2017 SHOT Show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

  • Air Venturi
  • Lil Duke
  • New Air Bolts
  • Hatsan
  • Semiautomatics
  • Big Bore Carnivore
  • Sun Optics compressor
  • The year of the airgun

Air Venturi

This was the first actual day of the SHOT Show, and the crowd was excited! I stopped at the Air Venturi booth first, so let’s see what’s there.

Lil Duke

First up was the Lil’ Duke BB gun. As you can see, it’s styled after the model 92 Winchester John Wayne carried in a number of his most famous movies, including True Grit. This is the one he fills his hand with.

Lil' Duke
The Lil Duke is bound to become a favorite.

The John Wayne airguns have been quite successful for Air Venturi. They had a second booth upstairs this year where they showed a number of their other John Wayne handguns, including a 1911 that Wayne probably carried in the Sands of Iwo Jima!

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

  • What I saw at Sig
  • What I didn’t see
  • Bucket list
  • Industry Day at the Range
  • Gauntlet
  • Havox
  • Gamo Swarm Maxim
  • Coyote Urban
  • There is more

Inn this report I will cover airguns I saw at Sig Range Day on Sunday, Jan. 15 and at Media Day at the Range on Monday, Jan. 16.

What I saw at Sig

Sig has been breaking into airguns over the past several years. This year they brought out the Max Michel 1911 that I tested for you back in November and December, plus they have now added the Sig P320 ASP pellet pistol. The 320 is unique in 2 ways. First, it has a 30-shot belt-fed magazine, so there are lots of shots on board. We haven’t seen a pistol with a belt-fed mag since Anics walked off the scene, years ago. This one is very slim, too.

The other nice feature is the trigger pull. Though it is a long pull, it is 2-stage and incredibly light. Yours truly was able to nail targets with this gun at respectable distances.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • What’s coming
  • Let’s get started
  • MP 40
  • Remington 1875
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Umarex ARX ammo
  • Umarex Hammer
  • Umarex Gauntlet
  • A shrouded Texan?
  • Other new things

Well, it’s that time again. Here I am at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This year will be the biggest one yet for new airguns. And when I say new, I mean really new designs. I’m not interested in a re-skinned gun that’s had other names in the past. There is so much stuff that is really new this year that everything else will get shoved to the rear.

What’s coming

Yesterday I was on the range with Sig and today I am out at Industry Day at the Range. That’s an event that allows gun writers to try out various new products at a gun range. Actually, it’s more than 50 ranges, all lined up, one after another, in a line that’s about a third of a mile long! A few years ago they started putting ranges on the other side of the walkway, for guns that don’t shoot as far — like shotguns and airguns.

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Wax on — wax off!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Some basic truths
  • What am I saying?
  • What many do wrong
  • Ready, fire, aim!
  • Back to airgunners
  • Use the sights!
  • The end

Homework assignment. You need to watch the movie, “Karate Kid.” The moral of the movie is to slow down, concentrate and focus power! At least that’s what Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel-san.

Another phrase from WWII is, “Straighten up and fly right.” It pretty much means the same thing.

I almost titled this report, “Why I shoot muzzle loaders,” but I thought that would turn off the very people I was reaching out to today.

Some basic truths

1. When shooting lead bullets in a big borte airgun, always size the bullet at least one-thousandth of an inch larger than the bore. This is the principal reason 9mm big bore airguns are not accurate when shot with 9mm bullets (0.356-inches) but tighten right up when shot with 0.357-inch and even 0.358-inch bullets.

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Why won’t my new air rifle shoot well?

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The barrel
  • AirForce Texan .357
  • Is JB Bore Paste safe in a barrel?
  • Why haven’t we heard of this before?
  • What is the accuracy limit?
  • What about brass barrels?
  • Leather shoes
  • What have we learned?

I have been writing this blog for going on 12 years, and before that I wrote The Airgun Letter newsletter for 9 years. In that time I have talked to thousands of new shooters about the accuracy (or lack of accuracy) of their new airguns. This subject comes up more with rifles than pistols, because when a pistol is inaccurate most people blame themselves. But what I am about to tell you holds true for all guns that have rifled barrels.

Today’s blog was prompted by a new reader who calls himself Geo Johnson. George has an RWS Diana 34 that he is having accuracy problems with. We went through the artillery hold, and since I can’t see him shoot I have to take his word that he is doing it right. It makes all the difference in the world if he is putting any pressure on the stock as the rifle fires, but I will assume he is not. I know that a Diana 34 is a very accurate air rifle, so what else could cause it to not be accurate? Loose screws are a possibility, but they are quickly checked.

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Christmas gifts for the airgunner: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Gifts for $25 and under
  • Gifts for $100 and under
  • Gifts for $250 and under
  • Gifts with no price limit

This guide is to help those who must find Christmas gifts for airgunners. Of course you should check with your airgunner to make sure each gift you select is one they want or can use.

This is the second part of the 2016 gift guide. Be sure to click on the link to Part 1 to see additional gift suggestions.

Gifts for $25 and under


These are the stocking stuffer gifts. Some are considerably less than $25, so check them all.

1. The first recommendation is a jar of JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. This is for cleaning airgun barrels, and your airgunner will need bore brushes to go with it. These are items he probably already has, but check with him before you buy this item. The bore brushes might give you a couple gifts that are related, and I will list them for you next.

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Air Venturi Air Bolt: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Venturi Air Bolts
Air Venturi Air Bolts turn a .50 caliber big bore into an air bow.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Broadhead performance
  • How fast do broadheads fly?
  • Can a broadhead be stopped?
  • How to load broadheads
  • Robin Hood!
  • What about the Wing Shot?
  • Wing Shot accuracy
  • Summary

This is a continuation of the report I started last week. Although it’s titled Part 3, think of it as Part 2, because I’m finishing things I didn’t tell you last week.

Broadhead performance

We looked at the performance of the Air Bolt from Air Venturi with target points. Now let’s see what they do with broadheads. Last week I showed you those lethal points that open as they penetrate the target. When I was researching this report I heard all sorts of claims for them. First, that they penetrate so deeply that no arrow stop in the world can stop one — they will pass right through. Also, they are heavier and will drop a couple inches more as they fly. Also, they are less accurate because they have those razor blades hanging out in the breeze as they fly. And finally they are so sharp that there is no way to attach them to an arrow without a wrench.

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