Designing a fitting limited edition airgun to mark a gunmaker’s 40th anniversary is a tall order, but Mat Manning reckons Daystate’s new Genus is bang on target
Limited edition airguns from British gunmaker Daystate always cause a lot of excitement, and many are snaffled up through pre-orders before they’re even made.
Coming up with innovative and eye-catching specials to keep the collectors happy can’t be easy, and the task must have been harder than ever with the Genus.
This commemorative airgun was designed and manufactured to mark the business’s 40th anniversary. Given the gravitas of the occasion, combined with Daystate’s reputation for creating some amazing limited edition airguns, the burden of expectation must have been enormous.
But yet again, the team have come up with something that really does stand out from the crowd, despite being based on a recognised and proven performer.
And the Genus doesn’t just look exceptional, it also cuts it in the performance stakes. This very special airgun retails for £1,849, and the production run is limited to just 200 guns – 100 of which are in the UK – so it’s certainly exclusive.
MAKER: Daystate, England (www.daystate.com)
TYPE: Limited edition bolt-action multi-shot PCP
CALIBRE: .177, .20, .22 and .25 (FAC)
OVERALL LENGTH: 1000mm with supplied silencer
LENGTH OF PULL: 355mm
BARREL LENGTH: 430mm
WEIGHT: 3.2kg (without scope)
TRIGGER: Two-stage adjustable
SAFETY: Resettable rear switch
POWER: 11.4 ft-lb
The Genus is evidently based on the Huntsman Regal XL – a pretty good starting point given this airgun’s track record. There are, however, some very clear differences, and the most obvious one is the stock, which is one of the gun’s real standout features.
It’s a laminate featuring grey and russet tones that create contrasting stripes that flow along the sumptuous contours of the woodwork; it’s striking without looking gaudy. The long Schnabel forend is finished with a very dark cap, as is the pistol grip, and both feature gold spacers that really catch the eye.
Both sides of the forend are adorned with some really nice panels of sharp fish-scale chequering – it looks good and feels great. The same stylised chequering is also present on either side of the steep pistol grip, which is contoured to accommodate both a thumb-up and a thumb-down hold.
Embellishment is not scarce on this airgun, and the base of the pistol grip
is inset with a commemorative medallion to make that all-important 40th anniversary.
The Genus really is equipped with an excellent stock. It has a very defined cheekpiece, with a high rise which is perfect for scope use, and the butt section is finished off with a fairly basic but very comfortable squashy rubber pad, which makes for a very nice fit.
It’s worth pointing out that this is a dedicated right-hand stock. That’s going to be a nuisance for left-handers, but I certainly appreciated the improved fit compared with the current glut of ambidextrous stocks on the market.
In fact, I would love to see more manufacturers follow suit and turn out more guns with stock options specifically designed to fit right- and left-handed shooters, especially on high-end models.
Although the Genus is styled along the proportions of a classic sporter, it still manages to measure-up at a pretty compact 100cm with the supplied silencer fitted, and tips the scales at a whisker over 3kg. Being relatively light, it’s a fairly comfortable gun to carry, and its excellent stock and good balance make it a real joy to shoot.
FINISH AND FEATURES
Daystate tends to turn out extremely cleanly finished airguns, and that’s certainly the case with the Genus. The metalwork of the shroud, silencer and breech block is finished in gold. Frankly, that sounds a bit garish, but thanks to its matt finish, it manages to look really classy.
The breech block is also adorned with another inlay to mark that milestone anniversary, and dovetail rails are machined into the top of the block. The rails are interrupted by the magazine, which stands proud by about 13mm, which is something that needs to be considered when choosing mounts – go too low and it could foul the scope.
Attention to detail is extremely impressive, and I particularly like the venting at the rear of the barrel shroud. That elegant shroud actually incorporates its own reflex sound suppressor, and it also comes fitted with a compact version of Daystate’s new 0dB silencer. It’s a sleek set-up which looks the business, while doing a very good job of keeping the muzzle report quiet.
The multi-shot firing system runs Daystate’s tried and trusted 10-shot rotary magazine, and also comes supplied with a single-shot tray. Cocking and loading is driven by a rear bolt action, and the bolt handle has been given a special touch of styling for the Genus edition.
Most importantly, it’s a very reliable mechanism – the backward stroke indexes the magazine and cocks the action, and the forward stroke probes a pellet into the breech – and it works like clockwork.
Equally impressive is the fully-adjustable two-stage trigger. Daystate has a reputation for making great electronic triggers but their mechanical units are also extremely good. The blade on this one has been given some gold bling, and it has a lovely sweep and a nice wide face.
Straight from the box, it was set perfectly. The first stage take-up is fairly long, and the second stage stop is very clear before it breaks extremely crisply.
There’s a manual switch-type safety catch at the rear of the cylinder – nicely positioned to operate with your thumb. It’s safe when it’s in the downward position, and you flick it up when you’re ready to take a shot. It makes a bit of a click, but I don’t think it’s loud enough to cause hunters any problems in the stealth department.
The Genus is equipped with a high-quality Huma regulator to boost shot count and consistency. This set-up has already enhanced the previously exceptional performance of the Huntsman Regal, and does a first-class job again here.
The .22 calibre test gun was producing a muzzle energy of 11.4 ft-lb and shot-to-shot variation was less than four feet per second over a 10-shot string. Although it does all its important work on the inside, the regulator is apparent on the outside of the gun by a pressure gauge neatly sunken into the underside of the stock.
Air filling is by means of a supplied quick-fill probe, which pushes into the inlet at the front of the cylinder, protected by a neat rotating collar. Maximum fill pressure is 250bar, and from that you can expect about 150 shots per fill.
Air reserves are displayed on a clearly marked gauge on the front of the cylinder cap – it’s just a pity that you have to put your head around the dangerous end to look at it.
PERFORMANCE ON THE RANGE
The Genus isn’t just interesting to look at, it’s also a joy to shoot. That great trigger unit and regulated firing cycle, backed up by the proven Harper Slingshot hammer system, make for a brilliant shooting machine.
My initial accuracy testing was carried out in breezy conditions, but I still managed to print a few groups measuring less than 10mm from centre to centre at 30m. When the wind had blown itself out, I headed back out again in much calmer conditions, and achieved the same sort of grouping out to 40m, and a few 50m groups that could easily be covered by a £1 coin.
Although the Genus is rather a luxurious airgun, I hope that won’t put its owners off of taking it out and putting plenty of pellets through it. It might be a bit classy for bashing around on hunting sessions, but it certainly has the pedigree to tackle live quarry out to significant range, and I’d hate to think of such a fine gun being left to gather dust as a showpiece when it really does need to be shot.
Daystate’s 40th anniversary is a very big deal. Designing a limited airgun to mark such a significant occasion is a tall order, but the Genus more than lives up to the task. The only real downside that I can think of is that there aren’t many of them about.
So, if you want one in your collection, you’ll need to hunt one down very quickly before they’re all snaffled up – people aren’t going to want to part with them!
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