Roger Lait helps a shooting friend get a large dose of high-power happiness in the shape of the Daystate Red Wolf Safari.
“Safari, so good.” At least I think that’s what they used to say back in the day. Well, Safari SO good! Let me explain. My buddy Ray Hampton bought an FAC-rated gun. It was a very good gun, but needed a bunch of tuning. He spent more time tuning the thing than shooting it. I was lucky. I had an FX Impact in .25 and a Daystate Red Wolf in .22 and both were amazing.
I would spend time tuning the FX to a certain slug, but for hunting I would switch to the Daystate Red Wolf because it always worked right off the bat. There was no need to check the tune, no need to tweak the muzzle velocity, it just worked.
My buddy had the hump because he just didn’t have that and he wanted it – big time. “That’s it, I need another gun that just works and that needs nothing other than pellets or slugs and air,” he moaned to me one day.
We talked about it for a good while and came up with the Daystate Safari in .25 calibre. This seemed to tick all the boxes for long-range target work and hunting, so the gun was ordered.
So we waited. I say “we” because I think I was more excited than him for the arrival of this gun. I had shot the Safari in .177 and the thing was off-the-charts good and stupidly accurate, so I could only presume that the .25 would be the same. After what seemed like forever, and it did take some time, mind you, the big day arrived and off he went to pick up his new gun.
But before we get to that, let me just give you some background on the Daystate Red Wolf series of guns. I bought mine very early on in .22 FAC in candy red and did it ever look the business! Maybe it was too good to hunt with. Why would I take such a lovely stock in the woods and bash it against trees? And I knew I would because I am a nightmare for that kind of thing.
I have a Remington 700 BDL in .243 with the most amazing, beautiful wooden stock that I hardly use because I know I would scratch it to pieces. Would the Red Wolf end up stuck in the cabinet like the .243? Well once I started shooting this gun, I soon realised that this gun could not be stuck in the cabinet. It was far, far too good for that.
It had three settings, slow, medium and fast, and that’s what you got. If it shot a pellet or slug at one of the speeds then your luck was in. If it didn’t, too bad! The settings were 34 ft-lb, 45 ft-lb and just over 50 ft-lb, so there was a good range of power there.
Now onto the Safari. This rifle, let’s call it the big brother to the Red Wolf HP, has lots more power.
I’ve been shooting the gun on high power, which is 65 ft-lb, but I believe the others are 45 ft-lb and 55 ft-lb. I’ve chronoed this rifle with every pellet and slug I could get my hands on, and the gun is flawless.
So what’s new with the Safari? My Red Wolf, as I said, has that beautiful smooth candy red stock, while the Safari has a heavy texture to it, and it’s such a lovely colour too. That texture feels great and makes it really non-slip.
And I mean non-slip – the gun feels like it’s glued to your hand. This is handy when it’s raining, which as we all know it does a whole bunch in the UK. Don’t get me wrong, I still take my Red Wolf out in the bad weather, but I must say I would much prefer to take my buddy’s Safari. I would think that in the wet this stock would be amazing.
So what else does it have? Well, it’s an electronic rifle and has the updated GCU 2.0 board. The GCU is the Gun Control Unit and does it ever pack a punch!
This makes sure that it pushes a pellet or slug at mad speed. Now it’s all well and good that the rifle pushes out the ammo that fast, but is it accurate, you ask? Well carry on reading and prepare yourself!
Accuracy is a funny thing. What some call accurate is certainly not what I would call it. I have seen many YouTube videos supposedly showing amazing groups at 50 and 100 yards. Well let me tell you, I can only assume that they have not been to Specsavers lately!
My background is HFT, and to shoot HFT well you need excellent accuracy. Some of these videos would suggest that these people have never seen a gun! I would say that at 50 yards a gun needs to be able to shoot a five pence-sized group and at 100 yards it needs to be easily below 1”.
The sub-inch 100-yard group is the Holy Grail of course with high-power airguns, and we all strive to achieve that or even better.
Sadly some of these groups are anything but sub-MOA on YouTube, and yet the people are still happy. It seems odd to me too. Anyway, I digress.
The Safari turned up. Of course the barrel was cleaned before first use and the scope was put in some Sportsmatch adjustable mounts. Now we were ready to go and zero the rifle. First of all we used a target at 20 yards to adjust the Sportsmatch mounts to make sure there was plenty of elevation adjustment left in the scope for shooting at longer ranges.
Once that was done we took it back to 50 yards for an initial zero with JSB MkII King Heavies. These pellets were stacking! The group was tiny and this gun loved these pellets. A great sign of things to come.
On to Wildman Slugs. I know Liam, the owner of Wildman Slugs, very well and he is good friends with Ray, the owner of this lovely Daystate Safari. So Liam and I chatted about what slugs this gun might like. He very kindly sent down loads of each weight slug from 30 grain right up to 40 grain for us to try. Well wouldn’t you know it, this rifle shot every single one perfectly! When I say that, I mean it one-holed at 50 yards with every single weight bar none.
After much laughter we put a new target out at 100 yards. Guess what? It did it again. The gun shot every single slug bang on, the only difference being the point of impact as the weights of the slugs went up or down. It was like this rifle was some kind of supergun. I had never seen anything like this in all my shooting life. How does this gun do it? More to the point, how come this gun wasn’t mine?! Why didn’t I buy one? Do I ever wish I had.
I could carry on and on about this wonderful rifle, and it does exactly what it says it can do. I am blown away by it. I suggest that if you are looking for an FAC rifle and you have the funds then this should go at the top of your shortlist. I love it!