Daystate Delta Wolf Human Interface. Part Two Of The HAM Review.
For this second section of HAM’s review, we’re looking at the Daystate Delta Wolf human interface.
“What???”, I hear you say…
Yes. With this revolutionary airgun, we’re missing the whole point if we just look at it as a conventional, all-mechanical air rifle. The Delta Wolf obviously has its computer-controlled “brain” internally. However at the range, we handle and shoot the gun just like any other.
It’s this handling, looks and feel that we’ll be examining in this second part of our HAM review. Yip, that’s the Daystate Delta Wolf human interface.
Below. AoA owner Robert Buchanan loads a magazine before shooting a Delta Wolf at Extreme Benchrest 2021.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Let’s start with the easy part! If you like the tactical, “black gun” look that’s so popular for air rifles in recent times, you’re going to love the look of the Delta Wolf.
To me, the rear buttstock area – holding the the display screen – always looks too big and somewhat “clumpy” in photographs. However in real life, I don’t see that at all. “In the flesh” – as it were – the overall design looks as harmonious and well-balanced as it feels.
The Delta Wolf looks solid, compact and purposeful without appearing heavy. It also avoids the tendency of some black gun PCPs to look rather “gangly”, with the bottle, receiver and buttstock looking out-of-proportion.
The design of the Delta Wolf is clearly made with appearance in mind – not just practicality. There’s nothing superfluous or glitzy, it just looks what it is: a beautifully-sculpted, premium yet practical working tool.
Even the analog pressure gauge faceplate looks stylish. It’s an object lesson in both looks and functionality. Like a high-end, exotic foreign car, it’s clear that just as much effort was expended in designing the Delta Wolf’s looks as the internals. This gun is for both show and go!
The smallest details are not overlooked, either. For example, this fill nipple cover in the underside of the receiver. It holds in place magnetically, is simple to use, yet provides perfect protection. The only possible downside is that – being detachable – it could be lost it you’re not careful.
In my opinion, the bronze, Cerakote-finish guns look – if possible – even more stylish than the solid black models. And should you want a little more contrast in the appearance, the pistol grip is a standard AR15-type model.
The factory pistol grip is an AG-43 from F.A.B. It’s a high-end item but there’s a host of different styles and finishes available if you look around.
Below. This customized Delta Wolf was on the firing line at EBR 2021. It shows some of the Delta Wolf human interface and appearance upgrades that are possible for the gun.
OK, so that’s the personal, subjective viewpoint. Of course there are some folk who prefer a more traditional, classic styling for their air rifles. If this is the case, Daystate has the Red Wolf as a full-length, wood-stocked alternative. And that’s beautiful, too!
As you would expect from Daystate, the finish is flawless in all respects. The machining and surface finish of the metal parts is simply perfect.
The carbon fiber shroud is flawless too. The (few) synthetic – ballistic nylon – parts have almost-imperceptible mold lines.
Also carbon fiber, the 480cc HPA bottle is a standard part bought-in from a specialist supplier. It’s a common fitment on many high-end PCPs, but the finish is probably best described as “workmanlike”, rather than beautiful. At least it does not compromise the Delta Wolf’s overall beauty.
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
Naturally, the trigger and cocking lever are a key component of the Daystate Delta Wolf human interface. Both are – so far as I can tell – identical to those of the Daystate Red Wolf. That’s a great thing!
The fact is that both trigger and cocking action are simply on a different planet compared to any other airgun HAM has ever tested. The trigger pull weight of the Delta Wolf tested by HAM averages just 10.2 Oz as received from the factory. Yes, that’s 0 Lbs 10.2 Oz.
Apart from being incredibly light, the trigger has the most exquisite, “glass break” feel for the second stage. It feels like a perfect trigger yet – underneath – we’re really operating an electronic micro-switch through an extremely refined human interface.
That’s how the trigger can be so perfect, yet also be mounted amidships in this bullpup air rifle.
Daystate provides setscrew adjustment for the first stage weight and travel. There’s similar adjustability for the second stage weight and contact. (Although the factory advises against adjusting the second stage contact setting).
The HAM Team cannot imagine needing to adjust any of these trigger settings. However dedicated owners will probably take advantage of the built-in capability to move the trigger post back or forward. In addition, the trigger blade itself can be raised, lowered or rotated (canted) on the trigger post to accommodate the physique of the owner’s trigger finger.
This trigger customization capability is another highlight of the Delta Wolf human interface.
The safety is located just above and to the rear of the trigger. It’s truly ambidextrous and is ideally placed to be operated by the shooter’s thumb. Function is clean, positive and crisp. Again, this has to be one of the best-feeling safeties out there.
If it feels like an electronic switch, that’s because it also is!
In fact the safety not only blocks trigger operation, it’s the on/off switch for the Delta Wolf’s touchscreen display. We’ll be talking more about this in future parts of this review. Make that MUCH more…
The side lever cocking handle is again a complete delight to use. As there’s no conventional hammer spring to be compressed when operating the side lever, it has an amazingly light and crisp action.
Yes, you’ve guessed it! Again it really feels like operating a sophisticated electronic switch. However, this time it is a purely mechanical system.
Operating the side lever shifts the bolt back and forth, allowing the magazine to rotate to its next position and pushing a pellet into battery in the rear of the barrel. The large perforated knob is easy to grasp and the mechanical travel feels like butter.
In fact, the effort to operate the cocking lever can easily be measured using a trigger pull gauge! The Delta Wolf tested by HAM had an average backward pull weight of just 1 Lb 5 Oz for the side lever. Forward travel averaged 1 Lb 12 Oz of effort.
So here we have pull (and push) weights of the order expected for a fine trigger, yet this the sidelever cocking effort we’re talking about. As HAM Tester Doug Rogers wrote in his test notes: “Smooth and effortless. The best we’ve ever tested”.
The Delta Wolf uses the new-generation Daystate magazine that was introduced in 2020. This is an all-metal magazine that uses an internal rotary spring to impart the necessary motion to the drum when cocking.
Loading is achieved by raising the magazine’s loading gate cover and rotating the drum 360 degrees clockwise. The first pellet holds the drum in place as the remainder are dropped into the individual chambers. Snap the cover closed and you’re ready to go.
The magazine loading plate/cover is held in place by a small, high-strength magnet. The magazine itself is retained in its correct position in the breech by a a small, spring ball bearing.
In the interests of complete transparency, we should record a slight difference of opinion between the HAM testers on this magazine. Stephen Archer found it simple and easy to use. However Doug Rogers found it a little fiddly to load, even though it worked faultlessly in the gun.
Usefully, a magazine can be inserted from either side of the gun. It’s also possible to double the shot count by inserting TWO magazines, one from each side. The magazines are held together by the magnet built into the base of each one. Once one mag is empty, you can slide them across and start shooting the second magazine without further ado.
This double magazine concept is an interesting way to double the shot count of the Delta Wolf. It does this without the need for a huge, bulky, high capacity magazine that can be inconvenient for left-handed use in some other air rifles.
This Daystate Delta Wolf human interface review, really is all about shootability. So it’s interesting to read HAM Tester Doug Rogers’ test worksheet comments on the subject…
“This is one of those guns that is hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced it in that it is so easy to shoot accurately.”
Doug has hit the nail on the head! The Delta Wolf really does make shooting accurately easy to do. Yes, all those electronics play a part, however there’s basic, straightforward, mechanical factors at play here too.
For example, the lower Picatinny rail provides an extremely solid base for attaching a bipod for benchrest shooting. And it’s in exactly the right place for perfect balance.
The cheek piece is simple but very adjustable. It can be positioned to suit the shooter by sliding along the Delta’ Wolf’s top dovetail rail, then locking in place with two setscrews.
It’s ambidextrous, too, and can easily be swapped over for use by left-handers (as in our photograph above).
To complete the transformation, the cocking lever can also be changed from right- to left-handed operation. It’s easy to do following the illustrated instructions in the comprehensive, illustrated Official Handbook that’s supplied with the Delta Wolf.
It’s possible to make the right to left cocking lever conversion in less than five minutes. Unless, that is, you discover that the bearing bush from the cocking lever is a slightly loose fit and has dropped somewhere on the floor. It took me longer to find that part than to do the rest of the job! But – of course – you won’t do that…
Below. The Delta Wolf set for left-handed operation. Cheek piece and side lever positions changed, magazine inserted from right side.
The buttpad also has a simple vertical adjustment capability. Just loosen the setscrew, slide to a new position and re-tighten the screw.
It works, but I have to say that I was disappointed with the appearance of this buttpad. It’s the only low-rent part of what is otherwise a top-end air rifle. If this gun were mine, I would definitely want to investigate replacing it with a better-looking aftermarket upgrade with improved looks and functionality. Such as the PRS Buttplate.
To be continued. For the next part, we’ll continue with scope mounting, noise level and come to grips with the Delta Wolf’s touch screen control center. Stay tuned!
You can read the first – introductory – part of this HAM Review here.