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The Talon SS: powerful & quiet!

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s post comes as a comment to a comment we received for a gentleman whose son’s neighborhood is overrun with raccoons. See comments to the August 24 post, What is a L-O-N-G shot? The message went like this:

Look into the Airforce Talon SS very powerful…around 850 fps in 22cal, adjustable to around 400 by turning a knob. It comes with an intergrated silencer that makes it quiet as a mouse.

Let’s take a look at this unique precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle.

The Talon SS is powerful
The AirForce Talon SS can generate up to 25 foot-pounds in .22 caliber when the heaviest pellets are used. That puts it ahead of almost all spring-piston air rifles except the Webley Patriot (Beeman Kodiak). The SS weighs only 5.25 lbs., instead of the 9+ lbs. of the Webley, and the cocking effort for the SS is 4-6 lbs., instead of the 50 lbs. needed for the Patriot.

A superb pest eliminator!
The Talon SS is being used extensively by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for pest elimination. They contract with other government agencies and departments to eliminate pests all over America, and they’re using the Talon SS because of its power, accuracy, reliability and quiet operation.

Commercial exterminators like to use the SS because of its power adjustability. A contractor can eliminate a rabid dog in the morning and remove sparrows from inside the local Wal-Mart that same evening. The power adjustment feature enables them to shoot small birds indoors without endangering the roof or lighting fixtures.

In minutes, you can change barrels AND calibers!
The owner can swap barrels in his SS in five minutes. That means you can change from a powerful hunting .22 to a smaller .177 for precision target practice. You don’t have to buy another air rifle to have BOTH calibers! All AirForce rifle barrels are made by Lothar Walther, a leading airgun barrelmaker. Barrel changing means even more than just different calibers.

Different length barrels give different levels of power. The standard SS barrel is 12 inches, but when an optional 18″ .22-caliber barrel is installed, the rifle jumps to 31 foot-pounds, becoming the power equal of the Talon. An optional 24″ .22-caliber barrel takes it up over 42 foot-pounds! That’s two-thirds the power of the Condor, all by simply changing the barrel! The longer barrels also give a smoother range of power adjustment, so at low power they are more consistent than the standard 12″ barrel.

The SS is quiet
As the reader notes, the SS is quieter than a normal PCP rifle of equal power. It is not completely silent, but the report is muffled by the air chamber in front of the muzzle. An SS at 20 foot-pounds sounds like a Sheridan Blue Streak developing eight. It has no silencer, but a cleverly designed muzzle cap strips away a lot of the excess noise. Of course, when longer barrels are installed, it’s as loud as any other PCP.

So, in one rifle, you get fine accuracy, great power, light weight and the ability to change calibers and barrel lengths. Yes, the Talon SS is certainly an air rifle to be reckoned with!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

29 thoughts on “The Talon SS: powerful & quiet!”

  1. I can only echo your enthusiasm for the Talon SS. I am a 75 yr. old retired physician who is a novice to airgunning and although I own several other guns my favorite is the Talon. My wooded, residential neighborhood is also overrun with raccoons and they have been a constant source of damage and grief to my property for years. After getting my Talon, equipping it with a laser, tactical light and a Leepers “bugbuster” scope virtually no raccoon within 20 ft. to 20 yds. has survived and they have almost all been head shots. No real need for a magazine on the gun. The neighbors are unaware of my activities because of the low sound level of the gun and the animals are now giving my property a wide berth. I had considered getting the attachments for charging the tank with scuba air but I have found that hand puumping is excellent aerobic exercise. I heartily reccommend the gun and it is made in the USA!
    Incidently, I really enjoy your daily blog. I have learned a great deal and I look forward to each daily entry. Keep up the good work.

  2. Wow, thanks for the elaboration on my suggestion. It propted me to sign on.

    Ive Been enjoying the review of past articles today and am wondering if you could offer info on basic penetration expected for 22cal Beeman Kodiac at various speeds w/in the abilitys of the talons…I was very surprised to hear the SS being used on pests as large as rabid dogs.

  3. Hi there,
    great website, just a quick question, the barrel on the Talon SS can be changed to produce more power but the sound will increase, can you change the barrel on the condor to reduce the sound to the level of the SS?

  4. The Condor can have the 12-inch Talon SS barrel installed. That will reduce the noise a lot, but it will still be louder than a regular SS and only a bit more powerful. A better way is to just throttle back on the power adjustment. When you get below number 4 on the scale, the Condor isn’t so noisy.


  5. Good information and I’ve found this blog to be very helpful as I work to get back up to speed and into airgunning again after a long layoff. I’ve just purchased a talon SS package and am awaiting it’s arrival. Your information helped me make this decision from all the choices out there. I’ll report back later after I get my hands on it and out into the field.

    Is there any search function to mine back through all these blog posts?

    Thanks, Dale

  6. Does anyone have a Patriot/Kodiak .25 that they want to sell for a reasonable price? It doesn’t have to be cosmetically perfect, but it should be in fine mechanical condition. I’d pay the shipping, too. Tom in Honolulu

  7. I recently picked up an SS. Pretty darn awesome. Has to be the best value in the PCP market. Only gripe is the butt stock.

    I will add… I was turned away from the pumps by the dealer. He claimed that they fail far too quickly. It cost him money to not sell me a pump, I figure he knew what he was talking about.

    That being said. Picked up a 4500 psi SCBA (not scuba) tank .. get a few extra fills out of it due to being almost twice what I need pressure wise.

    Very happy with the purchase. Nice gun. Have your dealer leak check/test fire it for you.

  8. You will love your SS. It’s such a nice air rifle – always ready when you are. Remember to leave it filled with air always and if will be ready when you are.

    Your dealer is wrong about hand pumps. They only reason they fail is because people abuse them. A few have probably failed from factory defects, too, but most of them fail when the new owners wipe off the grease on the pump tube.

    I fixed hand pumps for three years at AirForce and we saw far fewer of them returned for repairs than we saw guns. The guns always came back after the owners tried their hand at gunsmithing, so stay off the forums and just enjoy your rifle.


  9. Would you consider Benjamin Discovery a good hunting rifle? Can It take a turkey or rabbits at 50 yards.Should I buy Discovery or save some money for talon?

  10. The Benjamin Discovery can absolutely take turkeys at 50 yards. Rabbits, much farther.

    But the Talon is a great rifle, too.

    I’d say the thing that makes them different is one runs on 2000 psi air while the other runs on 3000. And the Talon is quite a bit more powerful. And there is the difference in the styling.


  11. I’ve read that it is better to keep air reservoir under pressure. What pressure are we talking about? Can Discovery stay fully charged up to 2000psi? What about talon? Can you also make a comment if there is any particular details for maintaining Discovery.

  12. How many rounds can you fire with the Builtin Air tank that sells with the talon SS [.177 pellet Version]. Just a closer number. So we are aware when the pellets would begin to droop on firing .

  13. I am looking at something between 35-40 yards
    The weight of the pellet is 10 grains as its a .177 pellet talon ss.

    I would be firing all rounds at the pressure set up to 10.

  14. there is no better air rifle than the Talon SS. I even have the bird tattooed on me. Buy a Talon, or a Condor, and you’ll be killing pests from unthinkable distances. I’ve personally dropped crows and squirrels from over 100 yards. Ive got a laser, tac light, bipod, 3-9×40 scope, ammo holder, and a sling – and let me tell you, it is truly the perfect set-up for the suburban gunslinger/squirrel killer

  15. What case would you recommend for the Talon SS CO2 (with ether open sites or a scope)?

    I have been looking around but I am unsure if they would be able to fit the 12 oz. tank or the hight of the gun.

  16. B.B.,
    I’m finally ready to purchase a Talon SS. I plan to fill it with a pump, at first anyway. Should I get the AirForce pump, or is there another pump you recommend?


  17. So, with a .22 cal in the SS one can expect about 40 good shots from 40 yards with each fill before noticeable pellet drop??? How many fills will i get with the air hog carbon fiber tank in 88cu ft.???? thanks for your time

  18. Anonymous,

    40 good shots sounds about right. Cann't help you with the one about the AirHog tank. You can check their website or PA's for their fill calculators.

    Also you can re ask it on our current blog found at/blog// There arn't alot of us watchiing the old blogs, this one is from 2005, but a post there will be seen by maybe 20,000 readers. Hope to see you there. By the way my Talon SS is my go to gun–love it.

    Mr B.

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