Air Arms S510 XS Xtra by Phillip Hayes

  • Monday, 16 September 2019 11:42
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Air Arms S510 XS Xtra by Phillip Hayes: More shots, better consistency

The XS Xtra is a regulated PCP with an extended air cylinder for more shots per fill. The test model in .22 calibre had a classy wooden stock made by Minelli in Italy, and in terms of weight, size and barrel-thickness, its handling characteristics are similar to those of a centre-fire rifle. The beech-wood stock had fine laser chequering on the grip and fore-end, a quality black rubber butt-pad, a cheek-piece for right-handed shooters and a Schnabel on the fore-end. A grip-cap of darker wood has a fine white-line spacer. Stocks in walnut are also available.

The 493.5mm (19.32 inch) shrouded barrel is made by Lothar Walther and the rifle features a five-setting adjustable power output, a Series 7 regulator and valve system, a side-lever action, 10-shot magazine, adjustable two-stage trigger with trigger safety and built-in manometer. The importer also supplied me with an optional Q-Tec moderator. The muzzle is threaded at the factory and fitted with a cap. According to the manufacturer, the rifle is capable of delivering 55 shots when fully charged, with maximum muzzle energy of 32ft-lbs in .22 calibre (more on that later).

The magazine has no internal springs and is rotated m­anually to insert each pellet. I found that the pellet at the loading port would drop out if the magazine is turned upside down; if you opt to carry a spare mag in a pocket, loading only 9 pellets will be the practical solution. To insert the magazine, the side-mounted cocking-lever must be pulled back and a pellet is chambered on closing the lever. Once the first shot is fired the rotary magazine is indexed by a spring that cams upwards when the cocking- lever is pulled back. 

The two-stage trigger is fully adjustable, but I found the factory setting more than adequate for precise shooting, so I left it as is. The first stage of pull partially disengages the bottom and top sears, while the second stage disengages the two completely.

The longer-than-normal cylinder (288cc capacity) can be filled to maximum 250 bars, though the manual states the recommended pressure is 150 bars. The test rifle was filled to the maximum when I received it and I started by firing twenty shots at a paper target at 25m to get used to the trigger and to zero the scope. Once the scope was zeroed, all shots cut a single ragged hole.

By now the pressure setting was down to about 225 bars and I proceeded to fire ten shots over a chronograph using 16gr Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets. I started on the highest of five power settings, measuring muzzle velocity of 956fps; on setting four, 933fps, then 834fps, 654fps and on the lowest power setting, 359fps. I repeated the exercise, and the muzzle velocities recorded were 956fps, 935fps, 835fps, 648fps and 360fps. The biggest variation of 6fps was on the second lowest setting – this could have been due to a slight difference in pellet weight as velocities measured later were all within 3fps on specific power settings. These near-identical velocities are impressive and indicate precision engineering in production, rendering the rifle a tack-driver. At 25m, placing five shots into one hole was the norm. It was immediately clear that the rifle’s accuracy potential tops my own. 

Also, at 956fps the 16gr pellets delivered 32.48ft-lbs of muzzle energy, .48 more than the manufacturer’s claim.

Read the full article in the October 2019 issue of Magnum.

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