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Definitive Guide to AirForce Texan SS
Big bore airguns have always been very loud, but not anymore! With the AirForce Texan SS and LSS, you have the most powerful airguns on the market coupled with AirForce’s Sound-Loc technology so they won’t leave your ears ringing! Available in .257, .308, .357, and .457 calibers, these guns are made in America with Lothar Walther barrels and have a well-deserved reputation for combining power, accuracy, and sound suppression in a way that the airgun world has never seen before. To learn more about them, read on!
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The Basic Anatomy of the Texan SSBased on the proven Texan platform, the Texan SS is just over 45" long and weighs in at 8.45lbs. This makes it a few inches shorter than the Texan, and almost half a pound heavier.
Starting at the tail end, the butt plate is the same that we have seen on other AirForce guns. It adjusts for length of pull, cast-on and cast-off, and cant. It also has a hole for mounting a sling stud.
The air reservoir is also the same large 490cc Spin-Lock tank we have seen on the Talon, the Condor, and the Texan, and like those it fills to 3000psi. This is a lower pressure than many big bores operate on, and it means that you will get more fills from your 4500psi SCBA tank. The tank has a convenient Foster quick disconnect fitting that lets you hook up directly to your air source without needing to keep track of a pesky probe. If you bought your Texan SS in the summer of 2019 or after, you probably have the newly designed valve, which means that before you fill it, you will need to extend the valve stem out otherwise the air will just go right out of the bottle.
On the other side of the tank is an accurate pressure gauge that shows the 3000psi fill level, and, like a proper gauge, shows another thousand psi in red. Only fill it to 3000psi; any more and you'll experience some valve lock and consequently slower first shots. Spare tanks are available and switch out pretty easily with the help of the included wrench.
The lines of the frame are similar to those of the Talon and Condor, but, like the Texan, the Texan SS has a side-lever cocking mechanism that makes loading ammo smooth and pleasant. Because of the way it is leveraged, it can push back a heavy hammer spring with very little effort.
When you push the cocking lever forward it exposes the tuner window on the other side. The tuner allows you to adjust for different weights of ammunition. When shooting a heavy projectile, the inertia of the bullet keeps the valve open long enough to release the air that it needs. However, if you are shooting a lighter projectile, like a round ball, there is less time for back pressure to build up, so you need to increase the tension on the hammer spring. This will make the valve release enough air to get the lighter bullets up to speed immediately. Just move the wheel up to decrease the pre-load tension and down to increase it. In our experience, most projectiles shoot well with a fairly high level of pre-load. When shooting lighter ammunition starting with a lower fill pressure, around 2700psi, also helps with consistency.
To load a bullet or round ball, push the lever forward to expose the breech, insert projectile and push it forward seating it firmly, pull the lever back, remove the safety and get ready to smile.
The gun can also be easily uncocked by pushing the lever all the way forward and then pulling it back 3/4" so you can take off the safety, and then pulling the trigger as you pull the lever back. If this isn't completely clear to you, try it a couple of times with the gun UNLOADED!
The safety is automatic, and, while we usually prefer manual safeties, in this case, considering that it is for hunting and not plinking or target shooting, we think the automatic safety is a good feature. The fact that it is in front of the trigger and can be easily pushed on and off makes it natural and unobtrusive.
The Texan SS has a dual stage trigger that adjusts only for position and breaks crisply and consistently at 2lbs 6oz. Optics and other accessories can be mounted on the 11mm rail that runs on the receiver and the top and bottom of the base of the suppressor.
Now for the big hunk of suppressing sexiness on the front. The Sound-Loc® System technology is what distinguishes the SS from the regular Texan. The Sound-Loc suppressor features internal baffles that really do their job, and make it possible to shoot this gun comfortably without hearing protection. It still isn’t what you might call silent, and for it to be backyard friendly you would need a very big backyard or very understanding neighbors, but it is a lot quieter than the Texan, and most importantly, you can shoot it without having to put on ears. On our sound meter the unsuppressed Texan .45 registered 116db and the Texan SS .45 registered 110db. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story, because even though the sound meter only shows an 8db difference the difference to the ear is considerable. The sound drops from being a sharp and rather painful crack to a loud hummph.
Is there a trade-off for the quietness? Yes, of course there is. In order to incorporate the silencer without making the gun inordinately long, AirForce had to reduce the length of the barrel from the 34" of the Texan to 24 3/4". This means that instead of the 500fpe that the Texan gets, the SS maxes out at about 430fpe. 430fpe is still more than most big bores put out, and if you need sound suppression then this is the gun for you. (Update: since late summer of 2019, the Texans have been shipping with the TX2 valve, a newly improved valve that produces up to 500 fpe in the .45 cal SS!)
Texan LSSWith the release of the new AirForce Texan LSS, you no longer have to sacrifice any power to get the sound suppression you desire! The LSS is the full-size Texan with AirForce’s Sound-Loc System® to quiet it down. The shroud extends all the way down to the foregrip, providing plenty of volume and it is capped off by a can, which can be removed making it easier to fit in a regular gun case. The trade-off for the power and silence is the length, which at 54 inches isn't insignificant, and with the can removed it still measures 49.5 inches. But if you want maximum power and maximum silence, this is the way to go.
All Texan LSSs have the new TX2 valve that produces up to 600 fpe in .45 cal.
Performance and AccuracyThe most accurate bullets that we shot out of the SS were the Air Venturi 405 grain flat-nose bullets and the AeroMagnum 259 gr Lone Star Hollow Points.
At thirty-five yards the AeroMagnums put two bullets in literally the exact same hole, so of course we pulled the third one to make a one-inch group. At fifty yards, three went into 0.50", and at 75 yards, they made a 1.20" group.
The Air Venturi 405s were very consistent as well as accurate. The 35 yard group was .82", the 50 yard group was .91", and the 75 yard group was 1.0".
The .45 cal Texan LSS preferred the 350gr hollowpoint rebated-boat tail slugs made by Nielsen Specialty Ammo
This is one accurate big bore airgun!
The Texan SS shoots a 405 grain bullet at 677 fps which generate 412 foot-pounds of energy and this exceeds the manufacturer's claim of 400fpe. For a flatter trajectory, the AeroMagnum 259 grain Lone Star Hollow Point is a great option. Very accurate, it leaves the barrel at 773 fps for a muzzle energy of 325fpe. At 933fps, 137gr Air Venturi Round Balls exceed the manufacturer's fps claim of 900fps and they deliver 276 fpe. With most ammo expect 5 shots with an extreme spread of about 65fps, but to keep the groups really tight, refill after three shots.
The Texan LSS with its longer barrel and new TX2 valve is a powerhouse. With 495gr Mr. Hollowpoint slugs, AirForce has reached energy levels of 600fpe! In our testing, the 350gr Nielsen slugs reached a high of 815 fps for a muzzle energy of 515 fpe. This is without tuning the gun to shoot the heavier ammunition, so it would probably shoot them a little faster with a little tuning.
Accessories and PackagesWe have put together a combo package that bundles your Texan SS with a Hawke scope so you can get shooting right away. The dovetail rail on the bottom of the suppressor is just asking for something like the UTG Tactical Bipod. You will need a dovetail to picatinny adapter though. We have also put together, with Matt from Demolition Ranch, a Texan combo that includes a scope and a small carbon fiber bottle for refills in the field.
We have similar combos for the LSS, one with a scope, and one with a scope and bottle. These are great ways to save some money and still get the accessories you need.
Summing UpWhat do we think of the .45 Texan SS and LSS? We love them! They have almost everything you could ask for in a big bore airgun. You can get up to five shots per fill, and you only have to fill to 3000psi. They are powerful, with the LSS being the most powerful production airgun on the market. They are capable of incredible accuracy well past 100 yards, and in fact, the LSS is one of the most accurate airguns we have shot! They are suppressed and, in spite of the power they put out, you can shoot them without hearing protection. They are made in America out of solid, aircraft-grade aluminum, and sport a Lothar Walther barrel. If you are looking for a powerful and quiet big bore airgun, then the Texan SS and LSS are the guns for you!
Accuracy & Power The Texan SS shoots a 405 grain bullet at 677 fps which generate 412 foot-pounds of energy and this exceeds the manufacturer's claim of 400fpe. For a flatter trajectory, the AeroMagnum 259 grain Lone Star Hollow Point is a great option. Very accurate, it leaves the barrel at 773 fps for a muzzle energy of 325fpe. At 933fps, 137gr Air Venturi Round Balls exceed the manufacturer's fps claim of 900fps and they deliver 276 fpe. With most ammo expect 5 shots with an extreme spread of about 65fps, but to keep the groups really tight, refill after three shots.
Quietness On our sound meter the unsuppressed Texan .45 registered 116db and the Texan SS .45 registered 110db. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story, because even though the sound meter only shows an 8db difference the difference to the ear is considerable. The sound drops from being a sharp and rather painful crack to a loud hummph.
Adjustability When you push the cocking lever forward it exposes the tuner window on the other side. The tuner allows you to adjust for different weights of ammunition. When shooting a heavy projectile, the inertia of the bullet keeps the valve open long enough to release the air that it needs.
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