AirForce Edge 10-meter rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Testing Baracuda FT pellets — Part3

AirForce Edge
The AirForce Edge target rifle.

This report covers:

  • 18-inch Lothar Walther barrel
  • Leak!
  • Accuracy
  • The test
  • No sight-in
  • How do velocities compare between the three barrels?
  • What you see
  • Next
  • Summary

Well, RidgeRunner — this one’s for you! Today we look at the AirForce Edge target rifle that reader RidgeRunner had Lloyd Sykes modify into a fancy plinking/sport air rifle. Lloyd boosted the power at the cost of 3/4 of the shots, by adding an air chamber after the built-in regulator. It is an elegant solution!

A normal Edge set up for target work gets about 110 shots from its tiny reservoir. This one gets 25. A normal Edge shoots target pellets at 500-525 f.p.s. This one shoots heavier RWS Meisterkugeln rifle pellets at an average of 713 f.p.s. (estimate — read Part 2 of this report) for 9.31 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

18-inch Lothar Walther barrel

I installed a brand new .177-caliber 18-inch AirForce Lothar Walther barrel in this Edge to test RidgeRunner’s theory that the longer barrel would boost the power to 12 foot-pounds. Shooting the same 8.2-grain RWS Meisterkugeln Rifles pellets through the 18-inch barrel we get an average velocity of 813 f.p.s. Yep — it’s exactly 100 f.p.s. faster. That’s good for 12.04 foot-pounds. Talk about spot-on! Ridgerunner — you nailed it!

Of course it will get even more power if I shoot a heavier pellet. A 16.2-grain JSB Beast averaged 653 f.p.s. for a muzzle energy of 15.34 foot-pounds! That’s taking this 6 foot-pound target rifle into territory it’s never seen!

Leak!

As I was testing the Beast I noticed the velocity was dropping too fast for the number of shots fired. I couldn’t hear a leak, but by wetting my lips and holding them close to the valve I could feel it. I wanted to shoot some groups at 25 yards, as well, but by the next morning all the air had leaked out of the tank. This rifle has been together since the Edge first came out in 2009 (this rifle is serial number 10) and this one was modified some time after that. It has been together for many years, so a leak isn’t that surprising.

I was going to convert it back to a straight 10-meter rifle again, so the leak is right where I will be working. It should be easy to find and fix. But I did want to shoot at 25 yards with the 18-inch barrel, so I aired it up and shot one group of JSB Exact RS pellets that were the most accurate in the 12-inch barrel, when I tested the rifle at 25 yards in Part 2.

Accuracy

The 18-inch barrel put 5 JSB Exact RS pellets into a 0.228-inch group. In Part 3 the 12-inch barrel put 5 in 0.219-inches, so the two barrels are equivalent in terms of accuracy. This group appears smaller than the next one, though it’s actually larger. That’s because I used metal tape on the back of the first target shot in April, and you can see the entire hole. On this one the target paper has closed back in the holes.

AirForce Edge 18 barrel RS
The 18-inch barrel put 5 JSB Exact RS pellets in 0.228-inches at 25 yards.

Edge RS group
This is the 25-yard group of 5 JSB Exact RS pellets shot from the 12-inch barrel. I show it because I did not adjust the sights from this group to the one above.

No sight-in

I did not sight the Edge in today. I just changed the barrels and shot the group seen above. That speaks pretty well for AirForce consistency!

Not the first test of an 18-inch barrel

Although I said at the start that today’s report is for RidgeRunner, this is not the first time I have tested an Edge with an 18-inch Lothar Walther barrel. I also did it back in 2009/2010, when I first tested the Edge. Let’s look at those results now.

How do velocities compare between the three barrels?

Meisterkugeln 7-grain pellets

12-inch average — 563, spread 8 f.p.s.
18-inch average — 616, spread 9 f.p.s.
24-inch average — 636 f.p.s., spread 9 f.p.s.

H&N Finale Match Pistol
12-inch average — 524, spread 12 f.p.s. (taken from a 100-shot string)
18-inch average — 605, spread 12 f.p.s.
24-inch average — 604 f.p.s., spread 13 f.p.s.

RWS R10 Rifle (Heavy)
12-inch average — 487, spread 14 f.p.s. (taken from a 100-shot string)
18-inch average — 536, spread 11 f.p.s.
24-inch average — 545 f.p.s., spread 12 f.p.s.

H&N Finale Match Rifle (Heavy)
12-inch average — Did not test
18-inch average — 584, spread 19 f.p.s.
24-inch average — 597 f.p.s., spread 17 f.p.s.

What you see

These data show that by increasing the barrel length for the standard Edge, the velocity usually increases, but the difference isn’t as dramatic as you see in the test with the firing chamber and 18-inch barrel. The difference is this gun now has more air, and the gun uses all of it, where the first test shown above is with a standard Edge that only stores air inside the valve, itself.

As you can see, having the extra air makes a huge difference! I hope that reinforces what I said in Part 2 about how the additional air speeds up the pellet. The longer barrel gives the air (the little boys) more time to push on the pellet (the car), resulting in more velocity. But having even more air (more little boys) doing the pushing, has a far greater impact.

Next

I’m done testing this modified Edge. Now I want to remove the modifications so I can test it for you as a true 10-meter target rifle. It is possible to purchase an entire Edge Spare Tank and Buttstock Assembly that would allow me to leave the modified tank set up as it is (with the firing chamber). That way I could convert the rifle in seconds. I have to admit that it’s an attractive thought, but old BB is just too awash in airguns to be building kits like that. Maybe 20 years ago; not today.

Summary

I remember a time when target rifles like the Edge and Crosman Challenger PCP didn’t exist. I remember the NRA telling the airgun community at the SHOT Show Airgun Breakfast about the size of the Junior Marksmanship Program (more than one million kids involved annually). When they did they awakened many manufacturers who had been sleeping. It was like telling Revlon that many American women wear lipstick — something of which they should have already been aware!

In those days the Daisy 853 was the de rigueur target rifle for America’s junior marksmen. Nobody used anything else. I imagine Daisy didn’t like the NRA spilling the beans about the program to the industry, because of the results that followed. Within 10 years both the Crosman and AirForce rifles came to market. And today there is no longer a Daisy 853. That’s progress, but it can hurt, too.

54 thoughts on “AirForce Edge 10-meter rifle: Part 3

  1. B.B.

    So do they make the kids in the NRA junior rifle program pump up their rifles with a foot pump?

    Is fixing the air leak as simple as changing out a few O-rings, assuming you know which ones?

    -Y


  2. RidgeRunner
    Since this one is for you I’ll toss in a better pic of my “Spray-o-matic” Airsoft SR-BUP M11. This fires so fast it doesn’t even sound like a full-auto. More like a Minigun. One burp, one reload. As wicked as it gets. Glad they make biodegradable airsoft bb’s.

    Might as well throw in a pic of the new Bushmaster Select Fire BB Rifle I received today.
    Totally interchangeable with the DPMS, as shown. Barrels are even the same length. The plastic mock suppressor it comes with actually holds the barrel in the rifle like the Quad Rail does for the DPMS. It removes from the short quad rail leaving LH 14MM airsoft threads exposed like the DPMS as well as a few inches of the thin inner barrel that may fall out if fired without it.
    I believe a more realistic ( Read not plastic) 130mm ‘Hive’ Mock suppressor with parts for a power boost tight bore barrel installed may work out just fine for a replacement. The original BB barrel has a plastic adapter to retain it that just happens to be the same diameter as an airsoft barrel when its installed. On order !
    Bob M



      • One point. Those are fold down fixed sights, note the rear sight in the carry handle / riser mount and the Dot sight on the M11 is from the Bushmaster !
        That is the ‘160mm’ hive mock silencer with an airsoft 6mm barrel in it. Too long for the short Bushmaster dark earth quad rail.


        • Bob M,

          I have seen those dot sight / laser / flip up peep / carry handles before.

          I would really like to see Umarex make their MP 40 into something like the SR-BUP M11. I might get into CO2 then.

          Biodegradable is good. 😉


          • RidgeRunner
            I can see where your coming from. Just for the record that M11 in there runs on Liquid Petroleum Gas. Flip it over put a shot in the mag and your good to go again.

            Great idea installing an air chamber in there. I wondered if it would work with CO2 but I figure it has already been done. Letting the CO2 escape into the cartridge compartment once punctured instead of coming directly out of the cartridge each shot probably does the same thing.
            Got to wonder if it was done for the same reason or if it actually works for more power.


            • Bob M,

              It could very well work in that manner as it allows the gas to have a place to expand from a liquid state and to warm. The warmer CO2 is, the more pressure it exerts.

              The plenum chamber on the Edge gives you a larger volume of regulated air to work with for each shot. A further experiment I was contemplating was removing the plenum chamber and adjusting the regulator to operate at a higher pressure. As of right now it operates at around 1000 PSI. I was wanting to se if I could increase it to around 1500 PSI. If that was successful, perhaps a smaller plenum chamber could be made to utilize that pressure.

              As several have pointed out, the possibilities are almost endless with an AirForce air rifle.


            • They run on LP gas? Seems kinda dangerous! I’ve seen a BBQ grill almost take the lid off when my wife turned it on for a few seconds before hitting the igniter.Scared the hell out of us both.



    • Chris
      I sent you a email the other day about some AirForce guns for sale. Did you get the email?

      And you think that’s accurate. You should see how they shoot at 50 yards. And even a hundred yards and more.

      And ask BB how quick a barrel can be changed out in a AirForce gun.

      I still think if you got one you would like it. And another thing. They are solid guns. I have bumped the muzzle of my Condor SS on the window frame being in a hurry to shoot at a pest and the gun still hit on the money.

      I would have to say if I was to only have one air gun it would probably be a AirForce gun. They are just so modular. But you know me. I can’t have just one. 🙂


  3. BB,

    Thanks! I knew the chamber and the longer barrel would go well together. As GunFun1 says above, these modular rifles can be changed out relatively quickly to cover the gambit with just one air rifle.

    This one shows some of the modifications you can do to improve them without it being a “permanent” mod. You should be able to return this Edge to “original” in under an hour. That was my intent, “drop in” mods.

    A couple of drops of silicone oil in the next fill might help that leak.


  4. I do not recall if BB has mentioned it or not, but this particular Edge is MUCH quieter than the standard model. It is so quiet that all you hear is the hammer slap, the spring vibration and the pellet smacking the target.


  5. And got to say.

    I have seen what Lloyd Sikes has done. The double resivior kits for the Benjamin pcp’s and his cool test videos with hpa.

    I hope right now AirForce and Lloyd is talking about Lloyd’s air chamber. They need to work something out and AirForce should offer it as a optional kit or combo package. Or PA even.

    I would buy one just to have it.




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