by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Today, blog reader John shares his experience getting his AirForce Condor to shoot quieter. I asked him for this report because he’s written many comments about it. We all know that John is a pest hunter, so let’s look over his shoulder and see what works for him.
If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.
Okay, John, the floor is yours.
Noisy gun goes quiet
Before I begin the report, I want to show you a piece of my past. It’s a Remington 514 made somewhere between 1948 and 1968. It’s a single-shot, bolt action .22 rimfire designed by K. Lowe.
Anyone who knows me knows I have a dislike for old guns. This one is an exception, however, since it’s the only thing I have that belonged to my dad. It’s fairly primitive, but as accurate as anything I’ve seen. It puts the shot where I want it…every time.
Remington 514 single-shot .22 rimfire.
It may not look like much, but it means a lot to me. And it shoots!
Now, on to the report.
I was thinking about how to make a noisy gun become not so noisy since noise tends to alert the pests you hunt, making your day very boring. I like to hunt with my AirForce Condor, which I lovingly call “Marvelous Magnificent Mad Madam Mim,” due to the fact that she can change just like that wacky Disney villain.
My Condor — Madam Mim — with the 514.
Condor on bipod, with the bloop tube and forearm removed.
I took off the forearm and left it off just to make my work a bit easier today since I was going to be swapping things around. I think I should warn you that this is going to be an unusual report since I’m not using anything fancy like noise meters, showing accuracy targets or running shots through a chrony. All I’m concerned with is taking a loud gun and making it backyard friendly. So, I’m going to be using the tools we all have…ears.
For this test, I’m out on a little private island with a one-room guest cabin on 15 acres of land. It’s fairly dense, with trees and brush surrounding my work area. The cabin is about 10 feet to my right, where I normally set up for muskrat. We’re located in one of my actual hunting areas.
The first thing I did was test the Condor against my Remington 514 to compare how loud it sounds to me. I found that the Condor set at maximum power, with no barrel shrouds or anything to quiet it down, sounds louder than the Remington 514 shooting a .22 long rifle cartridge. It sounded about like a .30-caliber rifle to me.
I wanted to make it quiet, so I put on a Bullseye Bill frame extender (bloop tube) and tried it at full power with the standard Condor 24-inch .22-caliber barrel. Since the pellet was breaking the sound barrier, it sounded about like the Remington. It was quieter than before, but not quiet enough.
I wondered if stopping more air from escaping the gun would help, so I installed an optional 12-inch .22-caliber barrel and the Bullseye Bill frame extender. Now, the barrel was buried deep inside the frame extender. Since the shorter 12″ barrel wastes air at full power, I dialed down the power setting to about the middle of the scale. I figured that was about the top performance I could get out of the shorter barrel.
The rifle was now definitely quieter, but no quieter than if I’d just used the AirForce end cap on the frame of the gun and left off the frame extender. The report was now about as loud as a loud hand clap. Either way (with the end cap on or with the frame extender installed), it was equally quiet. I still wasn’t satisfied with how quiet it was. I knew I could do better and retain much more power than with a 12-inch barrel.
The 12-inch barrel and Talon SS end cap are just as quiet as the rifle with the frame extender installed.
Here’s the Condor with the 12-inch barrel and the frame extender installed.
Here comes the band
I heard B.B. talk about how they used to use rubber bands to quiet the sound of the striker, so I figured that was worth a try to quiet down the gun a bit more. Before trying this, I dialed down the gun’s power to about level 2 with a 12″ barrel and the end cap. Voila…a Condor became a Talon SS! This definitely made the gun as quiet as it could be. Then, I tried it with the rubber band installed.
The rubber band prevented the rifle from firing.
No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the gun to fire with a piece of rubber band on the end of the top hat. That rubber band was acting like a shock absorber — not letting the striker hit the top hat hard enough to fire the gun. So, that was a total failure. Let’s try something else.
Looking for the best performance
We all know that performance is everything in airguns. You want a hunting gun to hit hard and accurately. I needed to get the most performance out of the gun. So, the 24″ barrel went back in the gun, and the frame extender went back on. If I correctly use that combination, the only sound the gun will make is the clunk of the striker and impact of the pellet. In other words, nobody’s going to know I took the shot but me and whatever I was shooting at. Now, it’s on to pushing the envelope.
Which of my available ammo types will get me the best performance, while not telling everybody around me what I’m doing? First up is my standard go-to pellet, the Crosman Premier Ultra Magnum hunting pellet. I like these because they’re available everywhere, and I get fairly good results with them. So, let’s see just where the upper power limit is for these while making as little noise as possible. I’m firing at a target 75 yards out, which is the longest distance I’ve ever taken a muskrat with this gun. The cabin is just close enough that I should hear any significant echo that a backyard shooter would also have.
I fired shots using the highest setting I thought I could and get just the clunk of the striker and slap of the pellet. Then, I’d inch up until it began to return an echo off the cabin wall. That told me I’d crossed the boundary, so I backed off to the last quiet setting for Premiers. The rifle stayed quiet up to 7.45 on the AirForce power wheel. This is the setting I’d use in the city for backyard target practice without anybody knowing what I was doing…and the setting I want to use if I do not want to alert critters to the fact I’m hunting.
With Crosman Premier Ultra Magnums, the rifle is still quiet when the power wheel is set no higher than 7.45. The major power setting (7) is indicated by the center of the screw head in the oval window on the right. The fractional power setting (.45) is indicated by the power wheel on the left.
Next, I dug out some Predator Polymags. I found these would give me slightly better performance, fly a bit faster and hit a bit harder while still not alerting anyone or anything to what I was doing. This is with a 24″ barrel and a frame extender — like a Condor SS on steroids. I got them to hit my 75-yard target with the dial set to a maximum of 7.10 [about 3/4 of the way toward power setting 8] as the outside power without advertising to everything around what I am doing. This gave me the slap of the striker and the thud of a pellet hitting the target 75 yards away.
The power wheel can be set slightly higher with Predator Polymag pellets.
Baracuda Hunter Extreme
I like the cross-hatch pattern on the nose of these Baracuda Hunter Extreme pellets for hunting, which is my primary use for air rifles. Surprisingly, with them, the power wheel went up. I thought the Polymags, with their nice sharp point, would cut through the air and give the quietest and most powerful shots of the day. But I was surprised. With these Baracuda Hunter Extreme pellets, the power wheel climbed up to 8.9 before anybody knew what I was doing. Birds kept on doing bird things. The Canadian geese kept swimming, totally unaware that a shot just landed in the target 10 yards to their left. Even the mallard ducks didn’t take off. That’s what I wanted.
H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme pellets allowed the highest setting of the power wheel, with the rifle remaining quiet.
This is important since, in the places where I hunt pests, we also have some very shy animals. I have to try my best not to disturb them. It’s spring, and the geese and ducks are nesting. I don’t want to scare them off their nests. It’s all about being a good steward of nature.
Gamo round balls
Last up was the .22-caliber Gamo round ball. I got these as a freebie with a Gamo gun, so I figured I might as well see what a “musket ball” would do. This one was the worst of the bunch. To keep the gun quiet with round balls, I had to dial the power down to 4.7. All the birds in the area took off and hid when I put one of these in the target at 8.9 on the power scale. I don’t think I’ll be using those again when I’m hunting at a sensitive time of the season.
Gamo round balls were not a good projectile for quiet shooting.
What did I learn?
There’s plenty to take away from this that has nothing to do with the speed of the pellet. A PCP gun like the Condor can be accurate, powerful and quiet depending on how it is set up and which pellet is used. A shorter barrel robs power, but it also quiets down a gun. However, it can only do so much — even if you give it a massive space in which to allow the air to expand. My best bet was to leave the 24″ barrel on the Condor and put the frame extender on the barrel, leaving the end of the extender about 3 inches past the muzzle. This setup trapped spent air well due to the fact the pellet was blocking the end of the shroud at about the ideal time to minimize the muzzle blast. It’s kind of how a car muffler works.
This made my Condor about as quiet as a loud whisper. Just a thud of the striker and the slap of the pellet hitting the target. Very little echo, if any at all. Adjusting the power of the gun had quite a bit to do with this. If you throw too much power behind the pellet, you’ll hear something like a .22 rimfire bullet, which is not what you want to hear if you’re hunting pests in an environmentally sound-sensitive area or doing some backyard plinking and don’t want the police responding to reports of small-to-medium caliber gunfire in your neighborhood.
I tested a Condor only in .22 caliber since that’s all I had, and this is my primary pest hunting gun. I also used several pellets that I normally use for target shooting and hunting to compare their results. This is in no way a scientific study with high-tech instruments. Just one man with a good pair of ears. I did what I could to recreate a backyard shooting environment in an actual hunting environment. The intention was to gather some good information to help keep your shooting as quiet as possible so you don’t disturb the animals or people around you.
P.S. My day on the range ended on a high note when I took an opposum that was on my list of pest critters. It was a perfect shot with my dad’s old Remington 514.
88 thoughts on “Silencing an AirForce Condor”
Rubber band goes behind the top hat not in front. It’s common to use a flat rubber fender washer with a slit cut in to it. This reduces wasted air.
My theory was that it needed to go between in order to stop or reduce the sound of the striker slap. The use of the rubberband was not totally explained to me so I went on a theory I had. Thanks for clearing that up. I found that the sound of the striker was not as noticeable to the animals in the area so I filed that under something that couldn’t be helped. I never really noticed air escaping from the breech if mine. I normally notice things like that like when I fire my Crosman 2260.
Not quite. The wasted air is due to the valve remaining open longer than necessary. So a flat rubber fender washer reduces the lock time and wasted air. Less wasted air means a quieter gun.
I’ll try it out. Thanks. Looks like that was a test that was done with incomplete information. I’ll see if that helps along with the barrel shroud, and power wheel settings.
Cool. I found a dramatic reduction in sound with my TSS. Still not quiet but it went from being loud to a socially acceptable thwop. With your rig this might help without much cost or effort. Good luck!
Since you have a 12 inch barrel keep it around a 5 or 6 power setting. Otherwise you are wasting air at the muzzle. That will make it noisier as well. Talon SS can only use about half the power band before you begin wasting air. Something I found out with my condor with 12 inch barrel which makes it the same as your talon ss but slightly more powerful as I have a heavier striker and high flow tank. That means to get the same performance of a stock talon ss I need to keep my power around 4-5.
Nice report. And I like both guns.
The old single shot bolt action rifles have always been appealing to me. The 514 kind of reminds me of the Crickett brand guns. But looks like the 514 may be longer. Cool gun wish I had it.
As far as the Talon goes. Always a way cool gun. Just too many thing you can do to them.
There was one thing above that caught my attention though. You mentioned about how the car muffler works.
Do you remember the old glass pack mufflers that you could get for a performance car? Or any car for a matter of fact.
I have experimented with this on my Marauders and 1720T. I have took the shroud off and took 000 steel wool and wrapped it around the barrel real lightly for about 8 inches right behind the front of the gun behind were the factory baffle is. When you do this slightly pull the steel wool apart but keep it together as one piece ( like stretching out pizza dough ) then you wrap it around the barrel. Then carefully slide the shroud back on without disturbing the steel wool as much as possible.
This worked real good on my 1720T as it is deadly quiet. The .25 Marauder is real nice also. But the .177 Marauder is still kind of loud but not bad. I got the power turned up on all of these guns so what I really should do is go to a heavier pellet for the .177 Marauder. Like you were saying above. I’m shooting a 10.3 gn. pellet now. So if I went to the heavier pellet I would get multiple benefits from the .177 Marauder.
I don’t know if it will work on other shrouded guns. Or on other peoples Marauders. But it worked on mine. Maybe I just got lucky. I don’t know but I like it….. quiet. 🙂
Yeah, I have seen the glass packs. For my purposes I was thinking more of the mufflers you see on a standard production car not aftermarket parts. Saw the muffler off a camaro once and turn the key. It sounds about like you just turned the key on a NASCAR.
Steel wool helps to break up the exhausted air in your guns. However you also need to slow the pellet down too. If it’s moving faster than the speed of sound no matter how much you muffle the gun it is going to make noise. With the condor you have to slow the shot way down if you are using one as it comes out of the box in order to make it back yard friendly. My findings made the gun a bit more formidable while making it much more quieter than just dialing it way back as you get it out of the box.
This may sound crazy. But back when I was a kid in High school around 1978 I had a 72 big block Camero 4spd. car. It had headers and almost everybody ran their cars loud back then. We even drove them to school open headers on Fridays so we could be ready for the Friday night drags at the Dragstrip.
We used to take the glass pack mufflers and throw them in a fire and burn the packing out of them then throw them on the car.That way if you got pulled over and you were getting crap about open headers we would tell them to look under the car because there is mufflers on the car. They would hassle us a bit and let us go. You know kid stuff. 😉
So as far as the steel wool idea goes. I just reversed the idea and figured if the straight through glass pack with the fiberglass removed from around the tube got louder. That the airgun would get quieter if I put something there around the barrel to quiet it. I didn’t want to use fiber glass because I figured it would get blown around inside the shroud and eventually break up. So that’s when I came up with the steel wool thing.
And yep like you were saying with the fps of the gun.
My.25 Marauder is around 950 fps. and the 1720T is around 815 fps. so that’s why those two guns are pretty quiet.
On the other hand the .177 Marauder is making around 1120 fps. with the 10.3 grn. pellet. So if I went up to lets say a 13 grn. pellet with the same tune on the gun maybe it will drop the fps. closer to maybe around 950 fps. That should quiet that gun considerably then also. Plus I would go from 28 fpe. with the 10.3 grn.pellet to almost the same amount of knockdown power with the slower 13 grn. pellet ( 26 fpe ) and have a much quieter gun then.
And I have found on the Marauder guns and the similar guns that have the adj. strikers for stroke and adj. springs for the amount of hit the striker makes will also make a different report when the air gun is fired. Depending on the amount of time and how far it holds the air valve open to allow the air to flow to the transfer port.
And the amount of fill pressure has alot to do with the different types of sound the gun will make also.
My .177 Marauder makes a awfull sound when it shoots when you let the air pressure get down around 1800 psi or lower.
And just the opposite if it is filled to 3000 psi on the tune I have on it. The gun is much quieter when you are closer to valve lock. So if you have the Marauder type guns modified with the heavier spring and the striker modified for more stroke you are still able to fire the gun when its closer to valve lock. So that’s why I use the higher 3000 psi tune. Plus keeps my fps much more consistent per shot till i get down to the 2000 psi mark. Which is another thing that helps when you are shooting multiple shot groups. And hunting also because you have less hold over to worry about as the psi drops.
And to me that’s why I like airguns so much. Its kind of like a art to achieve that final goal. When you get them right. They are very fun to shoot and very surprising in the way they perform in all aspects of the variables.
In silencers some of them use steel wool around a screen inside. That’s one method of making a gun quieter. Some people say it’s better than baffles. In fact that is a rather inexpensive way to quiet things down a bit. So you have the right idea with the steel wool thing. I might even try packing the end of my condor with steel wool as an experiment in the future.
If you do try the steel wool thing let me know how it turns out.
I used a Lowe’s baffle system on my Talon SS that worked great.
You seem to indicate that your frame extender has no baffles. With a few baffles in the front, your sound level will drop even more. Also, if you take and get a rubber fender washer and glue it to the hammer end of your breech block and trim it for the center hole and notch, you will reduce your hammer slap noise.
The rubber band/fender washer/o-ring will restrict the amount the valve opens as G.Austin has pointed out, thus reducing wasted air. It also reduces power. If you tune the top hat, you can also reduce wasted air at all power settings.
I’ll have to try that. No, I do not have any special baffles as of yet. So I had to work with what I had on hand. I’m planning on getting the airforce baffles when they are available and trying to fit those into my system. As it is my gun with the shroud on it is fairly long so I have to try to work inside my shroud and try not to make my gun any longer. I don’t know how many I can shoehorn into that thing.
Try some washers with an O.D. close to the I.D. of your tube and a .25″ hole. If you can find plastic/rubber/nylon that will be best. I spaced mine with a couple of thick o-rings. You might be able to use garden hose washers or even short lengths of hose. You will be surprised what 3 or 4 washers will do.
Nice write up, John! Nice place to work too!! Thanks for showing your Condor next to that nice 514. Helps me a lot with getting a sense of its size.
A friend has a Remington 514. It was found in a trash bin. No bolt and the barrel is plugged with something, perhaps a bullet. He asked me about fixing it. I told him it probably wasn’t worth it due to the overall condition of the rifle and the cost of a bolt. I see bolts go on ebay for $75.00 to $100.00 dollars. That said, it is worth keeping as the some parts will fit some of the other 500 series rifles.
Love the 514. It was my first rifle that my dad gave me back in 1971 when I was 10. I still have it and it looks almost new. Just sits in the safe now.
Also just got a new Condor SS .25 in and it is pretty nice. Looking forward to hunting some groundhogs this week end and see what it can do.
The Remington 514 was also my first 22 rimfire and I still have it too. I never had a BB or pellet gun growing up, only the rimfire.
I appreciate the help with quieting the Condor. I just bought a used Condor that came with a ETaC regulator, an 18″ barrel and a 3″ frame extension. I need to do some work to quieten it down.
Get a good scope and tri-rail riser. Also a bi-pod is recommended. Once you got it zeroed in if you can see it, it will die. I found if you can get within 50 yards with predator polymags that is very effective.
this was a good blog and I learned several things from it. I liked Austin’s response that the o’ring or fender washer goes behind the top hat. Saves me a bit of time doing research on the Yellow. I also clicked on the fact that the shorter, 14″ barrel’s key performance seems to be at power setting 7 or so which makes sense when you pointed out that the barrel can’t use all the air released at setting 10. The Talon SS I purchased has the 14″ barrel on it and chrony testing showed no gains in speed after setting 6 or so. Now I know why! I also have the 22″ barrel but due to noise, don’t use it but see that only this barrel will be able to fully utilize the air released at a setting of 10. Guess I’ll have to get a bloop tube, as well.
About that 514, think it’s good enough to use in Bench Rest shooting competition?
I think that 514 would do well. I had a 1″ stick out at 20 meters and I could hit the stick every time. I don’t think I’d want something like that out any farther hoping to hit it simply because my eyes are not what they were at 20. The 514 seems more capable of hitting a tiny target without a scope than I am at any longer distance.
Do you know if the TX200 is a quiet gun? I purchased a RWS 34, thinking that it is a quiet gun to shoot in my backyard and I am surprise to discovered it is not. I thought all spring piston gun are quiet, WRONG. Currently, that RWS 34 is a dust collector.
I wish airgun producers makes airguns that are quiet.
Joe, unfortunately the more powerful the rifle, the louder it is. The RWS 34 is probably at the beginning of the curve for top end, magnum powered air rifles. It’s a good rifle and you made a good choice even if it is on the loud side. Try using the heaviest pellet you can – it should reduce the noise somewhat if the majority of the noise is coming from the pellet going supersonic. Also, a new rifle can diesel or even detonate for the first 50 or 100 pellets which adds to the noise. Hopefully others will have some suggestions.
I don’t think the 34 is very loud at all. Ask somebody to stand near you when you shoot and see if they think it is loud. It may be that you are picking up more noise through your contact with the rifle than it actually makes. As long as your pellets don’t go supersonic (and they would need to be pretty light to do so in a 34), it shouldn’t be too loud. You might also sniff for burnt oil smell — it may be detonating either due to too much lube in chamber or defective piston seal.
I have noticed that springers sound much louder to the shooter than to bystanders. You are hearing all the mechanical noise being transmitted through the stock. Get someone else to shoot it for you and you stand 7 or 8 ft away. Unless it is dieseling you may be surprised at just how quiet it is.
Thanks everyone, but my RWS 34 is loud compare to my other guns such as the HW97 and FWB 601. I don’t even like to fire my FWB 601 in my backyard because the neighbors will know. I thought perhaps the TX200 have a sound modulator in the barrel shroud. Does anybody knows?
The TX200 Mark III does have a baffled (silenced) barrel shroud.
Thanks B.B. and I wish PA website stated this fact. PA website shows a Loudness: 3-Medium, which is loud and thus I thought it has no sound suppressor built-in.
The TX is quieter than many springers of the same power, but the 1-5 scale doesn’t allow for discrimination. As others have said, it sounds louder to the shooter than to someone standing nearby.
As long as it is legal to shoot in your backyard, I would. You might want to just let your neighbors know you are shooting an air rifle. If they don’t like it, well, they will get over it.
They do have some that are quiet. They say the Marauder is quiet. I haven’t used one so I can pass on what I heard. The Gamo Whisper is fairly quiet as long as you use lead pellets. I’ve used mine to hunt muskrats successfully. Look for anything that has a shrouded barrel that fires a pellet under 1100 fps. Those will all be fairly silent. That’s how I made my condor quiet. Shrouded the barrel and slowed the pellet down to the very edge where it’s not quite breaking the sound barrier. By doing that I canceled out the air blast by creating a high pressure area around the barrel when the gun goes off and releasing the air in a controlled manner, and stopping the pellet from breaking the sound barrier. This also helps accuracy.
Thanks for putting the 514 in this article. My father gave me one just like that for my 13th birthday. It was my first powder-burner.
I loved that gun, shot thousands of rounds through it, and kept it as clean as the day it was built. I had hoped to pass it down through my family.
Unfortunately, in 1971 it was stolen in a break-in, along with my SKS and an antique typewriter.
My 514 was very accurate. I used it to hunt striped gophers in Minnesota.
On the day of this report I got a possum with my 514. It happened at the end of my range time. That might show you a bit more about just how little noise I was making with that condor as I looked for performance and silence. It had no idea I was around so it came out for a bit of scavenging for whatever reason. I was actually surprised to see it. In fact I took pictures of it as well.
I think the 514 looks even better than the Condor :)! There really isn’t anything primitive about a single shot bolt action .22LR, just elegant simplicity. I shoot all my rifles in single shot mode at the range, except the Glenfield 60; it is a pain to do one shot with it. I’m looking forward to the day when my son gets a small .22LR single shot rifle, as I need an excuse to play with another one.
Sounds like you are having fun with the Condor and making it work for your needs.
Yeah, the 514 is a fun gun. I’m working on refinishing the metal. It took a few hours but i finally got the rust off the barrel. I’ll blue it once I get around to buying some gun blueing. Until then I put a light coat of oil on it to keep the rust off. The wood doesn’t need any refinishing.
I figured the 514 would be good to compare the condor to as far as sound since both are .22 bolt action and both have close to identical fps in .22. Both can get around 1200-1400 fps. Perhaps a condor would be a good gun for your boy. It’s a fine rifle.
I too had a Remington 514 as a first gun ,and the biggest problem with it was that the safety was hard to manipulate for a child. It is rotary affair on the back of the bolt. Reminded me of the safety on the Japanese Arisaka . The other Remington 500 series had the familiar sliding lever on the side of the breech behind the bolt. My 514 blew a chunk out of the side of chamber which caused it to bulge and stick cases , which had to be extracted with my pocket knife. It went down the road as a parts gun , except for the Lyman receiver sight and the Lyman 17A front sight that it wore and is now on a Mossberg 42years later . If you buy a bolt action .22 RF for your boy, and you want vintage. I would suggest a Mossberg 46(Montgomery Wards 47C) which is tube fed other models were clip fed.Also the Remington 500 series ,or the latter 69(clip) or 67(SS) . I have had the Savage SS )H&R made a similar one)with the pull out to fire knob on the end of the bolt, but they are also hard to pull back and make ready for a kid, and a slip means an accidental discharge.
I’ll add those to my lookout list. I’ve got a lot of time (although not as much as it seems I bet), so I’m looking for vintage and even in need of cosmetic refurbishment is OK. Modern .22’s are fine, but they aren’t generally as well built, especially the field models, as the old ones, and the sights are one corner that gets cut hard on new ones — they just assume you’ll have a scope, I guess. Mossbergs are good, and I have a soft spot for JC Higginses (Stevens, and many others), also, but there aren’t too many .22’s I haven’t found something to like about :)! Why do you prefer the tube mag. to clip — capacity? I haven’t thought about it in a while. I guess I should/will consider repeaters (assuming it can be used SShot initially) also, but I actually have always liked single shots for some reason.
PS. A Marlin 39A might be a good first (and last) .22 also, huh :)?
BG,I’m talking strictly plinking/fun, field grade .22’s ,not serious target guns. Don’t have any real dislike of box magazine fed .22’s except for the fact that many of them stick out of the bottom of the gun so far they interfear with carrying it. I suppose that doesn’t matter to a lot of folks today who hunt as most of them don’t walk very far on their own two legs. The Remington 500 series and the Winchester 69 I have five shot magazines that don’t stick out . The Mossberg I mention holds 15 long rifles or 21 shorts, so you really don’t need to carry any extra ammo for a short hunt on your person. All of them, the bolt actions anyway, become SS if you take away the follower or magazine. The Marlin 39 is a very good one but not for SS loading unless you have very tiny fingers like a munchkin. One bad thing about tube magazine .22 ‘s is that you want to be careful around water with them. It’s a tad problematic if you launch the tube overboard during a reload. Other than that I think tube fed .22 RF ‘s are nicer looking, and a handy way to carry extra ammo.
Thanks, and I agree, I just wanted to see what you were thinking and/or see if there were some models with box mag. that had issues. If box mag., flush fit is almost required in field. I’ve complained fairly long and recently about the box mag. on my Savage MkII BV hanging out, even the short one (not the 10? rd. one); I consider it intolerable for much offhand/field use (that one is heavy barrel + big scope, anyway, so less than handy). The strange thing is that I don’t think even one on-line reviewer or comment even mentioned it when I was narrowing the field. Probably not even one had shot it offhand…
I also remember never needing more ammo for squirrel/rabbit hunting with the G60’s tube “full” (when I had that much ammo on hand, I think 10 was my standard fill :)). The tube can be a handful in the wrong situation, though, and woe unto him who lets the follower slips from the tube.
PS. I’m surprised the terminology correctness crowd didn’t jump all over our use of “clip” last night :)!
You may be talking yourself into a Ruger… The stock magazine of the 10/22 or 77/22 (or my 77/17, since they use the same magazine style) are rotary designs which tend to be rather flush fit — just wide.
Nice article. Thanks for contributing to the blog.
Nice job, John. Dislike old guns? Why? I’ve heard about the Remington 514, a classic gun. How does the accuracy compare with your Condor?
TC, a smack with a plastic ruler sounds pretty loud to me, and so does a reading of 120 decibels. I thought that was up there around the noise level for jet engines.
Victor, that’s quite a GPA. It sounds like the line out of Animal House from Dean Wormer: “Congratulations, with a GPA of 0.5, you have the highest GPA of the X fraternity.”
CowBoyStar Dad. Actually, I fondly remember the action sequences of the Hardy Boys in which 17 and 18 year old kids could supposedly overcome hardened adult criminals. One of their moves was sliding down a banister and landing feet first into the chest of the criminal. Real Hollywood stuff. But I guess that would be tame compared to what happens in movies today.
It’s just a personal thing with me. I just have a thing about old guns. I don’t know if they have been abused, how all the springs are, if there is any metal fatigue, if it’s been shot so much everything is totally worn out….So I prefer to buy most of my guns new. In this case I inherited it. Due to the difference in optics, I would say my condor is far more accurate than the 514. But it has good optics that enable me to get up as close as if I was 5 yards from a target where the 514 appears to be incapable of having anything but it’s stock iron sights which are much older than I am and by today’s standards are very primitive. I can adjust elevation but can’t do anything about windage so I have to use a few old tricks to figure out where the shot is going. It’s kind of the diffrence between a WW2 battle ship and today’s GPS guided destroyers as far as aiming goes. I know it shoots straight as anything, but my eyes are not young anymore so I’m finding I need a scope to keep me on target and calling my shots.
John, you say that you have a Crosman 2260. I do too. My question to you or anyone that may have/had one, I hate the open “peep” sights on the gun. They are all but useless to me. I prefer open sights though, so I don’t want a scope on it. Is there anyone that makes a replacement rear open sight? I have thought about maybe the barrel “clamp” that allows a scope. But instead of a scope, putting a Williams or other open sight on it that will fit the dovetail of the clamp. Does that sound like it would work, or just crazy. Thank You for great read. Bradly
They make upgrades for this. A crosman steel breech kit is held on with 2 screws and gives you a dovetail for optics.
And here is the rear sight that goes with it…
I found they work well and they are very easy to install.
John, Thank You for the info! I’ve seen these before, but figured they were just for a pistol if using open sights. On a rifle, only for scope use. I fear the rear sight would end up like the factory rear sight, too close to the eye to get a good sight picture. They made a 2260 SE that had the rear sight in the “normal” location a head of the bolt on the barrel (about where the rear sight is at on your Rem. 514). I could put the sight on the dove tail part a head of the bolt with this breech, but that would be riding high, thus probably requiring the front sight to be raised somehow. If I can get a clear sight picture, I’d order this breech and sight ASAP. Let me know your thoughts please. Thanks Again, Bradly
John, I talked with a guy at PA tonight (on chat) that tried this with his 2260 and it doesn’t work. He said he bought and put those on his and the rear sight is still the same distance from the eye, therefore you can’t see it very well. He said what he thought would work was the suggestion about the Discovery rear sights as they were based off of the 2260. That said, he said it isn’t a “plug and play” (real easy thing to do). Bradly
There is actually a simple way to get a discovery sight on the 2260. the discovery sights sit on a sleeve that is slid over the barrel and secured by grub screws. If you put one of those sleeves over your barrel the discovery rear sight will sit in front of the steel breech. The Discovery is what the 2260 evolved into. I’ve stripped my discovery and resealed it enough to know this works.
John, resealed more than once? Oh no….is it not reliable or was you just playing? I’ll check out the barrel sleeve and sight for the Discovery with Crosman. I’ve checked with PA, they do not sell it. Bradly
John, looking at the pics of the barrel sleeve and the breech of the disco, I wouldn’t have to use a steel breech to make the barrel sleeve work, would I ? Bradly
My Disco has a bit of history since I got it, the thing leaked, so I put in a new high flow air valve. I sealed it, began leaking again. sealed it, traded to a friend who trashed it, so I sealed it again. Same friend let someone else “tune” it that had no idea what he was doing. So I traded him something else for the gun. Sealed it again… It’s not really a bad gun, just had some issues. I have it sitting in my gun racks as a project gun now. I like a challenge.
I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t use a discovery sight sleeve with the standard plasyic crosman breech, but it will bring the rear sight closer to your eye if you but it right up against the breech. Of course you can set the sleeve anywhere you please on the barrel.
On the discovery there is a flat spot on the barrel to help keep the sleeve straight and tight. It’s more with making getting the sleeve properly aligned and giving the set screws a place to firmly attach. You can file a flat spot on your barrel where ever you please or simply tighten the sleeve down being careful not to let it slip. You might also need a slightly shorter screw for the end where your current sight sits when you remove it.
That’s the best I got for your rear sight problem. Good luck.
there is a dovetail slot cut in the back of the bolt especially for that rear sight on that scope. it sits right where it should and I found it works quite well. It gives you nice accurate windage and elevation settings. I have this unit on my 2260 so I’m not telling you anything I have not tried. It’s about as good as you are going to get unless you find a place that can sell you the sight that goes on a discovery. I just happen to know of such a place. Give these guys a call. I get all sorts of upgrades and parts from them…..
I am a little off topic here but I was wondering if anyone could tell me about a .22 magnum rifle that I own. It is a Winchester 9422M magnum that my mother gave to me on my 21st birthday in 1973. I have not shot it in 30+ years. When I was shooting it I normally just used it for plinking except for one time I went squirrel hunting with my stepfather. Believe it or not I got a head shot on a squirrel at what I remember to be over 100ft. I do remember it to be very accurate and it is very light. Lighter than my Walther .177 lever rifle.
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone out there knows anything about this rifle. Re: it’s reputation and maybe even current value. It is in excellent condition with not a speck of rust.
P.S. John thanks for bringing back an old fond memory.
A 9422M commands good money these days. Check them out on http://www.gunbroker.com
They aren’t noted for being accurate, but that’s more on the .22 Magnum cartridge than the rifle. The newer ammo is more accurate.
Thank You John. I think I’ll give the ones from PA a try. The factory sight has a peep that can be turned around to a notch. Well it is awful. The notch is so close to the eye, it appears way too wide and out of focus. Funny thing, the same sight on the 2240 is good with the notch and the peep is useless.
OK John, you’ve answered a question that I’ve never had much help on (everyone just tells me to get a scope) so I have one more problem/question for you. I have a Benjamin EB22 that I also love. But, the rear sight is again awful (a lot of reviews also say this). It’s crude and doesn’t have enough adjustment left to right. Up and down is fine. I’d like to replace it, but not group/site/blog has been able to help me, except to say again, buy some kind of “clamp” and put a red dot on it. Again, I love open sights. Any thought here? Again, Thanks for all your help! Bradly
The EB22 is still a crosman product similar to the 1377. As long as the holes line up the same thing I told you about for the 2260 will work on the EB22. The EB22 is just a bit more high end to the 1377 in the ones I have seen have wood instead of plastic, but the internals are all pretty much the same. I’ve actually taken a few EB22’s and turned them into very nice tactical pump carbines that James Bond might carry. I’ve done the same thing with 1377’s
John, I think you are confusing the Benjamin HB (pumper) with the EB (CO2) pistol that I have. My EB isn’t like the Crosman 2240 as the 2240 has a bolt with the “handle” sticking out the side (Like your Rem Rifle) and my EB has a bolt that you work from the rear (it “twists” to unlock). Still, it would be interesting to know if the breech for the 2240 would work on the Benjamin EB as that is another air gun of mine that I love but hate the sights. Thanks, Bradly
It will definitely work. I have one of them on my 2240. That is another one of my project guns. But that is a story for another day. I’m converting it into a 2240 pcp pistol. I don’t expect too many shots from it but it’s meant to fit in a hip holster and be easy to use when taking out squirrels while deer hunting.
Ok. My mistake. I was thinking of a HB22. A steel breech kit can be put on either one of those guns but you have to swap out the body tube too. That’s a bit more involved. You might be better off with a few simpler fixes. A bit of liquid paper on the front and rear sights is a cheap fix. Put 2 dots of it on the rear sight and one on the front sight. Line up the dots. The next best thing would be to get the mounts they use on the blue streak and a 30mm dot sight or holographic sight. It all depends on how far you want to go to get that steel breech or if you can be content with a few cheap fixes.
Thank Again John, but I think I’ll keep looking for a fix on the EB22. I don’t like/want a red dot and putting white dots on the rear and front sight will do little of nothing to shift the point of impact to the left as the stock rear sight doesn’t have much adjustment there. I did send my gun back to Crosman. Not sure what they did if anything. It shoots the same as when I sent it off. Shame too, I adore the little gun. That said, you still helped me with my 2260. Can’t wait to try it out. Bradly
No problem. Glad I can help a bit.
Bradley: you can get a little more windage adjustment with the EB by slotting the area where the windage screw goes ,with a small round needle file. The trigger can be improved by removing the stamping burrs through polishing.I also have an EB in .177 and .22, as well as a HB in .20 . I like the EB’s better than the 2240 as they are more compact , made of brass and steel , and despite their thin bladed front and the generous rear notch of the rear sights. Sheridan and Benjamin made a square wire stock for these pistols to turn them into carbines. They show up used quite often on the airgun and paint ball sites. They can be scoped with the newer mounts just made available for the Benjamin pumpers, which is a base that clamps over the breech .
Robert, Thanks for the heads up. I have taken a small drill bit and “widened” the hole in the rear sight a little. I really need a drimmel tool to do some finer work on it. The thin front sight doesn’t bother me that much, but not being able to adj. the rear sight enough is no fun. Bradly
You don’t know what you are talking about. The EB pistols and HB (MSP) are completely different products. The breech ,barrel and gas tube are soldered together , and NONE of the steel breech kits will work . The steel breech kits will only work with the 22XX series/family of Crosman air guns.
Fair enough. But like I said earlier It can be done if I replace the body tube with a custom tube. but I have to do a bit more machining too to make the entire thing work. Just depends on how bad you want that sight replaced. It’d be cheaper to just buy a different gun really.
Do you think?
It’s a machine. That being said any machine can be modified or altered. It all depends on how far you are willing to go to make it into what you want. or to solve a problem with what it is right now. I build ak47’s, AR15’s and custom airguns. I could make it happen if anybody could. I have all the soldering, welding equipment, drill presses, hydraulic presses and specialty tools to get it done. So it all depends on if you really want to spend the money I can get it done.
Thanks again for such a prompt reply but it begs a question. Of course I believe you when you say they are not particularly accurate. So, if that is the case why do they command good money? I, like most of us here, am an accuracy freak.I despise inaccurate guns. I was thinking about getting the gun in good working order but if it is not accurate I would rather sell it and get a good rifle. Probably another air gun this time. Thanks for letting me know that.
They command good money because they are Winchesters, and also because relatively few were made. The Winchester model 61M pump rifle in .22 Magnum now sells for $2,500 in 98 percent condition, yet it is not that accurate. Accuracy and value don’t always go together.
GG, you might be interested in an article written by James House in the 2007 Gun Digest on the Winchester .22 RF and .22Mag versions of your rifle. Look for the information on page 98 on that issue. I own one of these in .22mag and mine is a 100yard pest gun. I get groups around 1 1/2″ easily at that range with the newer ammo.
B.B. off topic but I was wondering I saw the new Umarex Steel Force and it looks like a steel storm styled like an M4 so I was wondering since you said the steel storm was best value but you liked the ebos better. If the steel storm had a stock like the steel force would your opinion change or would you still take the ebos. I was thinking about the getting the EBOS but I do like the styling of this new steel force better.
I saw the steel force too. The reason I put off on the EBOS was the fact 88 gram co2 is a bit hard to come by around me. But I can get the crosman powerlets anywhere so I’m liking the steel force much better for that reason, plus it looks like an m-4 type gun. I’m betting the steel force is a skinned repackaged steel storm. I have one of those. I like it alot. When I’m in the mood to shred something, nothing satisfies like a 6 round burst.
Yeah the 88 gram was one reason I wasn’t sure about the EBOS since it is expensive so I would have gotten the bulk fill adapter which then costs more money to start out. The one reason I was still thinking about the EBOS though is BB said it was more accurate but I don’t know if adding the stock will help that what do you think.
Well, it is a new product and it is a bb gun so I wouldn’t expect all that much accuracy at distance. But something like this is only really useful for defeating one of those evil terrorist pop cans. Most of the time when I have something like a steel storm in my hands I’m not really thinking about accuracy like when I have my condor in my hands. All I’m concerned with is how much steel I can throw at at that evil pop can or that phone book invader. I find a laser helps to keep me on my target when I get in one of those moods. It should be fairly accurate for that purpose since it does have a longer barrel than the steel storm to stabilize the bb. At just over $100 i guess there isn’t much to lose by trying it. If it fails to meet expectations it will look good in the gun rack on your wall.
The best thing to do is follow your instincts. If it is a gun you want, nothing else matters, as long as it is reliable, which they are.
Cole, I too like the look of the new new Steel Force! Umarex must have listened to all those wanting a “stock” on the Steel Storm. Can’t wait to read some reviews on it. That said, I know the EBOS did better in the accuracy dept. than the Steel Storm, but just adding a stock to it should make it much better at hitting targets off hand. Looks to be a promising gun! Bradly
B.B. (or anyone else that might have seen it at a gun show) what did you think of the new Umarex Fusion CO2 Rifle? From what I see on PA’s web site, I like it a lot! I can’t wait for you to test it. You will test it right? I know you will, just to keep us wanting more airguns! Thanks again, Bradly
When I was at the Umarex USA facility a couple months ago, I looked at the new Fusion prototype. I told them then that I was interested in it and wanted to test one very much. They were still working out some final details, but told me they would send me one as soon as it was ready.
Thanks for telling me about the accuracy vs. value relationship. I guess that with the exception of antiques I thought that one could expect accuracy with value. See, I have a lot to learn about the world of guns and you are right on the spot with the answer to every question I have. You really are an invaluable resource for us all. I for one, can’t express my appreciation enough for your willingness to put up with newbies like me. I know you must get quite irritated at times. At least I would.
Thanks for everything.
John we were talking above about the mechanics of the guns and how to silence them.
But another thing you mentioned was the surroundings where you were shooting.
That does make a big difference also. Think about the acoustics in a concert hall. They are designed to transfer the sounds with as much clarity as possible.
In our case we don’t want things to transfer the sounds.
We want the surroundings to absorb the sound if we want less things aware of the report from the gun.Taller grass, leaves, hills, trees all help deaden the sound.
Hmm, maybe the new Condor SS should still be ranked at a lower sound level than it is.
Maybe back to a number 2 that it was ( I believe ) before B.B. tested it at the Air Force grounds with all the bad noise amplifiers of the surroundings.
B.B. maybe you should borrow the decibel meter and try it again in a different surrounding. Then get that number documented. Just a thought. From what I gather you can upgrade The Talon SS with Condor SS parts and make the Talon SS even quieter. I have shot the Talon SS and they are pretty quiet in wooded surroundings. So I bet the Condor SS has got to be a fairly quiet gun. What do you think ?
The reason I don’t use the “decibel meter” is they are not accurate. They are steady-state meters and not suited to impulse sounds. So they underestimate gunshots by a significant margin.
A real 3-scale impulse sound meter that is calibrated to a national standard is very expensive. It would be a remarkable piece of equipment, but then I would have a measurement device that nobody would be able to duplicate.
Like the guys who “listen” to .500 S&W magnums on You Tube and say they aren’t too loud, I don’t want to give false impressions about the discharge sound of airguns.
Believe it or not, the subjective 1-5 rating we have at Pyramyd Air is a more pragmatic test than an accurate number from a calibrated sound meter.
John said yesterday that his .22 LR sounded less loud than his AirForce Condor. It may have sounded that way to him, but it isn’t. The .22 LR has a peak impulse that the Condor doesn’t have. The Condor sound is less loud but it lasts longer, which is why it can sound louder than a rimfire. But it doesn’t damage the ears as much.
And, no, the Condor SS is not a quiet airgun. Try one and see for yourself.
B.B. When you did the test on the Condor SS at the Air Force grounds.
I believe you said it was a paved or concrete parking lot with metal buildings if i remember right without looking back through the blog on the Condor SS.
What I was thinking about was. Since you did some shots there with gun in that surroundings. Do you think if you shot the Condor SS in a wooded area if the gun would seem quieter. Throw out the fact of the sound measuring devices. I believe that it would seem to be quieter.
Here is something the archery teacher at high shool taught the students in my 15 yr. old daughters class this last year.She brought this up to me when we were talking about this blog.
Come to find out some of the students were getting distracted by the sounds of the string when it was released.
First thing I said was. A bow string making noise and being a distraction? I don’t shoot bow and arrow so I really never gave it any thought. So she got hers out and we went in the back yard and she showed me the experiment they did at school.
So this time I got to be my daughters student and I got to shoot the bow and arrow.
Shot it a couple of times to hear the sound.
Then she stood behind me and put both hands in the air like she was waiving to somebody then put them in front of my ears ( not cupped or covering my ears ) then I shot again.
I couldn’t hear the string and didn’t hear the thump in the bail of hay. But the arrow did hit. The next shots was shielding the left ear only, then the right ear only.
This was all in a open grass area with about 75 yrds. all the way around us. The sound was definitely different each way that I tryed it. One of the ways that I really didn’t like was when my right ear was shielded and the left wasn’t. And I shoot right handed. ( I’m left handed and right eyed ) For some reason the brain didn’t compute the sound correct or something.
A simple test is say a sentence without your ears shielded then say the same sentence with your ears shielded the different ways. Its funny how the same sound can sound differently when you change the way your ears are exposed to the sounds.
And believe me I’m going to try a Condor SS if the dang things would ever get out of back order.
And the sound of the gun not being that quiet don’t bother me so much because I know that they are powerful accurate guns from the factory and it is nice that they took the time to develop more technology into the Condor SS. And just maybe it will be the gun that I can leave as is and not touch.
Probably not though knowing me.
When I test the Condor SS at the 50-yard range I will be testing it outdoors. I will comment on the noise then.
Ok Thanks B.B.
I thought I would share this info with you.I did some testing this week. Finaly. Since I have been lucky enough to be on vacation this week. This seemed to be the best place to post since we were talking about silencing a airgun and ballistics too in the past.
First thing is that my .177 Marauder just doesnt want to be have. And oh its shooting good. I just cant get it as quiet as my other guns. I just tryed going to the heavier 13 grn. JSB pellets that I had…… hoping that it would slow the pellet down and make things quieter. It slowed the pellet down to around 970 fps. The gun did get quieter. But not as queit as the other guns I talked about.
So here is what I did. I went a different way. I tuned the gun for lower PSI. Took 2 turns out of the spring and put 3 turns in the hammer shortning the stroke ( I do have the 10 lb. spring in this gun also ). Shot the gun from 2500 down to 1500 psi. Was doing 3000 down to 2000 psi. No more funny noises below 2000 psi now. And gun is quieter now. But found something else out that was interesting.
The gun is now at 850fps with the 10.3 Air Arms and 780 with the JSB pellets.But here is where things got interesting. I shot my all time favorite 8.3 Superdomes. At last quiet that resembles the other guns that I have talked about. They are even shooting at a average 910 fps.
And I tried all 3 pellets at 20 yrds. at a 2×4 in front of a bail of hay. JSB and Air Arms made it about 3/4 of the way through and the Superdomes went almost all the way through with the round part starting to mushroom out the wood on the other side.( no safisticated measuring devices for me…just back to the good old days like I did it when I was a kid ).
Im guessing maybe the Superdomes seal better in the barrel then the other pellets and maybe thats why they are quieter and are producing more impact than what the math says is supposed to happen.
And on the other suject that was talked about in different aspects was the Chair Gun Pro.
All I can say is I love it.
Idid get the chance also to shoot my .1
Whoops. I hit the submit button accidently.
Here we go again. I did get the chance to shoot my .17 HMR at my brothers. Was able to get out to the 200 yrd range with it. All I can say is for a quick refrence for aim point. The Chair Gun Pro is it.
I don’t know that I’d want to silence my hot rodded AirForce Condor. I shoot it in .257 and set up the way it is I’m able to hit a Ram silhouette target at 547 yards with a 90 grain Long Flat Nose slug from a Lead Bullets Technology mold. The Hatsan Air Stripper helps with accuracy. Compared to the .223 and .308 firearms I hear at the range, my gun is pretty quiet, but that’s relative statement.