THE S300/S310 SERIES
Air rifle expert and consultant to Air Arms Nick Jenkinson was given a remit by Air Arms owner Bob Nichols to design a PCP rifle suitable for juniors & ladies, whilst still appealing to the hunter, that could retails for £300 – hence the name S300.
Nick worked with Colin Urquhart of CU plastics and a prototype was produced.
This was a 10 shot line fed rifle in .177. Although Air Arms liked much about the rifle, they wanted something simpler so Nick and Colin produced a second prototype – a single shot rifle in .22 calibre.
Ken Turner of Air Ams then worked with Nick to make a few tweaks and mid 1996 the S300 was born – a compact, light, & easy to use rifle that still offered an impressive shot count due to the new efficient valve system that had been developed.
The first S300’s were only available in .22 but due to demand, a .177 version was soon introduced and later still a 10 shot version of both calibres launched – the S310.
The rifles came in an ambidextrous, beech sporter stock. With the ability to have the loading bolt to the left or right of the matt finish action, the 300 series rifles were truly ambidextrous.
Other features of the stock were chequering to the pistol grip, which also had palm swelling, a relatively long fore-end with a Schnabel tip and a ventilated rubber butt pad.
A popular feature of the 300 series rifles was the ability to fine tune the power to suit your pellet via 2 grub scews which were accessed on the right side of the action.
300 Series Brochure - 1996
Over the life of the series, and in particular with the launch of the S310, a number of improvements were made, including:
1/8th bsp thread filling valve with short domed screw on cover replaced with quick fill snap adaptor to a long cylindrical push on cover
Extra parts added to trigger untit to improve function
2 piece loading bolt replaced with a 3 piece bolt with a curved handle
Change to the shape of the bolt housing
Change to the shape of the barrel band
Change of the colour of the s310 magazine cover from clear to yellow
With the success of the series, Air Arms decided to offer an “upmarket” version to the rifle with the introduction of the deluxe thumb-hole model.
This model offered a right or left hand dedicated walnut, thumb-hole stock with chequered panels around the pistol grip & fore-end, as well as a sliding butt plate and gold coloured trigger.
An FAC version was introduced around the same time as the S310. This was initially the same basic rifle with a few tweaks, such as opening the transfer port and using a heavier spring. The .177 version offered approx. 21 ft/lb and the .22 version approx. 25 ft/lb.
With the FAC version being very well received, a full redesign was carried out to optimise the FAC potential further. Longer cylinders and barrels were used as well as a new striker and valve system.
Due to loudness of the FAC version, and with it being considered too long to add a moderator, a shroud was added and this was fixed to the end of the cylinder. With the barrel band now being redundant, 2 stock in-fills were used to fill the gaps resulting from its removal.
The S310 Forester was introduced in 1999, with Air Arms only offering this version through 6 ot the country’s top retailers.
This version had a black, realtree cammo or Mark Bromley airbrushed cammo pattern stock and action, as well as a matching silencer, there was the option to have a matching 3-9x40 BusHnell Banner scope with mounts. To finish this hunting combo an optional ultimate Harris bi-pod was offered.
The 3 versions of the Forester are rare to find as only 125 were produced in total - 68 black, 29 Realtree & 28 Mark Bromley cammo.
S310 Forester - Mark Bromley Airbrushed Cammo
The 300/310 series of rifles were discontinued with the launch of the 400 series in 2000.
S300 - £300
S300 (fac) - £363
S310 - £440
S310 (fac) - £503
Forester (Black) - £629
Forester (Realtree) - £699
Forester (Mark Bromley cammo) - £739
Optional extras: single-stage silencer - £22
two-stage silencer - £32.50
Weight: 3kg (6.61lb) (Standard, non FAC versions)
Length: 965mm/38in with muzzle end. 1092mm/43in with silencer (Non FAC Versions)
Max. Pressure: .177 - 190 bar.
.22 – 180 bar.
Min. Pressure: 110 bar
Reach to trigger: 14in
Barrel: 19.6in, choked, 12 groove walther barrel
Calibre: .177 & .22
Shot count: approx. 90
Cocking: bolt action
Trigger: 2 stage, multi adjustable, with a curved ally blade
Stripdown Guide - Airgun World