A massive red sun is setting across the Vaal River in typical spectacular North-West fashion. On the little island I overlook from my camp chair next to the smouldering cooking fire, water birds quibble loudly for the best spot to overnight.
My little breakneck springer rests across my knees. I’ve been sitting here for a while, taking pot shots at the hyacinths floating downstream on the mirror surface of the water when they come into reach of the little 6fpe springer. Their bulbous spongy stems explode on impact and they make very nice moving targets using leading technique when aiming. The water splash of missed shots gives an indication of my judging errors.
On the game conservancy across the river a few zebra lazily stroll back into the bush after taking a drink at the river edge. I contemplate getting up to put some wood on the fire but reach for my mug of Kenna coffee on the ground next to me instead, deciding to savour the moment a while longer while the bush goes to sleep as darkness falls.
Suddenly the tranquil mood is shattered with a loud whooshing sound and a flash of light on my side of the river bank. I half jump up from my chair, dropping my mug with precious coffee, totally forgetting about the little rifle in my lap which by now was airborne. I catch it just before it touches ground, flipping and balancing it in spectacular acrobatic fashion like a cheerleader’s staff, and then land back in my chair with the rifle back in my lap and safe from harm.
Four paces away from me stand a woman, a halo of light surrounding her. On her back two wings, like those of a splendid butterfly, slowly open and close in hypnotic movement.
“I’m the Air Rifle Fairy”, she breaks the stunned silence. I grapple for words, common decency demand an introduction and I let fly with: “And I’m Vannermerwe,” and have to concentrate to close my mouth again after uttering the words.
Her piercing green-eyed glance drops to my lap. “Oh, and this is my air rifle” I say shifting uncomfortably in my squeaking camp chair while gesturing with a nod towards my breakneck springer I valiantly saved from eating dust moments ago.
“I know”, she casually remarks, “it’s a Weihrauch HW30 Mark4, you would have done better with a HW30S, better trigger group.”
“I did not know about Rekord triggers when I bought this rifle 12 years ago”, I tried to regain ground and dignity, she’s a beauty of a woman AND know something about springers, give her that.
“You still don’t know much about air rifles in general now do you?” Her tone of voice was mocking now, almost as if she really feels sorry for me and my little springer on my lap. She casually brushes a strand of hair away from her cheek with sleek fingers in a teasing motion.
I sit up straight in my chair facing this sudden challenge to my male dignity, who’s SHE to come tune ME at MY campfire about air rifles, making me spill my Kenna and almost drop my Weihrauch 30? Ok, she can fly, but I can walk AND ride bike.
I counter with authority in my voice. “I have a lot of air rifles, Weihrauch, Air Arms, I’ve shot Evanix, Steyr, Anschutz, Feinwerkbau, and did I mention FEINWERKBAU!? So I know about air rifles by now”.
She smiles and replies, still mockingly, very sweet voice: “Oh so many! And where are half of them now? Sold? Swapped? Why? “ She drops her chin and flutters her long eyelashes.
I pretend to be rubbing an imaginary spot on the rifle stock on my lap, mind racing to find an answer to counter her verbal attack.
“It’s normal to have a lot of rifles for different needs,” I mutter at a loss for words.
The birds on the island are quiet now, it’s getting dark so I get up from my chair and busy myself with putting wood on the fire, silently awaiting her reply, or rebuke rather.
She just stands there, watching me with interest and only speaks again when I’m back in my chair: “Like I said, I’m the Air Rifle Fairy, I know the rifle you seek exists, tell me, if I grant you any wish at all, what is it you’d like to have in a single rifle? Don’t disappoint me like the previous shooter I visited, he calls himself “The Bludster”, he wished for ANY springer that can shoot pellets and then wished for a case of cold beer and my cellphone number.”
I look her straight in the eye and say:”ONE rifle that can do EVERYTHING I want an air rifle to do?” My mind was racing again; I’ll start with the rifle on my lap to win time and gather my wits so I say: “Ok, it must be able to shoot 6fpe, a JSB 8.4gn at 560 fps so I can plink all day and shoot inside the house at a 10m target when it rains, without killing my pellet trap.” I was thinking of the Anschutz 8002.
“Granted,” she says, nodding for me to continue.
“It must be a PCP, and when I shoot 6fpe I must get 700 shots on a fill.” I smirk at my own craziness and promptly swallow my smile when she answers: “Granted, quick fill. Rifle’s maximum safe working pressure 230bar, so you’ll want to fill it from a 300bar dive cylinder, inside your quick fill adapter will be a reducer so you don’t damage the rifle with a sudden 300bar surge when you open the dive cylinder valve.”
I look out over the river past her and spot a floating hyacinth reflecting in the afterglow of the sunset on the water, a nice distant one, about 100m away on the other side of the island, way out of reach of my little springer. Ok, you clever fairy, listen to this, I think and say challenging: “The same rifle must be able to shoot FAC at 25fpe without me taking it apart or using tools to adjust it.”
She smiles again and replies: “Done, and I’ll throw in a shot count of 150 at 25fpe FAC, knowing that your HW100KT you love so much only gives you 40 odd shots at 15fpe on a fill. It will be infinitely adjustable between 6fpe and 25fpe, so if you choose you could shoot it at 8fpe, 15fpe, or even 12fpe like most air rifles, with a shot count of 340 on a single fill.”
I narrow my eyes at her and say: “You joking right?”
She’s still smiling: “No, I’m not joking , and since you are talking regulated PCP now I’ll throw in a regulator with a 12 fps spread from 230bar down to 110bar, that’s if you are too lazy to weigh pellets, if you weigh JSB’s we’ll look at 8fps extreme spread.”
My mouth is dry now but I do not dare get up to fetch coffee before we’re done here. Call me an opportunist but I like where this is leading to. The wood I put on the smouldering fire catch alight and the lovely aroma of Acacia tree fill the air.
“It must be a single shot AND take a magazine,” I demand.
“Done, a 10 shot rotary magazine and single shot facility and oh, the magazine can be adapted to insert from left or right as you please and I’ll make it low profiled so it will fit under a scope with low mounts. No springs or clips to hold it in place, only two super magnets with super accurate alignment. ” She pauses before adding: “You know that magazine cavities in aluminium actions create a weak spot, especially when considering the torsional forces of FAC shooting. The racegun shooters use scope raiser rails to bridge this weakness. I’ll add steel re-enforcement into the action to solve this little problem.”
She’s starting to look bored now, time I shake her up: “It must have a built in chronograph” I venture, looking for reaction.
“Of course you silly, do you think I’ll give you a PCP that’s power adjustable if I don’t give you a precision means of checking the power adjustment? Since you need a little screen to read the chrony result of each pellet fired I’ll use the same screen to display the exact pressure left in the cylinder, display how many shots you have left in the magazine you are shooting, and a beep will tell you the mag is empty. While at it, let’s display how many shots you have fired since you last reset the counter so you can count shots after a barrel clean or per fill if you do not believe me on shot count. Just so you know when you’re running low on battery power for your regulator, I’ll add a percentage display as well, the batteries are re-chargeable and will last at least 2500 shots when you are shooting at 12fpe. Should you forget to switch the rifle off, it will do so by itself if not used in 10 minutes.”
She’s got me, there’s hardly anything left to wish for except, wait, the MOST important thing: “It must be race-gun accurate” I challenge.
She’s looking at her nails now in boredom: “What use would it be if it was not the most accurate rifle you ever had? There will be a match grade shrouded barrel on it, free floating. I’ll put a match grade adjustable trigger on it, it will be an electronic switch, triggered with manual leverage and stages set with springs” she replies without bothering to look up.
She yawns, “Anything else?”
I’m thinking hard now; “It must have a thumbhole stock, walnut with stippling, must be ambidextrous and must be light enough to carry around all day.”
She looks up at me again, a seriousness on her face: “I know of beauty and wood, it will be an Italian Minelli stock in high grade oiled Turkish Walnut with rosewood grip cap and the rifle will weigh less than 4kg in total, let’s make it 3.63kg un-scoped weight to be exact, 300g lighter than your HW100. It’s getting late and you need to start braaiing,” she nods toward the campfire.
She continues; “And since I know what you’ll ask for next I’ll add an integral air stripper to the shroud to silence this beast of a rifle and UNF thread so it can accept any silencer or better even, an advanced silencer developed for this rifle, a silencer that slides half its length back over the barrel so the rifle stays compact and renders the rifle dead quiet, even at FAC energy levels.”
She looks over her shoulder at the now dark and eerie surface of the river and continues: “I’ll put a backlight on your display screen so you can use it in the dark, you can set it to stay on or only light the display for 10 seconds after each shot or keep it unlit.
A beeping device will warn you when your air is close to depleted and will also beep when you are making adjustments to velocity values.
This rifle can be dipped in water and will still shoot, in case you worried about electronics and rain.
There will be an option to render the action totally manual, if set, it will force you to manually put the safety off and on again after every shot fired. You know that even a dry fire on a FT range is considered a shot fired during competition. Remember, since the hammer will be driven by the regulator’s solenoid you’ll need no effort to cock this rifle, you only slide the bolt back to insert your pellet, and forward to feed it into the barrel, you can do this with your finger tips. This way the rifle can stay on target while loading it, no yanking on bolt handles to get it cocked.
To make this rifle a safe rifle I’ll add a set of keys so you can lock the electronics down so a child or unauthorised person cannot fiddle with it and get hurt. ”
My mouth is still open, there’s NOTHING else I can wish for, in fact, she named things I could not even dream up to have on a PCP.
“All in one single rifle” I mutter, more to myself in astonishment than to her. I look up at her again and hear myself say in an almost pleading tone of voice: “Please, don’t go, tell me where I can find this rifle?”
She gives me a warm understanding smile: “You’ve had your share of buying, testing, fixing and selling, browsing the ‘for sale’ section of the forum, of fiddling with hammer springs and regulators, firing over chronographs until late at night. There’s a wise man in a city ten hours on horseback from here,” she looks past me at my car, “about 3 hours by Pajero, South East if you follow the road, he holds the answer to your dreams.” She leans forward and I cannot help but notice her cleavage as she writes something in the sand with a dainty finger.
I glance at where my Led Lenser headlight hangs in a tree and get up to grab it just as Linda calls from the other side of the campsite where she sat watching Giant Owl chicks with her binoculars all afternoon: “Are you talking to the dogs again?”
I switch the Led Lenser on and look towards where the fairy stood, she was gone and I hurry over to the writing in the sand. There, in the prettiest handwriting I’ve ever seen is written:
Hennie, Safari&Outdoor, ask for an AirWolf MVT FAC by Daystate.
I went in search of my ultimate rifle and found it at Safari&Outdoor, just as the Air Rifle Fairy advised.
I rushed back home and opened the box:
Inside, well packaged against harm was a rifle that made me gasp for breath, a thing of beauty, oozing quality and craftsmanship, Daystate’s sporter flagship. There, the set of keys, a single shot tray, a 10 shot rotary magazine, a charger and a fill adapter. The Fairy had it all sorted.
Like I said somewhere else on the forum, Nigel Allen of Airgun World magazine wrote in his review on this magnificent piece of technology: “The truth is, while this is the most technologically advanced air rifle in the world today, it’s also the simplest as far as the shooter is concerned.”
A thing of beauty. I never used to be a buddy bottle fan but I guess after seeing enough Theobens I got used to the idea. A 25fpe shot count of 150 and 340 at 12fpe makes this so much more acceptable:
I’m a tinkerer at heart, I like experimenting and this might be the reason I went through so many rifles before getting to my ultimate air rifle. The one thing most of my experiments revolved around was power adjustment.
We often hear someone say at a range, or write in the ‘for sale’ thread; “This rifle loves X pellets at Y speed.” There is truth in that, that’s why rifles are ‘tuned’, tedious processes associated mainly with Theobenites, involving spanners, lathes, add on aftermarket parts and chronographs on tripods. This involves power adjustment, consistency improvement and finding the most accurate barrel for the rifle. The Wolf has it all, out the box.
How does one set a Wolf’s power? FPE (foot pound energy) is dictated by velocity and the weight of the projectile. As the ‘velocity’ in “Mapped Velocity Technology” implies, energy is adjusted by the user choosing pellet speed for a specific pellet weight.
I can choose to shoot an 8.4gn JSB Exact at 800fps using 12fpe to do so, or a JSB Heavy 10.3gn also at 800fps and the rifle will use 14.6fpe to maintain the same velocity. Should I prefer to stick to 12fpe with the heavies I must change the velocity to 724fps to maintain 12fpe. Should I likewise choose to shoot the 8.4gn at 882fps, the rifle will use 14.6fpe to do so.
The possibilities of pellet choice, velocity and energy combinations are both exciting and limitless, and to know what you’re doing, the chrony is ever present and every shot fired is measured. If you use unknown pellets, all you need is a pellet scale to calculate energy used. The formula is simple:(FPSxFPSxGrains)/450240. Or Chairgun can be used to do the calculation and display the trajectory.
I did a photo of the Combro chrony for my write-up on power levels and decided to compare its readings with the Wolf’s built in chrony:
I drew up a table as convenient quick reference for all my favourite pellet types. A quick glance will tell me what speed to set the Wolf to for what energy with which pellet.
A glance at the menu functions:
1) Magazine count reset. (Reset to start counting down shots fired from mag, rifle will beep and refuse to fire when mag is empty.)
2) Shot count reset. (Shot counter will keep counting shots fired until reset, handy for counting shots per fill, pellets fired since last barrel clean, recharge of battery etc.)
3) Display pressure. This screen can be used while filling the rifle, manometer accurate to a tenth of a bar.
4) Set velocity. (As it says, from 500fps to 1200fps)
5) Lighting options. (Backlight for display can be set to stay on, or to switch off 10 seconds after shot was fired, or to stay off.)
6) Mag count on/off (To activate mag counter which is reset in menu 1)
7) Single shot on/off (Used during FT competitions, rifle will fire one shot and won’t fire again if trigger is pulled, unless safety is switched to on and off again.) This prevents accidental dry firing.
8) Pressure warning. Warns you by beeping when a minimum cylinder pressure is reached as set by you.
9) Reset all. Used to restore rifle to factory default settings, zero’s all counters and set velocity to 0fps, mag count to off, pressure warning to off and single shot mode to off. Will also display current software version of the rifle.
Pellet velocity adjustable from 500fps to 1200fps
Energy adjustment range approximately 4fpe to 25fpe (.177) 6fpe to 40fpe (5.5mm)
Built in precision chronograph, operates under any light condition.
Precision regulator, average of 12fps extreme spread. (Depending on quality of pellets)
User resettable shot counter.
230bar working pressure
500cc cylinder with 400cc cylinder option.
Quick fill with 300bar reducer built in, easy reach with dust cap.
Digital manometer with 0.1bar accuracy.
Massive shot count thanks to precision regulator and lack of hammer bounce, more than 340 shots at 12fpe and more than 150 at 25fpe
Audible warning before going off reg to refill, warning level can be set by shooter.
10 shot rotary magazine and single shot tray options, interchangeable without tools.
Magazine auto indexing, low profile, no accuracy difference between s/shot and mag.
Magazine inserted from left or right to accommodate scope side wheels.
Magazine easily accommodates long pellets like JSB Monsters.
Audible warning when magazine is empty and magazine shots remaining counter.
Manual safety switch. ( Rifle will disable itself if left unattended for longer than 10mins.)
Safety switch has a light function, status visible in pitch dark.
Action can be locked with a key.
Smooth effortless bolt action.
Two stage adjustable hair trigger. (Rowan Engineering racegun trigger with adjustable shoe available, similar to the GP’s FT trigger.)
Internal action strengthening of loading recess/magazine cavity.
Standard dovetail scope rail.
Extremely short lock time, about 5 times faster than conventional PCP’s.
Shrouded free floating 12 land rifled 430mm Lothar Walther match grade barrel.
Total rifle length 1028mm.
Standard UNF silencer thread with a protective chequered barrel nut when not in use.
Airstream carbon silencer available, adds only 6cm to rifle length because of ‘reflex’ design, half the silencer slips back over the barrel shroud, creating a chamber over the shroud.
Integral air stripper.
Well balanced high grade oiled Walnut thumbhole stock, thumb up or thumb around pistol grip shooting possible.
Grip stippling and rosewood grip cap.
Rifle weighs only 3.63kg unscoped, almost 500g lighter than a HW97K springer, and only 200g heavier than an AA S510.
Bolt on hamster available from Rowan Engineering, replaces existing stock bolt, (no drilling.)
Adjustable shoulder pad available from Rowan Engineering.
Low maintenance action, very few moving parts.
New models with percentage battery power left indicator, upgraded from ‘voltage left’ indicator.
Available in 4.5mm, 5.0mm and 5.5mm calibres.
3 Year guarantee.
Forgive me if I’ve left something out, there are simply SO many features and I still fail to find something, ANYTHING about this rifle I do not like. Maybe the polished stainless steel bolt handle, but yes, there is a matt black option available and I did not specify it to the Air Rifle Fairy.
Just another GP this Wolf? Yes and no, the GP is a dedicated FT rifle, no magazine option, designed for optimal accuracy and performance at 12fpe and limited to 18fpe. The development of the JSB Monsters now also in .177, opens up another accurately useable .177 energy level, that of 18-25fpe.
Excellent adjustable two stage trigger:
Business end of the AirWolf:
After acquiring this rifle I must admit; there’s no other rifle out there that tickles my fancy. A weird feeling after all this time of browsing on-line shops, looking at specs, checking what the other shooters unpack at the range, listening to talk of their latest conversions, tweaks and blinging to try achieve ‘better’ rifles or ‘more functional’ rifles or ‘more accurate’ rifles or ‘better looking’ or ‘better shot count’ or ‘better regulation’ to compensate for poor out the box performance.
This rifle really does it all for me, and instead of an array of scopes for an array of rifles, I could justify one decent scope for this rifle, a Leupold 6.5x20x40 EFR bought second hand.
I could at last cut the foam in my long ago acquired Storm case, not worrying about changing my mind about the rifle it holds.
Unfortunately the official bench decision to rule MVT technology out was made after I bought this rifle so I had to choose; sell the Wolf for older technology or leave official bench competition. I left official bench competition.
If I write a review on a rifle again it will be on a borrowed rifle. I’m by no means ignorant about the other quality rifles out there, each with its own function and area of excellence but to me personally, the Wolf fits like a glove and does it all.
See, wishes do come true.
Dr. Bob manufactures an ingenious sling swivel device from spring loaded stainless with a thick powder coat. It clamps around the cylinder. Attaching a sling or bipod is a breeze. Available from Bestfittings:
Quick fill conveniently situated and protected by a slide-on alu dust cap:
Quality well defined stippling and Minelli’s initial:
Supplied single shot tray:
After market single shot tray with raised side to assist loading using gloves or half frozen fingers. Available from Smoothshooting:
The revolutionary Airstream Reflex carbon fibre silencer:
After market stuff for the Wolf:
And about accuracy. Late night on the farm, very little wind, a full measured 50 meters, unlike the standard Northcliff 45m I usually test at:
The weekend, shooting spot from the cottage porch, close to the gas stove and coffee:
Linda kept herself busy with the bee hives while I put the Wolf through it’s paces for the review, she’s burning old honeycombs that she replaced:
For more technical detail on the workings of MVT technology please visit my write-up: The electronic Daystate Rifles de-mystified. https://www.airrifle.co.za/showthread.php?t=18335
I’ll keep updating this thread as time pass and I get to learn more about this rifle. This one’s here to stay!
Discussion at: https://www.airrifle.co.za/threads/38784