2017 SHOT Show: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

  • Umarex USA
  • The Hammer
  • .50 caliber
  • Repeater
  • 4500 psi
  • Absolute zero
  • Second Zero
  • MP 40 BB gun
  • Umarex Forge
  • Trevox and Strike Point
  • Optical Dynamics flashlights
  • Still not finished

Before we begin I want to tell you about a blog series I will start this week. I have the new Air Venturi air compressor on hand and I used it for the first time yesterday. It works so well that I’m jumping the line to get the report started. You can expect to start reading about it this week.

The 2017 SHOT Show was the biggest show I have ever experienced for airguns. Some manufacturers like Crosman and Umarex brought out many new gun models and related products that are really different. Others brought out only one of two items, like the Gamo Swarm Maxim, but they are so significantly different that they deserve to be recognized. My work is cut out for me this year!

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Methods of power adjustment — pneumatics: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Pneumatics
  • Single stroke pneumatics
  • Multi-pump pneumatics
  • Precharged pneumatics
  • Short history of PCPs
  • Barrel length
  • Projectile weight
  • Barrel length and projectile weight together
  • Airflow
  • Springs
  • Valve stem travel
  • Valve angle and contact area
  • What’s the ideal?

This is the second part of a report on the methods of adjusting power in an airgun. Reader Riki asked for the report, and a number of other readers seconded his request. I wasn’t planning to also delve into CO2 guns, but several readers asked for that, and I will get to that in a different report. Today we look at pneumatics.

Pneumatics

A pneumatic airgun is one that uses compressed air to power the pellet. While a spring gun also uses compressed air, it is the method of compression that sets it apart from the pneumatics. In spring guns, a piston moves to compress the air at the instant of firing, where in pneumatics, the air is stored inside in a compressed state, waiting for the trigger to release some or all of it.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

  • TexanSS
  • Silenced?
  • New BKL mount
  • Gamo
  • Leapers
  • New 3-12X32 Bugbuster
  • T4 Tactical Compact Prismatic scope
  • The incredible shrinking dot sight!
  • Defense LED Light
  • Steel scope rings
  • More from Air Venturi

TexanSS

Here we go, starting at the AirForce booth, where the big news was the TexanSS, That’s right, kids, AirForce is giving us a silenced big bore!

Silenced?

Can you silence a big bore airgun? Maybe, but not in a package that’s small enough to hunt with. What you can do is reduce the report to the point that it becomes more manageable in a built-up area, and that is what has been done.

TexanSS
AirForce representative, Keeva Segal, holds the new Texan SS.

The TexanSS is an entirely new air rifle. The first offering will be in .45 caliber, but other calibers are sure to follow. The barrel length is 24.75-inches to fit inside the shroud. A shorter barrel means less velocity, and the rifle develops up to 400 foot-pounds, compared to the 500 foot-pounds of the unsilenced Texan that carries the title, “The world’s most powerful production air rifle.” You trade almost a foot of barrel for the quieter operation and still get more power than many big bores can offer.

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2017 SHOT Show: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

  • Crosman
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Marauder Field & Target
  • Adjustable regulator?
  • 1875 Remington revolver
  • Best for last
  • Whew!

Crosman

Let’s continue with our look at the new airguns and things at the 2017 SHOT Show. We will begin with Crosman. While I was gawking at the guns, Jesse Caster from Crosman came up and showed me everything you are about to see.

Benjamin Wildfire

The first thing I did was examine the new Benjamin Wildfire rifle. Based on the famous Crosman 1077 that is itself a copy of Ruger’s iconic 10/22 rifle, the Wildfire feels just as light as the CO2-powered rifle. I was hoping it would.

Benjamin Wildfire
New Benjamin Wildfire looks very similar to a 1077. The biggest difference is the longer reservoir.

That tells me that the trigger will feel the same. The 1077 trigger both cocks and releases the striker and advanced the 12-shot circular magazine to the next chamber. That’s why I keep insisting it’s a double-action revolver. The feel of the trigger is exactly the same as that of a double action revolver.

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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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Air Arms Galahad: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Galahad
Air Arms Galahad PCP in walnut is a striking looking air rifle!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • It’s a wrap
  • Constraining the possibilities
  • Filling the rifle
  • Test 1 — JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy 18.13 grains
  • Test 2 — H&N Baracuda Match pellets 21.14 grains at medium power
  • Test 3 — H&N Baracuda Match pellets 21.14 grains at high power
  • Test 4 — Dae Sung pellets 28.6 grains
  • Test 5 — JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy on power setting 3
  • Conclusion

It’s a wrap

I’ll wrap up the velocity testing of the Air Arms Galahad PCP today. This is when we find out how well it handles longer pellets. That’s always a concern when a rotary magazine is involved.

Heavier pellets are usually longer pellets, and weight is what generates energy in a pneumatic. PCPs are most effective with heavy pellets. To get the most power from this airgun you’ll want to shoot the heaviest pellet you can — as long as it is also accurate.

Tyler Patner from Pyramyd Air also told me that the Galahad does well with JSB pellets. I wanted to try them anyway because I felt they would be very accurate, but Tyler added that the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy dome is also very consistent. He said his testing revealed a maximum spread of 15 f.p.s. over 60 shots for this pellet when the rifle was set on power level 3 — if he remembered correctly.

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