The AirForce Ring Loc Kit: Part 2

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.

23 thoughts on “The AirForce Ring Loc Kit: Part 2



    • Yogi,

      Yes, they can be regulated. There are aftermarket regulators that can be had. The problem becomes when you add a regulator and a plenum, the length of pull increases quite a bit. The solution there is to use a smaller tank, but then you have fewer shots. Could a regulator and plenum be designed to fit inside the bottle? Yes, but once again you reduce the available volume. Regulators are nice, but they are not the cure all.


  1. If only they offered a factory regulator. It seems like they have the whole package except that.

    Yeah I know there are aftermarket options, but seriously they should make one or just get a ninja option.




      • BB
        Ok the high flow valve.

        But I bet if you wanted to go down in size one of the smaller ones would work on the the standard flo valve bottles. Maybe?


        • GF1,

          The air channel through the standard valve isn’t larger enough to work with these. Sure they could reengineer a smaller set, but why? People can get the same low power, plus up to four times greater power from just this one set.

          B.B.


          • BB
            Ok I see. The standard valve bottles just don’t flow enough air. Even if the smallest opening top hat is used.

            What they really do is allow more air flow on the high flow bottles. And also can still step the power down by restricting the flow of the hi flow valve.

            But there is something I noticed. My .25 Condor SS has the spin lock tank and high flow bottle. Mine has the same opening in it like the one on the left in your picture.

            Does mine already flow as much as it can? I don’t see how the kit would allow my gun to flow more???


  2. Mr. Gaylord:
    With velocities exceeding 1,000 ft/sec. and pellet weights in the 30g to 40g range,, it would seem that Condor and CondorSS air rifles with a large orifice installed are shooting the equivalent of a .22LR round.
    If this is correct, at what point should a shooter exchange a diablo drag stabilized pellet for a spin stabilized pellet?
    Will you be discussing pellet selection as part of this series?
    Respectfully,
    William Schooley


    • William,

      Yes, at the muzzle the Condor can now equal the muzzle energy of a .22 long rifle standard speed round. But the diabolo pellet reduces the length of bullet flight from 1.5 miles or 2,640 yards to about 800 yards. That is a safety aspect that cannot be overlooked.

      I won’t be covering pellet selection in this report because I’m concentrating on the power band and how the different orifices control it.

      B.B.


  3. A quick update about the JSB 15.89 Hades pellets.

    I got them this morning and been doing some target shooting as well as shooting at my spinners and some long distance shooting from 50 yards out to 100 yards.

    I’m happy to say that they perform exactly like the round nose JSB 15.89 pellets do out of my modded Maximus. I’m talking grouping at 50 yards and different distances as well as hold overs and unders at different distances. I was hoping this would happen. They are very accurate out of my Maximus just like the JSB 15.89 round nose pellets.

    And I’m going to do some testing with how they expand. I have been taking 12 oz. aluminum beverage cans and filling them about 3/4’s of the way full of water and freezing them. I have been shooting the round nose JSB 15.89’s at them for about a week now and recovering the pellets out of the cans after the ice melts. Been shooting from 20 to 50 yards which is what I do most of my pesting at with this gun.

    So far with the regular round nose pellets I have been getting different amounts of mushrooming and flattening of the head of the pellet. Almost like the shape of a arrow head when the head flattens. I think it’s all about the angle the pellet hits the can and distance that the can was shot at.

    So I’m going to do the same for a few days or so with the JSB Hades pellets and see what the Hades pellets look like.

    If they do what I think they will do I have found my new pellet for my Maximus. They cost a bit more but it’s like that with firearm specialty rounds too. So if they work that’s what I’ll be buying from now on. Accuracy and hold wise I’m already sold on them. Now if they expand nice then it’s a no brainer for me.

    Oh and yes I know that the ice in the can is harder than any pest I’m going to shoot at. We’ll except the skull of some of the bigger pests. But it will give me a way to compare the two types of pellets.

    And also I should note that the first shots at the can the ice is hard and solid. But the more I shoot at the can, the more the ice gets crushed in a sense. So from what I seen I have a wide variety of pellet mushrooming. It will tell me what I need to know. I know that already.



      • Mildot
        Thanks.

        And I been having fun with the semi-auto Bullmaster to shooting at the frozen cans. Very cool plinking too. Pun intended. 🙂

        But really if I pull the trigger fast enough it’s just a spray of ice when I unload the 14 round mag. Put another mag in and blast away again. The more the ice gets crushed, the more it sprays as your shooting. A very nice reactive target the more you shoot at it. Really pretty fun with a semi-auto. Takes a little longer with a single shot to get the effect but still fun plinking.


  4. Ok here it is.

    This is a side by side picture of a JSB round nose 15.89 out of the tin and shot at the frozen ice can. Known as the ice age feral can Ilk. 🙂

    And the the Hades 15.89 JSB pellet out of the tin and shot at the feral ice age can.

    It’s obvious right off the bat which is best if your pesting or hunting.

    And I should mention that the back side of the cans where the pellets did pass through was blown out to about a 1/2″ hole or better depending on how the pellet hit. Also got 2 starlings one at 40 yards and one at around 65 yards. Back side feathers flying with a pop when hit and a big exit hole. The JSB round nose will pop them when they hit sometimes too but never a big exit hole. And just to say the birds were down instantly. So that’s good too.

    I’m going to shoot them more to make sure. But as good as they did right off I’m thinking they will be the ticket. I like.


    • GF1,

      Nice! Thanks too for the previous notes. I might replace the reg. JSB 15.89’s as well. Nice expansion. Hey,… at least it works that well,… at least to that degree.

      Chris


      • Chris
        No problem and I like them. They are exactly what I have been looking for.

        I really hope they make them in .177 and .25 caliber next. I think those calibers will benefit from them too. I know I will be trying them also if they do start making them in those calibers. Fingers crossed.


    • GF1,

      Here is pretty good video reviewing the Daystate Dreamline and also the JSB Hades pellet compared to the JSB Exact Jumbo by Shooter 1721. He shoots into a 10 lb block of clay with the Hades pellet and then into another block with Exact Jumbo. He then cuts them open to show the wound channel comparison. Watch the very end of the video too where he shoots at 100 yards with the Hades into a block of clay with the Hades. The actual review of the pellets begins at 15:00 minute mark. It’s pretty impressive.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEzTwR9OZcI


  5. I just wanted to let all of you know that Air Force will be present at the 2019 Texas Airgun Show again with all of their big bores and probably a Condor or 2 for you to demo on our 100 yard range.

    The 2019 Texas Airgun Show will happen on June 22 at the Arlington Sportsman Club in Mansfield with vendors in the main building selling airguns and outside demonstrating their airguns on the ranges. There will be raffles for airguns and airgun related items all throughout the day. The show runs from 9am-4pm and is $5 per person to get in the gate and receive a door prize ticket. Our local Straight Shooters 4H group will provide concessions for a small donation. Once again, we will have the ranges open for you to demo the rifles, with paper and reactive targets available to shoot at.

    There will be a Field Target Match on Sunday June 23 at the same location.

    You can find more info at https://texasairgunshow.com/

    Jeff Cloud
    Texas Airgun Show Director
    Arlington Sportsman Club
    [email protected]


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