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Education / Training The AirForce Condor – Part 3Filling the gun

The AirForce Condor – Part 3Filling the gun

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, I’ll discuss filling and the performance curve of the Condor. SavageSam reminded me that I promised this for Part 2, and another reader is having problems with his .177 Condor. All of these topics pertain to the same subject – how the Condor performs on a fill.

History of the Hi-Flo valve
When AirForce developed the Condor Hi-Flo valve, the greatest attention was devoted to its performance in a .22 caliber rifle. They tested the valve in .177, but they concentrated on .22 because the felt most buyers would want that caliber. That proved correct, because more than 98 percent of the Condors shipped are .22.

As more .177s were sold, however, there were some reports of rifles dumping all their air on the first shot. Some of those reports were cleared up by instructing the owners to seat their pellets deep in the barrel, but there were still a couple rifles that dumped air. The solution was to increase the firing valve return spring rate for a more positive closure. AirForce then extensively tested the modified valve in both .177 and .22 rifles, and it proved out in both calibers.

However, the fill level of the rifle with the new valve was sometimes less than 3,000 f.p.s. It wasn’t true for all rifles, but a fair number of them preferred to be filled to not more than 2,800 psi, and in a few cases as little as 2,600 psi. I remember one customer in California who swore his rifle could only take 2,500 psi, but when we had him check his fill gauge against a calibrated one, he found his gauge was reading low. The fill pressure really was 2,800 psi. That case is the reason I’ve written several articles about the inaccuracy of small fill gauges.

Remember that an AirForce rifle butt reservoir is where the firing valve is located, so we really aren’t talking about rifles. We’re talking about air tanks.

When this situation arose, I did extensive testing of air tanks with maximum fill levels below 3,000 psi to determine the performance curve. It took a lot of time just finding enough air tanks to test, because there weren’t that many of them, but I did locate enough for a test. What I found was that the maximum fill pressure might vary, but the total number of powerful shots remained the same. The starting and ending pressure were simply lower than what was normally the case.

A revised valve
AirForce informed their customers about the possibility of lower maximum fill levels and about the inaccuracy of small pressure gauges. But they also redesigned the valve so all of them can take a 3,000 psi fill. This new valve has been shipping for over a year, so all new guns have it.

I have a Condor with a tank that had an early valve that was red-hot. It had been loaned to a sales group for a couple years; when they returned it, I got it. It accepted a 3,000 psi fill and pushed a 14.3-grain Crosman Premier 1,270 f.p.s. on the first shot. On shot 20, it was still going 1,176 f.p.s. After AirForce upgraded my tank to the new valve, I got the same valve that most of you have. Now, the first shot’s velocity is about 1,235 f.ps., and shot 20 is about 1,189 f.p.s. The performance curve did not change.

A few people will look at the difference between 1,235 f.p.s. and 1,270 f.p.s. and say the new valve is weaker! Yes, if you do the math, it does have less total velocity, but LET’S GET SERIOUS! No other air rifle in the world can do what the Condor does, so we’re carping about a point that doesn’t matter. Individual Condors will still go faster than mine, and some may go slower. IT DOESN’T MATTER. No sane shooter is going to shoot pellets that fast to begin with. If you want power, you load a 28-grain Eun Jin, which my rifle pushes at 1,010 f.p.s. on shot No. 1. If you want the ultimate in accuracy, you dial the power wheel down to No. 4 (on my rifle) and shoot a 15.8-grain JSB Exact at 1,030 f.p.s. Yes, I know what I say about shooting pellets faster than 900 f.p.s., but my Condor will group JSBs wonderfully at that speed.

To the guy who told me his .177 Condor dumps all it’s air at 2,500 psi, I say this:

  1. Have you tested that pressure with a calibrated air gauge?
  2. Are you certain you’re seating the pellets deep in the bore?

A pellet not seated deep in the barrel will fold its skirt against the breech and remain there as the back pressure holds the air valve open. After it happens, you usually find what looks like a squashed pellet in the breech. That’s not the same problem I’ve been discussing, and the solution is always to seat the pellet deeper into the bore.

The Condor performance curve
Condors give an amazing number of full-power shots on a single fill of air. Unlike the powerful Korean rifles that decrease in velocity with every shot (the new 500cc Sumatra will probably be an exception), the Condor sustains its power for about 10 shots. Then, the next 10 shots decline so slowly that they’re still useful if you’re hunting small game out to 50 yards. For longer shooting, you probably want to refill after 10 shots…but let’s have some perspective. Before the Condor came along, nobody ever expected to shoot more than two or three shots at great distance before refilling. It was the Condor that made it possible for the first time. We are talking about shots with greater than 60 foot-pounds at the muzzle – compared to the 55 foot-pounds and less that other rifles get.

What if I don’t shoot at full power?
The Condor owner has to discover where his rifle performs best, because there are an infinite number of variables that affect performance. I could blog Condor performance curves every day for the rest of this year and someone would still be able to ask about something I hadn’t done. You cannot expect to shoot an Eun Jin pellet at 65 foot-pounds on shot No. 1 and then dial down to 25 foot-pounds for shot No. 2 with a Crosman Premier. The rifle doesn’t work that way. Both types of shots are possible, but you must be in the right part of the power curve (pressure left in the tank) and have the power wheel set at the right place to get the performance you desire. It’s not like throwing a switch. But, since no other air rifle in the world is as flexible, it’s worth the effort to find the performance you want from your rifle. That’s what a chronograph is for! It’s not for amusement; it’s a tool to discover the performance curve you desire with a certain pellet in your rifle. You can’t expect to transfer that information to someone else’s rifle. He has to do the work, himself.

I can see the question now, so let me answer what you haven’t yet asked. “Pressure left in the tank, you say? How can I know how much pressure is in there when AirForce hasn’t put a pressure gauge on the tank?

How to determine maximum fill pressure
You do it the same way I discovered the best max-fill pressure for my Daystate Harrier, a more expensive PCP rifle that also has no gauge. You fill to a pressure above what you believe the best operating pressure to be and start shooting pellets through the chrono. The velocity will climb, then stabilize. Fill the tank a second time and when the velocity reaches that same stable velocity, immediately refill the tank. Those who own PCPs can tell the moment their tanks begin to accept a fill. With an AirForce tank being filled from a scuba tank, the needle stops climbing rapidly and the sound changes. When filling with a hand pump, the needle stops climbing steadily and seems to rise and fall with every pump stroke. Owners have seen this countless times and know it means their tank’s valve is now open and accepting a fill. The pressure at which the tank begins to accept air is the max-fill pressure for your rifle, for whatever you’re trying to do.

SavageSam, I just answered your question about fill pressure. For the rest of you, this is the way PCP owners have determined exact fill pressures for their rifles. Stop filling blindly to a “number” and spend the effort to discover the real fill pressure of your rifle. This also takes care of gauges that aren’t reading right.

Learn how to set up your rifle
Guess what? The max-fill for shooting Eun Jins at 1,000 f.p.s. will probably be different than the max-fill pressure for shooting JSBs at 950 f.p.s. You may get only 15-20 shots with the Eun Jins with a higher initial fill pressure than you do when shooting 40 JSBs at 950 f.p.s., using a lower initial fill pressure. Learn to set up the rifle to do what you want it to do.

Whew! I’m sweating just thinking about all of this, and I’ve only scratched the surface of the Condor’s flexibility. For instance, I made no mention that you’ll have to re-zero your rifle every time you want to shoot a different pellet at a different velocity. Do you begin to see why I preach finding one pellet and one velocity for each rifle? Changing over is the same as zeroing a new rifle. But, the Condor is the one and only rifle on the market that offers the flexibility to do nearly everything you want to do.

The Condor paradigm
Newer shooters must be overwhelmed by all this discussion of fill pressures, pellets and velocities, but here’s what a Condor lets you do that no other air rifle in the world can copy. It allows you to handload your air rifle. Firearm shooters who load their own ammunition are called handloaders. They select gunpowder types and weights and bullet types and weights that produce the results they want. A shooter who doesn’t handload may be able to buy only 60 different types of ammunition for his .30/30, while a handloader can easily come up with thousands! Most of those thousands are useless, but a couple dozen are real gems that aren’t sold anywhere. That’s the joy of handloading. Condor owners are among the very few airgunners who enjoy the same flexibility.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

56 thoughts on “The AirForce Condor – Part 3Filling the gun”

  1. bb

    hi, its Mr Pessimistic again here (though i was called that by another reader, he should understand that i own a Condor, so my findings are real and factual, not pessimism).
    I note that you speak in detail about the power wheel but you chose not to mention that regardless of what setting the power wheel is placed on, after a number of shots (this number varies EVERY TIME) the power returns to FULL. Yep, but the dial is still only half way?? After seeing this happen a number of times i called Airforce only to be told by a helpful lady that this was in fact correct, and that due to the nature of the dial the pressure will always creep back up to full once X number of shots are fired (she also confirmed that there is no way of predicting what X was). In my experience X is around 20 shots…..

    So, to summerise, if you like JSBs at power setting 4, after 20 or so shots you will actually be shooting JSBs at full power. The next issue is that the POI has changed dramatically as the power has risen, thereby needing you to alter your scope or use a LOT of holdover.

    BB, why are you not telling the truth, warts and all about this rifle?

    Mr Experience (rather than Pessimistic)

  2. BB I have a scuba adapter and fill from the local dive shop. To begin with i wanted a 3,000 psi fill. The dial would stop at 2,800. I accepted this for a few fills. One day we decided to several different scuba tanks to get a 3,000 psi fill. Of the 3 scuba tank none would fill the condor tank to 3,000 psi. The dive shop tech said my guage was not calibrated. I am using the Airforce scuba fill adapter with the large dial…?

  3. Hi,
    I’m new to the pcp world. I wanted to buy the new Benjamin Discovery but now the condor seems very interesting and what about the Air Force Edge that seems like a nice rifle. The Discovery seems very interesting because of it’s ease of use and the hand pump that comes with it.
    I’m mostly plinking with a bit of target shooting and some very rare hunting. How many shots per fill could I get from these 3 rifles?


  4. Mr. Experience,
    As an owner of a Condor .25, I must say that you are completely correct. The rifle is marketed with the implication that you can adjust the power, but as you and everyone else knows who owns one, the power creeps up to maximum all too quickly. The interesting thing is how people try to sidestep/minimize/rationalize this fact (e.g., “the Condor was not made to shoot at low power, it is made for hunting,” or “you have to experiment with your individual rifle to see what works best for you”). Well, I finally figured out how to get it to stay at 500-600 fps at 10 yards (using 26.5 grain .25 calibre pellets) for hundreds of shots, and that is to use the rechargeable 20 oz. CO2 tank that PA sells for $125. The result is perfect for 10 metre shooting and for hunting squirrels and rats up to 30 yards. In addition, the rifle fires much more quietly at these levels (I use a shroud) so that the rest of the squirrels and rats don’t run away after the first shot. For some reason (mebbe BB can answer), using the CO2 at these velocities hurts the accuracy by about 3/4″ at 25 yards, but with around 12-18 foot-pounds of energy at those distances (using h.p. pellets) any head or heart shot within 3/4″ is more than sufficient to do the job. – Dr. G.

  5. Dr G

    so you have a .25 Condor, now that is serious power. I assume you changed the barrel yourself? When i got mine ppl on the forums were just starting to do that and the full power shots with heavey pellets (bullets) were rivalling .22LR energy. I bought a micro tank for mine which makes the Condor shoot at arounf 12ft-lbs, but far more consistently (thats with the power wheel left on full). For me, the to make the pellets subsonic i had to turn the wheel down with the normal bottle, and i couldnt stand the POI changing every few shots due to the power creeping up. What do you mean by the CO2 hurting the accuracy? Do you mean that the rifle is less accurate with CO2 than air? Sounds strange?

    Mr Experience (this name is in jest BTW)

  6. A lot of information to digest!
    Can anyone direct me to a site that has some good detail pics of the Condor firing valve with the associated hammer, springs, etc?

  7. Mr. Experience,
    My Condor .25 was purchased from the good folks over at Airhog. You can also purchase them ready made from talontunes. My experience has been that the rifle is less accurate with CO2, and of course I have no explanation for this. I live near woods teaming with squirrels and a few miles from a garbage dump swarming with rats, and consequently I have had the opportunity to shoot hundreds of them over the past year and note the differences in killing power between .22 and .25 calibers. I have shot many rodents in the head or the heart/lungs area using a Theoben Rapid .22 yielding around 25 foot pounds at 25 yards (using 16 grain h.p. pellets). I have also made the same shots with the Condor .25 set to a veloctiy that yields the same 25 foot pounds at 25 yards (using 26.5 grain h.p. pellets). I did this as an experiment after I noticed that the .25 appeared to have more killing power. The results are clear to me – with the same energy, the .25 kills faster, especially for heart/lung shots, and seems to kill more effectively when compared to the .22 especially when the shot is a little off. I think that the .25 may provide more shock to the animal’s nervous system than the smaller calibre. If this is true, then I expect that .177 at the same high power will produce even “slower” (we’re talking seconds here) kills, especially when the shot is a little off. – Dr. G.

  8. Dr G

    what you say makes perfect sense as the same debate/conclusion applies to firearm handguns, ie, the larger the frontal area of the bullet (caliber though pointed bullets actually lower the frontal area) the more effective they are at stopping their target. A .25 airgun pellet is huge when compared to a .177 and at 25ft-lbs the .177 will just over penetrate and leave a small wound, where as the .25 may over penetrate, but wond leave much of the prey left at all. It sounds like you have had much use from your gun. Have you had any problems with the safety? or how about the air cylinder not holding level (it slips down slightly and air can escape as the seal isnt perfect?). I had both of these problems and was told by the Talon forum that they are VERY common.

    Mr Exp…

  9. J-F

    If you are going to be plinking and target shooting most of the time I would not recommend the Condor. The Condor is overkill for that type of shooting. The Edge is designed for 10 meter shooting. The Discovery is the best choice in my opinion of the three.

    The Airforce Talon which you did not mention is what I would recommend. It is much more versatile than the Discovery, it has adjustable power, three mounting rails, removable tank that makes it very compact for a rifle, and it has interchangeable barrels that can be changed in five mintes or so.

    I own a regular Talon and I get 45 shots at full power per fill. On low power I get 150 shots per fill.
    The shots per fill can and probably will vary between individual guns, so someone else might get different results.

    In BBs report on the Discovery he got 35 shots per fill. The Condor will get around 20.

    If I am going to plink or shoot for fun I use a spinger like the Gamo Shadow 1000.

    What will you be hunting?

  10. The problem everyone is having with the power creeping up is common to all PCP rifles the have adjustable power. If you fill to a high pressure the air in the tank will overpower the hammer spring and force the valve shut early. This will give you a low velocity shot. After you shoot for a while the pressure drops and the hammer spring will balance with the air pressure in the tank that is trying to push the valve closed. As long as that balance is fairly close you will get a consistent string of shots. However when the pressure drops too low the hammer spring will overpower the pressure in the tank and hold the valve open longer than it should allowing a higher volume of air out and this will cause your shot velocities to start creeping up until you hit a point were the pressure in the tank is so low that the velocities start to come back down again. The thing you must remember with PCP is that 2 things can give you power. Either small volumes of high pressure or large volumes of low pressure. A regulator can help cure this but in most cases you loose the adjustability or some air volume.


  11. For those that are interested as an addendum to my previous post, several other things will determine how long the valve will stay open which is why BB says it is so individual to each gun. The power of your hammer spring may be a bit different due to leaving it cocked for a long time or manufacturing tolerances, the weight of the hammer will have an effect and although I am sure Air Force holds close tolerances there are always small differences. You also have to consider the friction of the hammer and how easily it slides. And as many have seen, how accurate the gauge is.
    I dont know how large a scuba tank some of you are using but I do know from experience that just because a shop fills to 3000 psi doesn’t mean you got 3000 psi. You may have noticed that as you fill a tank it gets warm, sometimes hot. If you stop at 3000 psi and take it home when it cools down you may be at 2900 or even 2850 depending on how fast they did the fill and how empty your tank was. Also the AirForce tanks are large and just the fact you are draining air from your main tank will cause the pressure to drop. I usually fill from my tank and top off with a pump if I need higher pressure.

  12. No offence to anyone, but every post I see (here and elsewhere) on PCP’s looks like a research project. It seemed like they would be the simplest and easiest guns to use, but I’m starting to think that’s naive.

    Seriously, does anyone just fill them up and shoot them without a lot of analysis and experimentation? I would be genuinely interested in the experiences of a PCP rifleman who hasn’t tried various fill levels and valve modifications.

  13. Mr. Exp,
    With over 2,000 shots, not a single problem. I have problems with EVERY other air/spring gun that I have used except for the 850. The Condor is my favorite. – Dr. G.

  14. bg_farmer

    im sorry if my posts have contributed to your thoughts that PCPs are over complex. I suppose some of us like to get to know our toys far more intimately than is needed 🙂
    If you want a simple PCP that you can just fill and shoot all day long there is a huge choice out there (im sure BB could advice you based on your needs). PCPs are fascinating to those that care, but those that dont can just get on with them fine. They are awsome air guns and i use mine far more than my springers or firearms.

    Dr G. its good that you have had no issues with your Condor. Im sure if i lived in a location where i could have returned mine that Airforce would have fixed it (twice) and maybe i was just unlucky, but the talon forum would make me think that i got the norm and that you are fortunate with having no issues. I wish you all the fun with your powerhouse in the future too.

    Mr Exp

  15. Mr Experience,
    Thanks for not taking it personally, as I didn’t intend my comments as directed toward anyone in particular. Your response is enlightening, and I can see where you at least are coming from. I’m probably the Discovery demographic, although they all look pretty cool, once you get over the cost of pump or tanks.

  16. bg_farmer,
    I have little mechanical skill and less interest in persoanally doing any of the many modifications/fixes/adjustments that we all read about on the blogs and airgun sites. When I have had a problem with my airguns I have had to rely on talking over the phone with the people that sold me the airgun, and sometimes sending it to them for repair (or, in the case of a Beretta Storm, throwing the junk out). Read some of the thousands of reviews of air guns at reviewcentre.com and you will get a good sense of which air guns are less trouble prone than others. That is in part why I purchased a Rapid (only 1 small problem in over 2,000 shots). There are also reviews around the internet of the airgun retailers, which is important when buying an expensive product that will probably need repair at some point, and sometimes malfunctions within the first week! Airhog, Pomona, Mac1, and Straight Shooters consistenly get high marks for service, for example, while CTI and Arizona Airguns have consistently very poor service reputations. I am confident that if you purchase a PCP air rifle from one of the reputable dealers above (including PA) and have a problem, then you will be satisfied. Similarly, ordering even something basic from CTI or Arizona Airguns is asking for trouble. – Dr. G.

  17. Hey,
    since no one has pointed it out yet, i will point it out, in your 4th paragraph, u said it has a fill pressure of 3,000 f.p.s., i understood it as psi, but i thought id point it out as not to confuse anyone. Thanks for the great blog. and im looking for a selection, of good 10 m. taget pistols. kinda of like budget pistols. Thanks,

  18. Dr. G,
    Thank you, too. I’m too dumb and proud to ask for help, so I like things that work also: my repairs are usually in phases: 1) assess for a week; 2) fix temporarily; 3) fix temporarily again; 4) fix correctly at a cost exceeding a professional’s service:).

  19. J-F,

    How many shots depends on what range you are shooting, because accuracy diminishes with range.

    With a Condor on high power and an air tank with the High-Flo valve 20 shots
    Condor with a MicroMeter tank about 100
    Condor with CO2 adapter and 12-ounce tank 600-800 shots

    Discovery on air 25-35 shots
    Discovery on CO2 100+ shots

    The Edge is a 10-meter target rifle. You will get about 100 shots per fill.


  20. MCA,

    ALL PCPs work exactly the same, so the S410 is the same as the Condor. But each design has different numbers and each individual rifle acts differently. There can be no translation between rifles of the same type, let alone between two different models.


  21. B.B.

    For a .177 shooter, would you recomend getting a Condor and start adjusting from there, or would you recomend a Talon for him to adjust and get the most out of his rifle?

    What I am really asking is: Is the Condor really too much for the .177 caliber and it cannot be used effectively?

  22. B.B. The results below are from SavageSam………Ok guys I thought about how I wanted to do this write up last night from yesterdays outing and I think the best thing for me to do, being a rookie is just post up the results with no “interpretation” or anything. Just raw data and I hope you experts will look at it and offer your opinions and advice. Here we go. First, we have two scuba tanks that were freshly hydro/vis tested and charged to 3050-3100, while i was there i filled both bottles from the tank and he topped off the scuba before leaving. So, starting from two 3000psi fills we did the following……

    the first string (actually only 5 shots) we used some crosman pointed hunting (cheap) pellets. We had the PW set as low as possible and were 4 feet from the chrony.
    1. 683.9 2. 721.9 3. 726.6 4. 668.9 5. 706.8

    now at six we adjusted the PW to 4 and fired one round to let it “settle” after the adjustment then..
    6. 930.4 7. 930.5 8. 935.3 9. 942.3 10. 929.9……………Note on string two we also made an adjustment after the fifth shot (and one “settling” shot before going to the chrony again)between shot five and six we moved the PW to 5 all shots were now done using Beeman Crow Magnum pellets…………
    1. 850.8 2. 877.4 3. 879.4 4. 858.0 5. 880.3 (PW5) 6. 929.1 7. 937.2 8. 904.5 9. 905.5 10. 964.7……..

    On string three we started on 9 on the PW and went to max for shots six-ten…….1. 1113 2. 1105 3. 1110 4. 1102 5. 1108 (PW max.) 6. 1125 7. 1108 9. 1100 10. 1092

    on string number four we went back to PW 9 and shot all ten at that setting……….1. 1077 2. 1071 3. 1053 4. 1047 5. 1038 6. 1031 7. 1026 8. 1016 9. 1012 10. 1013……….
    I thought it would be a good idea to refill the tank between string four and five and right here i have a question, we’re assuming you can get an idea of remaining pressure in the bottle by watching where the gauge jumps to when you first crack open the valve?? (ours jumped to 1500) then we did a nice slow fill to 3000…….

    string 5 was all on PW9 using Beeman Crow Magnums…..
    1. 1063 2. 1052 3. 1043 4. 1048 5. 1047 6. 1089 7. 1108 8. 1103 9. 1102 10. 1114………..

    Low=1043 High=1114 Avg.=1077 E.S.=71.66 S.D.=28.84……..

    Now we switched to my Condor and it seems like mine doesn’t enjoy a full fill as much as my friends…….Using Crow Magnums and the PW set at 8……….
    1. 803.7 2. 798.5 3. 826.2 4. 829.6 5. 808.7 6. 846.7 7. 837.3 8. 814.7 9. 846.6 10. 834.8…….

    Low=798.5 High=846.7 Avg.=824.7 E.S.=48.26 S.D.=17.43………..

    string two we moved the PW to 9……..
    1. 908.3 2. 895.4 3. 932.5 4. 928.0 5. 933.8 6. 922.7 7. 939.5 8. 959.9 9. 972.8 10. 938.5………

    Low=895.4 High=972.8 Avg.=933.1 E.S.=77.36 S.D.=22.29………….

    string three PW9 Crow mags
    1. 969.5 2. 1002 3. 986.0 4. 990.9 5. 986.3 6. 1011 7. 1011 8. 1033 9. 1043 10. 1032….

    Low=969.5 High=1043 Avg.=1006 E.S.=74.24 S.D.=24.18………

    String four PW9 all Crow Mags…………
    1. 1043 2. 1012 3. 1048 4. 1051 5. 1035 6. 1049 7. 1041 8. 1033 9. 1056 10. 1046…..

    Low=1012 High=1056 Avg.=1042 E.S.=44.80 S.D.=12.48……………

    String 5 PW9 all Crow mags…….
    1. 1054 2. 1035 3. 1042 4. 1051 5. 1035 6. 1037 7. 1034 8. 1028 9. 1033 10. 1031…….

    Low=1028 High=1054 Avg.=1038 E.S.=26.80 S.D.=8.48…………

    string six PW9 all Crow Mags………
    1. 1026 2. 1026 3. 1028 4. 1012 5. 1016 6. 1011 7. 1013 8. 1004 9. 999.0 10. 997.8……..

    Low=997.8 High=1028 Avg.=1013 E.S.=30.43 S.D.=11.09……….

    PHEW! that seemed like work lol. It should be noted that the times the velocity numbers are the same that was not a typo. I want your opinions please…………..The above was 11 strings from two rifles…..the below is six strings from my rifle………….Ok I topped her off at 3000, cranked the p.w. to 12 and here is what i got……………..String number one 1. 829.7 2. 849.1 3. 869.7 4. 871.9 5. 844.5 6. 870.4 7. 867.5 8. 866.7 9. 885.4 10. 872.7 Low=829.7 High=885.4 AVG.=862.8 E.S.=55.65 S.D.=16.46 String number two…….1. 864.3 2. 899.0 3. 894.2 4. 893.6 5. 922.1 6. 907.0 7. 902.4 8. 911.2 9. 950.6 10. 917.5 Low=864.3 High=950.6 AVG.= 906.2 E.S.=86.27 S.D.=22.29 String number three…….1. 939.2 2. 931.7 3. 942.9 4. 966.4 5. 956.2 6. 972.5 7. 998.8 8. 985.4 9. 1014 10. 1033 Low=931.7 High=1033 AVG.=974.1 E.S.=101.9 S.D.=33.76 String number four……1. 1019 2. 1027 3. 1051 4. 1083 5. 1120 6. 1108 7. 1130 8. 1137 9. 1155 10. 1153 Low=1019 High=1155 AVG.= 1098 E.S.= 136.4 S.D.= 50.67 Now we can see that the velocity is beyond what we want, so i backed it down to 9.9…String number five……1. 1051 2. 1119 3. 1114 4. 1122 5. 1318 6. 1309 7. 1283 8. 1285 9. 1274 10. 1293 Low=1051 High=1318 AVG.=1217 E.S.=266.7 S.D.=101.9 At this point it was obvious 9.9 was way too much so i took one shot with the p.w. set at 8 then 7 then 6 then 5 five dropped me below the one thousand mark so i went with that, string six p.w. at five 1. 966.9 2. 947.7 3. 950.0 4. 954.5 5. 963.7 6. 997.0 7. 973.6 8. 1019 9. 1015 10. 1029 Low=947.7 High=1029 AVG.=981.7 E.S.=82.07 S.D.=30.93 Looking at it now i should of left it alone and shot a seventh string to see what it was going to do. I wanted to know what my pressure was after approx. 65-70 shots so i hooked her up and gave it a slight crack of the valve, it danced right up to 2200 then stopped. So from that i ASSume the ending pressure was 2100 to 2200????. Wishing i had of shot that seventh string at p.w. five………btw if someone would please tell me how to post these numbers in a column i would appreciate it, i know it’s a pain the way it is. Well tell me what you all think. Next up will be the Kodiak match grade. Edit….i had put spacing in between all the numbers when i hit submit they were gone. Maybe a mod could fix this post and make it nice.
    Now, a couple things here. One, i’m assuming a scuba shop would have a accurate gauge. He fills them to 3100psi at 77-79 degrees F., then before you leave he double checks the pressure to make sure it hasn’t dropped due to cooling. I had him fill both of our GUN tanks while i was there VERY slowly (like watching water boil) over the course of about one and a half to two minutes. Then asked it i could check the fill pressure against my gauge. My gauge danced to 3000 and stopped. B.B. you said after a while you didn’t even need a chrony anymore, you could tell by the sound. Well, your right and I can tell also. When at 3000 and on full power my gun sounds sick, but after a number of shots, it’s BOOMING. The one thing I will say is it does seem to keep on booming to a very low pressure. To those thinking about getting one, if you “just want to shoot” this is not the gun for you, get a springer or gas ram. To those that like to ask questions and try to come up with answers, get this gun. I myself wonder why doesn’t A.F. offer an in tank regulator as an extra cost option?????? From SavageSam

  23. Shadow express dude

    What is the purpose of a barrel crown. I’m still working on the report.Over the 3 days I’ve had it, I have put 300rnds in it, got 2 starlings, a grackel, and with a scope at 50yrds with a pellet came the pidgeon. The breach seal is a disappointment but I cronied the first 10 pellets and the highest was 647fps with crosman wadcutters. I also cronied the shells at 608. The accuracy of pellets has been about .25 inches at 15 yrds. The one thing that really bugs me(not the trigger) is the vibration. I might put some money aside for a gas spring or a tune.

  24. Andreas…….
    18″ Talons shoot cph and Kodiaks at over 1000 fps. Don’t waste your time trying to slow down a Condor to shoot .177 pellets.
    The Talon and SS work in good velocity ranges for easily obtainable pellets. You will not find yourself stuck with only one kind of good working extremely heavy pellet which may be difficult to obtain, or may go out of production.


  25. Thanks to everyone for the comments, I had made my choice for a Discvery when I stumble on this on the crosman website :


    as anyone heard about this new top secret PCP? Should I still go for the Discovery or wait out for this one?

  26. j-f

    how long are you willing to wait for a super secret rifle that nobody knows anything about, and may not even exist on the drawing board????
    Might be a long wait.


  27. SavageSam,

    I can’t comment about your chronograph numbers. I will be testing the Condor on low power myself the next time I shoot it, but that will be a minor part of that report, because we have so many other things to address.


  28. savage sam

    wow, thats one detailed post 🙂
    you are asking for opinions on the stats you provided, but maybe i missed another of your posts but im not sure of what your questions actually are? Please ask them again and if i can help, i will.

    Mr Exp

  29. I want to know what you think of my results. I want to know what you think of my procedures. My data collection technique. Why or if it’s flawed. What you would do differently. What advice you have for future testing. Etc…. From SavageSam.

  30. I have owned a Talon for five months now and put 2,500 rounds through it. The little plastic piece on the threaded part of the cocking knob that keeps the threads from scratching the aluminum is split. What should I do?

  31. anonymous……
    I had the same thing happen.
    Call Airforce and tell them about it. They sent me 3 new ones free.
    Be careful installing the new one. It must be loose enough to turn on the cocking knob threads.
    Don’t shoot it without it. The threads will chew into the cocking slot in the frame.

  32. SavageSam,

    Well, you have alot of data there. I would have to sit down and plot it all to see if I could find the pattern. I can tell you how I found the pressure and curve for all 4 of my PCP guns.
    First pick a pellet and stick with it for the entire string. Then decide on the velocity range you are looking for, ie:1000 fps avg or 900 fps avg. ect. Third pick a setting on your PW that never goes above the acceptable maximum. leave it on that setting for the entire string. Forth fill the bottle to 3000 psi and shoot and chrony every shot until the velocity falls below the minimum acceptable range and is continuing to fall with each additional shot. Fifth get a piece of graph paper or Excel if your good with computers and graph all of your shots. shot # on the x axis and velocity on the Y axis.
    You should see a rise or variation then a fairly flat plateau and then a fall or more wild variations.
    count the number of shots until it reached the plateau.
    Sixth fill the bottle to 3000 psi again and shoot the # of shots you counted to get to the plateau. You must shoot the same pellets as you used in the string above or the air use may be more or less than before.
    Seventh carefully and very slowly start to fill your bottle again. When you hear the valve open or you see the needle stall note the pressure. This is your fill pressure from now on with this pellet at this power level. As long as you dont change anything and you fill to this psi you should start your shooting right on the leading edge of this plateau. Go back to your graph and count the number of shots you got between the leading edge and the falling edge of your plateau. This is how many shots you get on a fill.
    You can adjust how much variation you are willing to accept by starting lower on the leading edge or going farther into the falling edge.
    This uses a lot of pellets so I suggest you set up a target well beyond your chrony so you can get some practice in while you gather your numbers, and remember the start pressure will change if you change anything, pellet, PW setting, barrel length or the bottle valve. This is why most guys find a pellet and power they like and leave it.


  33. Shadow express dude
    My new shadow is great, but after 400 rnds there is a crater on the top of the muzzle. What should I do? When should I oil it? Any reloading tips?

  34. Dave,

    you just got the best pistol for the money. Follow BB’s recent reports close for all the maintenance tips. Not that it need much of anything beside oiling… Get a tack driver bag and see just HOW accurate it is at 10 meters.. I’ve had mine for a few years and I’m still astonished when I’m shattering asprin tablets. Baikal rules!

    Hey B.B., when is PA going to start selling those Leaper’s pistol scopes? I have a temporary on my 512m “scout rig”, but think it would benefit from a Leaper’s as all my other guns have.

    On another note – Does anyone make a one piece mount for 3/8″ – 11mm dovetail that has a base around 3″ in length?

    Western PA

  35. B.B. Just wanted to share a little info and ask a question. First, I have finally found a use for Pellet lube. I bought some awhile back and tried it in several Beeman HW airguns and came away feeling like I had bought snake oil. The claims of increased power just did not happen. My accuracy with these guns was already fine, so I did not even try to test it.
    Fast-forward and I recently purchased a BSA Lightning XL in .25 caliber.
    Question, any idea why Pyramid Air doesn’t carry some of the BSA line? If Gamo owns them, I wouldn’t think it would be too big of a stretch. My main reason for the BSA gun was I wanted something in .25 cal. and if you check P.A. they currently have only one .25 cal springer. When the XL arrived, I found none of my .25 cal pellets (all Beeman HN) fit without the use of a hammer. (Did I just answer my question?) A quick note on your blog and you steered me in the right direction. I ordered a bunch of the Webley Mosquitoes from P.A. and they are snug but I don’t need the hammer anymore. I was however, disappointed in the velocity at an average of about 584 fps. Then in a moment of inspiration, I added the Pellet lube and eureka! Velocity went to an average of 613 fps. This may not sound like much but when pushing a pellet that weighs 19.2 grains we’re talking about 14.54 ft lbs to 16.02 ft lbs. I know this will only help a select few out there. But if you have an extra extra tight breech – try Pellet Lube. By the way, I do like the little BSA gun. It is not the quality of HW, but few are. It is a handy carbine with a good punch for its size.

  36. Andreas,

    I do think a Talon SS with a 24-inch barrel is the better way to go. Yes, the .177 Condor can shoot as fast as 1486 f.p.s., but you will never use that speed. The 24-inch SS has everything you can use.


  37. Savage Sam,

    I was on the road when your telephone-book comment came through. I didn’t have the time to evaluate it.

    But there is too much information in that message for anyone to digest. You need to report more of what you DO and less of the results.

    Results always have to be tabular – or at least in a list.

    It sounds to me like you might want to be a guest blogger. If you can organize your thoughts and squeeze them into a blog-sized report, why not give it a try?

    If you have something to say, you might as well say it and not get lost in the noise.

    Please think about it.


  38. New Talon owner,

    That part eventually wears out on most rifles. Now that AirForce is hand-fitting the tophats for zero tolerance, the rate will increase.

    I will ask the AirForce plant what they suggest. There will be wear to the anodizing around the notch with that part missing, but no serious harm to the gun, so you can keep on shooting.


  39. Western PA,

    That Leapers pistol scope is taking much longer than Leapers ever figured.

    As for the mount, no one makes a long one-piece mount because these guns don’t need one. They don’t recoil and the scopes they use are lightweight.


  40. The reason Pyramyd AIR doesn’t carry BSA airguns is because of poor distribution. Years ago PA did carry BSA, but supplies dried up and PA had too many angry customers. So they dropped the line, just as they dropped Weihrauch last year.

    BSA guns are great airguns. If they ever sort out their distribution, I bet PA will carry them again.


  41. B.B.
    When the plastic bushing cracked on my Talon, I shot it for a while without it while I waited on Airforce to send me the new part.

    The threads on the cocking knob pounded thread marks into the cocking slot from the force of the breech rebounding from the power stroke.
    This does not do the new bushing any favors, as it gets hammerd inside and out with thread marks.


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