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Had a play with an HFT500.

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by cloverleaf, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Honorary Member

    Likes Received:
    A few thoughts and observations for those who are interested..

    The stock is basically the same as that of the Ultimate Sporter, although varies in that the trigger guard is a semi-enclosed design and there are no QD sling attachment points present. The accessory rail, trigger guard and trigger block are all anodised silver as opposed to black on the U/S. The trigger blade is basically an MPR unit with a unique "ball" type blade.

    The barrel is properly floating - in place of barrel band on other models is a blanking ring with a little rubber stop to prevent damage should the barrel be knocked in the direction of the cylinder. The stop doesn't touch the brake under normal operation.

    Things I like

    Stock ergonomics are excellent, with plenty of adjustment and meat where you need it. Balance is also excellent, thanks to the additional weight at the muzzle afforded by the longer cylinder. Finally AA have gone to a true floating barrel (bloody took them long enough, though) from my own experiences with floated MPR barrels, I suspect this rifle will be a tack driver.

    The matching silver / grey bits look well-coordinated with the black bits of the action while the whole gun looks visually balanced.

    Things I don't like

    The way the trigger guard is put together looks a little shonky (can't be arsed to explain but look at the retaining bolt and you'll see what I mean). While the blade's ability to be moved back along the length of the gun nicely offsets the extra pull length required by the stock, it places the contact point with the finger even more rearward of the trigger blade pivot - diminishing mechanical advantage and meaning greater upward movement in the blade at the trigger finger during the pull.

    Visually I think the stock and silver bits are a bit much - IMO if keeping the standard stock the action should have been all black, or in the presence of the silver bits the action should have been toned down a bit - charcoal laminate for example. Either way I think there's a bit too much going on colour-wise.

    The stripper doesn't appear to be adjustable so may or may not be useless - at least it actually has a cone now, though - so is a step up from the window dressing on the MPR.

    Considering that the U/S came with sling swivel studs as standard, removing them on this model seems somewhat stupid as it'll hardly fit in the average HFT shooter's handbag..

    In Summary

    I think this is a damned good rifle; there are a few flaws but AA seem to have genuinely advanced and raised their game compared to other offerings in the range. While significantly more expensive than the outgoing MPR FT, the HFT500 has more adjustability, better ergonomics, better balance and will potentially be more accurate.

    It would certainly be £900 of my money straight into their pockets, were it not for the AT and lefty-unfriendly layout. Pity they evidently stupped listening to their customers when it came to these last two points :(
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  2. Big Uli

    Big Uli Donator

    Likes Received:
    Gretton, Northants-Leicestershire Border
    I've yet to see one up close but I like what I've seen on the net so far

    However I really struggle to understand the £900 price tag
    I also find the Ultimate sporter over priced

    I always liked AA, not only for the quality but the reasonable pricing

    I don't think a fancy laminate stock and some improvements to the internal workings warrants such a higher price
  3. Stevie Darling

    Stevie Darling Sexual tyrannosaurus

    Likes Received:
    St. Andrews, Jockland.
    You get to play with a lot of things:):)
  4. Hoodster

    Hoodster Engaging Member

    Likes Received:
    I really don't have any problem with the unfriendly to lefties action until it comes to standing shots keeping the rifle level and pointing down range while loading a pellet is a real p.i.t.a.
  5. mark112

    mark112 Engaging Member

    Likes Received:
    Hi Mike,

    Can we expect a further review with some chrono figures in the future? I would be interested to know whether things have improved on the inside as well. For £900 I'd like to think that it is a next generation product rather than a tart-up of the S500 series. That said I very much like the look of it.

  6. gasman

    gasman Up a bit,,,,,,,

    Likes Received:
    1066 country
    I'm liking this gun, but not the stock colour, EV2 colour would have suited more so then the redy colour :puke:
    still they may change that when they see the bsa sell more lol
  7. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Honorary Member

    Likes Received:
    I agree to a point about the price; I suppose it all depends how much kudos you assign to the stock. IIRC breaking down the cost of the S510 Ultimate Sporter (£890) in comparison to the standard beech-stocked S510 (£660) gives you a price difference of of £230. Removing the bundled mod (£65) and extra mag (£35) leaves you with a price difference of £130 to justify the laminated stock over the standard beech item; which considering the extra work involved and addition shiny bits (rail, adj. cheekpiece and butt pad) don't seem too bad at all to me.

    Working back from the price of the HFT500 (£915) would give you an equivalent price of £785 with a standard beech (sporter) stock; which does seem a little pricey considering that the outgoing MPR (with a crap-but-more-adjustable-and-must-be-more-expensive beech ambi stock) cost around £720 at the time of its demise. Looking at it from this perspective the HFT 500 is maybe £100 more than it "should" be..?

    I do.. better that than resorting to playing with myself, I suppose :p

    That's fair if you get on with it; personally I can't bring myself to give nearly a grand of my money to a company that can't be arsed to make a rifle to fit me properly. With (left-handed) Bill Sanders at the helm us lefties were always well-catered for; now he's sadly gone it seems that we're first against the wall with the rise of the S510 and ambi-superlite stocks, plus demise of the LH stock option for the 510 and L/H thumbhole option for the S410.. :rolleyes:

    I'm afraid not for the time being; although tbh I suspect the rifle is exactly what you expect - standard S510 internals, new stock, block, cylinder, trigger and stripper..

    Have you seen one in the flesh? Looks a lot more subtle than in the pics. Surely you can't think it looks more gaudy than the RWB scheme on the BSA..? A little bird tells me this was the laminate AA was going to use before they got cold feet as it was a little "in your face" :p

    In other news I've had the chance to make a few more observations about the HFT 500. Firstly and most importantly, the barrel is properly floating - no "Semi-floating" double-tongued marketing-speak BS - the little projection that can be seen from the "non-barrel band" beneath the muzzle brake is in fact a rubber stop that stops short of the brake by maybe 1-2mm; ensuring that everything floats properly!

    Also the barrel appears to be the same unit as used on the MPR FT - while the MPR has two retaining grub screws and the HFT has three; the barrel on the HFT 500 retains its original two conical holes for the two rear-most screws to locate into (as on the MPR) while the front-most one just clamps down on the OD of the barrel (which is a bit nasty tbh and probably unnecessary). The length of barrel supported inside the breech block is the same on both rifles.

    Finally, a lot of people assumed the longer cylinder was the same (520mm) item used on the export rifles - in actual fact the HFT item is 480mm long, so 80mm longer than the standard 400mm effort on the MPR, and 40mm shorter than that on the export rifles ;)

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