With feedback from HFT shooters showing a desire for a dedicated HFT rifle that could bridge the gap between the commonly used MPR FT & FTP900, in 2012 Air Arms started to develop such a rifle.
The project overlapped the development of the Ultimate Sporter.
A major part of the remit whilst developing the Ultimate Sporter series of rifles was to create a stock that would allow the shooter to have all the adjustability of a target rifle in a sporting gun.
With much of the stock design being well suited to HFT it was not difficult to take the needs of HFT shooters into full account without compromising the end result for hunters.
When it came to the action, the needs for HFT were quite different & after a programme of consultation with many leading HFT shooters a brand-new action based on the proven S500/510 action was produced.
September 2014 saw the launch of the HFT500.
As .177 is by far the most common calbre used for HFT. Air Arms decided to only produce the HFT500 in this calibre.
With the internal workings of the HFT500’s single-shot action being taken from the proven S5100/510 series of rifles & the fully floated match Lothar Walther barrel from the FTP900, the reliability, consistency & accuracy that HFT shooters demanded was assured.
To provide extra support for the floated barrel the S500/510 series based breech block was extended & had an extra screw as well as an integral fluted knuckle where the barrel entered it.
A rubber button below the anti-flip muzzle end of the barrel helps protect it against knocks.
To achieve the shot-count that shooters wanted a 480mm cylinder was used which resulted in around 90 good shots.
Airgun World - November 2014
The HFT500’s action is very easy in the eye with a deeply blacked cylinder and satin grey anodising to the breech block, anti-flip muzzle end, accessory rail & the built-in pressure gauge’s surround.
For the trigger unit Air Arms have used their proven CD trigger unit coupled with a multi-positional match-trigger featuring a button which can be reversed for those preferring a flat pint of contact for their trigger finger.
The black/brown/grey laminate stock features:
Adjustable butt pad with facility to add spacers to increase length of pull
Ball-joint mounted ambidextrous cheek-piece with multi-directional adjustability
Curved grip with stippling
Built in accessory rail
Sling studs – the front one on the accessory rail and the rear one integrated on to the cheek-piece post
Fore-end grooves to aid handling
An optional hamster is also available.
With the action of the HFT500 providing the reliability, consistency & accuracy required for HFT & a stock that enables the user to tailor the fit it to their own requirements it is no wonder the HFT500 has proven to be highly successful.
Since it was launched the rifle has won a lot of silverware at all levels & continues to do so.
It has also proved to be a popular choice for plinkers, benchrest shooters & those looking for field target shooters.
More information on the HFT500 can be found HERE.