by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Testing Baracuda FT pellets — Part 3
The AirForce Edge target rifle.
This report covers:
- How more air helps power
- Linked to the Baracuda FT test
- Fill the Edge
- The test
- JSB Exact RS
- H&N Finale Match Light with 4.5mm head
- RWS Superdome
- Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
- I wonder…
- Air Arms Falcon
- RWS R10 Match Pistol with 4.5mm heads
- More fun
- H&N Match Green
- Second group of Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
- Ten shots
- Aluminum tape on the back of targets
Today I’m doing something fun — for me. I’m testing the accuracy potential of the AirForce Edge target rifle that reader Ridge Runner has modified by adding a larger firing chamber. There were some questions last time about how just adding an empty chamber after the regulator can add power to a regulated target rifle. Here’s how.
How more air helps power
We know that the regulator takes the high-pressure air in the reservoir and steps it down to much lower pressure. We also know — or should know — that a gun that gets filled to 3,000 psi does not put anything like that kind of pressure behind the pellet when it fires. If it puts out 1,000 psi, that’s a lot.
Air that is pressurized to 1,000 pounds per square inch does not have the same energy potential as air that’s pressurized to 3,000 psi. It’s like 6 grade-school boys pushing a car. They can push it and get it moving, but 6 full-grown men will get it going faster. However, if instead of 6 boys we put 15 behind the car, they can get it going faster, even though individually none of them is very strong. The firing chamber after the regulator allows more lower-pressure air (more boys) to get behind the pellet when the gun fires.
If the barrel was lengthened from 12 inches to 18 inches, the Edge should shoot faster. The extra barrel length gives the little boys longer to keep pushing the car, which keeps increasing in speed.
Linked to the BaracudaFT test
You will note that I also linked to Part 3 of the test I’m doing on the H&N Baracuda FT pellet. In Part 3 of that report I used the Edge to test the pellets, so that’s some accuracy data we already have gathered. That wasn’t a real accuracy test, though, because we have no idea whether that pellet is right for the Edge. That’s what I hope to discover today.
Fill the Edge
We know from Part 1 that this modified rifle gets 25 good shots from a 3,000 psi fill. I had just purchased an 88-cubic-foot carbon fiber tank that was life-extended from Pyramyd Air. I filled it from empty yesterday with the Air Venturi compressor and it took 73 minutes to go from zero to 4,500 psi. And there was a big surprise when I filled the Edge today.
The valve in the new CF tank operates very slowly and I was able to take about 30 seconds to fill the tiny reservoir on the Edge. My old CF tank filled it in less than 5 seconds and I had to watch it closely to avoid over-filling. This new one operates with much more control. And the cost of this tank is only a little more than half the cost of a new tank.
I’m shooting from 25 yards off a sandbag rest. I shot 5 pellets at each target because I wanted to test as many pellets as possible. I promised myself that if a pellet looked good I would shoot a group of 10 with it. I did not change the zero of the scope throughout this test.
I also put aluminum tape on the backs of the targets. I’ll have something to say about that in a bit.
JSB Exact RS
The first pellet tested was the JSB Exact RS. Five went into a group that measures 0.219-inches between centers. It earned the coveted trime recognition, even though it was only 5 shots.
The modified Edge put 5 JSB Exact RS pellets into this 0.219-inch group at 25 yards. The silver three-cent piece in the picture is called a trime by collectors. It is 14mm in diameter, where an American dime is 17.91mm.
H&N Finale Match Light with 4.5mm head
The next pellet I tested was the H&N Finale Match Light with 4.5mm head. Five of them went into 0.313-inches at 25 yards, but if you look at the group you can see that the first shot landed to the right of the next 4. Those 4 are in just 0.131-inches. No trime this time, but I will come back and look at this pellet again!
Five H&N Finale Match Light pellets with 4.50mm heads went into 0.313-inches at 25 yards. The last 4 are in 0.131-inches.
The next pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome. They weren’t as tight as the first two. Five went into 0.458-inches at 25 yards. That would be good for a spring-piston rifle but not for a 10-meter rifle that has a reputation for accuracy.
Five RWS Superdomes made a 0.458-inch group at 25 yards.
Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
The next pellet to be tested was one of my favorites — the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter. We have seen some phenomenal groups from these in lower-powered air rifles. However, not this time. Five of them went into a very open 0.838-inch group at 25 yards! Wow! That is the largest group of this test! I never expected it, but there it is.
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.838-inches at 25 yards. This is obviously not the pellet to use in the modified Edge.
The Sig Match pellet is usually quite accurate in lower-powered air rifles. Is the modified Edge driving it too fast? It might be interesting to test it again when I remove the firing chamber and return this Edge to factory specs.
Air Arms Falcon
The next pellet I tried was the Air Arms Falcon dome. These usually are among the most accurate pellets in lower-powered air rifles. This time, though, they were mediocre, putting 5 into 0.465-inches at 25 yards.
Five Falcons from Air Arms went into 0.456-inches at 25 yards.
RWS R10 Match Pistol with 4.5mm heads
The next pellet I tried was the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet with a 4.5mm head. Five of them went into a group that measured exactly 0.4-inches between centers
Five RWS R10 pellets made this 0.4-inch group at 25 yards.
I have been asked in the past to test H&N Match Green wadcutters. Several readers believe they are the same as Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets because they are both made by H&N, they both weigh 5.25 grains, both are made from pure tin and they look alike. I recently received some of them to test and I thought today would be the perfect time to begin.
H&N Match Green
The first group of H&N Green pellets was another one where the first shot went wide and the next 4 were tight. This group measures 0.342-inches between centers and the 4 that are together measure just 0.202-inches.
Five RWS R10 pellets made this 0.4-inch group at 25 yards.
Well I could hear the chatter already! Several of you would start preaching to me about the necessity of “conditioning the bore” with a pellet before it begins to perform. So I just went and shot another group. All right — I was curious, too.
Five H&N Match Green pellets went into a 0.298-inch group at 25 yards. Another trime.
Okay — this time it worked! Shut up!
Well, if that doesn’t beg the question I don’t know what does. Is the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet, in fact, the same as the H&N Match Green? Was I just “off” on my first group with them? Only one way to find out. Yep — shoot another group!
Second group of Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
I know I was shooting better by this point in the test because I had settled down. That might have added an eighth inch or so the first time around. Or, was I just messing around before and I’d now get a super-tight group? Let’s see!
This time I got the same open group as the first time, though this group was smaller. This time 5 pellets went into 0.693-inches at 25 yards. So — the Sig Match Ballistic pellet is not a good one for this modified Edge. Also, I did shoot better the second time around — but this pellet still gives open groups at 25 yards.
The second group of Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets measures 0.693-inches between centers.
And — drum roll — the Sig pellet and the H&N Green are not the same! Okay, you can now start inventing alternate universes in which they are the same.
I selected one pellet to shoot 10 times for the final target. It probably should have been the JSB Exact RS pellets that gave the best group today, but I went with the H&N Finale Match Light pellets that had 4 in a very small group and one that was to the side. What did 10 of them do?
Ten Finale Match Light pellets made a group that measures 0.341-inches between centers. Not too bad! Was that the right pellet to test? Who knows? What I do know is I was starting to burn out at this point, so I stopped shooting and started writing. I probably need to test RS pellets again.
Ten H&N Finale Match Light pellets made this 0.341-inch group at 25 yards.
Aluminum tape on the back of targets
The final target was shot with no tape behind the target. That pellet is a wadcutter, so, if you get wadcutters going fast enough, they don’t need tape, but it does seem to help domes cut better holes.
I don’t think I have found the most accurate pellet for this rifle yet. I think it might be nice to try some heavier pellets next. At this power level the Edge may favor them.
RidgeRunner wants me to try the rifle with an 18-inch barrel. That might be fun.
Howsoveryever — the whole reason I traded for this rifle was to get an Edge. I mean a real Edge that is a 10-meter target rifle. So that testing is yet to come. This one is serial number 10, so there ain’t nothin’ special been done to it — other than the firing chamber I told you about and the trigger work. If I do anything special in the future I’ll tell you as we go.
Gonna be a lotta fun ahead!
43 thoughts on “AirForce Edge 10-meter rifle: Part 2”
B.B. & RidgeRunner,
Very interesting gun. Hopefully at some point you will tell us more about the sights.
Is the firing chamber idea one that would work with most PCP’s? If so, how come more manufacturers do not use it?
How do you maximize the volume of the firing chamber? How so you seal it? Do you need 2 valves?
How come no Chinese target pellets?
This report is a large and long one. On one hand I have an accurate plinker that I’m reporting on today and on the other hand this is a very accurate 10-meter target rifle. The sights will be covered when we get to that. At present I’m using an 8-32 Aeon scope.
As for the firing chamber, it is best-suited to the design of the Edge. To work on other airguns, the guns would require major modifications.
Why no Chinese target pellets? I guess testing 7 different pellets just wore me out. But that is a good suggestion.
Check out Part 1 and you will see a picture of the chamber. With the Edge the regulator and valve are bolted together. It is a “simple” matter to unbolt the two and place the chamber between.
The “original” chamber is about 1/2cc. This takes the chamber to about 10cc. So instead of one boy you have twenty boys pushing on the car.
Yep, first thing I thought of was the first pellets after a change are not as accurate? Not always but often enough to be a trend.
Nice gun. A good mod. I like it.
A reminder; the west coast airgun show is comming up April 13 and 14, 2019. Here is a link:
I will be there, hopefully both days. My friend Don at DGS ammo and airguns will have a couple of tables.
Take pix and tell us about it, please.
The AirForce line is a tinker’s dream come true. If you take the time to learn about PCPs, you can do some incredible things with them. AirForce tends to lag behind the tinkers about two years. Not a bad idea really. You get free R&D and market research.
Since the Talon hit the market, the only real “new” thing I have seen come out of AirForce is the Edge. Well, maybe the cocking lever on the side of the Texan series.
You wrote it exactly right. When changing pellets the first shot sometimes is a flier. Paper shooters know that. I score pellets 2-11 unless the first pellet did not wander. Reduces waste and saves $.
I always shoot about at least 10 or more shots before shooting at the target with a different pellet.
Use those next pellets your going to try as plinking pellets. Let the gun warm up as well as the shooter then see what the gun paper punches like after that.
Had gotten away from doing that. So now when I have good reasons to think a pellet should perform and it doesn’t I will shoot a second 10 shot group. If I am right about that pellet it should tell me so on paper.
I give it several sessions to allow for the “me” factor. If a pellet does not perform after a few sessions,… it is “out’a here” for that pellet, for that gun. Pellet/gun consistency adds to the mix.
Some pellet/gun combos are just an obvious no-go right up front. I will give myself more credit for discerning elimination/keep if I feel that I am really on my game for the day.
Okay maybe try the same “ought to but not yet” pellet a few more days without mixing in other pellets. Good idea and one I have not given much of a chance. I certainly am aware of the “me” factor. Then there is still another factor and it is unknown, at least to me, for some of my guns.
Nice shooting. The tape did nice. Looking forwards to more testing with the heavier pellets and maybe the longer barrel.
Good Day to you and to all,…….. Chris
The second group of the H&N Greens is similar to the sort of result I get from them when I am shooting well. I use them almost exclusively now. I haven’t managed to get tighter groups out of any of the other pellets I’ve tried such as RWS, JSB and the lead H&N’s so I’ve settled on the Greens.
What do you shoot them in?
An FWB602 and an HW-77 are the two rifles that I use the most and am the most critical about when it comes to accuracy. I also use them in an old Webley Hurricane and a Umarex lever-action: the old one that used two 12g CO2 cartridges. My skill level certainly isn’t high enough that I can say that pellet choice is what is limiting my accuracy though so I’m interested to see the results you are getting. I think that you getting a good result with the Greens tells me that they can be a good choice in the right gun.
Should this be titled ‘Part 2’?
If memory serves me correct I achieved 0.8 inch with ten shots at 50 yards with JSB Exact RS. I am thinking that the 18 inch barrel will increase the velocity enough that the 50 yard groups will improve.
Also I am ashamed to say I did not shoot this gal near as much as I should have. I guess I was just too busy flirting with the older gals around here.
P.S. There is another experiment I did not have the opportunity to perform that relates to the volume of the chamber. Is the volume the “optimum” for the barrel length? How much reduction in the volume can be achieved before FPS / FPE is affected? That is another reason for the increased barrel length. Is the volume better suited to the 18 inch barrel?
P.S.S. Why are other AirForce air rifles not regulated? Could not the regulator be built onto the base of the valve and inserted into the tank as in the Edge?
Yes why not regulated HPA AirForce guns.
“Also I am ashamed to say I did not shoot this gal near as much as I should have. I guess I was just too busy flirting with the older gals around here.”
No need to be ashamed! This Edge is a young lady who needs to tone down her PAINT to get the attention of the refined tastes of us “older Gentlemen.”. Lol!
I have added chambers/manifolds to a number of my PCPs as well as CO2 guns and usually start with 8% less volume (post regulator) than the valve/TP/barrel calculation. If I don’t care about loudness and air wastages I go right to 100%. On the DAQs I don’t bother because Dennis has the flow down to my satisfaction and enough power to get the job done.
Enjoy Spring, I’ll just miss the snow for a few months,
The Toys that Shoot Airgun Show in Findlay, Ohio is just over a week away.
I’m sure you have a great list of the usual standout heavier pellets to try. A sleeper pellet to also consider is the RWS Supermag 9.3. While it’s not competition grade, it’s made every bit as well as the Superdome, and its sturdy hulking design can carry its momentum accurately. (I think it was designed to withstand heavy hitting springers.). With all the wadcutters you’ve already tested in this Edge, it would be interesting to see the heaviest available wadcutter tested too.
Enjoying your reporting, as always!
Yes, the Supermag. I have some and should try them.
Perfect timing with today’s blog.
Another 10 mm gun and to see if it can be modified to shoot accurately at more then 10 meters. Which has been done with other 10 meter guns in the past.
Yipee! My TR5 shipped today. They are now in stock.
This one will do a respectable job at 50 yards, most especially with the “chamber” bringing it up to almost 12 FPE. An 18 inch barrel will probably do it real nice. Uping the regulated pressure will really make it sing. These are great little rifles.
Both of the FWB 300’s I got from you shot good at 50 yards. Heck the one I modified shot good at distances farther than 50 yards.
And I’m sure the Edge would be nice modified like your talking. I have not owned one yet but had two Talon SS’s and now the Condor SS. All great shooting guns. Maybe one day I’ll get a Edge.
I need to find another round tuit so I can finish building up my Talon SS. Before that I need to finish my Crosman 101. Of course there are the honey do round tuits that have priority.
Let’s see if my remember’r is working.
Isn’t that the one BB built for his Buddy Mac to shoot at a high velocity? And I think it was .177 caliber. And I think I remember that BB did some shooting with the Eun Jin heavy pellets.
But yep you need to cash in some more round tuits some kind of way and get those projects going. Or maybe delligate some of the round tuits to someone else and do the ones you like. 🙂
If that is the same gun, I got it for Mac from AirForce (I worked there) at a discount because it was a blemished gun. I installed a blemished barrel to keep the price low, too. At one time Mac had a 25-inch Weihrauch barrel for it, but I think I got that from him on a trade. I built the valve custom for Mac to deliver high power with heavy .177 lead pellets.
Of course RR will be the one to say for sure. But yep that’s the one I’m talking about.
And at different times me and RR has almost worked out swapping or selling that gun to me as well as the Edge you got from him that your testing.
In my opinion both are cool guns very worthy of more reports on.
And I don’t think I remember you saying the gun or barrel was a blemish either. Which to me for the most part doesn’t matter. But some people do not like blemish guns. That’s where the deals are when you find them and they usually shoot just fine.
No regrets with my refurbed Bullmaster either and bought several 1377/22’s and other’s throughout time also.
Maybe that could be blog one day about refurbs and blemished guns. That would probably be pretty informative.
That is a wonderful idea! I was about to answer you on the blemish thing, but a whole blog on it sounds great to me. I saw a lot of that when I worked for AirForce, so my perspective will be different.
Good. I would like to hear your side of it too.
For one is how does a barrel or such make it to blemished part.
Will be waiting for this blog. And just for example for some reason I think more people do this than we think. As in getting those deals. I may be wrong. But it will be nice to hear what they have done getting things with this subject too.
I second GF1 on the blemish report. My experience is it does not have to be pretty to work great. I usually end up blemishing an airgun shortly after I get my hands on it anyway. A few dings and scratches does not harm the performance. It gives it character.
You got it. Character.
It is the same gun. With the Weihrauch barrel it was shooting .177 Eun Jin pellets at over 800 FPS. The problem was I could never find a pellet that would group good. It was just too powerful for .177. I sold that barrel at one of the Roanoke shows and bought the 1906 BSA (at BB’s recommendation). I have been hooked on the old gals since.
I have the parts to rebuild the valve and an 18 inch .25 barrel for it. The tank is way out of date, but since I am not taking it to a shop to fill it will be fine.
Something else that was cool about it was the operating pressure. The valve was adjusted with a peak output of 1800 PSI. It was easy to hand pump and gave me about 20-30 good shots down to 1200 PSI. This air rifle showed me you do not need +3000 PSI to have a good performer. I am going to try to adjust the rebuild for that also.
I thought so.
And I bet it will be real nice with that.25 caliber barrel.
I think so. It is the problem of too many toys to play with and not the time to do it. I have a pretty full plate with remodeling and maintaining the place and when I have a few minutes here and there to play with toys, well which one gets my attention?
Yep it’s tuff balancing all the responsibility’s.
But sometimes the responsibility’s just got to get thrown out the door.
Your only going to live so long.
LOL! Yeah, but I got to have a place to live while I am living! Also, “If momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy”.
What’s moma going to think when you ain’t around no more.
It’s just never easy is it balancing all this life stuff is it.
Live life it’s the only one you got.
I am single and thus have no wifey to keep happy. Been there, done that. At any rate,… it was a PERFECT day to shoot after a long Winter, but Spring chores, yard, a new washer, etc., etc., and more, won the day. 🙁 Tomorrow is iffy on weather and chores ain’t much better. Worse,.. or better?,…. work is ramping up and the “big boss” was asking if I would be taking any week long vacations from May-August. Working 4 ten’s, M-TH, I usually only take a Thurs. off.
I did get new yardage markers out,…. 25, 30 and 10’s out to 100.
LOL! There is always someone or something demanding your attention, isn’t there?
You still have not changed the title of this blog to “Part 2”.