AirForce Condor SS precharged air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

AirForce Condor SS precharged air rifle with Spin-Loc tank AirForce Condor SS with Spin-Loc tank. The buttpad is shown flipped down.

Today, I’ll report the velocities I got with the new AirForce Condor SS rifle with Spin-Loc tank, as well as the shot count per fill and some other interesting things. Yesterday, I spent some time informing you of how the baffled silencer system works in this rifle. Today, that becomes important to understand.

Before we begin, let me clear up some things. Blog reader RidgeRunner thought the reservoir of the Condor SS looked smaller in the photo than the old reservoirs on the other two rifles. It isn’t. It is exactly the same size. The foam that surrounds the tank has changed, and that might give the illusion that new tank is shorter, but that’s just an illusion.

Blog reader Bob from Oz asked for a diagram that shows the flow of air because he was confused by my textual description. That’s where the photo of the silencer parts comes in. The end of the barrel, the true muzzle, is buried deep inside the frame of the rifle. The frame is tubular in front, and many people might think that it looks like a bull barrel, but it’s actually a hollow tube that has an inside diameter of one inch. The baffles fit inside that hollow tube exactly as shown in the photo, except that they are touching each other when they’re installed, so they’re not spread out like they appear in the photo.

When the pellet and compressed air exits the muzzle of the barrel (deep inside the tubular frame of the gun), it passes through the first baffle and much of the air is stripped off. It passes through the open slot of the baffle and is deflected backwards by the wide flange of the next baffle. Then, it passes back through the holes in the front barrel bushing and into the open space between the barrel and frame behind the front bushing.

As the pellet passes through each baffle more of the compressed air gets stripped off and reflected backwards. This all happens in miliseconds and the air is still under pressure, so it eventually comes out the end cap of the rifle.

Why am I telling you this?
You have to understand how this works, or nothing I say will make much sense. The key to quietness is the volume of empty space inside the frame of the gun and the length of time it takes the compressed air to exit the gun. You don’t notice anything, of course. You shoot and hear the report at the instant of firing. But there really is a small lag time, during which the compressed air expands and loses its energy. That energy is what makes the noise, so the greater the expansion, the less noise there is. And the less compressed air that’s used with the shot, the lower the noise will be when everything else remains the same.

First encounter
I told you this because, when I began testing the Condor SS for velocity, I was surprised by the noise. I was testing inside my office, which is 12 by 15 feet, and the last time I heard the rifle was outdoors back in November of last year. I knew this gun I was testing was louder than what I’d heard back then. So, I went to AirForce yesterday and we conducted some tests to determine where the production Condor SS is sound-wise. I’ll get to that after we look at the velocity, so let’s do that right now.

Velocity
Like all the sporting precharged rifles AirForce makes, the Condor SS has adjustable power and interchangable barrels. There’s no way I can test every possible combination of pellets, calibers and power settings, so I selected spots in the power spectrum that I’ll report today. I will report each pellet at all the power settings and give you the shot count for each one.

Eun Jin domes
The first pellet I tested was the Eun Jin 28.4-grain dome. While there are heavier pellets that will generate greater power in .22 caliber, I believe this one will do well in the accuracy test, so it’s a reasonable top-end pellet to test. On the maximum power setting, this pellet averaged 892 f.p.s. I shot it 20 times and the high (shot 3) was 912 f.p.s. The low (shot 20) was 814 f.p.s. Yes, that is a 98 f.p.s. spread; but out to about 35 yards, this pellet will hold zero for those 20 shots. If you plan on shooting at 50 yards and farther, stop at around 10 shots. Your average then climbs into the low 900s and the max spread is less than 30 f.p.s. At the average velocity for the 20 shots, this pellet generates 50.19 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

The power band is more or less a straight declining number from start to finish. Starting at 3,000 psi, you finish at 2,200 psi. A Hill pump then takes about 100 strokes to fill the tank again. So, there are 5 pump strokes per shot on max power.

The rifle was very loud, so I told Edith to change the sound rating in the description to a 4 because this gun is louder than a Sheridan Blue Streak on 8 pumps. It’s quieter than a Condor running at the same power, but still loud enough to notice. In fact, when I was testing the velocity in my office (with the door closed), Edith was in the living room and thought I was shooting a Quackenbush big bore because it was so loud.

Now, let’s look at the performance of the same pellet at different power settings.

On power setting 10, there were 20 total shots at an average of about 878 f.p.s. (48.63 foot-pounds).

On power setting 6, there were 22 shots at an average 868 f.p.s. (47.52 foot-pounds).

On power setting 4, there were 23 shots at an average 858 f.p.s. (46.44 foot-pounds).

On power setting 2, there were 25 shots at an average 830 f.p.s. (43.45 foot-pounds)

The power spreads from the first shot to the last were closing up as the power was dialed down; but even at setting 2, there was still 80 f.p.s. variation, start to finish. The beginning and ending air pressure was always the same for each string. Even on the lowest power the rifle sounded just as loud.

Crosman Premiers
Then, I tried the Crosman Premier pellet that weighs 14.3 grains. The Condor was the first air rifle to get this pellet supersonic in .22 caliber. In the Condor SS, the average on high power was 1076 f.p.s. It ranged from a low of 1029 f.p.s. to a high of 1117 f.p.s., so, once again, a large spread. At the average velocity, this pellet generates 36.77 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. And there were the same 20 shots per fill, with the same starting and ending air pressures. There was no noticeable difference in the report between this pellet and the Eun Jin.

On power setting 10, there were 20 shots at an average of about 1067 f.p.s. (36.16 foot-pounds).

On power setting 6, there were 22 shots at an average 1062 f.p.s. (35.82 foot-pounds).

On power setting 4, there were 23 shots at an average 1033 f.p.s. (33.89 foot-pounds).

On power setting 2, there were 25 shots at an average 1010 f.p.s. (33.70 foot-pounds)

As with the heavy pellets, the power spreads were closing up as the power declined; but even at setting 2, they were still 60 f.p.s. from start to finish. The beginning and ending air pressure was always the same for each string. Even on the lowest power, the rifle sounded just as loud.

JSB Exact Heavys
Next, I tried the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Heavys. I expect this pellet to be matched well to the power of this new rifle. On maximum power, they averaged 1004 f.p.s., which generates 40.52 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. The high was 1059 f.p.s., and shot 20 was 962 f.p.s. I still got 20 shots per fill, and the muzzle report was identical to the others.

On power setting 10, there were 20 shots at an average of about 988 f.p.s. (39.24 foot-pounds).

On power setting 6, there were 22 shots at an average 981 f.p.s. (38.69 foot-pounds).

On power setting 4, there were 23 shots at an average 970 f.p.s. (37.82 foot-pounds).

On power setting 2, there were 25 shots at an average 966 f.p.s. (37.51 foot-pounds)

Notice that these pellets seemed to do very well on the lower power settings. That is important because the shot count increases with very little loss of power. The total velocity spread on setting 2 was 69 f.p.s. I think this may be the best pellet for this rifle, but accuracy testing will have to prove it.

Beeman Kodiaks
The last pellet I tested was the Beeman Kodiak that weighs 21.1 grains in .22 caliber. Many will select this pellet for a powerful rifle like the Condor SS. On the maximum power setting, these pellets averaged 970 f.p.s. The high was 1017 f.p.s. The low was 908 f.p.s. Like the other 3 pellets tested, a large velocity spread over the 20 shots; but as I pointed out before, out to 35 yards it won’t make much difference. At the average velocity, this pellet generated 44.09 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

On power setting 10, there were 20 shots at an average of about 965 f.p.s. (43.64 foot-pounds).

On power setting 6, there were 22 shots at an average 952 f.p.s. (42.47 foot-pounds).

On power setting 4, there were 23 shots at an average 936 f.p.s. (41.06 foot-pounds).

On power setting 2, there were 25 shots at an average 920 f.p.s. (39.67 foot-pounds)

Summary of power performance
The Condor SS I’m testing seems to work best at power setting between 4 and 10, with the lower setting being better. The shot count increases, and the velocity spread gets a little tighter, plus not much power is lost. Let’s keep that in mind, and I’ll get back to it in a moment.

Sound testing at AirForce
I took my rifle out to AirForce Airguns and tested it against a production gun, another gun that had a pre-production prototype barrel and a .22-caliber Benjamin Marauder. I had said in Part 1 of this report that the Condor SS set on maximum power was no louder than the Benjamin Marauder when I saw it shoot last November. The one I now have for testing certainly seems to be louder.

We shot outdoors but next to the steel building, so there was some sound reflection from the building walls. Clearly, my Condor SS is just as loud as the current production gun, and both are louder than the Benjamin Marauder dialed up to its maximum power. But here’s the difference. The Benjamin Marauder shot Beeman Kodiaks between 801 f.p.s. and 828 f.p.s., and both Condor SS rifles shot the same pellet at an average 920 f.p.s. when set on power setting 2. So the Condor SS is putting out about 40 foot-pounds when dialed down low, and the Marauder is putting out around 30 foot-pounds with the same pellet when it’s adjusted as high as it will go. That’s a big difference.

So, why was the Condor SS I had heard back in November so much quieter than this one? Well, for starters, back then the baffles had smaller holes through them. Now, they’re able to safely handle calibers .20 through .25; but back then, they were still experimenting with the hole size. Also, the barrel in my test rifle is 16mm diameter. The prototype rifle had used a 12mm diameter barrel; so AirForce installed a 12mm diameter barrel in their production rifle that we tested yesterday, and the sound went down a little. The 12mm barrels are being processed now for production.

Then, we installed a standard SS tank on the Condor SS that now had the 12mm barrel and dialed the power down to 838 f.p.s. with the Beeman Kodiak pellets. That was as low as we were able to go when the 3,000 psi fill was fresh. Now, the Condor SS was only a little louder than the Marauder that was shooting just a little slower. We shot them side by side several times to make sure. There’s a difference you can discern when testing side by side, but outdoors it isn’t that great.

Remember, this is shooting outside but close to a building, and the standard tank is being used instead of the High-Flo tank that comes with the rifle. You can buy a standard tank as an accessory, but they aren’t going to sell one with the rifle instead of the High-Flo tank, so don’t even ask!

As far as the Spin-Loc tanks are concerned, they’re the new design. Pyramyd Air has opted to phase out the version with the old-syle quick-detach tank and stock only the versions with the Spin-Loc tank. The quick-detach tank that screws in is also available as an accessory in both the standard and High-Flo configurations.

Observations so far
Wow! This has to be one of the longest reports I’ve ever written. And the first part of it was yesterday, in Part 3. I hope this addresses your concerns about this rifle, and that you now clearly understand what you’ll receive when you order a Condor SS. It’s quiet for the power it generates, but it’s not whisper quiet like I originally said.

There’s still so much ground to cover with this test rifle. Accuracy testing comes next at 25 yards and then 50 yards. And after that, I’ll install a standard tank and do today’s test again. Stay tuned!

83 thoughts on “AirForce Condor SS precharged air rifle: Part 4

  1. B.B.,

    Driving to AirForce and doing the extensive testing and research on why this production condor ss is so much louder than the prototypes is above and beyond any other airgun writers.

    Your initial reports about the new condor ss being very quiet but still powerful were the reasons I’ve been following these reports with great interest.

    In your first report it was compared to a diana 27. In your second report you said, It’s as quiet as Talon SS owners wish their guns were. In this report the production gun is louder than a sheridan blue streak on 8 pumps.

    This is a dramatic difference. I’m out.

    kevin


    • Any chance you can provide actual sound levels using a meter? The PA website has the Talon SS as 3-Medium, the Condor SS as 1-Low and the Marauder as 2-Medium/Low. This does not seem to sync up with your findings. Is this what you requested to be changed? I’m very interested in your LGV .177 50 yard groupings now that this rifle is available for shipping and hope you will post shortly. Really trying to make a decision between a high end break barrel and similar priced PCP.



      • TC,

        I did change the Condor SS to level 4 loudness but apparently only for the black guns. I’ve now changed the red & blue guns to level 4 loudness. The website will update some time this afternoon or evening.

        Tom said to leave the Talon SS as loudness level 3 and said nothing about changing the Marauder loudness rating.

        Edith


        • Edith,
          Great. Thank You. Is there a mapping of actual decibels to these loudness levels of 1 to 5. Like; 1 = anything under 90 decibels, 2 = 90-100, 3 = 100-105 …


          • TC,

            No, there are no decibel readings. It’s just a rough comparison. When I write up a new airgun, I look at the powerplant and if there’s any sort of silencing device. I ALWAYS look at it from the customer’s perspective and err on the side of marking a gun too loud. You can always be happily surprised that a gun isn’t as loud as we rate it. But a gun that’s rated too low will anger customers. Generally speaking, springers are rated at 3 and single-strokes at 2. I checked the database, and there are 40 guns rated as level 1 loudness. Most are airsoft guns. I think I’ll review all those guns and see if some are wrong. Sometimes, things get overlooked when creating a new product.

            Edith


            • Edith,
              Your explanation helps. I looked at these loudness levels being set based on some scientific measurement. Can I suggest you change the Condor SS back to 1? This way I can tell my neighbors that they are just hearing things. :-)


    • I had been waitng for part 3 to come out for a while, the news seemed so good I ordered my first Airforce (Condor SS). Should be here in 2 Days. My main reason for buying it was how quiet everyone said it was going to be. Now i find out its not quite the pen hitting the carpet quiet. I cant really be upset with BB as he was reporting on what he shot which was a prototype. I am aprehensive now about the Condor SS, if I read correctly i might have actually done better buying a “modded” one with after market shrouds. I will just have to wait and see and judge the Condor for myself. If I’m not satisfied the rifle will be going back or be sold. One piece of advice for Airforce, promising and marketing one thing but delivering another is not a good start to a relationship.


      • Ed …

        Don’t expect “quiet” to be what you think it SHOULD be in your own mind or expectations. It is what it is. You get a lot of punch for what noise you get.

        twotalon


        • I’m not thinking of what quite SHOULD be in my own mind and I hope you dont take my comment as a knock on the Condor SS, as I said, I havent recieved it yet and am reserving judgement on the rifle until Ive shot it (Many, many times). Nor do I knock BB as he was reporting on what he fired. Airforce did market this as a “quiet” gun and from what BB has just said in this review the definition of quiet has changed. Again let me make this clear, I personally have not fired the gun, I am hoping my Condor SS arrives and it is Love at first Shot, but you must understand my apprehension given that when I read the first 2 parts of this review the gun was rated at under 90 Decibels and now its being listed at above 105 Decibels (per pyramyd Airs guidelines). While having an air rifle that gives me 50+fpe is nice, one of the selling points for me was the quiet of this rifle. And I dont expect quiet to be hearing a mouse fart while I shoot but when BB says in one review one thing and then later that is changed…


          • Ed…

            It will be what it will be.
            If you adjust it so that it does not waste much air, then it will be as quiet as it can get for that particular power level. You may or may not be happy with it. I don’t know. It’s up to you.

            If you crank these rifles beyond max they get a lot louder and give you nothing else in return .
            Set it up with a chrono.
            They do get louder as you shoot down the tank pressure…. they use more air.

            Where you shoot it makes a difference in percieved noise. The real noise is in front of the muzzle.

            twotalon


            • Thank-you for the tip, I never realized the sound goes up as tank pressure goes down. The reason I worry about the sound is not for myself, I couldnt hear that mouse fart if he was sitting on my shoulder but I do have neighbors who have kids and when I shoot off my Hatsan 65 they get kinda freaked out, so I dont shoot it around the house any more. Thank-you again for your tips, hopefully the Condor SS will prove itself a worthwhile rifle.


              • Ed…

                If you get one that has no glitches in the manufacturing process, then it should be a good shooter. They can be very impressive.
                This one should do well. It’s not full Condor power because of the barrel length. It can still be pretty nasty on the recieving end if that’s your objective.

                Please use a chrono if you have one. You can set up the power curve to give you the best air conservation and power at the same time.

                Even my little T200 gets louder as the pressure runs down, still giving the same velocity….because it is using more air as it goes.

                twotalon


              • Ed…

                I should say that I was talking about AF rifles as being impressive as I don’t have this new model.
                We are talking about the same basic design. Straight line mechanism. LW barrel. Really nothing different about the “working” parts.
                If you are not familiar with the AF ergonomics, then you may or may not be impressed with that part. They are a killing machine when it comes to bottom line function. They do it well.

                twotalon


                • I really am enjoying this discussion but I think we are getting to a point where it needs its own forum. I have recently gotten back into Airguns and I know from the research Ive done people either Love the Airforce guns or they dont. I know there have been issues with guns coming from the factory either shooting wonderful out the box or it could be better used as a hammer. Some people buy the Airforce with the purpose of tinkering on them to make them good or they buy them and pay someone else to do it for them or even still people buy them without knowing their shortcomings. I have bought mine expecting to be doing some tinkering and looking forward to it. And I agree, the chrony is a must from what Ive read with this brand for proper setup.


                • Okay, just got my Condor SS today and also got my first game with it. It’s a Crow and I’m eating it. I am happy to say my worries were not necessary. The Airforce Condor is a nice rifle and an absolute blast to shoot. I can see plenty of work / testing / just having fun with this rifle. I am a happy and proud new member of the Airforce family and looking forward to the future with this Rifle. BTW, trying it out tonight, it was as if I had force the rifle to miss a shot, if that makes sense.


              • never realized the sound goes up as tank pressure goes down.

                To a point… At the highest pressure, the valve is forced closed sooner (the argument ad absurdum is the infamous valve lock — where the pressure is so high the striker can’t even open the valve). The you hit the point were the striker and pressure build-up on the chamber side can hold the valve open longer. Finally you get to the point where there just isn’t enough pressure to “bark”.

                It correlates to that “upside down bathtub” velocitypressure curve: velocity increases as the top pressure comes down, flattens out (though “flat” may be quite bowed) through the optimal range, then starts falling again. Something that doesn’t happen with the Micro-Meter tank, which appears to use a secondary air chamber with a small bleed hole. When the striker hits the MM dumps all the air in the small secondary chamber and the valve closes — then the secondary chamber refills via the bleed from the main chamber. {This may not be the physical design, but works as a mental experiment to explain why the MM just continuous to drop in velocity: The pressurized volume stays the same, but the pressure drops with each shot, so less and less volume at ambient pressure is released}

                Other factor for the loudness… If the prototype had been sampled in a wide open area, the main sound producing waves probably exited the front of the housing and just kept going (might even have been a “smoke ring” vortex) and not bounced back to the shooters. Shooting indoors or near a side wall is producing reflections.


  2. As much as I hate the look of these rifles, I would love to shoot one. It isn’t the power, it is the adjustability. It seems as though it could be anything you needed it to be, for whatever situation came up. However, with all this adjustability comes the difficulty of zeroing a scope for all the myriad adjustments.

    As far as the Marauder goes, it should be mentioned that the already whisper quiet Marauder can be made even quieter with a couple of mods. The easiest is to install a small piece of tubing into the air reservoir. This will stop the resonance or vibration in this chamber. The only thing that will be heard is the hammer hitting the valve, and the pellet hitting the target.

    Volvo, If you are reading, I would be very interested to hear your impressions of your Marauder as well as its specifications, and how you came to acquire it. Your revelation has thrown me for a loop.


    • SL…

      The best thing you can do with these rifles is to decide what kind of configuration you want, tune it up for the best curve you can get with it’s best pellet, then leave it there. Use the “adjustability” to get it there, then forget it.

      twotalon



      • Thats what i did with mine. I ordered it with the .22 caliber barrel then shrouded that 24″ barrel, set it up with a scope and bipod. Then calibrated for around 75 yards and qork off that setting. Since I hunt with mine I find that works quite well since I found most large pests don’t get overly concerned with people that far away. Unfortunately for them once my condor has a good sight picture on them they are pretty much doomed unless the stars all line up right for them and they move in a way I don’t compensate for. Then they might lose a few whiskers. But that doesn’t happen very often with my “silenced” condor.


  3. I hope they didn’t try to cut production cost by making the inside diameter universal on the baffles.The baffle diameter needs to match each caliber gun they make to be effective.Thank goodness they stuck to the 12mm barrels.But interested in the accuracy test.But I’m sure it will be good like all of their other guns.


  4. I was not aware that the barrels are of different O.D.s. I thought it was of a standard diameter across the range of calibers and lengths.

    What about the safety?


    • RidgeRunner,

      The Talon SS 12-inch barrel has always been 12mm diameter. The Talon and Condor barrels have always been 16mm. That is a nominal diameter, subject to change when the scale is ground off before bluing.

      B.B.


  5. Try putting a flat rubber washer behind the top hat and re-test for noise. I found only a small drop in velocity but a much quieter gun. It seems the valve wastes some air without the washer.


    • G.Austin,

      That is the old trick we used before the adjustable power wheel was invented! We put fat o-rings under the top hat to tame the valves. It worked very well.

      B.B.


      • It still helps today even with the power wheel. Give it a try with a flat (not thick) washer. It helps enormously in the sound department.


        • G. Austin,

          I can do that by cutting a piece out of a wide rubber band, then slitting it to go over the top hat.

          B.B.


          • I happen to have a rubber band from a stalk of broccoli here. I think I’ll try that to try and silence my custom Condor (a.k.a. The marvelous Magnificent Mad Madam Mim.)


  6. B.B.

    I remember the first time I shot my Talondor outside over a wide open flat and empty field. I thought something was wrong because it sounded like a 397 with just a couple pumps shot indoors. There was nothing for the sound to bounce back from.
    In the basement or next to a building it sure is different. Ringing ears !!!!!

    twotalon


    • TT,

      I am glad to hear you say that. You understand what I’m saying i this report.

      I know this will come as a shock to others who have been eagerly awaiting my test of this rifle, but I don’t want somebody thinking they are getting something when they aren’t.

      The Condor SS is quiet for the power it develops, plus there are ways to make it quieter, but people have to know what to expect.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        I have shot some of my rifles outside at night in dead calm air and no traffic noise to see what kind of noise I really get .
        In spite of what the shot sounds like to me, the sound reflecting back from the other houses gives me the real picture. Don’t try it in the wrong neighborhood though !

        I have my TSS down to having the reflected sound being a dull sounding “thup” that does not scare starlings. Other rifles that sound dull will bounce back as a sharp crack. That scares the bejesus out of starlings, and gets the neighbors attetion too.

        twotalon


  7. The common complaint on the air rifle forums about the condor ss is the noise. That was the key selling point for this new rifle and Airforce fell way short of its claims. Airforce should have researched the current after market shrouds and modeled their after those. Heres a video of a .308 Talondor (Condor/Talon Hybrid) shooting 230fpe with a aftermarket shroud and it makes a .25 Marauder sound LOUD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi44REXMw8Q Or just do a YouTube search for “Doug’s Whisper quiet .308 (airgun)”



    • TE,

      I would think so. Plus a .177 is almost always the quieter gun if you keep the pellet below the sound barrier.

      But that is just speculation on my part. I have not heard a .177 gun shoot.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        I think the .177 should be quieter . It does not need as much air to push the pellets, and the baffle holes are smaller keeping the air from escaping as fast. There is also a difference in sound quality between .22 and .177 . The .177 sounds sharper to me in any of my rifles. Probably because of higher pressure at the muzzle because of the smaller bore.

        twotalon


      • B.B.,

        It stands to reason, then, that the new version Talon SS in .177 would be noticeably less loud than the Condor SS in .22, perhaps even as quiet as the Marauder in .177, no?

        The interchangeable barrels and purchasable extra baffles has my mind working. Imagine a Condor SS in .25 with the 18 inch barrel changed out for a 12 inch .177 barrel. Directly in front of the muzzle are three .177 baffles and in front of those are three .25 baffles. Is that at least theoretically do-able?

        Michael


        • Michael,

          And so it begins!

          I agree the Talon SS with baffles should be as quiet as a Marauder, but I will still have to hear it to know for sure.

          As for that conversion, you give up a lot of power with that barrel reduction and there still needs to be a shoulder bolt in the gun for the rear baffle. See the photo yesterday, showing the parts.

          B.B.




  8. A note on sound….

    I tried using a tape recorder to check what kind of sound difference I had between two rifles. This does not work well to check for a difference in loudness because the cheap recorder has automatic recording level…it self adjusts and makes everyting equal in volume. But what it does is it can show you a difference in what kind of sound you get.

    That’s in case anyone wants to waste their time trying this.

    twotalon


  9. Looks like as far as sound goes my Condor with the frame extender has this new gun beat as long as I keep it at around 5 or less. All I really get is the sound of the striker and pellet hitting the target. Plus I have 6 inches more barrel than the SS. Still doesn’t change the fact I want one of these. But it looks like I’ll be waiting a while. Until then I’ll keep my Condor out and working on hunting down muskrat and groundhogs. Looks like there is none finer than the Condor. And you can’t do better than airforce airguns. Truly a fine gun.


    • John,

      Now you know what I know about the Condor SS. I will continue to discover things out as I test it more, so both of us will get spun up together.

      Kevin was surprised by my pronouncement of the noise level today. While it wasn’t what he was hoping to hear, I am so glad he found out before buying a gun and learning the hard way.

      I don’t think the final chapter has been written on the Condor SS yet. For example, I see a shorty bloop tube of about 4 inches length that could house three more baffles. Would that change the report? probably!

      B.B.


      • Now you got me a bit confused. I thought the baffles couldn’t fit in a tube. If they can I will certainly buy the baffles and put them in what I already have and save myself around $700. My condor already has the spin loc tank, tri-rail deal, good scope, and all kinds of nice goodies on it. But if I can make it quieter than it already is with my Bullseye Bill tube on it that would be my ideal to do. That’s what I like about these guns. They can be whatever I need them to be with a tiny bit of tweaking to them. To me this makes them a superior gun to any one out there.


  10. I wish I could tag along for the testing of these nice shrouded PCP’s…
    The Marauder is a good reference point since so many have been sold and a lot of people know how quiet they are but I’m not sure the comparison for sound levels is really an apples to apples one since they don’t put out the same power level.
    If I could buy this thing, what would be important to me is the difference between the Talon SS and a regular Talon.
    Wouldn’t it make more sense and be a true evaluation of the longer frame/baffle system AirForce came out with?

    J-F


    • I would think comparing Talon SS to Condor SS wouldn’t be quite as fair. The Talon SS is a lighter gun when it comes to speed and power than the Condor SS. You would also be comparing 12″ barrel to 18″ barrel which has everything to do with what these guns can do. I can’t really think of a good comparison since the Condor SS is really an all new gun that is somewhere between Condor and Talon SS. Maybe the best thing to compare it to is a Condor with 18″ barrel and see what a frame extender would do with an 18″ barrel on the condor compared to Condor SS. From all I’m hearing My Condor with it’s 24″ barrel and frame extender shrouding it is quieter than the condor SS as long as I don’t go all ham-fisted on the power wheel.


      • John I gotta give it to you, when you’re right, you’re right.
        I meant comparing the regular Condor to a Condor SS.

        J-F


        • J-F…

          Still not quite right…
          Condor with 18″ barrel compared to Condor SS (has 18″ barrel).

          If B.B. lived next door, I could hand him my Talondor for comparison.

          The Condor SS will be quieter, but I would have no idea by how much.

          twotalon


        • Going by the stats on the Condor SS and by what i know of my Condor, The SS is not as hard hitting as the regular condor due to the fact it has a shorter barrel so can’t take full advantage of the air like a 24″ barrel can. I’ve fired my Condor with and without it’s frame extender and I can tell you that At full power without it sounds every bit as loud as a .30 caliber powder burner. With the frame extender it is as loud as my Marlin Model 60. If I dial it down to around 5 it is as quiet as it can get with just the clunk of the striker hitting the air valve and smack of the pellet hitting the target.

          Today’s test looked to be a full power test of the Condor SS which means you are going to get some racket at full power. But bring the power down to a 0-3 and I bet it will be dead quiet like my Condor does. Of course I only have my modified condor as a model but I’m going to guess that My condor might out perform the Condor SS by a little bit. Mostly that would be because I didn’t sacrifice 6 inches of barrel. I simply shrouded the entire barrel. So I have what amounts to a Condor SS on steroids.


  11. There’s an error in today’s blog regarding the tanks available for the AirForce sporting rifles. The guns are still available with either the old-style quick-detach tanks or the Spin-Loc tanks. However, Pyramyd Air will be stocking only the versions with the Spin-Loc tank. I corrected the salient paragraph in the blog so it now says this:

    “As far as the Spin-Loc tanks are concerned, they’re the new design. Pyramyd Air has opted to phase out the version with the old-syle quick-detach tank and stock only the versions with the Spin-Loc tank. The quick-detach tank that screws in is also available as an accessory in both the standard and High-Flo configurations.”

    Edith


  12. B.B.

    Why don’t you uncork that baby and shoot it in the house ? Bet after one or two shots Edith will give you a beating you will not forget.

    twotalon



      • B.B.

        I tried uncorking my TSS and shooting it. Let’s just say that shooting the muzzle blast through that open tube makes a uniqe sound.

        twotalon


    • TT,

      He’s shot a Quackenbush in the house and never got a beating. In fact, the only thing I require is that he say “Fire in the hole” so I’m forewarned a loud noise is coming. Surprisingly, I’m not that uptight about these things. I bet there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t tell Tom what a lucky man he is :-)

      Edith




        • TT,

          One of the male cats doesn’t care and will lay right under the gun if we let him (Tom already showed a picture of that in a previous blog). The other male doesn’t like any shooting, but doesn’t complain very much. However, if Tom pulls out a military-style rifle (e.g., Garand) just to hold it while we watch TV, that cat slinks away. There’s just something about it that makes him uncomfortable.

          The female cat complains constantly when Tom’s shooting (and even when he’s getting set up to shoot).

          Edith


      • Yeah. He is lucky. I live in a bit of a rough neighborhood. i have to watch the noise levels when I shoot in the house. If I let off anything too big I’ll no doubt get a police response thinking there was either an attempted murder or a suicide. I really like the door of my apartment so I need to be careful and quiet. Something like a M4-177 is ok inside but an unshrouded condor on full power will likely have me going away for a little while. In order to shoot my big stuff I need to take a ride about 8 miles south. And then I still have to be fairly reasonable with the noise I make. A shot from the AK47 is fine on occasion but not emptying a full magazine.


  13. Okay, B.B. thanks for the comparison with the Marauder. So the Condor is noisier and more powerful in comparison. Now, I’m wondering what that extra margin of power of the Condor gets you? What does it do that the Marauder cannot before getting into firearms territory?

    Fred PRofNJ and Slinging Lead, I never said that women could not genuinely ignore you. :-) But hold on. Elephants can show us the way! There was a documentary about a female elephant who was in heat and trying to attract a male, so she gave off a special low frequency rumble that transmitted miles in all directions. Sound like any women you know? Sure enough a distant bull caught the signal. He was already in the mood and the special rumble sent him over the edge. He went in a state called “Mast” or something like that where elephants can get so crazy with lust that (in captivity) they must be tied to trees for their safety and that of everyone around them. Anyway, this wild bull began literally leaking with desire around the jaws and hurried off in the direction of the female.

    But no sooner does he locate her over the miles when she suddenly becomes completely indifferent to him. Why? There turns out to be a reason. The female wants the strongest most survivable offspring, so she ignores the bull to see if he has the fortitude to persist. So, I guess this is the guy’s cue to man up and keep trying in the face of rejection. But guys are not without resource! The bull located a baby elephant in the herd of females and gave it a few rousing kicks (without doing serious damage) which stirred up the females a great deal and got him noticed. I forget how this particular romance ended.

    Anyway, I admit that it’s not easy to tell when you’re being genuinely ignored or not and that’s a hard situation when persistence can either win you the prize or get you accused of harassment. But I guess you’ll find out the truth of things sooner or later.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      glad you clarified that. Now I wonder what that old girlfriend of mine is doing these days and did she ever lose any weight ? :)

      Fred DPRoNJ


    • Matt61,

      Love your stories!

      I guess Tom knew about that elephant technique, as he was very persistent in pursing me.

      He followed me out of church one day (we’d been introduced by his sister a week or so earlier), and he matched my footsteps so closely that I was kind of taken aback. So, I stopped suddenly, swung around and looked him straight in the eye. He didn’t back off, and he asked me out on a date. The next day, I told everyone at work that I was getting married. They asked how long I’d been dating the lucky man, and I told them I was going out on my first date in a week. Sometimes, you just know when it’s right :-)

      Edith


      • Kind of like my story but mine ended up with me on total life support and not expected to survive the week. Lucky I’m made of tougher than normal stuff since I managed to come back to life in 6 days just before they were going to unplug me. Needless to say I’ll not be getting married again. I don’t think I got another coming back from the dead trick in me. It was hard enough to do the first time. I can’t imagine a second time will be much more fun.


      • Edith,

        Did you leave out the part where Tom handed you a breifcase full of money before asking you for a date on purpose?

        kevin


    • Matt 61

      I won’t be going around kicking any babies, no matter how much it impresses the chicks. Thanks for the tip though. ;-)

      Edith

      Of course you knew it was right. A handsome devil like that AND a mastery of the artillery hold? How could you resist?


  14. B.B.
    Is there a link to an exploded parts diagram of these guns?

    I would describe the baffles have a cylindrical end facing breechward and a coned skirt at its front. The frame tube has 1″ I.D. The barrel bushings are no doubt nearly 1″ O.D. The baffle O.D. needs to be less than 1″ else there is no path rearward for the air (scavenged thru the elongated hole in the conical skirt) to-and-thru the ported barrel bushing. Yes? What is the O.D. of the baffles? maybe ~7/8″?

    IF a 12mm barrel is quieter than a 16mm, I would assume that is due to a larger volume (between barrel and frame tube) for scavenged air to expand into.

    john


    • John,

      Yes, there has to be a couple thousandths clearance between the baffles and tube or they are not going in.

      The baffles can be tight against the tube, because the compressed air goes back through them. The elongated hole is just an open passage for air to move through in both directions.

      Not just greater space with the 12mm barrel, which there is, but also the holes in the front barrel bushing can be larger when the barrel is smaller, so more air can move through into the rear space.

      B.B.


  15. B.B.

    Did a quick scan of comments and PyramydAir site and didn’t what I was looking for, so here goes…

    When will the Tallon SS aftermarket baffles kit be available?
    Estimated price?

    Thanks,
    Bill


  16. B.B.,
    Thank you VERY much for all the trigger time and the the trip to AirForce that you have done and will be doing on this topic.

    I purchased a bloop tube for my Crosman 2240 that was okay, however when I reduced the diameter of its exit hole by covering it with a washer whose hole was just tad larger than the diameter of a .22 caliber pellet that bloop tube took the noise reduction to a whole new level. Do think the kit to silence the Talon SS would work better than my AirHog shroud if I carefully enlarge the hole through the baffles that come with the .177 kit to function with my .22 Talon SS?

    Would it be possible for you to shoot the AirForce Condor SS with your AirHog bloop tube replacing its end cap. If it works like I think it should, I’ll have to put the Condor SS in the number one spot on my to purchase list. It might also get Kevin back in the game.

    Bruce


    • Bruce,

      Sorry but that won’t work. The baffles need to be pressed against something in the front and the bloop tube is hollow.

      B.B.


  17. B.B.,

    Thanks for your reply. I thought that the part of Van’s moderator that slides into the frame would give the baffles something to press against.

    Bruce


    • Bruce,

      It might at that, except that part goes into the frame too far. The spacing would be wrong. This would take some machining and measuring.

      B.B.


  18. I was hoping to buy this rifle soon, but now that its not as quit as it was first tested, I think ill save the money and buy a maurader or a custom silencer from air hogs


  19. Ed,

    Since you just got your Condor SS, what can you tell us about the report when it fires? Is it louder than you were expecting? Not as loud?

    B.B.



  20. I’m probably not quite correctly explained. Already nominally set the barrel diameter of 12 mm. Air Force nominally sets the barrels with a diameter 12 mm?


    • Minich,

      Some of their barrels are 12mm OD and others are 16mm OD.

      Yes, the Condor SS barrels are 12mm. That gives more room for air expansion inside the tubular frame.

      Did someone tell you they are not supposed to be 12mm?

      B.B.



  21. B.B. Pelletier
    May 9, 2013 at 8:17 am
    I will quote you.
    “RidgeRunner,

    The Talon SS 12-inch barrel has always been 12mm diameter. The Talon and Condor barrels have always been 16mm. That is a nominal diameter, subject to change when the scale is ground off before bluing.

    B.B.”


    • Minich,

      Yes, but this barrel isn’t in a Condor, is it? It is in a CondorSS, which is a different rifle. Different rifles mean different specifications.

      Your barrel is supposed to be 12mm OD. I called AirForce Airguns and asked them for you.

      B.B.


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