by B.B. Pelletier
TalonP air pistol from AirForce is a powerful, new .25-caliber pneumatic hunter.
Because of the difficulty I had with the Oehler chronograph under the trees when I tried to do the velocity test the first time, today will be the velocity test. I was in the northern part of the Texas Hill Country for this test, and the sky was pure blue without a single cloud.
One reader left a message about several specific velocities he wanted me to test, but it doesn’t work that way. Since I now know the power settings and the pellets that produce the greatest accuracy in the TalonP air pistol, that’s where I started the test. It doesn’t make sense chronographing srtings of shots at different velocities if I don’t know that those velocities will be where the gun will always shoot best…does it?
Before we begin, perhaps I should mention for our newer readers that .25-caliber pellets are inherently less accurate than .22-caliber pellets. In test after test, I’ve seen the .25s perform less well than a comparable .22. Since .25-caliber pellets are the heaviest of the smallbore caliber pellets, they’ll produce the greatest energy. Many shooters choose a .25 for that reason. I’m telling you this so you’ll have some context for the report that follows.
This pellet performed great in the first (25 yard) accuracy test. It worked well from power setting three up to just before power setting six, where the groups opened up noticeably. Setting three was the most accurate setting of all, so that’s where I chronoed the gun.
Benjamin domes delivered an average 486 f.p.s. on power setting three. The range went from 480 to 496 f.p.s., for a total variance of 16 f.p.s. I did notice, however, that as I continued shooting, the velocity varied even more. For example, shot 20 was 499 f.p.s. The power curve of the pistol is narrow at this setting. That won’t matter one iota, as long as you keep your shots under 50 yards; and at this power setting, that’s what you should do anyway. But let’s keep this in mind. At the average velocity, this 27.8-grain pellet generates 14.58 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
Beeman Kodiak Match
At 31 grains, the .25-caliber Beeman Kodiak Match pellet has two things going for it. First, it’s one of the most universally accurate pellets in .25 caliber. Since many pellets are not accurate in this caliber, this is a pellet you want to try in just about every airgun.
The other thing Kodiaks have going for them is their weight. At 31 grains, they’re a medium-weight pellet in the quarter-inch bore. With the lightweights down at just over 20 grains and the heavyweights at 43 grains, the Kodiaks are a nice compromise of weight with accuracy.
We saw how accurate Kodiaks are at 25 yards in the last report, so let’s test them at the same power setting (three) they were at when shooting those groups. They average 439 f.p.s. on this power setting, and the range goes from a low of 435 to a high of 452 f.p.s. The spread is 17 f.p.s. At this velocity, the pellet generates 13.27 foot-pounds at the muzzle.
I know what you must be thinking at this point. Here’s an air pistol that purportedly gets 50 foot-pounds of energy, so why am I messing around with performance under 20? Good question. I’m just testing the velocity at which the best 25-yard groups were produced. However, I did not spend any time with the Kodiak at power settings above that during the accuracy test, so let’s now see what turning up the power gives us.
At power setting six, Kodiaks average 526 f.p.s. The spread went from 518 to 537 f.p.s. At the average velocity, that’s an average of 19.05 foot-pounds. I also tested Kodiaks at higher settings; but before we get to them, let me finish the other tests.
Eun Jin 43.2-grain pointed pellets
For the 43.2-grain pellet from Eun Jin, I cranked up the adjustment wheel as far as it would go. I want to test the maximum number of shots at max power. Instead of giving you the statistics, I’ll show you the entire string. This was starting with a 3,000 psi fill and finishing (based on velocity, not remaining pressure) at just under 2,000 psi:
Okay, looking at that string tells us several things. For starters, at closer ranges, like 25 yards, there probably are 12 good shots on a fill. But you’re safer stopping after shot 10.
For long-range shots, you might want to refill after 8 shots. As always, you need to prove these guesses by shooting at actual targets at the distances you’re interested in.
Taking the highest velocity seen in this string, we can calculate a muzzle energy of 57.48 foot-pounds. At the low end of the 8-shot string, 738 f.p.s. gives us an energy of 52.26 foot-pounds. Right there is your 50+ foot-pounds that everybody wanted to see.
Changes in the power wheel
One thing that’s characteristic of the AirForce power wheel is that, when changes are made, it takes a shot or two to settle the gun at the new setting. Let’s see what that looks like when I drop the power back to setting 10 and continue to shoot the heavy Eun Jins:
6 did not record
There’s a power drop at setting 10, and also no better shot count, for some reason. If we disregard the first shot because the gun was settling in to the new power setting, then shots 2 through 9 are the 8-shot string of consideration. The max power is 54.98 foot-pounds, and the lowest power is 47.15 foot-pounds. But with no more shots per string, I would only select this setting if it offered an accuracy advantage.
Back to Kodiaks
Now that we’ve seen what the pistol can offer with the heaviest pellets, let’s return to the Beeman Kodiaks and see what they do on power setting 10:
This group tells us a lot. First, the gun is not on the power curve at setting 10 with this pellet. The first shot is slow because of the gun settling in, but the remainder are still climbing into the power curve. I would call shot 4 the first good shot we see, and that tells me I should experiment with a lower fill pressure of perhaps 2,800 psi to see if I can get the first shot to go as fast as shot 4 goes in this string.
I would call shot 13 the last good shot in this string. If I stop there and begin with shot 4, there are 10 good shots in this string. Interesting!
The maximum power in this string came with shot 7 and is 47.78 foot-pounds. The lowest power came on the last shot and registers 44.18 foot-pounds. That’s a vert tight string and an interesting one that needs to be tested at longer range.
Dropping the power wheel back to 8 gives us the following string with Kodiaks:
Wow! It should be obvious with this string that on power setting eight, the gun does not want to be filled to 3,000 psi when shooting Beeman Kodiaks! In fact, it appears that a fill of around 2,600 psi might be the ticket! Notice that the velocity climbs more than 200 f.p.s. during this string.
I would say that the useful shots in this string start with shot 11 and continue to shot 22. That’s a string of 12 good shots with a low velocity of 771 f.p.s. and a high of 811 f.p.s. At the low velocity, the gun generates 40.93 foot-pounds of muzzle energy; and at the high, it generates 45.29 foot-pounds.
What have we learned?
We’ve learned that while there are a large number of powerful shots available, the number 10 to 12 keeps coming up, no matter where you are in regard to the power setting or which pellet is used. Take that with a grain of salt, though; because at the shorter range of 25 yards, I showed that the groups don’t open up that much. So, I’m now thinking of longer distances, like 50 yards.
I was very surprised when blog reader Matt made his comments last week, when he wondered how the TalonP operates. But I guess that’s because I’m so familiar with this gun, which is basically like all other AirForce sporting guns. Matt and everyone else who wonders how it works will get a little explanation.
The TalonP is a single-shot PCP air pistol. It has a removable air reservoir that nominally gets filled to 3,000 psi, though we’ve learned differently in this report.
While the Talon rifles have interchangeable barrels in each of the four smallbore calibers and each at three different barrel lengths, the TalonP pistol comes only as a .25-caliber gun with a 12-inch Lothar Walther barrel. Everyone wants to know if the rifle barrels will interchange with the pistol barrel, or if the pistol reservoir can be installed in a rifle. A quick examination shows that the basic hole patterns for the bushing screws are the same, but the length of the barrel breech is slightly different. I’m not going to try to interchange anything without checking with AirForce first, because there may be some fundamental differences between the pistol and the rifles that are not easily overcome.
The power adjustment wheel on the left is turned to advance and retard the power setting, indicated by the screw in the slot at the right. Here, the gun is set to 8 on the power adjustment. The numbers on the wheel correspond to smaller changes. The settings are just approximate but do relate specifically to each rifle. If I come back to this setting, I’ll get similar results.
The TalonP has a power adjustment wheel that resembles the one found on the three rifles. It works the same way and has the same characteristics of operation. Just like on the rifles, this wheel is not a precision adjustment that can be carried from gun to gun. In other words, power setting 3 on the test pistol may perform like power setting 5 on a different pistol. When it comes to the power settings, every AirForce owner must take the time to learn the peculiarities of his individual airgun, because no two are exactly the same.
In the next report, I’ll get back out to the range and test the pistol on higher power at longer distance.
78 thoughts on “TalonP PCP Air Pistol from AirForce: Part 3”
I hope for others’ sake this turns out to be an “interesting” pistol. At one time I was sorely tempted by the AirForce lineup. Though a bit strange looking for many peoples’ taste, as you have deminstrated, they can be real shooters. And with their breakdown capability, they can be easily transportable.
The Edge still draws my attention. If I ever buy a PCP, that is the one I will pick up.
The Condor doesn’t look any stranger than an HK-91 <G>
I can’t get my head around why anyone would want a “pistol” that’s too big to be a pistol and not big enough to be a rifle. What good is it?
ROFLMAO! You really have to ask that question seeing as there are so many such misfits in the firearms world? Pistols so massive and powerful as to be mostly unmanageable because of recoil? Revolvers chambered for shotgun/pistol cartridges “interchangeably”?
The reason is a simple 3 letter word! EGO! Some folks want to say they shot the “most powerful” pistol in the world. Or that they killed the largest animal ever killed with a pistol or many other such ego satisfying feats.
I my self am guilty. Once bet a shot gun toting brother I could kill more squirrels with my .22lr target pistol than he with his shot gun and won!! And hunting and killing game cleanly with a pistol always gave me much more sense of accomplishment than the same with a rifle.
So there you have it!
We’re addicts…. I’d have to say the only reason is “because we can”!
Then of course there’s the shoulder grip, which turns the big pistil into a small carbine.
I wish I had a gun like this 35+ years ago when a friend asked me to rid his shed of rats that occupied his shelves. Yes, I know that poison might have been a better solution, but as kids, what did we know. Anyways, the space was tight, so an air-rifle (barrel) proved to be a bit too large to shoulder. But seeing the power that this pistol has, I can really appreciate it as a tool for such an application. The B.B. rifle that my friend had me used was under-powered, so all I really achieved was pissing the rats off. I learned quick that rats can be VERY aggressive, and had to spin like the Tasmanian Devil to get one off my back. As KidAgain, said, it’s a SMALL carbine. Equipped with the right sight, it’s perfect for close-quartered best extermination.
Victor, okay, I was wrong. So airgunners can be charged by enraged animals the same as big game hunters. In that case, this single shot pistol may not be the answer either. (I wonder how the rats would have reacted to the Drozd machine pistol?)
Anyway, what I think you really needed was a “Cleaner” like they had in the French film “La Femme Nikita.” When the mission of the French secret agents goes to pot, they call in a large bearded man wearing a trenchcoat, bulletproof vest, sunglasses and a hat (and named Victor :-)). His mission seems to be to kill everyone in sight. Anyway a real-life version of this guy (and also a model for all pest eliminators) is here
Bees stung his friend, so he soaked their hive in gasoline and blew it up. Now, I’m curious how he got close enough to apply the gasoline without being stung while also getting far enough away not to be incinerated. Clearly not a man to underestimate. I’d say it was the bees unlucky day when they crossed him.
Oh, rats ARE very aggressive, especially if hungry. They’ve been known to kill farmers who neglected food storage rooms for too long. As a kid, living in the ghetto, just over the river-bed, railroad tracks and factories, I had lots of experience with rats. Most places of business, including markets, were infested with rats. I lived a business strip, near an alley. At about 7 or 8 years old, I caught and killed lots of huge rats. The famous Victor brand mouse traps couldn’t kill them, but they were handy for trapping them. Probably where the idea for naming an exterminator Victor came from. lol I’ve had rats jump off of fences to attack me, unprovoked. Yes, rats can be very dangerous, so they do need to be treated harshly.
Based on the velocities that B.B. just published in this report, I think that this Talon pistol would be more than adequate, considering that it’s a .25 caliber. That’s a lot of knockdown power for an air-gun. Those velocities might even be adequate in .177 caliber.
Would you prefer something like:
which do fall into “Pistol” category with regards to purchasing. (The Rossi version retains the traditional side loading gate; Henry is using a .22 style pull-out-the tube to open the port)
Does anyone know if the power plant is the same in the RWS 5G vs. it’s replacement model the RWS LP8? Are there any significant changes between the two models? Which model is preferred? Any comments regarding their differences would be greatly appreciated.
Don’t know the answers to your questions. What I do know is that I used to own and 5G and it was a superbly accurate gun once I learned the technique to shoot it accurately. This was one of the older versions (BCBBC – Before cheapening by bean counters) which had a great trigger and a wonderful finish to the metal.
I would guess that the lawyers have prevailed on them to greatly increase the trigger pull. My old one you literally could think the shot off once you took up the first stage. Well not quite but at 8 oz it was plenty light.
The gun was just too big for me in later years and cocking effort got too much to handle when arthritis really set in with my hands and fingers so I regrettably let it go to a new home where it would be used.
If the new ones were any where near what their first model 5 G was, they are a real winner.
I will add to what pcp4me has said. I have tested the newer pistol and it’s a good one. Very accurate and not too bad on the trigger.
I can’t tell you how much the powerplant has been changed, but the trigger was changed for sure.
You can read my report here:
Thank you both for your replies. I know that the 5g magnum had a recall from the government but I know Umarex has a fix for it. In any event, RWS replaced the model with the LP8. I have a chance to buy a 5G Magnum, but I wanted to know if the LP8 is a significant improvement or what the drawbacks were.
These are pretty good velocities for a .25 caliber pellet gun.
This makes me wonder about the effects of weight versus caliber on air-gun accuracy. OK, we know that within certain slower velocity ranges a .177 will perform better than too fast a velocity. On the other hand, a sometimes a heavier .177 pellet will perform better, where a lighter one performs poorly. My question is, can a lighter .22 or .25 caliber perform better at a similar velocity than the heavier .177? Is the issue that we just always just need to bring the velocity down with a heavier pellet? What about cross-section? How big a contributing factor is cross-section? If we move up in caliber, but use a lighter pellet (which is still heavier than the heavy .177), will that perform as good as the heavier smaller caliber? Could it perform better? Do we have to go with a heavier version of the larger caliber to bring the velocity down, if we want better accuracy? I wonder what the best trade-off might be? For sure it seems that lighter pellets must be shot at lower velocities, but how much does the extra mass give us accuracy-wise?
Sorry for my ramblings?
Not completely sure I understand you, but I don’t see that mass or sectional density has much to do with accuracy. Keeping the pellet below the transonic region is necessary, but beyond that, it’s a crap-shoot. Anyone who says different is selling something.
Let’s take as a theoretical example a heavy .177 pellet versus a light .22 pellet being shot at 900 fps, in moderate cross-wind (say, 8-12 mph), at 50 yards (or possibly even 25 or 30 yards – what ever is most feasible for such a test). Assume that both are almost equally accurate indoors at 10 meters, and that the .22 light is still heavier than the heavy .177. Are you saying that the larger cross-section wouldn’t hurt accuracy? I don’t know, just asking. Sounds like a blog to me. 🙂
If anything, the larger cross-section will help accuracy in the conditions you outline. That’s why larger-caliber rifles are more accurate at long range than smaller-caliber rifles. Sectional density helps cancel wind drift.
That’s very interesting! I didn’t know that. Once again, my intuition fails me!
I agree, very interesting. 50 yds at 900 fps is 0.17 sec for pellet travel, and the 10mph cross wind in 0.17 sec is 2.5 feet of air movement across the target, which the pellet pretty much ignores. One pellet might ignore 99.5% of that crosswind, and another might ignore 99.3% of the crosswind. When you look at everything that is working against making an accurate shot, it is pretty amazing how accurate shooting can be. Like a hole in one on the golf course. Seems like it shouldn’t be possible.
I would have attributed the longer range accuracy of the larger projectile to momentum (assuming heavier than a smaller projectile). I guess not, but that’s because of the other reason that you cited.
Off topic. In your write-up on barrel manufacturing, you said that hammer forged barrels should be limited to smaller caliber rifles, like the Ruger 10/22, because of potential stress-points. My son has been looking into buying a Remington 700 for hunting. According to Remingtons catalog, all 700’s have hammer forged barrels, no matter the caliber. The 700’s are legendary. What might we be missing here?
Maybe someone said that, but I don’t think I ever did. I was unaware of it until you brought it up today.
Victor, no, no. You and your son should consider the virtues of Savage rifles before you make a move. Their 110 model which is fundamental to everything is the oldest continuously produced bolt-action in existence. And I think it is pretty well-conceded by everyone including Carlos Hathcock that Savage rifles are “the most accurate off-shelf stick[s].” They come in all varieties, and they’re cheap.
As for the Remington 700, it’s obviously a good rifle design, but I’m starting to think that its “legend” is somewhat of an accident and a product of self-perpetuation. What I’ve heard is that when the Marine Corps wanted a new sniper rifle in Vietnam, they picked the Remington 700 largely because of its availability. Then with the cache of the Marines and certain outstanding individuals like Hathcock the legend was born. Everyone wanted a Remington 700 sort of the way that everyone wanted a SW 29 after the Dirty Harry films, and this phenomenon in turn became evidence for the preeminence of the Remington 700. It’s true that the Marines’ M40 in its different versions is an outstanding weapon, but that’s only because they are extensively modified to the tune of $10,000. The wisdom seems to be that the Remington 700 is “a great gun to gunsmith” whatever that means. I don’t think it really means anything. Even a customization procedure will not reproduce the exact Savage headspacing technique or the Accutrigger. Don’t discount your Savage rifles….
I seem to remember reading that the Remington 700s were available in all the PX’s. Like being able to go into any sporting goods store here in the US and find a Crosman 760, the Remington 700 was a standard stock item.
In fact I think Ed Land started out funding his sniper program on his own, out of his own pocket. So it was Remington 700s, Redfield scopes and mounts, standard stuff he could get at the PX and reasonably.
Now, this is the sort of thing I’ve heard about. But ironically, even though Remington got its foot in the door partly because of reasons of economy, a paradox kicked in and what is keeping them in is a hang up about expense. Of course top-performing Savage rifles are not good enough for our troops because they’re too cheap. Our soldiers deserve nothing less than a rifle that requires that it be gunsmithed for thousands of dollars until it can keep up with the factory Savage rifle….
I seem to remember hearing something about flat vs. round bottoms to the receiver, of course if the 700 has a round bottom I’m sure they’re machining a flat on there or something.
I appreciate your feedback on this matter. I told my son that I was still going to get my Savage FT because I was told by “experts” (I won’t say who, but they really are experts) that Savage was a better choice than Remington. I’m going to bring this up with him in hopes that he’ll consider the Savage. I try not to meddle in my kids affairs, but a little nudge shouldn’t hurt.
Yes, yes. Make this a teachable moment about intelligent buying. You might also mention that the off-the shelf Savage target rifle ($1200) won the 1000 yard world championship last year. (There’s plenty of info on the Savage website.) You might also drop the hint that if your son expects to measure up to Dad in shooting, he’d do himself a favor with the best equipment. 🙂
Wow! I’m gonna go read up on it.
Just …. wow.
There are times it brings a tear to my eye to be an American….
As I mentioned below in my response to BG_Farmer, I’m going to recommend the 111 FHNS, which comes in a variety of hunting calibers (my son is interested in 270), has both the Accu-Trigger and Accu-Stock (shouldn’t require further customization in this area), is 4 lbs lighter than the 12 (which will matter when hunting in AZ or NV mountains), and retails for $675.00 (which I’ve found much cheaper street prices). I’ve also read one very good review regarding the rifles accuracy.
Thanks again for giving me your won nudge. I needed that. 🙂
I’ll throw in some coal into that discussion. Why doesn’t anyone mention Sako?
Now owned by Beretta (along with Bennelli and a few others)…
Wonder if they still use their double dove-tail mount rings? Recoil actually causes the rings to snug down tighter (except the rear ring has a stop pin). Nobody else ever made rings to fit their bases.
My father has the discontinued Finnwolf in .308Win with the rare peep sight that fit on the rear scope base, rotate the peep to switch from 100 yard to 200 yard. Yes, Sako used to make a lever action! (with a rotary locking bolt, and magazine fed)
Yes, the Sako is nice. I have the old “Hunter” version in .25-06. Smooth action, very nice trigger. But, like my old Remington, it required glass bedding to shoot well. Also, it is $$$$$$$$$$$ today. When I bought the one have during the late 1980’s, it was about the same price as a Remington 700.
When I bought a new .223 heavy barrel two years ago, it was a Savage.
I’ve not considered Sako simply because I’ve not heard much about them. Back in my target shooting days, you often saw the name Savage associated with Anschutz (if I recall, one was the distributor for the other). But it was more than that. – Savage rifles were said to be very accurate. While at last years SHOT Show I asked which was better for long range shooting; Remington or Winchester? I read lots of debate regarding those two, and was swayed towards Remington, so I expected the experts to say Remington. They didn’t recommend either. Instead they secretly wrote down on paper “Savage”. While at the Remington booth, I gave my specs, and asked for an estimate. They came back at between $4000 and $6000. For something in range, Savage offered something out of the box at the price that Matt61 mentioned, $1200. I’m still surprised, but believe it after having read several detailed reviews of the Model 12 series.
I would take a very close look at the Savage line of bolt action rifles. Especially those equipped with the AccuTrigger. I have never shot a Savage that wasn’t very accurate. Two other good ones are the Howa (also sold as the Weatherby Vanguard) and the Thompson Center. Word is that Remington’s quality control as slipped a bit of late but I haven’t shot any of their current rifles to verify it. I have a 35 year old 700 that works well but required glass bedding to make it accurate.
Another vote for a Savage. I’ve got a cheap old tupperware, non-accutrigger, package .30-06 (111) that is nothing short of amazing even with cheap Rem. and Winchester ammo. With a better/newer stock and the accutrigger, it should be hard to beat, unless you just want to go hunting, in which case, the one I have is perfect. I’ve considered a new, more upscale model in a more competition friendly caliber, but wouldn’t have the time to use it!
While I’m partial to target rifles, like the Savage Model 12 Long Range Precision (and other Model 12’s), it’s a bit heavy for a hunting rifle. I’m going to recommend the 111 FHNS, which comes in a variety of hunting calibers, has both the Accu-Trigger and Accu-Stock, is 4 lbs lighter than the 12, and retails for $675.00 (which I’ve found much cheaper street prices). I’ve also read one very good review regarding the rifles accuracy. I get the impression that the 111 FHNS is more the equivalent of a Remington “Custom Shop” 700, which will run into the several thousands. At about the cost of the 111 FHNS, I can buy a nice Leupold VX3 6.5-20x40mm Adjustable Objective Rifle Scope and still be under the cost of a low-end Custom Shot 700. I still want my own Model 12. 🙂
That looks like a very sound choice. 111 (long action) or 11 (short action), both seem to be equally good, unless you have an action length specific issue; I’ve got the 111 in .30-06, and my brother has an even older 11 of some sort in .308. The detachable box mag. is nice also — easier to visibly disable/unload than a blind mag. They load single shot really easily on the bench also — probably makes no difference, but that’s the way I like to do it when relaxing. I think the really hard decision is caliber, although for a working gun, .30-06 or .308 are hard to better :)! Of course, .270, .243, .25-06, 7mm-08, etc., they all have their advantages and supporters.
My son was looking at getting a deer/elk hunting rifle in 270, since that’s what he’s been advised by patients of his that hunt. We don’t know enough about high power to choose between 270, 308, or 30-06. I’ve read that 270 is better for elk and deer, has a latter trajectory, and is more accurate. I don’t know, personally. What do you think?
I’ve done a little bit of elk hunting. Tell me about your terrain and I’ll give you my two cents.
in truth, I don’t know the terrain yet. Northern AZ and Northern NV were suggested as good places to hunt deer and elk. Northern AZ, between Seligman and Kingman, were suggested for deer hunting. I’ve been through that region and found it to be somewhat sparsely hilly with stretches of somewhat smooth land. Seligman is very popular for Prairie Dog hunting. If I recall, the land towards Kingman is more desert-like and rough. Moving from Seligman towards Flagstaff there is more vegetation and trees. I’m not too familiar with northern NV, but I know that most of the state is desert with rugged mountains across most of it. I wouldn’t assume that my son would be hunting on flat desert terrain like what we find here in southern Nevada. Let me get more details, and I’ll let you know. I appreciate any input you might have regarding caliber. My son does like the idea of the flatter trajectory of the 270. I’ve never hunted, but the 270 seems to make sense to me as well. Of course, that’s to be expected from a paper hole puncher like me.
I’m anticipating a long winded answer. Since this comment location is already getting squished to the side please look below for my observations on a gun for deer/elk hunting.
Take Kevin up on his offer — he’s the source for elk-hunting perhaps in terrain similar to yours. I think each of the cartridges you mention has advantages and disadvantages (the .270 is flatter shooting, the .30-06 can throw a bigger projectile, etc.), it all depends on what you want to do the most of and where you’ll be doing it. I picked a .30-06 because it is more than adequate for a wide range of game at any range I’m liable to encounter here, but out west the distances get longer and you may want to look also at some magnums for elk in particular (Kevin, I know what you are going to say :)).
My son says he’s not so much concerned about knock-down power as he is about hitting his prey with a well placed shot. Based on his own research, the 270 is more adequate for his intended purpose. Of course, this is all new to him as well, so he’s going into this from the perspective of becoming “book smart”, and not from any real experience. You and Kevin have real-world experience with this stuff, so you would have more practical considerations to offer.
I have never hunted Elk, myself. My father and all of my uncles on both sides have though, and out of the 6 of them all but one uses a 7mm mag for Elk. (#6 is using a 6.5 bullet and I don’t know the casing) They’re hunting in the western states, mostly Colorado, Texas, NM, NV. Don’t recall an Elk hunt in AZ.
The 270 is probably the most versatile choice for a non specific game rifle.
My $.02 for what it’s worth. Happy shopping/hunting
This is a bunch of rambling, forgive the composition or lack thereof, please.
I don’t find a significant difference in absolute accuracy between .270 and .30-06, for example. What does matter is BC and sectional density — the .270 is more aerodynamic, which means it both loses velocity more slowly and resists drift, which may make it seem more accurate, or give it a practical advantage at longer distances over the .30-06. The long range consideration is more the reason for considering magnums than knock down power — the flatter the trajectory, the less you need to worry about correction, and everyone is awful at range estimation! The higher sectional density of a smaller (within reason) bullet will make up for its reduced weight. Summary: .270-.300 and beyond caliber is all fine, in my opinion, as long as the bullet weight is adequate and the velocity is high enough.
KA’s 7mm Rem. magnum is not a bad choice. Kevin used the .300 Weatherby magnum, which my only issue with is that it can get expensive and hard to find — which was OK because he was a professional and reloaded I think. My main issue with “perfect” cartridges (they make a new one every month, I think) is that they can be inordinately expensive and hard to find. I would rather shoot an “adequate” chambering that I can get cheap anywhere and practice more :). I suspect all of the Savage chamberings are easy to get. I know 7mm Rem. Magnum is pretty common. Go to your local sports emporium and see what they have, then go to a small town Walmart and do the same. That will give you a rough idea of how rare the cartridges are. I’ve never been anywhere that didn’t sell .30-06, .270 and .30-30, for example, if they had anything. And, just to stir the pot, Rem. CoreLoks and Winchester Powerpoints are fine for deer (might upgrade for elk), and cheap to practice with if they shoot well for you. Also, recoil is never an issue with me, but it can be for some folks — that may eliminate some choices; you also pay for “magnum” in the name, make sure the sometimes small increase in performance is worth it.
Don’t forget knowing when to pass up a shot — no matter what you have, there will sometimes be one just too far away. Start by picking something reasonable for the ranges and game you want, then practice with it and learn its limitations. If I feel certain, e.g.,that anything within 275 yards is dead, I have a pretty good chance of success as long as I have the discipline/option of passing up anything outside my comfort zone! Basically, it comes down to determining what limits you can live with.
One very useful approach is to think in terms of Maximum Point Blank Range, such as on this table:
You can shoot farther, but once you start correcting in a hunting situation, the less assured you are of eating :). Note the note (!) about scope height. Lower is better for hunting, so keep that in mind with scope selection. You might enjoy the Chuck Hawks site in general if you haven’t come across it yet.
Getting good at range estimation, and being able to correct for up/down hill, standing on broken ground, around brush, wind, etc. is enough of a challenge. Everything Kevin said is right on — know your weapon, ranges, territory.
See my response at the end of this blog. Don’t want to have a vertical string of single words.
B.B. thanks for the close-up of the power adjustment. It looks like you’ve got a coarse adjustment and a fine adjustment. Although this apparatus does not appear to give identical results from one gun to another, it looks like it has the precision to reproduce settings for an individual gun.
On the general subject of speed, PeteZ, what do you make of the toppling of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity with the experimental finding that a neutrino particle can go faster than light? >:-) The details I’ve heard is that over a 454 mile distance from a starting point in Geneva to somewhere in Italy, the neutrinos arrived 60 feet ahead of where they should have been had they been traveling at lightspeed. That is significant and the result has apparently been cross-checked extensively. Now, shooters will really be clamoring for velocity….
KidAgain, man after my own heart. The stuff out there on the internet is so curious that I believe you can get lost in it. For instance after viewing yet another color video of the Eastern Front, I happened upon a segment with Russian snipers lying in the snow with my Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle! No action figure could have done it better! This rifle is truly the weapon of fire and ice. I feel like to really capture its historical feel I would have to take it out into the snow, but I believe that I will pass that up and stick to the balmy ranges of Hawaii and northern California.
Yes, the British material was very funny but their martial arts are not to be discounted. I’m a great admirer of W.E. Fairbairne founder of the British commandos. Apparently, he got his training as a member of the Shanghai Municipal Police in the 1930s where he and his men subdued Kung Fu gangs without firearms (British fashion). He looked cerebral like the well-spoken people in the jiu-jitsu videos, but he obviously could deliver. There is also a story that he invited the beefy and sinister looking Col. Rex Applegate to attack him full force when they met and he sent Rex flying….
You hit it exactly when you said:
” Although this apparatus does not appear to give identical results from one gun to another, it looks like it has the precision to reproduce settings for an individual gun.”
That is how it works. Each gun must be tested and catalogued by its owner.
The Shanghai police did carry firearms. The two most often used were the Colt 1911 and the 1908 pocket in .380. Both also had the safety blocked so it could not be used. The gangs often used firearms too so going armed was necessary. Gun battles were all to common.
It’s still just one adjustment with a “micrometer” read-out. It may look like one moves the Allen screw for the coarse setting, and then dials in the fine adjustment with the thumbwheel, but everything is done with the thumbwheel. Each rotation of the wheel advances the screwhead by one major index marker.
And I’d record the sample in the image as 7-14 (on my Condor, there is NO 0 on the thumbwheel, so “8” would really be 7-16, and the next increment would be 8-0.5)
Yeah, I really don’t get too anal about these settings. Because one wheel turn may not advance the screw head by one number. It can be off by three or four wheel numbers, like this one is.
I also don’t have a book in which to record these settings. In fact, there are no scales on my Talon SS, yet I manage to set it to the same velocity time after time.
Like I said, it’s rough.
I may have to play with the Condor a bit more (heck — the ideal situation for me when I move back to MI after the layoff is probably to rent some old double-wide trailer buried out in the woods; so I have a place to shoot the air-guns AND set up an HF antenna or two… Problem is I’d probably have even worse internet service than I have at present).
Pretty sure mine was close to one-rotation = 1 major index… Maybe I should run it from minimum to maximum just to see if it drifts over that length; might just be that in the range of 4-16 to 7-16 the variation isn’t enough to argue.
Though one would think they’d have calibrated the scale to match the turn rate <G>
You are ALMOST on the right track with the old double wide in the country for a shooting gallery. But it needs to be an old DOUBLE LONG. One place I lived out in the country (actually, about 20 miles from the Roanoke airgun show) some folks put 2 trailers nose to tail. Now if you could pick up a couple of old 60 footers on the cheap, splice them together with a few sheets of plywood, you’d be in hog heaven. 40 yard indoor range with bathroom and kitchen. Sounds sweet!
The power adjuster just changes the hammer spring preload, correct?
That’s all it does. Markings are just for reference so you can tell where you are or were.
Thanks. Isn’t there a top hat adjustment in there too, but maybe that’s a workbench adjustment instead of in the field? What does it do? Anything else? That in-line valve blowing right up the skirt of the pellet really is the perfect set-up for power.
The valve tophat also has an effect on hammer spring preload to a lesser extent than the power adjustment wheel(knob). Adjusting it up or down changes both the length of valve travel and how much pressure the hammer spring is exerting on it when the rifle is fired. The difference in force is minimal in comparison to the energy of the hammer strike force, but it is there. It also changes the length of the hammer stroke by a bit. All of these interractions do add up and make a difference.
The valve tophat requires an allen wrench for the setscrews that hold it in place. This is not a “field” adjustment. I don’t consider the power wheel to be a field adjustment either……….
You don’t screw with this stuff without a lot of chrono work to get the rifle set up. This includes testing with different pellets and accuracy testing.
After a lot of work, you end up with a pellet, a fill pressure, a tophat setting, a power wheel setting, a velocity curve, and a shot count. Then you LEAVE IT THERE.
That makes sense and is helpful. Your last sentence about “leave it there,” rings true. I have a couple of guns that I “leave there.” And then a few more that I am constantly changing. Being able to work on these things is where I get my satisfaction.
The adjustment wheel only affects the striker spring tension, as twotalon said. But the tophat affects the valve dwell time. The shorter the stroke the less time the valve remains open.
I wonder how they knew that they were the same neutrinos? Maybe they were different ones that were quantamly entangled with the originals…..
I fnally got my compressor tube lathed down to size and glued into main coupling. Next would be pins and slots cut. Pistons are almost ready, upper receiver too – next week I suppose. Then a sensitive job – drilling holes and trigger installation. I’ve already got some plans for the main lever – I only need them to be turned into blueprints.
You are giving us all a window into a very complex airgun development. This is something not many people every get to see.
I hope you are taking lots of pictures, because what a story this will make.
Also, I do understand your fear of drilling a pin hole just a little off where it should be. You have to do it right the first time, if you don’t want to do it again.
I wouldn’t call it development. It’s rather a sort of “Chinese engineering”: got the photo or the schematics? reverse-engineer it in accordance with your technology level.
All I had to do was to study JW’s construction and try to make something similar with limited resources and experience. Remember that “poor man’s Whiscombe”? that’s what I call development and making. After all I did’t do much with my hands, I just drew some lines and pushed other people into doing parts for me. And yes, I was very stubborn and aggressive about the word “impossible”.
However it really opened some areas for me. Today I know much more than I did before starting this whole mess 🙂 and today I can say I have the image of Mod.1 before me. And some other stuff too – I want something like BSA Stutzen, but with side grip trigger for gas spring.
Drilling holes will require milling machine at least I guess. Trouble is that I added Rekord-style safety to a Vectis design, but a hole for it must be drilled 2 mm off the center of the tube. Tricky least to say. Tube’s rear end is going to resemble Swiss cheese but I was unable to invent something else: three holes through (1 for main 8 mm pin, 2 for trigger case) and one blind – for safety switch. Add 1 vertical blind hole (threaded for receiver’s main screw) and there you are.
This is quite a project you have been working on and it seems to be evolving as each part is made. The blind tapped holes are always difficult to do….. get a much thread depth as possible, but don’t break through!
Keep it up!
Still a tough job! Lots of steps for each part, and lots of parts. I collected a bunch of parts and materials to build myself Al Nibecker’s differential piston gun and did a bunch of drawing to refine his design into something I want, and then never got much beyond that stage. Life gets in the way sometimes. You’re miles ahead of my project! 🙂
I thought the blog would be interested in the following what with this talk of zombies and the country going downhill. I saw the movie Contagion the other week (if you haven’t seen it, you can wait for it to come onto cable – go see Moneyball instead) and went out to dinner Saturday night with neighbors, both of whom are in the medical field and the wife a close follower of the AMA’s edicts against firearms. She confessed that the movie’s premise is exactly true and she could see anarchy developing here in such a scenario(essentially the world is infected by a non-treatable virus with a 25% fatality rate). She worried that armed gangs would run rampant. I pointed out that legitimate firearms owners would be able to form militias as many of the store owners did during the LA riots and protect their neighborhoods and stores. I also told her the story, gotten from the NRA magazine, of the Egyptian-American who returned to his parent’s home in Egypt during the downfall of Mubarak and organized a neighborhood militia since there were no police around. He lamented the lack of firearm ownership and stated that allowing citizens to legally own firearms, as is done in the United States, really has it’s merits in times of civil unrest.
My friend, the Doctor, just stared at me but I could see her thinking that maybe gun ownership might not be such a bad idea afterall.
Very true. When asked about the possibility of invading the United States during WW II, Gereral Yamamoto stated, “It is impossible, there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
Deer hunting is not elk hunting. Tough to find an ideal gun to do both. Since elk are a larger more powerful animal that rarely allows a close shot I would suggest you err on the side of a more powerful gun. Although I’ve never hunted in the areas your describing I get the impression of wide open spaces that translate into longer shots typically vs. stalking in black timber.
Let’s not overlook the fact that once upon a time many deer and elk were taken with rimfires. Of course this was during the time that folks spent more time stalking and working hard for a close shot. The first question I would ask your son is what is the maximum range that he would ever pull the trigger on an elk. If his answer is 200 yards then the .270 with 180 gr is fine. Shooting a deer at 300 yards with 160 gr is fine.
I guided a lot of flatlanders that were seasoned deer hunters. Judging distance was their biggest problem in hilly or mountainous terrain. Before their arrival I tied bright orange tape at various distances, over various terrain and asked them to estimate yardages. Wasn’t unusual for seasoned hunters to be off 50 yards or more. Know your distances in the terrain you’ll be hunting. I also had every guest shoot at 100 yards, 200 yards and 300 yards over various terrain. Two things became immediately apparent:
1-Most guys never practiced offhand shooting. They spent most if not all of their time shooting their big game rifle from a bench. Knowing the accuracy you’re capable of at various yardages without a rest anywhere in sight is necessary for responsible hunting.
2-Most guys never shot at a target on a steep hill. POA is different.
I always took 3 guns elk hunting. I carried a .300 weatherby and a 30-30 winchester. The third gun was a 30-06 and was a back up. The .300 weatherby was my primary, long range gun. The 30-30 was for dark timber. When elk hunting I would encourage you to use 180 gr in the .270. Maximum distance for shooting an animal is that distance where you can consistently hit a 3″ area offhand or seated on the ground. Yes, the kill zone for a deer/elk is bigger but there is this thing called buck fever that makes a kill zone shrink. Yes, the .270 is fairly flat shooting. When comparing a 180gr in a .300 weatherby vs. 180 gr in .270 at 300 yards the .270 drops about a foot and the .300 weatherby drops about 6 “. The energy of the weatherby at 300 yards is about 60% greater as well. Not such a big deal for deer but a consideration for elk hunting.
Summary. Caliber isn’t as important in hunting deer/elk as your hunting and offhand shooting skills. Know your distances in the terrain you’ll be hunting. Learn to shoot uphill and downhill. Be safe.
Thanks for the very informative and insightful response! You got my son thinking that maybe the .300 is the way to go. He doesn’t want to need multiple guns. His primary interest is shooting within 200 yards, but especially within 100 yards. He had not considered shooting outside of 200 yards. Like you, and better hunters in general, he wants clean kills. However, considering the additional benefits of the .300 that you cited, he’s starting to take interest in the idea of shooting beyond 200 yards, but still not as a primary interest. Sounds like the .300 is closest to ideal for both elk and dear.
Excellent comments regarding range estimating, shooting offhand and shooting on hills. My suggestion to him is to shoot from the prone position whenever he can, but shooting offhand is an important skill to master. He says that he’d like to try shooting from a bi-pod. By the way, my son does not like to shoot from a rest. He prefers offhand and open sights. Of course for hunting, he’ll use a scope.
Very few people I guided for were consistently capable of a 300 yard shot in the field even if the animal was standing still. After observing my guests shoot on the way to camp most promised me that they would keep their shots under 200 yards.
When you see a legal animal after opening day at 300 yards or more the urge is too great for some hunters and they take a shot. Many broken promises. I’m not saying that your son would do this but I guarantee he will have the urge. Have the gun that is capable of killing a big bull elk at 300 yards and learn to shoot it accurately. My .300 weatherby has a redfield scope that is set 3″ high at 100 yards, dead on at 200 yards and about 3″ low at 300 yards with a 180gr bullet. In other words, I put the crosshairs on the boiler room of an elk up to 300 yards. No holdover. No thinking.
One last thought. Shooting at a running animal is tough. If you do get lucky, eating an animal that has been run immediately before being killed is usually very strong. Gamey.
Good luck in your search for a gun and have a safe hunting trip.
Again, great information. My son is very disciplined and considerate, so he would not be one to push his luck. We talked about this today and from his perspective, if guys can hunt deer with a bow and arrow at well under a 100 yards, he can keep his distance to within 100 yards with a rifle. I thought that I was generally a very conservative guy until I got to know my son better as a young adult. He’s always been sensitive to consequences and used good judgement. On my end, I’ll need to work with him more on some of the finer points of shot execution. He’s already doing his homework on everything hunting.
I think that both of us see this as a great opportunity to bond. When he was much younger and wanted to do things like fishing, I was traveling all the time. Now I work from home, never travel (by choice), and have more luxury to pursue things like hobbies. My wife is excited about how my son wants to involve me in this pursuit. When I told her that I saw this one particular Savage .270 that we are considering for just $551.00, she told me to buy it. So there is a very personal element to this whole thing. I personally have never had much of an interest in hunting, but I’m not adverse to it either. We both appreciate the practical aspects of hunting, and that’s what we hope to benefit from.
I greatly appreciate your advice!
Thanks for the good information. Installing a low scope is really good advice. I know that larger objective lens are often recommended for their light capturing abilities, but they require higher mounts. They are also more expensive. After reading Kevin’s and your excellent advice regarding caliber, I think we’ll consider getting two rifles. For starters, we’ll go with a .270 until we get much more experience with all aspects of hunting. Later, we’ll look at a higher caliber for more challenging hunts. The specific details that Kevin provided regarding drop between the .270 and the .300 at various distances are very interesting. I like the way he sights in his rifles, factoring in the vertical spread over specific distances. Very cool!
Well there you have it. No one cares about the Talon P as no one replied about anything of interest about the Talon P. Small game is hunted close up and using stealth.
AirForce – I hope you’re reading these. You missed the market big time, by not making a Talon SS P, which is what everyone wanted.
Wonder how much stealth was needed for:
Even the Talon P would be more suited for that shot…