Daystate Renegade Air Rifle Test Review .22 Caliber
20 December 2016
Supplied by Airguns of Arizona
Beautiful build quality.
Requires specialist conversion for left handers.
Really nothing else...
VALUE FOR MONEY
The complete Daystate Renegade air rifle tested by HAM – including scope and rings – totals almost exactly $2,000.00. This puts it firmly into the luxury class!
For this money, you receive an outstanding air rifle, together with an excellent scope and high quality rings. Performance is outstanding, as are looks, fit and finish. So, is it good value for money? As always where HAM is reviewing a high-end airgun, the answer really is “it depends”.
Inevitably the best is never cheap. Nor is that indefinable “something” that comes with a owning and handling a product of the highest quality. But if value for money is seen as being the price paid for a thing of beauty and perfection that will give the owner joy in use and pride of ownership for ever, the Daystate Renegade air rifle is clearly outstanding value for money. Most buyers of the Renegade will take this view and so this HAM rating is given in that light.
HAM tester Pete Shooter made a comment in his testing notes. “This is the best bullpup I have ever shot”. That’s high praise indeed!
|HAM Test Rating||96%|
|Value For Money||Beautiful, accurate, expensive bullpup.|
|Best Pellet Tested||H&N Baracuda Match|
|Street Price at Time of Test||$2,000 including Scope|
Easy to Shoot
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SPEED AND ACCURACY
The Daystate Renegade air rifle tested by HAM in .22 caliber produced a maximum muzzle velocity of 1,102 FPS using 9.7 Grain Gamo Raptor Platinum alloy pellets. The maximum muzzle velocity attained with lead pellets was 1,019 FPS – with 11.9 Grain RWS Hobby pellets, of course.
But muzzle velocity statistics with lightweight pellets are likely to be of littel interest to buyers of the Daystate Renegade. They’re likely to be more experienced shooters who understand that performance with medium-to-heavy weight lead pellets is what really counts for hunting. And in particular, the muzzle energy and accuracy that can be attained with these pellets in the gun.
As expected, the Daystate Renegade air rifle tested by HAM performed very well with these heavier, lead pellets. As we have come to expect from testing PCP air rifles, there’s a definite tendency for Muzzle Energy – “hitting power” – to increase with pellet weight. With the Renegade, we see that the heavy H&N Field Target Trophy give over 34 Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy. The heavier, 21.14 Grain, H&N Baracuda Match pellets give 32.66 Ft/Lbs also.
This level of power is what’s expected for a .22 caliber PCP hunting airgun and the Daystate Renegade air rifle doesn’t disappoint.
As expected, accuracy was very good or better with all the lead pellets tested having a weight of greater than 14.3 Grains. Best accuracy was attained by the heavy H&N Baracuda Match pellets. HAM tester Pete Shooter found these gave a one hole group with these pellets.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||1102 FPS||29.16 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||1091 FPS||26.52 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||1019 FPS||27.44 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||972 FPS||30.01 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||973 FPS||30.17 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||963 FPS||34.31 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||834 FPS||32.66 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
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TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The Daystate Renegade air rifle features an electronic trigger, very similar to that of the “full electronic” Daystate Pulsar. So it’s no surprise that the triggers of both guns feel very similar.
Trigger pull weight of the Daystate Renegade air rifle tested by HAM came in at an amazingly-light 0 Lbs 5 Oz – yes, that’s just 5 Ounces! Because it’s an electronic trigger, this extremely light pull weight is achieved without any danger of accidental discharge, such as would be the case with a mechanical design.
The trigger itself feels like a micro switch – there’s no long first stage. In fact, although there is a first stage, considerable subtlety with the trigger finger is required to find it. Just touch it and it fires! It takes a little time to become used to this very different trigger pull. But once familiar, most people are likely to enjoy the level of control it gives, so long as you have fine control over your trigger finger.
HAM tester Pete Shooter owns a Daystate Pulsar. This means he’s used to this action and feels that the Renegade has a great trigger. As always, HAM tested the trigger exactly as shipped to us. But for those wanting to improve on perfection, the Daystate manual does provide information on making adjustments to both the first and second stage pull weight and length of travel.
Cocking effort is very easy, courtesy of the rear-mounted lever action. As Pete Shooter says: “this action allows for very good feel of the pellet loading”.
Cocking action is very slick and smooth. The only issue for new users of the Renegade is getting used to the location of the cocking lever. It feels somewhat strange to be right by your ear!
The safety is mounted immediately behind the trigger. It’s of the push across type and is ideal for right-handed shooters. Less so for left-handers.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
The factory test document accompanying the Daystate Renegade air rifle indicates the spec as 30 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber. (The Daystate website gives a claim for 60 shots at 33 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber). In fact, the average Muzzle Energy across all the HAM standard test pellets was exactly 30 Ft/Lbs – bang on! It also indicates that this particular Renegade achieved 34+ Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy in Daystate’s testing with a specific, heavy pellet. That’s what HAM found, too.
So, whichever Muzzle Energy specification you select – 30 or 33 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber – the Renegade tested by HAM easily exceeds the claim.
HAM found that the manufacturer’s claim of 60 shots in .22 caliber is also justified. Although the JSB Exact pellets we use for this test do not give the maximum Muzzle Energy with the Renegade, we recorded 60 shots with an average muzzle velocity of 942.5 FPS and an Extreme Spread of 39.38 FPS. (See the graph below).
Consistency also proved to be a strong suit for the Daystate Renegade air rifle tested by HAM.
Trigger pull weight averaged 0 Lbs 5 Ozs, with a maximum 0.1 Oz shot-to-shot variation recorded by our Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. Effectively, that’s zero variation in trigger pull weight.
The Renegade’s Standard Deviation (an expression of the variation in FPS between the shots in a string) was also incredibly low at just 5.4 FPS across the whole range of HAM test pellets. This also is outstanding.
Muzzle energy also varied much less than usual for PCP air rifles. As you can see from most HAM tests, the muzzle energy of heavy pellets is usually much greater than that for light pellets. Although this is also true for the Renegade, the muzzle energy is much more consistent than we expected.
As covered above, the Daystate Renegade air rifle tested by HAM gave 60 consistent shots from a fill at 3,350 PSI down to 2,175 FPS. The Standard Deviation of 11.57 FPS is excellent over such a long string.
The Daystate Renegade air rifle incorporates a shrouded barrel. This built-in silencer is effective at moderating the report of the gun, making the Renegade a quiet air rifle to shoot. In HAM’s subjective, side-by-side testing, we found the Renegade just slightly less quiet than our “gold standard” for quietness, the Benjamin Marauder.
From the shooter’s perspective, the loudest noise is a sharp “ping” from the action when the gun is fired. But this sound does not carry far from the gun…
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
The Daystate Renegade air rifle tested by HAM was supplied with a Hawke Airmax 3-12 x 50 AO scope mounted in Sportsmatch rings. This scope has Hawke’s AMX etched glass reticle. This gives a very clear, sharp sight picture and the half Mil Dot markings make it easy to hold over for quick range adjustment in the field when hunting or Field Target competition.
This Airmax scope is a great fit for the Renegade. It balances well and the HAM team found it easy and comfortable to shoot. HAM tester Pete Shooter commented in his testing notes: “This Hawke scope is just right for the Renegade – it makes a very nice package!”
We found it quite easy to obtain a good sight picture without “scrunching down” our necks or altering the position of the adjustable buttpad. The Renegade’s synthetic cheekpiece also gave a comfortable and consistent cheek weld when shooting the gun.
It’s easy and convenient to glance down to the bubble level in the rear of the scope rail just before firing. This helps ensure that the Renegade is being held horizontal at the time of firing and is another aid to practical accuracy.
Of course no iron sights are fitted to the Daystate Renegade air rifle. This is as you would expects for a high end PCP where a scope is mandatory to extract the precision attainable by the gun.
The HAM team found the Renegade comfortable and easy to shoot. The bullpup design obviously makes the gun quick to bring on target and the center of gravity is close to the shooter. This makes for convenient and accurate shooting.
The all-up weight of the Daystate Renegade air rifle tested by HAM was 10 Lb 9 Oz – including the scope and rings. This makes the gun feel substantial and solid to hold – the HAM team did not find it unduly heavy.
The adjustable buttpad has up/down and left/right adjustment capability, giving the opportunity for comfortable shooting for most sizes and shapes of people.
The Renegade is a right-handed gun. The magazine is inserted from the left and the cocking lever is on the right. However the magazine can easily be modified to be loaded from the right side, which may be of use to left-handed owners. The Daystate Owner’s Manual advises that the cocking lever can be set for left-handed use, but this is not user changeable.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Opinions on the attractiveness of bullpup air rifles tend to to be very polarized among shooters. Some hate bullpups, others love them.
The HAM team is split down the middle on the appearance of bullpups as a breed. So your opinion is at least as valid as ours! But – in our opinion – the Daystate Renegade air rifle is an attractive bullpup design.
Stephen Archer feels that the Renegade is attractive but a little “tubby” compared to, say, the FX Wildcat. It also doesn’t have the super-sexy curves of the Air Arms Galahad. But, he says, the looks of the Renegade are growing on him and that looks are, in any case, only skin deep!
One area where there’s no disagreement is quality of finish. As expected for a Daystate product, the finish of all metal parts is outstanding. The soft-touch stock is beautifully-finished and the quality of the synthetic-molded parts is excellent also. The Renegade is not a shiny, flashy, gun. It’s a high quality, practical working hunting gun and it certainly looks the part…
BUYING AND OWNING
The Daystate Renegade air rifle fills to a maximum pressure of 230 Bar – that’s 3,335 PSI. And – Hooray!!! – there’s a standard 1/8-inch NPT quick disconnect male fitting at the front of the air tube for filling. This standardized fitment will be of great value to owners with multiple PCPs. While the probe system used by many European manufacturers to fill PCPs is convenient if you have just one gun, the lack of standardization among probes means that multiple probes and adapters are required for PCPs from different manufacturers.
Another great benefit for the Renegade is that the pressure gauge is located in the underside of the stock, behind the trigger. So many PCPs have the pressure gauge in the end of the pressure tube, requiring the owner to almost look down the barrel to check pressure. That always frightens HAM team testers! We find the pressure gauge location of the Daystate Renegade air rifle convenient, easy-to-use and safe.
The Renegade’s magazine is easy to load with pellets and easy to load into the gun. The magazine snaps easily into into its correct location, courtesy of magnets on the gun and magazine.
While you’re not likely to find the Daystate Renegade air rifle in your local big box sporting goods store, it is readily available from Precision Airgun Distribution’s network of retailers – primarily, of course, Airguns of Arizona. So the Renegade is easy to source from these specialist retailers.
The Daystate Renegade air rifle is supplied with an excellent “Official Handbook”. This provides extensive information for Pulsar and Renegade owners, with lots of detail, useful photographs and parts diagrams. There’s also an updated, online version available at the Daystate website. This is all excellent. The only issue is that the Pulsar/Renegade handbook is available only in English.
Warranty is for 3 years from purchase for the original owner. In the USA, this warranty is supported by Airguns of Arizona.
The Renegade draws its electrical supply from one PP3, 9 Volt battery. This battery is claimed to power the Renegade’s electro-mechanical trigger for many thousands of shots. PP3 batteries are available everywhere and cheap. So occasional replacement will not be an issue for owners. Below we see a comparison of the Renegade’s electronics with those of Daystate’s very similar, but all-electronic, Pulsar model.
And finally, the Daystate Renegade air rifle reviewed by HAM was shipped in a strong, attractive Daystate hard case with interior foam cutout. This case gives excellent protection for the gun and is the ideal means of transportation to the range or hunt. We like this very much…
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