REALLY tuning a PCP!

by B.B. Pelletier

I just have to write this post, so forgive me if it’s not to your taste. Yesterday, I got a question from The.Man regarding air usage in a Talon SS, which is a precharged pneumatic. He wondered if he installed a 24″ barrel on an SS that normally has a 12″ barrel, if he could get a greater number of shots at the same energy level as the standard 12″ barrel is able to produce. I told him yes, he could, but then my brain went into gear, and I had to carry the thought through to completion.


Talon SS from AirForce is one of the most adjustable PCP rifles around.

To my thinking, The.Man has asked one of those fundamental life-changing questions that has the potential to open up airgunning for him. It’s fundamental because it shows that he understands how pneumatic guns work. To me, pneumatic guns work very much like black powder arms. In a pneumatic, a longer barrel means more acceleration time, which equals more velocity. In a black powder gun, the longer barrel promotes more complete burning of the powder, which equates to more push behind the bullet and greater velocity. The two power sources are very much alike in this respect.

To continue the comparison, I have found most black powder arms have a preference for a certain bullet. Once you find it, don’t shoot anything else. Also, find the right powder load and stick with it. A pneumatic pellet gun is the same. Find a power setting (if the gun is adjustable) that works best and the one pellet that’s right, and you don’t need anything else. Allow me to share the work done by another airgunner.

This airgunner took his Talon SS and added a 24″ .22 caliber barrel. He knew that was the best combination for what he wanted, which was a lot of shots at a decent power level. Then, he selected a power setting on the adjustment mechanism. It wasn’t wide open like you might think. He wanted a good number of shots with a good amount of power and a decent velocity spread so he’d have accuracy at 50 yards. He settled on power setting No. 8 in the power adjustment window. The pellet he chose was the Beeman Kodiak.

If you read the forums, you will see Talon SS owners trading power wheel settings back and forth, talking about setting 10.13, for example, which means the gross power indicator is resting on the number 10 and the power wheel is resting on the number 13. What they fail to realize is that EACH TALON SS WORKS DIFFERENTLY! You might get a velocity of 830 f.p.s. with a .22 caliber Crosman Premier on the setting 10.13 on your gun, while I might get 790 from the same setting on mine! I might have to dial up to 12.9 to get the same velocity you get on 10.13. Yet for both of us, 830 f.p.s. might be the maximum velocity our guns get with the .22 Premier pellet.


The AirForce adjustment mechanism is a wheel and an oval window cut in the left side of the frame. The round screw head (it’s an Allen screw) in the window indicates the power setting. The reading is taken from the center of the screw. The power wheel on the left also has numbers that align with an index mark. These are the finer adjustments. Each revolution of the wheel moves the power screw one whole number right or left.

Install the 24″ barrel and the adjustability becomes much more sensitive over a far broader range. The gun shoots both slower and faster with the 24″ barrel installed.

Well, this shooter found a spot on his adjustment mechanism where everything was what he wanted, then he did one more thing – which is what this posting is all about. He loosened the two Allen setscrews on the SS top hat (the end of the valve stem that acts as the firing interface for the striker and also the valve stroke limiter) and adjusted the top hat to the point that the gun gave exactly the velocity he wanted. But if he adjusted the top hat to as little at two-thousandths of an inch less clearance, the velocity would drop. To do what he did requires a chronograph, a feeler gauge and patience. But a thoughtful shooter can really maximize his PCP’s potential if he knows what he’s doing.


The stainless steel “tophat” was the earlier Talon’s method of adjustment. Today the adjustment wheel makes it unnecessary to ever move this tophat setting, which has 0.080″ clearance from the factory. However, it is possible to adjust this to get a much more efficient setting for a single pellet at a single velocity.

What he achieved is what The.Man asked about – the optimum flow of air without wasting any. The results were incredible! Instead of getting the usual 35-40 powerful shots, he got over 90 shots in a tight velocity spread! In other words, he had his cake and ate it, too!

On Monday, I have a big surprise for you. An old friend has returned, and we’re going to spend some time with him. In fact, next week should have several exciting things for you all!

56 thoughts on “REALLY tuning a PCP!

  1. that make a lot of sense to me. When yo u turn the dial to full power on a 12 in barrel, your wasting air. the pellet leaves the barrel an still air rushes out behind it, which is the wasted air. Another example is the .300 winchester magnum. Most rifles chambered in .300 have at least a 22 inch while most have a 24 or 26. I can get away with a 18 inch on my 30-30 because of the smaller amount of powder.

    Do you think wad-cutters are a good choice on starlings in .177 and gamo magnums in .22



  2. B.B.,
    Hello, I am new to airgunning and am looking to purchase my first air rifle soon. But I have been getting conflicting reports from the stores I have talked. What I am trying to do is get the quietest rifle with the most bang for the buck. If you could, would you please rank the models I am looking at in order of quietness of shooting. I believe the accurracy of all would be high and basically be to the ability of the shooter. The models are 1. Talon SS. 2. Logun S-16. 3. BSA Superten Bull Barrel Rifle. Daystate Harrier. If you know of another that is quiet and with power that these have, please list it.

    Don’t tell my boss, but I spent most of my work day reading your archives. Very helpful. I am gaining a world of knowledge. Thanks for your help.
    Excited Newbie


  3. Hi B.B.

    You touched on a very interesting topic, but I’m still fuzzy on just what’s happening. Is the top hat adjustment you mention in essence changing the striker spring tension (my understanding of what changes normally when the power wheel is moved), which then changes how long the valve is open, or does the striker spring tension remain the same and only the valve clearance changes (due to the top hat adjustment), and thus the valve-open duration changes? I think my concept of what’s happening may be a bit off.

    To achieve the efficiency you mention in the article, does that assume you are always filling to 3000 psi with each fill?

    Great forum! Thanks for all the time you invest.
    Bill


  4. B.B.,

    Thats two postings Ive generated! O.K. what Im trying to accomplish is talon ss 24″, I dont need or want to pay for the 12″ SS barrel! So, I dont mind doing a little work if all im going to do is save $30, thats a few tins of pellets ya know. So, based on your article of turning the condor into an SS you said replacing the tank, the barrel and end cap gives you an exact Talon SS, so my thinking was replace the tank and I have a 24″ talon with a longer scope rail. In that article there was no mention of a hammer weight but you did bring it up in later articles thats why I asked. Still, theamount of money Iwouldsave would allow me to buy and replace the condor hammerweight with a proper talon weight and still save $40 overall. The $40 comes from the price of a talon SS with a 24″ Barrel which is at least $610 with scuba adapter. So, can you tell me if there’s anything else I’d have to do to make the condor a true talon. Buy a condor, with talon tank, replace hammerweight, anything else? Thanks a ton, the hammer weight issue you referred to makes perfect sense. It’s just hard to find someone to sell you a brand new talon without the 12″ barrel and end cap with a 24″ barrel installed instead. You’d think they’d make one, duh?

    The.Man


  5. Excited,

    I can’t tell you how quiet those shrouded barrel guns are, but everything you have selected will be quiet, unless the Harrier doesn’t have a silencer or shroud. Then it will be loud.

    The S16 with a shroud will probably be the quietest, and the Talon SS will be the loudest.

    B.B.


  6. The.Man,

    All you have to do to make the Condor into a Talon SS with a 24″ barrel is remover the hammer weight and install a standard reservoir.

    It sounds like you are doing some careful shopping, so I will stay out of that.

    Remember that the regular Talon has the 18-inch barrel, and you don’t want one of those because it also has a shorter frame. It looks funny with the 24-inch barrel because 12 inches stick out. The Talon SS has the same frame length as the Condor.

    B.B.


  7. Bill,

    No, the top hat doesn’t control the striker spring tension. That is controlled by the power adjustment wheel as you thought.

    The top hat also does not control the valve return spring tension. What it does is control the amount of time the valve remains open. Changing the measurement under the top hat allows for a longer or shorter valve open time, which determines the amount of air that flows from the reservoir.

    With the experiment I mentioned, the fill pressure was somewhere around 3,000 psi.

    B.B.


  8. hi again,
    about my comment about shooting in my basement. i checked out the daisy you recomended and thought it was a little out of my price range. i was thinking about the marksman 2004 after reading your good review but then saw all the bad comments and i think it either hit or miss. i was also thinking about the izh 61 which i have a few questions about
    1. when using the 5 shot clp does the clip advence by itself or do you have to move it to the next shot like a 760 pumpmaster?
    2.is the marksman good for informal target shooting?

    i really dont want to spend a lot of money because ill only be using it in the winter when i cant shoot my 392.
    thanks


  9. B.B.,

    I see! I looked for a schematic of the condor and talon but didnt have time to go through them comparing parts when I got them. The Condor seems to be the way to go because it only takes a tank to go back to that kind of power if for some reason I WANTED to, I know for sure that I dont NEED to. Thanks for clearing that up, it also makes more sense of what the guy was telling me, he kept saying that if I wanted to use full pressure (3000 psi) then I would need the condor hammer weight but he didnt say to take it out. I cant read between the lines, later he said, the talon has a hammer, the condor has a hammer and a hammer weight but I never made the connection until you said it…..duh, my bad. Thanks again for clearing it up and thanks for your patience, Im started to really get a grasp of the talon/condor family, he said when I saw the gun it would all make sense. You do a good thing for the airgun communtiy with this (virtually) one on one blog.

    The.Man


  10. any questions, go to

    talonforum.com
    (part of the yellowforum.com network)

    its a temporary home, as the original server got randomly hacked.
    once there, you can find all your mods, tweaks, and anything you can ask for.

    -kujitsu-


  11. kujitsu, what are you doing here? :P

    The tophat can be adjusted to get you more consistancy and power. Mine was good the way it came and I can fill to 3000 psi and shoot well.

    It’s reccomended that new condor owners fill their tanks to 24-2500 psi and shoot, if the first shot is powerful, fill to a greater pressure, shoot, if still powerful, just keep repeating rising by 100 psi untill you get a weak shot, just below that is your max fill pressure.

    Condors and talons are very modifiable guns, mine is barely stock anymore. I’m getting a .25 caliber barrel in soon. You can have lots of fun modifying them.

    I shot a 55 yard group that could be covered up with a dime. This is with my condor shooting eun jins. The gun is very accurate with lots of power, just ask the bird feeder behind it :P I shot through the target and it blew part of the feeder out. oops.


  12. Basement,

    The IXH 61 advances the magazine automatically. I find the Marksman 2004, which is now a Beeman gun, by the way, to be extremely accurate and reliable. I have read those bad comments, too, though, so maybe not all of them are as good as mine.

    I have a question. Why not just shoot your 392 in the basement? On three pumps it’s about as low-powered as anyone could ask for. The pellets cost more, but if you don’t have to buy another gun, you have the money.

    Just wondering.

    B.B.


  13. hmmmmm
    i concidered shooting my 392 but it seemed kinda loud. also if i pump it only 3 tomes i know the velocity will decreace but would the accuracy decreace as well? i wish i could buy a chronograph but id rather spend my money eltswhere




  14. yet again stumbled across some more info. a canadian retailer, GMK, has the slavias for sale at a reasonable canadian price. i’m a little reluctant to buy it not because of quality, but of the last remark i got from my last dealer:
    “yeah, weve been getting alot of these back lately, same problem. CZ mustve shipped a bad batch. did you want another rifle or a refund?”
    “i think i’ll exchange it for another 631, i dont think i’ve ever shot anything this nice before”
    “i’m not really comfortable with that… every slavia we’ve sold so far has come back because of that exact same problem…”
    i’m willing to take the risk, but i just wanted your opinion (yet again…
    i definetely dont take it for granted)
    on whether to buy the IZH or the CZ. i really like the looks of both, but some posts in the canadian airgun forum say the plastic reciever is giving them scope mount problems.
    i’ve still got the scope mounts from the scope daisy gave me, and i find that they adapt to the 13mm rails. however, my only fear of using these is that if i try to pry them open, they will snap under the stress. they are the typical cheap two piece mounts, with only two screws in each.
    which has the better trigger? i dont mind trading off .15 and a two stage for the joy of re-aquiring my first real airgun. sorry for all these long questions recently, i hope they arent getting too redundant or pointless. everytime i think i’ve thougth things through, usually something new comes up and i respect your voice the most, as always. i spend so much time haunting and re-reading the archives and flooding the comments i should just live next to you. (wanna give me an address? =)


  15. B.B.

    While doing some extensive research on the type of Airgun that would better fit my needs in order to replace my old childhood Remington, I found myself in and out of AirGunExpress.com and PyramidAir.com. Soon thereafter, I found your bloggings. I was supprised to find you stay on top of them. Literally day by day. I’ve been keeping up with them for the past several weeks. I think I saw someone thank you for maintaining this blog, and I have to second that. Thanks to you, your past and present posts… I’m learning tons without the need to ask questions. With the assurance that if I DID ask a question, that it would promptly and thoroughly answered. Anyhow, it’s about time I got on here and thanked you for your time. Really helps people like me. Thanks B.B. =)

    ~Jensen


  16. dm20,

    It’s been a long time since I fired an IZH 61, but I believe the 631 trigger is a little better. My 631 is a wonderful rifle.

    The 61 is more accurate for certain, but the 631 is at least as accurate as an R7.

    When I had a 61 the scope mount was steel, though I never used it. Plastic is a drawback. The 631 has the same kind of transverse grooves as the Webley Patriot for scope stops and you definitely need some kind of stop with the rifle.

    B.B.


  17. Jensen,

    When I write, I think about a guy somewhere who can only afford to buy ONE airgun. That was me many years ago. I know what it’s like to spend all you have, only to be disappointed.

    I cannot suit everyone’s tase, so I don’t try. What I do try to do is help folks avoid making errors that I know will cause them grief.

    That said, I am constantly surprised by what I don’t know! After 50 years of shooting airguns and 20 years of serious sudy, I’m just past the stage of being a new shooter.

    B.B.


  18. Master Blaster… I just have a quick question for MR. Lama…I had the idea to change over to a .25 cal. barrel. But were the hell do i get a .25 cal barrel? Please help out a fello condor Lover!! Master Blaster!!


  19. Hi,
    I just purchased a Beeman ss1000. Been having fun with it, my first springer. It says that it has an adjustable 2 stage trigger. There are three screws that are visable…well I can’t find any info from Beeman, or anywhere else telling me how these screws work. Nor can I find a parts diagram. any help would be gratefully received.


  20. Are you saying that the manual doesn’t refer to trigger adjustment? Unfortunately I can’t find the manual on the Pyramyd website, so I don’t know.

    Perhaps one of our readers knows.

    B.B.


  21. i was thinking a master sniper scope with the reccomended medium mounts and the patriot stop.
    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/accessory.pl?accessory_id=881
    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/accessory.pl?accessory_id=793
    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/accessory.pl?accessory_id=421
    will these expand to fit the 13mm rail?
    at first i thought of dressing it up with a tri-rail mount and a laser, but that was fifty bucks better used on pellets. also, will customs let this pass? the customs website says parts are allowed in, but a horror story from a canadian airsoft retailer says they confiscated a shipment of tactical assecories. and the scope does look tactical.
    i am starting to loathe canada quite a bit now. we could really use a second amendment and some american spirit.


  22. dm20,

    I can’t tell if the spacing on the Patriot stop pins is the same as the grooves on the 631. As far as I know, that stop is only good for the Patriot. The fact that it has two pins means they must align with the grooves.

    The scope and mounts look fine – nothing really tactical there. This scope looks very mainstream to me, despite the name.

    B.B.


  23. i didnt think theyd fit, since the grooves are spaced so far apart. looks like i will have to get away with butting the rear mount against the end of the rail. just a few weeks until the next cheque- and hello, slavia. looking forward to what next week has in store!


  24. ~masterblaster~
    go to the talon forums for any questions.
    the basic setup for .25 is just barrel and bushings.
    but adding a breech as timw has might help too.
    although, a .25 barrel without any other mods is pointless…

    -kujitsu-



  25. Hi B.B.,

    A follow-up question on the Tallon’s top hat adjustment…if it controls the amount of time the value is open and thus the volume of air released from the reservoir, do both the striker spring tension (power adj. wheel) and the top hat clearance affect how long the valve is open? If so, wouldn’t adjusting the power wheel to a specific velocity accomplish the same thing (i.e. change the time the valve is open), as adjusting the top hat clearance? Isn’t it ultimately valve duration (for a given barrel length and pellet weight) that determines velocity?

    Guess I’m not clear on what distinguishes striker spring tension from top hat clearance where valve duration is concerned.

    Would you briefly step through the interactions between striker spring tension, power wheel, return spring (is return spring tension constant?), top hat clearance, and valve duration? Hope this isn’t getting too tedious.

    Sure appreciate your time and patience!
    Bill


  26. Master blaster,

    Yep, just like kujitsu said. My reccomendation will be to go to talontunes.com and look at the barrels. He has .25 lothar walther barrels that come with bushings. Don’t worry about getting a new breech or anything, it won’t help you, the stock breech will work fine.

    What kujitsu was wrong about, is that a .25 barrel without other mods is NOT pointless. As long as your gun is shooting fine, you don’t need anything else. Don’t worry about getting a heavier hammer, custom valve, or anything like that, you really don’t need it. Just get the .25 barrel and you’ll be fine. With a good shooting condor you should be shooting close to 1000 fps even with the .25 caliber eun jins.

    My condor is quite modded. I have a trigger tune, shroud, foxbat ergo grip, polished insides, next week I’ll have a .25 barrel, and a couple other things I’m forgeting. Airforce guns are the ar-15′s of the airgun world. Best group I’ve shot with the condor (actually better than any group I’ve shot with any gun) was at 55 yards and it could be covered up with a dime. I love my condor.


  27. The.man

    Condor is a good choice, and if you put a normal talon’s tank on it you will be shooting very consistantly, the condor has a heavier hammer and likes the old tanks. Not as much power mind you, but very consistant.

    Have you bought the custom hammer yet? If you have a chrony, you can adjust the tophat (the little silver valve on the top of the tank, looks like a tophat) and it’ll shoot very strong with a 3000 psi fill, no new hammer needed. So, if you haven’t bought it, you don’t really need it. Mine shoots very powerfully without any hammer mods.

    Here’s something all condor/talon owners can do at home. Go buy the highest grit sandpaper you can find (600 grit and up, nothing below). Take the barrel out. Now, see that bushing closest to the breech? Polish the barrel (by rubbing it with the sandpaper) from the last bushing all the way back to the breech. Keep going till it’s very shiny and looks a little like a mirror. That’ll make the spring, hammer, and breech ride smoother on the barrel and will make shooting even nicer.

    Enjoy!

    lama


  28. Hi BB,

    This is off the subject.

    You’ve said many times before to add a drop of Pellgun oil to the tip of each powerlet. I usually fill the top of my Powerlets with a LARGE drop of oil, but is this necessary? Should I use a smallish drop in the center instead?

    Also, what exactly am I oiling? The gun’s (say a PPK/S) plastic receiving collar around the head of the Powerlet, or some internal seal(s)?

    Thanks,

    -Joe


  29. i just over came my nervousness of lifting my diana’s action. after donning some _heavy_ work gloves, i proceded to unscrew the two forearm screws and the two in the trigger guard. i tightened the barrel bolt with a power drill and put the action back in its stock. the results were AMAZING! i always did wonder why i couldnt hit the bullseye from so close (the bullseye is so large the crosshairs can wander inside). per your instructions, i tightened until the barrel had resistence to movement. from mediocre 3/4 inch groups (from 7 meters!!), it shrank to scarcely 3/8! and with no springer technique and a lousy trigger! never again did the rifle miss the bullseye. i sure am glad i found this blog. ‘im starting to feel adventurous-after the warranty expires, i’m going to try and build a spring compressor. does the 631 have many small parts to lose, or is it modular? all i want to do is smear some tar on the spring to get rid of the twang. you make it look so easy!



  30. Bill,

    Yes, the striker and the top hat clearance do the same thing, but the striker is less precise. What the guy did was convert his rifle to a non-adjustable rifle. He could still adjust it, of course, but only the one setting gave him what he wanted. He was after the maximum number of shots at a good power level.

    B.B.


  31. Joe,

    I use a large drop, too. Size doesn’t matter – just do it every time.

    Only a small amount of the oil gets blown into the gun through the valve. It gets on every seal inside the gun and keeps them sealing. The majority that doesn’t go into the valve stays on the flat seal that the powerlet butts against, doing the same thing.

    When you change powerlets you’ll note that the empty one has a coat of oil. In some older guns, that oil will release the empty powerlet better. Crosman 150s were bad about holding onto the old powerlets, but oiling them solves the problem.

    B.B.



  32. Hi BB,

    This is an off topic question :

    Is there any optimum land to grove ratio on rifled airgun barrels?
    I have a HW77K with narrow lands and wide grooves like 2 to 3 ratio.
    On my RWS52′s barrel there is a reverse situation, very narrow grooves like 1/4 or 1/5 of lands.



  33. Hi B.B., my new condor doesnt shoot fast, unless i fill it to a mere 2000psi!, even 2100 psi give me lower velocities, i would REALLY prefer to fix it myself, instead of sending it back and waiting for about a month to get it back.
    Do you thing that increasing tophat clearance (like described here)could solve the issue, and allow me to fill to higher pressures?
    Thanks!

    Michael


  34. Michael,

    On what kind of gauge are you reading that pressure? Is it a pump gauge? They can be off by several hundred psi.

    If it is a pump, tell me which brand and when did you buy it? There are some new pumps that have gauges with problems greater than normal.

    You really can’t move the tophat much as it is already set close to the max. Besides, your problem is a pressure problem, not a dwell problem, so adjusting the tophat will do nothing.

    Talk to me.

    B.B.


  35. Hi B.B., thanks for your reply.
    i was in fact reading the gauge on my pump, wich is a Hill Pump, i just bought the rifle pump plus accesories (scope, bipod, rings, etc) about 10 days ago.

    i dont doubt that the gauge on the pump might be a bit off, but i do belive there is something wrong with the rifle, because when i pump to 2000psi its quite easy, it only gets hard after the gauge reads about 2500psi (i did try to fill the gun to 2900psi the first time).

    BTW, i tried everything i could to buy it from pyramydair, but like i mentioned before (dunno if you remember me), i dont live in the US, i live in Cancun Mexico, and after doing a LOT research, i found out it would have been incredibly expensive (due to import taxes) for me to get the rifle into the country.
    So i ended up buying it at a store in Monterrey. But the pump does seem to be latest generation, e.g. you screw the handle in, instead of securing it with the 2 screws like in older models.


  36. But here comes the very sad part…
    I had the not so bright idea to try and fix it myself, and since i noticed that the return spring for the valve was VERY hard (with the tank empty of course), i removed the valve from the tank, and i trimmed out a couple of turns from the return spring to make it “softer”.
    The result?
    now the tank doesnt hold the air. Sometimes it would get empty the second i try to purge the pump, others it will empty on the first shot. Oh yes, and every time, the sear (the rod with the tophat), comes out off the valve.
    i took the valve apart several times more, to see what is wrong with it, but i cant see anything broken, or out of place.
    To make matters worse, i of course voided the rifle´s guarantee, plus i have NO IDEA of where to get a replacement valve, and even if i did, i spent everything down to my last penny (or Peso rather), on the gun, so it will be a while before i can get it fixed (assuming i find out where to get the new valve).

    i am very very sad.



  37. Hi B.B., thanks for your help.
    ibe just written to Yvette at Airforce, i really hope she can help me out. I guess a new valve is what i need???

    Ill keep you informed on the issue.

    Thanks!


  38. Hello again
    i wrote to airforce regarding this issue, their reply was “Contact your dealer and let us know”.
    So i did, and the shop offered to sell me a new valve at about 105USD, so i contacted AirForce to see if they would sell me one at a more reasonable price.
    They never replied to me.
    So i ended up paying over 100 bucks for the new valve.
    I installed it, and the rifle is actually a little worse now.
    before it would work more or less OK at 2000psi.
    Now, the rifle will not fire at 2000psi, the top fill presure is 1700psi.

    And another thing i noticed, is that as the presure in the tank increases, the valve stem begins to stick out more! at 2000psi, the tophat is a LOT taller that it is at say 1500psi.
    is this normal??? if not, can it be dangerous or something??

    in conclusion, i cant tell you how much i regret getting this thing, i should have bought a sumatra or a career.
    i have a very expensive rifle, that doesnt shoot like its supposed to, i cant send it back to the store because i voided the guarantee, i cant sell it (because it doesnt work OK), the factory (Ariforce) doesnt seem too eager to help, and i just dont know what else i can do to fix it.

    Michael.


  39. Michael,

    I have forwarded your message to the Operations Director at AirForce. I will follow up with a phone call.

    I know this is discouraging, but hang in there. I will work for you here in the U.S.

    B.B.



  40. Hi B.B., thanks again for your help.
    I will email her right now.

    Do you think the problem is still the valve? could it be that i was un-lucky enoug to get two bad valves?

    Michael


  41. Michael,

    You never told me that you went into the gun, itself. If you didn’t, then yes, I think it’s the valve.

    If you went into the gun’s action, anything could be wrong.

    You also never told me the fastest velocity you chronographed with your gun. The fill pressure doesn’t matter. Some guns don’t get filled above 1650 psi and still get 55 shots at 900 f.p.s.

    So what was that top velocity? That’s the only way to know for sure.

    B.B.


  42. Hi B.B.
    do you mean if i modified anything in the rifle itself?
    the only time i actually took the barrel apart, was after i got the second valve, and after installing it, and testing, i discovered that even with this new valve, the problem was the same (little worst actually).
    And all i did, was install a 95gram hammer a friend of mine sent me, the rifle did “improve” a little, but fill presure only improved by about 100psi, so i removed the heavy hammer, installed the factory one again, and ibe never went into the rifle again.
    i never even removed a single screw from the gun before i got and tested the second valve, and i did it to try with the heavier hammer because i simply could not belive, that i actually got 2 bad valves!, the original one and the new one.
    any way, the rifle performs exactly the same before and after i did the experiment with the hammer, so i dont really think i “broke” something in it.

    About the fastest velocity i get from the gun, im affraid i dont know, because i dont have a chrony. All i can say is, that i dont think the gun is shooting too well, because i can put a crossman premier in it, shoot it at full power, and the noise is about the same as if i shot a 28g eujin. wich tells me, that the premier is NOT going supersonic, like it should. And if it doesnt get 1150fps with a 14.3g pellet, well, i dont think a 28g one is going too fast.

    And what about the valve stem poping out at higher presures? like i said before, at 2000psi the tophat is about TWICE as tall as when the tank has 1500psi.
    this thing is actually beginning to scare me a little, i dont want it blowing up in my face or something.
    Is this issue with the tophat something is should be worried about? is it dangerous in some way?

    Michael.


  43. Michael,

    I have asked Tom Gaylord to answer your question for me.

    Michael,

    I worked at AirForce for three years as the Technical Director. During that time, the Condor was developed and brough to market.
    I have seen all sorts of problems with Condors that resulted from owners making unauthorized modifications. You 95-gram striker, for instance, will destroy the valve. A guy who was active on the forums and calling himself “Mr. Condor” destroyed his rifle in a few months and brought it to us in a paper bag to repair. I wrote a special blog about that. It’s here, if you’d like to see what can happen:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2007/04/abusing-your-condor.html

    When I posted that blog the Talon Owner’s Group went ballistic. I was called names and numerous members of the TOG tiraded on both this blog and their own forum for weeks. Sounds like I kicked over the anthill, doesn’t it?

    The simple truth is, if you mess with the rifle or the valve, it will cause problems.

    You say you don’t have a chronograph but the rifle doesn’t “sound” right. Let me tell you from two years of testing Condors, you cannot tell by ear how they are shooting. It takes a chronograph. Lacking that, shoot into a pine 2 by 4 and the rifle shold penetrate the thin dimension on high power. But the chronograph is essential.

    I have never seen a Condor that operated on just 2200 psi, but I have seen dozens of them that operated perfectly on 2600 psi. And I published a blog on how small pressure gauges can be off by several hundred psi.

    We had a dealer in california who dodn’t believe me, so I asked him to perform an experiment. He filled his gun to 2600 psi and shot through a 2 by 4 with the first shot. Then he was convinced.

    There is so much misinformation about this air rifle on the internet that it’s easy to get the wrong advice. The TOG used to be filled with it, but they did clean up their act more than a year ago.

    I understand that Yvette at AirForce is going to help you solve your problem. Take her advice and do whatever she says. She knows the Condor better than most owners.

    I don’t know if disassembling your rifle to install the 95-gram striker did any damage or not, but the most fragile part of the rifle is the Delrin screw that holds the power adjustment in alignment. It used to be a steel screw, but owners were stripping the threads, so we went to a Delrin screw. If yours is steel, it better not be too tight in the hole (in the power adjustment slot).

    Whatever you do stay away from the trigger assembly! There are tolerances in there that have to be maintained or the gun will either not work or it will slip off safe. That part of the gun is manufactured in such a way that the factory can tell if it has been disassembled.

    I mention this because some people advocate certain trigger modifications. I’ve had to fix their guns when they stopped working, so forewarned is forearmed.

    I hope once you get your rifle working again that you will enjoy it. Hundreds of other Condor owners, including me, think this is a wonderful PCP.

    Tom Gaylord


  44. Dear Tom, thanks for your help and advice.
    ibe read those articles you mention before (in fact i read this blog on a daily bases, it has teached me a lot about airguns).
    Belive me, i am NOT a person who likes to make “experiments” with their guns, i like to just take them out of the box, read the manual, and shoot them.
    If the gun had worked like its suposed to when i took it out of the box, i would have NEVER even think about removing a single screw on it.

    About wheather or not the rifle is shooting ok, you will agree with me, that this rifle is VERY loud when working properly and fired at full power, you even mentioned in that article “Filling an airforce condor” that “I could tell by the sound and recoil if it was shooting okay.” and this one makes less sound that my CFX! and besides, i dont just base my conclusions on “sound”.
    Since i dont have a chrony, what i did was, i put a large, thick piece of wood (about 1 1/2 inch thick), and fire at it, so how do i know that the shots are not powerfull? well, i also fired a few shots at it with my Gamo CFX (.22 cal also), and the shots from my CFX are a LOT deeper that those from my condor when filled to 1700psi. The sound? a little more sound from the CFX!, at 1400psi fill however, and only for about 2 or 3 shots, the condor goes CLEAN thru the wood, and it sounds very loud. Then the 4th (or 5th) shot fails to go thru the wood , and penetrates less as i keep shooting. And besides, i have fired another condor from a friend that lives in another city (that was in fact what made me decide to get mine), and belive me, there IS a HUGE diference between his and mine.

    About filling only to 2600psi? trust me, i would LOVE! to fill to only 2600psi, because pumping to 3000psi is a pain! i really really hope that once i get my rifle working ok, i can fill to ONLY 2600psi. But only 1400psi??? you will agree with me that there is no way this is “normal”.

    And about the posibility of me causing some damage to the rifle when i put the heavy hammer, i was very carefull, i dint strip, brake or damaged the power weel screw, or any other part. I took out the factory hammer, put the heavy one in, fired a few shots at diferent presures, and since improvement was minimal, i took the heavy hammer out, reinstalled the factory one, and ibe never messed with it again.
    And im pretty shure i dint “break” anything, because like i said, the rifle shoots exactly the same before and after the experiment with the hammer.

    I also appreciate you advice about staying away from the trigger assembly, but belive me when i tell you, i am *NOT* a “tunner”, i am a shooter, i have NO intention or desire whatsoever, to mess arround with triggers, hammers, springs or whatever, all i want is my rifle to work like its supposed to. I dont expect my rifle to be able to shoot thru mountains, give me 10,000 shots per fill, nor have a match grade trigger. I just want it to work like my friends condor does. (the way its supposed to). Nothing more, nothing less.

    Anyway, ibe received reply from Yvette, and she has agree to help me. so i have high hopes, that ill get my rifle to work properly.

    So Tom, B.B., Yvette, i cant tell you how much i appreciate your help.

    I hope that with your help, ill soon be writing to this blog about how powerfull my condor is, and how happy i am with it.

    Thanks!

    Michael


  45. Michael,

    Thanks for that feedback. Tom says thanks, as well. He didn’t mean to lecture this morning, but he has fixed so many Condor problems over the phone that he felt he had to try. He said he was not aware of all you had done to correct the situation, and for that matter, neither was I.

    I’d sure like to hear how this all turns out.

    B.B.


  46. I just received another valve for my rifle on monday, i installed it, filled the tank to 2700psi, and proceeded to test my rifle…
    Now THATs what i expected when i bought my gun! :)
    at power level 5, i get a lot of consistent, and powerfull (way more powerfull that my CFX) shots. At power 8, i get excellent results using Gamo´s TS-18 pellets (.22 cal. 18 grains), and at power level 13… well, a 2″ thick piece of wood, and the cement wall behind it, can testify that this thing is NOT an “air rifle”, its actually a PIECE OF ARTILLERY! :) my only “complain” here, is that my TS-18 pellets seem to go supersonic, so i have to use 28grain eunjins. (not really a complain, i plan to use these heavy pellets for medium game).
    I dont even plan to fill to 3000psi, because the pump gets quite hard after 2600, and pumping to 3000 puts more stress on the pump. So since i get a LOT of power , and a reasonable number of shots, at 2700psi, i see no point in wearing out my pump (and arms) filling to 3000psi.

    So in conclusion, Yes, i did experience some initial problems with my gun, but the results im seeing now are well worth the trouble i went thru!, and i understand that i had the bad luck to get a defective valve (2 actually), if i had done the right thing, and get my gun fixed under guarantee from the beginning i would have spared myself a lot of trouble.

    B.B., Tom, Yvette, i cant tell you how much i appreciate your help and advice, thanks to you i can now honestly say…
    I LOVE MY CONDOR! :) and i advice anyone looking for some SERIOUS firepower to get one.

    B.B. if i may bother you with one more question…
    Like i said before, i havent even tried to fill to 3000psi, because i get everything i need from my gun at 2700, but Do you think theres any reason for me to fill to 3000psi? would i get more power / shots?

    Thanks for everything!

    Michael


  47. Michael,

    Thanks for telling us how the story ends. That means a lot to others who read these comments.

    You can do no harm to your gun by filling to a higher pressure. Since you use the pump, go up by 100 psi increments and test it.

    B.B.


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