SURPRISE! A quiet Condor!

by B.B. Pelletier

You guys are really pathetic about surprises! Several days ago when I mentioned the big surprise that’s coming, I was not expecting all the whining that resulted. Therefore, I have decided to give you a surprise today in hopes that this will hold you until the big surprise, which relates to the Gamo Whisper. Today’s little surprise is an AirForce Condor that’s quiet! And to tell the truth, I’ve been wanting to share this one with you for over a month, so I guess I’m just as pathetic as the rest of you.

How quiet?
How quiet, you ask? Well, now that you know who I am I can tell you that I’ve been writing a series of articles for Shotgun News about the Ruger 10/22. One of the articles was how one goes about buying a legal silencer. I bought one for my 10/22, and the one I got – the Pilot – is the quietest permanent silencer on the market. There are quieter silencers that self-destruct as you use them, but for long-term use, the Pilot, at 41dB reduction, is the champ. Even then, though, using the silencer on my 10/22 and shooting just CB caps, which are powderless .22 rimfire rounds that have even less energy than a .22 short, the Condor is quieter when fired at medium power. That’s how quiet. Imagine a Daisy Targeteer pistol shooting at 30 foot-pounds and you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about. You cannot hear any muzzle report. All you hear is the striker hitting the bolt and the valve return spring.

When the power is dialed up, the rifle becomes louder, of course. But even on its highest setting, it’s not louder than a Webley Patriot. You get 65 foot-pounds that sounds like 30. And if you dial it back just a little, you’ll get 40 foot-pounds that sound like an R7.

How do they do it?
The device that does this wonderful thing is a frame extender that encloses the Condor barrel. When it’s on, the extender becomes part of the rifle’s frame and redirects the energetic muzzle exhaust back into the tubular frame where it looses energy fast. An end cap strips off the air and directs it to the rear, similar to how the end cap of the Talon SS works, only this one works better. The length of the frame extender, which the manufacturer calls a moderator, joins with the hollow frame of the gun to provide a large space for the air to expand and lose energy. The device extends past the normal Condor muzzle by about 6″, so there’s plenty of length and the Condor takes on the profile of a witch’s broom.


Condor frame extender turns it into a very long, thin rifle.


This is what the device looks like.

Installation
This device replaces the standard Condor muzzle cap. Loosen one Allen screw, remove the old cap, then slip the new extender in place. It takes about 30 seconds.

Accuracy
The device has no effect on accuracy. I did enough field testing to see that it was essentially neutral, though a small shift in the point of impact might be expected – especially at long range. Once you try this thing, you’ll never take it off your rifle, so just sight in once and enjoy.


End cap does the same job as the Talon SS end cap.

What about the Talon and Talon SS?
There are devices to fit those rifles as well. They are proportionally sized for the guns they fit, because you don’t want the small hole in the end cap too far from the muzzle of the barrel, or you risk hitting the cap on the way out. As for how much quieter a Talon SS can be, I doubt it will be any quieter at all. I think the Condor dialed to lower power (30-40 foot-pounds) is already as quiet as any pneumatic rifle can be

And the cost?
The Condor device retails for $175 plus shipping. That’s not cheap, but real performance seldom is. The device is only available from Airhog at present, though Pyramyd Air may also offer them in the future.

So there you are – a real surprise for you, and one I know you AirForce owners will embrace.

89 thoughts on “SURPRISE! A quiet Condor!

  1. BB, thank you for the article, as always, but I’m surprised that you think this will surprise Condor owners. The AirHog Shroud, along with many others, some of which are even more efficient, have been around for a very long time and are known to almost all serious owners of Condors. Whilst I agree that a Shrouded Condor is quite quiet I would also say that it is far from the quietest PCP on the market.



  2. BB,
    Would you consider my guess to be correct? I like my guess about the internaly shrouded condor barrel much better, and IMHO can’t see how this “moderator” will be able to pass BATF muster especially since it is so easy to install.

    I don’t think that anything talked about or mentioned in the blogs is your big surprise. It has to be massive and totally unexpected.

    Something on the order of Pyramyd Air buying AirForce!

    As for me,I personally hope that it’s about the RWS 460 because that’s the one I’m going to get. I hope that you can tell me that It’s the best under lever you’ve ever tested, has 25fpe and groups less then 1 inch at 75-100 yds in .22 cal ( ;-) Also, please tell me that the new RWS mount is ready for shipment!


  3. BB,

    Not sure if you are aware of this, people have been using frame extender on Condor for years… But thanks for bringing it up anyway.


  4. Guys,

    This isn’t JUST a frame extender. I tested one of those on a Condor in 2005 and wrote it up for Airgun Hobby, but they have a “no sliencer” policy and it never got reported.

    Those simple bloop tubes are not that quiet. The reason I was so excited about this one is that it IS quiet. Quieter than a real firearm silencer. In fact, it’s so quiet at low power (30 foot-pounds) that to be any quieter you would have to subract sound from the ambient. No silencer can do that.

    I have seen and tested many airgun silencing devices over the years, and this thing is as quiet as any I have seen so far. That includes special rigs made by Alan Zasadny and Gary Barnes. When all you hear is the gun’s action, it’s not possible to get any quieter.

    These tubes all look similar, but this one really is different.

    B.B.


  5. B.B.

    If it’s this good, it must be a full-fledged silencer subject to the same legal restrictions right, especially since the Condor is about as powerful as a firearm? That seems to be a significant hassle in an otherwise great product.

    If the big surprise relates to the Gamo Whisper whose only problem is that it’s not really quiet, then the surprise must be making it genuinely quiet. Ha ha.

    Actually, the Jurassic Park comment has me flummoxed. Unless the surprise is mounting the Gamo Whisper in a tank, then I give up.

    Matt


  6. Matt,

    How well a silencer works has nothing to do with the law. The law regards fit and application. It only has to fit on a firearm and silence it by a measurable amount to fit the law. Apparently this thing can’t do that.

    The Jurassic Park surprise is beyond the imagination, as far as I’m concerned.

    B.B.



  7. Matt, I also believe that power is irrelevant as far as the silencer goes because BATF regs specifically exclude airguns no matter WHAT their power level. They just don’t apply.

    With regards to CB caps – I tried them in an old bolt-action single shot, firing it back-to-back with my old B21. The B21 was definitely noisier… but then again, the rifle I was using has a longer barrel than a 10/22.


  8. B.B.,
    Very interesting product, and one that I was totally unaware of. Guess there are lots of websites left for me to discover. Definitely on the “future acquisition” list.
    The legality is certainly a provocative hot button, like throwing a cat into the middle of a pack of mean dogs. Seems like there is at least as much hearsay and opinion as there are verifiable facts. Confusing.

    Your Jurassic Park is a good thing, right?
    Pestbgone


  9. Very Nice,

    Glad to see you have found what many of us have known for years. The AirHog shroud/extender is good for the condor and talon but there are even better working ones out there. My frame extender with a 16″ barrel shooting CP’s at 958fps is only a small Pfft. And on low it shooting at 550fps with only sound heard is the hammer. So yes, they can be very effective and I am glad you wrote on it.

    WalkonKing
    talonairgun.com




  10. This may be too late in the day to get a reply, but since you mentioned the 10/22, can you identify a source for determining the manufacture date of a 10/22 based on serial number? I’m trying to figure out the age of my “pre-warning” 10/22 deluxe.


  11. BB.
    In a few posts back you mentioned that you had some mods to your condor (& ss). But they were mostly cosmetic with a few exceptions that could be switched back in order to not void the warranty. Please give us the low down on those.

    Also a quick question on pellets.
    -Condor – co2 W/ JSD 15.8 or CP 14.3
    (inside 30yards for pest control)
    -Condor – air W/ Kodiak 21 or Eun Jin 28
    (30 – 65+ yards for pest control)

    TOG
    cygnusX: squirrel-B-gone video. To cool. Ive got them all over the job site and will be posting some picks soon.

    Thanks for the help. Pinguino:


  12. Sorry I didn’t look harder before asking, a great Ruger resource for determining manufacturing year of all Ruger firearms is on their site under the “product service” menu. [Looks like my 10/22 turned 38 this year!]



  13. So, am I to understand that you can do anything you want to silence an airgun provided that the device cannot be removed and installed on a firearm? But there was an article written by Tom Gaylord about how ambiguous the laws surrounding silencers were and included was a dramatic example of a guy who was convicted and sentenced to 15 years for building a silencer for a Career rifle and sending it through the mail. That made quite an impression and will have me very discreet if I decide to apply tape jobs to certain muzzle compensators.

    Was it that the guy’s silencer could also be used on firearms not that he built it for the Career air rifle?

    Matt




  14. Pinguino,

    I don’t remember saying that my Condor has any mods, except the factory did update my valve recently. It didn’t change the power, though.

    My SS has an additional device inside it that further muffles the report. It doesn’t do much, and it is flammable, so BATF&E can’t put it in a firearm. It comes out with the end cap, so I can always switch back.

    When I was at AirForce we looked at several ways of reducing the report of the guns legally, though nothing ever worked like this thing I’m showing you today. The other bloop tubes I’ve tested on Condors were not very good.

    Condor: ALWAYS 15.8 JSB over 14.3 Premier, but Premiers are very good.

    Long range: I get better groups from Kodiaks. I use Eun Jins when the target is 50 yards or less.

    B.B.



  15. Matt,

    The guy in question was a two-time convicted felon that the govt. really watched hard. Guys like that are in a lifetime rectal exam, and stupid if they aren’t aware of it.

    He also put THREADS on his silencer, which means that all the person has to do is thread a firearm barrel with the same pattern. He also put baffles inside, and baffles are a hot button with BATF&E.

    Today’s device is bushed. If the alignment isn’t PERFECT, the bullet will blow the end cap off, making lots of noise and destroying the device in the process. So, unless you can locate a Condor that’s been converted to fire .22 LR ammo, or you can fashion an adapter for the OUTSIDE of your gun barrel that has a FEMALE end that is the same size as the Condor frame, it won’t work.

    If a guy is that clever, he doesn’t need this device to get him started.

    And stay cautious, just the same.

    B.B.


  16. Thanks B.B. And to reference another Tom Gaylord article, those undergoing a lifetime rectal exam need to resort to the “ass-blaster.” Ha ha.

    These are deep technical waters, but I get the picture. And caution is the word.

    Matt



  17. I will have to agree with WalkOnKing. There are people out there who have been making shrouds for the Condor the are EXTREMELY effective in quieting the report… and have been making them for quite a while. The shroud on this Condor, http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n75/nuglor/100_0620.jpg , is not made by Airhog, but does have internal designs that make it so the only noise you hear is the hammer hitting. That particular Condor is a .25 that shoots a 42g Eun Jin at 940 fps for over 82fpe. It is considerably quieter than my stock Talon SS. But thanks for the info.

    Nuglor


  18. A bit off-topic here, but is the RM-600 any good? It seems like a good off-hand rifle that could be as effective as a Panther, but more power and inside budget. Also, would the muzzlebrake help cocking to the extent of the Whisper, or at least shave some effort off?

    14 in Fla


  19. hmmmm,

    If a guy has a firearm, and such firearm has a barrel which is the same or smaller diameter as that of the Airforce barrel, seems to me the only material needed to successfully attach the Airhog device is a roll of tape. Most any kind will do. I’ll skip the installation details as they should be self evident.

    My 10/22 barrel fits the above requirement except for the front sight mounting band

    This device looks like pretty darned thin legal ice to me.


  20. Somehow, I doubt the thing would survive a firearm’s blast. Centerfire(or rimfires for that matter) cartridges have much more energy than a .22 cal Condor. The end cap has a closed system because they don’t expect the air to have enough puff to reach the end. So, when you fire, the system bursts open, and shrapnel blows out the end near you(NOT good). Note that you could probably salvage some amount of it, due to the nature of the system(wastes the air’s energy over distance), but the heat of the gunpowder could probably put it out of commission for good.

    This is all just my speculation, of course.

    14 in Fla



  21. B.B., how long until airforce comes out with some kind of multi shot adaptor for their guns? That would be awesome, and would be a true suprise.


  22. To Hmmmmm…

    Obviously, you don’t know much about the Airforce rifles. The shroud fits just inside the frame which has roughly a 1 inch inside diameter. It does not secure itself to the barrel. If you tried to tape an airhog shroud to the end of your 10/22, it would be almost impossible to line it up correctly and you would shoot a bullet into one of the internal baffles if not through the side of the shroud itself.

    Nuglor


  23. Nuglor,

    No, THAT particular Condor is my .22. I tested the .25 from Airhog and was impressed with the silence, so I ordered a device for my own rifle.

    The test report for that will be in the Jan 20 Shotgun News.

    B.B.


  24. 14 in Fla,

    I haven’t tested the Mendoza RM 600, but it should be as good as their other rifles that I have tested. Regarding the muzzle brake, any length you can add to a lever decreases the effort required to move the force. The Whisper’s brake is particularly nice because it is very fat and conforms to your hand.

    B.B.


  25. AirForce multi-shot adapter,

    I don’t know. They are now spending a lot of time on the new 10-meter rifle, so not a lot is left over for the repeater mechanism, but who knows for sure?

    I do know that it will be a real wonder if they can ever make it work. They have created several designs, but they don’t want a lot of separate actions to load the gun. One is the goal, and they’re not there yet.

    B.B.


  26. Hmmmmmmm and Nuglor,

    Nuglor got it right. That’s what I attempted to say. Alignment is the problem, and a .920 barrel isn’t going to do it.

    I’m not saying it can’t be done, because people are clever. What I’m saying is that clever people don’t BUY devices like this to use as starters for a project. They make them from scratch.

    B.B.


  27. B.B,

    I certainly don’t plan on making, and sending threaded silencers through the mail, no matter how well I knew the individual.

    I had no idea that such devices were made for the condor, just different barrels. A quiet pcp is very attractive compared to one that is just as loud as a firearm.

    If I had a condor this device would be on my Christmas list. A little red locktite and I would call it permanent.


  28. Tape wrapped around a tube makes a wonderful bushing. It builds up quite uniformly and will hold alignment just fine.

    Don’t believe me? Get your micrometer out and measure the uniformity of thickness of any old roll of tape at various points around its circumference.

    17 wraps of electricians tape will increase a 0.645 tube diameter (like a 10/22 barrel) to 900mil which is likely close to the breech end ID of the Airhog shroud.

    Same principal applies to the internal alignment bushing.

    As I said, nothing needed but tape. (And a few minutes of patience)

    hmmmm indeed.


  29. B.B.,
    In your recent article “Surprise! A quiet Condor”, you compared this quiet Condor with R7, which has been rated as 2-Low-Medium by Pyramyd. How would this Condor compare to Talon SS in terms of loudness? Do you think Pyramyd’s rating system is accurate?

    Alan




  30. Recently I posted that I thought a pump assist Benj would benefit from having a higher but still manageable cocking force that stayed the same and produced more power.

    You were skeptical and compared that with trying to make a car go faster with more gas.

    I suggested such a gun would work if configured right.

    Consider if you had a USFT type gun with the pump assist. Believe you would have a real Magnum Benj.


  31. B.B.,

    That PARTICULAR Condor, meaning the one I posted a link to a picture of, is MY .25 Condor w/ a shroud made by Talon Tunes. It is the one I’m talking about when I say it’s quieter than my stock TalonSS .22.

    Nuglor


  32. Air Arms S410 side lever–B.B. Scott298 reporting in–are we stil goning to get a range report at what this rifle will do at 75 yards? Being gone a week I hope my wife sent the payment for the book-thanks Scott298


  33. Alan,

    No rating system is ever accurate enough for a person who can’t hear the sound. Pyramyd’s system is relative, which is the best they can do.

    And if they were able to give real audiometer readings, less than 5 percent of the readers would know what to make of them.

    Thje ondor with this device is MUCH quieter than the Talon SS, when it delivers 30 foot-pounds (compared to the SS’s 25 max).

    B.B.






  34. That shroud is OVERPRICED! PERIOD!
    There are much better options out there, trust me, and cheaper, too. Ask any serious, long-term Condor owner.









  35. Chriss,

    There ARE NO good methods of installing slings on breakbarrel airguns. The plastic stock just makes matters worse. Some guns are not made to accept a sling and you just have to accept it.

    Now, if that doesn’t satisfy you, and I suspect it won’t, then TIE a combat sling on your gun! Cloth slings are made to strap to odd guns by tying them on. They’ve been used since the days of Kentucky rifles and they do work, even if they look strange.

    Feinwerkbau made a special sling swivel for the model 124 breakbarrel that I just might blog for you. It’s possible that a clever person might adapt that design to other rifles.

    Just remember, there is NO WAY you can use a hasty sling on a breakbarrel air rifle, so don’t even think of it. Just use it for carry, alone.

    B.B.


  36. This may seem a bit odd, but could pellets be loaded into Viper shotshells? It seems like one way to salvage some use from the Viper Express. In some way, it could take that idea of a porch-door gun to the next level: a speed-loaded, well-behaved break barrel. Or is the shotshells designed to convey energy to the shot only? I really don’t know.

    14 in Fla



  37. I understand it’s made to fire pellets, and that it’s actually not bad firing pellets, but what I mean is, can I empty the shotshells and replace the shot with a pellet? That would improve logistics very much.

    14 in Fla


  38. 14 in Fla,

    Probably so. The brass pellet adapter is about the same size as the plastic shotshell. If the nibs inside the shotshell where the plastic restrainers broke off are not too large, it should work.

    Why don’t you try it and report back?

    B.B.


  39. Will do. I was thinking of buying a 1377c, a Whisper, or an RM-600, but this seems like a much better idea. After all, none of the guns I was looking at could be loaded as fast as a shell loaded one!

    Now all I have to do is work out buying it.

    14 in Fla


  40. 14 in Fla, I’m missing something… even if you could load pellets into a Viper Express’ shotshell, how does that speed anything up? How is that any quicker than loading a normal breakbarrel?


  41. The fact that the shotshell is bigger and has a more prominent end than pellets makes it so that when you reach for that ammo, you don’t even really have to look at it, just lock and load.

    Basically, I mean from a shotshell holder, the shotshell is just a drop-and-go kind of thing, at least that’s how I see it. Even if it didn’t have that advantage, at least it guarantees your ammo isn’t abused during loading, right?

    14 in Fla


  42. 14 in Fla,
    It might speed up loading time slightly but you still have to cock it for each shot. Also remember that it is a smoothbore so you not rifling your pellets. If i were you i would go for the Mendoza. It seems like that might be the most economical choice. If you want to cary pellets at the ready you might want to look at one of the Phillips Pellet Holders. Might be cheaper than a viper express.

    Nate in Mass


  43. 14 in Fla,

    My vote would go to the 1377. I have the old 1322 that I’ve had for 20 some odd years and it’s taken everything from sparrows to skunks and is just now starting to need some work. The 1377 is very accurate, and there are some awesome mods available for it. Not real speedy to load, after all you have to pump the thing up, but if you’re after some real speedy shooting, you’ll want either a co2 or pcp repeater. Don’t try to choose this gun as if it will be your 1 and only forever. A gun is not a wife… You’ll have others and love them all.

    /Shooter


  44. BB and All,

    My son is getting me the .22 cal RWS 460 as my Christmas preasent. Anyone out there have this rifle and can provide some insight?

    I have the Bushnell Elite 4-16x 40mm scope and am planning to get the B-Square 17101 one piece mount and was wondering if the two piece B-Square mount would be just as good? BB, should I wait for the new RWS mounts to become available? any idea when you will test the RWS 460 in .22cal?

    BTW, I currently shoot the Remington Genesis in 177cal. It’s an OK gun, and I’m pretty good with it, just want A more powerful gun. I taught myself the artillary hold. That and being A retired cop and ex-Marine makes me very comfortable around all kinds of guns.

    I enjoy this blog very much and read it all the time. Keep up the excellent work.


  45. Sorry and I hope no one take offense, but the gun is looking more like something from Home Depot’s plumbing/kitchen section…. :}




  46. BB,
    I have been thinking about getting a PCP rifle, potentially .22cal Talon SS, and have been gathering information on what I need to buy besides the gun itself. One question came up when I was looking into scuba tanks – it seems that scuba tanks are subjected to some sort of inspection process every year or once in a few years. Am I correct? Are there any other hurdles in owning a PCP rifle? Thanks.

    Alan



  47. Alan,

    On August 29, 2007, the DOT added another annual test for scuba tanks. The annual visual test went away and was replaced by the flux test, in which an electrical current is sent through the tank to look for weak spots. Europe has been doing this test for some time, and now we have to as well.

    The hydrostatic test is done every 5 years for aluminum scuba tanks.

    B.B.


  48. Hello Mr Pelletier!
    I am writing to you from sweden, here we have an upper power limit on airguns 10 joule measured 4 meters from the muzzle. Do you think that the talon ss co2 would be possible to import to sweden? I really hope so because i really like the philosophy of airforce guns.

    Best regrads
    Goran Lundin
    Sweden


  49. Goran,

    No, the Talon SS is no good for you because an air tank can be attached, too. With the air tank, the power will be in the 30+ joule range. Even the CO2 tank will produce about 12+ joules.

    Sorry,

    B.B.





  50. I’m not aware of any regulator being made for the Condor, but I think the answer to your question is no. It won’t help because the Condor valve has been tuned to work best with an unregulated airflow.

    The Condor is a wide-open rifle, unlike the bulk of PCPs on the market today. A regulator would mean it would have to operate at a lower energy level, and since you can get that in a lot of other regulated rifles already, why would you regulate the one gun that develops Condor power for such a long string of shots?

    B.B.


  51. I was going through air force rifles and noticed that loudness of Talon with 18″ barrel is classified as 3(medium) Not bad for PCP. If it is true, how would you classify talon with 24″ barrel?
    Will it differ a lot from Talon SS. I am thinking of buying one, but I still cannot decide.



  52. B.B.

    I went to airhog.com looking for the frame extender mentioned here but I couldn’t find it. I think maybe they are not selling it anymore or maybe I went looking for it in the wrong place. Could you please give me a link to where I would be able to find it?
    I know this is out of the topic but I’ll put it here with this anyway. I’ve been looking for the biggest and most powerful scope. The best one I could find was the CenterPoint Power Class 8-32×56. I have found other brands with the same specs but are there any bigger?

    Lucas


  53. Lucas,

    Airhog doesn’t have this item on their website, but they do have them in stock. You’ll have to call them.

    There are more powerful scopes than the Centerpoint. There is a 8-40 X56 Tasco. It is not as bright as the Leapers and has to be run on 30 power for all but bright targets.

    B.B.


  54. B.B.

    Is the Leapers 8-32×56 brighter than the CenterPoint of the same power and size? Right now I have both a CenterPoint 4-16×40 that came with my Super Streak and a Leapers 3-9×50 that I had purchase earlier for a gun that I don’t have anymore. Maybe it’s just my impression but even though the Leapers is a lot brighter for having less power and being bigger, it feels cheap. Would you say that 32 power is too much and it wouldn’t be worth because it make it too dark?

    Lucas




  55. Ben,

    I tested that product and wrote an article for Airgun Hobby magazine that they refused to print because of the subject.

    The product works, but has a ringing aftertone that the Airhog tube doesn’t have. The Airhog tube has a baffle at the end of the muzzle, as well as an expansion chamber just beyond that. This product is simply a hollow tube.

    B.B.


  56. Has any body bought a condor or talon from CTI warehouse cus I order one this Saturday online from them n want to know how good is theirs product I got the sight scuba clamp n the condor for 650.50


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