AirForce Edge – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: The first shipment of AirForce Edge rifles has arrived at Pyramyd Air!

Part 1


AirForce Edge is available in red and blue.

Today, we’ll continue our look at the AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle. Normally, the second report is dedicated to velocity testing, but today I’m going to finish the special features in our look through the gun.

Colors
In the 10-meter world, guns come in vibrant colors. It’s one thing that sets 10-meter shooters apart from most other shooting sports. Daisy has even added color to the dies in their laminated stocks on the 853 in recognition of this trend. So, AirForce decided to join the fun and offer colors. The rifle I’m testing is red, but on the Pyramyd Air website, the rifle shown is blue. At this time, those are the only two colors offered, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they came out with others before too long. Right now, they’re pushing production to fill all their backorders. When they catch up with those, they’ll have some time to play a bit.

Sealing and inspection of the rifle–a story within the story
What follows isn’t a feature of the gun, but it’s germane to the Edge story. In fact, it runs parallel to the experience Crosman had when they first set up their PCP production lines for the Benjamin Discovery and the Benjamin Marauder, so it’s worth knowing. The Edge is a different rifle for AirForce. Until now, they’ve had the luxury of one of the largest air reservoirs on the market. Their 490cc air reservoir, which also serves as their butt, holds so much air that even with the powerful Condor there was air to spare. Not so with the Edge, though.

You may never have noticed, but the air reservoir of the AirForce rifles has always been a scuba dive tank. It’s stamped with the information found on all dive tanks, and more importantly it’s 100 percent tested and certificated for diving. The fact that AirForce uses it as their gun reservoir does not take away from the rigor each tank must go through and pass. That tank is a costly part of the gun–VERY costly!

The Edge had to be priced right (read that as cheap) to satisfy the sporter class shooter, as well as the youth clubs that want to buy several guns for their teams. While many people are criticizing the cost of the new gun, they don’t realize the hoops AirForce is jumping through to hold the cost down. I’m sure Crosman is running up against this with their new Challenger PCP, as well.

One way to trim some cost was to make the reservoir in-house rather than buying those expensive dive tanks. That also allowed the length of the stock to be shorter, which was necessary for a sporter rifle. However, the reservoir has to be made of material that meets known strength specifications, and that means it not only has to be made from the right materials, but also it has to have a certain minimum wall thickness. So, the available volume for the compressed air was quite small–about what would be found in a conventional 10-meter air pistol.

For that reason, an air regulator was required, to stretch the use of the limited air that was available. That regulator had to be designed, tested and to pass through several design stages before passing through to the production gun. If you’re interested in why the Edge took so long to come to market, the regulator was a large part of it. I’ll test my Edge with several target pellets for you, and I’ll test at least one full string to see how many total good shots are on a fill. The goal AirForce set for the gun was 100 good shots, which gives them a match plus sighter shots in each position.

Because of the design, there was no huge air supply to draw on in order to get those 100 good shots, so the Edge had to be super-sealed to make the most of what little air there was. A lot of time went into the selection of seals and o-rings and also in the shaping of sealing surfaces and o-ring seats. More of the development time that prolonged the development.

Each regulator also has to be set by hand before it’s installed in a gun. When I worked at AirForce several years ago, one of my jobs was testing every valve that went into the guns. That was done after the valve was assembled, and the procedure not only tested the valve against leaks but it also seated the valve against its seat for a perfect seal. That work still has to be done with the Edge, of course. Setting the regulator is a new requirement on top of that. So, there’s extra testing and extra complexity in this rifle.

One last comment before I return to the rifle’s features. Do you remember that I showed you the positive bolt lock on the Edge bolt raceway in Part 1? Well, that lock plays into the overall sealing of the rifle upon firing. It brings the bolt back over the top hat, so the small o-ring inside the bolt can seal the air from escaping. With all sporting rifles, there’s a puff of air that escapes the breech. On some guns that bury their actions deep in wooden stocks, this puff cannot be felt. Others like the AirForce guns are exposed and it’s easy to feel. You won’t feel it with the Edge, though. All the air goes out the barrel behind the pellet.

Fill
Like all AirForce rifles, the butt removes, however it cannot be filled from the front like the other AirForce rifles. A Foster male quick-disconnect fitting on the back end of the butt allows the gun to be filled without removing anything. Disassembly simply makes the rifle smaller for easier transport.


The butt comes off for easier transport.


Quick-disconnect Foster fitting on the butt means the rifle can stay assembled during filling.

Weight and see
One thing John McCaslin noticed when he visited sporter matches was that the guns were coated with lead weights. Stuck on with tape and glue, there were lead weights everywhere on some guns. They are allowed to add weight up to the limit of 7.5 lbs.

The basic Edge without weights weighs 6.15 lbs., so almost 1.5 lbs. of additional weight can be added. What McCaslin did was create a weight plate that’s fitted to the shape of the gun and held in place with a large rubber o-ring. These plates are added as required and can go anywhere along the long axis of the rifle. Though my picture doesn’t show it, they can even be bolted to the butt. They go on and come off quickly.


These optional weight plates fit on the Edge frame and are held in place by large rubber o-rings.


The weight plates slide along the frame from muzzle to forearm.

Forearm
The forearm, which has an accessory rail built in the bottom, slides along the frame from the receiver to almost the muzzle. Most shooters will want it in close so they can triangulate the hold and offset the weight.

Well, that completes our cursory look at the Edge’s features. Next time, we’ll test the velocity.

45 thoughts on “AirForce Edge – Part 2

  1. It looks as if the Edge is as well thought out as a good Swiss army knife!Filling from either end of the reservoir has to be unique.Nice to see such fine engineering coming from here at home in the good ol' USA! Merry Christmas to You,Edith and the cats…. Frank B



  2. I read with particular interest the part of the article about the colors. These rifles remind me of an industrial design style popular in the '80s. I used to have a ballpoint pen that looked like it could be made on the same assembly line as the Edge.

    During the '90s as more and more aluminum parts made their way onto mountain bikes rather than steel ones, manufacturers started anodizing everything with wild colors. Some poor souls would replace perfectly good parts with neon colored anodized ones just to create a color scheme. It was enough to make Rainbow Bright puke.
    Then the fad passed and no one would be caught dead with these parts, you couldn't give them away.

    What I'm getting to in my usual wordy way is, do you think this trend is a fad, or a movement to what will be regulation or at least the accepted norm? I understand that 10m target is aimed at youths, but is that what drives the crazy colors?




  3. Slingling Lead,

    I thought for many years that it was the manufacturers who drove it, but now I'm not sure. Target shooters are not gun fanciers like we are. They consider the gun as a tool, like a set of skis.

    B.B.


  4. Everyone -m an important correction,

    The Edge cannot be filled from the front, as I originally said in today's report. I've corrected the report, but some folks are already working on the old (wrong) information. My mistake.

    B.B.


  5. Well, the stockings are hung and the gifts are all wrapped.
    A Beretta Elite II for the 6 year old.
    A Nerf Vulcan machine gun for his older brother.
    And a Cammenga Lensatic compass for dad.
    A merry Christmas (or however you care to call it) and a Happy New Year to all on this blog.
    CowBoyStar Dad


  6. Hey CBS Dad, this comment wasn't supposed to rhyme, was it? I don't even think it rhymes if you translate it to Canadian :).

    I hope to pick up my "present" courtesy of Frank B., tomorrow.

    Happy Holidays to all!!

    Fred


  7. Slinging Lead,

    Check out the Jan/Feb issue of RifleShooter, page 60 for their review of the Volquartsen Inferno. It has a red anodized barrel and a matching red anodized scope from Leupold's custom shop.

    Neat stuff if you're into it, I guess.

    Mr B.





  8. Merry Christmas everybody!

    Thanks for all your help the last couple of weeks. My squeaky TX200 is coming around. Seems to get a little quieter everytime I shoot it. Bought a Series 70 Colt Gold Cup a couple months ago… kind of wish I would have spent the money on some airguns instead.

    Scott


  9. Merry Christmas everyone. Tom what a lot of people want to know is what parts will fit on a Talon/Condor frame? The trigger group? The Regulator?


  10. BB,
    Another excellent article! Looking forward, lustily, to Part 3.

    Also, since I think you and Edith have something to do with the PA product descriptions, I'd like to point out that the Dewey cleaning rod I bought (someday I might need one) came with a cleaning jag included. The description didn't mention that so I ordered a jag the same time I ordered the rod. Fortunately, the jags were back ordered and I was able to cancel the jag order after I received the rod. Should I send this to PA or is notifying Edith enough?

    -Chuck


  11. Merry Christmas BB
    I think it should be standard that such care should be taken with all PCPs to ensure proper sealing! If they did all that and yet the goal was to keep costs down it should be an example to airgun manufacturers. However, was it more cost effective to set up an assembly line to make tanks their own tanks instead of out sourcing scuba tanks? Was there some compromise with the new tank – eg will it have the same life span as the ones on the other Air Force guns?
    Ton


  12. Merry Christmas BB
    I think it should be standard that such care should be taken with all PCPs to ensure proper sealing! If they did all that and yet the goal was to keep costs down it should be an example to airgun manufacturers. However, was it more cost effective to set up an assembly line to make tanks their own tanks instead of out sourcing scuba tanks? Was there some compromise with the new tank – eg will it have the same life span as the ones on the other Air Force guns?
    Ton







  13. A very special straight from the heart Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. From Tom and Edith to the person reading this blog for the first time.

    Mr B.

    Word verification is dryewa–wonder what a wet one looks like?


  14. BB,

    Well, I've put almost 500 pellets through my new RWS 48 and am loving every minute of it. I am a bit concerned that my paper manual was left out of the Plano case that the gun came in making me wonder if this was a return or did an employee merely throw my manual away with the box that the RWS 48 came in from Diana. Pyramyd is mailing me a new manual, but it does lead a customer to a bit of suspicion as to why it was missing.

    I tried adjusting the trigger as you explained to me earlier in the blog, but I came upon something that has me a bit perplexed. There is only one screw for adjustment on my particular gun. I have researched the internet on the subject of trigger adjustment for the 48, 52 and 54 and found that there are two screws for adjustment in most of the illustrations given by the sites I have visited.

    I did adjust the one screw that is available on my gun, but it only affects the first stage. The second stage is still to light for my liking, but I see no means of addressing the problem due to no screw for second stage adjustment.

    Can you help me here Mr. BB. I really have grown fond of this gun and know that it will shoot better than I am capable of, but the trigger is a real sore spot for me at its present setting. I consistently releases the sear after the first stage with very little resistance.

    I truly hope you are having a wonderful Christmas and enjoying your family and friends.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours,

    Rick



  15. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to Everyone!

    I got to use my Santa suit yesterday at our company party. Email me if you want a few pics..

    We have a tight extended family of LLC working members to make the raised garden bed kits. It was very very fun!

    I really like the direction Air force is taking with the Edge. It's a great product and I'm sure it will be tweaked to 12fpe and used for lots of fun games…

    I'd like to see a Condor with the tank in front and a nice adjustable wood stock.. KEEP THE SIMPLE LOADING PORT SOMEHOW PLEASE!!

    any way gotta go.

    Have a merry hairy Christmas like me!

    Wacky Wayne
    Ashland Air Rifle Range



  16. The Gamo Dynamax is now at PA!
    Looks cool. It`s a ten shot single shot repeater?! Look at the discription, it says so!:)
    Merry Christmas all.


  17. Fred,Hasn't the IZH 46 m arrived yet?They pretty much guaranteed delivery by Christmas…Please E mail me when it comes! Frank B



  18. BB and all,

    I expect to receive my first PCP on this days. Thanks to the knowledge I have learned from all of you guys, I am about to pass to the 'Dark Side'. But I will always have a soft spot in my heart for my old Fwb 124.

    BB, I hope you and Edith have the merriest Christmas. The same for all of you guys.

    Anthony from Guadalajara


  19. Anthony,what will your first PCP be?Will you be pumping it or using a scuba tank?I have a FWB 150 and 127…My Condor beats them in pure power,but I will always enjoy shooting the FWBs,and they are equally accurate when I do my part…Frank B


  20. That's one serious looking target air rifle with a few bells and whistles to boot.

    US engineering and manfacturing can be second to none….but the real challenge is to make something affordable or to be able to defend against imported rivals in a tough market that has to compete against firearms.

    I feel people will eventually warm up to the fact, that shooting is where the real excitement is and that airguns can bring about it's popularity and hopefully it will continue to grow.



  21. Merry Christmas to all!

    BB, I have a Talon SS and love it, although the furniture has been something I've given thought to replacing/augmenting. None of the aftermarket attempts have caught my eye, but I like what's on the Edge…

    They look like they should fit other Airforce rifles, but do they, and can they be purchased alone?


  22. Spike,

    What fits between the Edge and the Talon SS? I don't know. They use the same barrels, but beyond that I don't know.

    A call or email to AirForce should resolve this for you.

    877-426-6867

    airforceairguns.com

    As far as whether they have parts to sell right now I think the answer is no, because they are working off a huge backlog of gun orders. In a couple months that should change, but first you need to determine if there is anything that will fit.

    B.B.


  23. I don't have access to a scuba tank,or refilling station either. Do you think the Edge will be hard to refill with a hand pump? I have a Hill pump that I use to re fill my AA 410E with,but it's a chore,if I shoot too many times. Ron



  24. Is the foster male fitting the same as the one on my AA rifle? Or could you tell me wich adapter I would need to use my Hill pump with this gun? Thanks Ron


  25. Ron,

    A male Foster fitting is just that–a male Foster fitting. It is shown clearly in the 4th photo of this report.

    Your Air Arms gun uses a proprietary Air Arms adaptor that is unlike anything else in the world.

    Your Hill pump has a flexible hose that ends in a threaded fitting that is has 1/8" BSPP threads. You need a female Foster fitting that will screw into your Hill pump hose. This should work, but I want you to call a Pyramyd Air tech rep before you buy it:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Female_quick_disconnect_adapter_with_male_thread/832

    B.B.


  26. Thanks,BB! I'll call tomorrow,I'm pretty sure I'm gonna order a Blue EDGE,and the proper adapter,how's the pellet test/velocity test going? Thanks Ron



  27. Hello and Happy New Year,
    Ever get the Model 114 back yet? Waiting for the follow up. It is my first rifle and the one my Dad taught me to shoot with. With many others that followed, none hold a better memory that the 114. I am thinking that a trip to the repair station is in order for mone as well. My Dad (now 80 years young) told me that the last time he tried to gas her up it leaked all over the place.
    Anyway, thanks for all the great info. Your blog has got my blood spitting air again!
    Rich



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