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Education / Training The AirForce match sight set – Part 2

The AirForce match sight set – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Happy Thanksgiving!

Part 1

In the first report, I told you this sight set is the Edge sight set, but that was incorrect. The front sight in this set is not the same sight that’s on the Edge rifle, though the two look similar at first glance. How they differ is the subject of today’s report.

The photograph on the Pyramyd AIR web page is one of the actual front sight used on the Edge. What I’m showing you here is a pre-production prototype that will become the front sight of the set when it’s released by AirForce in a week or two. After today’s blog, you’ll understand why the difference is important.

I also tricked you when I showed you the photo of the front sight in the first report. It was turned backwards, so you couldn’t see what makes it special.


New AirForce target front sight is shown backwards in this photo. Adjustability is hidden.

Here are three pictures that are worth a thousand words.


Globe is elevated as high as it will go.


Sight elevation leg is adjusted as low as it will go in this configuration. That puts the globe at a medium height.


Sight elevation leg is on the opposite side and the plate that holds the globe has been turned sideways. Globe is now as low as it will go.

These three pictures portray the broad range of adjustability found in this front sight. You’ll notice that not only can the globe be raised and lowered on the long post at the side, the plate that carries the globe also has grooves that allow it to be positioned high and low on the plate. Plus, the plate can be turned sideways for more mounting options. And, as I show in the last picture, the plate can be swapped to the other side of the sight, where all the elevation possibilities are also available.

For all these globe locations, the aperture will remain centered over the barrel. You can adjust the globe up or down to fit any gun you put it on. Don’t be fooled by the offset split in the sight base–the center of the globe is directly above the center of the 11mm base.

The transparent aperture is a proprietary AirForce size. They will offer different apertures, as well as a set of graduated sizes as an option.

What does it fit?
To use this sight, your rifle must have dovetails set 11mm apart. Just because there are dovetails on the muzzle of your gun, don’t assume they’re 11mm apart, because many are not–especially on sporting rifles. The dedicated target rifles, however, often do have 11mm front sight bases, but always check before you buy.

What about the Edge?
I told you that this sight is not the one that comes on the new Edge target rifle. The reason is the Edge is always set up the same way, so its front sight doesn’t need to adjust up and down. This sight is made for rifles other than the Edge, where the correct sight height will have to be established.

In the next report, I’ll look at the rear aperture sight.

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.

26 thoughts on “The AirForce match sight set – Part 2”

  1. A late Good Morning B.B., but most importantly HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you!
    A prayer please folks for our military who are right now in harms way protecting us and our way of life. Mr B.

  2. Great Good Morning all!!

    A blessed and abundant Thanksgiving to all!!

    It has been really fun and educational the last 9 months on the blog here.. Your all so much fun!! I give thanks to you all for your kindness and patience with this old fart..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  3. Nothing better or appropriate on thanksgiving than a thanksgiving airgun competition….
    On the science channel..punkin chunkin. Catapults and AIR CANNONS launching punkins incredible distances.
    On again tonight at 9 PM.

  4. Hi B.B. and friends,

    A GREAT AND MOST HAPPIEST TURKEY DAY TO ONE AND ALL. (Yes, I’m yelling. I feel passionate about Thanksgiving.)

    -from the Headless Horseman
    aka Joe B on Maui

    ps to twotalon, with two punkin catapults and a 10 gauge, you could shoot Pumpkin Skeet.

  5. I just got up…

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. I’m going to celebrate by doubling my shooting sessions and firing 400 rounds.

    B.B. that is a mighty nice looking sight. I still haven’t rationalized my way to a 10m PCP set-up. However, it would be nice to look through the globe aperture again that was so elusive in high school and get it under control. I’m looking forward to the report on the Edge.

    BG_Farmer, looks like we have our answer about the S200; it’s the Discovery only more expensive. I am no end of delighted to hear that the next version of the Discovery has quietness as a priority. It looks mighty good.

    Thanks for your empathy about the coat. I found living in Minnesota that keeping out cold is not that difficult. The natives there never seemed to figure out that you just have to keep adding on layers. They seemed to prefer complaining and toughing it out while I was walking around with a ski mask and ski goggles. Rain, though, proved to be a tougher problem; it seemed to have a way of working in somehow. No more with the fantastic new coat, but I make no claims about repelling lightning.

    Jane, no wonder we stalled in our discussion of spin stabilization. Thanks for your handgun info which is new in what I thought was pretty well-plowed ground. The Glock is the only handgun with the press of crazy torture tests of burying it in mud and throwing it out of airplanes. I’ve heard of the Beretta and the Sig 226, but had assumed their achievement lay in a mix of reliability and accuracy. And, incidentally, the record of the U.S. army on reliability is not reassuring. They haven’t managed to make their service rifle especially reliable after 40 years and the new sniper rifle, the SR25, modeled on the M16 seems to be having its share of reliability problems.

    Kevin, you as well as Jane, might be interested in the Elmer Keith book, Sixguns as it relates to handgun accuracy. I suppose one would almost always prefer a rifle over a handgun for self-defense given a choice, but Keith makes a good case that handgun accuracy goes way beyond the 20 foot range that most people think of. He makes the point that artillery is very accurate at ranges where the length of the barrel is much shorter than both rifles and pistols at their respective ranges. So, barrel length is not necessarily a barrier. A lot of his feats like shooting running animals from hundreds of yards away are probably unique to him as well as the shooting of birds on the wing, but he still makes a good case for long distance shooting with the pistol. And in the area of self-defense, he thinks fewer combat soldiers would have been lost in the World Wars had the army devoted more time to handgun training. His book also has a chapter length comparison of the sixgun and the 1911 that comes out in favor of the sixgun.


  6. Matt,

    When I was in college in the 1960s and too stupid to know that all gun writers lie, I first read “Sixguns” by Keith – a book I still own and read. He told me how to hit rocks at 300 yards with an 1860 Colt Army cap and ball revolver, and, like I said, I was too stupid to know you couldn’t do it, so I did it. In San Jose, California, of all places!

    Later in Germany, I used a snubnosed .38 Special Colt Agent to bounce bullets off a rock the size of a football at 80 yards. That was witnessed by a friend who didn’t believe it.

    Keith really knew what he was talking about.


  7. You’re right, Matt; barrel length is pretty well irrelevant to accuracy and handguns do have a greater range than what is commonly assumed. At my formerly local range there is a 18″ steel square (450 mm if one speaks Metric) hung as a lozenge. With my 4X Magnum Mountain Guns any time I wanted to ring that thing I could.

    The gong is 300 yards from the firing line.

    The Mountain Gun is a limited-edition Smith and Wesson revolver with a chamfered cylinder, round butt, and tapered 4″ barrel. Over the years they offered it in 357, 41, and 44 Magnum and 45 Colt calibers. I had the 41, 44, and 45.

    If there was no wind I could ring the gong with my 6″ 586 (a blued 357 Magnum on the L frame) about four times out of six, but if the wind was blowing forget it. I’d be doing well to hit the gong once out of a box of shells.


  8. B.B.

    When I first read Keith in high school in his columns for gun magazines, I thought he was kind of an old cuss. But his book is impressive. He has good information and tells it in a straightforward way. You can’t ask for more. I do particularly like his holdover technique that I would never have thought of myself.

    I remember you mentioning your handgun shots at long distance. Now with WFH’s story (very nice shooting by the way), it looks like the 100 yard line at my range–which is the furthest distance–might be possible one day. I’ve seen one guy at the 50 yard line but no further out.

    So, all gun writers lie. How does that work? I know that for martial arts magazines, the people who appear in the main articles pay a hefty fee and are always made to look good. Is that how it is with gun magazines? I never read of a really poor product. I will say that the statistics blog opened my eyes to the random forms of accuracy testing with 3 shot groups being very prevalent.


  9. I never read Keith's book, and never thought of long-range shooting with a pistol, (75feet is all I do). As to comments on reliability, the US Army doesn't make their guns, they buy them, but they've been know to do some foolish things. The Beretta M9, for example, (the Beretta 92S-1), was chosen over entries from Colt, S&W, Star, Fabrique Nationale, Heckler & Koch, Sig, Walther, and Steyr, in testing by both the Army and the Air Force in 1980 and 1984. The pistol is beyond question the most reknown 9MM military side-arm. When reliability problems were reported, it was determined that the US was using non-standard 9mm munitions, and, instead of buying Beretta clips, were using cheaper pieces supplied by Airtronic USA.

    Not surprisingly, no Glock models were ever a contender. Their publicity trials were attempts to convince people that plastic-framed handguns were the equals of metal.

    In 2005, the US Special Operations Command decided to bid out a new Joint Force Pistol, at some 600,000 units, (this time, 45s, allegedly being unhappy with the ballistics performance of the 9's in Afghanistan), the performance requirements were unbelievable. Beretta, Sig, and others, even Taurus, were contenders, but no Glock…(The contract was never awarded).

  10. I got started in long-range handgunning by shooting metallic silhouettes on a IHMSA range. If you have a suitable centerfire revolver give it a try.


  11. I have Keith’s book as well as Hatcher’s notebook and a bunch of others. When I first got into firearms back in the 70’s, my friend told me to own at least 3 books for every guy you buy. Given my fast rise in ownership of air rifles, I’m about 10 behind. Regarding self-defense, I was always taught a handgun in a house at night was best due to tight spaces and the need to move quickly over a shotgun.

    I guess it’s whatever works. Back in the 70’s I worked with a fellow who served in Patton’s Special Assault Squad or whatever it was called. When Patton’s tanks got pinned down by the Germans, these guys were called to clean out the anti-tank guns or whatever was holding them up. The point of this story is that Nick used to tell me he got so good with the .45 ACP, that he said it was no problem hitting jack rabbits from a moving jeep at, what he said was 80 yards. I never doubted he could do it. I knew I couldn’t see the damn rabbit, however.

    Happy T Day to all and watch out for those mother shoppers at the stores tomorrow 🙂

  12. Dear BB,

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all our friends on the Blog.

    Thanks for the Edge Front sight update. I have been saving up to buy the AirForce rear sight for my Daisy 853c.

    Your report on the front sight is so compelling that I just might get the whole set.

    My question is: Can you mount the front sight on the 853c? There is a muzzle brake on the 853c where the front sight sits. I don’t want to remove it becaus I may not be able to realign the front sight perfectly perpendiclar. So I can’t tell if there is a 11mm dovetail.

    By the way, I mounted a Mendoza rear diopter sight on my 853c but even at maximum adjustment the POI was still more than 1 inch above the bullseye.

    Looks like I have no more excuses…I gotta get the AirForce sights !!

    Thanks again,

  13. All,
    Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you’re all safe and healthy.

    Finally got Disco 2.2 (second gun after second repair) yesterday. Filled it with air this morning and shot a few dozen shots.

    So far she seems to be shooting very nice. Hits targets like a hammer and generally is holding a nice pattern… even with just the iron sites.

    Might be adding a debouncer soon. Wish you would blog some of the common mods.

    Do have one mod for my Disco already installed. A 3/4″ block of wood to extend the stock and lower the butt plate an inch.

    This mod makes it a better fit and improved my target scores. The disco stock is just a bit short.

    Actually shooting so well with iron sights remounting the scope seems a low priority. Sure hope she holds together this time.

    My son wanted to shoot a soda can filled with water to see how much splash it would make. The effect was surprising. Split the can wide open. Wow… that is some power.

    Will stay in touch.

  14. All,
    About the accuracy of handguns verses long guns.

    I’ve shot many handguns that were more accurate than most long guns. For example my 1377C pistol shoots just as good as my new Disco out to say 20 yards. After that the power of the Disco takes over and the contest is over.

    Same with my Ruger 44 black powder is accurate out to say 30 yards or so. It is just as good as my 44 cal. black powder rifle. After that the mechanics and power of a long gun make all the difference. Yes my black powder rifle is a 44. Got that cal. because I only need one bullet mold.

    Just my two cents,

  15. Jane,

    How interesting. I know that the Glocks have cornered the police market although the police do not go slogging through bad conditions like the military. And I believe that Glocks are the sidearm of the Austrian army although I don’t know what their requirements are. There are stories on online forums about the Glocks breaking down on firing lines in spite of what one reads.

    That’s astounding about bad ammunition causing problems with the army Berettas. They never learn do they. Going with cheap powders is just what caused the horrendous experience with the M16 in Vietnam, and here the army does it again.

    I was curious about your estimate of the Browning Hi Power as the Rolls Royce of handguns. I asked about this model awhile ago on the blog and didn’t get an answer. My guess is that this gun has been mostly adopted in Europe, probably because it was developed there, and there just isn’t much knowledge about it here. Otherwise, it seems ambiguous. On the one hand, as the final creation of John Browning, you would think that it might have been his ultimate invention. On the other hand, one hears that he was forced to work around the patents for his 1911 that represented some of his best work. As far as reliability goes, since it looks like the 1911 and probably shares a lot of similarities, I expect that the Hi Power would be about the same in that department.

    DB, maybe your experience explains why the cowboys of the Old West used the same ammo for pistols and rifles which I always thought was rather weird; the rifles were just for extra power. Now that rifles have gotten so much more powerful, we may have forgotten the full capabilities of the pistol.


  16. Matt,

    I will illustrate why there are no bad gun reviews. I have a magazine from the 1970s in which all the reports are not only exactly what the writer feels — the writer felt he could use street language to express himself.

    There was never a second issue published, nor did any of the writers ever make it into other publications, as far as I know.

    When reading a gun report you have to read like you are a former Soviet subject reading Pravda. If the story says the gun has a firm but functional trigger you know it is stiff as hell, but it does work the gun. If the writer refers to his groups as patterns, which is shotgun terminology, you know the gun is inaccurate.

    The Brits have two magazines about airguns. Americans go ga-ga over them, but in the UK they are known as the “funny papers” because they never give a bad report and they never report on a gun that doesn’t also advertise. If you are in on the secret, you know how to take the glowing reports (with a grain of salt). If not, you are a gawking bystander who has a lot to learn.


  17. Matt:

    Police buyers are faced with low-bid and domestic-content rules. They are driven by politics and not technical competence. I believe they make poor indicators. (and I suspect Glock have not nearly cornered the US police market).

    Blackwater, on the other hand, is privately owned, has plenty of money, and can buy whatever they wanted. They chose Sig Sauer.

    Browning is unique among firearms manufacturers. They shun mass US contracts work, they won’t cater to many state-specific regulations, and their marketing strategy is to sell niche demand at high margin. They also have some design anomalies, that some people, (and some armies), simply do not like.

    John Browning did not actually finish the production design of the HP, that was done by Dieudonne Saive, working at Fabrique National in 1928. The patent on the 1911 had expired. The final design was not complete until 1935, perhaps the most exhaustive design cycle of any handgun.

    The latest version, (MK-1) is used by 93 countries, including the Canadian, Belgian, British, Indian, Australian, Argentine, Irish, and Luxembourgish Armies, the Singapore Special Operations Forces, and very notably, the Israelis. Unlike other sidearms, there is simply never any comment on reliability – the thing just works.

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