AirForce sales set to soar
American airgun manufacturer AirForce Airguns is looking to take the international market by storm with its American-built range of top-quality air rifles. Gun Trade World looks at why you should seriously consider working with this flexible and customer-focused manufacturer.
AirForce Airguns began life in the mid 1990s when a chat at a SHOT Show between Geoff Darvill – who later formed Gunpower – and John McCaslin, who followed shortly after with AirForce, ended with John going back home to Texas to work on a special project.
John was tasked with improving upon a fairly primitive looking PCP air rifle Geoff was marketing in England. John worked hard refining the rifle and, two months later, at the IWA show in Germany, he was able to show Geoff his first prototype.
It was another three years down the line until John came back with something that the pair would be able to sell. John had completely redesigned the rifle, with a tactical style – similar to the current trends that we see in the market today.
Geoff branded the air rifle “Stealth” and began to sell the PCP airgun in the UK (a large airgun market) through Geoff’s newly formed UK company, Gunpower, in 1997. Although designed for the UK market, John decided to try to sell the air rifle in the US through dealers such as Mac 1 and D&B Sales in 1998.
The move to US distribution
John decided to sell into the US market under the AirForce label and called the air rifle the Talon in the US and the company began to grow on from there.
A more powerful version aimed directly at the US market, the Condor, came shortly after. The advent of the Texan rifle, which AirForce Airguns describes as “the world’s most powerful production air rifle”, was a turning point for the company and sales continued to build.
With the addition of the Texan line the company continues to build up a strong reputation for high quality and excellent customer service all at a price that was, and is, very reasonable.
“We were the first true mass producer of PCP air rifles in the United States,” says John.
Right now, the Texan is a major seller in the company’s product line but the Condor and Condor SS small bore rifles continue to be strong sellers. All of AirForce’s rifles are designed and manufactured at Ft. Worth, Texas. The only parts of the rifles not manufactured in-house are the barrels, which come from Germany, and the carbon fibre air tanks.
“When you purchase one of our airguns, think of it as a flexible platform designed to meet a variety of shooting needs instead of just a single airgun,” says director of marketing, Cameron Brinkerhoff.
“With adjustable power levels, multiple barrel lengths and calibres, different valve configurations and adjustable butt plate system, shooters can quietly hunt small game, enjoy target practice in the backyard and even shoot indoors.
“This year we add more capability to the Texan. With the addition of a .45 calibre LSS version, we have added flexibility to what has become the world's most powerful line of production air rifles,” continues Cameron.
“The .357 Texan provides flatter shooting with the energy needed for predators or larger varmints. The .308 Texan provides a long reaching decisive solution for smaller varmints.
“AirForce Airguns is there to offer hunters and wildlife control personnel a reliable and effective alternative to control these wildlife nuisance and depredation problems.”
Looking into the future, the company has produced a new TX2 valve and carbon fibre tank system for the .457 Texan rifles. This takes the Texan from 500 t/lb to over 750ft/lb of muzzle energy. It is clear to see that AirForce Airguns is a company going places, expect big things over the next few business years.
Four to look out for…
Most powerful big bore on the market. Available since 2016 and has been used for big game hunting all over the world, to successfully and humanely harvest everything from coyotes and hogs to whitetail deer and American bison.
The Condor SS
Integrally suppressed, high power air rifle in .177,.20,.22, or .25 calibre. The perfect rifle for small to medium game, the .25 calibre produces up to 100ft/lb of muzzle energy (the same as a sub sonic .22lr)
The Talon P
Compact and lightweight, this small airgun can be configured as either a carbine or a pistol. Creates up to 55 ft/lb of muzzle energy and can easily be filled with either a hand pump or from a reserve bottle. The perfect backpack or truck gun.
In 2018 AirForce acquired Rapid Air Weapons from its original owner Martin Rutherford. Along with RAW, it also acquired the rights to the famed Theoben line of air rifles. Martin made the decision to stay on board with RAW and the combined AirForce/RAW teams have been working to innovate RAW's line of highly accurate long-range competition air rifles. Keep an eye out for the highly popular RAW HM1000x LRT.
As mentioned at the start of this article, AirForce Airguns has worked with its partner Gunpower to export air rifles into the UK, Europe and further afield. This business relationship is now evolving and AirForce will soon be shipping all products globally, direct from its facility in Texas.
AirForce Airguns is looking to expand its global network of retailer’s and seeks to build on its reputation of quality service and support it has built in the US.