GUNS Magazine May 2013 Digital Edition - Page 20

aiR PoweR froM airforce. M DaVe anDerson The excellent 2-stage trigger (above) can be adjusted for position and angle to suit different hand sizes. The safety is automatically engaged during loading and pushed forward to release. The air reservoir also serves as the stock of the Condor and refilled with a hand pump or from a scuba tank. The reservoir can be installed or removed at any time without loss or air pressure. The Condor from Airforce Airguns is accurate and made to high quality standards. Here the bolt has been moved forward (below) which cocks the trigger, engages the safety (red tab), and exposes the breech for loading a pellet. After seating a pellet pull the bolt back, lock it by turning the handle either left or right. Airforce PCP guns are made in the USA to very high standards. odern air rifles are extremely accurate and durable. Cost per shot is low, making them ideal for training. For more than 50 years I’ve never been without at least one spring-piston air rifle. My favorites are those of relatively modest power, such as .177 calibers with velocities in the 500 or 600 fps range. The rifles are fairly light, easy to cock, pleasant to shoot. They have all the power I need for controlling pests (mainly sparrows) around the farm, without damaging the barn and machine shed. Just as with cartridge rifles, the lure of velocity and power is irresistible to many shooters. Certainly I get the attraction of 1,000+ fps power. Developing such power with a spring-piston rifle requires a powerful spring and a heavy receiver to contain it. The rifles tend to be heavy, difficult to cock, and hard on scopes. One solution is two rifles, a 500 to 600 fps model for training and plinking, and a 1,000+ fps hunting model. Another is to select a Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) design. Some PCP rifles, such as those used in Olympic competition, are among the most highly developed, sophisticated rifles ever made. Airforce airguns offer an outstanding line of PCP rifles. They are extremely well made. Considering the exceptional design, workmanship, and performance they are reasonably priced. They are virtually impossible to wear out with normal use. With no heavy power plant, the rifles are light compared to spring-piston rifles of comparable power. PCP rifles have several advantages. For one, they are virtually recoilless. They don’t have the peculiar “doubleshuffle” recoil of spring-piston designs, which is so hard on conventional scopes. With PCP rifles you can use any scope you’d use on a cartridge rifle. Airforce rifles such as the Condor model allow the shooter to easily adjust power level, from 600 fps to as high as 1,250 fps, depending on caliber and pellet weight. Since recoil isn’t a factor, why not just run at full power all the time? The principle advantage of reduced velocity is more shots per reservoir fill. In .22 caliber, a filled reservoir will give around 50 to 60 full-power shots, compared to 300 to 500 at reduced power. For training, 10-meter competition, or small-pest control there’s no need for more than 600 fps. It’s more fun to be shooting than filling the air tank. But if you do need the power, for small game hunting or extended range shooting, just dial it in. The .22 Condor rifle I’ve been shooting exudes quality in every respect. The barrel is by Lothar Walther, a company known for fine custom barrels. Trigger pull is 2-stage, with smooth take-up followed by a crisp break less than 3 pounds. The trigger piece itself is adjustable for position to suit individual shooters. accurate Accuracy was very good with groups (five shots at 50 yards) averaging in the 3/4-inch range. Be aware, though, even a light wind is the bane of accuracy with pellets. The combination of low The Condor weighs 6.5 pounds and is one of the most powerful PCP air rifles made. Power is adjustable over a range of 600 to 1,300 fps, available in .177, .20, .22, and .25 calibers. A wide range of accessories enhance the utility of the Condor, such as a 4-16x50 scope and rings, bipod, fiber optic backup sight, thumbhole/ accessory bar. The LS-1 laser sight, however, is discontinued. Photo: Airforce 20 W W W . G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • M AY 2 0 1 3

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