Daystate Regal XL Air Rifle Test Review .22 Cal
Daystate Huntsman Regal XL
18 April, 2015
Supplied by Airguns of Arizona.
Outstanding accuracy with the right pellets.
No pellet count display.
Possible to double feed.
VALUE FOR MONEY
When talking about an air rifle costing $1,744, we’re well into the “luxury” end of the market. A value for money assessment must, therefore, be given with that understanding.
Of course performance and features are important, but less definable factors such as perceived quality, brand, looks and feel – the overall, lasting joy of ownership – become the dominating factors. Muzzle velocity, that “king of value” for less expensive models really doesn’t come into play at all as part of the value for money equation here.
In these terms, the Daystate Regal XL air rifle does not disappoint. If you can justify the cost and appreciate beauty and “feel”, the Regal XL and MTC Viper Connect scope reviewed by HAM is a great value for money.
Here we have a quiet, 10-shot magazine-fed PCP air rifle featuring a superb trigger and outstanding accuracy with appropriate pellets. It’s easy to point and shoot well. It’s paired with a really good scope, too. And it shoots hard enough to get the job done.
The Daystate Regal XL is a great hunting air rifle for small game that will give years of pleasure and enjoyment to its owner, not just as a tool but as a heirloom-quality luxury product.
SPEED AND ACCURACY
Muzzle velocity of the .22 caliber Daystate Regal XL air rifle tested by HAM peaked at 1056 fps when using Gamo Raptor Platinum alloy pellets. As expected, the muzzle energy falls to just over 750 fps when using H&N Baracuda 21.14 grain heavy pellets. Also as expected with PCP air rifles, the muzzle energy (knock down power) increases steadily with increasing pellet weight, peaking at 26.51 Ft/Lbs with the Baracuda heavies.
Accuracy with light pellets in the standard HAM test suite was poor, as anticipated. HAM tester Doug Rogers noted that the harder alloy pellets did not load as smoothly as regular lead pellets and – as has been seen on other high-end air rifles tested by HAM – that correlated with poor accuracy.
The Daystate Regal XL air rifle clearly does not like pellets with a weight of less than about 14 grains in .22 caliber. But as soon as that weight threshold is crossed, the accuracy becomes stellar!
Of course, in practice no Regal XL user is likely to want to use any other than mid- to heavy-weight lead pellets. This is a hunting air rifle and users with the interest to spend $1,500+ on an air rifle are educated consumers who know that.
The best performing pellets in HAM’s testing were the 14.35 Grain JSB Jumbo Exacts. These gave a real “one hole” group in the HAM 10-yard test range and obviously would also shoot with great accuracy at more normal, longer ranges.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||1056.50 FPS||24.04 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||1038.26 FPS||24.01 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||963.51 FPS||24.53 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||896.61 FPS||25.53 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||909.52 FPS||26.36 Ft/Lbs||Excellent (Best Tested)|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||899.50 FPS||26.34Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||751.47 FPS||26.51 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
Standard Deviation (the measure of shot-to-shot variation in muzzle velocity) was very well controlled at an average of just 6.34 fps across the range of HAM test pellets.
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The trigger of the Daystate Regal XL air rifle is a dream!
First stage is very light and there’s a clearly defined “step” where the second stage engages. Then there’s just a short, gentle pull until the trigger breaks “like glass” with a predictable, consistent feel. This is a trigger to be savored when shooting. It’s adjustable for pull length and weight, but the HAM team cannot image anyone needing to change the factory settings based on the sample tested by us.
The Daystate Regal XL air rifle tested by HAM has an average trigger pull weight of just 1 lb 2oz
Cocking the Regal by means of the bolt action was fairly stout and needs to be undertaken with some determination. The user soon becomes accustomed to pulling the bolt back to the second “stage” thus ensuring that a magazine can be loaded or the hammer fully cocked for shooting.
The Daystate Regal XL air rifle is equipped with a manual, trigger block safety. This is operated by a very clear, elegant red plastic lever that’s conveniently placed at the rear of the action. Again, stylish and practical.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Unlike many air rifles found at less ambitious prices, the Daystate Regal XL air rifle is not surrounded by many claims. Again, this is more typical of a “luxury” end product.
The only significant manufacturer’s claim is that muzzle velocity in .22 caliber will be in the range from 900 to 1000 fps, depending on the pellet fired. the Regal XL tested by HAM achieved a maxiumum muzzle velocity of 1056 fps. All except the Baracuda Match heavies exceeded 900 fps.
So, the Regal XL tested by HAM performed close to the manufacturer’s claims.
The Daystate Regal XL air rifle tested by HAM demonstrated high levels of consistency – as you would expect.
The trigger pull weight varied by only plus/minus 2 ounces from it’s average 1 lb 2 oz pull weight. An excellent performance.
Standard Deviation was also very well controlled across all the HAM standard test pellets, with a very low average of 6.34 fps (that’s very good).
Accuracy was consistently poor with light, sub-12 Grain, pellets. It was consistently outstanding with heavier pellets above 14 Grains in weight.
Muzzle energy also was consistent with mid- to heavy-weight pellets at between 25 .5 and 26.5 Ft/Lbs.
The Daystate Regal XL air rifle is quiet, thanks to its built-in silencer. It comes close to the benchmark Benjamin Marauder in HAM’s subjective noise comparison tests and is certainly quiet enough for most shooters.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
As with many high end PCP air rifles, the Regal XL is supplied without iron sights and there’s no standard bundled scope package available. This is in recognition that buyers of such guns inevitably will be using a scope and want that to be the scope of their choice, rather than some standard optics bundled with the gun.
The Daystate Regal XL air rifle tested by HAM was supplied with a MTC Viper Connect 3-12 x32AO scope with AMD (Advanced Mil Dot) reticle. This scope is specifically designed for use on PCP air rifles, having a short eye relief, combined with a wide field of view and a 30mm diameter tube. This scope was mounted to the Regal XL by Airguns of Arizona using a one piece offset mount. The resulting appearance was a little surprising at first, but proved very practical in use.
The MTC Viper Connect 3-12 x32AO scope, Connect offset mount and Daystate Regal XL air rifle proved to be a very good match indeed and would be an ideal combination for hunting small game.
HAM tester Doug Rogers was highly impressed by the MTC scope. “This is the best hunting scope combo that I’ve ever seen.” He wrote in his test notes. “The 32mm reticle seems to let in as much light as 40 and 44mm objective lenses on other scopes.”
The Viper Connect scope includes a very useful integral cover for the objective lens and side focusing. The central cross of the reticle can be illuminated on demand into a red color.
The AMD reticle of this scope is very fine and is designed specifically for hunting use. For Field Target use, the alternative SCB (Small Caliber Ballistic) reticle may be preferred as this offers mil dots for windage as well as elevation.
The Daystate Regal XL air rifle is remarkably light for a PCP air rifle. The complete rig – including mounted scope – as tested by HAM weighed just 8lb 4oz.
But more significant than the absolute weight is the way the Regal XL feels. The feeling is of a light, almost dainty, air rifle that holds perfectly and comes to the shoulder instinctively with a perfect cheek weld. Many PCP air rifles have a muzzle heavy feel to them, due to the weight and location of the High Pressure Air tube. That feeling of front heaviness is absent from the Regal XL, the point of balance is well back and this makes the gun easy and natural to point on target.
It’s really difficult to describe in words, but this FEEL is what sets the Daystate Regal XL air rifle apart from most other PCP air rifles.
Why is feel so important? It’s because it gives the Daystate Regal XL air rifle outstanding shootability!
Yes, all the normal attributes of good shootability are here too. Well-positioned trigger and bolt handle. Great trigger. And an outstandingly positive and easy to use manual safety.
Yet the Daystate Regal XL air rifle adds that almost-indefinable “something else”, the feel that gives really great shootability to this gun.
Now back to practicalities…
The 10-shot magazine is easy to load and snaps smartly into place into the breech – from the left side – due to its magnetic location system. It operated flawlessly in HAM’s testing. But the magazine has no visible shot counter, making it possible to shoot a blank if the shooter is not paying attention. Yes, there is a red dot indicating an empty magazine on the side of the rotating clip, but this is not very apparent unless looking from one side.
Furthermore, it is also possible to double load the Daystate Regal XL air rifle. So, although charmed by the feel, the Regal XL owner needs to keep careful count on the number of shots fired!
Of course, spare magazines for an air rifle of this price were never going to be cheap. In fact spare magazines are $119.00.
A simple, practical single shot tray is included with the Daystate Regal XL air rifle at no additional charge. This also snaps into place due to magnetic attraction and works very well.
Overall, the HAM team all felt that the Daystate Regal XL air rifle was outstandingly easy to shoot. This is reflected in it’s extremely low (that means great!) RateAGun score of just 2.8.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. But all HAM team members agree that the Daystate Regal XL air rifle is just beautiful!
The Walnut buttstock is gorgeously styled with subtle curves and perfect proportions. There’s much perfectly-executed checkering around the wrist and along the forend of the stock. Elsewhere the wood finish feels wonderfully smooth and sensuous to the touch. The right-handed stock fitted to the HAM test gun had very pleasant figuring to the wood and an extremely comfortable cheek rest with a comb that rolls away from the shooter.
The Regal XL is unashamedly a traditional sporter air rifle in style and it’s a superb execution of this style of airgun.
Metal parts are finished in a number of ways, all of them flawlessly.
HAM tester Doug Rogers wrote in his testing notes: “Everything about the Regal XL exudes quality.”
BUYING AND OWNING
As a specialist high end air rifle, the Daystate Regal XL air rifle is not to be found in every local big box sporting goods store. Instead, it’s readily available via phone and Internet from specialist stores such as Airguns of Arizona, Straight Shooters and Pomona Airguns.
The Daystate Regal XL air rifle is backed by a 3-year warranty to the end user through Airguns of Arizona, as is the MTC Optics scope tested here which carries a 5 year warranty.
A comprehensive repair service and full range of spare parts is available in the USA through Airguns of Arizona.
The Regal XL is supplied with one magazine and the single shot tray. It also includes – most usefully – a restricted flow quick disconnect adapter. This allows the gun to be filled in the preferred manner – gradually – with high pressure air, in case the tank/valve system owned by the shooter does not already include such a “slow flow” capability.
The single shot tray is installed in the photo below..
The “Official Handbook” supplied with the Daystate Regal XL air rifle is a beautiful, full color owner’s manual. It’s a little generic, covering both the AirRanger and Huntsman Regal models, but gives most of the information required in a clear fashion.
Note that the Regal XL fills to a maximum pressure of 230 Bar (3,335 psi). This means that a HPA tank is really the only practical way to fill this gun to its full pressure. Using a hand pump to achieve pressures above 3,000 psi is really, really tough unless you’re a bodybuilder!
Unlike many other PCP air rifles, the Daystate Regal XL uses the simple, male/female quick disconnect system. This uses standard 1/8-inch NPT quick disconnects and is – in the HAM team’s opinion – easier to keep clean and more compatible across multiple brands than the alternative probe type filling connector system.
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