Air Arms HFT 500 Air Rifle Long Term Review

Back in July 2015, HAM Tester Doug Rogers reviewed the Air Arms HFT 500 air rifle. It earned a score of 94% in that Hard Air Magazine test and well deserved its HAM Gold Award.

Doug fell in love with the gun and purchased it after the review was completed.

But does love last? How does he feel about it two years later? HAM Publisher Stephen Archer asked him this, and more…

Stephen Archer: So Doug, please tell us what you think about the Air Arms HFT 500 after two years of ownership.

Doug Rogers: I still love it! In particular I love the big loading port, it’s so easy to load pellets correctly in this gun, especially when you’re under pressure in a Field Target match.

(Note, the photograph below shows the HFT 500 fitted with the Hawke scope that was used in the review. Doug fitted a Sightron scope for his own use).

Air Arms HFT 500 Air Rifle Long Term Review

And the accuracy is just outstanding! When I miss a target, I know it’s me and not the gun. I have complete confidence in the HFT 500.

For me, the gun is a perfect fit, too. That’s really important.

Stephen Archer: Have you made any changes to the gun since you purchased it?

Doug Rogers: Nothing! My Air Arms HFT 500 air rifle is still exactly as it came from the factory. I’ve made no upgrades or changes to it at all. Oh, except for one thing…

I’ve adjusted the trigger blade back and turned it a little to make it fit my hand better. But I’ve not actually adjusted the trigger settings, just the position of the blade. Well in fact the trigger blade is a ball actually, as you know.

By the way, I really like this ball contact on the trigger! It forces you to make correct finger placement on the trigger when firing. That’s a good thing.

So really that’s one minor change to form, but no changes to the function of my HFT 500.

Air Arms HFT 500 Air Rifle Long Term Review

Stephen Archer: How about reliability? Have there been any problems with the gun?

Doug Rogers: So far I’ve fired around 5,000 shots through my Air Arms HFT 500 air rifle. I’ve had no problems with the gun ever.

I fitted a Sightron scope to it immediately and that combination has held zero ever since. I’ve never had to adjust zero, ever. That gives great confidence to me as the user.

I do clean the gun regularly – that’s every 250 shots – religiously following the manual. There’s no perceptible wear to the action that I can see.

Note from Stephen Archer. Doug is a machinist by trade, constantly working to incredibly-tight tolerances. To him one thousandth of an inch is a big number! So you can take his opinion on wear “straight to the bank”.

Stephen Archer: What pellets do you find work best with your Air Arms HFT 500 air rifle?

Doug Rogers: Air Arms Heavies are the best pellet for this rifle. No question about it.

Air Arms HFT 500 Air Rifle Long Term Review

Air Arms Field Heavy .177 Cal, 4.52mm, 10.34 Grains, Domed, 500ct
Air Arms Field Heavy Pellets .177 Cal

Stephen Archer: Is there anything you would like to change on the gun?

Doug Rogers: Nothing. I’m completely happy with the HFT 500.

Stephen Archer: Nothing at all?

Doug Rogers: Well, as you’re really pushing, some people say the HFT 500 is loud. But I don’t find that so, myself.

Of course by US standards the 12 Ft/Lb power level is low. But it’s not really a problem. Actually, I tend to use my HFT 500 for Field Target competition on less windy days. If the wind’s up, I go with my Weihrauch HW100 as it has a higher Muzzle Energy. It’s tough when you own two wonderful Field Target rifles!

Stephen Archer: Is there anything else you’d like to say about the HFT 500?

Doug Rogers: Everyone loves the look of the gun, particularly the spectacular stock. I’ll be taking it to the 2017 Pyramyd Air Cup this week. See you there!

Air Arms HFT 500 Air Rifle
Air Arms HFT 500 Air Rifle