AirForce Texan big bore rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Texan big bore
The Texan from AirForce Airguns is a .458 big bore to be reckoned with. A 4×32 scope comes with the rifle, but the bipod is an option.

I found out after this was published that the scope is not included with the rifle.

This report covers:

• AirForce builds a big bore
• Cocking mechanism
• The trigger is gorgeous!
• Much more to come

The 2015 SHOT Show begins today, and our subject rifle is being revealed to the shooting industry. This is the airgun I have been teasing you with for the past 3 months. It’s a .458-caliber big bore from AirForce Airguns called the Texan.

I first shot this rifle while it was in early development last year. I was impressed by the accuracy, light weight and power; but the cocking effort was difficult. That got fixed so well that this has to be the easiest-cocking big bore on the market. You can cock it with one finger! But I’ll come to that. Let’s look at this remarkable new air rifle.

AirForce builds a big bore
The Texan is a .458-caliber single-shot rifle that cocks via a sidelever located on the right side of the frame. It weighs 8 lbs., 3 oz., which is light for its caliber and power. Given the physics involved, you can expect a fairly sharp kick when the rifle fires. It’s not heavy, but you’ll know something has happened.

The rifle is long, at 48 inches overall. The 34-inch barrel accounts for a lot of that, and I’ll explain the reason for such a long barrel in a bit.

In AirForce fashion, the reservoir is also the butt of the rifle. Although it can be taken off the gun, it normally remains in place all the time. There’s a fill nipple on one side and a small pressure gauge on the other. The pull is adjustable, from 13-7/8 inches to about 15 inches via a sliding buttplate. The buttplate can also be rotated to the right or left for some cast-on and cast–off adjustability.

The frame of the rifle is aluminum, anodized in a non-reflective matte black surface. The long, thin barrel sticks out the front of the frame an additional 9-5/8 inches.

Cocking mechanism
The cocking mechanism deserves some explanation. On the first prototype, there was no mechanical advantage and the sidelever was very hard to cock! I remember thinking they would never get past it, but when I tested the rifle again several months later, the effort had vanished!

Texan big bore prototype cocking lever
An early cocking lever prototype used two anchors. It worked well, but was too complex to manufacture. However, it proved the engineer’s design, which was developed on the CAD system.

The Texan was designed on a computer-aided design (CAD) system. That saves time in many ways. It’s possible to operate some parts while they are still just concepts on the computer when a system like this is used. And, when a design seems good, the instructions to make the parts can be sent electronically from the designer to the CAD-driven machinery that will make them.

Texan big bore CAD
The engineer is able to build parts and test them on his CAD workstation.

This is not new technology, but using it effectively is something that one company might do better than another. AirForce is heavily invested in such systems; and as a result, they don’t spend as many man-hours in the machine shop when it’s time to build something.

Texan big bore cocking lever closed
The final sidelever mechanism has a single anchor point and fulcrum. It works as easily as the earlier prototype and is much less expensive to make.

Texan big bore cocking lever open
The final sidelever mechanism has a single anchor point and fulcrum. It works as easily as the earlier prototype and is much less expensive to make. It opens like this with almost no resistance.

Texan big bore cocking breech open
When the sidelever goes forward, it opens the breech like this. A bullet is then laid on the loading trough and pressed forward with the thumb as far as possible.

After loading a bullet, the sidelever is closed and you get another surprise. The lever goes back with very little effort! Somehow, AirForce has managed to take all of the cocking effort out of the process through perfect leverage! This act of cocking and loading the rifle, which is easier than cocking a Red Ryder BB gun, is so light and smooth that it sells the rifle to many who try it. My shooting buddy Otho told Yvette at AirForce that he wants to buy a Texan as soon as they come on the market.

The trigger is gorgeous!
Another thing that sold Otho on this rifle is the trigger. I can see why! It’s butter-smooth and light. But it’s a 2-stage sporting trigger — not a target trigger that’s adjusted too light. On my test rifle, the trigger broke cleanly at 33 oz. every time.

The safety is automatic, coming on when the rifle is cocked. It can also be applied at any other time. The safety blade comes back through the front of the triggerguard, where a forward flick of the trigger finger can take it off silently.

AirForce Texan
The trigger and safety will look familiar to AirForce fans. This trigger is light and crisp and the safety is a one-finger operation.

Much more to come
If you’ve already bought the color edition of Shotgun News that’s on the newsstands right now, you would see my complete report on the rifle. But I’ll put even more in this blog. Over the coming weeks, I’m going to reveal a big bore airgun that’s unlike any I’ve ever tested.

For instance, you can adjust the power, but it isn’t called that. It’s called “tuning for the bullet.” It works differently than any other power adjuster you’ve ever read about, because the valve in the Texan is unlike anything you’ve seen. I’ll get into that in Part 2.

For now, I’ll just say this. If you’ve been wanting a serious big bore airgun, by which I mean one that can take large thin-skinned game of bison and elk size, put this rifle on your short list. When you see the performance, you’ll understand why.

And I know that you want to know how much the Texan will sell for. I do, too.

Finally, there will be those who, upon reading about this rifle, will go off by themselves and start inventing entire new universes to live in. “When does it go on sale?” “Can you swap barrels?” “What other calibers does it come in?” “Can it be made into a shotgun?” And my favorite, “If evil alien machines threaten to take over the earth, will it transform into a giant superhero robot?”

All these things will be answered in good time, my friends. For now, let us bask in the glory of another fine big bore air rifle that’s coming to the market.

144 thoughts on “AirForce Texan big bore rifle: Part 1

  1. Way cool gun. The cocking mechanism sounds well thought out. The air valve I can’t wait to see.

    But sorry one of the big turn offs with AirForce guns is their mile high scope rail. By time you put even low mount rings on the scope is probably sitting close to 4″ above the barrel. They finally got the cocking out from under the rail. Its a shame they didn’t come straight back with the rail. If they was worried about strength they could of made the rail wider.

    Yes I’m being critical about what I say this time. Its exactly the reason I sold my Talon SS. Mile high scope mounting. I really like what they did with the gun but they had a chance this time and it didn’t happen.


    • GF1,

      LOL! In this case the mile high scope will work in your favor. If you shoot it out to any long range, it is going to have a considerable rainbow trajectory.

      I have a feeling many of these are going to end up with .257 barrels in them.


      • RR
        You are right about that with higher scope mounting. And I’m sure with the higher power and that caliber people will be shooting out at farther distances. But it sure will play heck when shooting down in a valley or up on a ridge. But like any gun you have to know your hold over or under to make your shot count.

        And maybe with the way the cocking device is made the barrel might not be inter changeable. And if it is I think I would like a .300 cal. barrel and use those JSB .30 cal. pellets like the Hatsan Carnivore uses. Just me I like shooting pellet’s.


        • This thing is going to have way too much power for those JSBs. This thing is putting out 500 FPE. This thing is in no way, shape or form backyard friendly. This thing is for shooting cast bullets. They are claiming this is the world’s most powerful production air rifle. I do not think your neighbors will be very understanding if you shoot it off your back porch.


          • RR
            Read my reply to RDNA.

            Your to late on that answer about the back yard shooting.

            And I have to disagree about shooting a pellet. Since were talking barrel change if I went to a .30 ca. barrel and shoot the JSB’s in it I would be able to turn the power adjustment down and probably get a better shot count and I bet still be able to make around 200 fpe. Which would be great for a long range target air gun.

            You know a gun that could be used for the Pepsi challenge. And like you said what kind of trajectory do you think that big .400 plus cal. bullet will have. The .300 cal. would have yo have a flatter trajectory.


            • I understand what you are saying, however I do not know if you can turn it down that much. That valve is designed for pushing a chunk of lead that weighs over 150 grains at over 1000 FPS. When you feed that air into a little .30 tube with a 50 grain pellet in front of it, I seriously think you are going to have some issues there. The diabolo is going to limit your velocity and thus your range.

              After reading the specs, I think it is going to shoot a lot flatter than I at first thought. They are claiming 1000 FPS and 500 FPE! This thing is cooking!

              If you want to shoot long range, go with a .257 or a .308 barrel and shoot cast bullets. The record holder of the Pepsi Challenge is a .257 Scandalous at 614 yards.


              • RR
                It will be interesting to see what the gun will do as is.

                I guess we should see those results first before we start changing the gun around.

                Maybe we are all in for a big surprise.



      • RidgeRunner,

        I will ask you this time. What is the attraction to the .257 barrel. I am assuming this is a carryover from your firearm experience of which I have next to none.

        G&G


        • G&G,

          The attraction of the .257 seems to come from the fact that it is relatively small for cast bullets. It is a fairly old caliber and quite a few different shape and size bullet molds are readily available. Also, barrels are readily available and can be had with different twist rates.

          This new Texan really isn’t that new. Quite a few guys have been building custom valves and barrels for quite some time now. I have been considering changing my Talon SS to a side cocker myself, which by the way, these guys have been doing for some time also.

          The Extreme Benchrest pellet shooters think of 100 yards as long range, but these other guys are shooting 200+ yards all the time and producing MOA groups while they are at it. One guy even posted a video of his hitting a can of Pepsi at 614 yards. That is not easy to do with anything, much less an air rifle. They are commonly using .257, .308, .357 and .458.

          There are some cast bullets and slugs available to fit the .25 air rifle barrel, however most air rifles do not have the power to utilize them. The AirForce line does if you have a high flow valve AND a 24 inch barrel to give the air time to get that chunk of lead up to speed.



    • Isn’t this the same issue seen in the AR design? The price of the in-line stock is a higher scope mount. That problem seems to have been solved judging by the number of sales.

      Matt61


      • Matt61
        What did they do to the AR to solve the problem?

        Please answer on today’s blog about the AF Texan. I think that’s a important fact that could possibly help the Texan. Like you say because of similarities.



          • Mike
            Can you explain what you mean. I got the email notification that you responded to my reply about accuracy not being affected but it will affect your hold over or under.

            Is that what you mean? I will tell it doesn’t change the trajectory it changes your point of aim verses point of impact. The higher the scope is mounted away from the barrel the more hold over or under you have to put in at different distances.


        • I think B.B. answered your question above and so did Mike. I was just inferring that there was a solution since so many people are happy with their ARs. Without owning one myself, I would guess that the answer is that there is no problem. So what if the scope is high above the stock as long as the stock fits you and your eye is positioned to see through the scope?

          Matt61


          • Matt61
            No the line of sight don’t bother me. The higher scope mounting on my Talon SS worked out ok.

            I guess its personal preference but what I don’t like about a scope that is mounted up high over the barrel is the amount of hold over or under I have yo put into my shots at different distances.

            The higher up the scope is mounted from the barrel the more hold you gave to put into your shot.

            If I had a low mounted scope I would let’s say have to put one mildot of hold under in at 25 yards. If I had a very high mounted scope like the AirForce guns use I would have to put maybe 3 mildots of hold under with the same gun just by changing scope height.

            I guess its just a personal preference but I like a gun that is set up to use the least amount of hold over or under when shooting. That way its easier to keep your aim point more centered in the scope glass when you look through the eye piece.

            Just me I guess its the way I was taught that the less hold you have to put into a shot the easier it is to shoot at different distances and if your making shots up in trees sqerrial hunting.

            You know like how the new fancy laser range finders will give you a a level yardage along with a angled yardage when shooting up or down hill. Well try that with a scope that’s mounted way up high above the barrel. I will say real quick that a short close to the barrel scope height is easier to work with.


          • Matt61
            Kind of interesting. I just did a google search for Pyramyd Air blog and it looks like BB has never done a blog on how to use laser range finders.

            Maybe that could be a good future blog and BB could show some different mildot aim points look in a scope at different ranges and different power settings. And then mount the scope at a extremly different height and show the new mild or aim points. And do some range finding with the laser ranger finder pointed up in a tree and show how that actually gives you a closer range reading with the laser.

            It would show that the pellet still fly’s the same but you will have to use a different hold for a different scope height.


  2. There is little doubt that one of these will end up in my collections. I already have a couple of AirForce Condors, and the platform is easy to maintain and shoot. If Benji built a Bull pup Marauder, I’d buy that next, but their .357 is a little . . . Ungainly.

    The boys and I Do a fair bit of Rendezvous stuff, and have a couple black powder guns each. At these black powder shoots, modern guns are frowned upon, but I have surprised some folks with the condors. They have a few admirers there for their lack of cartridges. I just did a mental comparison with the Lewis And Clark Girandoni rifle and this one and just wished–for a minute–that, like the vintage looking pistols BB has showcased recently, someone would get a bug up their tush and build an air rifle that the civil war boys and Rendezvous gents could play with. I know, not nearly enough of a market, but man–it’s got the history, the cache, and the utility. That bottle on the the end of the Texan is already in the right place–just needs some pretty furniture! Then a guy could have a gun to recreate the adventures of Lewis and Clark!
    Just dreaming. Thanks for all of your work B.B!



      • Thank you ridge runner. I have looked at the sweet aftermarket stocks for the marauder, and I liked them. It just irritates me when a company like Crosman/Benjamin can’t see the demand for the Kaliber-Edgun-Kricket styles. People like those clean, compact woods running rabbit and squirrel guns. The market for extra parts proves it. So why don’t they make some new molds and drop the action into it? The added trigger components and engineering would add a few bucks to each gun, but to pay a well deserved craftsman like the folks who build the MDRL stocks effectively doubles the price of the gun. Benjamin could do it for less than fifty bucks. But instead of selling us the bull pup we want, Benjamin keeps pushing these expensive, hideous looking warthogs. Hey, I understand the allure of a big bore. I’m going to buy this one. But 90 percent of my shooting–and I think MOST people’s shooting, even if they own a big bore–is still going to be with my 22 and 25 caliber air rifles. They are the first guns that go in the truck when we head out to woods walk. The small bores are inexpensive FUN and are what got me back into shooting after a long absence. So I guess I’m just irrationally irritated with the lack of response by Crosman/Benjamin. My SS is my number one squirrel/rabbit/pigeon/turkey gun now. It is short, points easy, is light, relatively quiet, and a fine gun. It just doesn’t have a backup shot. Are you listening Crosman? I don’t think so. I’m going to predict something here. The Texan will out-sell the Crosman .357 by a large margin. The reason? AirForce KNOWS their customer base and listens to them. They watched the interest in the groups modding their guns for bigger barrels and longer ranges, then stepped up and delivered a clean, light platform that exceeds what most of the tinkers can do.
        I don’t know who Crosman is listening to.

        Wow! Quite the rant when I look back. Sorry folks. I waited 15 minutes before posting this, but it would be cool if more of these messages get to the higher ups! Lol



        • Actually Crosman has been pretty responsive in recent years. Something you need to think about is that the majority of Americans grew up shooting the Mattelomatic. That is why most of Crosman’s air rifles look like a Mattelomatic. That is what all of the customer’s are clamoring for, most especially all of the arm chair warriors with their Call Of Duty games.

          I for one am not crazy about bullpups. I like setting up under a shade tree on a hill overlooking a large farm and shooting groundhogs in the head at 500 yards. I want a long rifle that will reach way out there.

          Now if Crosman would take that Bulldog and give it a 24″-36″ barrel, I would be interested.


          • Bull pups have very long barrels relative to. there over all length.Thats the beauty of them. You can have a twenty four inch barrel on a/ thirty inch bull pup. Because the action is behind the trigger by a considerable amount. Read the stats


            • Oh, I have been looking at bullpups for quite some time now. The vast majority are unacceptable to me because you have to remove it from your shoulder to cycle the action or you must be a contortionist.

              Finally this year we can expect some bullpups to hit the market with the cocking mechanism more forward where it belongs. Crosman should have done this with the Bulldog from the get go, but that required some effort.





  3. I don’t think anyone can complain airguns aren’t enough for hog anymore! Who has ammo for this caliber? Airforce could do well to design a line of ammo that compliment the available tunes for bullets.


    • And BB, you are right, I am sure there are plenty if differences in tastes, I loved the cheap marksman pistols, like I said and actually had been meaning to grab one if I came across. That’s where I got overzealous, the 188 is that cheap fun without co2 that I was looking for. I totally revamped it with a clean and polish that turned out great. I read that the avanti gets about 240fps, so we know that power doesn’t make a gun, though I know that’s my usual MO, and Im sure you didn’t want me disappointed, but it has found a place in the small gang of keepers I’ve got going. Remember the Oklahoma I talked about before? I thought that was the coolest little thing, but was missing pieces and WAS uselessly underpowered. That marksman was a huge part if my airgunning beginnings and the novelty single stroke pistols have pull for me, they remind me of simpler things and that curiosity and mischief of childhood, fairs and bicycles and jibbers in a jeep with roof off. Good times.


    • RDNA,

      There are several guys casting bullets for this caliber out there and I am quite sure that now that this one will soon be on the market, they will be ramping up. Lyman and others also make molds so you can do your own casting. This is a pretty common cast bullet size. AirForce chose well.



    • RDNA
      I do believe this gun could take a coyote out at 100 yards.

      If I was shooting this gun I would treet it as shooting a center fire hunting rifle.

      No back yard shooting with this gun. Well unless you have a really big back yard. 🙂




          • Guynfun
            I am with you on that and this cheap old fart may just come up with a grand for this power house although you can also get a custom built ranger 45 built to your specs that has a conventional scope mounting rail and custom stock with a 4500 psi reservoir of your size choosing with a 30 to 36 inch barrel in all stainless steel for a mere 300 buck more. You can also add many more custom features for an extra cost and have a conventional looking rifle with the same power level as this one.

            I myself think if I am going to spend a grand on a big bore I would rather get it custom built to my liking instead of one just like everyone else will have and it will only be 300 bucks more and use a higher air pressure to shoot with and being all stainless it will not rust or show scratches that a little buffing and polishing will not make disappear.

            BD


            • Buldawg
              I’m guessing you would use your custom 4500psi gun in a disaster type situation. Think about what it will be like to pump that gun up to 4500 psi with out electricity and your ShoeBox compressor. I would much rather have a gun that will operate on 3000 psi or less.

              But that does sound like a nice gun you are describing.


              • Gunfun
                That gun would not be much good in the disaster situation we talked about the other evening any more that the Texan would be as both would wear us out filling with a hand pump as the Texan has a 480 cc tank and I am unsure what the ranger 45s tank volume is but it would shoot on 3000 psi just as well as the Texan you would just get as many shots and we don’t know the shot count on the Texan yet anyway.

                I would use my powder burners for self defense and the air gun to hunt in stealth situation so as not to signal my location to all in ear shod as I have several that have no report to draw attention.

                but yes the Ranger is quite a fine piece of American craftsmanship and are built one at a time to your exact specification and looks desired in the style of stock and shape and color combination as well as laminations and barrel and air chamber lengths for only 300 bucks more it will be custom built to fit you and no one else.

                So I was throwing it out there as there have been much larger big bore gun being made for some years now with a multitude of options that most anyone could be pleased to own.

                It appears the Texan is now not available to purchase till may anyway so if you are going to have to wait to buy a big bore gun why not wait to get exactly want you want instead of excepting compromise of scope heights and stock fitment issues.

                that’s all I am saying and yes the guns he makes are work of art not some mass produced for the masses gun that is full of compromises and unattractive appearance.

                BD


          • Gunfun
            I do think you will be right that my 40 is going to do well with the 8.44s out of the pellets Zi have tested so far.

            I am going to buy some sampler pack of Beeman and H&N pellets to see if one of them may shoot as good or better than the 8.44s as I would like to stay with the 10.xx grain pellets as I agree with you that they tend to stay on trajectory better in the wind than the lighter ones do.

            I am going to shoot for POI tomorrow even if it is windy just to see if the 8.44s group good as they may be off the actual POA but if they group well I can adjust the POI on a calm day at 35 yards so all close and long range targets will all be in the hold over area of the reticle and just print a reticle card to keep on my caddy to refer to for number of mil dots or half mil dots to use at what distance as I do prefer the hawke 1/2 mil dot scopes much better and do not find them to busy as a lot of people state.

            BD


          • Gunfun
            The seller of the Titan I am buying found a box today to ship it in and now has to find packing material to box and weigh it so I can pay and get coming so it is coming around very slowly but it is at least slowly getting done. It is really the gun I want and the stock is a much darker brown than most of the titan are so it will look a bit of one of its own.

            It will get here in good time and I still have the disco tubes to pay for so the delay in getting it paid for is allowing me to get funds back up as well.

            I just hope he never has to ship a time sensitive item as he will fail miserably. LOL

            BD



              • Gunfun
                Yea I don’t know what is so difficult to get it boxed and shipped but for the price I will wait for him to get it done and shipped to me. I don’t know what he does for a living but I sure hope it does not require much thought or effort as he is lacking in those dept. by far.

                There is another one on GB now for just a little more that if he does not get with it I may just grab it instead, but as I said it has a much darker brown stock than I have seen on any other crosmans.

                We will see if he gets it done by this weekend hopefully.

                BD


    • Is that what this airgun is designed to hunt? I understand that some hogs need a .375 H&H magnum to bring down so this would be about right for airguns. I think this caliber would also do a job on the coconut crabs infesting Hawaii.

      Matt61


      • Probably want a maximum shot count for that many crabs! I’ve seen video of those hoards. I would hope a Texas made hunting bug bore, dubbed the “Texan” could drop some big pigs, we’ll see with the velocity tests. In going to say 200 ftlbs is the minimum for medium hogs, that’s the area of 22 lr so if its not getting to 22 lr then dinosaurs are out of the question.



        • Mike
          You need to go to the green swamps of Florida between the coast and Perry to Cross city Florida as a 375 is still not enough for the 800 plus pound boars that live in those swamps, A very well placed shot may drop one but if you are of by an inch or two you will have very angry boar that will turn and hunt you down with the tenacity of a badger or wolverine.

          I have hunted them and seen big caliber rifles ricochet off their skulls and turn them in to angry bull sized boars with 10 to 14 inch razor sharp tusk that they will rip you to pieces if there is no large tree to climb before the catch up to you and even them they will spend all night trying to uproot the tree you are in.

          BD


    • RDNA
      There is a big difference in terminology and it meaning when you state Hogs as compared to Boars.

      I used to hunt wild boars on the west coast of Florida in the green swamp area around the towns of Perry to Cross city area in 74 to 76 time frames and the wild boars we hunted were not easily killed with large caliber firearms much less a large caliber air gun. I have shot the 600 plus pound boars with 30/30s and 44 mags as well as 336 marlins and 303 savage and had them run away or turn and charge and that is one thing you don’t want mad at you and charging as they will not give up until they either kill you or run out of energy after 12 plus hours of trying to uproot the tree you decided to climb to escape from them. They have tusks that are 10 to 14 inches long and razor sharp and capable of shredding you into minced meat in minutes.

      My roommate and me would hunt them on land that he had a hog claim to and we were 21 or 22 years old and met a 45 year old man that lived in the green swamp area we hunted in and had lived and hunted those hogs all his life and over the years had come to the conclusion that he could kill the boar faster and easier with a 10 bowie knife and 10 to 12 pit bulls and two air dales to howl to allow the tracking of the pits when they were on the scent of a huge boar as the pits would eventually get the boar cornered and take it off its feet by ganging upon it and holding it on the ground for him to come and kneel against its jaw and shoulder and stick the knife in it throat and stir the pot and it would suffocate in 5 minutes on it own blood.

      He told way to many stories of him being treed by a 800 pound boar that he had shot with large caliber guns a only to piss the boar off and have it charge him and force him to climb a large tree to get out if its reach while it proceeded to try to uproot a 5 foot diameter tree that he was in for most of the night until the boar would finally get frustrated and give up and leave.

      So just beware of the size of the game you are planning to hunt with an air gun as some so called hogs are a lot tougher to kill than most people realize and I have been chased by a pissed off boar and it will get your adrenaline flowing very fast and give you a new respect for hunting game that can and will hunt you back.

      My self I would not go after any boar over 300 pounds without a least the Quigley 72 air gun in my hands but then that is just my thoughts and experiences from many years ago of hunting boar that you would think was a large bull rather than a pig.

      BD


  4. BB,

    When I first saw this I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting something that was more of a departure from their present line. On closer inspection though I can see they have addressed some of the issues some have had with this frame. By moving the bracing back to the breech area they have made the frame more rigid.

    The more I look it over, the more I like it. If I can figure out how to pay for one of these things, I am going to have to get one and a .257 barrel and maybe a .308 barrel. Now I am going to have to buy a compressor and a tank. I can see a divorce in the future.

    LOL! They really do need to lose that dinky little pistol grip though!




      • Yeah, RR, you’re right… a musket is a smoothbore… forget about it! This thing sure has a rifled barrel.
        But, in spite of my (poor) trial at naming things, it is a fact of life PCPs benefit from longer barrels, specially big bores, but at 48 inches, I guess many people will find it awkward to carry on the field.
        The longest rifle I had in my life was an old infantry Mauser, and that is a rifle you don’t want to carry around if you are hunting. So, will Air Force offer different barrel options, even if losing some performance?


        • Just think how long it is going to be when the barrel is shrouded.

          I am sure they will be offering different barrel options, but maybe not like you think. More than likely they will be different calibers. They may also offer different lengths, but then you will be wasting a lot of air and performance will likely drop off dramatically. Just look at the Rogue. That 18 inch barrel made it an overpriced, anemic travesty. The Bulldog is going to be the same thing.

          I would carry a Virginia long rifle in the woods.


          • We are talking a 34 inches barrel here! I wouldn’t say they need to cut down to 18 inches, but some 26 to 28 inch tube would be just fine! Maybe the woods around here are not exactly friendly to very long guns and that’s what affected my tastes.
            But I got your argument. A Virginia long rifle is a better comparison than my Mauser, as PCPs and Black Powder guns both need barrel length to get performance, and people carry these all the time through the woods to hunt. It’s just that maybe a little shorter version wouldn’t kill…
            Oh,Geez… I think I just invented a universe to live in…


  5. So this gun fires a solid bullet and not a diabolo shaped pellet? And it is seated by thumb pressure alone? Is it a hollow base bullet like the old minee ball?
    Being subsonic and skirtless, did they have to change the rifling twist rate to stabilize the bullet?
    I imagine that performance will be all about the bullet shape and fit to bore. I’m interested to see what kind of groups you get.


  6. All the cocking effort discussion makes this gun sound like an odd-looking springer instead of the PCP that it is! The nondescript 4×32 scope seems a bit of a throw-away choice for something that is going to have rainbow trajectories at those subsonic velocities–I’d expect a name-brand AO zoom scope with mil-dots or BDC system. The PA description sounds like the scope wasn’t originally going to be included: “Because the gun doesn’t come with open sights, you’ll need to mount a scope.” This gun is priced well above the point where Bubba will decide to purchase it or not based on whether it already includes a scope. Not whining–just strikes me as an odd choice for this particular gun, at this price point.



      • You know, B.B, it may be a game changer in more ways than one. I believe this weapon, blurring the lines between firearm and air arm, will open more legislative doors to hunting with the tools. A domestic manufacturer may make deer hunting legal in more states. I would do it here in Northern California. Hmmmmmmmm. I better get in line. When is this one available? And . . . . Given the legislation against lead increasing in firearms, what are the chances of manufactures looking at copper for a beast this size?


        • You can hunt deer in Michigan right now with a PCP of 35 cal. or larger. I don’t think that lead bullets will become a problem except in a few states like the Peoples Republic of California. The last time I looked, there was a lot of lead in the ground. It seems that it came from there in the first place!

          Mike


        • Zack
          Alabama it is already legal to hunt deer with a 30 cal or larger air gun and also with silencers as well so this is already legal to use for deer in this state.

          it must be a drag to live in that other country attached to our west coast that wants to make the rest of us live by your laws, will never happen in the heart of DIXIE.

          BD



  7. Why would the cocking effort have ever been significant on a PCP? I wish Airforce well, but honestly they should not emulate the styling of Illudium PU-36 Modulators so much. Especially the scope part – and it seems to me that someday there would be a rifle with an integrated scope that mounts entirely differently than perching on a rail…


  8. “There will be those who . . . will go off by themselves and start inventing entire new universes to live in.”” LOL!

    I’m going to remember and use it from time to time.

    One heckuva serious looking rifle, this Texan.

    Michael


  9. Load it with a .45 sabot (if you can still get them) , pour a spoon full of #9 shot down the barrel, and blast those pesky flies off the living room ceiling.

    twotalon


  10. B.B., This is the entire story that you sent to ShotGun News that they trimmed to fit and snuggle up against the display ads of the AK47, AK74 , personlizing the AR, Machine Gun Want ads, 1911 Trick out accessories, etc. I guess. Excellent and thank you !
    Pete
    Orcutt, California


  11. Nice looking gun. I’ll have to run out and buy a “Shotgun News” for the full review, just can’t wait for the blog on this one. I bet this puppy is loud.

    This must be the year of the big bore airguns. Seen a number of new entries hitting the market.

    Also, saw video of you playing with Crosman’s new bullpup at Shot. Glad to hear they got away from the electronic trigger in this model, just hope it’s not the typical bullpup long and heavy pull.


  12. Not a fan of Airforce guns but I’m a big fan of Airforce innovation.

    Airforce is an American Company that refuses to sit on their backside and keep providing new introductions for airgunners. Proves to me they’re listening to their customers and paying attention to the aftermarket modders.

    The Texan apparently has an external fill nipple, new, perfected sidelever, new power adjuster, new valve, etc.

    Kudos to Airforce. Not a rehash with a different stock slapped on an old gun and rename but a redesigned airgun. Wish more manufacturers would treat us similarly.

    Hope Airforce ultimately offers other calibers since I assume a barrel swap is still relatively easy on the Texan. A .257 barrel option is a no brainer.

    kevin



    • Kevin,

      I know very little about firearms as I stick exclusively (for now) with airguns. My question is: what is the attraction for changing this rifle to .257? You are the second person to mention this today.

      G&G


      • With center fire rifles, .257 diameter bullets are one of the best for hunting deer. Calibers like .25-06, 257 Roberts, 250 Savage, and .257 Weatherby Magnum work very well.

        Mike




  13. So excited about this airgun and the direction the industry is headed. That said, at the same time, I’m a little nervous about it. Just a matter of time before some dummy shoots someone with one of these and then they’ll treat them like firearms. I hope not!
    Just a few years ago I missed all the great airguns and designs that used to be. Not anymore. Never has never been a better time for airgunners. They (Manufactures) just keep wowing me with all the new products!


    • I was saying the same thing. this obsession with my thing is bigger then your thing more power fatter bullets more speed etc. if you need a lot of power use a PB a lot cheaper. I think will lead to commie control freaks putting regs on air guns so far air guns are under the radar. some nut barricaded himself in his house cops came and he shot a 25 spring thru the window hitting the cop. statements were made that he bought it thru the mail and they will look at that. not a good omen


    • Bradly,

      This concerns me very much also. It’s the first thing I thought of when I saw .458. I’m not a hunter so unfortunately I have little use for such a powerful airgun.

      G&G


  14. BB
    I’m sure there is more info to come about the Texan. Oh and just wanted to say this about the Texan. Don’t you all have a saying down there in Texas like “Everything is big in Texas” well it sound like that fits right in with the new AirForce Texan.

    But here’s a question that goes along with big. How big of shot count will the Texan get per fill?


  15. B.B.,

    You wrote this early in the article:

    “The rifle is long, at 48 inches overall. The 34-inch barrel accounts for a lot of that, and I’ll explain the reason for such a long barrel in a bit.”

    I took “in a bit” to mean in this report. Kept looking for it but you never said anymore about it. Was this an oversight or did you mean in a future report? A 34″ barrel is really long. Wow.

    G&G


  16. B.B.,

    At $1,000 I think anyone who can afford this rifle will want to put their favorite scope on it. Please suggest to AirForce, if you can, that they should drop the included scope from the package.

    Interestingly, I also think that some members of this blog that previously would not have dreamed of spending $1,000 on an airgun will be pinching pennies for this one. We’ll see.

    Although I doubt I will ever own one I think this is an exciting and smart move on the part of AirForce. But, I think that if I ever do get a big bore it will be the new Hatsan BT. The reason is that it is still backyard friendly at a noise rating of “3”. That is probably the only reason I would pick the Hatsan over the AirForce.

    Of course, if your really looking for BIG power then AirForce is it. At up to 500 FPE, WOW.

    By the way, is there a pellet or bullet trap out there that will contain this beast?

    G&G


  17. B.B. my question is easier for you to answer than the alien invasion question.

    Since you have been testing this for a while,
    What’s the shot count?

    Airforce guns are great, but have a notorious low shot count for the size of the air reservoir.

    Thanks.



  18. Hi everybody…

    I got some news from the bluing front 🙂

    I’ve tried both the “boiling in vinegar” and “heating then cooling down in oil” methods.

    The vinegar method just turned my Diana 31 barrel light grey and washed off all existing bluing without creating a new coat of bluing. Parts that weren’t submerged all the time just got rusty (but that rust was easy to wash off).
    Maybe the steel has some ingredients that prevent this from working.

    Heating the barrel with a propane torch and then cooling it in Diesel oil seems to work more or less. I was a bit careful with the temperature and stopped applying heat when some areas of the barrel started glowing very faintly (I did this in the dark). I don’t want to melt/deform the barrel, obviously…
    Dipping in the oil wasn’t very spectacular. Some smoke and a little fountain of Diesel coming out of the barrel 🙂
    There is some progress but it’s not very even yet (after three rounds of heating and cooling down). Maybe I need to heat it some more (or more evenly).

    Maybe I should have just left the scratches I put in the barrel alone in the first place, but I suppose I might still learn something from this. If I get it to work, I have a very cheap and fairly easy method of bluing airguns. If it doesn’t, maybe I’ll get the barrel re-blued professionally or simply buy a new one (maybe the “Compact Pro” barrel with the shroud/cocking aid).

    Feel free to comment or laugh at my stupid tinkering 🙂

    Kind regards,
    Stephan


    • CptKlotz

      I sure hope that this wasn’t an accurate rifle before you heated the barrel. If you had it “faintly glowing”, you had it too hot. You have probably annealed the metal to a degree that the barrel may possibly bend now during cocking. Would the barrel be too long to place in a domestic range oven? At least the temperature would be uniform throughout.

      Vinegar contains acetic acid which probably dissolved the existing bluing. I have seen blood damage bluing also.

      I blued an old 6.5 mm Japanese Arisaka rifle over 50 years ago with a rust type bluing and it came out very well. The metal had to be clean and free of any grease or oil and of course the metal prepped to the finish desired. The liquid would be brushed on and then the part allowed to form a fine coating of rust which would then be removed with a fine wire wheel. Each time the process was repeated, the darker the parts became. It was very time consuming but produced a much more durable finish than hot bluing.

      Good luck with your project.

      Bugbuster




  19. Can someone explain the point of a big bore airgun to me?
    Surely a lighter calibre centrefire would be a more flexible, simpler and lighter option?
    I know why the lower powered, quieter, recoilless airguns make lots of sense for all sorts of pest control over 17hmr and 22lr…….but an airgun making the energy of a firearm is an answer to a question no one is asking?
    Unless it’s just because we can?


    • There could be a number of reasons. First, it would be great fun to use something different than the norm. Second, as of now, no federal regulations to deal with, just buy it if it’s OK in your state. Third, like bow hunting and hunting with a muzzleloader it is a greater challenge due to limited range. A lot of people really like the idea of airguns, if you build it, they will come.

      Mike


  20. You are also edging yourself towards an fpe limit before it gets regarded as a firearm, at the moment the government sees airguns as Red Ryders, an urban sniper or two with these raising the profile and welcome to 12fpe on unregulated airguns in some states.


  21. I see that they are planning on selling it with a scope. An option should be to sell it with a mount only. Most people that buy a rifle like this will have their own Idea on what type of glass to put on it. Adding a 4X scope to the package only pushes up the price. AirForce should know this.

    Mike



  22. BB,What is it like loading longer projectiles in the Texan?Are you able to lay them in there flat and push them in,or do you need to start them into the breech in order to get behind them and push them in?I’m concerned about shaving heads during loading.

    Also it was mentioned earlier and I don’t know if we can vote but…I resent the fibre optic sights,and my growing pile of 4 x 32 scopes I had to pay for and won’t ever use.I wish all the manufacturers would stop including them and let me save a little money so I can put it on the sights or optics I want on my guns.

    Zack
    I’m not a bull-pup fan either and I prefer wood in a gun.But I think the Benjamin Bulldog is the best looking of them all .The Evanix versions ,for example,look like ratty old 2 x 4’s with a pipe driven down the middle;something 8 year olds would use as they run around the back yard yelling”bang bang you’re dead”.I hope there could be a more conventional wood stock for the Bulldog,but I doubt it.

    Twotalon
    So do you think we are going to have to start calling you Threeairforce in the near future?:)

    Tin Can Man



    • Jake Finn,

      This is something that bother’s me about these new offerings. All but one would lend itself easily to shooting pellets. Why are they sticking with BBs? Just bugs the crap out of me.

      G&G


      • G&G,
        I agree. Pellets would have been the persuader for me to gamble on reserving the mosin even before I find out more about it. Who knows why, Why do carmakers think we dont like two doors? etc….
        Customer response is what I think made whoever begin to make a pellet co2 revolver again.


    • Jake Finn

      This has to be one of the most idiotic ideas that I have ever seen! You have a bolt action, “sawed-off” BB rifle with about a 136 mm sight radius. The tangent rear sight is graduated to 1000 meters and does not appear to be windage adjustable from the photo. I can’t imagine even being able to use the sights unless you hold it with both hands. I don’t see this going anywhere.

      Whoever came up with this needs to get into drug rehab, quick!

      Bugbuster


      • Turns out after looking further, these were previously in other countries, starting out as airsoft. It seems most of the newer more realistic co2 bb guns were first for enthusiasts in countries with less freedom to own firearms. I haven’t looked for a main site for the company ‘wingun’ from Taiwan to search for other stuff I haven’t seen yet, but that seems to be the originator of guns branded under many names that seem to be unrelated to each other. I did see a lookalike ruger super redhawk on some England site. Foreign airsoft stuff like the sawed off mosin don’t seem to translate completely into the list of aspects american airgunners would prefer to have.



  23. If you all go look at the specification on this big bore the 996 fps is with round lead balls not bullets as the bullet start at 890 fps down to 750 fps with the varying weight bullets available. I don’t think the round balls will be that accurate as compared to the bullets but we will find out.

    Bd


    • buldawg76,

      You are right that the round ball was the one that reached 996FPS. However, it was the hollow base bullet that reached 500 FPE. This bullet should be a contender for accuracy, I think.

      G&G


      • G&G
        I know the round ball will not be in the running for accuracy as compared to the hollow base bullet for sure, but I just found it odd that the ball would be faster although it is the lightest of the ammo listed on the PA description page so that stand to reason but who is going to shoot round ball any way except for plain fun of destroying objects with out wasting money on expensive bullets.

        BD


      • G&G
        If I got one of these I am going to have to build a new back stop as I am already punching holes thru the 1/16 steel plate that serves as a pellet stop so I guess it would need to go 1/4 inch at a minimum if not 1/2 inch and also needs a large steel netting to catch ricochets and shrapnel from destroyed targets. LOL

        My 22 cal PCPs without suppressors get my neighbors attention and luckily they are shooters and hunters so it is not a problem but I imagine this cannon would be a little bit more of an issue.

        Just think you could celebrate new years and the 4th of July with a large bang without having to fire a single round.

        BD



  24. Why Oh Why, did AF cut out so much area from under the breach? The area under the breach, while it looks thick, isn’t. It only a very thin walled channel containing the trigger group.

    AF missed the obvious problem area causing the famous Frame Flex, AGAIN!!! Grrrrrr!!!

    But Big Props for AF taking the chance of coming out with a BIG Bore. I have truly enjoyed my Custom AF .257 for quite a while now. Great power, and Superb Accuracy!

    KnifeMaker



  25. I’ve already placed a preorder for a Texan. I have .22 cal break barrels and a .25 cal Benjamin Marauder that I really enjoy shooting. they are proven to be murder on varmints from raccoons on down to ground squirrels and are exceptionally accurate especially the Marauder. I also hunt predators. Until now I have had to use my .223, or 6.8SPCII to get the knockdown power or range that I need to hunt coyotes, bobcats and fox. With the Texan I can use an airgun to hunt predators without the need of a head shot and hogs, this rifle will kill a hog at reasonable ranges!

    I have all the centerfire and rimfire rifles I need to hunt anything in North America. I do enjoy hunting with airguns just for the challenge of getting close enough to the intended prey and while I’m sure the Texan will have a pretty good effective range I can still hunt closer to civilization with it than with any of my firearms. I look forward to receiving it, putting a decent scope on it and taking it hunting. 1000fps and 500fpe! My gut feeling is that this rifle will be accurate as well as powerful. Now that’s what I’m talking about.



  26. Im not a big fan of AF style guns but will buy one with shrouded barrell, multiple shots and carbine style . I have seen all of their guns just having the same configuration, not impressed but it is supposed to be really accurate guns.



  27. I am going to buy a big bore this year and have narrowed it down to the Texan, the Bulldog, and the Carnivore, if the Texan came in an SS version I would order today. In the past I had another .45 big bore but it was so loud and inaccurate that I got rid of it. I figured the Texan would be accurate but it seems very loud which is my only hesitation, I have a safe full of powder burners if I want noise. I am happy to see how well the Texan shoots so depending on the results of the bulldog reviews I think it will probably be between those two as the Hatsan in .35 looks like you would be shooting rainbows, but it is not totally ruled out.



  28. BB,
    I guess I need to order a sleuth of projectiles, and see what the new barrel brings. Perhaps we’ll be able to match your power and accuracy results… I sure hope so.

    Thanks,
    Saluki



      • BB,
        I already have a good source for bullets, Montanabulletworks.com, and have requested they put together a selection of different projectiles to test. Thought I’d get ahead of the power curve, and be ready when the Texan arrives.

        Will be testing 185-220 grain bullets. No Bison, Polar Bears, or Elk in Alabama, although the Coyotes are getting bigger every year. LOL

        I’ll publish the results when I’m done.

        Saluki


  29. BB,
    Dave at Montanabulletworks.com has recently stopped making bullets, due to back problems. He has given me great service in the past.

    I’ll take up your suggestion and call Johnny Hill, at Tin Starr Bullets.

    Thanks

    Saluki



  30. This gun is the BEST big bore air rifle ever made (production). From the videos I have seen, it seems to me the early, or experimental guns do not have the power of mine. It’s winter here, hopefully in the spring I can make some vids to show what this rifle CAN do. Not only in power but accuracy, as power is in no short supply. This gun can mess you up if your not careful, recoiless pcp was taken to a whole new level!

    It needs to be treated with respect with heavier weight slugs, I’m not kidding….. I watched that vid of that young girl shooting one, at certain pressure levels and bullet weights, when the gun struts it’s stuff, that poor kid would have been in the hospital….

    It’s that good, what you need to know about any PCP, is learn the curve……


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