at all, the breech also has a sort of a inward angle towards the the main pellet channel, allowing the pellet to roll inside ( in case you are not able to drop the pellet there)
would the hft 500 compete with the ftp900 in field target shoot? Or does it more depend on the shooter and your setup.
It's a bit of both. The HFT500 can be competitive but the FTP is going to offer ergonomic advantages as well as a few mechanical ones. The FTP is regulated, the HFT is not. That's not to say that you won't get consistent results out of the HFT. From shooting them both, if you wanted the best gun you can get from the Air Arms line for FT, the FTP is going to be the best of them.
How is the barrel secured on the end just under the air tank, the pictures do not show this very well and are conflicting as one picture shows it attached and another closeup does not?
The barrel sits above a teeny tiny rubber stop, i assume its there if u bump barrel but it is free floating!
The barrel is fully floated. It is not attached to the air tube.
Can this gun be had in a 20 ft/lb if ordered?
Air Arms only makes this gun in a 12 FPE version.
The specifications state that the HFT 500 has a manual safety, however Hard Air Magazine's review in 2015 states, "The Air Arms HFT 500 has no safety, either automatic or manual". I would like to know if this rifle has a safety, I am also looking at the S510 TC, does that rifle have a safety?
This gun has "NO" safety.
Does the accessory rail accommodate a hamster? Does PA sell the hamster?
Air Arms makes a hamster for it. I don't know if PA stocks them.
Can you adjust the power from 12fpe to 20fpe?
This gun is not UK version so there is no shear screw. There is a 2mm screw in front of the power adjuster screw. Takes only a second to gain access to the power adjuster screw. The factory setting choked down the transfer port up to 75%. It took 4.5 turns to open the transfer port all the way. Even if you opened it to 100% the most you can get is about 17 fpe with the heaviest pellets. The firing pot is too small for such a power therefore you may have consistency and accuracy problem if you pushed it to shoot this high. Beside the spring, and hammer are not strong enough to open the firing to let that much of air volume into the barrel to push pellet going this fast. However if you put a regulator in it, and set it around 120 bars. Have a machinist opened up the transfer port ( firing valve body, breech hole, and barrel hole from 3mm to 3.5, 3.7mm) back out firing valve compression a few turns then you may be able to get it shoots at 20 fpe efficiently. This gun is basically a MPR FT with S500 breech, air tube, stock and slight different hammer because since they raised the breech so they add a screw to hammer so when you cock the gun it catches the hammer. They also added a trigger extension setback a little but the rest of the components are the same nothing changed.
I have read online in chat rooms that the shear screw can be drilled out to get to the power adjuster screw but this will void the warranty. There was no mention of what power can be gained though. Proceed at your own risk.
It can be done, but you would need FAC Striker, FAC hammer spring, and a bigger measuring pot to ensure consistency at higher power setting. For about $100 dollars you can get all these parts.
Does anyone know what this gun will do from a rest , on paper at 25-50 yards?
In a wind free tunnel, the gun will shoot sub dime sized groups at 50 yards if the shooter does their part. 25 yards would be pretty much one hole. This is all under the assumption that you are using the right pellets for the gun as well.