AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Edge
AirForce Edge.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 1 of this series


A history of airguns


This report covers:

  • Edge production
  • Edge valve
  • Edge owners
  • The test
  • Test strategy
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • RWS Basic
  • How fast is the regulator?
  • Shot count
  • Discussion
  • Trigger pull
  • Discharge sound
  • Summary

Today I will be shooting the AirForce Edge as a 10 meter target rifle for the first time since 2010. And this one is my own rifle! I have a lot to tell you.

Edge production

When the Texan took off in sales recently,  AirForce struggled to meet the worldwide demand and Edge production was set to the side. When you have solid orders for a thousand guns you have to address that before making 25 of another model.

That time gave AirForce a chance to think. The Edge has not been a high volume seller for them — partly because once a team or individual owns one it lasts forever and the demand goes away. And also partly because of the cost. A buyer has to be serious to spend the kind of money that an Edge sells for. Ironically the Texan that is outselling it costs even more, but those sales are too hot to ignore. Big bore airguns are the hot ticket everywhere and ever since the Texan came out this year in .50 caliber at 800+ foot-pounds they can’t make them fast enough.

But those Edge orders had to be filled, regardless of how many there are! So AirForce manufactured all the parts and had them finished, getting ready for a production run. Then they set aside a solid week for assembly and testing, because the Edge has several things that have to be hand-set as it is completed. This was happening just as I was getting ready to write this new series, so I started paying attention to what AirForce was doing.

In 2010 the big concern for the Edge was the shot count, so the Edges were adjusted to shoot 7-grain pellets at around 500 f.p.s. That gave them well over 100 shots per fill. A men’s match is 60 shots and a woman’s match is 40 shots. The Edge was designed so the shooter could go to the line with a single tank and have enough air for all the sighters, plus a full match.

But in reality, Junior Marksmanship matches aren’t run that way. After the sighters, shooters are allow to top off their airguns with air. So the need for 100 continuous shots on a fill isn’t there. Crosman also recognized this and makes their Challenger PCP get about 70 shots per fill at 530 f.p.s with a 7.9-grain pellet.

The new Edges that were just built were therefore set up to shoot medium-weight target pellets at velocities in the 525 to 540 f.p.s. region. Achieving that is a combination of adjusting the valve return spring strength, the air regulator and the length of the valve stem travel — which has to do with the top hat. Let me show you.

Edge top hat
The new Edge top hat has two small o-rings underneath to cushion the hammer blow. This limits the opening (stem travel) of the valve.

Edge valve

The photo above shows the Edge valve as it is now being shipped. Years ago there may have been just a single o-ring under the top hat, but there have been two for many years. The point is — the distance that the top hat, which is the end of the valve stem, can travel determines how long the valve remains open and the amount of air that can pass through to get behind the pellet. This is one part of how the Edge controls the air it uses for each shot.

Ton Jones worked on my Edge valve and regulator setup. He asked me what sort of velocity I wanted. I knew he was testing with 7.33-grain JSB Exact RS pellets, so I told him 550 f.p.s. would be a good velocity. Naturally with other pellets that velocity will change, and, since I don’t yet know what target pellet this Edge likes best, my number was just a guess. But Ton gave me the chance to choose.

To get the highest practical velocity from an Edge valve, adjust the top hat out until the bolt just makes contact with it as it closes. There are two small Allen screws on the periphery of the top hat that snug it to the valve stem. Loosen both of them to make adjustments. Screw the top hat in or out to make it lower or higher.

I thought I would only get about 45-60 full-power shots at 550 f.p.s., but Ton thought the number would be 80 or even 90 per fill. I will test that for you in this report.

Edge owners

If you own an Edge that you would like to speed up a little, this is how it’s done. Make very small adjustments in the top hat because the Edge valve is very sensitive.

The test

Let’s get the test started. I used RWS Basic pellets for the baseline, because I don’t want to waste the more expensive target pellets. Basics weigh 7 grains and provide a good baseline for the Edge.

I filled the reservoir to exactly 3,000 psi and started shooting. The first string of 11 shots was not a string to get the average velocity. It was a test to see whether the seating depth makes any difference to the velocity. The first three shots were loaded with the pellet skirt flush with the rear of the barrel (it’s as flush as I could get it — the picture does show that it’s inside the barrel a little). The second three shots were pressed into the breech as deep as they would go with my thumb, so they are a little deeper in the breech. The last three shots were pushed into the breech to a depth of about 1/8-inch, using a ballpoint pen, so the depth was always the same.

Edge  Basic flush
This RWS Basic pellet was pushed in flush with the end of the barrel.

Edge  Basic thumb deep
This pellet was pressed in as deep as my thumb would push it.

Edge Basic deep
This pellet has been pushed deeper into the breech — about 1/8-inches deep.

Shot…………Vel.
1…………….543 flush
2…………….529 flush
3…………….531 flush
4…………….539 thumb deep
5…………….534 thumb deep
6…………….532 thumb deep
7…………….538 1/8″ deep
8…………….536 1/8″ deep
9…………….542 1/8″ deep

From what I see here, the depth to which the pellets are seated doesn’t affect the velocity that much. I needed to take the pictures shown above of the pellets’ seated depth, so two more shots were fired. From this point on in today’s testing, all pellets will be seated thumb deep, which is the middle picture above.

10…………….535 thumb deep
11…………….530 thumb deep

This first string gives us a baseline velocity to compare to later on. Now I will test other pellets — all seated thumb deep.

Test strategy

Before I get into the velocity tests, let me tell you how this test worked. I waited for 60 seconds between each shot. The Edge has a regulator and that amount of time should allow it to fully refill the firing chamber that is mostly inside the body of the valve. But also, in a match a shooter has from 72 seconds to 90 seconds between each shot, depending on the type of match. Given all the things the shooter has to do, it takes about 30 seconds between each shot to get ready for the next one, so the 72-90 seconds they have allows for those times when the shot isn’t taken and they have to restart. Waiting 60 seconds between shots is very realistic. But don’t worry — I will test the speed of the regulator later. Now, let’s get started.

H&N Finale Match Light

Ten H&N Finale Match Light pellets that weigh 7.87-grains averaged 532 f.p.s. The low was 527 and the high was 535, so a spread of 8 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 4.95 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

Next to be tested was the 7-grain RWS R10 Match Pistol wadcutter. Ten of them averaged 562 f.p.s. with a spread from 558 to 569 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 11 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 4.91 foot-pounds of energy.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutters are pure tin, and weigh just 5.25 grains. We expect them to go faster and they do. They averaged 640 f.p.s. in the Edge. The spread was 8 f.p.s., from 637 to 645 f.p.s. At that average they produced 4.78 foot-pounds.

RWS Basic

I started this test with 11 shots of  RWS Basic pellets. I didn’t take an average from that string because I was doing different things that could have affected the velocity.  After the fact we know that those things did not seem to affect the velocity, but I waited instead for this opportunity to take the average.

At this point I shot a 10-shot string of Basics for the average and got 545 f.p.s. As you can see, that’s higher than any of the first 11 shots. The spread was 12 f.p.s. from 539 to 551 f.p.s. At that velocity the Basic pellet generates 4.62 foot-pounds of energy. But I did a lot more with this string than just get the average.

Is the regulator slow?

Remember in the beginning I said I would test the regulator at some point to see if it takes a long time to fill the firing chamber? This string was where I did that. I shot the first 5 shots waiting a minute between each, and then five more shots that were fired as fast as I could go. Now let’s look at the string that produced those numbers I just gave you. And remember — there are already 41 shots on this fill. I’m seating each pellet thumb deep.

Shot…………Vel.
1…………….539
2…………….541
3…………….550
4…………….548
5…………….543

now, shoot as fast as possible

6…………….543
7…………….551
8…………….542
9…………….550
10……………545

That answers the regulator question. This reg fills fast. It took me about 10 seconds between each shot on the second 5 shots because I was writing down the velocity, opening the bolt, loading a pellet, closing the bolt and aligning the barrel with the chronograph skyscreens. I can load and shoot this Edge as fast as I want to. 

Shot count

Okay, here comes the rest of the test. For all that follows I shot the RWS Basic pellet and did not wait any special time between shots. They were about 10 seconds apart. All pellets were seated thumb deep.

Shot……….Vel.
52…………548
53…………548
54…………545
55…………545
56…………551
57…………559
58…………553
59…………545
60…………551
61…………547
62…………554
63…………563
64…………544
65…………555
66…………548
67…………559
68…………562
69…………548
70…………561
71…………550
72…………559
73…………547
74…………559
75…………553
76…………552
77…………549
78…………548
79…………552
80…………552
81…………554
82…………556
83…………547
84…………552
85…………555
86…………554
87…………557
88…………586 Oh, oh! We’re off the reg.
89…………577
90…………581
91…………577
92…………573
93…………560
94…………557
95…………557
96…………546
97…………543
98…………534
99…………538
100………..529
101………..516

Discussion

Given the velocity we are seeing, I think this is a lot of shots! I expected 45-60 good shots at this velocity. So, how should we interpret this string? There are several ways to go.

If we take the first 100 shots then Basic pellets shot from a low of 529 f.p.s. on the second shot to a high of 586 f.p.s. on shot 86. That is a difference of 57 f.p.s. I am not comfortable with such a large spread for shooting at targets. If I were just plinking then it would be a different story.

If I stopped shooting at shot 80 then the high for the string is 563 f.p.s on shot 63, and the difference between low and high drops to 34 f.p.s. As a target shooter I would feel more comfortable with that amount of difference. But that’s not all.

On the first string of 11 shots Basic pellets varied by 14 f.p.s. On the string I actually tested, which was shots 42 to 51, they varied by 12 f.p.s. But H&N Finale Match Light varied by only 8 f.p.s. and Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets varied by the same 8 f.p.s. What I’m saying is the target pellet we select might vary by less than the RWS Basic pellet. There is a lot more to figure out, but right now it appears there are no fewer than 80 consistent shots at a considerably higher velocity than I was expecting. So — yes, the regulator does smooth things out, and, yes, it also does fill so fast that we need not worry about it. As this new valve and reg break in, they will only get better.

At the end of the test there was 800 psi remaining in the reservoir. So the rifle gave me 101 shots on 2200 psi. The regulator probably turned off around 1400 psi or so. That’s just a guess, based on the faster velocity at the end until the air ran out.

Trigger pull

I have already reported the trigger pull twice in this series. Stage one that many shooters will not even feel is 0.7 ounces and stage two breaks crisply at exactly one pound. The NRA minimum trigger pull for what they call the Sporter Class, which is what the Junior Marksmen shoot, is 1.5 pounds. But as I said, this trigger is too nice to change.

Discharge sound

Surprisingly the Edge is somewhat loud! I rate it a 3.5-3.6 on the Pyramyd Air 5-point scale. I felt it was too loud for me when I knew I had a perfectly good silencer to install. So I installed it and the rifle became incredibly quiet — perhaps a 0.8 on the same scale. 

Edge  sight extensions
The silencer quiets the rifle considerably!

But what does the silencer do to accuracy? I intend finding out, which will expand the accuracy test a little.

Summary

We are off to a good start with this Edge. I hope there are more pleasant surprises awaiting us!

44 thoughts on “AirForce Edge 10-meter target rifle: Part 2

  1. BB,

    I am certainly glad that you are enjoying that trigger. Something you have not mentioned about it is the amount of overtravel it has.

    The Edge is indeed surprisingly loud. If I recall correctly, it is a loud BLOOK. That baffle insert is most definitely the way to go. Now you hear the striker spring vibrate. It may actually be a bit of overkill as there is a rather large volume inside the front of this body. A plug with a hole through it may be all you really need.

    It is an awesome little air rifle. It is one of the mostest funnest pellet pushers I have ever played with. You can shoot that thing for hours. All you really need is a good hand pump to fill it, although with a 4500 PSI tank you can fill it forever.

    When you find THE pellet, you will need to buy a lot of them. They will disappear down range quickly.


  2. BB,

    On the very first pic of the top hat and O-rings,… the O-rings appear to be offset considerably (poor fit/size choice). This would be a concern to me if I was trying to control stem travel. Not an issue?

    Chris



    • Chris
      It probably doesn’t make that much difference but I dont like it either. If the inside diameter was closer to the stem diameter that issue wouldn’t be there. They would have to put the o-rings on first before the top hat was screwed on and locked down.

      But yes it looks like it could cause shot inconsistency if the orings were moving around.



        • Chris
          Right if AirForce knows that dimension then there should be a rubber cylinder like spacer that is placed there from the factory.

          Like you I think it should be something I guess I call it more professional looking. Especially with the quality of the AirForce guns.


  3. B.B.

    Does this, or any PCP come with a built in shot counter? Last thing a target shooter would want to worry about is, was that shot # 57 or #75. On the regulator or off the regulator? My head is spinning……

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      I am not aware of any PCP that has a shot counter. In fact, only the Diana 30 gallery gun has one that I know of.

      The shot count is matched to the shooting you do. For example I know that a men’s match is 60 shots, so I set up my pellet tray with 60 pellets. Generally I arrive at competition already sighted in, so sight-in may take 3-5 rounds but no more. Only if someting gets knocked around will it be more. If it’;s alot more, I just top off before the match starts.

      Since 65 is far less than 80, what is there to worry about? Shoot a match and then top off.

      Or shoot in the back yard and don’t worry about it. Who cares if I go off the reg. when I’m plinking at spinners? Top off when I want to. There is really no pressure when the gun gets this many good shots.

      B.B.


      • Thanks for the reply. You are right for THIS airgun a shot counter is not necessary.
        If “price-point” PCP makers want to woo this simple springer guy it needs a shot counter!
        Plus one more thing to market…

        -Y




        • Yogi,

          LOL! You have just moved the PPPCP way beyond the market.

          You are in no way, shape or form a “simple springer guy”. You are an hardcore sproinger dude. I’ll bet you own at least one Weihrauch. Do you have an Air Arms also?

          Most of my “collection” is sproinger. Yes, there is a Weihrauch here also and I am giving serious consideration to another. If I do my Webley/Hatsan will have to find a new home though.

          The sproinger is awesome for hunting feral soda cans and even pretty nice for bushy-tailed tree rats at close range. But even 50 yards is really pushing it for a sproinger. Besides the loss in power, it is a very short list of sproingers that shoot 2 MOA or better. 1 MOA is almost unheard-of. It is the very nature of the beast.

          I like to shoot long range. I am talking 100+ yards. Many PCP’s can shoot that far right out of the box. Most PCP’s either shoot 1 MOA or can be tinkered with to shoot 1 MOA.

          The only real drawback to PCP’s is the need for support equipment. You need an air source of some sort. Both a decent PCP and an air source for it is cheaper than a quality sproinger. Don’t use cost as your reasoning.

          “Hi, my name is Yogi. I am an hardcore sproinger dude.”

          “Hi Yogi.”


          • Hi, my name is Yogi. I am a hardcore springer dude.

            I don’t live in a 5,000 square foot house, with a 5 acer backyard. I grew up in Suburbia. Until I got my drivers license it felt like prison! I don’t want to be dependent on my automobile.
            Yes PCP are more accurate that springers. Yes, they are easier to shoot. Yes, they require an awful lot of ancillary stuff, I don’t want more STUFF. If I want to worry about stuff, I’ll read about quantum physics…
            Bye, my name is Yogi. I am a hardcore springer dude.


            • Hi, my name is RidgeRunner. I am an hardcore airgun dude.

              I live in a one bedroom log home with my lovely and loving wife. It is on a nice size chunk of land which gives us enough elbow room that others are safe. I do not care if you are into sproingers, PCP, CO2, SSP, multi-pump, blowguns, whathaveyou. If it runs on air, it is cool.


    • Yogi,

      The Red Wolf has a digital shot counter that only goes to 10. I leave that feature turned off. At any rate,… that is at least one example. Maybe other Daystate digital/electric guns too?

      Chris



    • Yogi,

      Basic use of a PCP rifle is dead-simple, fill with air, add pellets and shoot. There is a manometer (pressure gauge) on the air reservoir that shows how much air is left in the gun. Like the gas gauge on a car, you just need to look at it once in a while.

      Many of the gauges are color coded (yellow – needs air; green – good to go and red – is overfilled – don’t go there!).

      I usually just fill my airgun and go by how many magazines I shoot – my (regulated) FX Impact gets an easy 7 magazines (7 x 28 = 196 shots @ 32 fpe) before I refill the reservoir.

      With a regulated airgun, you just need to stay in the “green” working pressure range and all will be fine. The valve is setup to work at a specific pressure and the regulator takes care of that. When you go “off the regulator” the reservoir pressure is below the (ideal) useful range of the regulator and needs to be filled.

      Some manometers are not color coded so it is a matter of looking in the manual to see what the minimum and maximum pressures are.

      Unregulated airguns are a bit different in that air pressure going to the valve changes with every shot. The valve is “balanced” as best as possible to work with the varying pressures but there is a “sweet spot” where it works the best. For “target accuracy” you will want to determine the best pressure range (for the pellet); for plinking you don’t need to worry as much and can just go by the manufacturers recommendations.

      I know you like springers for their simplicity – so do I – but PCPs are simple to operate as well. Yeah, you need to setup a HPA source but once you have that you are good to go.

      Hank


  4. Guys,

    Thanks for all the comments. I am the sort of guy who resets their odometer everytime I fill up with gas. Always top up my tank! Not having a shot counter would be like buying a car with no odometer. Deal breaker for me!

    With my luck, I would have that rare 2 headed albino rabbit in my sights only to miss because I was off the regulator…
    KISS,

    -Y


    • Yogi, other than the digital Daystates, I don’t think I have ever seen a shot counter on the gun.
      Like the edge, a lot of early PCP rifles didn’t even have a pressure gauge, including DAYSTATE.

      Match shooters lay out a tray of pellets with the exact number of pellets they need so they don’t have to count.

      It seems you want a resettable cumulative counter, not just a magazine counter.

      Like you, I still reset one of my odometers every fill.
      On my motorcycles I always recorded the fuel fill information in a small notebook, and later on my smart phone.
      Date, miles on the odometer, gallons, and calculated miles per gallon, same with the oil changes, and maintenance.

      My first PCP was a Bam B-51, in .22 caliber, it was a Chinese copy of the Daystate Huntsman MK-II.
      Neither it, nor the Huntsman had a pressure gauge, or counter.

      I used it for hunting, and thought I needed a counter also. But once I got it tuned to where IT WANTED to shoot best, it would get 40 good shots, per fill.

      I used one of those little resettable handheld counters that bouncers use to count customers coming into the bar.
      I had it hanging on a lanyard around my neck.

      After several hunting trips, I found I either
      A. Very rarely shot over 40 times while squirrel/rabbit hunting before coming back to the vehicle where I could top off.

      B. When I did go over 40 shots, there were more available, they were just outside of the tight FPS range I wanted for best accuracy, but after 50 shots, you could tell the difference in sound of the shot to know I was getting low.

      Don’t let the lack of a counter keep you out of the PCP side of air rifles.
      Growing up, I was always a dedicated multi pump, and springer shooter, and later CO2..
      I found many reasons (read that as excuses) not to cross the like to precharged airguns.

      Ancillary Cost was my primary reason for not getting into pcp’s, but a friend gifted me a FX Hand pump, and I found a Screaming deal on the B51 that had a very slow leak, and the owner was tired of messing with it.
      Turned out the foster fill fitting on the front was not sealed well.

      Once I crossed over, i never looked back, I wish I had done it years before.

      I wanted an Airforce Air gun since I first saw them, but the cost was too high, so I kept making “excuses” that they could not be accurate because of the mechanical offset from the sights to bore line.
      And many other “reasons” not to buy one.

      Once I had a chance to shoot one, again, I wish I had done it years before..

      I missed out on a lot of enjoyment.

      Take the step, don’t miss out…

      Ian..


  5. I’ve been exploring the low power potential of my AR2079b lately. Its currently powered by a regulated 13 ci HPA bottle set up to shoot 7-8 grain pellets around 600 fps, and 10 grain pellets around 500 fps. I haven’t done a exact shot count, but it’s definitely over 200. It is great fun to sit and shoot for as long as I want without worrying about refilling. It’s also very quiet at that power level. Today I think I’ll take the scope off and put the target sights back on and pretend it’s a ten meter gun like the Edge.


    • Todd,

      There you go. In all reality it is an entry level 10 meter air rifle like the Edge. At 10 meters it may even give an Edge a run for it’s money.


      • I have always liked the lines of the 2079b.
        They remind me of a somewhat chubby stock on a FWB. 150 or 300.
        A very classically styled budget target rifle.

        Ian


        • What’s funny is how perception can change. My first airgun was a QB78S because I liked the tactical look of the synthetic stock. At that time, I did not like the target stock of the AR at all. But now, it’s my favorite gun. I really like all the target/sported style guns, the Air ArmsS200, the BSA Silver Star etc. I currently am waiting the arrival of my CMP 853.


          • You will enjoy the 853, the trigger is not the best, but there are online tutorials to correct 5hat.

            I have the AirArms S200.
            The trigger, and the accuracy is amazing.
            You would not be disappointed.

            Ian


  6. It is surprisingly accurate, my ‘fun’ targets are wine corks cut in half, set out at 40 yards. I can hit them on the first try 80% of the time. I never thought it would be that accurate at that distance in such low power.


  7. Happy Memorial Day,

    Thanks to Tom and all those others who have served their country. The Edge just doesn’t look that much like a traditional 10m rifle in the sporter class. I think that ‘s one of the reasons that they haven’t caught on. Never seen one for sale on the Target Talk classifieds. Is it because they are not as adjustable as their competitors?

    Brent


    • Brent,

      LOL! You almost never see an used Edge for sale anywhere. People do not sell them. The only reason BB has this particular one is I traded it to him for a very particular air pistol. Both of us have promised that should we decide we no longer want it,the airgun goes back to the other.

      Until you have shot one…



      • What RR said is true.
        Once you own one, you don’t sell them…

        The only thing I didn’t like about mine was the “chicken wing” looking pistol grip.
        I didn’t like the LOOK, but it was comfortable to use.
        Form follows function.

        But other alternatives are available.

        And 6 years later, it still has the factory pistol grip.
        I still don’t like the look, but I ain’t changing it….

        Ian.


        • 45Bravo,

          Do you find that your trigger finger 1st pad goes right to the correct spot on the trigger shoe?
          If you do it is the alignment of your palm by the Chicken Wing grip you can thank Ian.
          The high end rifles have different sizes and three axis adjustment possibilities. I don’t know if that exists with the Edge. Always the rasp and putty route even if it isn’t made of wood.

          shootski


          • That’s why it’s still on there.

            Didn’t say it didn’t work,

            I just don’t like the look, but I added an aftermarket wok guard.

            And tried other grips.

            And kept going back to the factory one..

            I kept the wok guard, and the factory grip..

            Ian


          • Shootski,

            The Red Wolf has that 3 way adjustable post/shoe. I have seen, but not tried,… where the shoe is removed and an adjustable “button” is put on. That further forces the same finger to trigger position.

            On my M-rod,… I took a small vinyl bolt cap, put a bb in it, put it on the trigger, worked the bb to the front and positioned it up and down to suit. Very nice. I think it mimics the button pretty well.

            Chris


  8. RR
    I guess I read part one of this series wrong.

    I thought BB got a different factory Edge to do this series of “factory Edge” report.

    If all he did was replace parts. Then it does not represent a factory out of the box Edge. For one the trigger isn’t factory. So this report is flubbed. It might shoot close to how a factory Edge shoots. But it’s not a factory Edge like I could order from PA today.



  9. B.B. and Readership,

    Memorial Day weekend has come to a close.
    Taps has been sounded
    and all is well in the Garden of Stone.

    I honor the fallen!
    I honor my fallen friends!

    Hand Salute.

    shootski



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