Lee Perryman got an offer he couldn’t refuse – the chance to shoot the Daystate Delta Wolf, one of the world’s most eagerly awaited airguns.
Many long-term shooters have grown up using non-electronic PCPs, which includes the majority of PCP airguns, and the owners of these guns are more than happy with their performance. I would include myself in that group, as until recently I had had little experience with electronic rifles, but was blown away by how good modern mechanical PCP rifles, such as the Daystate Delta Wolf, had become.
Because of that, I suppose I had developed a mental state of mind that I didn’t need to be part of this ever-changing innovative technology that the market has recently begun to move to. So with this mindset I happily mostly ignored wherever possible the electronic Daystate Mk4, Pulsar and even the much-respected Red Wolf! Ignoring all the claims of superior technology, I remained happy in my own mechanical world. Until, that is, I had a call to come down to test a Daystate Delta Wolf.
Now this is not the sort of offer you turn down lightly. The call was from my good friend Tony Belas at the Daystate factory, home of the Daystate Delta Wolf, who needed help with a last-minute photoshoot.
He anticipated a full coronavirus lockdown was imminent (he was right – that kicked in two days later) and was scrabbling to get as many pictures ‘in the can’ as possible in order to tide over social media and website needs for the next few weeks.
Tony asked me to meet him and a photographer at the company’s private testing facility about 15 minutes up the road from the factory in Staffordshire. Having arrived I was greeted with the usual banter from Tony and was presented with a rifle case.
Well there it was, the long-anticipated technological breakthrough – the Delta Wolf! Not only was it in my hands, but it was in .30 cal running at about 50 ft-lb which turned out to be one of the lower power settings.
Yes, at that point I was faced with speculation and excitement, but also with the need to get on with it. We had a couple of other guns to photograph, time was pressing and there was still much to be done.
I noticed that the Delta Wolf was full spec and ready to shoot. I wasn’t really expecting this as Tony had explained that we would probably be taking pictures with a couple of non-working show display guns as the workshop staff were also working flat out to get as much done on the few firing prototypes before the factory closed down.
However, as it turned out Tony was able to grab a working sample, quickly adding all the missing cosmetic parts that are not always used on test guns to make it ‘photo-ready’.
So I was able to see a version – admittedly only a development version – of the touch screen AVT (Advanced Velocity Technology) programming that enables you to increase and decrease power, and change calibres and barrels simply. I couldn’t wait to test drive this tactical-looking monster!
So first impressions count, right? Then what was mine you may well ask? Well, it’s a substantial rifle, very solidly built, but quite light at just over 3kg. The quality of the engineering slaps you in the face. It looks very expensive
(as it inevitably will be) and there are nice details everywhere.
If I had had the time, then I really would have gone into the clubhouse and just stared at it, but there wasn’t time, and as I was there for a purpose, we needed to get on with it!
Before the light started to fade it was important to get the pictures, so with the burning desire to shoot the rifle, I first had to rapidly move from location to location for the next three hours using two different Delta Wolves, and then just as I thought we could have some fun we had to switch to taking pictures of Brococks!
What you have to know about rifle photo sessions is that it’s a lot harder than it looks. It is quite stressful, trying to get good, useful shots in a short space of time, but also a bit physical as you are holding positions for minutes at a time and constantly changing clothes, rifles and sometimes scopes.
As this was undoubtedly going to be the last one possible for a few weeks (as it turns out it would be a few months) we needed to focus, and our photographer, Martin, was equally determined to make the best of it. “How about over here?” “Stand on that mound.” “Climb that tree.” Ok, I’m getting carried away, but you get the idea.
Despite this, I couldn’t help looking longingly with obvious increasing desperation at what must be about the only working Delta Wolf not currently bolted into a test rig and wondering if I might be shooting it as promised, even if it was just by moonlight.
Eventually the time came to load up the Delta Wolf with air and pellets, and take a few shots. We had brought a benchrest support as well as a full range of Delta Wolf accessories by PRS, Daystate’s new accessory maker, and off we went. At this point I found out that nobody had remembered to put any targets in the cars, so we quickly mocked up something and I was invited to give it a go.
As I began to shoot the Delta Wolf, any worries that were lurking soon disappeared and were replaced with a broad grin on my face. At 100 yards I was putting pellet on pellet, and after a little practice I was able to take the heads off matches (I told you we were short of targets!).
I then started thinking ‘Yes, this is the future’ and turned to Tony to say ‘Put my name on one’. Cycling was fast and clean, it barely moved on firing and despite being high power it was very, very quiet.
Production rifles will have multiple power options, but this one had only been mapped for a single power – and quickly too, as apparently it had been in .177 guise that morning and was switched to .30 as Tony thought I would enjoy shooting that more.
It was properly dark as I drove away from shooting the first Delta Wolf. As I drove off, I was thinking how technology is progressing and how we should advance with it.
Shooters are really going to struggle to find fault with the Delta Wolf, and manufacturers the world over must be wondering how they are going to compete with this ground-breaking airgun.
Daystate Delta Wolf – in depth
Power: Although users of FAC-rated rifles will particularly appreciate the ability to fine-tune the Delta Wolf, the flexibility of interchangeable barrels and the onboard chronograph will ensure peak performance at all power levels.
Onboard chronograph: Shooters can customise their gun according to their specific needs and pellets. They can also adjust the pressure in the Huma regulator and exploit the benefits of the plenum to attain specific velocities.
Modular stock: The Delta Wolf has a fully modular tactical stock design that features an AR-style safety catch and pistol grip that can be swapped out for a compatible aftermarket alternative.
Barrels: The Delta Wolf is available with 430mm and 600mm ART-developed barrels. A 30mm diameter carbon shroud reduces muzzle blast considerably and the rifle can also be fitted with a moderator.
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