Daystate Delta Wolf PCP Air Rifle Review – Summary And Conclusions
Testers: Doug Rogers, Matt Coulter, Stephen Archer
Model Number: DELTAWOLF FAC
Test Date: April 28, 2022
Serial Numbers: DW 0586
Source of Supply: Supplied by Airguns of Arizona
Sophisticated yet simple control
Accuracy and power
We Don't Like
Needs a better buttpad
Limited magazine capacity
- Value for Money 90%
- Speed and Accuracy 100%
- Trigger and Cocking Effort 100%
- Comparison to Makers Claims:100%
- Consistency 100%
- Noise Level 100%
- Sights 100%
- Shootability 100%
- Appearance and Finish 100%
- Buying and Owning 100%
HARD AIR MAGAZINE TEST CONCLUSIONS
The Daystate Delta Wolf PCP air rifle is a “step change” product that challenges many of our preconceptions about air rifles. It takes electronic control over shooting performance to a whole new level.
Once the unprecedented capabilities behind the touch screen are mastered, managing the gun becomes simplicity itself. Yes, there’s a definite learning curve, but the Delta Wolf repays making the effort to understand it.
The results are power, accuracy, flexibility and consistency, yet simplicity. This is an expensive air rifle, but – as this extended review shows – there’s a huge amount of value in this gun.
The Delta Wolf is clearly the way of the future. It’s also a HAM Gold Award winner today. With a 99% score, it can’t get much better than this!
OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY
Yes, this is a very unusual HAM Review! The Daystate Delta Wolf PCP air rifle is a revolutionary product that changes the way we think about airguns. It’s whole design concept for power control was also very challenging to conform to HAM’s standard test protocol of using a standard set of test pellets for performance testing.
This is the reason why our review stretches – very unusually – over multiple posts and a long period in time. We were doing well until a long and bad Winter hit us here in up-state New York. That really derailed our performance testing. In fact, it was still snowing earlier this week and we’re now in late April!
So this is both the conclusion of an extra-long review, plus a summary and overview of this outstanding air rifle.
Previous parts of this review can be found from the following links:
VALUE FOR MONEY
OK, so the Delta Wolf sells for no less than $3,395 in the USA. That makes it one of the most expensive air rifles out there at the present time.
For that sum, we expect something VERY special!
It’s clear that the Delta Wolf offers superb finish and design, combined with power and excellent accuracy. But what’s more important is the way it achieves these things…
Without doubt it’s the electronic command and control capabilities of this air rifle that separate it from all other offerings.
Now this is undoubtedly a polarizing capability. There’s a group of shooters who have a deep-rooted antipathy to having electronics in their guns. Yet we’re all using electronics in just about every other aspect of our lives every day, so why not in an air rifle?
There again, Daystate has been manufacturing electronically-controlled airguns for many years and any “bugs” have been thoroughly worked-out long ago. Likewise with concerns over ingress of water or moisture into the guns – England was a pretty damp place when I lived there and, by all accounts, it still is! Yet electronically-controlled Daystates work just fine in the UK.
What is gained by the Delta Wolf’s electronic brain is simple, predictable and precise control over a wide range of shooting characteristics. At a time when all-mechanical PCPs are becoming ever more complex, the “one stop shop” side panel is a simple and easy way to control the gun: and to change the way it performs if required.
It also instantly monitors the gun’s shooting performance with a manner and level of detail that’s un-matched by ANY other airgun in the market today. For the competitive shooter, in particular, that can be a huge advantage.
In addition, digital control of the gun’s settings is inherently more precise than analog manual control. It’s also more repeatable – easier to “dial back” to a previous setting, for example. That’s just the way it is, with just about anything digital, including airguns.
And it’s easier to make upgrades. Many upgrades can be made any time and at no cost by downloading the latest software update files from the manufacturer’s website at https://daystate.com/rifles/delta-wolf and loading them from your computer into the air rifle.
Sure, you need to adapt to the way the User Interface works. But haven’t we all managed to do this to use our cellphones? And don’t we now we do that as second nature?
So it’s this combination of extreme control with simplicity that defines Daystate’s Delta Wolf PCP air rifle. Combined with the company’s precision manufacturing and design capabilities, it’s un-matched anywhere in the airgun industry at the date of this review.
Below. Barrel removal is easy. Remove one setscrew and pull straight out. Note the electronic connections for the built-in chronograph to connect to the gun’s CPU. These are matched-up during barrel replacement.
SPEED AND ACCURACY
Because the Daystate Delta Wolf PCP air rifle works in a completely different way to any other air rifle, we had to make a different type of shooting test.
Instead of testing with a range of pellets – as is the normal HAM test protocol – we had to accept that the gun is designed to perform with specific settings of pellet weight and “requested” Muzzle Velocity.
In .25 caliber, the Delta Wolf is designed for best performance with 33.95 Grain JSB King Heavy pellets, shooting at around 900 FPS. So, that’s how we tested it – in Advanced Mode. (For more details about the Modes, see Part Three of this mega-review).
The 25-Yard test target shows sub-half Inch group for 10 shots, even in a strong, gusting crosswind that actually blew the target holders down on the range at one point. Hey, welcome to Up-State New York!
As you can see, Muzzle Velocity averaged 903.5 FPS – identical to the 900 FPS requested for all practical purposes, while the Standard Deviation across the 10-shot string of un-selected pellets was just 1.8 FPS. That’s the best we’ve ever recorded in HAM testing!
Moving back to 50 Yards, again with the same set-up, the 10-shot group size had a CTC of 0.44 Inches vertical and 0.57 Inches horizontally. Shot with the same scope windage and elevation settings, you can see how the wind pushed those JSBs further across the target at the longer range.
Without the wind, that also would have been a sub-half Inch group at 50 Yards for 10 shots…
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
Both trigger and cocking lever actions are just sublime!
In testing, the “switch-like” trigger released with a pull weight – if you can call it that – of between just 7 and 10 Ounces. That’s ZERO Pounds 7 to 10 Ounces.
The sidelever action required a featherweight 1 Lb 12 Oz to close ready for firing. It’s easy to change to left-handed operation, too.
For full details of trigger and cocking action, please see Part Two of this review.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
The manufacturer claims that the Daystate Delta Wolf PCP air rifle is “the most advanced airgun of all time”. This is a HUGE claim. Yet it’s very tough to dispute this at the time of writing.
Sure, there are other airguns that are more complex than the Delta Wolf, and ones that have more accessories. But that’s not the claim here. “Most advanced” is the claim and it’s true.
No other air rifle in the market today has the electronic control, or the on-board chronograph that can feed-back and adjust the gun’s power on a shot-to-shot basis. Moreover, the downloadable software upgrades give credibility to Daystate’s additional claim that this gun is “future-proofed for tomorrow”, too.
As for power, the Daystate Delta Wolf PCP air rifle is claimed to have a maximum Muzzle Energy of 67 Ft/Lbs in .25 caliber. In HAM testing, we achieved 61.55 Ft/Lbs. This setting was recommended by Airguns of Arizona as providing the best practical combination of power and shot count.
However it clearly would be easy to increase the regulator pressure and set the Muzzle Velocity to 945 FPS on the touch screen to match that 67 Ft/Lbs claim with the same pellets – even at the expense of a lower shot count. This is the setting shown on the factory Test Certificate, showing a maximum Muzzle Energy of 67.9 Ft/Lbs.
Or, of course, you could simply set the gun to WARP mode – that’s full open – and really let it rip!
The Standard Deviation of 1.8 FPS demonstrated above clearly shows the consistency of the Delta Wolf PCP air rifle. The shootdown test chart below shows how that works-out across a much larger number of shots when the gun is gives a full 240 bar (3,480 PSI) charge of High Pressure Air.
As we can see, the Delta Wolf produced 42 very consistent shots – it would probably be even better with sorted pellets!
This test showed an average Muzzle Velocity of 908.8 FPS across the 42 regulated shots. The Extreme Spread was just 16 FPS, giving a Standard Deviation of just 3.82 FPS across 42 shots. That is outstanding consistency!
After shot 43, the touch screen displayed a “low pressure” warning. At this point the regulator pressure indicated 144 bar and the Muzzle Velocity 898 FPS – the first point at which it had dropped below the selected value of 900 FPS.
From this, we can calculate that this .25 caliber air rifle was producing Muzzle Energies averaging 62 Ft/Lbs from the expenditure of just 32 PSI of regulated High Pressure Air per shot. Very impressive!
That flashing display on the Delta Wolf’s screen very clearly indicates when the HPA bottle pressure has fallen below the regulator set point. The “low pressure warning” continued flashing out to shot 60, when the test was stopped.
Here’s yet another example of how the airgun’s electronic “brain” can help the shooter. All you need is a glance at the touch screen…
This was covered in Part Three of this review. In summary, the report is well-controlled by the full-length barrel shroud. Adding a dedicated airgun silencer will reduce that to a mere whisper.
But – be aware – setting the gun to “WARP” mode will have you reaching for the ear defenders if you want to go all-out for power at the expense of shot count and noise level.
As with so much else about the Delta Wolf, the noise level varies, depending on how you decide the gun should be set up.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
Essentially the Delta Wolf will function well with just about any scope you care to fit to it. The adjustable Picatinny scope rail can be positioned forward or back on the receiver to accommodate whatever scope you wish to install.
You can read full details in Part Three of this review.
Recently, we mounted a monster (and superb) Sightron SVIII 5-40 x 56 FFP scope onto the Delta Wolf and used this combination to produce the targets above. Again, the Delta Wolf handled this large scope very well and the combination was easy and convenient to shoot, especially from a bench!
Full details of shootability were carried in Part Three of this Daystate Delta Wolf PCP air rifle mega-review. Overall the HAM testers were very impressed with how easy it is to shoot the Delta Wolf.
But this section of the review does find one of the few downsides on this airgun. The buttplate is really not up to the standard of the rest of the gun and I’m sure everyone will want to replace it with an aftermarket upgrade.
Below. The lower Picatinny rail is usable. However replacement with a longer, aftermarket rail will provide more flexibility for bench shooting.
Then there’s the question of magazine capacity. It’s lower than the HAM testers would like…
Magazine capacity in .25 caliber is 10 shots. You can double that by using Daystate’s innovative magnetic system to join two magazines together. The mags are slid across after the first one becomes empty. That gives 20 shots which is reasonable in this caliber, although it needs some practice to do this naturally.
Would a single, large-capacity magazine be better? Yes and no!
Yes, because more shots onboard in the mag would be good. But no as such high capacity magazines become very large and unwieldy. At least Daystate’s magnetic magazine system keeps the gun manageable and compact. And the magazines are very easy to load.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
As you would expect, the Delta Wolf has Daystate’s hallmark flawless finish and beautiful design. Part Three of this review gives more details.
Of course, this is a “black gun”, but the bronze, Cerakote-finished models look very good and a little different.
Below, typical of the design touches on the Delta Wolf is the magnetic fill nipple cover. Note the flawless finish of all parts.
BUYING AND OWNING
As a highly-specialized, high end product, it’s most unlikely that you’ll ever find a Delta Wolf in your local “big box” sporting goods store. However, it is readily available in the USA from Airguns of Arizona and Precision Airgun Distribution dealers.
As with other Daystate airguns, the Delta Wolf is provided with a 5-year warranty. In the USA, this is supported by Airguns of Arizona with their skilled and experienced specialists, backed by a wide range of spare parts.
The gun itself is supplied in a high quality, clamshell-type hard case, together with factory test sheet, an AoA test target and a high quality, beautifully-illustrated handbook that’s in English only. There’s also a USB charging cable and a number of other useful parts.
The whole presentation shouts quality and gives an outstanding first impression when the gun arrives with you.
In addition, if you order a scope and rings at the same time as the gun, AoA will mount and sight-in the scope for you at no extra charge. Sweet!