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Education / Training What would B.B. do? Part 2

What would B.B. do? Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

My rifle is a lot longer than the standard Talon SS. It has a 24-inch, .22-caliber barrel and an aftermarket silencer tube that extends the frame of the gun past the muzzle. I’ll tell you about the scope in part 3 of this report.

Today, I’ll sample the velocity of my .22-caliber AirForce Talon SS with its optional 24-inch barrel. I cannot do a complete velocity test on this rifle, and neither can you. There aren’t that many years in any of our lives. This rifle has adjustable power and can therefore be “tuned” to do a remarkable number of things. And, with the 24-inch optional barrel, it becomes even more powerful and flexible.

This will just be a sampling to demonstrate the broad flexibility of this air rifle. I started with my favorite setting, which I cannot tell with any precision because my frame has no power scale. That drives airgunners nuts, because they like to trade “favorite” power settings for AirForce airguns like kids with baseball cards. You read on the forums that so-and-so shot well with the power set to 10.12. What that means is the gross power setting was at power level 10 and the power wheel scale was on the number 12. Too bad that information is next to meaningless!

My power adjustment has no scale. It’s the slot on the right with the Allen screw showing. The center of the screw head is the power setting, and this is about on the number 4, if the scale was there. The numbers on the wheel at the left are for smaller adjustments and there would be an index line at the left of the power window.

Here is the regular Talon SS power adjuster, so you can compare the numbers in the report.

It’s almost meaningless because these guns are all individuals. They develop vastly different power when set to the same settings. But my gun is a very early one that never had the power scale engraved on the side of the frame, so I simply guess where the gun is. I’ve gotten to know this rifle so well over the years that my guess ends up within about 20 f.p.s. because I know how my particular rifle performs.

Therefore, what I’ll now tell you will relate to a gun that does have a power scale, because I’ve memorized the positions of those numbers over the years. I just don’t use them.

When the 12-inch barrel is installed, I like to leave the power setting at around the number 4. That gives me about 750 f.p.s with 14.3-grain Crosman Premier domes that I shoot a lot. If I were to increase the setting to the number 10 with the same short barrel, my rifle would get around 830 f.p.s., for a muzzle energy of 21.88 foot-pounds.

When the 24-inch barrel is on the gun at the same power setting, the velocity of the same Premier pellet averages 840 f.p.s. and the velocity spread spans from 833 to 845 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy is 22.41 foot-pounds at this level. So, right there the gun is slightly more powerful on the low number 4 setting with the 24-inch barrel than it is on the high number 10 power setting with the 12-inch barrel. I’m saving a lot of air by making better use of it with the long barrel.

That’s about as fast as I like to go with Premiers because of barrel leading. Next, I boosted the power setting up to 10 to shoot the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy dome that could prove to be the most accurate pellet in this rifle. I’ve never tried them at distance in this rifle, so I’m learning right along with you as we go. The velocity at this power setting averaged 968 f.p.s. with a spread from 965 to 970 f.p.s. That means the rifle is now putting out 37.59 foot-pounds of energy on average. That could prove to be a very good place for this rifle, but I’ll need to get out to the range to see for sure.

The best it can do
Everybody wants to know how absolutely powerful this rifle can be with this longer barrel, and I’m sorry to say I don’t have the right pellets to test it. Eun Jin makes a 32.4-grain pointed pellet that would produce more muzzle energy than the Eun Jin 28.4-grain domes I have on hand. But even they averaged 822 f.p.s. with the rifle set as high as it would go. That’s an average of 42.62 foot-pounds. So, I think there’s little doubt that with the heaviest pellets this rifle will just top 45 foot-pounds. That’s what it did about six years ago when I tested it for AirForce. The velocity spread with the gun running wide open went from 812 to 832 f.p.s.

So what?
This is where those who’ve never owned an AirForce rifle get confused. They wonder what they should do or could do with a rifle that can go from very low to very high power. And, by the way, I didn’t show you how low this rifle can go, did I? With Crosman Premiers again on the lowest possible power setting, I get an average velocity of 474 f.p.s., ranging from 465 to 489 f.p.s. That’s an average muzzle energy of 7.14 foot-pounds. In my opinion, that’s not a valuable number because I’d never shoot this rifle that slow. It isn’t as consistent down there and what’s the point? I have Diana 27 rifles that will do the same thing. I just tell you because people want to know.

In the upper velocities, however, there’s a real benefit to my rifle. First, when set to deliver 23 foot-pounds, this rifle is quieter than a Beeman R7. Boost the power up to 37 foot-pounds, and the rifle sounds like a Sheridan Blue Streak on five pumps. When it’s running all-out, it’s still quieter than a Blue Streak on 8 pumps. So, this is a quiet air rifle. How quiet? Well, it’s noticeably quieter than most .22 rimfires shooting CB caps. That’s pretty quiet.

How many shots per fill?
This is another question whose answer depends on what you’re doing with the rifle. But for 37 foot-pound shots, I would get about 30-35 good ones before things tapered off. On 23 foot-pounds, I get about 45 good shots per fill.

How I operate the rifle is to leave it set on one power level that’s sighted-in. That way I know when I pick up the gun it’s ready to go. Based on the outcome of this particular test, I may change the power setting in the future because I may find a more accurate pellet. We shall see!

And, here’s the really good news. All this testing I’m doing here is simply in preparation for a much larger test I have been planning for several years. Had I not gotten sick last year, I would be deep into that bigger test right now; but as it is, I’m just getting started.

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.

60 thoughts on “What would B.B. do? Part 2”

  1. So you were planning a refresh of the talon! I stumbled blindly into that one. I’m glad you’re doing it though, because if I were to go over to the dark side the Talon SS is the one to bring me there.

    • Fused,

      It’s strange that airgunners today consider precharged guns as the dark side, since they have been in existence for nearly five centuries, while the conventional smallbore airguns we know and love have been around for just over one. And, yes, this is my attempt to do just that. But I’m going to show you a side of these guns that I doubt you have seen before. In fact, today’s report is the start of that.


      • The PCPs you speak of were way beyond the means of your average serf. You almost had to be royalty to get your hands on one, no?

        To this day, PCPs are pricier. With the exception of the Discovery of course, which was designed by a genius. 2000 psi? Most PCPs you’d be looking to refill soon at that pressure.

        Also there is a discussion on the Yellow forum right now about a new regulator for the Disco which allows 100 good shots. 100! Imagine what it could do with Lloyd’s e-valve, and a slightly bigger reservoir! These are good times to be an airgunner.

        But, I digress. It is odd that the spring piston is newer despite appearing to be a cruder design. That is, it seems an easier technology to produce than a PCP. Especially like the one Lewis and Clarke were using. I doubt many people are aware that the PCP is older. Perhaps PCPs are called ‘the darkside’ because they are easier to shoot. Just like being evil or, on the darkside, is easier than being good. Easier for those without a normally functioning conscience that is.

        Do you think Lewis & Clarke ever fought over that gun? “You shot it last, it’s my turn!” says Lewis to Clarke. “You never fill the air reservoir, you lazy bum!” says Clarke to Lewis.

        • Maybe the term Darkside showed up on other blogs first but I think someone on this blog started it. I’ve been on this blog for at least three years, maybe four, and it was here I first saw someone use “Darkside”, in jest, for PCP way back then. I don’t remember who it was but it was around the time someone else was always being teased about their TX200. At that particular time, the term was used to imply that springer rifles were better, more honorable, because they had to be mastered, requiring a certain amount of skill. (Personally, I think it was from someone who had spent all their money on springers and didn’t have any left over to buy a PCP)

          • I’m with you, at least part way….

            If you want one but can’t afford it, it’s always better to ridicule instead of admitting you really do want one or keep your mouth shut.


            • twotalon,

              You make a good point. I was pushed into PCPs in 1995 by the late Rodney Boyce, who reasoned that if was going to write about airguns I had to write about ALL airguns.

              My first experiences with PCPs were back in the days when not a lot was known about them and the manufacturers expected their buyers to know everything, so they put noting in writing. I would have loved a Benjamin Discovery back then, but what I got was a finicky Daystate Huntsman whose power curve I had to graph with a chronograph to know how it performed. I think that experience was what drove me to come up with the simple Discovery design later on.

              But try to imagine the frustration of someone hundreds of years ago getting into airguns with absolutely no support whatsoever! Several years ago I wrote a short story titled “The Windbuechse of Prostl” that attempts to paint a picture of that.

              If you are interested, you can ready that story here:


              Of course it is linked backwards, but it’s all there and it does portray the mystery that surrounded airguns centuries ago, I believe.


            • twotalon,
              You’re right about some who’d rather ridicule but I don’t believe that’s the case in my story. The term Darkside was used in fun and friendly banter among blog friends. Like my friends and I did back in the 60’s about our Fords and Chevys.

          • SL/Chuck, I think a combination of both your comments are the definition of the dark side. Also, if you look at those antique air rifles they also have the reservoir in line, more or less, with the barrel just like the Air Force guns. Just an observation. Regarding price, I still don’t understand why PCP’s are so expensive. They seem like such a simple design, not much more to them than a CO2 design right? Anyway, I digress. I like the adjustability and possible high shot count of the TSS and also was reading with keen interest the regulated discovery blog on the yellow. Seems like a regulated pistol marauder would also be nice.

            • Fused,

              To add to your frustration over PCP costs, let me tell you that for three years I’ve been engaged in the “PCP for $100” concept. I have designed the gun and have found where to get it built. But nobody wants to do it. You see, when you can sell more $500 guns than you can make, who in their right mind would ever want to make one for $100?

              So it’s economics that drives the price of the PCP, not the technology within.

              The Discovery was originally supposed to retail for $250 with a pump, but too many people got involved and it became impossible to do.

              Notice the price point on the Bronco? It out-performs many spring guns that sell for twice as much, but it still isn’t a big seller. I thought price was an issue, but I have learned that it isn’t. And from now on, I’m not going to be as concerned about it, because the sales numbers prove that when people want something, they find a way to get it.


            • Fused,

              Besides what B.B. told you, there’s also the perception that a $100 PCP gun can’t be very good.

              I had a desktop publishing business for 18 years. When I started in 1985, I wasn’t making much money because I had very few customers. When you offer low prices, people think they’re getting little value. So, I raised my prices by over 300%. My business boomed! I went from getting 10% conversions to 100%. One month I made just a few hundred dollars and the very next month I made many thousands. If it had evolved over a period of months or years, that would be a different story. But one month to another? Not charging enough was holding me back.

              When I worked for a very large publisher of alternative medicine newsletters & books (I was an editor and writer), they regularly tested the market with different prices on their books. They’d send out 10,000 mailers offering a book at $49.95, another 10,000 mailers offering the book at $39.95 and a third sent of 10,000 mailers offering the book at $69.95. More often than not, the orders for the higher-priced book exceeded the orders for the lower-priced books…not a little, but by a statistically significant amount.

              Prices aren’t always established based on the cost of materials. That’s just a starting point. The sky’s the limit because mfr’s have learned that perceived value is an important point when converting tire-kickers to buyers: if it doesn’t cost much, how good can it be?


              • WOW these SUCK !!! I love cheap stuff, it makes it easy to explore and discover new things, a very good example is the P17, anywhere above 75$ I wouldn’t have bought it, now that I did and I know what it’s worth I’d gladly pay much more to get it.
                Same thing with action pistols, I had an old Crosman 357 magnum and a Walther PPk, went to the US, bought a cheap Colt Defender… Hey this is FUN!!! left the US with 5 new pistols.
                When your not sure about something you can always take a chance with a cheap product but with something more expansive (unless you’re rich, which I’m not) you just can’t afford (litteraly) to take some of these chances…
                I haven’t bought the Hatsan PCP’s (the only detuned PCP available here) because I have no idea if I’ll like it or not, if it’s going to be too loud to shoot in the back-yard, if the pump will last, if I’ll find a place nearby to fill a scuba tank etc… With a 100$ PCP (or 250$ with pump) I’d give it a try but at 350$ plus 189$ for the pump… I’ll have to pass.


                • J-F,

                  So, guess how it feels to want to break into black powder cartridge shooting and your choices for a rifle are between a $1,200 el-cheapo made in Italy and one that costs almost three times as much, requires a three-year wait, but is made in Montana? Those who own the expensive ones will tell you there is no substitute, but the folks who lined the street all said the emperor was fully dressed, didn’t they? That’s why this blog exists and that’s exactly why I’m writing this particular report.

                  I’ve been down the path to ruination several times already. I have shot the $2,500 Swivel Machine Corp. PCP that’s so closely fitted that the parts don’t move right and has a trigger that takes 25 pounds of force to pull. I have sampled the Kool-Aid and can tell you how it tastes.

                  And I chose the AirForce Talon SS with 24-inch optional barrel, for the reasons you are now reading.

                  Or you can decide not to go outside ever again, because someone thought they felt a piece of the sky hit them on the head. 😉


                  • It’s not spending the money, it’s spending the money on something I’m not sure I’ll be able to use.
                    I didn’t mind paying the money for my HW45 or the Alecto.
                    Notice I didn’t mention accuracy in my doubts because I’ve seen what it can do. Tell AirForce to bring us a locked under 500fps Talon and I’ll buy one even if I’m not sure how I’ll fill it yet because I know for sure it can be made quiet (legal or not) and I know I’ll use it for what it’s worth.
                    It’s all a question of amortizing the investment to me.


            • Take into account the pressure difference between compressed air and CO2…

              CO2 is a liquid except for a small part of the reservoir, and the pressure is under 1000PSI. AirForce tanks are baby scuba gear — and need to be tested every five years to find out if they are worn out from pressure stretching.

              Even others, like the Marauder, which don’t have the hydrostatic test requirement, still need to be built for the 3000PSI.

              {Might be another reason not to run a tank “dry” — reduce the degree of flexure going from under-pressure to operational pressure?}

  2. I own a Talon SS in .177 with a 12 inch barrel. It loves heavy 10 grain pellets. With the
    tank filled at 3000 psi, I shoot the first 5 pellets at the power level of 2 with great
    accuracy up to 65 yards. I gradually increase the power to level 8 and leave it at that.
    I get almost 70 great shots. I also have a 3000 psi 48 cu. paintball tank with a 1500 psi reg. that I use with the Co2 adapter. Obviously, it is not as power-full but I get several hundred shots down
    to 1500 psi level where I refill. AF rifles, I love. Their customer service is the best in the industry !!

    • Kevin,

      Absolutely not! But thanks for catching this. Somehow, WordPress has erased the real Part 1 and plugged in this wrong copy. The original Part 1 begins with a photo of my gallery gun and is completely different from what you now see.

      Edith is working hard to resurrect the real Part 1 and get it back up.

      Thanks, again,


      • B.B.,

        Part 1 in this series was published while I was still out of town for the holiday. Wanted to read it for continuity. I’ll check back after Edith has a chance to restore it. Thanks.

        Just more proof that I live in another dimension but have a summer home in reality.


        • Kevin,

          Crazy stuff happens on the internet. I’ve got proof that Part 1 was not the same article originally. I searched Google for part 1, and the original doc is there in the cached link. I simply copied the cached part 1 & reposted it to save myself from having to re-read the whole thing.

          Thanks for alerting us to this! I’ve informed the IT dept. Hopefully, this isn’t a Twilight Zone moment that will re-occur at random times 🙂


  3. BB,
    Have you shot this much with the tube off of it? (although I am wondering why you would under normal circumstances) I am guessing that the 12″ barrel at high power must be incredibly loud. Your comments about the loudness refer to it with the tube on, correct?
    The range of adjustability is very impressive.

    • Lloyd,

      For several years I shot the gun with the barrel sticking out like a Condor barrel. It is much quieter than a Condor, but of course it’s louder than an SS. And I had put a special device inside my SS that we made in our spare time to show to AirForce management, so my SS was REALLY quiet!

      But once I added the bloop tube I never took it off again. The difference is staggering. And yes, all the comments about the relative noise the rifle now makes are with the tube installed.

      As far as the adjustment range goes, not only is the 24-inch barrel MORE powerful than the 12-inch barrel. It is also considerably LESS powerful, when the power is dialed down. It is extremely flexible.


  4. BB, now I wonder what you have up your sleeve. Could it be trying to find an ideal velocity for a given pellet from a given length barrel? The Talon SS gives you the ability to try three different barrel lengths and a wide range of pellet velocities. I am looking forward to see what you are up to.

    David Enoch

  5. What with all this discussion of pellet velocities, and reading somewhere that the optimum velocity for my PCP pistol is faster than the standard factory load, I’m guessing that the day of chronometer acquisition may not be too far off. That said, I’ve never liked the ShootingCHRONY design; I owned one and could never make it work without auxiliary lighting in my pretty-durn-bright basement. And a refuse to spend as much as they charge for those silly little add-on lights.

    Is anybody selling something smaller and with self-contained lighting in the US market?


    • pete z,

      Re: “Is anybody selling something smaller and with self-contained lighting in the US market?”

      I’m not aware of one. The light kits seem to be an add on option with all the shooting chronographs I know of. There’s a lot of people that have made cheap but effective light kits for their chronographs from parts readily available from the local hardware store.

      I use a prochrono. I often shoot out of my garage and point a double halogen light at the ceiling and don’t have problems with readings. An old, weak battery gives lots of false readings though. I purchased the control and printer later on. They’re very handy when you need to determine the power curve on a pcp. Eliminates writing down the entire string.


    • You probably won’t find smaller… The precision of the read out is controlled by two factors: the clock frequency of the timing loop and, the distance between the sensors. Longer distance gives more time for the timing loop to cycle which means higher counts, and higher frequency means higher counts.

      The professional models have better regulated clocks and processors running at a higher frequency.

      At least ShootingChrony now has an LED light kit, instead of that ugly set of incandescent cylinder tubes.

      If getting irregular results indoors, make sure you don’t have fluorescent lights in the vicinity — also don’t run any incandescent bulbs through a thyristor dimmer switch [energy-wasting resistor dimmers are okay, but thyristor’s work by actually cutting the power for a portion of the AC cycle] — both produce flickering light which can confuse the sensors.

      If buying a ShootingChrony model, I strongly recommend a “Master” version — I’ve got a very distinct ding in the front panel of mine where a pellet hit at under 3ft range. The non-Master models have the display and control electronics mounted there — the Master has a long RJ-11 phone cable with the display/control electronics in a box you can put under the gun, or somewhere on the bench. {If I were to modify the design of the units, I’d fit the rear sensor behind a steel sheet too — if the pellet had cleared the front and hit the rear… $$ repair job}

      • Pete,

        like Kevin, I use a single halogen flood lamp that you can sometimes buy from the box stores for $10 or less. I use it indoors only and with the light on and pointed at the ceiling, I have no problems with the florescent lights.

        Fred PRoNJ

      • I still have my old Chrony, but don’t know if it will even turn on. It is yellow, a color not seen in today’s lineup. But the fact is that even with a halogen desk lamp over the top of each sensor, I couldn’t get it to give me a reading most of the time.

        Has anybody had any experience with those chronographs that mount to the muzzle of the gun?

        And finally, yes I know that a longer baseline sort-of makes for higher “accuracy” at the cost of not knowing where in space the projectile is when it’s going the speed indicated on the machine. With modern electronics an operating frequency of a couple of MHz or more should be no problem at all — my worry is the absolute calibration of the clock speed so you can get drift under control. There’s no point in measuring to 3.5 significant figures if the basic frequency is a few per cent off. Or wanders.

  6. I seem to recall Wayne saying that the power on the adjuster of the S410 was not that precise either; maybe this is a basic hurdle with the technology. I cannot remember if the Rogue with its computer was able to make exact adjustments to power; if so that would be a good thing.

    Kevin, I could see using a bubble-level for a very solid rested position. Otherwise, by adding a third element to traditional iron sights with their front and rear sights you are increasing the information load by 50%. There’s only 5 seconds to take the shot. And besides that bubble is super-sensitive. My experience with bubble-levels is slow-painstaking adjustment and it’s just hard to picture that in the context of taking a shot. But, after all I never have used a bubble-level while shooting and if one could make it routine that would be different.

    SimonHenton, thanks for the advice about dehydration. I get the part about staying hydrated but have never understood the business of consuming salt. Doesn’t that make you more thirsty and require even more water? I believe your experience but it does seem to go against biology and the osmotic process as I understand it.

    Okay, sportsfans, what is sitting on my living room floor is a Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I* rifle! Very much against my expectations I found myself engaging in the very sort of wheeling and dealing that I was scoffing at a little while ago. I decided to put up a modest amount of money for a rifle in a condition that the dealers claimed not to have seen for 10 years. But while reading an authoritative text by one Major Reynolds, I came across detailed drawings of different rear aperture sights. One was a nice milled ladder sight like the one on the early Springfield rifles. The other was a very crude flip up sight for 300 and 600 yards that was sighted for use with the bayonet attached. Looking quickly at pictures of the rifle I ordered, I saw it had the crude sight. Another one at a different place and costing twice as much had the ladder sight. But hold on, the picture of the owner of the new place had mustaches curled tightly like a circus ringmaster. Most suspicious. What to do. I canceled the old deal and went with the circus master who turned out to be a sterling character, got my rifle shipped with a tracking number the same day.

    Now we back up to the transfer process and, Victor, this is for you. I call up the store where I’ve done this twice before and X tells me absolutely no FFL sent out until I go to the store in person to fill out paperwork. I come by and Y tells me that X doesn’t know what he’s talking about and that the store needs to call them to get the deal going. Looking at my info, he notes that the dealer is in Maryland. “Boy, that place is messed up,” he says. (Do you realize you’re in California??) He seems to be trying to argue me out of paying him $90 in transfer fees for the gun but says he’ll follow up with the store. I call later for an update and X tells me that Y dropped the ball and nothing happened but that it was always the policy for the dealer to call the store. Later X calls to tell me that the rifle is delivered and ready for paperwork. I show up and Y tells me that X never told him anything about this and spends 20 minutes poking around in the back with the hottest kind of language before finding the gun. Then, he asks me what I paid for it, and when I say $425, he bugs out his eyes and screws up his face in disgust and says, “What!” “Hold on,” I said, “Mirror-bright bore, milled ladder receiver sight, 0# bolt head, 1950 mfg. from the Long Branch Arsenal in Canada. I think I got a good deal.” So, you all can be the judge of my first field exercise in wheeling and dealing.

    One thing I can say that I got is the history of the rifle of the latter British empire. To paraphrase English Bob in Unforgiven, an owner of a Lee-Enfield is a “man of substance.” I put my hand on the rifle and I feel… the Redcoats (they don’t appear to advantage in American history but they were outstanding soldiers), Gunga Din, the Charge of the Light Brigade, mad dogs and Englishmen out in the noonday sun, keeping a stiff upper lip and maintaining the empire by dressing in a tux in the worst heat and being polite across the table to someone you detest and then later consuming bottles of cognac by yourself alone. (Apologies to DaveUK for this somewhat colored fictional version at second-hand.:-)) And then there is the Great World War I poetry: “You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye/Who cheer when soldier lads march by…” And then into the present. There is a disaster movie featuring Richard Harris and O.J. Simpson on a train that has a terrorist infected by bubonic plague and is bloating up. Harris chases him through various cars and runs into one car with young lovers having a quarrel. The girl says, “There’s no one here but maybe you can catch that puffy pervert” and Harris leans back coolly and says, “What puffy pervert?”

    There is one little problem, though. I can’t get the bolt into the rifle. As a No. 4 MkI*, with the * designation, the procedure is a little different from all the literature I’ve found. It has something to do with rotating the bolt head and lining it up with a notch in the receiver while maybe squeezing the trigger or not, but right now the British mechanism has me completely baffled. Anybody with experience here, please help me out. Thanks.


    • Matt,

      The secret is a small spring-loaded pad located at just to the rear of the receiver bridge. Align the bolt head lug with the bolt guide rib (the long thingy on top of the bolt). Now, flip the rear sight upright and insert the bolt into the receiver (under the rear sight). When it gets to the receiver bridge it will stop. Rotate the bolt head to the right and when it contacts the spring-loaded pad, press down, then push the bolt straight into the receiver the rest of the way. Hold the trigger back as you lower the bolt handle to keep from cocking the rifle.

      To remove the bolt, lift the handle and pull the bolt straight back while holding down on that spring-loaded pad. The bolt head will clear the receiver bridge. When it stops, release the spring-loaded pad and you can rotate the bolt head straight up to remove the bolt from the receiver.


      • Hi B.B., yes, you’ve described exactly a procedure I’ve seen demonstrated on YouTube although the guy was going so fast I couldn’t really see what he was doing. I believe the little pad you’re describing is called the magazine catch. The trouble is that the No. 4 MkI* as opposed to the regular MkI had that catch removed in the interest of more expedient manufacture. It was replaced by a notch on the right side of the receiver that is far forward, about 3/4 of an inch behind the chamber. This notch is supposed to serve the same function but rotating the bolt head at that point doesn’t seem to do anything. In short, I have been swallowed up by the baffling British number system! I called the guy who sold me the rifle, and he says that sometimes the bolt head gets unscrewed a turn or two and changes the headspace so that the bolt won’t fit. Great. I’ll check that at next opportunity. Anyway, the procedure is supposed to be identical to the Savage No.4 MkI*’s built in the U.S., so if anyone has experience with that model or the Long Branch, please let me know. I feel sure that that the answer lies in rotating the bolt head at the receiver notch but there’s some critical step still missing.


        • Matt,

          congratulations with your purchase! Use it in good health and be sure to keep us up to date on how it shoots. As for your dealer who charged you $90 with a run-around for no extra charge, perhaps it’s time to find another, user friendly dealer.

          Fred PRoNJ

    • Matt61,
      Your experience with the gun dealers is very similar to my experience in getting my scuba tank ready for use. I went through 4 different technicians, before it was determined that my tank was useless. In a nutshell, the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing, and one of the hands was effectively disabled. In the early process, the first person was going to have me pay over $120 to get it certified and filled. This first person had no clue what she was talking about. That first experience had me regretting going the PCP route. Now that I’m past all that, and have established a relationship with the right people, I’m very glad that I did go the PCP route. The early process was filled with incompetence (charging me for a fill that was never done – went home having to trouble shoot everything and then going back to the store), never getting return calls, or promised calls, and poor inspections – they passed a tank that shouldn’t have been. The trouble with this incompetence was that since they seemed confident in what they were doing, I first had to assume that the air-tube on my FWB 700 ALU was bad, so I sent it back for a replacement. Of course, never having owned a PCP air-gun, and knowing absolutely nothing about scuba-tanks, my ignorance / incompetence had me relying on someone who claimed to be an expert. Now I know better.

    • Matt61,
      Regarding your comment to Kevin about the use of a bubble-level with iron sights, I had one that screwed into my front aperture. I used it all the time as part of my position setup, and never during shot execution. You do it just prior to going into your sighter bull during a match (50 yard, 100 yard, or 50 meter). Your setup (whole body orientation, arm/elbow placement, sling positioning, natural point of aim, etc.) is done almost completely before you shoot your first shot at the sighter bull. Nothing should change very much after that initial setup. Making sure that you’ve adjusted for bubble-level should be part of the setup. After that initial setup, you only need to spot check that things are still level (in my experience, things rarely changed). If your sling is setup properly, I’d say that 99.99% of my focus was on sight alignment during shot execution (i.e., the bubble-level was never a distraction).

      • BTW, I do appreciate that shooting a springer requires that we lose our position and have to start all over gain with each shot. However, I’ve never been able to shoot for both accuracy and speed with a springer, as there is always some setup time. But by the time I get to where I’m about to take a shot, I would have already resolved things like leveling.

  7. Everybody wants to know how absolutely powerful this rifle can be with this longer barrel, and I’m sorry to say I don’t have the right pellets to test it. Eun Jin makes a 32.4-grain pointed pellet that would produce more muzzle energy than the Eun Jin 28.4-grain domes I have on hand. But even they averaged 822 f.p.s. with the rifle set as high as it would go. That’s an average of 42.62 foot-pounds. So, I think there’s little doubt that with the heaviest pellets this rifle will just top 45 foot-pounds. That’s what it did about six years ago when I tested it for AirForce. The velocity spread with the gun running wide open went from 812 to 832 f.p.s.

    I take it the tank valve and striker assembly are still standard Talon, and not upgraded for Condor level…

    Anyone who needs more than that 45ft-lbs is probably strongly encouraged to go to the Condor.

    At a dial of 8-0 (7-16; who decided to engrave a micrometer scale in units of 1 to 16.5 [or is it 15.5]?) on my Condor, those Eun Jin 32.4 gave me 939.5fps and 63.5ft-lb (sample of two shots).

    Barracuda Match 21.1 (all following are samples of one shot each) were 1010fps/47.8ft-lbs). Dialing down to 5-0 produced 955fps/42.7ft-lbs, and 4-0 gave 937fps/41.1ft-lbs.

    The Micro-meter tank at 8-0 produced 619fps/17.9ft-lbs with the same 21.1gr pellet.

    I have NOT had time to run a power curve on the tank with any single pellet yet.

  8. B.B.,
    I could see setting up the Talon at the lowest power level, if I just wanted to get a lot of shots off while practicing the off-hand position, for example, in a smaller room. I have a 23 foot air-gun range in my office that I normally practice air-pistol with. If I had a Talon, this would be the perfect range, and power, for working on my off-hand position. But that’s just me. This ability to shoot at a variety of power levels is what I love about my pneumatic pump guns. I’m sure that at this power level, and distance, the accuracy would be more than acceptable.

  9. Hey great article as usual. I was wondering if you could help I was up in the attic and found a model c Sheridan silver streak in great condition. The woods a bit dull but it works and looks awesome. Anyway I have no clue to it’s age except that it’s after 49 and before 63. Do you know how much it would be worth or if there is a way I could narrow the age range?


    • Ace,

      There are subtle was of knowing whether your gun is newer or older within that range, but pinning down the date beyond what you have done is difficult. The shape of the front sight is one clue. The attachment, shape and method of adjustment of the rear sight is another. The shape of the top of the receiver is another. The width of the triggerguard is another. Whether the bolt is straight or bent is still another. And the list goes on.

      To really pin it down, you would need to compare the gun to the photos and descriptions found in Ron Elbe’s book, “Know Your Sheridan Rifles and Pistols.” And even then, no exact dates within the time span mentioned is possible.


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