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The Editor revisists the Daystate Revere in this follow-up test & review
As soon as I saw the prototype of the new Daystate Revere, I knew some of the diehard Huntsman fans would ‘have an opinion’ about its sidelever. I also knew those opinions would be based on form, not function, because the function of that sidelever is flawless. Yet again, the importance of styling confirmed itself, and my email inbox started shipping some heavy action. I included a single letter on this month’s ‘Points Of You’ pages, but it was one of many, with most criticising the design of that sidelever and not one negative about how well it works.
First, I agree that the Revere’s sidelever should be more in keeping with its classic Huntsman styling, and in particular that handle should be shortened by an inch or so, not least to prevent it obscuring the ‘Daystate’ etching on the stock. The practical fact is, the Revere’s sidelever system is so mechanically efficient that its handle could be half the length it is now, and you’d still hardly notice the cocking effort in the 12 ft.lbs. versions. Will Daystate change the design? Maybe. Are the orders for the Revere coming in? Oh yes, and those who have tried one are seriously impressed with it, so only time will tell if a sidelever redesign is on the cards, but as ever, the custom houses and clever amateurs within our sport will, I am sure, work their magic on that sidelever, and all will be at peace once more.
That’s more than enough about the styling of a sidelever; let’s crack on with the practical stuff, and the first stop is the new magazine system. Apart from the rather garish blue tint of the pellet-carrying wheel, this magazine is as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen. No doubt, in a couple of years, Daystate’s technical bods will come up with a nano-fix to improve some part the magazine’s performance but I can’t for the life of me see where that might be. Then again, I don’t have the inventive vision of the modern airgun boffin, but Daystate definitely does, and that’s why we are where we are with the Revere.
Back to the mag’, and the ‘flip the lid’ feature is an absolute winner as far as the ease of dropping in pellets goes. Yes, opening anything also opens it to possible contamination from crud, but that’s easily avoided by using our standard pellet hygiene rules, and our common sense.
The Huma regulator fitted to the .22 Revere on test finished its two-month intensive trial with an average consistency figure of 12 f.p.s. variation over the first 50 shots of its 250-bar, 90-plus shots charge. The energy output settled at 11.5 ft.lbs. and accuracy was every bit as nailed-on as I knew it would be. I shot the Revere, side-by-side with my own, six-year-old, unregulated Huntsman, and the groups were pretty much identical. Holes in targets can’t get that much smaller, especially when .22 rifles are punching out 10-shot, 40-yard groups measuring just under 20mm. My .177 Huntsman Regal will shoot slightly smaller groups, but there’s very little difference in the centre-to-centre figures. For the record, Daystate’s own Rangemasters should be your first trial pellets, with Air Arms Diabolo Field as back-up.
THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
The Revere is more than a Huntsman with a sidelever. The combination of its Huma regulator, new magazine system, several micro-upgrades to its internal hammer and valving system, plus whatever tweaks Daystate’s Accuracy Research Team has introduced to the barrel set-up, have had a significant effect. That effect is one of a smoother, more ‘clinical’ rifle, which makes slightly less fuss about doing what it does, compared to my own guns. The Revere is noticeably quieter, too, although again it’s not a massive difference. I guess it’s the sweet sound of progress, caused by the Revere’s refined innards requiring a slightly smaller dose of compression per shot.
For all of its refinements, the Revere’s performance can easily be downgraded by its handler, and of course this must always be avoided. Covering the basics of correct pellet selection, setting the rifle’s adjustable, two-stage trigger correctly – which doesn’t mean ‘as lightly as possible’ - and learning to load that new magazine quickly and cleanly, will get the new Revere owner off to the best possible start.
Continue that progress by giving some serious thought to your scope selection, paying particular attention to the effect that scope will have on the rifle’s balance and on-aim stability. This isn’t easy to evaluate, unless you have a scope of similar size and weight to try on your rifle, but it’s obvious that the smaller and lighter a scope is, the less its effect on the handling of the rifle, and very much vice-versa. The MCT Optics Mamba Pro 2-12 x 50 scope that was supplied with the test rifle is just about as big a scope as I’d fit, personally, but as always, you need to tailor your rifle to your needs.
When I upgrade to a Revere, and it’s definitely a ‘when’ rather than an ‘if’, I’ll be having a suitably styled adjustable butt pad fitted, and possibly a shiftable cheek piece to complement it and complete the gunfit formula that suits me best. These tweaks won’t be robogun, targetised fitments, though, because I’m as much of a gun tart as most of you are, and I want to gaze fondly at my Revere and smile, rather than wince. And yes, if Daystate hasn’t re-styled the lever handle by then, I’ll be commissioning something suitable from a talented craftsperson.
Meanwhile, to sum up the new Daystate Revere, I say this; during the past 30-odd years, I’ve either tested, owned, or extensively trialled every variation on the Huntsman theme, and the Revere is quite simply the finest of its kind - and that’s one hell of an upgrade.
RIFLE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION - DAYSTATE REVERE
Manufacturer/Model: Daystate Revere
Country of origin: UK and Italy
Price: £850 including single-shot loading tray
Type: Pre-charged, multi-shot, sporter
Calibre: .22, .177, .25 and .30
Cocking/loading: Sidelever, via an 11-shot magazine (13-shot in .177, 10 in .25, 8 in .30)
Trigger: 2-stage, adjustable, with manual, resettable safety
Stock type: Walnut sporter
Weight: 2.7 kg (5.9 5lbs) Rifle only
Length: 928 mm (36.5 ins) Excluding silencer
Barrel: 430 mm (17 ins)
Fill pressure: 250 bar
Shots per charge: 95 in .22 - 82 .177 at sub-12 ft.lbs.
Average energy: 11.5 ft.lbs.
Tel: 01423 - 881919
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