2013 SHOT Show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

Part 1
Part 2

The SHOT Show is not a gun show — though that is what many attendees call it, and the mainstream media that doesn’t attend also calls it that. Instead, it’s a happening — to use a 1960′s term. Or it’s a Middle Eastern open market. The big booths house the recognized names like Colt, Winchester and Crosman. Their booths are two stories tall with signs hanging from the ceiling that you could see a mile away if there weren’t other signs hanging in front of them.

But the real drama of the show isn’t at those booths. People already know what to expect in those places. It’s the little out-of-the-way booths hugging the walls that have the surprises. I always set aside some time just to cruise the aisles, looking for some rocks to turn over.

I’ll be walking along a narrow aisle and someone will step out to stop me. Then, in a conspiratorial tone, he leans over and says something like, “Don’t you just hate it when your ice cubes melt and dilute your drink? Cold Bars have solved that problem forever. These are sanitized stainless steel bars that retain the cold almost as well as water, plus they’re reusable forever. Put three of these in your scotch and soda, and it’ll be as fresh and strong after 20 minutes as when it was poured. When you finish the drink, just pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes…and they’re good to go again. While you wait, you use the second set of three bars in your next drink! Nothing could be easier.”

This guy is serious! You look at his spartan booth and realize that he has poured everything into this venture because at some point watery drinks pushed him over his tipping point. When he bounced the idea off his wife and friends, they all agreed it was the next big thing. They had no idea he would mortgage the house and put his life savings into it!

So, here he is, in a narrow aisle of a large trade show, hawking his brains out to people who, for some reason, just don’t seem to get it. Who doesn’t want cold, undiluted drinks?

Think I’m exaggerating? Attend a trade show and walk the aisles some time.

Why do I plod through these pathways of personal misery? Because next to the stainless steel ice cube booth there ‘s the G+G Airsoft booth that has the best action target I’ve seen in a long while. It’s a lighted rubber hemisphere that’s computer-controlled to react to being hit by an airsoft BB. You can turn the light on or off, depending on how you have programmed it.

They call it the MET Unit, which stands for multifunctional electronic target. It can exist as one single target or they can be strung together in up to 25 targets for a prolonged target array.

airsoft action light targets
The MET Unit is from 1 to 25 programmable lights that turn off or on when hit by an airsoft BB.

The wires between targets can be up to 50 meters in length, which allows them to be set up in a tactical course and either light up at some random time until hit or stay on for a programmed time and go off after the time is up or when hit. Two competitors can shoot at the same target and change the color of the lights when they hit it, establishing a duelling target.

The individual target will sell for $66 or 5 for $250. It looks like a great way to have fast-action fun with airsoft guns. They can take hits from AEGs shooting 0.20-gram BBs at up to 450 f.p.s. Naturally, they’re not robust enough for even the lowest-powered steel BB or pellet guns.

Umarex
Umarex is now branding airguns under their own name. This year, there are three new long guns: the Octane is a breakbarrel with a Reaxis gas spring and SilencAir, which is a baffled silencer; the Surge is an entry-lever springer breakbarrel; and the Fusion is a CO2 pellet rifle, and it also has the SilencAir noise dampener. We’ve seen the Fusion before, branded as the Ruger LGR, but Umarex tells me the Fusion is a Gen 2 upgrade and quite different. I never got the chance to test the LGR, so I’m looking forward to testing the new Fusion as soon as possible.

Umarex Fusion
The Fusion is a new CO2 single-shot rifle from Umarex that sports a 5-chamber noise dampener.

Leapers
I spent an hour at the Leapers booth this year. The most important thing I wanted to see was the new scope with an internal bubble level. It’s a 4-16x in a 30mm tube, and it looks exactly like what the doctor ordered for those long-range targets we love to shoot. They’re working hard to get it to market this year, but it won’t go out until they’re certain of the quality. Putting a bubble level inside scopes on a production line is apparently quite a challenge…but one I’m sure Leapers will do correctly.

The entire line of scopes have been upgraded with finer adjustments — many of them 1/8-minute adjustments — and greater repeatability. They have a broad range of adjustment in both directions, and their production models are even exceeding the maximum limits they established! All leaf springs have been replaced with coil springs to increase adjustment precision and repeatability.

But the WOW factor comes on the stuff you can see. How about a 3-9x scout scope (10-inch eye relief) with a wide field of view? That is the big trick for scout scopes, and I saw a beauty mounted on an M1A — though it would be just as correct on a Mosin Nagant.

Leapers scout scope
Leapers new scout scope has a full field of vision — something scout scopes are not known for.

Another surprise from the folks in Michigan is the smallest tactical laser I have yet seen. I asked Mac to photograph it next to a quarter for scale.

Leapers small laser
Leapers new laser is the smallest I have yet seen. That’s a quarter next to it.

Crosman
Back to the Crosman booth to show you what the new Benjamin pump looks like when the handle is raised. I didn’t expect the huge reception this pump got when I showed it the first time this year. Please note that it has not one but two pump tubes. This is a 3-stage pump — the same as the current pumps, but this one compresses a bit more air with each stroke. I’ll have more to say about it when I test it.

Benjamin pump extended
Maybe this view will help you understand how the new Benjamin pump magnifies the force you put into each pump stroke.

Hatsan
I’ll close with a last look at the Hatsan booth. They have the AT-P carbine and AT-P1 pistol…and both are precharged pneumatics. They’ll come in .177, .22 and .25 calibers that each have hunting levels of power. These are repeaters with circular clips and adjustable Quattro triggers. The sights are fiberoptic, and there are provisions for scopes. The air cylinders remove, and spares will be available as options.

For those who are looking for hunting air pistols, I think these two should be considered. I’ll work hard to review them for you as soon as possible.

Hatsan PCP pistol and carbine
The Hatsan AT-P2 Tact (left) and the AT-P1 are exciting new PCP airguns.

Leaving the show
As Edith and I left the show we passed by one final booth. The guy is selling Instant Water for survivalists. Just drop one of his pills in a bucket of water and — Presto! — instant water. Why I can’t think of things like that?

52 Responses to “2013 SHOT Show: Part 3”

  • Wulfraed Says:

    It’s too late, but my condolences go out to the stainless steel “ice cube” guy…

    I used to have a set of dimpled plastic balls filled with sterile water… Stuff them in the freezer for a few hours, then drop them into your drink. You get essentially the same caloric transfer (the heat to convert from solid to liquid) as with a plain ice cube, but no dilution of the drink. The dimples (and maybe an air bubble) handled the expansion of water upon freezing. (Hmmm, wonder if the plastic added enough density to make these stay submerged).

    As for “Instant Water” — I suggest that guy try selling to a certain coyote; they sound like an Acme product. ({Channeling one of the many #2s} “Confess!” Did you leave something out — like maybe these were water purification tablets?)

    • Michael Says:

      To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of “the stainless steel ice cube guy’s” demise are premature: http://www.amazon.com/Onyx-Stainless-Steel-Cube-Tongs/dp/B007ET6MBG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358782567&sr=8-3&keywords=steel+ice+cubes

      Michael

      • B.B. Pelletier Says:

        Michael,

        I swear I made that up! I was just trying to illustrate how absurd some new products can be.

        Whooda thunk?

        B.B.

        • Michael Says:

          B.B.,

          You came up with this idea independently of whoever invented them and patented them. I hate to be the one to put this into your mind, but what IF you had thought of this 30 years ago, patented it, sold the patent for $50,000, and invested it all at an average 5% return. After 30 years you’d have how much money? Sorry.

          On the bright side, this shows just how good an inventor you are. (That reminds me, I still love my Bronco!)

          Michael

    • Matt61 Says:

      This reminds me of the film Office Space. One guy stuck in a meaningless job in cubicles dreams of an invention that will make his fortune. It’s a game called the Jumping to Conclusions mat where you jump to various conclusions marked on the map. After he gets fired for shouting at the efficiency analysts that he has gosh darned people skills, he retires and creates a prototype complete with one “conclusion” labeled “Loose one turn.”

      Matt61

  • Shawn Says:

    Instant water? Sounds like the old tablets they gave troops in WW2. What were they chlorine or iodine?

  • Oliver Says:

    The Ruger LGR/Fusion is surely just the Chinese XS60 co2/PCP that was briefly marketed a wile backa nd then withdrawn for redesign? This presumably is the updated version?

  • mikeiniowa Says:

    Oliver…
    Yes it’s the updated XS-60C in another set of clothes. If they followed my instructions on the LDC do not attempt to remove it, designed to break if you do.

  • Jim Says:

    Instant water – what a concept. Perhaps he should get together with the Umarex folks so they can put some in their 5-chamber noise “dampener”. Pet Peeve – dampening something means getting it wet – damping something means eliminating or reducing vibrations (i.e. noise). Thus endeth the trivia lesson.

    Jim

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Jim,

      Right you are. It’s fixed.

      Thanks,

      B.B.

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Jim,

      There are 2 meanings for the word “dampener.” One means to make wetter. The other is:

      “Make less strong or intense: nothing could dampen her enthusiasm.
      • reduce the amplitude of (a sound source): slider switches on the mixers can dampen the drums.”

      The above came from one dictionary. Here are others that corroborate this meaning:

      “To stifle; deaden”

      “To dull or deaden (of force, enthusiasm, ardor, etc.)”

      To “dampen” means to dull or deaden; depress. Since this is a device that dampens the sound, it is quite literally a dampener.

      I’m changing it back to dampener, which has been used correctly by the airgun industry for many years.

      Edith

      • Robert from Arcade Says:

        Edith , I just dampened the damper on my wood stove a few minutes ago. It’s about 20 degrees here today with intermittent lake effect snow.

        • J-F Says:

          20 degres! You’re lucky, we’re getting hit by a cold front it’s 1 right now with the felt temperature being at -4, it will dip to -29 on Wednesday… and those aren’t in Celsius I made the conversion to Farenheit for you imperial guys (altough the lower they get the closer they become meeting at -40 which we’ll be pretty close to this week).

          J-F

  • J-F Says:

    YAY I’m glad they’re bringing the AT-P2 here! These pistols are so ugly but from the reports I’ve seen almost has accurate as the rifles. Can’t wait to get my hands on one!

    Thanks for the front picture of the pump, I was having a hard time seeing how exactly that linkage worked in order to make it easier to pump but this explains everything, what is the saying? A picture is worth a thousand words? I think it applies pretty well here.

    As for the instant water tablets… well it’s a pretty smart idea, just like the solar flashlight and most useless machine ever http://youtu.be/Z86V_ICUCD4

    J-F

  • donald Says:

    that at-p2 looks like a fun gun to shoot what size game is it best suited for???

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      donald,

      According to the Hatsan catalog, in .22 caliber it puts out about 20 foot-pounds and in .25 is gets 22 foot-pounds. I would say that is good for up to woodchucks and raccoons at distances where the shooter can keep 10 or 10 shots on a quarter.

      Of course I will learn a lot more when I test it.

      B.B.

  • john Says:

    The Hatsan AT-P2 Tact looks like a fine pcp gun. I’m putting this in my “gotta have it” list. I just hope it’s over 30 inches or I’ll have to track down an FFL dealer in order to get it or go to pyramyd air to pick the thing up. I’ll have to look out for the thing and see the specs on it and price to see if I can justify trying to buy it. If it’s over 30″ and under $600 I’ll have it. I’ll pass on the light up targets since I’m not an airsoft guy. I’ll also be carefully watching that new crosman pump to see how easy it is to use.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      John,

      The shortened length is 25.2″. The Longest length is 29.1″.

      B.B.

      • john Says:

        Looks like I’ll need to track down an FFL dealer for that one or I’ll not be able to have it. Too bad it couldn’t have been just 2 inches longer like with a bit longer muzzle break.

  • goatboy Says:

    I just love love these reports where i can fantasise on most of the products that get shown , but alas i shall dream on eating my scampi and chips and wish the UK would make these things legal. But hey, what do you know. it’s just mind boggling what you can do with 12 ft/lb, it fills my dinner plate no problem. Splendid report B.B. i just can’t understand how people have trouble with hand pumps.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Sir Nigel,

      Most people don’t think about the effort required until they actually have to use the pump. Then the lesson comes home fast.

      B.B.

  • john Says:

    I waited and waited for the Ruger LGR to appear. It got pushed back over and over and finally dropped out of sight without ever appearing. What happened to it? I had one pre-ordered at pyramyd air and everything but never got word of the thing ever appearing anywhere. It’s become a ghost product.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      John,

      I don’t know all the problems they had, but there were some. The gun has been reworked and now it’s back under another name.

      Mik in Iowa can probably tell us more.

      B.B.

  • duskwight Says:

    B.B.

    That butterfly pump looks very interesting. Did anybody calculate its effectiveness versus single-cylinder pump? E.g. volume of compressed air per 1 stroke. And talking about the model at hand, I wonder how soon will hand pumps be fitted with heatsinks or something like that to make them even more effective and lessen wear due to temperature buildup.

    duskwight

    P.S. Waiting for lever extender to arrive I started sketching Mk.1. I feel myself somewhat like P-51 pilot observing Wright Flyer :)

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      duskwight,

      The new pump pumps about the same amount of air as the current pumps — just with less effort.

      I will be calculating it for you when I test it. If it works as advertised, I plan to buy one.

      B.B.

      • john Says:

        With that new baffled sound supressor that’s going to be another FFL dealer required item. That’s part of why I hang on to my Gamo whisper so hard. If they throw any more restrictions on airguns like they did on shrouded barrels soon I won’t be able to get a red ryder bb gun without a permit and background check.

    • Wulfraed Says:

      My current pump already has heat-sink type cuts in the metal base…

      The next step would be to use an electrically chilled intercooler on the intake air so the pump is taking in denser/cooler air… Oh, and a dehumidifier collector too as that chilled air will be dripping moisture.

    • john Says:

      …temperature build up…?…hmm…sounds like a job for those Cold Bars, adding new meaning to “happy hour.”

      another john

  • Matt61 Says:

    Fascinating. The light up airsoft targets look cool, but what’s the advantage over the old-fashioned spinning targets? Leapers does it again with that scout scope. The M1A cries out for that design. And so does the Mosin with the straight bolt handle. I understand that the Mosin rear sight actually sits on a dovetail rail, so if you remove the rear sight (not that easy), you can just install the scope and have your sniper rifle. And along those lines, I just came across a report that said that interviews were conducted with ammo manufacturers, Lapua in particular, and they were pretty uniform in saying that the 7.62X54R was intrinsically more accurate than the .308. How about that for the 100 year old cartridge with the obsolete rim design.

    My guess about that pump is that the principle has to do with torque. The magnitude of torque is based on the force you apply and the length of the lever arm. The lever arm can only be extended a certain amount before you need the wingspan of a pterodactyl. But by folding the lever arms as appears to have been done, you double the lever arm while keeping it manageable.

    Wulfraed, you are quite right about the need for tension to work the pump to avoid getting pushed out of position. But herein lies the secret. You don’t need the whole body to go rigid, just the muscles needed to keep your skeleton aligned and bearing down on the pump. All the soft tissues of the body can be relaxed. Paradoxically, by tensing up the body, you support your own weight, but by relaxing whatever is not essential you give the weight to the pump. It is a superposition of soft on hard. My only evidence of this is an analogy from martial arts and my own experience doing this when cocking my B30. Whenever, I try just to use arm strength, the effort goes up noticeably. To bad I can’t be there to demonstrate and try this out in person.

    Mike, more data on battle rifle cartridges and full auto. I just saw a very convincing demonstration on YouTube of a guy shooting the SCAR 17 in .308 in full auto with very good control and shooting groups comparable to the M4. Granted one can be fooled by appearances. Apparently both the FAL and the M14 were sold on their full-auto capabilities by demonstrators who were highly trained. When the regular soldiers tried it, they couldn’t get the same results. All the same, this guy I watched looked pretty convincing. The secret to the controllability lies in part with a straight line stock. But the interior also has some kind of recoil buffer mechanism and an especially heavy bolt or receiver which all contribute. I was also interested to see that the report was not especially loud in spite of the 16 inch barrel. I had dismissed this gun because I had thought it was too loud, but not so. Not sure about the reason why. You would think that the muzzle break would contribute to loudness. There are still some reported problems with the gun. The charging handle is not positioned right and catches the hand. The folding buttstock feels flimsy and unstable, and there are odd FTF here and there. And there’s the $3000 price tag. I’m still going with the M1A platform, but the SCAR has moved up in my estimation.

    J-F, I can tell you who made Tolkien’s rings of power. The elves made their three rings under the guidance of Sauron. In fact, they discovered his true identity while he was chanting incantations over his One Ring, so they hid their three rings and didn’t use them, neutralizing their power. I’m not sure who made the seven rings of the dwarves, but they turned out not to be successful. Apparently, the dwarves were so stubborn that all the rings could do was make them greedier for gold which, considering how greedy they already were, was not much. The only real successes were the nine rings for men which created the ring wraiths.

    I saw another application of the ring symbolism. Apparently you cannot wield the One Ring without a great deal of willpower. So it is with airguns. When your willpower collapses, like mine did last night in not having the courage to take the first shot and failing to assert the follow-through, your ring will just not perform.

    Matt61

    • Mike Says:

      The SCAR is a good choice………for semi-auto. It is expensive. My HK-91 was $400.00 when I bought it in 1984. Mags for it a the gun shows last year were still only $4.00. I’ll stand by my comment that full auto just isn’t very useful in a hand held rifle in 7.62 NATO. Even if you can learn to control it you will soon run out of ammo.

      Mike

      • Wulfraed Says:

        I’m envious — I paid around $680 for my HK-91 (and $25 for the sight adjustment screwdriver — forget what the second 20rd magazine and one 5rd magazine cost me).

        The HK-91 is the only reason my extra NRA insurance now has a “listed” item on it… Between BlueBook and RedBook the HK-91 with accessories hit the $2500 limit for unlisted.

        Wish I had the bipod (and was the bayonet also available?).

        I’ve only fired 50 rounds through it the summer I bought it. A few years later the PRCa wanted finger prints for it, and I essentially never took it from the gun cabinet since (okay, sometimes to dust it off and photograph it, and to move to MI). Actually bought a Browning A-Bolt II Varmint with BOSS — on the excuse that I had a few cartons of ammo from the HK-91 to use up!

  • Desertdweller Says:

    If effort is the big consideration on an air pump, it could be driven by a racheted lever attached to reduction gear mechanism. These are common in heavy industrial applications. But you would have to do an awful lot of pumping, however easy, to compress that air. Maybe a hand-driven crank would be easier.

    This, to me, is an even bigger reason to avoid PCP guns than the price. The need for either compressor equipment or a scuba tank is a real turn-off. I think guns should be self-contained, especially if carried in the field.

    Les

    • kevin Says:

      Les,

      The pinnacle of my airgun hobby is an accurate, smooth shooting, easy cocking springer with a good trigger. Self contained.

      I have a few pcp’s and two 44 cf carbon fiber tanks. My buddy fills them with his shoebox. Takes less than a minute to fill even my large capacity pcp tubes. When I need to reach out and touch something with authority I pick up a pcp.

      I need both of these tools.

      I’m not trying to sell you a pcp but feel compelled to ask, have you ever shot an accurate pcp with a good trigger?

      kevin

      • Desertdweller Says:

        No, Kevin.

        I’ve never shot a PCP of any sort.

        I do have several multi-pump pneumatics, and I understand their lack of recoil compared to springers (they are easier to shoot accurately). I prefer to shoot my springers, as the challenge to make good shots is fun.

        I also have several CO2 pistols. Notoriously inaccurate, but fun to shoot. The one with a rifled barrel shots pellets and is more accurate. A CO2 rifle would probably be most like a PCP gun.

        Les

        • Wulfraed Says:

          I’d consider your multipump pneumatic to be closer to a PCP…

          The trade-off is between expending all the pumping effort first to fill a reservoir and then doing a series of shots vs having to do ~7 pump strokes per shot. When I did a “burn down” test of my .177 Marauder, I managed 60 shots between 3000PSI and 2000PSI — chronographed. When evaluating the velocity/pressure curve, I concluded the factory settings supported 35 shots starting at 2700PSI and ending at 2200PSI.

          The size of the Marauder reservoir is such that the AirForce pump I used (with a coupling adapter) takes ~10 strokes per 100PSI… So… from 2200PSI it should take about 50 pump strokes to get back to the 2700PSI starting point. Lets round it off — two strokes of the pump per shot, and 35 usable shots

          Lets take that multi-pump… 7 strokes per shot, 35 shots… That’s 245 pump strokes — admittedly smaller with less air each, but still… I think I’d rather spend a half hour pumping and recovering, and then have a nice relaxed shooting session… The multi-pump, by the time you’re nearing the end of the 35 shot string, is going to feel like running a winter biathlon, I think…

          Someday this year I hope to run a “burn down” with the Condor (at at least three power settings, and with both full and micro-meter tanks), and the Crosman Silhouette pistol… And only THEN might consider trying to adjust the Silhouette and Marauder (each having both striker pre-load as with the AirForce guns, but also striker travel adjustments, and the Marauder, as I recall, also having an adjustable transfer port obstruction){Someone really needs to write a good book tuning PCPs covering the combinations of adjustments some have}

        • kevin Says:

          Les,

          I don’t have a lot of experience with MSP’s (Multi-Stroke-Pnuematics). I’ve owned some sheridans, benjamins and a titan mohawk. With the exception of the titan mohawk that had an upgraded match trigger most msp’s I’ve shot lack decent triggers.

          I don’t have much experience with co2 guns since in my Colorado climate they don’t perform well for my uses. I’ve only owned a dozen or so co2 guns. Still have an ld, a qb and a custom carbine made by pacific that can also be filled with high pressure air.

          Based on my limited experience I think msp’s are more like pcp’s than co2.

          I understand your affinity for the challenge (difficulty) of shooting a springer accurately. A pcp can be boring if you’re only interested in hitting what you aim at.

          The real point of my question, “Have you ever shot an accurate pcp with a good trigger?” was that until I shot an accurate pcp with a good trigger I was also hung up on fill equipment (extraneous crap to buy then lug around), need for a chronograph, need to learn about bell curves, etc. I talked myself out of entering the wonderful dimension of airgunning which is shooting pcp’s for too long. Once you shoot an accurate pcp with a good trigger at 50-100 yards you’ll find a way that works for you to fill the gun with air.

          kevin

    • john Says:

      Depends on the gun and the purpose. I have a condor and a benjamin air pump. Getting the thing to 3000 psi is a real pain in the backside but it seriously pays off in accuracy and power. I don’t mind carrying a pump with me if I’m doing some target shooting instead of hunting. If i can get an easier pump to fill that beast I’ll be a happy guy. I’d suggest you try out a benjamin discovery. They are relatively inexpensive, fairly powerful and very accurate. Once you go pcp, you won’t want to go back to anything else.

  • jeff Says:

    very very interested in the umarex fusion . any idea how long till you can post a review on it ?
    BTW , how ling till you get the accuracy test of the low velocity .177 titan up ? hopefully you’ve got a droop mount for it already .

    thanks :)

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Feff,

      Kevin is sending me a scope stop pin that will solve several drooper problems. I will test the new Fusion as soon as it becomes available.

      B.B.

  • Bradly Says:

    I like the look/idea of the new Benjamin pump. Is there any hint on how much more it would cost than the older Benjamin pump? Also, would putting an adapter on my compressor in my garage and putting a Disco on it to prefill it help much? I know my compressor is only 125 psi, but I was just wondering if it would reduce pumping much to have that much volume prefilled. Thanks as always BB for all you great reviews/info.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Bradly,

      Crosman hasn’t said anything about the possible price of the new pump, but just by looking at it I can guess that it’s going to cost more than the current one. It is twice as large and heavy and has some much more in it that I would not be surprised to see a price jump of 175 percent over the current pump.

      Filling with as shop compressor doesn’t really get you much. 125 psi of air is such a trifle that it doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things. Plus, once you fill the Discovery the first time you will never let it go below about 1,000 psi ever again. So you actually couldn’t put any air into it after that point.

      B.B.

  • Kevin Wilmeth Says:

    Okay, I know this is an old post, and I’m amazed I missed it the first time around. But the idea of that Leapers 3-9 scout scope just leaps off the freakin’ page at me. Is there any update or further details on that glass? I didn’t have much luck with a cursory search at the Leapers website, but if the design exists and the quality and durability are there, that may be something I have to acquire…

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Kevin,

      Leapers just announced it, yesterday. It is finally here!

      B.B.

      • Kevin Wilmeth Says:

        Man, that just made my day. Thanks, B.B.

      • Kevin Wilmeth Says:

        On the Leapers website I now see a 2-7x glass that sounds much like what you saw (a 32′ – 10′ FoV on a 2-7x glass is indeed significant for a scout scope), and with MSRP suggested at two bills, this will have to get tried out! Would you happen to know if PA is planning to carry that? I’d love to give them the business, when the time comes…

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Kevin,

          That is the new scope I mentioned. Now, can you help me justify it to Pyramyd Air?

          What airgun needs a scope like this? I see plenty of firearm applications, but none for airguns.

          B.B.

          • Kevin Wilmeth Says:

            I am certainly willing to try, B.B. Ultimately, I cannot speak to anyone’s desires or preferences but my own; the most appropriate Homeric epithet for me may well be “ademographic Kevin”. However, I would certainly think that I am not the only Jeff Cooper aficionado out there who has discovered (or who will soon discover) airguns. I know I am motivated to practice a lot more than I can afford to, with firearms (even .22s, these days), and I am looking for a serious, long-term relationship with airguns as a result.

            Here’s the thing about people who use intermediate eye-relief scopes: folks who really understand that system of rifle sighting, tend to be ravenous about it. To the extent I can count myself as an example of that phenomenon, you notice this when you see that the only glass I actually own, personally, is the Leupold 2.5x scout scope. It’s on every rifle I have that wears glass. I even went so far as to modify a Ruger No. 1 with a custom forward mount, just to keep the consistency in my system. (Along with a Ching Sling, barrel cut to 19″, and a 12.5″ length of pull, that piece turned into a magnificent “mountain rifle”; what is especially conspicuous about it is how friendly it is to loading the next shot from the butt-cuff, with the glass completely out of the way of the breech. I can run that gun faster than most folks run a bolt rifle.)

            So: I would certainly think that if this Leapers glass is everything it promises to be (but for the weight–sheesh!–it would seem to be nearly a dream come true) that anyone like me who would buy one, would not buy just one.

            How does this translate into airguns? Well, again, I can certainly speak for myself, and I’d think there are a few obvious uses, as well as a few unconventional ones. For anyone supplementing their firearm training, having an Airsoft rifle set up the same way as the firearm is key; for me, the immediate interest would be as follows:

            - Airsoft bolt rifle (I suspect that mounting options would be similar to those for firearms).
            - Airsoft M14-pattern rifle (the SOCOM-16 designs have a well-placed forward mounting base).
            - Airsoft AR-pattern rifle (any full-rail flattop should serve well for mounting).
            - Airsoft lever rifle (there seems to be a conspicuous hole in the market here–the only Airsoft lever I see at PA is a copy of the Winchester 1892 which is not friendly to forward mounting options, but a copy of the 1895 Marlin, with its flattop receiver, would permit mounting options similar to bolt rifles)

            Other potential Airsoft fits might be:

            - AK variants with a mounting rail between chamber and gas block (there seem to be a few of these)
            - Other “evil black rifles” with top mounting rails (e.g., SIG 556, HK 416, FN SCAR, etc.)

            Among BB and pellet rifles, I would also think that there would be a couple of immediate fits:

            - The Benjamin 392 and 397 guns would seem to be great homes for an intermediate eye relief scope. The “intermount” system should make optimizing the location pretty friendly, and with the glass forward, the breech should be conspicuously more accessible for loading.
            - Any AR-pattern guns that would permit the mounting location (i.e., multi-pumps rather than breakbarrels) on that top rail.

            And, perhaps some unconventional fits to consider:

            - Would the Benjamin Discovery be able to use the “intermount” system as well, or is that geometry too different? I would think that a forward glass on a Disco would be very nice for single-loading pellets.
            - I’d think that it would be worth looking at mounting options for the Marauder, both rifle and pistol. For anyone who is happy with the 2-7x magnification range (I know some want more), the extra eye relief and improved access to the loading mechanism would seem to be very nice benefits. (And on a purely aesthetic note, to my eye at least, I think that P-rod, with carbine buttstock, would be downright handsome with the glass-forward look.)
            - The AirForce mounting system would seem to be friendly enough, given appropriate risers to get the glass to the right height. (I haven’t looked into that seriously yet, but would be interested as AirForce guns are certainly on my long-term list.)

            ____________________
            Those are a few thoughts. More may occur. I still think the forward glass is the way to go, unless you have a compelling reason to avoid it (most notably, an action type that does not permit it, such as an airgun breakbarrel). Especially at low power, the binocular use of the scope is amazingly fast, and with Leapers’ promise of a field of view and light-gathering more like a conventional eye-relief scope, much of the functional disadvantage of the scout scope goes away.

            Can you tell I’m really tickled by this idea? :-)

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              Kevin,

              Well, you certainly gave me what I asked for. I have forward this to Edith and to Pyramyd Air management. They will make the decision.

              Thanks,

              B.B.

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              Kevin,

              Pyramyd Air agrees with you and tells me they will be stocking this scope.

              B.B.

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