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Ammo AirForce Talon SS precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 8

AirForce Talon SS precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 8

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

AirForce Talon SS is a whole shooting system.

My mistake
Today is the day I tell you about the horrible blunder I made. Remember the two tests I did with the Talon SS PCP rifle using the AirForce Micro-Meter air tank? Well, that wasn’t a Micro-Meter tank! It was a standard tank!

Blog reader twotalon guessed it was wrong, and I ignored him. When John McCaslin, the owner of AirForce Airguns, read my last report of the Micro-Meter tank — the one where I got 340 shots on a fill — he saw that I reached over 800 f.p.s. in .22 caliber and knew a Micro-Meter tank couldn’t do that. He called me and walked me through the logic of why it couldn’t be a Micro-Meter tank. Sure enough, he was right!

I guess what happened is that when I went to AirForce to pick up the Micro-Meter tank, I grabbed the wrong tank. Then, when I tested it on the optional 24-inch barrel first, I didn’t question the numbers because I didn’t know what the numbers should be with the longer barrel. As for why I missed seeing it when I tested it with the 12-inch barrel, that was entirely my fault. I simply didn’t think it through. Twotalon even asked me if there was a sticker on the Micro-Meter tank, and I told him there wasn’t, but I thought that was because AirForce had forgotten to put one on. Or I’d picked up a tank before the sticker was applied.

It doesn’t matter. The fact is that I tested the gun with both barrels using a standard tank. I’m going to update those other reports to reflect that, and today we’ll see what a Talon SS does when it’s using a real Micro-Meter air tank. And now we have the results of a standard tank for comparison.

I’ll start today with the standard 12-inch barrel, and then I’ll test the real Micro-Meter tank with the 24-inch barrel in the next report. Because I have a good idea of how many shots I’ll get from this tank, I modified the test to shoot 30 dry-fire, or blank, shots between the recorded strings — just to burn up air a little faster. In the previous two tests, I fired only 20 dry-fire shots between strings.

I’m still shooting only the .22-caliber Crosman Premier pellet in this test. And I started with a fill to exactly 3,000 psi.

The test
The first string of 10 shots was with the power wheel set at the lowest setting, which I’ll call zero. The gun averaged 590 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 583 to a high of 601 f.p.s. That’s an average of 11.06 foot-pounds.

For the next 10, I dialed up the power as high as it would go. The rifle averaged 585 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 582 to a high of 590 f.p.s. The average energy at the muzzle was 10.87 foot-pounds. Then, I fired 30 blank shots without pellets.

Shots 51-60 were fired on low power and averaged 557 f.p.s. They ranged from 547 to 563 f.p.s. The average energy was 9.85 foot-pounds. I fired 30 more blank shots. From this point on, all shooting was done on the lowest power setting.

Shots 91 to 100 averaged 547 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 539 to a high of 556 f.p.s. They averaged 9.5 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. Notice how tight the strings are? Even though the velocity is decreasing, the consistency remains good. After this string, I fired 30 more blank shots.

Shots 131 to 140 averaged 525 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 516 to a high of 533 f.p.s. The average energy was 8.75 foot-pounds. I noticed that the first couple shots at the beginning of each string were always the slowest, so those blank shots had an affect on the numbers. After this string, I fired another 30 blank shots.

Shots 171 to 180 averaged 512 f.p.s. and ranged from 502 to 523 f.p.s. The average energy was 8.33 foot-pounds. After this string, I fired 30 more blank shots.

Shots 211 to 220 averaged 489 f.p.s. and ranged from a low of 475 to a high of 500 f.p.s. The average energy was 7.59 foot-pounds. That puts the gun, after 220 shots have been fired, in the same power range as a .22-caliber Diana model 27. After this string, I fired another 30 blank shots

Shots 251 to 260 averaged 467 f.p.s., with a range from 458 to a high of 474 f.p.s. The average energy was 6.93 foot-pounds. After this string, another 30 blank shots were fired.

Shots 291 to 300 averaged 443 f.p.s. with a spread from 434 to 451 f.p.s. The average energy was 6.23 foot-pounds. The velocity is dropping off steadily, but slowly; and if you were plinking in the backyard, you’d never notice it. After this string, I fired another 30 blank shots.

Shots 331 to 340 averaged 416 f.p.s. and ranged from 410 to 425 f.p.s. The average energy was 5.5 foot-pounds. Another 30 blank shots followed this string.

Shots 371 to 380 averaged 379 f.p.s. and ranged from 370 to 392 f.p.s. The average energy was 4.56 foot-pounds. I stopped after shot 380 because the velocity was getting low and I heard a short hiss of air escaping from the tank. Clearly, the valve was down to its bottom performance point and would not continue to hold air at pressures much lower than this. When I checked the pressure remaining in the tank it was exactly at 1,100 psi. The gun used an incredible 1,900 psi of air over these 380 shots.

What have we learned?
The first thing we learned is that the gun gets even more shots with the Micro-Meter tank than it does with the standard tank. I count 40 more shots, though there were still some shots left in the standard tank when that test ended at 340 shots.

Next, we see there was no increase in velocity, as this tank was used up. Instead, there was a slow and steady decline in velocity from the first shot to the last.

As far as consistency goes, the standard tank was just as consistent as the Micro-Meter tank, but at significantly higher velocities. The Micro-Meter tank will be easier on your backstop. If that isn’t a problem, the standard tank still gives you plenty of low-velocity shots.

The last thing I’ve learned is that I’m still capable of making mistakes. I thought I was done with them several years ago, but apparently it’s like riding a bike. Once you learn how….

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.

40 thoughts on “AirForce Talon SS precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 8”

  1. So we’re human…. 🙂 And the test’s part 2, comparison to the standard tank got done first. No harm, no foul. The Micrometer tank still has some nice velocities for indoor and backyard shooting! Nice shot count, but how many strokes of a hand pump does it take to fill it? I know it’s about a thousand stroke workout to fill my spare tank that I fill the Disco from…

    • /Dave

      I have used 3 different pumps so far. The setup is with a hose on the pump, and the adapter on the end of the hose. Takes about 20 strokes to get the hose and adapter up to pressure. After that, about 20 strokes for every 10 bar of pressure.
      If I need to put 30 bar back in, it takes about 80 strokes.

      How many shots you get depends on how much velocity spread you can live with for the distance you are shooting.
      For me, I can’t use more than about 50-60 shots before a refill.


    • /Dave,

      To fill from empty always takes me three pumping sessions and about 375-450 pump strokes. That includes filling the hose each time.

      A Better way to think of it is this: A Condor takes 1.5-2 pump strokes per shot. A regular SS takes about 1.5 strokes per shot. With the MM valve I think you will get about two shots per pump stroke.


    • If I recall, it took me about 15-strokes per 100PSI. Up to 2000PSI is relatively easy; 2000-2500 require thought, and 2500-3000PSI takes belly (lock my thumbs at my belt-line, and pump by dropping my body — arms stiff). So for a truly empty tank — about 450 strokes.

      The Marauder was around 10-strokes per 100PSI

      The Silhouette pistol I don’t recall — about 5-7 per 100PSI (I need to find out where that one is leaking — it won’t hold pressure over a few weeks; meaning it needs to be pumped up immediately before use)[Problem now with being in Michigan — I don’t think I can send it out for service].

      • Wulfraed,

        Before you do anything, drop three drops of silicone chamber oil into the male quick-disconnect fitting on your pistol and fill it. Then shoot it down and fill it again. Then let it sit a while and see if it still leaks.

        By doing this you will be spreading silicone oil on all the inner seals and valve seats, ensuring a perfect seal. It may fix your gun.

        I say that because you have a slow leak. This procedure won’t work if the gun leaks down in three hours.


        • I’m somewhat suspicious that it may be the seal where the fill-nipple is screwed into the tank/inlet valve — whatever they used (plastic compression washer?) looks rather torn. But that presupposes that the inlet valve is “in” the nipple and the full tank pressure is exposed behind it.

          RWS Chamber Oil OK? I know the “RWS spring oil” is NOT to be used. I don’t think I’ve found anything claiming to be purely silicone-based… Need to check the gun cabinet and cleaning supplies — think I’ve got two bottles each of the RWS set, and need to relocate the tube(s) of Crosman PellGun oil for the CO2, and /think/ I may have a tube of the other Crosman oil.

        • ADDENDUM to the previous response…

          The “shoot-down” will take some doing; I’ll need to spend a day in my father’s basement clearing a safe lane for the pellet trap (might as well chronograph it while also adjusting the sights for 10m) [Though I keep thinking I should take the red-dot off the Baikal kit and put that on the Silhouette — but then what do I do with that costly micrometer sight I installed]

  2. A bit off topic, and I apologize. I just took ownership of a brand new Edge. I got it with the included rear peep site. I haven’t really put it thru it’s paces other than to make sure it shoots. But I just can’t get the peep dialed in correctly. No matter how I adjust it, it keeps shooting to the left of the bull. I can see the diopter moving when I turn the elevation and windage dials, but just can’t change the point of impact. I’m not sure if it’s the sight or the gun. I’m going to fiddle a bit more with it, and maybe try my FWB 700 peep on it.

    I hope this rifle isn’t going to be a problem child. I had to wait a week to even be able to shoot it. The female foster quick connect I had wouldn’t fit on the Edge tank, even though it fit perfectly fine on my FWB 700 and my HW 100. I called Pyramyd Technical department and Stacy set me up with a new female foster fitting. Works perfectly. Once again, Pyramyd shows they care about the customer even after the sale.

    • chasblock,

      Time for something radical. Dial your peep sight ten times as much as you think it needs! I found the same thing when I tested the gun. That sight moves in very small increments — despite what it looks like.


      • Thanks B.B. I tried that, I had the sight turned all the way to where it wouldn’t move any farther. I think I’m going to remove the tank, clamp the gun and sight directly down the barrel, so I know the gun is aimed directly at the bull. Then I’ll see if I can get the sight to adjust to the same point. At least then I’ll know if I got a bad peep.

        • chasblock,

          Good for you. Please let us know how this turns out.

          One final thought is this — you are aware that the front sight is reconfigurable to mount on either side of the upright post and also at any elevation?


          • I was not aware of that! I didn’t even check, but figured the front sight was not configurable at all (other than accepting different inserts).

            Thanks much! I will have to check that out.

              • Took a look at mine. They must have made some manufacturing changes since you last did your blog. There are 4 hex screws holding the front sight onto the 6 inch tube that fits into the barrel opening (not the barrel, exactly, but the end of the gun). The sight is held in place with 2 more set screws on the end tube. Not much you can do with it, other than change the inserts. I did manage to line up the sight picture while looking down the barrel from the breech end. I won’t get a chance to shoot it, until the weekend though.

  3. B.B.

    Interesting that your first shots after firing blanks ran slow. Would not have expected that from a micro. Never tried it myself. I am the one who has to pump it back up.


  4. BB, As far as I am concerned you can keep the AirForce Talon SS series going. I think it has been some of the most interesting reading here on the blog. You haven’t tested a Condor tank on your SS frame yet and you haven’t tested a pistol tank on your SS either.

    I think if I ever get a SS I will just stick a 22 cal 24″ barrel, long shroud on it, and go with the standard tank and call it good. I am the type of guy who would love to have the whole kit with every barrel, every caliber, every tank, and every accessory so that I have the potential to do anything with the gun but I wouldn’t really use any of it.

    Please keep the series going,

    David Enoch

    • David,

      I’m glad this series pleases you. I like the 24-inch .22 barrel too.

      By the way — Dennis Quackenbush is finishing up two SS barrels that he has made for a special test. One has a 1:10″ twist rate. The other has a 1:22″ twist rate, which was the rate for a .22 short. So you are going to see a lot more of this guh in the future.

      Dennis did this so we could see the effect twist rates have on velocity and accuracy. Wasn’t that nice of him?


  5. SIDEBAR: B.B., Can not find a full blog on my favorite, the GAMO Big Cat 1200. Mine is .177, added the GRT-III trigger ( which is now available for plastic triggers, also). Yes, the R1, HW30s, Tomahawk ( Turkey) are all very nice, but this is the airgun I turn to for ground squirrels and plinking fun.
    Thank you, indeed, B.B.
    Pete in California

  6. This is the big screw up?!

    The tanks look the same to me but then again I’m not a talon/condor guy.

    I’ve shot one condor. Wow, was that loud and it had a homemade mod. Never shot a talon. I don’t think I’ll ever be a black rifle guy. Apparently I’m missing out on a boatload of fun.


    • RR,

      Not for quite a while yet. My SS would have to be permanently modified to take a Spin-Loc, so I’ll probably try to borrow on to test, instead. But since the performance shouldn’t change, it isn’t that big a deal, in my eyes. All I would be reporting on is the convenience of filling the tank while it remains on the gun. Other than that, it’s still an SS.


  7. BB,Hi again.Reading this a day late .Do you know if Airforce is going to make their future production of guns already fitted to accept the spin-loc tanks ,or will customers always have to have them modified?Also, will guns modified to accept the spin-loc tanks stilll be able to use the earlier style tanks?–I also have been really enjoying this series-Tin Can Man-

    • Tin Can Man,

      Right now the Spin-Loc tank isn’t meeting a lot of acceptance. Although many people said they wanted a tank that had a gauge and could be filled without removing it from the gun, when it comes down to buying the gun, everyone seems to still want the older tank.

      It was the intention to ship new guns with the Spin-Loc tank, but at the present time it isn’t being done, except on special order. I imagine this will change with time, but who knows?


  8. Question about a 3000psi scuba tank. How many times did you talon ss .22 owners filled up your cylinder on the talon ss before taking in your scuba tank to be refilled with compressed air? Thank you.

    • That would depend upon two factors:

      What one considers to be the “fill level” for the gun (I still need to perform a burn-down through the chronograph for my Condor). If your gun plateaus (as my Marauder does) between 2700 and 2200, then you’d be filling to 2700, and will get complete fills until the source tank reaches 2700PSI.

      But if you consider a fill to be /to/ 3000PSI, then even ONE fill from any 3000PSI tank will fall a fraction short (as the source tank won’t be at 3000PSI after any air is transferred).

      What capacity the source tank is rated at — as an extreme example, imagine filling the gun from another AirForce tank — obviously you’d never get a full fill! The two tanks would balance out the average of the full (3000PSI) and the “empty” (say 2200PSI) or about 2600PSI.

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