TalonP PCP air pistol from AirForce: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


TalonP air pistol from AirForce is a powerful, new .25-caliber pneumatic hunter.

I’m surprised to have gotten this far without being besieged by requests for information about the TalonP air pistol from AirForce. I couldn’t have told you anything, of course, except that the pistol was coming along fast. Well, the wait is over. The guns are being shipped, and Pyramyd Air already has their first batch.

What is the TalonP?
The TalonP is a .25-caliber, single-shot PCP pistol designed expressly for hunting. It doesn’t have much competition, because of the power it projects — a solid and repeatable 50 foot-pounds for at least 10 good shots per reservoir fill to 3,000 psi. In that power range, there has only been one previous air pistol — the 6-shot revolver from Shinsung that left the market several years ago. There’s never been an air pistol of this power in .25 caliber before now.

Customer-driven
The TalonP was strongly driven by customers who came to the AirForce booths at the SHOT Show and the NRA Annual Meetings and told them, “what they ought to do!” I can remember hearing such pronouncements back in 2004, when I first attended the SHOT Show representing them. People were fixated on the pistol grip on the three sporting rifles and said AirForce should design a pistol to go with the rifles. I’m sure everyone thought it was simply a matter of making a shorter reservoir, but that’s not what was done. The TalonP is entirely new from the ground up.

New valve
For starters, the TalonP has a Direct-Flo valve, which is a completely new valve. It may look like a Hi-Flo valve to casual observers, but the porting has been entirely redone. It had to be to get those 10 good shots from the smaller reservoir (AirForce reports that you may get up to 12 shots on high power and up to 30 shots on low).


Although the valve looks like a Hi-Flo from the outside, it’s actually all-new on the inside. Called the Direct-Flo valve, it’s the secret behind 10 good shots per fill at the high-power level.

This is a loud airgun
Make no mistake, this is a loud airgun. You don’t get 50 foot-pounds from a 12-inch barrel and stay quiet, too. No doubt there will be things done to tone it down in the future, but expect it to make some noise right out of the box.

I photographed the business end of the gun with the end cap removed to show the 1.5 inches of room beyond the true muzzle. There are things that can be done, and this is how much room you have to do them in. Of course, there’s also the empty space inside the frame behind the muzzle to consider, as well. No doubt, the experimenters will be hard at work very soon, coming up with solutions for the discharge sound.


There’s about an inch-and-a-half of dead space behind the end cap. More if the barrel bushings have holes in them.

Adjustable power
Upon first seeing the power adjuster wheel in the frame, I wondered why they bothered. No doubt that someone will find a good reason for it to be there. I plan to shoot the gun wide open all the time in this test, unless you readers can persuade me otherwise.


There’s a power adjuster on the left side of the frame. Most shooters will probably leave it set to high, but some folks may find a use for it.

.25 caliber
This gun comes exclusively in .25 caliber for the time being. Even if they do offer it in other calibers in the future, the valve will probably have to be changed; so, this isn’t a gun for which you’ll be buying spare barrels. Buy it if you want .25 caliber or be prepared to wait.

I ordered a wide range of premium .25-caliber domed pellets for testing. The heaviest pellet available at this time, and therefore the one that generates the most power in this airgun, is the 43.2-grain pellet from Eun Jin. Unfortunately, it’s pointed; but with a powerful gun like this on the market, someone will soon make a heavy domed pellet. JSB also makes some .25-caliber pellets, so we’ll see how well this pistol can shoot with the best of what’s out there today.

Doing a lot with a little
The TalonP reservoir is sized to the pistol, so it’s a lot smaller than the reservoir found on the rifle. Still, the company claims you’ll get at least 10 good shots from a fill. Naturally, that’ll be something I’ll check on the velocity test.


The TalonP reservoir (bottom) is small compared to the rifle reservoir. Yet, it manages to get 10 good shots from a single fill.

The rest of the gun
This is for those who may not be familiar with AirForce air rifles. The frame of the pistol is made from an aluminum extrusion. The barrel is housed inside the extrusion inside two bushings that keep it aligned with the sight base.

The trigger is not adjustable. It’s two-stage and releases fairly crisply. I’ll report the pull weight in Part 2. It’s not a trigger that can be easily modified because of how it works, but it’s better than average for a sporting PCP.

The gun has 11mm rails for mounting accessories both above and below the frame. You’ll need to use a scope on this pistol because open sights won’t work. The pistol has to be held too close to the eye for the rear sight to work unless it’s an aperture sight.

The barrel is made by Lothar Walther and, as such, is vetted as one of the best of its kind on the market. As long as you can obtain good pellets, this gun should shoot well.

You might ask how you can shoot a pistol with a rifle scope. I’ll be showing you how in Part 3 of this report. It isn’t anything new, and silhouette pistol shooters have been doing it for a long time.

That might lead some of you to ask whether AirForce has plans for an optional shoulder stock, and the answer is yes. But even before they get theirs to market, I’d be willing to bet there will be at least a couple aftermarket options to choose from. If you’re a backpacker, you can forgo the stock and carry the gun as it comes. I hope to show some good results of potential accuracy in Part 3.

The bottom line
When I heard the specs on this pistol, I knew AirForce had knocked one out of the park. Not everybody wants to hunt with an air rifle; and for those who don’t, this is a viable option — maybe even the most viable option. It produces 50 foot-pounds and can deliver a lot of that energy to larger small-game targets.

This should be an interesting test!

57 thoughts on “TalonP PCP air pistol from AirForce: Part 1


    • I totally agree. I tell Air Force this via e-mail and every time I call them to order parts. They are making red, blue, yellow, green frames, etc., shorter carbines (“Stubbies” as they call them), pistols, which are basically all the same (I don’t see how this gun/pistol is a “new gun from the ground” up. That’s absurd to even think it..), when instead they could be improving Talon & Condor ‘s trigger. But my biggest complaint is the shoulder pad, for end stock, and pistol grip in that order. The for end needs to be wider for a better more balanced hold and the shoulder piece needs to be lower for a more comfortable cheek weld. The pistol grip, well I don’t have to go into that I don’t think. Simple and cheap pop in my head. These can all be remedied with some extra $ to replace them.

      I can live with the 3lb trigger and it’s actually not that bad, but it can use improvements, so I would like a better trigger. It would increase sales better than purple and pink colored guns.. Crosman/Marauder has a better trigger, why can’t Air Force step up and build a better trigger too? What I am having a hard time living with, is the ridiculous grips, so I am getting aftermarket. Other than that, Air Force guns are really good and accurate. Easy to modify, easy to “control” the noise, and in general easily upgradable with decent aftermarket support. But Air Force needs to understand that their guns are based on an old design, especially the trigger. They need to make improvements on the trigger, a more sturdy frame, and continue to improve the valve for better consistency, which they have only done once or twice so far, but it’s something.


  1. BB,
    I agree that this pistol should be popular with hunters. It’s not a small package but is smaller, and more powerful than most rifles. Do you know the weight and length of the Talon Pistol? Are the new components compatible with existing AirForce guns? Will the new valve fit a regular Talon or Condor tank?

    I enjoyed reading the blog,

    David Enoch


  2. Impressive for what it is, but it sure does not look like anything I would call a “pistol,” other than it can be shot well with one hand.

    Looks more like a black “mini-carbine” to me . . . . I expect one of the first modder parts available will be a foldable stock extension to make it shoulder properly. Then it will make a nice compact hunting rig.

    Alan in MI



  3. B.B.,

    Can you offer any insight into what a Normay HW35 Vixen is? Supposedly a specially tuned version by
    Norman May &Co of Bridlington. Any idea of what they did? If it was just a well done tune 30 years ago I would assume that this gun wouldn’t command a premium? Or is this in the catagory of an R1 Venom?

    kevin



    • J-F,

      The reason I didn’t do that this time is that my Talon SS, which is closest in size to the pistol now has a 24-inch barrel and a bloop tube on it. I have to leave it together because of the long-term test of CB caps vs air rifles I’m doing. That rifle represents all air rifles.

      I could use a Condor, which is a larger rifle. Would that be okay?

      Maybe I could also throw in a Sherdian Blue Streak?

      B.B.


      • I think the condor would perfect, the SS would also be a good partner with the other two evem with the bloop tube it would give everyone a very good reference point.

        What part could interchange between the pistol and the rifles? Makes you wanna buy one of each and interchange the parts, like a heavy metal lego gun.

        J-F


  4. I’m very intereted in purchasing to go along with my AirForce Condor.
    Curious about reading Part 2 and Part 3 first.
    Also, how much more air does a Direct Flow valve dump vs. a Hi Flow valve on the same tank ?
    I believe that a stock AirForce Hi Flow has about a 62 % efficiency and the tuned valves have around 80 % efficiency.


    • Beaver and Bruce,

      I don’t know the answer to the airflow question, but I suspect it lies in the dwell time of the valve. Somehow I suspect AirForce has found a way to use a power band broader than 1,000 psi that most PCPs use. Only the Benjamin Rogue has been able to do that until now.

      Low power is all that AirForce has told us about the 30-shot possibility. I will have to test it.

      Sure, I could attach the small tank to the Talon SS with the 24-inch barrel. To be honest, I have been waiting for someone to ask me to do something strange with this gun, but that was even stranger than I had imagined. I’m curious about what will happen.

      B.B.


      • Do you have another article that talks about the statement you made above ?

        “Somehow I suspect AirForce has found a way to use a power band broader than 1,000 psi that most PCPs use.”


        • Beaver,

          I suspect you have not yet asked your question. Read about the benjamin Rogue and see what I’m referring to. And if you want more, tell me and I will write a special report for you.

          /blog/2011/05/benjamin-rogue-epcp-a-new-way-of-making-airguns-part-4/

          B.B.


          • That article covered my 1000 psi power band question (3000 to 2000 psi of reasonable useable pressure by utilizing greater air dump as pressure drops). Kind of like rolling up the Powerwheel on an AirForce airgun, after each shot. 0/0 for 3000 psi and 13/0 for 2400 psi, to flatten the air energy release curve.


            • Beaver,

              Well, you can roll the power wheel all you want, but if you haven’t calibrated that with a chronograph, it will be meaningless.

              The point I was making with my remark was that most PCP valves function over about a 1,000 psi pressure band. Outside the band you don’t get good results. But the TalonP seems to be doing better than that.

              B.B.


  5. I really like the build of the Talon P.
    What is the diameter of the tank, as I was wondering if a Tri Rail would be required to get enough height for easy sighting through the scope, or no Tri rail needed ?
    Also, please let us know how much effort it takes to push the breech forward when Powerwheel is set to max (I’ll presume the Talon P has the same main spring as a Condor ?).


  6. Afternoon B.B.,

    Wow, this sounds like it’s going to be a unique gun that fills a very special niche. What’s not to like4 about 50 foot-pounds of energy out of a compact little package? I will be very surprised if this is not an interesting gun accuracy wise.

    What is the power level that gives 30 good shots: the feet per second and the pellet shot?

    I’m wondering how that tank would work screwed into a Talon SS with a 24″ .25 caliber barrel? Any chance of you being able to test that now or possibly at some time in the future.

    Thanks,
    Bruce


  7. While you are measuring the Main Spring, I wonder if you could weight the hammer ? I think a stock Condor hammer is a combination of the larger delrin rimmed Hammer of 49 grams and a Ring of 19 grams for a total of ~ 68 grams.


  8. B.B.

    I would call it “overpistol” or “underrifle” πŸ™‚ A quick-swap grip/stock would be very nice indeed. I wonder how it feels to hold it pistol way – seems to me that AF could do a better job on its grip.

    Pump is being assembled now – pipe turned down to size, then glued into main coupling, then cut and drilled. A lot of hand finish ahead, meters of sandpaper and kilos of polishing compound.
    I started an upper receiver for my project. It seems it’s going to be one of the most pricy parts, but I think it’ll worth the money. Hard-anodized piece of 7075 alloy, to hold all the pellet things together: bypass, bypass control levers, bypass adjustment system, barrel, barrel sleeve and sleve plug/air cutoff/barrel tension nut. I decided to use heavy choked CZ – they seem to be harder (forged) and more available these days than LW.
    Then literally the hard part – trigger trinkets, now not from acryl cut by laser, but machined from steel and hardened. I feel there will be lots of hand finishing and spring tuning.

    duskwight


  9. Several years ago I treated myself to an Ultimate Condor pkg….as my first foray into the “Dark” side
    of PCP ownership.I later bought additional barrels and a Bloop tube.Then I saw a regged tank (13 ci)
    that I paired with the Co2 valve.Then I found a great deal on a .20 Talon outfit.I didn’t have any .20
    barrels…..so with all my extra stuff,a complete Talon platform made sense.I hae configured each
    just about every way I thought possible.I even simulated this one with a 12gr powerlet “cracker”
    hooked up to the Co2 valve w/ Talon & 12″ .22 barrel.
    I may have to try this pistol…..just for grins.Might be cool as an arrow launcher with that direct valve.
    I know the rifle conversion that someone made was very loud but powerful and accurate.


  10. This looks like a perfect pest control combo.
    I’d like to see FPE figures more than FPS, as I want to be sure that the pellets have enough energy at typical targets distances from up close chipmunks to mid distance raccoon.
    Be very interested to have a FPE spread with High power Heavy Pellet and Low power Light Pellet.
    That same combo on my Condor produces a 30 to 90 FPE spread with 26 gr and 43.2 gr pellets.


  11. I’m curious how that airgun can be held. It would seem that few would hold it out like a one-handed pistol, but rather up close two handed with maybe cheek rested on the tank. Please try and show us some different holds.


  12. As with many long-barreled pistols, one option may be to put the fore-end in the crook of the off-side elbow, with the off-side hand gripping the on-side forearm

    (or, maybe easier to visualize: extend left arm [reverse if a left-hander] straight out to the side; bend elbow so left hand approaches shoulder; shove right hand [and pistol grip] into the V; left hand gripping right forearm; turn head to left to pick up sighting plane).

    I suspect the AirForce open sights could be used in this configuration if the rear sight is mounted near the front end of the “handle”. Would be a short sighting radius… Long eye-relief “pistol” scope might be better.

    After that, there is a long-range (Creedmore) pistol position: lay on back, knees up and together, though feet are spread. Pistol fore-end against side of calf, left hand holding up the back of the head for sighting. Could use the open sights at maximum spread as the focal plane is further from the eye — wider depth of field possible.


  13. If this pistol is not accurate I will be very, very surprised (and v, v disappointed). How could it be any less accurate than the Talon SS and I have a Talon SS and it very, very accurate. Now, whether a person can be as accurate with a pistol version is another question.



  14. Oh boy another dream and drool gun!

    I had a friend give me a motorcycle, in pretty bad shape, I think with the idea in mind that I’d be able to fix it up and ride it around, particularly to his place to help him with stuff. Great idea, but it’d cost me more than I could buy a decent used bike for, to fix this one up. So I sold it. Spent about half the $ on some ammo for him, and got a few goodies for myself – a holster for my single six, and found a Beeman P17/Model 2004 for just under $40 at Wal-mart. It didn’t say so on the package, but it looked like a descendant of the P1; a single-stroke pneumatic.

    Ahh, the P1. I paid, I believe, $200 for one of those in the mid-80s. The little O-ring seal blew out right away. I took it back to the shop and instead of just selling me another O-ring for 50c, they made a big deal about it and in the end, I sold the thing for $100 and put it behind me.

    So I took this home, and shot a can a couple of times, and a bottle, hehe. It’s a bugger to pump, this will have a good effect on my pecs. This thing seems to be pretty accurate, in my hands as accurate as my gamo delta, maybe more so. (Accuracy on my Delta seems to be going down as dust builds up on the sights, I really need to dust them and put a hood on the front.)

    So far this gun has me really smiling. The thing is, pest birds generally have no idea what a pistol is.

    The cocking/loading routine is a bit clunky but what the hell, it’s an under-$50 gun.

    I found B.B.’s review from 2006, and have it bookmarked. Apparently at least back in ’06, people were having seal “failures” which in many cases sound like, with brand new guns, either enough shooting to make the oil emulsify, or the oil inside being perhaps irregularly spread inside, and was cured with a drop or two of Pellgun Oil.

    I don’t have the muskles to do the first, as for the second case, I have Pellgun Oil.

    I was surprised to see this at Wally’s. They have the Benjamin rifle with the big hole in the stock and the Nitro Piston feature too, in .22, I was sure tempted.





  15. I see you made a comment earlier in the article, but it may have been out of context.
    >>>
    The TalonP is entirely new from the ground up.
    <<<

    You actually meant certain components are entriely new ? Yes ?


    • Rasputin,

      Of course. Some things like the Lothar Walther barrel remain the same.

      But when something is put together in a different way to produce different results, the use of the term “entirely new” is both correct and precise.

      B.B.


  16. I really like this Pistol. Can’t wait to add it to my collection but then I like lots of weird pistols.
    Have many contender barrels and frames, also have a nice savage pistol in 17 hmr., not to mention my AR15 variant in a pistol complete with beta mag.
    Would have liked to have seen this with some sort of repeating magazine like a P-Rod.
    would like to see a P-Rod with this sort of power.


  17. Sounds like a very cool item. I have to agree with a few other posts in that the triggers and consistency should be improved. I have a condor that WAS very inconsistent until I got it back from Tony @ talontunes.




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