Review: The Dragonslayer
.50 Caliber
Jim Chapman
AirgunsThe Dragon Slayer
The Dragonslayer is a large PCP air rifle
launched as the successor to the Career
Dragon, and is currently produced in .50
caliber only. The standard gun has an
ergonomically shaped hardwood stock that
is nicely checkered, and includes a rubber
butt pad. I like the the shape of the forearm
finding it comfortable to shoot both offhand
and from a rest. A significant advantage in
this design over the previous Dragon version
is that the Dragonslayer uses a new side-
lever action, which permits easier cocking
and loading than its predecessor.  I found the
gun very easy to cycle and load, even under
high stress situations encountered in the field
when hunting.

There are no open sights on this rifle, as the
expectation is that a scope will be mounted.  
The accuracy is so good with this rifle that a
scope is a must if one wishes to have it
perform to full potential.  The comb height
was just right for my line of sight, with the
scope mounted in low profile rings. I tried
various scopes during bench testing, but
opted for a fixed power 2x shotgun scope to
ride on top the gun when bringing it out in
pursuit of boar. I intended to keep the shot
inside of 40 yards, and felt that 2X was
enough magnification, but I also liked the
longer eye relief for use in the heavier brush
when fast target acquisition was a plus.

A quick-fill receptor port is used to charge
the gun up to the recommended 3000 psi,
and an integrated pressure gauge allows real-
time monitoring of residual pressure in the
gun. The Dragonslayer has a single air
reservoir beneath the barrel unlike the twin
reservoir design of the Dragon; and to my
eye the former has a cleaner line to it. The
pressure gauge and quick fill receptor are
located beneath the barrel at the end of the
tank, allowing easy access.  I found that I
obtained 8-10 shots per charge, when
shooting of the bench, though decided to
carry a small pony bottle to recharge after
every 5 shots for hunting purposes.

This is a substantial gun that weighs in at
about 8.5 pounds with scope, but is well
balanced and comes naturally to the
shoulder. I found that when shooting from
either the bench or offhand, the gun was
easy to get on target and that I could
consistently obtain a stable hold regardless
of position. On a full charge the gun yields
approximately 10 shots, but a noticable drop
in muzzle velocity and point of aim occurs
after the first five. After shooting a 250 grain
bullets over several ten shot groups, the
average first shot velocity was 602 fps, and
the average spread over the first four shots in
a group was 510 – 602 fps. This gives an
average muzzle velocity of around 560 fps
which translates to approximately 175 fpe.
Shooting 175 grain TC roundball I achieved
higher velocities and found the accuracy to
be outstanding, and therefore decided to use
them for my first hunt with the gun. My belief
was (and is) that this is adequate power for
taking a deer or hog inside of thirty  five
yards, certainly coyote, fox, and other mid
sized quarry out a lot further.

The accuracy of the gun warrents comment,
I found that I could easily shoot sub-half inch
groups at 35 yards while shooting off sticks.
Moving a target out to 75 yards, I could
place shots into a coyote kill zone all day
long. When
295 lb Boar taken with a 35 yard head shot. This gun is accurate!
I liked the cocking action of the Dragonslayer much more than
previous models, it took very little effort to cycle.
Even under the pressure of a quick load for a follow up shot,
good access to the loading port and the afore mentioned cocking
lever allowed me to quickly bring the gun into action.
An integrated cover kepth the filling port clean, yet easily
accessable.
My portable bench rest and testing rig used to measure
performance.
Accuaracy was very good with roundball. I was supprised by the
shot to shot consistancy on first shots of a fill, as well as that
observed over ten shots from a single fill.
I found this a comfortable gun to shoot; it came quickly and
naturally to shoulder, the comb allowed consistent sighting, and
the trigger was a pleasure.
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Both my hogs loaded in the truck for the ride to the cooling
shed. I had a great time hunting the Dragonslayer, and while I
would like to get more power, these were the two biggest boar
I've shot with an airgun.
Note: I had a follow up discussion with company representatives, and wanted to include some additional information.
The Dragonslayer was built to a functional requirement provided to Shinsung by Pyramyd Airguns. The FRS called for
a couple of significant changes from the Dragon; 1) the dual air reservoir tubes of the Dragon would be changed to a
single tube design for the Slayer, and the new cocking lever action would replace the bolt action found on the Dragon.
There was to be no internal change, however somewhere along the line a change was also made to a weaker hammer
spring. A project is currently in place to correct this on new production runs and get upgrade kits for currently installed
guns.

Until I get the heavier hammer spring I will stick to smaller pigs (up to the 150 lb class), deer, and coyotes with this
gun. I am also going to test other bullets (especially harder lead), as I'm not at all sure that round ball was my best
option in this particular application. Next time out I'm going to do further testing with balistic gel to look at penetration
as well.

I want to look at the gun in production trim after the spring issue is resolved .... then I want to send it to Bob Dean
(Bigbore Bob) to see what he can do with it, as I think there is a lot of potential to this gun.
This 6 shot group was
printed using Hornady
175 grain roundball,
which was the best
projectile I found in
this gun.

The 4 shot velocity
curves was generated
with 250 grain RN
bullets, and the 10
shot string was
generated with the
roundball