AirForce Talon SS precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

I’m on my way to Malvern, Arkansas, for the airgun show on Friday and Saturday. If you’re going to the show, please stop by and introduce yourself. I’ll have limited time to spend answering the blog comments, so I would appreciate it if the blog regulars would help answer questions from newcomers and new shooters. Now, on to today’s blog.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


AirForce Talon SS is a whole shooting system.

Today, we’re going to change the stock 12-inch barrel of our AirForce Talon SS for an optional 24-inch .22-caliber barrel. The caliber will remain the same but the barrel length will double. That will demonstrate the benefits of installing a longer barrel on a PCP.

Changing the barrel
AirForce barrels are held in the gun by two bushings around the barrel. These center the barrel inside the tubular aluminum frame. The SS frame is equal in size to the Condor frame. All that differs is the Condo scope base, which is longer. A 24-inch barrel fits the SS frame quite well.

Step 1: Make the gun safe
The first step is to ensure the gun is not cocked or loaded. The safety will be off for this procedure. Dial the power adjuster to zero to take tension off the barrel.

Step 2: Remove the end cap
The end cap is held in place by one 2mm Allen screw. Remove it, and the end cap comes out. It’s held tight by an o-ring to prevent vibration, so just pull a little harder than you think you should, and it’ll slip out.


Remove one screw, and the end cap comes off. You’ll have to pull because the o-ring holds it securely.

Step 3: Remove the forearm
One 2.5mm Allen screw holds the forearm in place. Remove it, and the forearm comes off the gun.


One screw, and the forearm comes off.

Step 4: Remove the barrel
The barrel is held in place by either two or four 2mm barrel bushing Allen screws. The first guns, like mine, had just two screws, located in the channel under the forearm. Later guns had two more very short screws on the left side of the gun. They were just 1/8-inch long and beared directly against the side of each bushing. Today’s guns have two longer Allen screws in the same place, and they fit into holes in each bushing.


Two or four bushing screws, and the barrel is free to come out.

The barrel now comes straight out of the frame. If it is tight, just bump the muzzle end of the frame on thick carpet a couple times and the barrel will slide out. You only have to do this with the 12-inch barrel, as all other barrels come out to the end of the frame or past it.


The barrel is out.

The barrel is out, and you can install the new barrel. Since I’m installing a 24-inch barrel that will stick out of the frame by 6 inches, I can just slide it into position and fasten the screws. If I were installing the 12-inch barrel, I would need some kind of pusher because the 12-inch barrel sits down about 4.5 inches inside the frame.


The new bushings (top) are held on with screws and have two screw holes, each. The older bushing was pressed on and had just one screw hole.

The assembly is the reverse of the disassembly, but here are some tips.

1. Coat the thin section of the barrel with diver’s silicone grease or o-ring lubricant, because the bolt that slides on this section has two o-rings to seal it.

2. If you’re installing a 12-inch barrel, the alignment of the screw holes in the bushings is critical, because you won’t be able to turn the barrel when it’s inside the frame. So, check that before the barrel goes in.

3. Watch through one of the screw holes for the bushing hole to appear. Align it and install one screw. After that, all the other screws should be perfectly aligned.

4. When you install the forearm, don’t tighten the screw too much. It holds only by a couple threads; and if you tighten too much, you may cause firing problems.

The first time I swapped barrels, it probably took me 30 minutes, because I went very slow and was super-careful. The second time, it took seven minutes (I timed it) — and after that it took less than five minutes.

How does it work?
We have data from the 12-inch barrel, so now let’s shoot the gun on the same power setting with the 24-inch barrel.

Crosman Premiers
With the 12-inch barrel, 14.3-grain Crosman Premiers came out at 854 f.p.s. They gave an average energy of 23.16 foot-pounds.

With the 24-inch barrel on the same setting, the same pellet averages 1027 f.p.s. f.p.s., for 33.5 foot-pounds of energy.

JSB Exact 15.9-grain domes
JSB Exact 15.9-grain domes averaged 823 f.p.s., producing 23.92 foot-pounds of energy.

With the 24-inch barrel, they average 991 f.p.s and make 34.68 foot-pounds.

Because the 24-inch barrel is so much more efficient, I can load the heaviest pellets and still shoot them with the SS powerplant. The 28.4-grain Eun Jin pellets that I would not shoot in the 12-inch barrel average 814 f.p.s. on the highest power setting and produce 41.79 foot pounds of energy. That’s not quite the 45 foot-pounds I’ve been reporting, but the Eun Jin I shot isn’t the heaviest .22 pellet, either.

The 24-inch barrel does improve the power with no other change to the gun. Next, we’ll see how it shoots.

57 Responses to “AirForce Talon SS precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4”

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    This will likely be my next air rifle. I can shoot it until I get bored with it and change it into a different air rifle and shoot it some more. Anybody want to buy a CFX?

    • Mr B. Says:

      RidgeRunner,

      You can not go wrong with a Talon SS and the optional 24″ barrel. It will do everything that B.B says it will. Back in 2008, after analyzing my criteria for an air rifle he said that this combo is what I should purchase.

      If your source of HPA is a hand pump and you’ll be shooting a lot, I’d suggest purchasing the CO2 adapter. It turns this air rifle into the Henry rifle of air guns, i.e., charge it once and shoot all day long.

      Bruce

      • Chuck Says:

        Mr. B,
        Unless I am misunderstanding what I’ve read in previous CO2 reviews (or else I just don’t remember diddly), adding a 24″ barrel to a CO2 configuration gives you no benefit over the 12″ barrel. With air it does but not with CO2. Am I remembering that correctly?
        -Chuck

  • twotalon Says:

    B.B.

    Mine have plain old AMERICAN allen screws. no metrics.

    twotalon

    • Mr B. Says:

      twotalon,

      How can you say that? I’ll bet you that you have a barrel in a 5.5 mm caliber!

      Bruce

      • twotalon Says:

        Bruce

        You gonna mess with me this early in the morning?

        twotalon

        • Mr B. Says:

          twotalon,

          Early??? Half the day is already gone which means it’s now time for a glass of warm milk and a nap.

          Bruce

          • twotalon Says:

            How can you drink that stuff ?????

            Cold chocolate milk maybe….maybe mixed with a generous amount of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

            Or maybe cold chocolate milk mixed with chocolate ice cream, Hershey’s, and Nestle’s Quick in a blender. None of that low calorie, low fat stuff either. It ain’t good unless it’s bad for you.

            twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      TT,

      That is interesting! How new is yours?

      B.B.

      • twotalon Says:

        B.B.

        Both are around 5-6 yrs old I guess. Both have 4 screws holding in the barrels. All screws use plain old fractional sizes other than the tophat (.005). I think the barrel mounting screws are all 8-32 thread .
        Bushings are aluminum.

        twotalon

      • twotalon Says:

        OOPS…
        typo…
        Top hat .050, not .005.

        twotalon

  • DerekB Says:

    The more I read about the Talon, the more fascinated I become.

    • twotalon Says:

      You can “Frankenstein” the crap out of them. Eventually (after a lot of time and money) you will come up with a configuration that you will settle on. Of course you could be happy with the first configuration that you try.

      I ended up with my TSS in stock configuration in .177. My Talon is running the 18″ .22, but with the Condor tank. So I really ended up with the same as I started with, with the exception of the Condor power supply on the Talon. There were a few modifications along the way, but I won’t get into that.

      twotalon

  • pete zimmerman Says:

    Verrry interesting, and not the least bit surprising. You’ve doubled the barrel length, and increased the muzzle energy by almost exactly the square root of 2. (the Premiers are up a factor of 1.44 while root-2 is 1.414). Tells you that the pressure behind the slug is falling rapidly as the the pellet goes down the pipe (barrel volume is roughly double in the 24″ model), so muzzle pressure should be down about a factor of 2 assuming that the temperature stays constant. The barrel is at room temperature and a good heat sink; since you aren’t boiling CO2, constant temperature should be pretty close approximation.

    I don’t feel like setting up the integrals, but it sure looks right.

    pz

    • Matt61 Says:

      PeteZ, you’re saying that muzzle energy doubles and muzzle pressure goes down by a factor of 2? How can that be?

      Matt61

      • pete zimmerman Says:

        Remember that the velocities are at the ends of the barrels. And so are the kinetic energies. A falling pressure can still accelerate a projectile as the gas expands. Energy = force*distance, but force is not constant; it’s falling. Pressure varies as 1/volume, which doubles when you double the length of the barrel. So the pressure falls roughly in half from 12″ to 24″ in the barrel, but the distance the pellet goes while under pressure doubles.

        Of course there’s friction with the barrel, atmospheric pressure, etc., all of which makes the interior ballistics just a bit more complex.

  • pete zimmerman Says:

    News from the international air gun front. The justice minister of Denmark has revised the regulations on air guns. From now on any gun 5.5mm or larger will be subject to registration, and anybody hunting with it will have to have a hunting license or be a member of a shooting club.

    One sporting goods store owner said he had never heard of anybody being injured by a 5.5mm gun (I guess Danes can’t shoot their eyes out).

    There’s a lot of opposition to this from both sides of the aisle. Hard to argue against needing a hunting license if you’re hunting; awfully easy to argue against registration.

    pete

    • J-F Says:

      The thing with registration is it does NOTHING to prevent incidents from happening. Registration is nothing but a false sense of security. The day criminals will register their guns maybe it will somewhat help, until then all registration does is complicate and make life harder for us.

      Glad to see you back with us Pete, I hope your radiation treatment will go according to plan and all is well soon.

      J-F

  • cowboystar dad Says:

    Yup, registration is just…stupid.
    I have nothing against a firearms license (in Canada called a PAL). I think it is only prudent to do a background check of some sort to try and ensure that I’m not a criminal…or give am cooling off period before I try and commit suicide.
    But really…do the authorities need to know exactly what I own?
    And in Canada it gets even stupider with handguns (including air pistols if they are over 500FPS).
    I have to be a member of a licensed shooting range and am only allowed to fire the pistol at a licensed shooting range and am only allowed to transport it to a licensed shooting range.
    This seems to be there thinking…we’ve done background checks on you for a month (the time it takes to process the paperwork)…we’ve questioned your reference (especially your ex-wife if you have one), we’ve ran criminal checks…the whole ball of wax and consider you completely safe to own a .338 Lapua sniper rifle…but my god, put a pistol in my hand and I’m going to become a raving lunatic who needs constant supervision!
    You guys in the ‘States…protect you firearms rights every chance you get.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      CBSD,

      Every time you comment, I feel lucky that we moved to Texas. We buy/sell/trade guns all day long with other Texans & no one cares. No background checks, no nothing. It’s like we’re living in a free country!

      Edith

      • colt Says:

        We should live in a free country. Texans once wanted Texas to be a country of his own.
        I mean why do American coins say ‘In god we trust’ when religion should have nothing to do with the American government.

        • colt Says:

          Just my $0.02 Literally.

          • J-F Says:

            It was actually added gradually in the 50′s, the Eisenhower gov tought it was a good idea to better differentiate between the capitalist US gov and the eastern communist gov. that promoted atheism.

            I personnaly don’t like the gov telling me what I should or should not do and religious beliefs is part of it.

            J-F

            • Vince Says:

              J-F, just remember that “Thou shall not steal” and “thou shall not kill” are religious beliefs! So is the inherent dignity of man and the concept of inalienable rights…

              • J-F Says:

                I don’t need religion to tell me that killing and stealing isn’t right, I can figure it out by myself ;)
                I’m not against religion at all, I’m just not a big fan of religion working with the gov.

                J-F

                • Vince Says:

                  Good that you believe those things on your own. But they are religious values nonetheless. If they were normal, common secular values there wouldn’t be so many peoples (and religions, for that matter) that don’t necessarily agree with these premises!

                  • J-F Says:

                    Sadly most religions believe in killing if it’s done in the name of the superior being(s).
                    But for the believers all religions are against killing and tefth.

                    J-F

                • GenghisJan Says:

                  Amen, J-F! Respectfully disagree, Vince.

                  Moral behavior – doing the Right Thing v. doing horrible, terrible things to each other – so rarely correlates with practicing or not practicing religion, or believing or not believing.

                  Our Founders understood the wonderful things deep religious faith can bring to some. And they understood the terrible risk of entangling this sort of thing with a modern Democracy.

                  I’m sort-of with Kevin’s eloquent rant the other day. If you’re concerned about the policy and direction of our great Nation, pray if you need to. But for goodness sake, vote in November! And better yet, articulate your suggestions to your gov’t representatives in the meantime! And better still, run for office or otherwise get involved! Imagine if our wonderful Democracy were in the care of the sorts of characters that you find on this very blog, rather than the K Street crowd…

                  My apologies for the digression from airgunning. Not to excuse the digression, but I do think it speaks volumes for this unique place that B.B. and Edith have cultivated, where we can talk about the dinner-table taboos with civility and aplomb.

                  As a thinly-veiled attempt to bring this back to the shooting sports, when I want to know the vertical drop to Long Tom’s .75” killzone at 53 yards, I ask Chairgun and not God. When I decide whether or not to point the muzzle of my rifle towards a fellow human, I ask myself and not God. But when I’m trying to reckon the hold-off for that 53 yd. shot in a 25 mph wind, no comment on whether I say a little prayer before squeezing that trigger…

                  -Jan

                  • Vince Says:

                    The problem is that the whole idea of what constitutes “good” and “evil” is also a religious conviction! We often make the mistake of looking at Christian and Jewish denominations, noting that their general ideas of right and wrong are pretty consistent (or, at least they were until the past few decades) and thus we sorta assume that these things must be “universal human values”. They are not.

                    • Chuck Says:

                      Vince,
                      Maybe a couple other religions would make a better comparison. The Christian and Jewish religions both share the same Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments clearly convey the difference between what is right and what is wrong. What is not clear is that each one has its consequences if you don’t honor it, and that’s why we, as fallible humans, end up with 20 gazillion nit-picky laws because we can’t read.
                      -Chuck

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Colt,

          Texas WAS a separate republic for almost a decade! Sam Houston was the President of the Republic of Texas.

          American coins say In God We Trust because that is the motto of the United States of America. The United States is a Christian nation, founded on Christian beliefs by Christian founding fathers.

          B.B.

          • colt Says:

            Thanks for the history:)
            Keep the great reviews/awesomeness/tests going! They are of great help and information.
            And I know they are a lot of work, but the work really pays off:)

  • Chuck Says:

    The only benefit I can see to registration is that if guns are confiscated from multiple felons and are traced back to the same source, LE may be able to identify a legal, albeit, dishonest person selling guns to felons who wouldn’t be able to buy them otherwise.
    -Chuck

    • Wulfraed Says:

      Problem is when the “source” is the government itself (re: “Fast and Furious” BATF program)… The dealers had suspicions for the purchases, but the government told them to let the guns go… Now they are showing up in crimes; and the government is now using that as an excuse to require /more/ reporting requirements from dealers.

  • Matt61 Says:

    Well, as you increase barrel length, you will need, after a certain point, to increase pellet weight to take advantage of the extra energy. Otherwise, your pellet will speed off into the inaccurate transsonic realm.

    Am I the only guy who does instinct shooting with air pistols? This is hysterical and newly enjoyable now that I have my Walther Nighthawk working with the right pellet. If there’s a better technique than Rex Applegate’s method that he taught to the OSS in WWII, I haven’t found it. You keep your pistol lowered with an extended arm. Then when you see the target, you raise the arm like a pump handle, and as soon as the pistol intersects your line of sight with the target, you give a squeeze with the whole hand. Works great. Blasting my shoot ‘n c target through the paper into the duct seal the other day was as good as any movie.

    Matt61

    • pete zimmerman Says:

      Huh, what? Increasing pellet mass doesn’t allow you to take advantage of the extra energy; it simply keeps the pellet subsonic. Not the same thing.

      pz

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Matt, Matt, Matt!

      Remember that we discovered that it is harmonics and not velocity that males pellets inaccurate.

      B.B.

  • Chuck Says:

    BB,
    Yes, you did say in Part 2 you were going to test the CO2 adapter. I just wanted to make sure you also tested the velocity with the different barrel lengths and compare that to the Quackenbush test you did. Veerrrry interesting!
    -Chuck

  • Tin Can Man Says:

    I’ve been debating buying either an airforce rifle or a marauder in .22 cal. for so long I think I’m developing a split personality.(oh your no where near that bad yet)yes I am ;so you just be quiet… anyway,I already have a low power a medium and a high power .177rifle.I also have a low power .22cal.rifle(a low power Benjamin Titan Gp-Thank You BB;you were right on because that rifle is a dream to shoot).And I have a high power .22 cal.rifle.So all I really need is a Marauder In .22 for the med. range of power.I wish I had known and understood about the airforce “system” beforehand and I could have saved a lot of money and time.One scope instead of 6 and a barrel replacement is cheaper than a whole new refle.Now I’m so far down that road!Still…If I ever want to get into .20 cal.Oh Oh or .25 cal. then maybe I’m not really so far down that read.Then I could get out of it more cheaply than all those new rifles.Well I guess my question is wouldn’t I be better off getting a Condor with it’s high flow tank and then I could put a shrouded ss barrel on it when I needed to be quiet for the neighbors and be able to take full advantage of the longer barrels?Whereas If I got the Talon SS It’s low flow tank wouldn’t do the longer barrels justice.? ! BB I wish you a safe trip.-Tin Can Man-

    • twotalon Says:

      I think that you may have a bit of a misconception of how these things work. You do not get “shrouded” barrels for the TSS. The TSS and Condor have the same size frame. The TSS barrels are 12″ long, and do not extend the whole length of the frame. There is space between the muzzle and the end cap. This reduces noise some, but it is still loud.
      Does not matter if it is the TSS or Condor….the only visible difference is the extra length of the scope rail. Otherwise the same appearance. The 12″ is recessed about 6″, the 18″ is about even with the frame, and the 24″ extends out of the frame.
      The standard Talon tank that comes with the Talon and the TSS works with any of the barrels. Condor tanks are tricky. They come in two types. One is for .177 and the other for .22 (was when I bought mine). The one for .22 should work on everything but the .177. They needed to change the valve a little for the .177 Condor tank because the .22 tank would dump if used for .177.
      To use a Condor tank on a Talon or TSS you need to install a hammer weight. If you want to use a standard Talon tank on a Condor, you need to remove the hammer weight to keep from beating the crap out of the valve.

      So ask yourself this…how much power do you want ??? Any configuration without the help of some “extra parts” is going to get a lot of attention from close neighbors.

      Also…
      Longer barrels doing any justice for “low power” TSS (standard Talon) tanks?
      My TSS shoots CPH (.177) in the low 800′s with the 12″ barrel and 1000 fps with the 18″ barrel. A 24″ would be faster.
      B.B. has shown you how fast the TSS is with a .22 24″ barrel. How much more do you want?

      twotalon

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Tin Can Man,

      Twotalon gave you a perfect answer! I wish I thought as clearly as that.

      But I hear you saying that you are very curious about the Marauder. I think that may be the rifle for you right now.

      I own a Condor, as well as my SS, but I have found that the power I get with the SS tank and the 24-inch barrel is all I need from an air rifle. Plus, by using the standard tank, I get twice the number of powerful shots that I’d get from a Condor, though they are still only about half as powerful, or just a little more.

      I am at the Arkansas airgun show with my buddy Mac, who is selling an almost new in the box Talon SS with an additional optional 24-inch barrel. So he is selling almost the exact rifle I am now testing (minus the frame-extender bloop tube silencer), and his asking price is only $475. I don’t tell you that to entice you, but to demonstrate that bargains like this abound. This rifle was owned by his former son-in-law who never really shot the gun very much and certainly did not modify it in any way. What you don’t want to buy is an AirForce rifle that someone has modified extensively, because as we have seen, they can have problems that are not easy to fix.

      But from what you said, I think you really want to try a Marauder next, and that is what I would advise you to get. You will certainly not regret that purchase.

      B.B.

    • Chuck Says:

      Tin Can Man,
      To put in my two cents: The Condor/Talon rifles will be heard by your neighbors. The Marauder, even in .22, is not likely to be heard, or at least 100 times less likely to be heard. If you put a piece of carpeting, say Berber carpeting, in you back yard and ask your neighbor to listen to tell if they can hear when you drop a ball point pen on it, you’ll get an idea of how detectable you’ll be. However, your neighbor may call the little men in white coats afterwards if you don’t tell them why your asking.
      -Chuck

      • Edith Gaylord Says:

        Tin Can Man,

        Maybe the optimum way to deal with this is to make a lot of noise with things that are not airguns: saws, hammers & other tools. Occasionally, you’ll throw in the sound of a gun shooting. Your neighbor will get used to the sounds and be desensitized, thinking that you’re building/fixing things in your house. You could also record a bunch of non-shooting sounds and play them as background noise while you shoot. Your neighbor won’t know what you’re doing.

        Edith

        • Fred DPRoNJ Says:

          and if that doesn’t work, those of us who live near you will be glad to take turns visiting you in stir….. :)

          Fred DPRoNJ

  • Anonymous Says:

    So the Talon’s barrel is not free floated, and yet, its accuracy is on par with the best PCP sporters out there. Interesting to see that.

  • Chuck Says:

    Edith,
    That’s a good suggestion. I think any Heavy Metal band would do. I couldn’t vouch for any remaining sanity after a session though.
    -Chuck

  • Tin Can Man Says:

    Wow you people are awsome.Thank you for the help. Twotalon ,I did NOT underdstand;but I do now.that really helped.-BB,Yes I think the Marauder side of me is winning for now.Airforce maybe later.-Chuck and Edith,When I got my first big air rifle I also got a chrony.As I set up to zero my scope I also chronied my first 100 shots in a row.Then I went on to shoot another 20 or so shots around the yard for fun.All but one of my shots went supersonic.Now I live next door to a goat farm and those goats are the kind of goats that fall down and pass out when they are frightened.So I was afraid I was going to look out and see dead goats laying out as far as the eye could see,and they would blame me for murdering them all and I’d be locked up for sure.Well as it turns out non of the goats were really that scared or passed out.But I guess the people were.Maybe they thought the country had been invaded or something ,I don’t know,but I put the rifle away and came back out to pick up and I had to meet with the nice Policeman.He left convinced that I was well within my legal and moral rights.I don’t blame the neighbors really;when you cant tell where the shots are coming from or where they are going ,it can be a little scary.-Tin Can Man-

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