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Powerful AirForce PCP Air Rifles

The American made AirForce Condor and Talon PCP air rifles are world popular due to their power, accuracy and price and have built a reputation for reliability along the way. This very simple design and even simpler operating system has air rifle enthusiasts tuning, customising and adding accessories, a bit like ‘Barbie’ for Men.

AirForce Condor

AirForce Condor with Hawke Airmax 30 Scope and Bi-Pod.

First impressions of the Condor and Talon.

My first thoughts when I saw an AirForce Condor and Talon was they looked too simple and more like a toy than a real PCP high power air rifle. Pick it up and your whole perception changes as it is very well balanced and solid air rifle with composite grips rather than wood. This departure from the ‘norm’ by using a pistol grip and an almost Military DNA has not been lost on other air gun manufacturers who have followed suite, taking a huge slice of the air gunning market in doing so.

Both the AirForce Condor and Talon come in a flat black finish with 11mm rails on the ‘handle’ which takes the scope, forward of that to the barrel and underneath to accommodate accessories like a Bi-Pod or torch. The pistol grip is moulded composite with a very basic yet functional trigger and safety incorporated within the trigger guard while the chassis of the rifle is anodised flat black aluminium.

The high pressure cylinder is directly behind the breach and functions as the butt with a detachable and adjustable butt pad – not really a pad but a simple plate. Due to the diameter of the cylinder I found it necessary to mount the scope using ‘High’ mounts so that I could get a good cheek weld and comfortable stance. Due to the light weight of these AirForce guns it is very easy to shoot off-hand and carrying either air rifle through the bush while out hunting is a bonus due to the light weight and ergonomics of the design.

Looking more closely at these AirForce PCP Air Rifles.

If we start with the air cylinder and move forward, there is a small air pressure gauge on one side and a filling nipple on the other side which is a Foster fitting.

AirForce Talon Breech

Close up of the Loading Arm, Trigger Assembly, Top Hat and contents Gauge.

Forward of the gauge pictured above, you will see the almost military style trigger and in front of that the safety which is automatically applied upon loading. The safety can be moved to ‘Fire’ with the trigger finger and be re-applied to ‘Safe’ just as easily.

Both the Condor and Talon are single shot, unregulated PCP air rifles that load very easily and quickly. Loading is accomplished by pushing forward on the top mounted bolt that is situated on the upper side of the housing so that it exposes the loading breech and Top Hat assembly. The image above shows the air rifle cocked and in the loading position, ready to accept a pellet manually. Pull back the bolt and slide it either left or right into a detent machined into the chassis and it is ready to go.

The silver Top Hat you see in the Condor/Talon image above is the key to the power of these AirForce PCP air rifles: it sits in front of what I would describe as an air control valve that is depressed into the air chamber valve by a hammer that impacts it under the bolt when fired. When you push the bolt forward, you are in fact compressing the hammer spring and moving the hammer into the forward position. Upon firing, the internal hammer slides back and impacts the Top Hat that in turn momentarily enters the air chamber valve and releases a high pressure charge of air that propels the pellet.

AirForce PCPs also have a power regulator on the front left side as seen in the image below. Power is regulated by turning the micrometer style wheel that is numbered 1 to 16, this in turn moves an indicator along a slide to the right of the wheel, numbered 1 to 12.

Power and speed adjustment does not stop there as you can add shims behind the Top Hat or alternatively, wind the Top Hat in or out and re-secure with the 2 grub screws. There are also aftermarket Top Hats with large ports that can increase the power substantially or reduce the power by fitting different air jets into the Top Hat port.

Changing the Top Hat to a tuned version is my preferred method and then tuning this by adding shims or regulating jets will get you the speed or power you want. Changing out the Top Hat takes about 20 seconds if you have 2 flat faced screwdrivers handy. Adding shims or taking some out will add another 20 seconds or so, can’t be easier than that, can it?

For you guys interested in Tuning for speed or power, my next article on the AirForce Condor and Talon is entirely about tuning, whether you are after 100 ft lbs energy out of the Condor or you want a high shot count between refills, I will show you how it is done.

PCP_Power_Adjuster

Condor Side-wheel Power Adjuster

The feature video below is on the AirForce Condor SS which is a noise supressed version of the standard Condor that we have here in Australia. The fundamentals are the same with the exception that the SS is shrouded, so please watch these 2 videos for a good insight to the overall performance of the Condor.



 

 

 

 

AirForce Condor and Talon Specification.

Condor PCP

AirForce Condor with Hawke Scope and folded Bi-Pod

AirForce Condor
Length OA: 980mm
Barrel Length: 600mm
Barrel: Made by Lothar Walther
Available Calibres: .177, .20, .22, .25.
Weight OA: 2.904 kilos
Air Reservoir Volume: 490cc
Fill Pressure 200 Bar
Air Reservoir Total Length (excluding Mts) and Diameter: 328mm x 60mm
Condor .22 Cal with H&N Baracuda 21.14g gave 1162 FPS (354.18 MPS) and 63.40 Ft lbs Energy (85.98 Joules).
Condor .25 Cal with H&N Baracuda 21.14g gave 1090 FPS (332.23 MPS) and 81.86 Ft lbs Energy (111.01 Joules).
AirForce factory standard results with Power Wheel set to Max.

Talon Air Rifle

AirForce Talon with Hawke Airmax 30 Scope and folded Bi-Pod

AirForce Talon
Length OA: 827mm
Barrel Length: 400mm
Barrel: Made by Lothar Walther
Available Calibres: .177, .20, .22, .25.
Weight OA: 2.635 kilos
Air Reservoir Volume: 490cc
Fill Pressure 200 Bar
Air Reservoir Total Length (excluding Mts) and Diameter: 328mm x 60mm
Talon .22 Cal with H&N Baracuda 21.14g gave 888 FPS (270.66 MPS) and 37.02 Ft lbs Energy (50.21 Joules).
Talon .25 Cal with H&N Baracuda 21.14g gave 793 FPS (241.71 MPS) and 43.33 Ft lbs Energy (58.76 Joules).
AirForce factory standard results with Power Wheel set to Max.

Caveat: Please note that the exact air pressure, relative temperature and humidity will all play a part in the output speeds of any air rifle.

Summarising the AirForce PCPs.

If you are looking for a lightweight and fully self tunable PCP for hunting or target work, then you have to take a look at these 2 PCP air rifles guys, trust me here, they are a lot of fun. I will be able to supply you with what tuning bits you want to allow you to tune them yourselves or I can do it for you, your call.

We are all too familiar with pellet choice when one is looking for accuracy, then if you fall into this category of searching for precision, then consider this: these AirForce PCPs allow you to adjust the speed/power through the power control on the side, after-market Top Hats and shims, regulator, sizing jets and different barrel lengths. I can’t say that many other air rifle manufacturers can give you a product that versatile when it comes to customizing as does the AirForce range of PCPs.

Author: Ian McIntosh