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This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  fomen 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #23449

    pb0201
    Participant

    Is there or can there ever be one barrel that can shoot cross an premiers,jsb heavies and slugs with very good accuracy?25 cal if I can only go slugs. Can I just go the casting route and get great accuracy without a very expensive swaging set up.does anyone make a polygonal barrel for airforce or are the lw barrels already polys?thanks for any info.

    #276369

    rob3dr
    Member

    first question…. yes. I’ve had some barrels that shot a wide variety of ammo well. It’s all luck of the draw. As a rule, BSA barrels tend to be less pellet picky, but even duplicates of the same gun, same caliber may have different pellet preferences.

    Yes, many of us cast…. swaging is expensive. Can get good accuracy with cast bullets, but depends on your setup.
    Havent heard great things on the polygon barrels to be honest. Not sure there is going to be much of a benefit there over the standard barrel.

    #276370

    pb0201
    Participant

    Hey thanks for the reply.can I shoot slugs in a stock AF barrel? What size die would i need for AF barrel?

    #276373

    rob3dr
    Member

    You can… it just depends on your expectations of accuracy. Personally, I’ve not had great luck with slugs out of AF barrels. I have three in .25 cal both choked and unchoked and have tried Jerry’s 6, 7 and 8 ring slugs, BBT’s in .250 and .251, and a plethora of other bullets.

    Best I’ve seen was from Rat Sniper bullets, but cant cast those… they are swaged.

    I ended up getting a .257 barrel and valve and I’m doing well with that setup.

    Again, though… others have had good luck with the AF barrel with slugs. Only way to know is to try it out.

    #276377

    pb0201
    Participant

    RIGHTO!i want great accuracy ,I am just trying to keep it affordable as possible.i already have more invested in this than any rim fire!!

    #276615

    onebaddj
    Participant

    Little late to the show on this one but on my 22 condor 24 in barrel i shoot custom slugs up to 45 gr down to 15 gr hp pellets for rats. Both are very accurate. Had to do alot of work to find the balance for each setup but weather im poping rats or yotes the stock barrel did it. Was about the only stock part left on the gun but was a stock barrel.

    #276622

    pb0201
    Participant
    quote onebaddj:

    Little late to the show on this one but on my 22 condor 24 in barrel i shoot custom slugs up to 45 gr down to 15 gr hp pellets for rats. Both are very accurate. Had to do alot of work to find the balance for each setup but weather im poping rats or yotes the stock barrel did it. Was about the only stock part left on the gun but was a stock barrel.

    hey man.who made the slugs you are referencing? I have the talonP in 25 and was hoping to use slugs for better B.C. And a little more fpe. If I need a different barrel where can I get a good one?

    #276696

    pb0201
    Participant

    O.k. Tj’s for a barrel and Nielsen slugs?i would rather cast my own.thinking of a .257 barrel on a talonP maybe go with a 16 or 18 inch barrel maybe stay with the 12 and Donnyfl ronin!

    #276743

    fomen
    Member

    There are several problems with shooting slugs from the stock LW barrel (.22 or .25 caliber) on the AF rifles.

    #1- The barrels are choked. They have a slight choke at the last 1.5″ to 2″ of barrel length. There’s an old adage- “Pellets love a choke, bullets hate a choke” Most slugs in smaller calibers calibers utilize a solid, cylindrical shape to make contact with the rifling inside of the barrel. When this hits the choke, it creates added friction and vibration (I’ll talk about harmonics in a second). Pellets need the choke to reshape the pellet skirt to a uniform shop before exiting the barrel.

    #2- In order to use slugs, you need to up the power on your gun. If you’re shooting a 33.94gr JSB at 950 fps, you’ll only push a 44gr slug about 820-840 fps. This has less to do with the weight, and more to do with the shape and the added surface contact. Well slugs have a MUCH better BC than pellets. They retain their energy and shoot much flatter. Thus they are superior for long range shooting.

    However, when you up the power on your gun, you increase the barrel harmonics (vibration). If you can’t figure out a way to stabilize your barrel, you will notice your accuracy and precision with be diminished when compared to pellets. Sometimes GREATLY diminished (like 3″ groups at 50 yards, compared to 1/2″ groups with pellets). This issue is easily overcome by stabilizing the barrel and reducing it’s harmonics. I speak from experience.

    #3- To answer your question- yes and no. If you wanted to use any slug you choose (Nielsen, etc…) you would be much better getting an un-choked LW barrel from LW. They will cost you about $120. Then you need to have a gunsmith or machinist put it onto a lathe and replicate the very narrow (bottle necked) breech end of the barrel. The un-choked barrel blanks are just that- barrel blanks. Measure the diameter of your barrel and buy the same diameter of barrel blank in the un-choked version. But again, you must stabilize the barrel as much as possible.

    But if you want to shoot slugs from a choked barrel in .25, order this mold from MP-Molds:
    https://www.mp-molds.com/e-shop/molds/solid-molds/6-35-mm-air-rifle-pellet-8-cav-mold

    I own this mold. The slugs are boat tails in .25. They are beautiful beasts (48gr), and they are designed to be used in choked or un-choked barrels. What sets the slugs apart is the friction with the rifling inside the barrel is done with drive bands instead of the entire surface area of the slug. They are designed to replicate the footprint of a pellet.

    I’m shooting these from my choked .25 and choked .22 LW barrel. I swap the barrels depending on the intended shooting session. My gun is regulated with a regulator I bought from PCP tunes. I have the reg set at 180 BAR, and I’m pushing the 48gr slugs at 860 fps. The 36gr .22 caliber slugs are averaging 960 fps.

    If you’re interested in my set up, I’ll tell you. But my gun is FAR from stock. However, it’s a killing machine. I took at several ground squirrels last week at long range 85+ yards. Dropped them in their TRACKS!

    So in a nutshell. If you want to shoot slugs, but want to use your existing barrel, focus in on a slug DESIGNED to be shot from a choked barrel. These are the only ones I know of. If you can control your barrel harmonics, regulate your gun (optional, but necessary for consistent accuracy and precision), and use the proper slug, you can easily achieve 150 yard kill shots on small game. You can take out medium game within 100 yards with the 48gr slugs.

    Any questions, hit me up. I’ll pop back in here periodically to check for replies.

    #276746

    pb0201
    Participant

    Thanks! Fomen,that’s what I was looking for!i would love to learn about your rig!!! :biggrinn:

    #276752

    fomen
    Member

    The Achilles Heel of the Air Force platform is their extended bottle design. This elongated design makes them hold sensitive due to flex at the point where the bottle and valve meet up with the chassis/frame (at the Spin Lock). When you start shooting slugs, you really need to shoulder the gun to help transfer some of the harmonic vibration into your body instead of down the barrel. But because the AF platform is hold sensitive, if you shoulder it too hard, you will throw off your zero point.

    So the first thing I recommend is getting a Doug at Mad Dog rifle sticks to make you a 1 piece stock. My stock was custom because I have the PCP Tunes regulator on my gun, which adds about 2″ to my LOP. But the beauty of the 1 piece stock is instead of you shouldering the bottle to sling lead downrange, you’re shouldering the gun stock. This eliminates flex at the spin lock. Doug had blanks that match up to the AF platform perfectly, and he can answer any questions you have.

    I also recommend regulating your gun. The regulator from PCP Tunes is internally adjustable. It’s a pain in the butt to adjust it and check because you use a LOT of air. You have to drain the tank, adjust the delrin screw, and fill the tank back up to check. If you decide to go this route, I recommend giving the guys from PCP tunes instructions to set the reg for 200 BAR before they send it. You can always adjust down, but the tolerance gets looser as you adjust up on the reg. What I mean is this…. If you have them set the reg to 200 BAR, and you adjust the pressure down to 180 BAR, it will lock in and hold fast at 180 BAR. If you order the reg and have it factory set to 150 BAR, and try to adjust up to 180-200 BAR, you can achieve those numbers, but you will notice that after you shoot off a round, the reg pressure will drop to 170 BAR. Then over the course of 30-60 seconds it will settle back in to 180 BAR. This is because to raise the pressure, you have to turn the delrin screw counterclockwise to loosen up the tension on the washer stack. When you order the reg with a set pressure of 200 BAR, they have orientated the washer stack in a different configuration. They’ve probably also added some very thin shims. These guys know the different washer configurations to achieve set pressures. And they’re kinda secretive about disclosing the arrangement of the stacks.

    But when you drop the pressure setting, you tighten the delrin screw. This also tightens the tolerance and minimizes changes in pressure after firing off a round. Ideally you want to be able to fire off a round every 10 seconds with no change in reg pressure.

    But if you get a reg, it will add 2″ to your length of pull. And the standard rifle stocks from Mad Dog won’t fit. You’ll need Doug to make you a custom one. He already has the measurements from mine in his records. So he knows the dimensions. But I bought a 250 BAR Carbon Fiber bottle from Tony at TT (which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE). It has a slightly different shape than the stock bottle, but it weighs 1/3 he weight. And because the standard bottle only goes to 200 BAR, and Tony’s goes to 250 BAR, you will get 15-20 more shots per fill on a high setting.

    What are you shooting currently? Is it a Condor, Talon, Condor SS? The longer the barrel, the better for slugs. The longer barrel generates more FPE. They say you can get 10+ FPS per additional inch of barren on the same power setting as the shorter barrel. So on a Condor SS, the stock barrel is 18″. On the standard Condor, the barrel is 24″. So if both guns have identical charges, and the power wheel is set at identical settings, the standard Condor should achieve 60 FPS more at the muzzle solely because of the length of the barrel. Also, the condor comes standard with a heavy duty (.63″ diameter) barrel. It’s HEAVY. But it cuts down on vibration and harmonics significantly. But again, the more power you push through the barrel, and the aerodynamics/physics of the footprint of the slug will automatically add vibration. So it’s very important to stabilize the barrel. If you stabilize the barrel, and shoulder it tightly, you can get 1/2″ groups at 50 yards. The groups would only get tighter with an un-choked barrel. And if you had a custom barrel made with a 14:1 or 12:1 twist, that thing would get hole in hole shots at 50 yards. It might out perform many rimfire .22 rifles. But the barrels like that are a whole other story…..

    Also, CLEAN YOUR BARREL! Slugs like a clean barrel. Every 400-500 slugs, clean it again. After you clean it, fire 15-20 pellets through it to lubricate the rifling with lead. Then you’re ready to go for another 400-500 rounds. It absolutely, positively makes a difference when your barrel is clean.

    Slugs aren’t known for their benchrest accuracy. In most cases, the pellets will get better groups at 50 yards. But where the bullets shine are at long range. They retain their velocity and energy 3x’s better than pellets. They are much more stable. So when the pellets start to slow down and exterior forces like wind begin to effect their trajectory and accuracy, the slugs will plow through. Lots of guys get frustrated when shooting slugs at 50 yards because they can’t understand why the pellets perform better at this range. But lets be honest…. If you’re shooting slugs, the intent is hunting. The beauty of the slugs I make is they can be used in the choked barrel. So at any point in time I can change to pellets, re-zero my gun, and I’m off and running w/out changing the barrel. But changing the barrel is pretty easy on the AF platform anyways….

    Sorry for the long winded response. There is a TON of info to share if you want to start shooting slugs.

    If you’re interested in trying some of the slugs I cast, PM me your info. I’ll gladly send you some. All I ask is you pay the $8 for shipping. Then you can test them out and see what you think. I recommend you max out the power on your gun if you shoot them. If you’re using a standard Condor (24″ barrel) that will allow you to push the 48gr .25 caliber slugs about 975-1000 fps. But there will be a bell curve if your gun isn’t regulated. So disregard the first 5 or 6 shots. I would just push some pellets through for the first 5 or 6 shots. Then switch to the slugs. Then shots 6-15 should be at the top of the bell curve. Those are going to be your most accurate shots. If your gun is regulated, the bell curve is a non-entity as the purpose of the regulator is to avoid/overcome the bell curve. Shoulder your gun good! It will help with groupings!

    #276791

    pb0201
    Participant

    WOW!! Fomen,thanks for the input!!REALLY appreciate it!i am shooting a stock talonP right now.i am not sure what I plan on doing with it really.i like the idea of slugs for the better B.C but without the sugggested mods would it really be worth it.i am running right now with the power wheel at 8ish and normally only shoot fro 2800 down to 2000 or so.i don’t have a crhono “I shot it with my 45” :suprisedn: so I am lost there.thanks for the offer of the slugs I may take you up on that. I am also thinking of leaving it as is and “I love it that way” and getting an edgun r3 or a taipan standard for the power and shot count I want.i would love the leyla but don’t see being able to swing it.i whish I could build up a prod or mrod BULLPUP but I would end up spending as much doing that as I would purchasing a BP on a proven platform!!! Thanks for all the info!!!i am sure we will talk more.

    #276830

    fomen
    Member

    Don’t let my write up dissuade you from getting into slugs. I know a guy who will machine a barrel for you if you decide to go with shooting slugs. What is the length of the barrel in your Talon, and what is the diameter? Not sure if you mentioned this or not, but what is the caliber again?

    I’m getting ready to have my buddy machine a LW barrel blank down for me. It’s the .22 caliber 22 Hornet blank with a twist rate of 1:15.4. Not only is the barrel un-choked, but the twist is significantly faster than the choked LW barrel designed for air rifles in .22 caliber. That barrel has a twist of 1:17.7. The barrel is .67″ diameter. I need him to machine it down to .63″. I also need him to taper the breech end to fit the Condor set up. But the barrel is slightly longer. It’s 24.4″ vs the 23.8″ barrel on the Condor. I think I’m going to keep the length and have it added to the breech end. I’m going to have him remove the rifling from the first 10mm and mill off 1/2 of the metal from the top. This gives me a loading port that allows me to always push the bullet in perfectly straight. The barrel is $116 from LW’s website. My buddy gives me a good guy discount, so the cost of the machining will be negligible. But the barrel being un-choked coupled with the faster twist rate makes the boat tail slugs I’m shooting very, very stable. So much so that I could probably achieve sub MOA groups at 100 yards, and perhaps out to 200.

    There’s an old saying…. A wise man learns form his mistakes, but a wiser man learns for the mistakes of other. I’ve spent a LOT of money on my air rifle trying to get it to perform to my desired criteria. I’m like you my friend. I want a long range hunting BEAST!

    But even your Talon can be converted to shoot slugs. Even with the shorter barrel. If your current barrel is a choked 18″ and it has a twist rate of 1:17.7, you can switch to an unchoked 18″ barrel with a twist rate of 1:15.4. Remember, slugs are significantly heavier than pellets. The biggest .25 pellets you can get are the 43gr Eun Jin pellets. Well, if you decided to step down your caliber to shoot .22 slugs, the slugs I cast are 36gr in pure lead. But since they are a boat tail slug, they have a much higher BC, and they retain wayyyyyy more energy down range. I can say with confidence that the .22, 36gr slugs would have better retained velocity and more energy at 100 yards than the 43gr pellets would in .25 caliber if fired from the same gun, on the same power settings. The .22 hornet barrels also come in .39″ and .47″ diameter. So if the barrel in your talon is close to one of these, there’s a minimal amount of material that would need to be removed.

    But by getting this barrel, you would have 2 barrels for your gun. 1 for plinking pellets (more backyard friendly), and one for hunting with slugs. But just know this….. If you get your gun dialed in to shoot slugs, and you get good groupings, you’re not going to want to switch back to pellets. The first time you drop a squirrel in it’s TRACKS at 100 yards, you’ll be convinced.

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