by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, I’ll look at the velocity of the AirForce Edge. That includes recording a total shot string on one fill of air.

Why the rifle is sold without the rear sight
Before I begin, I want to comment on how the rifle is being sold. The Edge is sold both with sights and with a front sight only. The front sight has to come with the gun because of the proprietary way it attaches to the gun. There is no other front target sight (or any other kind of sight, for that matter) on the market that will attach to the Edge. You may notice that the front sight is very tall. That’s so the rear sight, which is mounted on a raised ramp on the receiver, will align with the front sight. While it’s possible to mount different rear sights on an Edge, each of them will be adjusted differently than the AirForce Adaptive Rear Target Sight the gun was designed for. Only the AirForce rear sight is recommended for this rifle. This will undoubtedly raise some questions in many buyer’s minds as to why the gun would be sold without sights.

There are thousands of shooters who do not shoot their target rifles in competition. These shooters like to mount scopes on their target rifles and shoot targets and other things in the privacy of their homes. They can buy an Edge without the rear sight for less money and remove the front sight. They can then mount a scope on the rifle.

Using a hand pump
A couple days ago, a reader named Ron asked me how difficult it is to fill the Edge from a hand pump. I’d like to answer that here. And you will note that I have linked you to the Benjamin hand pump instead of the AirForce hand pump for two important reasons. First, because as of this writing, the Benjamin pump is in stock, while the AirForce pump is not; and second, the AirForce pump does not come with a hose that connects to the Edge, while the Benjamin hand pump does.

The hand pump becomes difficult at different pressures for different people. The resistance climbs as the pump compresses to ever-higher pressure. It doesn’t matter in the slightest what gun is being filled. All that matters is the pressure that’s being compressed.

For me, the pump starts to become hard after passing 2,500 psi. But I have coached hundreds of different people through the process and have seen them stall out at different pressure levels. One woman started noticing the increasing difficulty at 1,600 psi. By the time she got to 2,000 psi, she was finished. I can still pump the pump with one hand at that pressure. I’m not bragging; I’m saying that the hand pump will feel vastly different for every person who tries it.

Here, however, is the difference between the Edge rifle and the Air Arms S410 Ron was comparing it to in a blog comment. Ron gets 25-35 good shots from his .22 caliber S410. With the Edge, he’ll get over 100. When he shoots the S410, he’s plinking. If he were hunting, he wouldn’t complain about pumping for so few shots because he probably wouldn’t shoot those 25-35 shots in a full day of hunting. Hence, we know he’s plinking. Also, the S410 reservoir is probably three times the volume of the Edge reservoir, so it takes many more pump strokes to fill.

With the Edge, he’ll probably be shooting at paper targets. It will take him 90 minutes to shoot all the shots he has in the gun. Once again, no time to notice how difficult it was to pump for the three minutes that it took.

But even if Ron were to plink with the Edge, he’d still be shooting for a half-hour at least. It took me that long to complete the shot strings for today’s test, and that was only because I now have a printer doing half my work. So, my answer is “no,” the Edge is not a hard gun to fill with a hand pump. But there will be something like 10 to 20 strokes that will be hard because they’ll be the ones climbing from 2,500 psi to 3,000 psi or wherever the difficult part kicks in for you. The Edge has the reservoir volume of an air pistol, and no pistol shooter I know complains of the difficulty of filling the gun because they know the effort is brief but the shooting will be long.

The test
I tested the rifle with both RWS R10 Heavy Match pellets made for rifles and with H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. By “test,” I mean I shot full strings from 3,000 psi until the gun fell off the regulator. What follows is the shot-by-shot velocity recorded from the Finale Match pellet test.

Shot…Velocity
1……….dnr
2……….dnr
3……….524
4……….526
5……….528
6……….dnr
7……….528
8……….522
9……….529
10………525
11………528
12………524
13………528
14………dnr
15………525
16………527
17………525
18………522
19………524
20………520
21………522
22………525
23………522
24………525
25………521
26………525
27………522
28………520
29………523
30………518
31………521
32………520
33………524
34………525
35………523
36………523
37………519
38………518
39………dnr
40………522
41………526
42………dnr
43………525
44………524
45………524
46………525
47………523
48………526
49………526
50………521
52………524
53………526
54………523
55………524
56………522
57………522
58………521
59………526
60………523
61………526
62………526
63………527
64………525
65………525
66………526
67………524
68………528
69………527
70………524
71………527
72………522
73………522
74………527
75………524
76………526
77………525
78………526
79………521
80………523
81………526
82………dnr
83………528
84………531
85………526
86………522
87………527
88………527
89………520
90………523
91………528
92………526
93………524
94………527
95………525
96………522
97………530
98………526
99………526
100……..528
101……..527
102……..530
103……..529
104……..543**
105……..535
106……..539
107……..524
108……..516*
————–
109……..511
110……..503
111………503
112……..497
113……..492
114……..486
115……..481

dnr = did not register
* = slowest shot in string
** = fastest shot in string

Analysis of string
The string shows clearly that the Edge has exceeded its 100-shot criteria. I drew an arbitrary line after shot 108, but a shooter on the line would not have a chronograph to record all the velocities like this. So the shooter is safe if he stops after shot 100. If he does that, the fastest recorded shot went 530 f.p.s and the slowest went 518 f.p.s., a difference of only 12 f.p.s. across 100 shots.

I continued to shoot after it became obvious that the gun had fallen off the regulator to show you what that looks like. When a gun has reached the point at which the reservoir pressure drops lower than the pressure the regulator is set for normal operation, we say the gun has “fallen off the reg,” which means that the reg remains open and all subsequent shots will diminish in velocity, just as you see here. The actual spot where it fell off was probably following shot number 106.

Performance with a heavier pellet
The H&N Finale Match pellet used for the first string weighs 7.56 grains, nominally. I also tested an RWS R10 Heavy Match pellet more suited to match rifles. It weighs 8.2 grains, nominally. I won’t give you every velocity for this string, though I do have them, but the average velocity was 487 f.p.s. across a total shot string of 105 shots. The fastest shot went 511 f.p.s., and the slowest shot went 480 f.p.s.; there was a variance by 31 f.p.s. across the entire string. That’s a large difference from the tight spread turned in with the lighter Finale Match pellet. It suggests that this pellet may be too heavy for the best performance in the rifle, but there’s no way of knowing that for certain without shooting it for accuracy. At just 10 meters, a difference of 31 f.p.s. is probably not enough to show a difference on target.

What does this test show?
This test shows the consistency of the Edge through the entire fill. It does not tell us anything about accuracy or potential accuracy. What we’ve learned for certain is that the Edge regulator works as intended, and that the rifle has all the shots necessary to shoot a sporter-class match with a generous number of sighters in each position.

What’s next?
The next test is accuracy, but there are still some features I need to show you. So, the accuracy report will be expanded a little to cover some things on the trigger and how the action operates. Then, I have a surprise for you that will have to come in a later report.