by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ring-Loc Kit
AirForce Condor Ring-Loc Kit.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Calibers
  • The test
  • Starting big
  • 43.2-grain pellet
  • 31.02-grain pellet
  • 26-grain pellet
  • Only for .25 and .22 calibers
  • 0.166-inch orifice 43.2-grain pellet
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I will begin the report of the power you get with the new Ring Loc Kit from AirForce. Part 1 contains a thorough overview of what this is and how it works, so I advise you to read that before reading today’s report, but for everyone else, here’s a quick summary. The Ring Loc Kit is a series of different sized orifices that allow you to tune the AirForce Condor and CondorSS for different power ranges. I say ranges, because the Condor also has a power adjustment knob on the left side of the frame that allows fine-tuning of adjustments within the range. Because of how this all works, it is probable that the power adjustment will be less flexible when certain orifices are installed.

Calibers

We also must remember that AirForce builds the Condor in 4 different calibers — .177, .20, .22 and .25. I have always favored the .22 caliber, because it offers the broadest selection of different pellets while still delivering the most power. Yes, the .25 caliber will always be a little more powerful, because of heavier pellets, and yes, the .177 caliber will always have even more choices of pellets to choose from, but .22 caliber gives the best of both worlds — in my opinion. But today our look is at the high end of the rifle, so we’ll start with .25 caliber.

The test

This report is a compilation of many velocity tests done at AirForce on different days over an 8-month timeframe. I won’t report the temperature or any other ambient, but the testing was done indoors so the ambients were fairly consistent.

The test rifle was a standard .25 caliber AirForce Condor, which means it has a 24-inch barrel. Yes, all the other barrel calibers and lengths will fit this rifle, but a 24-inch barrel is standard for everything you are about to read, and it develops the greatest power.

Starting big

I’ll start with the 0.232-inch orifice, which is the one that comes standard on the Condor. For this test the power adjustment wheel was set at max power (see how complex this becomes?).

43.2-grain pellet

With a 43.2-grain Seneca pointed pellet, the rifle got 10 shots that ranged from 1035 f.p.s. on shot one down to 977 f.p.s. on shot 10. Shot one registered 102.8 foot-pounds of energy and shot 10 was 91.6 foot-pounds. You might wonder where the claim of 105 foot-pounds comes from, if the highest in this string is 102.8 foot-pounds. I don’t have the data that lists 105 foot-pounds, but I believe AirForce did see it on one test they did. So their claim is based on the highest power they have seen, which is considered the industry standard of reporting.

I want to examine this first pellet and the 0.232-inch orifice because this is the highest energy output the kit will give. And power will be the principal reason shooters want the kit for their rifles. So, let’s look at the entire 10-shot string.

Shot…………Velocity……..Energy
1……………1035……….102.77
2……………1034……….102.57
3……………1025……….100.8
4……………1017…..…….99.23
5……………1014……..….98.65
6……………1009….….….97.67
7……………1001……..….96.13
8……………..996…………95.17
9……………..987…………93.46
10……………977…………91.58

That string shows clearly what is happening with each shot. This 0.232-inch orifice, which is the largest you can have, is maxed out and the valve is passing all the air that it can on every shot. Remember, the power wheel is set to maximum for this test. The velocity difference between the first and 10th shots was 58 f.p.s.

Notice how little velocity is lost with each shot. Notice also that each shot is a little slower than the shot before. That is how a good valve will perform when it is designed for the power level at which is works (i.e. not over-d or under-stressed). We see that a lot in some of the powerful Korean PCPs.

The thing is, though, the Condor with the Ring Loc Kit can also be set up to operate at a lower power level. Then we will expect to see a longer shot string that will hopefully be tight like this one.

My last point is this — we are at the end of the reservoir on shot 10 of this string. The Condor was filled to its maximum 3,000 psi at the start of the string and at this point it’s down around 2,000 to 2,100 psi. I don’t know exactly where it is because AirForce did not provide that data, but that is how they ran most of their tests. The air pressure remaining in the reservoir was what determined the end of a string.

So, how fast does it shoot this pellet? That depends entirely on which shot you talk about. Don’t get fooled by average velocities. It’s better to think of this pellet as one that shoots within a certain range, and then remember the top and bottom of that range.

That should give everyone a good understanding of how the Ring Loc Kit works at maximum power. Now let’s look at it with a lighter pellet. We are still in .25 caliber.

31.02-grain pellet

I’m sorry but I don’t know which pellet this is. We only know that it is a medium-weight .25 caliber pellet. We also got a 10-shot string on a fill for this one. Power is dialed as high as it will go.

The top velocity was 1125 f.p.s. and the velocity on shot 10 was 1083 f.p.s. The difference across 10 shots was 42 f.p.s. The top power was 87.19 foot-pounds and the ending power was 80.8 foot-pounds.

So, the medium-weight pellet didn’t increase the shot count, but it did reduce the velocity spread from 58 to 42 f.p.s. That tells us the valve handles this pellet well and also the ending pressure was probably a trifle higher. But looking at the shot string we learn something more that’s interesting.

Shot…………Velocity……..Energy
1……………1121……….86.57
2……………1120……….86.42
3……………1125……….87.19
4……………1120…..……86.42
5……………1115……….85.65
6……………1109….……84.73
7……………1100……….83.36
8……………1097……….82.9
9……………1088……….81.55
10…………..1083……….80.8

See what happened on the third shot? The velocity went up, instead of down. That means the valve is now controlling the velocity (a little) instead of just the pressure in the tank. That fact reduced the maximum velocity spread from 58 to 42 f.p.s.

26-grain pellet

This is a test of what is considered a lighter .25-caliber pellet. There are even lighter pellets than this, but this one is on the light side of the weight range. And again, the power is dialed up as far as it will go.

Top velocity was 1176 f.p.s. and the ending velocity was 1130 f.p.s. The spread was therefore 46 f.p.s. — slightly higher than the last string. However, look at the string carefully.

Shot…………Velocity……..Energy
1……………1166……….78.5
2……………1176……….79.86
3……………1167……….78.64
4……………1166…..……78.5
5……………1156……..…77.16
6……………1158….….…77.43
7……………1149……..…76.23
8……………1152………..76.63
9……………1145………..75.7
10…………..1130………..73.73

In this shot string the velocity is going down even slower, and it’s fighting all the way. The velocity rebounds three times in this string (shots 2, 6 and 8). You can probably back off the power adjustment and get an even tighter velocity spread! With a lightweight pellet the rifle doesn’t have to be set at max power when the 0.232-inch orifice is installed.

Only for .25 and .22 calibers

The 0.232-inch orifice (the big one) is only meant for a .22 and .25-caliber rifle. The smaller orifices are for the smaller calibers. However, AirForce did test the .25 with the smaller orifices. Let’s look at one.

I’m going to abbreviate the following. We’ll just look at the heaviest pellet.

0.166-inch orifice 43.2-grain pellet

 

Shot…………Velocity……..Energy
1……………935……….83.87
2……………950……….86.59
3……………949……….86.4
4……………950…..……86.59
5……………956……..…87.68
6……………957….….…87.87
7……………954……..…87.32
8……………954………..87.32
9……………951………..86.77
10…………..946………..85.86

Now we see a power curve forming. I no longer think they are shooting until the gun reaches 2000 psi. From this data I can tell you that the power wheel will now work as it should.

Discussion

As the orifice gets smaller, less air can pass through. That limits the power and also conserves the air. You get more shots at lower power.

Everything we have looked at in this report has been gathered with the rifle’s power wheel set at max. For the 0.232-inch orifice it didn’t matter, because the maximum air was being used. But we see from just one string with a smaller orifice that power adjustment now can be done with both the orifice and the power wheel.

For those who like to experiment, you can add both a different length barrel and a different caliber to refine things even further.

Summary

In the past I have called the sporting AirForce air rifles “systems” guns because they are so flexible. This little $50 kit increases that flexibility exponentially! I have shown you just a smattering of the data AirForce has shared with me — and we aren’t finished. No, you don’t need to see everything to appreciate this kit, but you do need to see a little more.