Behind the Scenes at Daystate Airguns
In the Summer of 2015, Hard Air Magazine Publisher Stephen Archer visited the Daystate airguns headquarters in their new, modern factory at Eccleshall, England. This is what he saw…
Above, Tony Belas holds an example of the new Daystate Pulsar Synthetic PCP air rifle.
Daystate Limited was was founded in 1978 and in its early days manufactured tranquilizer guns and air rifles for commercial pest control purposes. By the mid 1980s, Daystate airguns became available to the general public. Right from the beginning, the company has specialized in Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) air rifles. It’s still very proud of these older models and there’s a collection of historic – and very valuable – Daystate airguns displayed in the new building.
The current range includes purely mechanical models like the Huntsman Regal, although Daystate airguns have increasingly featured cutting-edge electronic control technology in their design. The latest Pulsar bullpup model exemplifies this trend and continues Daystate’s approach of developing beautiful-looking, yet high tech air rifles.
Above, the Brocock Compatto semi-bullpup PCP air rifle is also assembled at the Eccleshall facility.
Since 2009, Daystate’s parent company has been the Italian Diana Group. (Note, there’s no connection with German Diana airguns). Since this time, MTC Optics joined the group, as did British airgun manufacturer Brocock in 2014.
Daystate Marketing Director and “main man” Tony Belas showed Stephen Archer around the factory, answering every question and explaining all about why Daystate airguns are true premium models.
Electronic controls are used in an increasing number of Daystate airguns to reduce lock time and give greater consistency to the firing cycle. Considerable attention is given in design and manufacturing to ensure that moisture does not degrade the electronics performance. And this concern for corrosion resistance is continued to other parts such as the main air pressure tube, which is anodized internally to prevent the moisture damage that can occur with any PCP airgun if it is charged from a hand pump.
Below, we see Air Wolf and Pulsar actions staged between assembly operations.
Another specialty is the building of limited edition custom versions of Daystate airguns. These are offered once or twice a year and – says Tony – they sell very rapidly, the record being the complete run sold out in 45 minutes from announcement!
A small batch of beautiful engraved custom breeches and high grade Turkish walnut stocks with rosewood grip caps were on hand at the time of Stephen’s visit. These were destined for the special limited edition Daystate Regal Artemis model destined for Airguns of Arizona in the USA.
Below. These parts were for Artemis number 12 of 50. That’s an instant collector’s item…
All Daystate airguns are manufactured against orders from dealers and distributors around the world. Not surprisingly, the UK and USA are among the largest markets for Daystate airguns.
Below, pressure tubes being assembled for air rifles destined for US Daystate distributor Airguns of Arizona. Note the labels attached to each action giving caliber, model, serial number and customer name.
Actions move through the assembly process in stages and below a rack of Daystate Wolverine and Huntsman air rifles await the fitting of their Italian Minelli wood stocks.
All Daystate airguns are bench assembled by highly experienced airgunsmiths. Once each air rifle has been completed, it is pressurized and is held for a leak test that lasts 48 hours or more. But that’s not all. Every airgun is subjected to a test-firing regime of at least 150 shots. Obviously, accuracy is tested and the muzzle velocity measured at this stage. Also the regulators are set for their minimum and maximum pressures – together with the mid pressure setting for the Pulsar.
Below, Daystate airguns are assembled at several workstations like this.
The breech of many Daystate airguns is a large, complex part that’s the result of many CNC machining stages. It’s the precision “heart” of the air rifle and much effort goes into manufacturing it to very tight tolerances. It’s also finished and anodized to very high standards, as you can see from this Wolverine 303 receiver, below. It has to look beautiful, as well as work flawlessly!
Here’s a row of Pulsars sitting-out their pressure test.
Once the pressure test is passed, accuracy and muzzle velocity testing takes place on a dedicated range, equipped with chronographs and computerized recording of the test targets. The performance of all Daystate airguns is recorded in this way and archived for quality control purposes.
Finally, every airgun is carefully packed in substantial packaging, together with the operator’s guide and other printed material to delight the new owner. There’s a huge emphasis at Daystate on quality at every stage of design, manufacture and assembly so that the customer is delighted with his/her new purchase.
This is a beautiful, special edition Daystate Wolverine Forester, ready to ship out. Wow!
As well as manufacturing airguns, Daystate Limited has been the agent for British scope company MTC for 7 years. Now MTC is part of the group and Daystate distributes these quality scopes world-wide.
Although now located in the small English country town of Eccleshall, Daystate Limited is sill close enough to the city of Birmingham – the historic center of the British firearms industry – for the traditions of quality and craftsmanship honed there to be seen and felt in the Daystate airguns of today.
It’s very clear that the whole emphasis at Daystate is on delivering the highest possible quality of design, performance and finish for every air rifle they manufacture. That’s why Daystate airguns have so many enthusiastic owners worldwide!