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Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter; a few (more) first impressions

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by cloverleaf, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I've just had a proper (unsupervised) play with a production version of one of these (image credit to Mcavoys):

    [​IMG]

    To summarise, the Ultimate Sporter differs from the standard S510 in a number of ways. The most obvious difference is the stock; which is a very nice adjustable laminate effort from Minelli. Other changes include the shorter cylinder (carbine v. classic length on the standard S510), different pressure gauge design, grey transparent mag cover plates (as opposed to the yellow used on all the other models), with two mags being supplied as standard. Mechanically it appears that the US is identical to other 510 variants; although I've not had one apart yet to confirm!

    Aesthetically a few things have changed from the pre-production model (pictured above) - the pointy end to the mod has gone :)up:) and it now has an end cap embellished with swirly bits like the rest of the 4/500 range. There are also five rings cut around the circumference of the middle of the mod; echoing the three on the other 4/500 series mods. The mod is retained with a grub screw as opposed to a 1/2" UNF fitting, somewhat bizarrely IMO.


    Stock and Ergonomics

    Since the stock is the most obvious alteration from the "cooking" S510 variants I thought ergonomics were worth covering first. From my limited fiddling, IMO the ergonomics of this rifle are excellent. Fit and comfort are superb thanks to the adjustable cheek-piece (height and rotation about it's single mounting post) and height-adjustable butt-pad.

    Compared to the normal 4/500 series stocks the pistol grip is longer with more rake; positioning the hand further rearward with regard to the action - this makes thumb placement less awkward for those who like to shoot thumb-up. The only down side of this is that the reach to the trigger is now a bit long - not an insurmountable problem and an excellent excuse to bin the nasty safety-catch-blighted standard item and replace it with an MPR unit, or an adjustable / setback offering from Rowan.

    The forend of the stock is chunky, nicely squared-off and accommodates an accessory rail underneath which comes fitted with a swivel stud as standard; for use with a sling or bipod. The underside of the forend is of similar height to the underside of the trigger guard; so those who like to pull their supporting hand right back towards the rear of the forend / trigger during standing shots are well-catered for.

    Balance seems excellent for such a short rifle, with the extra frontal mass of the fat laminated forend going towards offsetting the shorter action length and resulting absence of mass at the muzzle. I've not tried a 'scoped one but the bare rifle feels extremely comfortable and well-balanced on aim.

    Finally, some whinged about the rear sling swivel moving vertically as the cheek-piece is adjusted (it's attached to the height-adjuster mounting) however I can report that it stays in one place regardless of the position of the cheek-piece.


    Performance

    I've not had chance to use the rifle in anger, but I suspect it's accuracy, number of useable shots, consistency and trigger characteristics will largely follow that of other 4/500 series guns, since mechanically they're much the same. The mod seems significantly quieter than the other offerings from Air Arms, though.


    Aesthetics

    While obviously hugely subjective, I think the rifle looks excellent - purposeful and visually balanced. The new gauge is a clean design (although perhaps not as "precise" as the standard item, which in itself isn't great), and the grey mag cover plates tone down the colours of the rifle's action.


    Price and Competition

    So now to the elephant in the room. Considering that a standard, R/H beech S510 comes in at around £610, the £850-£890 shelf price of the Ultimate Sporter may come as somewhat of a shock. That 40-odd percent price hike can be justified to an extent by the included mod (around £40) and spare mag (around £30); leaving a gap of around £190 separating the standard and "ultimate" variants once the additional trinkets have been accounted for.

    You're effectively paying £190 extra for the stock; compared to a £65 premium for a Walnut stock on the standard gun or £155ish for the Thumbhole walnut on the standard rifle.

    The S510 Ultimate Sporter has clearly been designed to take sales from the HW100; but is currently priced at over £100 or 15% more. Does it represent a better buy?

    In terms of features the 100 is regged, has a more sophisticated and higher capacity mag system, is more efficient, offers more shots per charge, has an arguably more refined action, a better safety catch and more accurate / useable pressure gauge. While the HW100 is arguably technically superior to the 510 Series in most (if not all) respects, the Ultimate Sporter's real strength lies in it's stock; whose ergonomics eclipse those of both the HW100 thumbhole and sporter variants - thanks to it's general design, versatility and adjustability. Aesthetically I think the S510 US is a much nicer design than the '100, too. I'd consider the build quality, trigger performance and moderator of both models to be broadly comparable.

    So in a nutshell IMO, the S510 US is technically not as good on paper as the HW100, but trumps it in terms of ergonomics, handling and aesthetics; and it will doubtless be a more exclusive choice than the popular HW100. Will all this be enough to justify it's price premium over the HW100? We shall have to wait and see... ;)

    Are any forum members considering the S510 Ultimate Sporter?
     
    PumpnGun likes this.
  2. The Robin

    The Robin Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Thanks, great write up as normal and a lot of info and food for thought for people, I'm not after a new rifle but this new rifle out of AA is stunning :up:
     
  3. mark112

    mark112 Engaging Member

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    I was but just spent out on a nice S400 with a cs800 stock :)
     
  4. chrisjpainter

    chrisjpainter Engaging Member

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    I have to say, I'm a little disappointed! I loved the standard S510. It's a proper thoroughbred hunter, with almost everything you'd need without any unnecessary trinkets. But the one thing it could have done with is a regulator. The idea of an ultimate sporter is great, but it's not going to take sales away from HW without improving performance and not looks. No one really buys a HW for its looks, so it's a bit naive of AA to think they can put sales pressure on it by looking good. It needs to perform better. It feels a bit more like one the Daystate Special Edition models. a very frilly frock, but the same thing underneath!

    If it was my money, I'd either buy a standard S510 and save the money, or buy the HW! Not sure there's much room for the Ultimate...

    Great write-up though!
     
  5. Grumpyoldman

    Grumpyoldman Very Active

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    Great review :up: , sticking point for me is its just too much money for a fancy 510 and why not screw cut the barrel think id prefer a HW 100 in that stock , im getting another rifle early next year , im never buying another DS although im lucky got a good one but not prepared to take the risk off ending up with a YO YO , i find it a bit insulting when makers tweek an old model and chuck a stupid price on it DS being the worst culprits :down: are AA going the same way ? so list now mk 2 verminator , R10 of 100 sporter or a 510 superlite at the right price , like the sidelever a lot although iv tried AA and HW and the germans win hands down for me
     
  6. Jonnyovy

    Jonnyovy Very Active

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    Had a play with one of these today. In my opinion, very ugly, but put it into your shoulder and it feels lovely. I wouldnt buy one at that price myself though. Ive never liked any of the other air arms rifles and ive had a few.
     
  7. sharpsman

    sharpsman Keyboard Hero

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    The stock hardly looks like a sporter stock infact i think its horrible,going by the prices of these i don't think they will sell many.
     
  8. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Thanks cloverleaf Ive been very interested in these since their announcement.

    I think they look superb and definatey the best looking design airarms have produced.

    If that stock was walnut I would be sold but I don't like laminate although that is the best laminate Ive seen,

    Only question I need to know is how heavy does it feel, because for a bit more money I would be looking at an impact.

    But I have a custom mk2 Rapid and a belter of a hw100tk so I don't know if it would be worth my money, but this definitely gets my vote and Im sure it wont be long before people are winning competitions with them like all Airarms do, but Im only interested in how they perform on live targets.
     
  9. Chinnymonster81

    Chinnymonster81 Busy Member

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    It doesn't feel heavy and is superbly balanced. I have one and a normal S510 with a r/h stock. The fit difference is surprising. The best thing to do is find who has one in stock and go have a play.
     
  10. Evolve82

    Evolve82 Big Poster

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    +1.
     
  11. Big Jim

    Big Jim Engaging Member

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    I bought one for my sons Christmas on Friday. I've had a little play with it and it feels totally different from his s510 super light.
    The adjustable cheek piece in my opinion is the best design I've seen. It's also no where near as heavy as I thought it would be.
    With the new mod on it it's really quiet and very accurate as well using AA Express, I haven't tried a heavy pellet through it yet.
    On a whole I think it's been one of the most improved guns produced this year. Air Arms are on to a winner with this one.
     
  12. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Cheers guys - glad some of you found my post of use :)

    The rifle is certainly generating some differing opinions and it's interesting to see that a few members have already taken the plunge.

    Personally I won't be buying one, however I think an MPR / Ultimate Sporter parts bin mashup will be on the cards once the stock becomes available as a spare ;)

    I'm interested to spend a bit more time handling the rifle to confirm that the stock apparently bucks the standard trend that all ambi efforts are nasty and ergonomically compromised..
     
  13. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    How long is the barrel compared to a standard s510?

    And how does the mag system feel in comparison with the hw100?

    I really cant wait to handle one I have to say I was hell bent on buying an impact gsx jobbie but then I saw this and thought wow I want that instead...

    I was once told a standard s400 can win some rather specially tuned guns straight from the box... so if this is the same pedigree Im sure that AA have a winner on their hands.

    Question I have is where does this leave the MPR?? will this be discontinued if this takes off??
     
  14. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I think the barrel length is the same as the standard S510 (c.400mm) but the shroud is shorter as it doesn't have (largely useless IMO) pre-silence / baffles.

    The mag system is the same as the other 4/510 rifles; so pretty good IMO. Compared to the HW I'd say it's a matter of personal preference, although the HW system does prevent double loading if the lever is cycled twice.

    The 400 Series is basically just very competant out of the box, and offers very good value with it. It won't be as good as more expensive guns in some respects, but won't be too far behind and always gives a good account of itself.

    The MPR is a totally different beast (a single-shot, target-oriented gun that's £200 cheaper) so I don't see why the US should harm it's sales particularly. That said the MPR's latest ambi-stock is a bit w*nk IMO - it will be interesting to see if AA decide to fit the US stock to other models; the MPR being the obvious choice..
     
  15. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    So anyway, photoshop says this has to happen at the soonest available opportunity:

    [​IMG]

    :cool:
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  16. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill co2 Pistol Enthusiast & Western fan

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    Great review Cloverleaf. I love the rifle after your photoshop above. Much better looking with the longer cylinder. But I think the stock would look better on my GML. ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  17. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill co2 Pistol Enthusiast & Western fan

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    I have something to match this Cloverleaf. Watch this space. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  18. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    That's a lovely gun, Ive always like GML versions of the 400 range.

    Hope the US is as accurate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  19. PLINK

    PLINK Self Contained Nut

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    Good write up!
    Recently had my US up forsale on here.. I will call it a moment of madness! ive withdrawn the sale i cant bring myself to do it!

    This rifle is excellent on all levels, its as good as any daystate ive owned but for alot less . Accuracy out the box is something else.. I have settled on Jsb Exacts.. These where grouping ontop of each other at a laser'd 53yards on day one rifle straight out of the box!

    I had to tweak the trigger, factory setting was abit to long and heavy for me... After avit if tinkering (1hr) its set ro perfect and breaks like glass everytime, so it will be amazing with a sear Polish etc! Only niggle i have is actually with the mag.. Ive found when loaded and the spare mag is full and in the pocket the very first pellet will fall out.. Apart from that its a excellent rig.. Well done AA!
     
  20. bripard

    bripard Engaging Member

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    Hi, could you do a picture of a standard 510 wearing the new ultra stock? Just thought i'd ask.
     

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