AirForce Edge – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I start, let me tell you about two new articles on Pyramyd Air’s site. The first one is about Pyramyd Air’s tenth anniversary of selling online. It also shows some of their early web pages. I wrote the second article, which is about the open house they hosted after moving into their new warehouse and took some video of their entire operation.


AirForce Edge has arrived!

How long have we all awaited the report of the AirForce Edge sporter class 10-meter target rifle? So long that I won’t dwell on it. The gun is now shipping, and I’ve been testing it for a month, so let’s see what we have.

Background
I remember a conversation about 10-meter rifles I had in early 2003 with AirForce owner John McCaslin. We were in a Ft. Worth watering hole discussing my coming to AirForce as the technical director, and the subject of the future of the company came up. John said he might some day make a 10-meter rifle. Though the Talon and Talon SS rifles were his only two models at the time, he reckoned as how it should be relatively easy to decrease the airflow and make a 10-meter target rifle.

A couple years later, all the airgun manufacturers in the world heard at the NRA Airgun Breakfast at the 2005 SHOT Show that the NRA-sanctioned airgun clubs ran 750,000 to one million kids through their competitive programs each year. They said they had more than 77,000 clubs with over 45,000 NRA-certified firearms instructors involved in teaching those kids. At that time, those were more CLUBS than we knew existed. In fact, we only knew about 30,000 active airgunners in the U.S., so those clubs were more numerous than the SHOOTERS we knew about! About 80 owners and presidents of airgun making companies from all over the world turned to look at each other when that little gem was dropped. Up to that point, only Daisy and Crosman knew about the sheer volume of the sporter class of 10-meter shooting.

One year later, Air Arms showed up at the 2006 Airgun Breakfast with what they hoped would become a new sporter class 10-meter rifle. They actually displayed their prototypes at the breakfast for every airgun maker from Deiter Anschutz to Hans Weihrauch to see. The gauntlet had been dropped!

But Air Arms never reckoned with the NRA and CMP boards of governors, who, upon seeing a fully ergonomic target rifle that was going to be offered to their kids for the first time, withdrew behind closed doors, where they said something like, “Holy cow! Did you see that rifle? We can’t let that happen! It looks nothing like a Daisy 853. It’s too good. Oh, my! What will we do?

What they did was retreat behind vague “regulations” about the types of rifles that are permissible in the sporter class. Adjustable cheekpieces are not allowed. Butt hooks are not allowed. In the NRA-sanctioned matches, the butt plate height can be adjusted, but not in CMP-sanctioned matches.

Hold yer horses!
I know I’ve got you all screaming, “Unfair!” by this point. But listen to their rationale before you judge them. The sporter class was created years ago to get the maximum number of kids into shooting. The sporter class is a rough cut of the rules from the old 3-position NRA smallbore competition, but using airguns instead of .22 rimfires. With airguns, any church meeting room or town hall or middle-school cafegymatorium becomes a safe shooting range for three hours every Tuesday evening from 6 to 9.

The founders of the sport envisioned millions of kids picking up a Daisy 880 and competing. Yes, I’m not kidding–an 880. The 853 didn’t exist yet and they weren’t thinking of it when they founded the class. As recently as 15 years ago, I heard several of the founders of the sporter class still talking about 880s, as if they were still possible. Their rationale was this—if the cost of the gun is kept as low as possible, the maximum number of kids will be able to compete. That’s a noble sentiment, and one worthy of consideration, but it will never happen because something nobody could imagine happened instead.

The sporter-class founders were focused on 12-14-year-old boys and girls learning to shoot. They never envisioned for a moment that two young parents would bring their 8-year-old waif of a daughter, Kay Lyn to the shooting club for tryouts. Why would they? Neither one of the parents is a shooter, so it never dawned on them that when a 50-lb. girl tries to heft a 7-lb. rifle, it’s like asking a 200-lb. adult man to shoot offhand with a 28-lb. rifle! And, if the cocking effort of that single-stroke Daisy 853 rifle is 20 lbs., you’re asking her to do the equivalent of the man pumping 80 pounds. Try doing that 60 times in a match–20 of them lying flat on the floor!

So, the best intentions of the founders of the sporter class were somewhat overwhelmed by the success of the venture. Everybody wanted to try it. And there’s another dynamic at work. These kids learn fast! In their first year, many of them commit to memory the basics of rifle marksmanship. So, along comes year two and, lo and behold, the coach has a couple shooters who are really outstanding. It never fails, because some kids have been looking for this thing their entire brief lives. Those boys on the low side of the physical development curve and the ones who lack the coordination of their peers. They may get picked last for softball, but watch out when they find a sport at which they can excel.

Ditto for little Kay Lyn, who went home crying last year because she was told she was too young (small) to be on the rifle team. Well, she ate her Wheaties, did some free weights and put on 5 lbs. of muscle over the past 12 months. She’s now a force to be reckoned with. She’ll make this year’s team, and, if I am any judge of character, stand back, because she has internalized a lot of driving self-motivation.

These kids will accept and internalize anything they’re taught to begin with. But after they’ve learned to shoot pinholes, they know a good trigger from a bad one the same as you or I. They may not be able to vote or to ruin their lives just yet, but when it comes to shooting they are our equals. Try handing them a rifle that lacks the proper fit or trigger pull or has sights that don’t stay in one place. That was something the founders of the sporter class never reckoned on. Their quiet sport that was to teach kids to shoot has become an equipment race, because, unlike the All-American Soap Box Derby, there’s more than one maker of target rifles.

Air Arms might have been edged out, but Crosman was already supplying their Challenger 2001 to shooters and clubs. It wasn’t as accurate as the 853 and everyone knew it, so what’s the harm? With their foot in the door, Crosman brought out the Challenger 2009 and it was accepted. It will hold its own with the 853, plus it has the ergonomics kids discover they want and need. Yes, it’s an equipment race, and I don’t know how it could be less when equipment is so important to the sport.

And now–the report
Enter AirForce and the Edge. It didn’t just happen as a matter of doing business. The gestation period was both long and painful–for AirForce as well as for the world that tried to hold its breath. It turns out that making an airgun work consistently well at slower velocity on less air isn’t as easy as it looks. Plus, John McCaslin studied the shooters and learned about their problems. He attended many matches where he observed the shooters and interviewed both them and their coaches about features they wanted to see on their guns.

Basically, the sporter class shooters would all like to shoot a precision class rifle of the type used in the Olympics. They would, and Air Arms tried to give them one, but the sporter class rules don’t permit it. They don’t specify the cost of the gun, but they do regulate things like trigger-pull, total weight of the rifle, sight radius and several adjustability features. For the past three years, I’ve had the pleasure of looking over John McCaslin’s shoulder as he designed and refined the Edge. He could easily have put several superior features on the gun, except that the rules won’t allow them. So, he built the best rifle possible while still staying within the rules.

The regulator
The Edge is a regulated precharged pneumatic target rifle with several features not found on any of its competitors. The regulator, for starters, is unique to this rifle. It’s there because AirForce wanted to retain the straight-through valve flow they pioneered on their more powerful sporting rifles. By not making the air turn any corners as it flows from the reservoir to the barrel, they increase the efficiency of the air by a small amount. In the Edge, that small amount is essential, because this rifle is running on the same amount of air that a target air pistol uses. I will test the shot count and velocity for you in great detail in a future report, so you will get to see how the Edge compares to other target rifles in its class. Right now, I’m just hitting the high points.

The sights
The Edge has target aperture sights made in their Ft. Worth plant. In fact, they began selling these sights for other 10-meter rifles last year. I did a three-part report on them for this blog. I was impressed that an American manufacturer could make target sights that could stand up to the European giants and still sell them for one-third the price of their competitors. They made those sights for the Edge, of course, and now we have an American-made target rifle with American-made target sights.


Front sight takes a clear aperture-type insert. FWB inserts work, and AirForce has an optional set of different sizes.


Rear sight is America’s only precision rear aperture sight. (I painted this one with light to bring out the details. I used a 60-lumen tactical flashlight wiped through the four-second exposure in less than a quarter-second.)

The trigger
The Edge trigger is a real target-type, two-stage trigger that’s adjustable in two ways. The release pressure is controlled by an adjustment screw for adjustment No. 1, but by repositioning the trigger blade lower on the trigger arm, you increase the leverage and that’s adjustment No. 2. But that’s just the beginning.

The trigger also has a safety! Now, 10-meter rifles usually don’t have safeties, so this is a big deal. The safety is part of the cocking bolt’s “racetrack” pattern of cuts in the frame. More on that in the future. I’m still not done with trigger features.


This bolt track provides the dry-fire feature, the safety and the breech lock. I’ll explain it in a future report.

The Edge trigger has a dry-fire feature, and it’s the only sporter class rifle I know of that intentionally has one. When you use it, you can train with the trigger without discharging the rifle. It’s possible to cock the Daisy 853 trigger and fire it without pressurizing the gun, so I suppose you could call that a dry-fire trigger, too. It just wasn’t designed that way. But the Edge was, and they mean for shooters to train this way.

The cocking bolt
Two things you need to know about the Edge cocking bolt. First, AirForce has gone out of their way to provide a dead-nuts sealed breech for this rifle, because they need every sniff of air that’s in the reservoir to get the shot count they want. So, when the bolt is returned to the rear after cocking, the shooter pulls it down into a positive locking notch.


Both the left and right side of the receiver have the bolt cut, so the cocking knob can be switched from one side to the other.

Second, there’s an identical racetrack on the left side of the rifle, so in a couple minutes, the Edge becomes a lefty. AirForce cautions not to switch back and forth a lot or you’ll loosen the bolt screw; but if you are a southpaw, you have been provided for.

And there’s more! A whole LOT more that I’ll show as we look at this rifle in the days before us.


The Edge in right profile.

73 thoughts on “AirForce Edge – Part 1

  1. Scott,

    After re-reading your description of the problem with the TX200, I think your compression chamber is bone dry and your hearing the piston seal squeaking inside the tube. If the noise occurs with such a small amount of cocking lever stroke that the anti-beartrap ratchet isn't catching, it doesn't sound to me like it could be the spring guide. I'd think that the spring needs some compression for the guide to make any noise and with that little lever travel, I don't think that the spring has compressed more than 1/4" or so.

    Anyway, let us know what happens. We're curious.


  2. B.B. thanks for the enlightening story how the NRA went to great lengths to keep non-US based companies out of "their market". It does not come as a surprise.
    Marc


  3. Marc,

    It didn't happen that way, and if you think it did, then I have misled you. Both the NRA and the Civilian Marksmanship Program–two separate entities that run two different programs for youth shooting– decided they did not like the looks of "new" target guns. Where they came from was not the issue.

    It just happened that Air Arms offered a very well-built rifle for the sporter class. If Daisy had offered something like that they would have reacted the same. But all Daisy did was float a few S200s past the boards, and they never carried them through to fruition. And the S200 isn't close to what Air Arms brought to the Airgun Breakfast.

    The point is, the governors of the two programs were fighting to keep their respective programs at a simpler level, but competition won out.

    B.B.


  4. BB
    A late ? about the Ruger Explorer.
    Is this gun the same as a Xisico XS b16,
    they look like twins and the specs. are
    the same except for fps.claims.
    Also are they related to the Crosman
    Raven?All 3 are strange but interesting
    looking rifles.They also fit my criteria of short,light,and low powered.Since I still can't get an HW30s I'm lookin at fun alternatives:)

    JTinAL


  5. JTinAL,

    They may all be related. I don't attempt to keep track of those things until a rifle shows staying power. They come and go too fast, plus buyers can change one specification that changes everything.

    B.B.


  6. Hi BB,
    I was lucky to meet John and his wife at LASSO and to get to shoot the EDGE. I didn't have any idea how much has research, though, and engineering had gone into this gun. The EDGE just looked like a sized down Talon in Red or Blue with aperture sights. I don't know if any of us who shot properly appreciated it. I want to commend AirForce for sticking with the project and coming up with such a nice gun. I hope it sells well for them.

    David Enoch


  7. Guys,
    I talked to Boris at Pyramid Air this morning about my TX200 making that noise I described earlier. He said that he thought it was the cocking shoe was broken and rubbing. He told me to take it out of the stock and inspect. I did and found nothing that looked wrong, no crack,no break, nothing. Boris said to shoot it a couple hundred more times and then see what it is doing. If you think the piston seal is squeaking how much more chamber oil should I use and how long should I wait before firing the gun?

    Kevin,
    Thanks for the link to the Diana 45 info that is exactly what I have and it will be very helpful. If my Diana 45 was made in '85 will it have a leather seal or a synthetic one?

    Thanks,
    Scott


  8. Mr Ungier,

    Congratulations on your tenth anniversary of online sales.

    You've cost me a fortune. Thanks.

    Really, Thanks. Your pellet packing has no rivals. Your customer return policy is second to none and with B.B. as the front line of your "tech support" it's no wonder you're my number one go to source for all airgun and arigun related purchases.

    kevin



  9. B.B.,

    Great article. No nonsense rifle who's form follows function. Wish we could choose from the modular components (butt hook, knee riser, etc.) that the rules officials eliminated the market for.

    I've grown to really appreciate your photography skills. I have a long way to go. Trying to duplicate these difficult photo's make me realize what I've taken for granted for so long.

    Thanks for the compliments on the stocks I'm refinishing. The last time I refinished a gunstock I mixed linseed oil with dryers and varnish. Waiting a week between steps for proper drying was the norm. I've been curious about all these products that people tout so thought I'd try some myself.

    Think I'll use waterlox on the next stock refinish project since I've heard so many good things about it.

    I tried to show my mistakes in half of the photos. My photo skills are lacking but will improve.

    If you look at photo #4 you'll see a stupid/avoidable mistake.

    kevin



  10. Jay,

    For sealing I used two parts mineral spirits to one part oil.

    If you're planning on taking your finish down to the stain/dye and refinish from there, you may want to start out with 50/50 so the stain/dye doesn't bleed. Try a small, hidden patch on your stock first before you go slathering mostly mineral spirits on top of your stain/dye.

    RLO will not have the same color affect on your beech stock as my walnut stocks. RLO is mostly an oil with light amber color (like tung oil). It will "tint" your existing stain/dye color but won't change red to brown.

    kevin


  11. BG_Farmer,

    Thanks for the critique. That's what I asked for.

    You're absolutely correct that some of the photos make the stocks look red. The stocks aren't red but the difference in photos was some manipulation I attempted in photoshop. I'm trying to learn about this dimension in digital photography as well. After manipulation, photoshop doesn't seem show an accurate result. The "published" (photobucket) result looks different than the edited version that sits in photo shop. Not sure if this is a fault of photoshop or a fault of photobucket. Tough being an old dog learning new tricks.

    I've only got about ten coats of RLO on the stocks so far but the color has slightly darkened. Not much. Watco darkens quicker than RLO.

    I agree with you that both stocks are "wild". The figure in the stock is pretty ho hum but the design, while refinishing, is cussworthy. Not a flat spot on either stock. By far the toughest stocks I've ever sanded. Really like how both feel in my hands though.

    Stocks are already slick and glossy. I'll knock it down. Twenty more coats won't add a lot of finish but will completely fill most of the pores. This is a major difference between my view of poly and oil. Poly builds fast. Two teaspoons of RLO in a bowl is all that's needed to put another coat on both stocks (about one and a half teaspoons for the carbine stock and the rest for the pistol).

    Reminds me. Always put your finish in a separate container when you start working on your stock. Don't contaminate your master container of finish by dipping into that. Only pour out and mix what you will use for that session. Throw out what you don't use. It's contaminated.

    kevin


  12. Kevin,

    I PhotoShop, for balancing color, I like the "Variations" command. On my Mac, it's under the Image menu, under Adjustments. You can select variations of colors added and subtracted to see how they affect the photo. It's subtle, yet instant and completely reversible until you save the document.

    B.B.


  13. Does anyone know of a good adjustable 2 piece 30mm ring scope mount anywhere? I have been looking, but can only find a one piece adjustable mount in that size.

    Alan


  14. B.B.,

    Thanks again.

    Got out 2 books I have on photoshop. Dusted them off. Adobe Photoshop Elements user guide (281 pages) and Adobe Phtotshop Elements written by Philip Andrews (246 pages).

    Who knew if you ignored technology for a few years you would be run over in this world.

    kevin


  15. Alan,

    The only two piece fully adjustable (for windage and elevation) 30mm rings/mounts I know of are the ATP66 or burris signature rings with inserts.

    Because the ATP66 is so expensive and the burris rings are a pita most people send 30mm rings out for machining or lap them themselves.

    kevin



  16. Mr. B,

    I thought I'd give you the latest update on the TKO22 trigger kit for the Discovery. Last night, I decided to experiment to see if I could reduce the trigger effort. I reduced the engagement of the sear to the hammer by screwing in the screw the kit has you add to the trigger, the one in front of and on the bottom of the trigger assembly. Once the rifle discharged, I turned the screw 1/2 turn back or counterclockwise. After slapping the rifle with my palm a number of times to make sure it wouldn't discharge if banged around, I tried the trigger and was greatly impressed by the decreased effort. Now the kit does exactly what I hoped it would do. Two definite stages, very light trigger pull (at least for me), and actually makes me a better shot.

    I can wholeheartedly endorse this modification from Mike T. of TKO22 for the Crosman Discovery and a host of similar Crosman rifles with this trigger assembly.

    Fred


  17. B.B.,

    LOL!

    The only way I could last more than a hour at that job is if the shop foreman graded my performance based on MY pictures and didn't actually look at my work.

    kevin





  18. BB,
    I agree with the CMP and the NRA mostly in that their should be some standardization of equipment in the entry-level classes. The kids who are dedicated enough or who have crazy parents can have an open class. I've never seen any activity improved by an equipment race and the snobbery it entails: it usually ends up with a very few bitterly self-important participants with novices rotating in with enthusiasm and out with cynicism.

    Kevin,
    I can't get pictures of stocks color-corrected either, so consider it commiseration more than criticism:). When I looked at those pictures, I was thinking about that cutout in the carbine butt and what a pain it would be to finish. When I said wild, I meant not straight-grained; it should be quite nice.

    Jay,
    Sorry, I peeked, too:). That's fairly straight beech, but there is some nice curl that will come out more with a better finish.


  19. Kevin,I left out any comments about your stocks because I'm not even qualified to speak.your helpful tips were spot on!just what I needed to be told!I will continue my work with a newfound confidence.Thank You VERY much!


  20. B.B.,

    Wow! This looks like a very nice rifle! Is there any difference in the LW barrel in this rifle, versus the Challenger (i.e., any reason to expect it to be more accurate)?

    Love the looks, and the fact that it's almost a pound lighter than the Challenger would make it a great rifle for a smaller shooter.

    It's too light for me, and I would be adding weight to the Challenger that I recently ordered.

    This one looks like a winner.

    Victor


  21. Jay,

    Thanks for the 3 photos. Very helpful.

    Your stock isn't that bad but I agree with you. It cries out for refinishing.

    It's definately beech. If you look to the right of the scratches in your buttstock you can almost see the medullary rays peeking through. One of your gouges on the front forestock is through the stain/dye. Can you see the white dot? Not a big deal.

    Did the former owner use barb wire for a front rest? LOL!!

    Tough to tell what the stain/dye looks like. The stock is really dirty.

    Since that looks like a beeman deluxe stock I would suggest you start by removing the cap and spacer on the pistol grip (one screw)and remove the rubber butt pad and spacers (two screws). Take some 600 grit and clean the dirt and stain off the white spacers edges. Don't take too much off or they won't realign when you reinstall them. If you choose just to refinish the stock from the stain/dye up I'd suggest you keep them off until you're done. If you plan on stripping/sanding to bare wood reinstall them and sand them along with your stock so they continue to fit your stock.

    Next thing I'd recommend is to clean the stock. Soap and water can be used but try to keep the stock as dry as possible. Murphy wood cleaner is better. After you've used a stiff toothbrush and cleaner on your checkering, let them dry and then tape them off. Use a good quality masking tape not the cheap grocery store stuff. The best is usually green in color and found at automotive stores. It's typically used to mask off metal on cars before painting.

    Remove the tape after each step so the adhesive from the tape doesn't bleed onto your stock (especially during the mineral spirits steps). Reapply immediately before you start the next step.

    Your checkering is pressed. It will be tougher to repoint since it wasn't cut to begin with. If you're careful in refinishing and religious about removing/replacing the tape between steps you may get away with avoiding repointing.

    Your finish is a blend. I wouldn't be afraid to start with 400 grit using a little soap and water to keep the sandpaper wet and provide lubrication on the stock. Use light pressure. Think about the pressure used to dust furniture not the pressure you use when polishing your shoes. Don't gouge the stain/dye.

    Once you've taken the dirt and sheen off the finish you will be able to tell if you want to finish over the stain/dye or remove it.

    kevin



  22. BG_Farmer,

    Tough to tell whether to keep that stain/dye on Jay's stock until all that surface gunk comes off.

    You can learn to dye beech and it'll look good. It was a learning curve for me. I'll spare details since I've been so long winded on the blog lately.

    kevin


  23. To all you stock finishers/refinishers,

    I'm really learning alot. Haven't made any comments, but you all have taken a lot of "the steep" out of my learning curve and for that I say thanks to each of you.

    Mr B.

    WV is sanest–sure doesn't apply to me.:)


  24. BB,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. The background on these guns is really important and helps explain why things are the way they are.

    I have to agree with BG Farmer on the effects of equipment races. This always seems to result in the dominance of the "combo du jour" and the premature obsolescence of everything else. The guys who are willing to drop the money wind up dominating the activity, leaving the "little guys" in the dust.
    While this is pretty much the way the world works in adult sports, it is especially harmful in amateur activities aimed at youngsters. I would like to see the playing field kept as level as possible for them. Let the ones with talent be allowed to stand out on their own merits, and then they can advance to where equipment plays a major role. The true sign of talent is when one can beat someone else using that person's equipment!

    Another point: I am glad to hear that Josh is as opposed to political correctness as you are. I am too, and I strongly suspect most air gunners are. I appreciate you being able to speak your mind here, and appreciate that Josh feels the same way.

    Les


  25. Victor,

    One difference that I am aware of between the Challenger barrel and the Edge barrel is the length. The Challenger barrel is 21.25 inches long, while the Edge barrel is 12 inches.

    I haven't come to it yet, but the Edge has a very fine optional weight system.

    B.B.


  26. Scott,

    I'd HAVE to tear the gun down and see what's going on. I had a TX200 and know how nice it is. It'd make me nuts to keep shooting it if it was making that kind of noise.

    Do you live near Akron? We can have it fixed in an hour.



  27. B.B.,

    I don't think that the Challenger comes with a hand stop and sling. Do you know if the rail is compatible with that of the Anschutz? Is it compatible with the Edge. Maybe I can use the optional weight system made for the edge?

    Victor


  28. Guys,
    Just got back from work and checked on my TX200 progress. Added four drops of chamber oil at about 10am set it verticle till about 4:30pm and nothing has changed. When I had it out of the stock to check for the broken cocking shoe I put one drop of piston oil on the shoe to see if that would do anything but it didn't.
    It started of to where I could just barely hear it and has gotten louder with time. It isn't like it's an ear piercing sound but it does sound like someone has stepped on a goose everytime I cock it.
    Derrick thanks for the offer but I am on the Illinois side near St.Louis.
    If anybody has any ideas I would love to hear them.

    Thanks,
    Scott



  29. Victor,

    The Challenger bottom rail was created to accept standard accessories, so the answer is yes, it should accept the Anschütz hand stop/sling mount.

    The Edge weight system is unique to the Edge. It is form fitted to the profile of the Edge frame and can be placed anywhere on that gun. It won't fit the Challenger.

    B.B.


  30. Scott,

    I think you have identified the sound. If your gun now honks like a goose, then it was too dry.

    The remedy is to shoot and shoot, to break in the too-tight piston seal. Yes, you put the oil in the right place. Let's put another three drops in the same place, and then shoot 100 pellets each day until 500 have gone through.

    Please keep us informed.

    If you don't want to do this, the gun can be disassembled and the piston seal reduced in size with sandpaper–though a TX seal is a toughie to work on because it is free to rotate. You would then burnish moly into the chamber walls to help with friction.

    I recommend just shooting it.

    B.B.


  31. B.B.
    Will do. Thanks for your help. I will keep you posted. Can I direct my wife's complaint to you when I tell her that I HAVE to go to the basement to shoot tonight?
    Scott


  32. BB,
    I hope Scott's problem is just tight, dry seal, and the "goose" description makes it sound like it is. Would it help to put some chamber lube in from the piston/spring side, maybe drop it into the spring slot? I was just thinking that if the seal is that tight, it may be wiping the walls clean, so that lube never gets to the skirt of the seal, which is the leading edge on cocking. Worth a try or am I missing a dangerous side-effect?


  33. B.B.,

    That's fine. I liked the weight system that I used with my Anschutz.

    Do you know if the clear front sight inserts that I used for my Anschutz (or FWB) would work with the Challengers front sight? If not, do you know of anyone who makes clear inserts for the Crossman front sight?

    Thanks,
    Victor


  34. Well, there goes the News Years Resolutions that I was determined to abide by…that of purchasing no new air guns in 2010!
    It looks like I am going to have to find room for one in my gun cabinet.
    CowBoyStar Dad


  35. BG_Farmer,

    I'm not too worried about the TX 200 seal. I've seen tight seals wear in many times and this is what it takes. If it is way too tight it could tear off a chunk, but he has already fired several hundred shots and it should have done that by now. A new seal is quick and easy to replace and he's following Boris' instructions by shooting the gun.

    B.B.






  36. BB and All,
    I have followed the blog for a few years now and have only posted anonymously once. Now I feel that it is time to COME OUT OF THE CLOSSET!
    First I would like to personally thank ALL OF YOU for your input on this blog, it is a great place to learn and grow in the air gun arena. I am a 4-H shooting sports leader in western Pennsylvania and our air gun “projects” is the back bone of the program .Many of the posts and comment have been printed out and given to our shooters as teaching or training aids (I hope that is legal). All of you also help us by supporting organizations like the NRA, CMP, local sportsmen’s clubs, and manufactures that all bend over backwards to help youth programs. I can only assume that there are more people like me so from all of us thanks!
    BB has the facts right (again) about how fast the 10 meter sporter class is growing. And like many of you, I too have been waiting to see the AirForce Edge come out. Yes I have mixed feelings on this gun but, am glad to see a manufacturer of air guns design for this growing demand. In the rapid-fire stages of a match (fun for kids, 5 shots in 25 seconds for semi’s and 30 seconds for bolts) a 853 just will not cut it. As for the younger kid safety being a huge issue; pumping the guns is the most difficult part for them to keep the muzzle in a safe direction so PCP is preferred (Buy the way I am proud of the fact that we have many 8 year olds that are safe on the firing line without help!). The light weight of the edge can be beneficial to the younger kid as well.
    BG_Farmer,
    My first reaction when I read your comment was to agree…
    After some thought, I have a different perspective to put on this. These youngsters can only go as far as the equipment can take them (just because a gun is more capable than me doesn’t mean its’ more capable than them). If there is one thing I have learned from this blog is never let a gun that shoots for you! If you buy a quality target gun will it hold its’ value? So are you not just “renting” the equipment anyhow! To put it in numbers; a good target gun will cost $2,000 to $2,500 and will last 10 years and will then sell for half of the original cost; that only $100 to $125 a year. I guess what I’m trying to say is this is in line with any other sport that kids get involved with.
    BB or Anybody,
    I think that there is also a huge demand for youth competition pistols. We have started a pistol discipline and the kids are coming like moths to a flame. The IZH 64 and Daisy 717/747 are to heave and to large (grip) for the younger shooters. Is there some reliable/accurate alternative we could try?
    All,
    As part of my COMING OUT OF THE CLOSSET, I was always intimidated of your knowledge and experience to speak out. Now I will challenge you to take that knowledge and experience and get involved in your local shooting sports programs. The reward may surprise you!
    Caveman
    Vanango County 4-H Deadeyes



  37. Caveman,

    Welcom to the blog.

    The air pistol deal for kids is a real problem because kids (or anyone) can turn with a pistol faster than a coach can grab them. Right now they are experimenting with shooting pistols off a rest. I don't know how it will play out.

    But welcome!

    B.B.



  38. Scott,

    Never owned a TX 200 but I did have an R-1 that did the same thing. It took a long time before the noise went away. However, that was decades ago. I thought the AA guns were known for feeling tuned out of the box? but if that is all it is you just need to jam some JM heavy tar on the spring in the exposed cocking slot. Otherwise, it could be a year or so before it quiets down on its own – depending on how much you shoot it.

    Caveman,
    Welcome, but try not to give Bg farmer too much positive reinforcement. :)


  39. Caveman,
    I'm glad you decided to voice your opinion and hope you stick around now that you've gotten over the stage fright:). Your experience trumps any opinion I have, so feel free to disagree with me anytime (Volvo does:)).

    I'm not irked at the Edge or any other rifle in itself, but at the idea that the childrens' shooting programs should become arms races, even in the entry classes. Your analysis of the amortization of cost is true if value is retained, but that will not be the case if equipment changes quickly. Also, even to me, it seems a bit crass that AF and others are now pursuing these kids programs so eagerly, whereas they wouldn't give them the time of day previously. To me, they seem to want to create an equipment race in a much-needed kids sport to increase their profits, which is legal but tacky, not that anyone recognizes the distinction any more:).


  40. Scott
    I can hardly imagine the noise of your gun, but the only times i have heard something similar in my airguns there was a steel chunk in the action or a broken spring scratching the tube.
    I dont know Boris, but he could be right and your cocking shoe can look good but is really broken


  41. Lothar Kommer
    I am definately new to this whole airgun maintenance thing but could find no visible sign of breakage. This doesn't mean that it couldn't be broken somewhere that I couldn't see. I put three more drops of oil in this morning and let it set all day. I shot it this evening and when I cocked it the first time I got the loud sick goose sound. After firing and a rather loud pop (dieseling correct?) the remaing times I cocked the rifle were definately quieter. It's still there but quieter than this morning. Could the diseling have blown some of the oil past the seal and that quieted it down? Also when I had the gun out of the stock and was working the cocking arm back and forth making the sound it didn't sound as if it was coming from the shoe. It sounded more like it was coming out of the breach.
    Thanks,
    Scott


  42. Caveman,

    Welcome to the blog. I myself only recently discovered this wonderful place. I appreciate it immensely.

    I come from the world of precision class air gun and smallbore competition shooting, but that was a very long time ago (over 30 years ago, to be precise).

    Please allow me to address a few issues discussed here.

    Firstly, one of the best elements of competitive marksmanship for me as a youth was the emphasis on safety. Unfortunately, in my experience, most gun owners are not nearly as safety conscious as they should be. However, I've not seen that among my fellow competitive shooters.

    Secondly, I found competitive marksmanship to be a sophisticated and highly detail oriented activity that allowed me as a youth to develop very high standards in everything that I do.

    Thirdly, the competitive atmosphere was the best that I've seen across MANY sports. Grace was an absolute requirement among the shooters. Whether one won or lost (and losing an important match by one point after 2, 3, or 4 days of shooting is very hard), they were expected to remain calm, composed, and graceful. We were not allowed to jump for joy, or worse yet, get into someone elses face, as you see in some sports. Parents were not allowed to demonstrate a strong presence, shall we say. This was entirely about the individual.

    Finally, competitive shooting is as much a sport as any other competitive activity. If you want to compete AND WIN at the upper echelon, you must be VERY physically fit. If you are not fit like an athelete, then your body will become a distration that your mind cannot overcome.

    Air gun shooting is a wonderful activity for shooters. It's the most accessible in terms of cost of ammo, and location. I've shot everything from air-guns to high power rifles. If you REALLY love skillfull, goal oriented, shooting, then it's all about the execution of the shot. You can get that with an air-gun, just as well as any other time of gun. Of course the huge difference is that you can do it in your garage, home, or backyard at a tenth of the cost.

    B.B., has written some excellent articles on the many facets of air-gun shooting and competition. He constantly provides a wealthy of information.

    Regards,
    Victor


  43. Scott,

    I expected the diesel. I should have told you. Now we know that your gun has all the lube it needs.

    Continue to shoot it and see if the noise doesn't dissipate. I think it will be almost gone in 500 shots.

    No more oil for a long time now.

    B.B.


  44. Caveman,

    Glad you "came out of the closet".

    Because of what you do you, in my opinion, are one of the unsung hero's.

    Thanks for your contribution to todays youth. Among others shooting teaches responsibility, discipline, comraderie and respect.

    There was a time in our not so distant past when learning to shoot was a necessity. Although that time has passed I still think it should be a requirement (a law?) that everyone in America learn how to shoot a gun.

    Thank you. I for one am anxious to hear about your experiences. Don't be a stranger.

    kevin


  45. It's refreshing to see so much new blood on the blog.

    Maybe controversy is a catalyst.

    The quality of the people that have come forward and started to dialogue is a wonderful Christmas present.

    kevin


  46. Caveman,

    Welcome!
    Thanks for donating your time with the kids! .. your da man!!

    We're going to have a kids program here at our rifle range someday. Some of our members bring their kids now, and we set up an area for them, but I'd like to get a real program going.

    B.B.

    I'm glad to hear the young ones will have some quality to shoot now. … but..I'm not clear, is the Air Arms S200 ok to use now too?? .. or is it still an outlaw?

    Wacky Wayne, MD. Ashland Air Rifle Range


  47. Wayne,

    For the S200 to be accepted, it has to have 7.5 Joules or less power.

    Several years ago Daisy imported the Tau 200 as an Avanti gun. I believe that version (of the same gun as the S200, but in CO2) was approved, though Daisy never did import them.

    So I cannot answer your question. If I had to guess I would say that no, The S200 hasn't been approved, because there is a 12 foot-pound (16 joule) version of it. It's too powerful for the range equipment like backstops and, at the national level, the cloth backing that Crosman donated to the NRA for the entire range.

    B.B.


  48. Since BB is in the midst of a review of the S200, I though some of you might like to read a tutorial on tuning the S200 trigger by Dan Nelson. I tried to post it here but it is too long. So, here is part 1.

    Trigger bliss!!!! No diagram, but for the third time since I've owned it I took it all down again and started fooling with the trigger….this time I went a little further in disassembly. Here is the updated adjustment sequence:

    Small screw in front is 1st stage take-up. Small adjustments go a LONG way, I got rid of 99% of my first stage with just 1 turn.

    Second medium screw is 1st stage adjustment, you can actually adjust this in till the gun wont cock, or till you have no second stage till after the gun fires.

    Third medium screw is 2nd stage adjustment/travel, here's where you can get rid of some creep(may have to move the trigger shoe to get to this screw).

    The last tiny screw IS in fact a trigger stop, you have to tighten this one way down before it'll do anything though

    The allen screw that is in the trigger guard at the far after end is the trigger weight, adjust it too far out and it falls out in your hand, adjust too far in and the spring may wind around it. This is an allen head set screw with a little plunger tip on it that the spring rides on. This spring is called out as "second stage trigger pull" or something in the manual, it actually effects BOTH first and second stage weight.

    The trigger shoe gives more leverage the further aft it sits on the little dovetail, kinda bad when you get the trigger all setup, then adjust the trigger shoe to fit you and everything feels different than how you set it up:(

    Here is how I think it should be adjusted.

    Remove the air cylinder. Remove the stock.

    Remove trigger guard, spring will come out with it under the far afterwards screw, put in safe place. You'll notice that the trigger still has spring to it, that's because there is a second spring…probably why some say it isn't a true 2-stage trigger, but both 1st and 2nd stage screws DO move the sear, that means it's a true 2-stage trigger, has nothing to do with if it has an extra spring for "feel"….could probably nip this spring down a coil or two and get a REALLY light trigger, but I'm not messing with it. The other spring, the one they call "2nd stage weight" is actually the spring acting on the sear, the other acts only on the blade/dovetail. Remove the trigger shoe, it's in the way from here on out.

    The edge of the trigger dovetail has a little groove in it that tends to hang up on the side of the receiver, to remedy that you have to adjust the small front screw in far enough that the groove isn't visible while looking from the side of the receiver….this is why my trigger felt gritty and un-predictable, I was pulling the trigger till I felt that groove catch the edge of the receiver and thinking it was my second stage, then pulling through that and popping through the true second stage….yes, the S200 has a true 2-stage trigger despite any other references. So back off the other screws a bit and adjust the forward tiny screw till the dovetail rocks aft and edge is out of sight, problem solved.

    Part two to follow. This is copied with permission from an e-mail to me by Dan Nelson.

    David Enoch


  49. S-200 Trigger Adjustment Part-2 from Dan Nelson:

    "Now adjust the rearmost tiny screw, the one I couldn't decide if it was a screw or a hole, it IS in fact a trigger stop. You'll have to turn this one in till it almost disappears before it actually stops anything. I adjusted mine till it was about 3 turns from completely going through the dovetail, should really be a longer setscrew, may replace it at a later date. If you didn't do it while adjusting the front tiny screw, adjust the two middle medium screws out a few turns now.

    If you look just aft of the dovetail you'll see where the "2nd stage weight" screw rides on the sear, push the sear down at that spot ( I used a small allen wrench)and cock the gun (did you remove the air cylinder? If not do it now and be sure you are unloaded).
    While pushing this down, with the gun cocked, push the dovetail down like you would be pulling the trigger till it hits the stop. If you backed out the two medium middle screws the gun should not fire. While still pushing on the sear start tightening down the front medium screw till the gun fires, then back off one turn. Repeat cocking procedure, and push dovetail again, gun should not fire, if it does the forward medium screw is still too tight, back off in 1/2 turn increments till it consistently does NOT fire. Now, cock the gun again, and while pressing on the sear, tighten the rear medium screw till the gun fires, then tighten 1/2 turn more. Reinstall trigger shoe, but leave loose. Reinstall spring and trigger guard. Remove aft spring "plunger" screw till it comes out, then reinstall and tighten 3 full turns, make sure the spring lines up with the tip of the screw during re-installation. Reinstall stock.

    Shoulder rifle, adjust trigger shoe till it fits you right, but remember, the further aft the lighter the pull…mine is fairly far aft, but still comfy.

    With air tube still un-installed, cock rifle and slowly pull the trigger, you should have a really light 2-stage trigger. It may be hard to feel the 2nd stage at first, but you should feel it pretty well after a try or two. If you really can't feel the 2nd stage then you will need to tighten the rear plunger screw a 1/2 turn at a time till the weight and feel is right for you. If you pull the trigger and the gun doesn't fire, loosen the trigger shoe and slide forward, and tighten the rear medium screw till the gun fires with the trigger pulled then 1/2 turn more. Tighten the rearmost screw in the trigger guard till the feel and weight are right for you, I left mine in about 4 turns, but I shoot from a bench, if you are going to hunt or carry this gun in the field you will want a heavier trigger.

    With the trigger setup this way you should have a light, short first stage, a short/sharp/crisp second stage, and very little trigger blade movement after the gun fires."

    This is copied with permission from an e-mail from Dan Nelson.

    David Enoch



  50. Caveman, here's the perspective from a father.
    I have two young sons who are both pretty adept at shooting. The oldest is 8, the youngest, who is 6 is already showing promise.
    I'm in Canada, so though we don't have the same programs as in the US, there are still shooting programs in Scouts and later on, Cadets, which both use the 853c.
    At about $300 (CND) they will both receive 853c's for their 10th birthdays. But at the price of the Edge, with accessories (which will be $1K in Canada)…one of them would be able to shoot. So it will become a matter of equipment pricing determining who can continue on with the sport.
    Unfortunately for many parents (myself included), $1000+ falls in the realm of 'you better prove yourself to be good'…whereas $300 is in the 'well, lets buy it and see how you do'.
    Allowing rifles like the Edge into competition will evenually in my opinion, ruin it for many families, because if the Edge is allowed…well it won't be long before a competitor brings out a slightly better version…at 'only' $250 more…and on it will go.
    I used to race cars…specifically Formula Ford (for anyone who knows what they are). In 1978 I bought a slightly used Ralt with spare motor, a seasons worth of tires and a trailer for $15000 (not cheap, but affordable). Every race weekend there would be 30 or 40 local drivers competing.
    At about the same time that I left shooting (for career reasons) I left auto racing. I checked the scene a few years ago and in Canada the premier 'beginning' series of road racing was the Honda Series. Box stock Honda civics with very few mods allowed. Both the engine and fuel systems were wired 'shut', so the only thing you could really modify was the tires and suspension.
    And these cost well over $60000, plus accessories…nearly $100K.
    The cars in this 'entry' class were all sponsored heavily by dealers…most driven by the dealer's president or thier kid.
    In other words, money killed a sport that nearly anyone could participate in 30 years ago.
    I see the same happening to youth shooting with the Edge…as much as I'd like one for myself.
    CowBoyStar Dad


  51. Kevin,

    Last night, I began scrubbing with Murphy's, rags, and a toothbrush. I then added 600 grit wet. That easily cut through the sheen in the finish, but when I went to the damaged area on the buttstock, it cut right through the finish. It was pretty apparent at that point that I'd need to strip, so I moved on to a water based stripper (relatively nice stuff). After 2-3 hrs, here's what I have.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/pokorski/BeemanR10Refinish?feat=directlink

    The scratches and pressure dents went with the finish, and the checkering seems to be in fair shape. I still have 2-3 spots of finish left (right behind the checkering on the LH grip), but I believe I'm ready to order recheckering tools and stain.

    You recommended solvent based dyes like Laurel Mountain Forge, and it looks to me like I have a bit of the walnut stain left (most of the color seemed to be in the finish). What's the best way to go about adding a bit of red to this?

    Thanks,

    Jay


  52. Jay,

    You're on your way to a nice stock.

    Based on your pictures I will agree with you. I think I see some finish left (shiny areas above your trigger guard on both sides of the stock) and alot of the stain/dye is still in the grain. These areas will not take new stain/dye and will look black and may even bleed out when your new stain/dye with a solvent base is applied.

    If that's the look you're after then proceed. Brush on some mineral spirits to see if you like the look but remember they may run. If you don't like the look mek will likely remove the rest.

    All those scratches and dents were sanded out? You didn't have to steam any of them?

    Rather than start mixing red into a walnut stain, why not buy the color you prefer? Laurel Mountain has maple and cherry stains with reddish overtones in both.

    Since you used a water based stripper make sure that stock is completely dry before you start staining. Remember when you're done sanding that you don't want to touch the outside of your stock with bare fingers. The moisture and oil from your fingers will inhibit the stain from penetrating.

    kevin


  53. CowBoyStar Dad,
    I see your point and am concerned that an equipment race could “Kill a sport” as well. I too, am a father with four children (8, 10, 13, and 20) and have limited funds to support their activities. Don’t kid yourself though, that by limiting what guns are “legal” in matches that money will not find its way in. Coaches and parents will have custom work (triggers, barrels, stocks…) done to gain a competitive edge. This is already happening! My hope is that manufacturers’ competition will level the playing field. You have been involved in racing so this may make sense to you. In moto cross a box stock bike will compete on every level but nationally because of the intense competition from manufactures. Sure there are aftermarket parts but the rider is what makes the difference; just like in shooting, a good marksman will out score most regardless of who is using what equipment! After all we are talking about a sporter class that we already got rid of the cost of jackets, pants, shoes, gloves …Personally the cost of travel to practice and matches, meals out, hotels, and entry fee is what really adds up. This is where the club is so valuable because we go as a group and split the cost (plus it’s funner). It’s ashamed that you don’t have that available to you….Hay maybe you could start something up!
    Caveman
    Vanago County 4-H Deadeyes




  54. In all honesty, no matter what airforce sais about their "edge", if i want a 10 meter rifle, ill get the crossman challenger (or any other).
    Im sorry, but AirForce "lost me", after my 3rd AF rifle purchase (1 Talon SS, 2 Condors), and all the problems i had with them.
    Ibe had to struggle with tanks that dont fit the rifle collar, valves that wont open, tanks dumping all the air when i fire, "misterious" POI shifting (in all 3 guns, diferent scopes, diferent pellets, etc.), terribly inconsistent numbers, damaged frames due to the cocking knob hitting them (after they loose the little PLASTIC washer), stripped plastic parts, not to mention the LIE of their rifles having "adjustable power" (try using the "power weel" to adjust the velocity of a condor with 2500psi in it).
    I find that their quality control, and building materials are, well, simply terrible.

    I know that there are custom "tune ups", custom hammers, springs, valves, and whatnot one can buy that are supposed to fix most of those issues, but why do i have to pay for extra parts and labor to make the rifle do what its supposed to?
    And besides, I like to spend my time shooting, not fixing.

    It could be argued that "AF rifles cannot be expected to have the same quality as european rifles costing 3 times more!"
    But hey, a benjamin discovery costs HALF, yes HALF, what a Talon SS costs, and mine has NEVER given me any trouble at all, 2 of my friends have them, no problems there either!, and either of us had to drop 200 bucks on extra hammers, tuneups an valves!

    ¿or maybe i am extremely ulucky and got only "bad apples"? well, ibe seen entire forums dedicated to these guns, and most of the topics start with "help", so i dont think so.
    In any case, i just dont trust airforce anymore. So i think its safe to say…

    I have bought my LAST AirForce rifle.

    Im sorry if my opinion sounds extreme or even flaming, but thats how i feel.

    Jeremy


  55. The smaller size of the Edge seems better suited for your younger sporter class novices (breaking into), as opposed to the Challenger, which may be better suited for those considering a transition to precision class shooting.

    Salted Slug

    Shooting Avanti
    –0_____,

    Reloading Avanti

    .O~.~.~'


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