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With Christmas well and truly over, it’s time for me to make some new year’s resolutions that I’ve no intention to stick to. My first will be the promise to my better half - one I’ve made several times before and here it is again - I won’t buy any new guns this year.

This list is probably more of a wish list for me and airguns I’ve had the pleasure of shooting, so there’s an element of preference and bias attached to it, but nonetheless, the air guns listed are well worth mentioning, as they’re all affordable entry-level CO2, PCPs and springers aimed at introducing someone to the sport of shooting.

The list below is in no particular order, and I understand my choice may not be the same as yours and that’s great, as that’s what makes the airgun market exciting.

BSA R10 SE

 

BSA R10 SE

The much-loved R10 has gone through various improvements over the past, and 2019 sees its ten-year anniversary since the original launch in 2009. The R10 was a natural evolution of its predecessor the SuperTen or S10 rifle, at its launch replacing the S10 as the new flagship model from Birmingham Small Arms (BSA).

BSA boasts the improvements include an increase in the shot count of 25%, a new multi-adjustable butt pad, a spare improved magazine and the creative Customer Configuration Shroud (CCS), coupled with the classic R10 Minelli-styled stock, available in 4 options. The rifle is available in .177, .22 and .25, in both left and right-handed configurations. The user can quickly remove the shroud system changing the rifle’s look from and bull barrel to an unshrouded rifle, allowing the user to go for the look they’re most pleased with.

KEY FEATURES

  • Manufactured by Birmingham Small Arms – in the United Kingdom.

  • New and improved magazine, 10 shot in .177 and .22, 8 shot in .25. The rotor is now numbered. The magazine allows for smoother indexing. A high impact polymer base finger groove in the back plate. Knurled rotor for easy use and grip. Now with a last shot indicator.

  • New and improved trigger function, which now breaks even more cleanly than before giving even more shot control.

  • Fully regulated PCP rifle achieving consistent and dependable accuracy.

  • Detachable buddy bottle, delivering up to 250 shots per fill.

  • Available in Walnut, Realtree Camo, Black Pepper, Camo and Black Editions.

  • Multi-adjustable butt pad.

  • Fully adjustable 2 stage trigger.

  • Pressure gauge and quick fill system.

  • Ambidextrous stock, except in Walnut.

 

Weihrauch HW100

 

Weihrauch HW100

I wrote an article recently about the German manufacturer Weihrauch and talked about one of their well-engineered spring powered rifles, the HW98. The HW100, however, is a PCP and is Weihrauch’s flagship air rifle. The HW100 has remained pretty much unchanged since its launch.

Weihrauch offers the rifle in Sporter and bull barrel configurations and both versions are available in the standard or carbine lengths, with the added options of a thumbhole stock. Stocks are available in Walnut, synthetic and laminate. The HW100 can be bought in .177 and .22. All the versions of the rifle can be used with the ever so popular Weihrauch silencer, and the Sporter configurations are still supplied with one.

The HW100 side lever action can be operated effortlessly with the pull of a single finger making it second to none, and with its anti-double load mechanism, there's no way of double loading the rifle making it easy and safe to operate, even for beginners.  

The HW100 is also priced well and many enthusiastic air gunners will keep one in their collection. If I were you, I’d snap one up before we leave our European Union member Germany behind in the BREXIT.

KEY FEATURES

  • Manufactured by Weihrauch in Germany, and distributed by Hull Cartridge in the United Kingdom.

  • Available models: HW100S (Sporter), HW100K (Carbine), HW100 F.S.B (Fully Shrouded Barrel).

  • Power Plant: Pre-Charged Pneumatic.

  • Side lever action.

  • Two stage adjustable trigger.

  • Match grade barrel.

  • Ambidextrous stock options.

Look out for the full test and review of the HW100 in the coming months on GUNSTAR.CO.UK

 

Air Arms S4XX Range

 

Air Arms S400

The S400 or S410 range of rifles still remains the first choice for many newcomers to the sport of shooting, and rightfully so. The S400 single shot rifle made popular in the early years of HFT/FT disciplines and other tournaments is just as popular now as it was back then, with many competitors still holding their own on the tournament circuits with this beloved rifle.

The classic Sporter configuration and smooth stock lines, coupled with its high cheek piece continue to lend itself to sporting competitors, target shooters or back yard plinkers, bench rest shooters, and hunters like myself who refer to the S400 as the go-to rifle.

The S400 is a great gateway into shooting, and quite frankly, this may be the only rifle you will ever need. Unofficially the S400 would win the rifle of the year, year in and year out if I was making the choice; thank goodness our reader's opinions matter.

KEY FEATURES

  • Made in East Sussex in the United Kingdom by Air Arms.

  • Available in Sporter or carbine configurations.

  • Available as an S400 single shot version or an S410 multishot magazine version.

  • Power Plant: Pre-Charged Pneumatic.

  • Rear bolt cocking action.

  • Two stage adjustable trigger.

  • Match grade barrel.

  • Ambidextrous stock options are available.

Please refer to my previous article of the S400 for a more in-depth review.

 

Daystate Pulsar

 

Daystate Pulsar

I know; of all the Daystate’s I could’ve picked I went for the Pulsar. I’ve considered jumping on the bullpup bandwagon for some time, and have decided to opt for one that’s been on the market long enough for the manufacturers to iron out any kinks in its armour.

Daystate refers to the Pulsar as “A pinnacle of modern airgun engineering”, and having had my hands on one recently I must say it lives up to the above bold statement.

The Pulsar is available in a number of stock options, the rifle itself, however, remains the same, powered by a large 300cc reservoir of compressed air and controlled by Daystate’s Mapped Compensated Technology. This MCT computer gives a heart to the rifle. If there’s a rifle on the market that actually lives, breaths and thinks for you, this is it.

The pulsar offers an easy to reach side lever cocking mechanism, and like most, if not all Daystate rifles, the air rifle can be used in single shot or multi-shot mode, by swiftly interchanging the single shot tray to a ten-shot magazine. Loading the rifle couldn't be simpler. Daystate has also adapted an anti-double load feature, which makes life even easier.

The Pulsar is available in traditional Turkish Walnut, Laminate, or Black Synthetic stock options, and in both .177 and .22 calibre.

The Pulsar builds on the Daystate’s ever-increasing range of electronically controlled air rifles - this truly is the next step in evolution for airguns.

KEY FEATURES

  • Manufactured in Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom by Daystate UK.

  • Bullpup Configuration.

  • Interchangeable magazine and single-shot tray.

  • Side lever cocking action.

  • Powered by compressed air (Pre-Charged Pneumatic).

  • Mapped Compensated Technology (MCT) electronic trigger and rifle mechanics.

  • Harper Patent Valve System.

  • Two stage adjustable trigger.

  • Ambidextrous stock options in, classic Turkish Walnut, Black Synthetic and Laminate.

  • Available in .177 and .22 calibres.

  • Match grade shrouded barrel, with a ½ inch UNF end (protected by a thread protector) to allow the option of a silencer.

  • Large 300cc air reservoir.

  • Powered by 6 x AAA batteries.

 

Air Arms TX200

 

Air Arms TX200

Now it has been said, and I agree, I’m not a springer man, but as is often said here in sunny Lancashire “If it ain’t a springer, you’re cheating”. As far as fixed barrel rifles and springers go mine would be a TX200. I've owned one in the past and sadly I let it go, so this year I’ll have a keen eye out for a second hand cherished TX200HC (Hunter Carbine).

The TX200 is available in both long and shorter carbine versions and has an underlever action. Pulling on the underlever to cock the rifle opens the large loading port, for the benefit of directly feeding a pellet feed into the barrel. The rifle is available in Beech and Walnut stock options and although the stock is a standard right-hand configuration, a left-hand version can be bought at an extra premium. The TX200 is also available in both .177 and .22 calibres.

The TX200 is Air Arms’ bestselling springer air rifle, and recent improvements to the MK3 include a softer spring load for cocking, without sacrificing power. The rifle also has a shrouded barrel with built-in baffles which dampen the sound to some degree. Coupled with Air Arms’ purpose made silencer, this is a very quiet springer.

KEY FEATURES

  • Manufactured in East Sussex in the United Kingdom by Air Arms.

  • Available in Sporter or carbine configurations.

  • Match grade shrouded barrel, with a built-in moderator and the option of attaching an additional silencer to the business end.

  • Power Plant: Spring Powered.

  • Underlever cocking action.

  • Two stage adjustable trigger.

  • Available in both .177 and .22 calibres.

  • Beech or Walnut stock, in dedicated left- or right-hand configurations.

 

Weihrauch HW77

 

Weihrauch HW77

Another springer I hear you say, well I had to put this one on my list and I know that Air Arms fanboys won't like me saying this, but this rifle looks and operates almost as identically as the Air Arms TX200. I wonder which one came first?

The unshrouded or non-bull-barrel HW77 is widely considered to be the most successful under lever cocking air rifle ever made. Developed and manufactured by Weihrauch in Germany, it’s known for its accuracy, its durable construction and its considerable weight.

The HW77 trumps the TX200 with its open sights, however, much of the rest of the rifle remains the same. It may not be as pretty as the TX200 and I salute Air Arms for taking something so good and trying to make it better, well at least in the looks department.

The HW77 is available in the standard Sporter length, with HW77K (K stands for ‘KURZ’ which means ‘SHORT” in German or Deutsch) and an HW77SE version (the SE version is available in brown, green and black laminate). The HW77 is also available in .177 and .22 calibres.

KEY FEATURES

  • Manufactured by Weihrauch in Germany, and distributed by Hull Cartridge in the United Kingdom.

  • Fixed barrel system.

  • Removable front sight, micrometre rear sight with four different notches.

  • Automatic safety.

  • Precision adjustable match "Rekord" trigger.

  • Handy and elegant hardwood stock with cheekpiece on both sides, ambidextrous.

  • Checkering on pistol grip and forearm.

  • Rubber butt plate.

  • Available in Sporter and carbine configurations in both Walnut and Beech.

  • Available in .177 and .322 Calibres.

 

KWC Colt 1911

 

KWC Colt M1911

I enjoy taking the youngsters into the great outdoors, and sometimes they get a little bored of sitting around or stalking that elusive rabbit. I beat the boredom with a couple of blowback pistols. The Colt 1911 CO2 blowback pistol shoots steel or copper BB’s and will push them out as quick as you can pull the trigger.

The Colt 1911 pistol has authentic laser etched trademarks and stamping on the side and outer barrel. The CO2 blowback is extremely powerful and feels real in the hands. The pistol offers a responsive realistic blowback feature when operated, a fully functioning top slide, a realistic cocking blade and semi-automatic trigger. The pistol can also be stripped down for maintenance and service, as per the live firing version. The magazine is ejected from the bottom of the pistol grip which adds to the realism. The magazine holds one 12 gram CO2 cartridge and the BBs to the side of the magazine, which are held under a spring tension.

Many would say the KWC Colt 1911 is just a fun gun, offering little in accuracy and durability. It is however a very low budget affordable air gun and the pleasure it gives me watching my youngsters enjoy a trip out to the woods to shoot tin cans is priceless. Hence its proud place on this list.

 

KEY FEATURES

  • From KWC of Taiwan who is a very reputable gas gun manufacturer.

  • Incredible quality for the price, full solid metal construction with little wobble.

  • Replacement/upgrade parts are available.

  • Available in .177 BB calibre only.

  • Realistic blowback and operation.

  • Flush fitting magazine that holds a single 12-gram CO2 cartridge and the ammunition.

  • A close reproduction of the original.

  • It tears down and operates 90% like a real steel 1911.

  • Great fun for shooting tin cans and paper at close ranges.

 

Beeman 2004E/P17

 

Beeman 2004E

Like a lot of cheap and cheerful alternatives the Beeman pistol has a close likeness to its more expensive German counterpart the Weihrauch HW40, or are they the same pistol?

The Beeman 2004E/P17 distributed by Sportsmarketing (SMK) is an affordably priced Single Stage Pneumatic Recoilless Pistol. The outer body is made from high impact ABS resin, and the pistol is available in .177 and .22 calibres.

The pistol is equipped with front and rear truglo open sights, and a Picatinny style top rail, although I’d be reluctant to attach anything to it and I’ll get to that later.

The fake hammer at the rear of the pistol is pulled to release the top portion of the pistol, as the pistol top splits in half, hinged at the front, the user must pull the pistol open and then close the pistol to complete the cocking cycle. The cocking cycle does, however, take some effort, hence me mentioning not wanting to place anything on the top accessory rail, as it would just get in the way.

Whilst the pistol is in the open position, the safety located to the left-hand side of the pistol will auto-engage, and now the barrel can be seen on the top portion of the pistol. Pellets are placed directly into the breach of the barrel and this can be fiddly at first, but with practice, you’ll get used to it.

The pistol is ambidextrous with the exception of the safety slide which is permanently sited to the left-hand side of the action.

Don’t expect to win many competitions with this pistol, as mine puts out muzzle energy of around 2.6 ft/lbs. The pistol will pierce soda cans at ten yards, but anything of greater density than empty soda cans isn’t likely to be affected by the pellet impact.

The pistol offers an added comfort in knowing there's no need to buy CO2 or any expensive compressed air charging equipment and may help you build a few muscles. All it takes is man (and woman) power to operate and will continue to shoot pellets for as long as you’re able to cock it.

Key Features

  • Manufactured by Weihrauch in Germany, and distributed by Sportsmarketing (SMK) in the United Kingdom.

  • Single Stage Pneumatic power plant.

  • Available in .177 or .22 calibres.

  • Automatic safety.

  • Adjustable trigger (although I found the adjustments where pretty poor at best).

  • Made from durable high impact ABS resin.

  • Fitted with truglo sights.

  • Fun gun for all day tin can or paper shooting (very accurate to ten yards).

 

Theoben MFR

 

Theoben MFR

This is the air rifle that’s been on the top of my wishlist for as long as I can remember. About a decade ago I was offered an MFR but opted to purchase the BSA S10 instead, although I’ve never regretted purchasing the BSA S10, I did regret not purchasing the Theoben MFR as well. At the time the Theoben MFR was selling at a reasonable price, unfortunately for me, current market trends have seen the price of the well sought-after rifle double.

The original Theoben MFR was the brainchild of David Theobald and Ben Taylor, both saw many years of success designing and building spring powered, gas ram and PCP rifles before Theoben ceased to trade here in the UK.

The MFR is a fully regulated rifle, available in .177, .20 and .22 calibres with a 16-inch match grade standard shrouded barrel, giving the rifle that familiar bull barrel look. The rifle has a buddy bottle configuration and is operated by the rear bolt action. The magazine is loaded via a scalloped port on the left-hand side of the action. The MFR came in a standard Walnut stock, with a dedicated left- or right-hand side cheek piece.

The end of the bull barrel shroud could be screwed off to reveal the ½-inch UNF fitting end, allowing the operator of the rifle to fit a silencer to the already clever silenced back venting shroud, and thus increasing the sound suppression.

I don’t wish to say too much about the Theoben MFR as I’ll carry out a thorough review of this rifle when I purchase one for myself sometime this year.

KEY FEATURES

  • Formerly manufactured by Theoben in the United Kingdom. Currently manufactured by Air Force Air Guns, Theoben / Rapid USA.

  • Pre-Charged Pneumatic power plant. Complete with a 280cc buddy bottle as standard.

  • Originally the buddy bottle had to be removed to be filled, later models came with a quick fill port and manometer.

  • Originally available with a dedicated left or right-hand side walnut stock, this is available in an ambidextrous stock.

  • Available in .177, .20 and .22 calibres.

  • A number of removable magazines and single shot tray options.

  • Fully adjustable MK4 trigger unit.

  • Current offerings include adjustable butt plates and cheek pieces.

Look out for the upcoming comprehensive review of the Theoben MFR on GUNSTAR.CO.UK.

 

Air Arms FTP900

 

Air Arms FTP900 Profile View

As time passes, the environment and conditions that affect us change and naturally, we and everything else around us must evolve to find an equilibrium with the surroundings. The FTP900 - the flagship rifle by Air Arms is the evolution of the EV2 MK4.

The FTP900 is the pinnacle of air gun design and performance. This has to be the Rolls Royce of air rifles, with uncompromising build quality and design, the attention to detail is just outstanding. This single-shot Pre-Charged Pneumatic will hit everything you aim it at (once the scope is zeroed in of course) straight out of the box and it’ll continue to do so time and time again, outperforming the shooter.

The rifle is equipped with all manner of adjustments, in fact every adjustment you’ll ever need is available. No wonder it’s the rifle of choice for the current HFT champion.

The only thing left for Air Arms to do now is make it shoot for you. Or why shoot it at all, why not stand and marvel at its magnificence?

KEY FEATURES

  • Manufactured in East Sussex in the United Kingdom by Air Arms.

  • Available in .177 calibre only.

  • Multi-adjustable butt pad.

  • Multi-adjustable cheek piece.

  • Multi-adjustable hamster.

  • Onboard spirit level.

  • Ergonomic design for comfort, with a laminate stock as standard.

  • Air stripper as standard.

  • Direct loading into the breach of the barrel.

  • Effortless side lever cocking action.

  • Fully adjustable trigger.

  • Regulated action offering 90+ shots on a 190 BAR fill.

  • Pre-Charged Pneumatic power plant.

  • Shrouded barrel.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article, bookmark GUNSTAR.CO.UK and stay up to date with shooting events and products, both new and old. As always shoot straight and shoot safe.

Ray Hussain
Airgun Expert and Enthusiast
Published on 2019-01-09