Few days with the Daystate Huntsman .22

Crosman999

Active Member
Jul 26, 2015
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Ventura, CA
Hey guys, several weeks ago I received a Daystate Huntsman Regal HR in .22 caliber courtesy of Airguns Of Arizona. The Huntsman model has been around for years, but has recently been modernized by the addition of a HUMA regulator. The Regal combines all the elements of a classic, English sporting PCP air rifle. This is one beautiful classic rifle that has one of the nicest walnut stocks I've seen on a mid level PCP rifle. The Huntsman gets about 43 regulated shots per fill with a fairly conservative power of around 29 fpe, perfect for small game out to 100 yards. Through testing I found that the LW barrel shoots a variety of pellets very well but had settled on using some standard 18gr JSB's.



Tuesday Morning Marley and I loaded up the Jeep to head several hours North of us to a very remote and familiar location. The weather has been extremely hot, so I was expecting the trip to be quite the workout. Airguns Of Arizona wanted me to do a full field review of this very overlooked rifle and to show it’s capability under heavy conditions found in the many remote areas I frequently travel. Marley and I arrived to our first stop at the halfway point to have some lunch and to check out the possibility of hunting ground squirrels. The area was at alpine level and thankfully much cooler than at lower elevations.



This was a nice place to stop to have some lunch and to hopefully spend a short time hunting some Ground squirrels that frequent this area. After lunch we hiked a short ways away from the jeep where we sat by a log using it as a rest.



Below us at about 100 yards I was able to spot several Ground Squirrels moving about on the many fallen trees. Within about 15 minutes of waiting I was presented with several shots, with one connecting at just over 100 yards.





The Huntsman is no doubt an excellent choice for small game, even at some extended ranges. The MTC Optics Mamba Lite 4-16×42 fits the gun very well and in my opinion is about the best scope they make for this type of hunting. I like having smaller simplistic scopes that have lower magnifications for wider field of view at closer ranges, with higher magnification it can sometimes be difficult to find targets quickly. After a short hike back I packed up the Jeep where we headed back down the long single lane road heading out into the open desert.



(Note) Most of these photographs are snapshots from the enclosed video of our adventure at the bottom.

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The time was now close to 12:00 and the temperature heading down the long rugged dirt road was rapidly approaching 100 degrees.



This is a familiar area that has 246,812+ acres of huntable area and is home to an abundance of animals such as Pronghorn Antelope, Tule elk, Fox, Coyote, Mountain Lions, Wild Pigs, Cottontail, Jackrabbits and a wide variety of birds. This time of year this grassland is very dry and unforgiving making it one of the most extreme places to hunt in the country. When I pack for trips like this I always bring huge amounts of water for not only myself but Marley. In extreme heat these areas bring the danger of heat exhaustion into full reality when hunting alone. Heat exhaustion is a killer and can sneak up very quickly causing headaches, confusion, loss of balance and blackouts followed by death. CARRY WATER AND DRINK PLENTY OF IT!!! Marley and I pulled into our camping area that has several trees, the only ones found for miles. After unpacking the gun, camera gear and a few other necessities we sat and enjoyed the shade before heading out into the open desert. This area usually has a good population of both jackrabbits and Cottontail found not to far from the camping area. Marley and I made our way in a Southern direction through a large pasture with patches of sagebrush, bordered by many rolling hills.



Just several months ago this place was green and bright with an abundance of wildflowers, amazing how quickly everything turns so dry. After about 20 minutes of hiking I was able to spot several large Jackrabbits moving parallel along a hillside giving me a good opportunity on one at 50 yards, THWAPP!!! Perfect headshot with Marley quickly behind to recover, was a bit hard to find due to the tall dry grass.



The Huntsman is a joy to carry, just over 6lbs and somewhat small making it super maneuverable through the thick bushes. To be honest I was not to excited about having bolt action and felt through my testing at the bench it may get annoying. I found that in the field shooting mostly offhand the Huntsman’s bolt cycles darn near quicker than I could maneuver most sidelevers. Moving on we headed along a small animal trail where I planned to get higher and to hopefully find some shade using the backside of a mountain. Marley and I slowly made our way through some very thick brush where I hoped to flush out a few rabbits.



Sure enough we flushed a few and took several missed shots on two fleeing jackrabbits, I think they got the memo that marley and I were coming. haha Marley and I took a water break and enjoyed the cooler temperature as the sun was going down.



After doing a little filming for this upcoming review we headed back down the hill where I hoped to spot the ears of both the Cottontails and jackrabbits that now may becoming active. We paralleled a ravine where I soon spotted a cottontail hunkered down on the embankment at 25 yards.





Excellent Headshot that marley happily recovered on the other side of the deep ravine.


Marley the working girl..

With our pack full we headed back to camp just in time to take a selfie and to settle the camp in for the night.



That night was a full moon that brought sounds of Coyotes and the Great Horned Owl within a short distance of camp. I enjoyed spending some good time with a few other campers and got to answer many questions about Airguns. Most people I encounter have no idea how far modern Airguns have come, always enjoy sharing my experience with them. The temperature was still about 80 degrees by 10:00pm so Marley and I slept in the back of the jeep with the tailgate open, was quite pleasant.

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Today Marley and I awoke at 7:15 and enjoyed the cooler temperatures as well as the ambiance of the many species of birds that call this place home. After a short filming session we were back out and hunting by 7:45am continuing a similar path as the night before. Within a few minutes of hiking I spotted some ears at 45 yards hunkered down behind a bush, was difficult to set up camera because I had to raise the tripod so high to capture the footage.



The shot went a bit low into the shoulder due to me being in a hurry, marley quickly rushed to finish the job.



The Huntsman is a small rifle and shoots offhand so well, one of the better balanced rifles I’ve used. This rifle is putting out 30fpe in .22 caliber and is no doubt capable of hunting out to 100 yards with careful placement. My experience with this type of hunting is usually the shorter guns always win, longer guns are sluggish and difficult to maneuver in the field. Longer barreled guns drag through brush, hit things and are overall annoying unless shooting from stationary positions. If this was my gun to keep I would throw a sling on it and be ready to go…totally my type of gun.



Moving on by this time was quite difficult as the sun was coming down so hard on us with no shade for miles, Marley gave me that ‘look’ of, “Let’s get the hell outta here.” I was happy to oblige by packing it up and moving down the road in the air conditioned Jeep.





My time spent with the Huntsman was an absolute pleasure, this was a difficult field review to film. To be honest I was surprised I had some success considering how hot and dry it was. Most of the shots were limited to closer ranges but I felt as though the gun handled the situations very well. Here is the full documentation of our experience in video form that I hope some may enjoy!
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 3, 2012
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Escondido
Great post, Dana...Thanks for sharing a great write-up and pix

ps..I'm up here in Montana and think I found a gopher & prairie dog spot for tomorrow
 
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TheGDog

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2018
1,389
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WGG
That is a Sexy Beast of an AirRifle! Love that High Comb Monte Carlo style stock on that! With a scope like that about how much does she weigh in the field?
 
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