2007 Roanoke airgun show! – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

First, I would like to thank all of you who helped me out with the reader comments while I was on the road. Actually, I’m writing this in Johnson, TN, on my way home, so I’m still relying on you.

My wireless modem went south the first day out and the first hotel’s WiFi was bad, as well, so I was pretty frustrated for a while! Your help was certainly appreciated.

Now, to the show. About 20 people came up and introduced themselves as blog readers, but only Joe in NY was one who actually signed in. I had hoped to meet more of you there.

The show was the biggest, finest airgun show I have every attended. Usually a show will have one or two things that stand out – like the time the guy walked in with a military Girandoni and sold it in the aisles for $3,500! One like it just brought over $50,000 in a European auction. Or the other time a Daisy second model changed hands with two other rare rifles for $41,000 cash! Things like that make you take notice.


A quarter of the show floor looked like this just before the doors opened on Friday. There must have been 140-150 tables in all.

Well, I didn’t see any super sales this time, but advanced collectors like Wes Powers and Bob Spielvogel both told me this was a wonderful show for them. Those guys have such advanced collections that they are as hard to satisfy as Paris Hilton in a dollar store. So when they are both pleased, I know good things have happened.


There were many working Crosman 600s for sale, but this rare nickel-plated one was for display only.


If you collect Benjamins, this near-perfect transition model 117 in the box might have lit your fire! For everyone else with a shiny brass “Benjamin Franklin” pistol, this is what they are supposed to look like.

I sold quite a few old Airgun Revue and Airgun Illustrated magazines but only one of the four R1 books I had held back to take there. That was a surprise. I also sold several guns and accessories, so my show was really good.

But Pyramyd Air set the record. They brought 12 PALLETS of airguns and related stuff to sell, and they spread it out on six tables. At first the four salespeople were afraid there wouldn’t be any business for them, but an hour after the doors opened they were each addressing four to six customers at once. And why not? When you have a perfectly good used AirForce Talon SS that normally retails for $475 and you are selling this one for under $400, don’t think they will last!


The crowd at the Pyramyd Air tables never went away on Friday. Each salesperson served about four to six customers at once!

Of course, the good stuff was in limited supply, so the Friday attendees got the pick of the litter, so to speak. Pyramyd also brought MOUNTAINS of pellets in dented tins, and the priced them at 4 tins for $20, or five dollars a tin (you had to buy all four to get that price). They told me if they had known how popular dented tins were, they could have brought more. By Saturday morning, there wasn’t much left. We’re talking Kodiaks and JSB Exacts and other pellets like them in these packages!

There were many more new-style airguns at this show than I’ve seen before. Besides Pyramyd, which brought several hundred of the most popular (yes, there were several CFXs, TX200s and .22 caliber RWS 34 Panthers!), Precision Airguns and Supplies also had many Daystate and Air Arms guns. And throughout the room, private individuals, such as Paul Watts, brought several other current model guns.

John Allen of the Blue Book of Airguns had a table there for the entire show and got to see first-hand what a bunch of crazy old men look like when they are having fun. I think he was impressed at how serious this hobby is when you get to this level of collector.

Speaking of serious, Charles Ward and his wife set up a booth to demonstrate the American Airsoft Practical Shooting Federation (AAPSF), a governing body for action pistol shooting with airsoft guns. Not just ANY guns. I’m taking about Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa pistols that have another $800 worth of gunsmithing and custom parts on them so they can produce half-inch groups at 25 feet! Add another couple hundred for the speed holster, belt, and 3 mag pouches, and you’re ready to double-tap your way into heavy-duty fun! Pyramyd Air will be looking at this federation, with an eye toward promoting serious action pistol shooting here in the U.S.

There is so much more to tell that I’m going to have a second blog about it. This was just a first glimpse at the most successful airgun show that has ever been held! I hope you enjoy it.

33 thoughts on “2007 Roanoke airgun show! – Part 1


  1. BB, Very nice review of the show , wish I could have attended. By the way, I would buy dented tins of pellets and used airguns if Pyramid would offer them on-line. The only thing they seem to offer in their used catagory is the air-soft, or the same promotional guns that the discount places are always offering for sale. I have also asked for used items when I’ve called to order other things. All I’ve ever gotten was the response that they seldom have any good used airguns or dented tins for sale. Now it is reported by you that they have piles of the stuff. What’s up with that? Maybe a special e-mail flyer of used stuff like that was offered at this show, sent to their regular customers once or twice a year, would be a good idea.


  2. I BOUGHT 2 BSA’S FROM PYRAMID A YEAR OR SO AGO THAT I STUMBLED ON; A COMET AND A METEOR. I WOULDN’T HAVE KNOWN THEY HAD THEM IF I HADEN’T LOOKED UNDER “BSA”. I THINK A LISTING OF USED OR DISCONTINUED STOCK IS A TERRIFIC IDEA. I LOVE THIS BLOG AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO BUSINESS WITH PYRAMID. THANKS GEORGE


  3. B.B.,

    Wish I could have gone. I live in NC so it would have been a 2 or 3 hour drive but it would have been interesting. I work retail so of course I had to work on Friday and Saturday. I’ll have to take some vacation time next time a show rolls around.

    Shawn


  4. I too would buy used and parts airguns along with dented tins of pellets if they were available online. I like fixing stuff so if an airgun is available that needs repairs and costs a bit less than new, I’d be very interested.



  5. Undoubtedlty there would be some demand for an “online airgun show” at pyramyd where they could sell off that kind of stuff. Any idea why they don’t do that?


  6. Wow – sounds like great fun, welcome back and seconds on that idea to have a ‘scratch ‘n dent’ section on the pyramid site. Of course, regular blog readers should have dibs…. ;-)

    Ozark



  7. B.B.
    I feel a bit embarrassed now, and very annoyed at myself. I had gone through about 3/4 of the tables at the show when I got to the corner where Pyramyd Air was set up. I was talking to Nicole and Chris from Pyramyd and Chris showed me the .22 RWS 54 they had. I picked it up and fell in love, got 2 of the 4 packs of dented tins of pellets, a 3-12×50 scope, paid for it all, and was so excited to get home and try everything out that I left without looking at the rest of the tables. And worst of all, I left without searching you out to have the honor of making your acquaintance. I was an hour up I81 before I realized that I had missed the best. A major blown opportunity on my part. I hope I can do better next year.
    Signed,
    A sorry and embarrassed Pestbgone






  8. The comments and report is very interesting sir – I appreciate the efforts to record what occured there. I’d love to take in a show like that, but where I live, air rifles are pretty rare. We used to have one vendor who specialized in air rifles, if you consider a gun rack with 10 rifles and a pretty decent pellet sellection a vendor. Which is why I appreciate your blog – definitely one of the better ones.

    My apologies for changing the subject so abruptly.

    I am interested in purchasing a QB78 that has been a bit tuned and modded. In a nutshell, my rifle would be the Archer Arms CAR78 QB, only with mods for a bit of extra punch for short range hunting. The firm I am currently looking at for this rifle is Flying Dragon because of the extra tuning offered. This is what the carbine looks like:

    http://www.network54.com/Forum/275684/message/1186024983/i+think+the+bushnell+i+have+is+to+big+for+a+carbine

    What mods are recommended for getting there? Are there any mods you think are probably not worth getting. Or is this platform just not worthy of the effort – I already have .22 hunting springers that can do this, I’m just looking for lighter weight without having to go to Benjamin 392 (yep, already have one of those as well).

    Thanks in advance for the help / commentary.



  9. QB78,

    It’s tough for me to make a recommendation like this because I don’t know your criteria for accuracy. Stephen Archer is certainly honest when he appraises the potential of this rifle.

    But here is my best advice. If this rifle tickles your fancy it’s the one you should get. It’s the only gun that will scratch that itch you have, and we all know that one too well.

    Who knows what wonderful airguns may come to market tomorrow, but if this is what you like today, I say get it.

    B.B.


  10. I still have the Talon SS for sale with all the extra you would need. I need to sell this NOW! It is not because it is a bad gun or broken but that the laws of the city have changed so I am more immited than before.

    f22raptor@tcq.net


  11. Can you recommend a scope for a gamo 220 in .177? I will primarily use it for starling shooting in cow pastures and I’d like to try FT. I guess that means adjustable AO and the whole deal, but I’d like it to be under $70. I guess that a viable 3-9(or higher) is the way to go for FT.

    In the late fall it might migrate to a .50 muzzle loader, but thats no problem compared to a springer right! Also, what mounts would you recommend because I’ve in countered some problems with some Weaver brand ones as of late.
    Thanks,
    HB


  12. B. B.

    Fun time at the show, was glad to meet you. Will look forward to the new Benjamin test. Remember that “Remembering When” story some time before the year is out for me…

    PestBGone -

    Don’t be embarrassed.
    Which way on I-81?


  13. My wife and I attended the show on Friday. A 4 hour drive from home. If this was the best show ever, I would have hated to see the first one! The lighting was HORRIBLE! Did they get them all turned on Saturday?-LOL.I really was hoping to see more new guns, especially at the Pyramyd booth. But I understand they were mainly there to sell off the used stuff. I talked to Nicole, and she shot me some really good “show” prices. I thought the price on your remaining R1 books was a bit pricey-$50 for a paperback? A little high Tom, thats why they didn’t sell. I have a copy I bought when they first came out-it’s a great book. Keep up the great writing. Your association with Pyramyd is very helpful.



  14. BB, I have got to tell you that I am really disappointed in Pyramid air! How could they sell so many “dented” cans of pellets and I cannot even get a order of undented cans, all now on “back order”! I ordered these over the weekend” This smells! Especially since I am an existing customer, purchasing a lot of dollars their way in the past and have highly recommended them. Please tell me that they did NOT sell any Jb’s. Please answer the question.


  15. JW,

    Uh, don’t you believe that PA would not sell dented cans of pellets to avoid angering unknowing customers?
    The reason for PA’s shortfall of JSB is due to JSB’s production and shipping issues.
    I, myself have a large order, including all but the standard .177 Exacts included, and I am going to send my order Wednesday afternoon, when I know the pellets should arrive at PA’s warehouse about the same time that my envelope arrives there.
    Don’t blame PA, it’s JSB, and likely because of exploding popularity of their superior products catching them with their proverbial pants down.
    It’s not as if PA hasn’t kept their site updated with expected arrival dates, you know, which I might add is considerably more than ANYONE else does.


  16. BB:

    I’m a newbie to airgunning from this country’s Northwest corner.

    During the 18-odd months I’ve read your blog I’ve seen many references to the Roanoak show, and have wondered why there is nothing comparable in the West. Surely the vendors must know that driving three or four hours to get somewhere is almost a weekly occurrance for many living anywhere west of the Mississippi, and is no deterrant to attending such a show. Longer drives are not uncommon.

    As I said, I’m new to all this, but it seems to me that a show somewhere around Redding, CA, would draw plenty of shooters from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and the southern end of CA.

    Boxie


  17. I think a large part of it is that many Californians are anti-gun and pretty ignorant about it all. There are plenty of airgunners, I think… but not nearly as many as the East coast. Guns and airguns are probably more likely to be found in rural areas, heavily wooded and populated with small game. CA doesn’t have many wide open spaces with ample game whereas someone in a Minnesota backyard can legitimately use a scope to nail a squirrel in a large tree at the opposite end of the yard.


  18. JW Burns,
    Come on now, its not the end of the world. JSBs come from Czechoslovakia. Do you think Pyramyd has any control over JSBs production or distribution schedule? Like Scott said, PA does a darn good job of keeping customers updated with delivery dates, both before and after ordering. And JSB is notorious for slipping delivery dates. I bought two 4-packs of dented tins at the show including 3 tins of different JSBs. I think you would have been pretty upset if you received DENTED tins of JSBs, with several damaged pellets inside. Like BB has often said, find the pellet you like and order a years worth, and then reorder early.
    If you are really desperate, I will be happy to send you the dented pellets I’ve culled from the dented tins. LOL
    Pestbgone


  19. HGB,

    You can’t use Weraver mounts on a Gamo anyway, unless you first mount an adapter. Why do that?

    Any Leapers scope that you like is good for this use. Choose one with a smaller objective lenss for easier mounting.

    B.B.



  20. JW Burns,

    Customers complain when they receive a tin that’s been dented, so Pyramyd hasn’t been sending any out. They had a pile of them on hand and this was a way bto get rid of them.

    I don’t know what Jb’s are, so I can’t tell you whether they sold any of them or not.

    B.B.



  21. BB-Need your help and advise !!!
    I just got Avanti 853C today. When I sighted the sights, benched at ten feet from target my shots are about two inches to the right of the bulls eye, even when the peep hole is already max to the left.

    I checked the front sight– OK. I reinstalled the rear sight four times moiving it up and down the receiver, still hitting too much to the right even with the adjustment maxed out.

    Help… I like the gun but I can’t seem to get the sights adjusted,

    Thanks,
    Willie


  22. Got the Avanti 853C sight fixed. The front sight was tilted 3 degrees. I loosened the set screws and realigned the front sight to vertical. Shoots well..Love this rifle!!!

    However,I am having problems with the 4 pellet magazine. It does not index accurately so the pellet sometimes gets jammed. Is there a way to fix this?

    Thanks,
    Willie


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