I first encountered AIRFORCE Air Guns in passing at the first SHOT Show I attended. The one thing that immediately caught my eye was that their air guns, both in rifle and pistol versions, were some of the most unique designs that I had ever seen. In fact, there is not another air gun or any other type of gun for that matter that looks like the line of air guns offered by AIRFORCE and that really intrigued me. I had to learn more. Did these air pistols and rifles perform as well as they looked? If nothing else, these guns would certainly catch a few second looks at the rifle range or other sporting venue. I couldn’t stop thinking about this company and the products they had to offer. It is a true challenge for an air gun manufacturer to satisfy the needs of the serious competition shooter, every day target shooter, and outdoorsmen in the hunting field. All three categories of shooters have a unique set of needs and desires. In my opinion, AIRFORCE has met and exceeded this challenge with its Talon, Condor, and Edge air rifles and pistols.
AIRFORCE has indeed been an innovator in the air gun industry. What they have created in designing their air guns is nothing short of brilliant and legendary. First, let’s go over a few air gun basics. The attractive part of shooting air guns is the fact that they have no spent casings to pick up, they are typically quieter than most unsuppressed guns in the firearm realm, and they usually have virtually no noticeable recoil. Many of us grew up learning how to shoot and handle weapons starting with air guns. They help those young and new to the shooting sports learn good shooting habits and basic fundamentals. Another good attribute is that air guns are easy to handle and maintain and relatively inexpensive to shoot for hours on end as well. As my son, Jackson, grows from a toddler into a young man, air guns will be the medium I will use to introduce him to the shooting sports and hunting. It’s a family legacy and tradition, a rite of passage. I will never forget the days I shot my old air rifle at soda cans in the back pasture of my grandparents’ house with my dad and grandfather.
On one of my last trips to my local gun range, I was shooting one of my air guns on the 25 yard “.22 Range” next to a couple who was shooting in the pistol range lanes the next station over from me. A young woman, probably in her early 20’s, was reluctant to shoot anything her husband had with them on the firing line, gun-shy from the recoil and noise of the of the guns he had. Her husband, seeing how much fun I was having shooting my air guns, asked me if she could shoot one of mine. I gladly loaded it up and made my shooting area right at home for her. She was surprised the first time she pulled the trigger. Unlike her husband’s guns she was afraid of, this didn’t feel intimidating to her at all. She hit the bull’s-eye every time she pulled the trigger. It was incredible to see the smile on her face. She shouted with joy, “This is awesome!” I agreed. It made my day and it was another testament to how air guns are a great way to introduce, or possibly re-introduce, someone new or a little “gun-shy” to the shooting sports.
The air gun industry has made so many advances over the past decades. With the advent of PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic) air guns, these advances in technology have resulted in better accuracy, more power, and overall better features in air guns than ever before. No, this is NOT your grandfathers pellet gun by any means! AIRFORCE has been one of the leading companies putting air pistols and rifles into a new class of design and function. Their PCP rifles and pistols use a reservoir of compressed air to propel the pellet, resulting in a virtually recoilless and accurate platform. The TalonP pistol is the model I own and field tested from AIRFORCE and I am blown away with the power and accuracy of this gun for its compact size. That being said, obviously, accuracy and power are two important determining factors in making a good hunting gun and this, along with the other AIRFORCE air gun models, are serious small game and varmint hunting guns. In Texas, feral hogs plentiful and fun to hunt. With no season on hog hunting in our state, this yields a great year-round hunting opportunity and the AIRFORCE TalonP air pistol is a great “go-to” gun for hogs, varmint, and small game.
When I first saw the TalonP at this year’s SHOT Show, I started thinking about how best to describe it as it fits in a class of its own. At about 23 1/4” inches long, it sits somewhere between a large pistol and short barrel rifle (SBR) but carries more power than any other air gun I own and shoots a .25 caliber pellet, which is awesome for hunting applications. For its size, I didn’t expect near this kind of serious hunting power. For my TalonP, I decided to put a 3×9-40 Air Rifle Scope, also available from the fine folks at AIRFORCE. I also ordered the rings and a cantilever mount available with the scope. All of the components were easy to install and I was ready to charge the air tank and shoot in minutes after I got everything mounted. A variable power scope allows pinpoint precision out to the ranges of an air rifle and it can really reach out and touch something! Our chronograph testing shows this gun to be shooting over 900 feet per second with various types of .25 caliber ammunition.
Others owners of the TalonP I have seen have set the gun up with an EoTech or other type of holographic or red-dot sight. With the dovetail rail system, many mounting options for optics or target sights are possible and that adds to the versatility of this gun. In my opinion, when you have a gun like this, especially with a single-shot bolt action, direction of the shot (accuracy) is always more important than speed (having a fast target acquisition). Making every shot count is always the key. That is why a full-sized variable power scope is my choice. Plus, it just really looks awesome! With a high power scope, the TalonP rides at peak performance as a tack driver. Speaking of accuracy, another fine component of the TalonP is the two-stage trigger. It’s a dream for me since I shoot and regularly hunt with a variety of old military surplus guns which have creepy and sometimes hard triggers. The TalonP’s trigger is light and feels like a dream once you get a couple of shots down range and get used to it. Again, this immensely adds to the accuracy potential.
Another feature that is very unique with the TalonP and other guns like it from AIRFORCE is the power wheel adjustment. This feature allows the shooter to change velocity, ballistic energy, and even regulating how many shots one can make between filling up the air tank by a simple adjustment on the side of the gun. Making these adjustments is quick and easy to do in just seconds.
Another draw for me to this gun was the ability to use alternative fuel sources. You can always use a hand pump for an air gun, as many of us air gun owners already do, but you are also able to use dry nitrogen and CO2 as energy sources with the TalonP. The available CO2 Adapter from AIRFORCE is an easy way to be able to use standard disposable CO2 cartridges available at most sporting goods stores. You can even use other CO2 sources for power. Although my personal recommendation is for compressed air due to overall feet per second speed and accuracy factors, it is nice to have more than one option for fueling your air gun.
With the TalonP’s size and accessory options, you can take it almost. At only 3 ½ pounds in weight and around 2 feet in length, there is no reason not to carry this gun with you on your next hunting, fishing, camping, or other outdoor adventure. Overall for its price range, variable power adjustments, ballistic energy, accessory options, and compact size, the TalonP is a great value for a serious hunter or target shooter. This would be a great air gun for the beginner or advanced sportsman alike. Check out AIRFORCE air guns at www.airforceairguns.com and stay tuned to Mac & Prowler’s website for some new videos featuring this awesome air gun!
Dustin Vaughn Warncke