Dennis Himes Personal View Of The Daystate Red Wolf
In this story, Dennis Himes gives us his personal view of the Daystate Red Wolf. Dennis is a well-known competitor on the Field Target circuit in the North East and Mid West. His wins include the Field Target Nationals in 2018 and many other Grand Prix FT shoots.
He also shot at Extreme Benchrest 2021, placing third in the Extreme Field Target Class with a loaner gun he first shot the day before. The Red Wolf is his air rifle of choice. Let’s find out why…
Hard Air Magazine: Dennis, I know that you have a ton of experience with the Red Wolf. Can you please tell us something about your background with the gun?
Dennis Himes: Well Steve, I’ve been shooting the Red Wolf since 2018. First I used a standard Red Wolf, then switched to the High Power version this year. Prior to that I used a Daystate Air Wolf. That was just as accurate as the Red Wolf, but the new gun is more refined and – overall – a better package.
Below. Dennis shooting his old Air Wolf.
As for Field Target, I compete in about ten or twelve matches a season. In addition, I hunt a lot with my Red Wolf, too. The hunting is mainly squirrels and the Red Wolf in .177 caliber is devastating on those.
Although the Red Wolf is capable of winning competitions at the highest level, it was designed as a hunter and that shows in the field.
Hard Air Magazine: You’ve told me that practice is the key to your success. How much practice do you actually do and how?
Dennis Himes: Yes, I’m a big believer that practice makes perfect. So I shoot almost every day, multiple times a day. Many times I’ll practice the standing position – this is a big area for me!
Because Field Target is an “interval event” (short bursts of shooting separated by a longer period of time), I train in a similar way. So I’ll take 10 or 20 shots in a session, then take a break and come back again later. By changing my training routine, I get plenty of practice yet still enjoy the pleasure of shooting.
Also I have my own FT field with a dozen targets. I’ll shoot there once or twice every week too during the season.
All in all, I shoot about 20 – 30,000 pellets a year, every year, since I’ve had a Red Wolf. It’s such a pleasure to shoot!
Hard Air Magazine: Wow! That’s a ton of pellets!
Dennis Himes: Yes, I believe this is the only way to really keep my game up to the highest level. And if you think that’s a lot, consider this…
My brother Tom – who also shoots a Red Wolf – averages around 60,000 pellets a year!
Below. Dennis with his brother Tom (right).
Hard Air Magazine: Dennis, when we met recently at Extreme Benchrest in Arizona, I asked you to name the three things that you most love about your Daystate Red Wolf. But I know there’s a lot more than that…
Dennis Himes: Well Steve, when you asked that question, my immediate response was to highlight the fast cycle time (the time between pulling the trigger and the gun firing), the beautiful looks and the sublime smoothness of the action.
All those things play into the fact that I find the Red Wolf to be such a pleasure to shoot. Don’t get me wrong, I own several other quality air rifles and enjoy shooting them. But the Red Wolf is in a class apart. It’s like no other air rifle!
I personalize my Red Wolf’s trigger to make it single stage and love it that way. Combined with the ease of the side lever cocking – there’s no hammer spring to compress, after all – it’s just so easy to shoot!
The Red Wolf has a great shot count and I love the display on the stock’s side. It gives me feedback on how much I’m shooting and that keeps me motivated! I also use the gun’s shot count data to schedule my barrel-cleaning routine.
And – certainly not least – I like the support I receive from Airguns of Arizona. The guys there are very knowledgeable and they are always happy to share their knowledge. They’ve helped me a lot over the years!
Hard Air Magazine: What tunes do you use on your Red Wolf?
Dennis Himes: Personally, I think that the factory tune is very good. I’ve tried multiple different tunes of my own on the Red Wolf, but – in the end – I keep coming back to the standard factory settings as being ideal for the gun.
One thing I do like is the ability of the software to have multiple velocity set points. This can be useful for many reasons. It makes the gun more versatile as owners can make settings for different weights or types of pellets.
Hard Air Magazine: What other changes or accessories do you fit to your gun?
Dennis Himes: Actually my Red Wolf is in very close to stock, off-the-shelf condition.
The scope I’m currently using is a Sightron 10-50 x 60 FT model. I like it a lot and find the image very sharp and clear. I have a sling fitted to my gun, together with a small hamster from Rowan Engineering for Field Target use.
Of course it needs pellets! I always use JSB 10.3 Grain domes, including the ones that are OEM-branded in Daystate tins.
Hard Air Magazine: Nothing in life is perfect. So what would you prefer to be different on the Red Wolf?
Dennis Himes: Well the two-stage trigger is not to my personal taste. That’s why I have it set to single stage.
I’d also like to see the gun provide more consistent FPS across large swings of ambient temperature. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. But I feel it could be even better.
Another improvement would be to have the gun capable of being tuned without having to remove the stock and battery first. Like the new Delta Wolf in fact!
And then something inside me feels that a higher capacity battery would add greater stability to the system.
But, there’s nothing else. These are relatively small things. Overall, I’m very happy with the gun.
Hard Air Magazine: Dennis thanks for giving us the benefit of your huge experience with the Red Wolf. I look forward to seeing you again at another FT match soon!
Dennis Himes: Thanks Steve. It’s a pleasure!