IWA 2006: Europe’s SHOT Show! – Part two

Dear readers, yesterday and today I’ve turned over the blog to Tom Gaylord, who has a report on the German IWA trade show. – B.B.

by Tom Gaylord

Joshua told me some of you are interested in the Brocock Air Cartridges System (BACS) and the guns that shoot them. The word on the street was that these cartridges were gone forever, taken away by British legislation. That does not turn out to be the case. At IWA, I learned that Brocock will still make BACS, the special pumps and the support equipment to fill and repair the cartridges. It is my understanding that Pyramyd Air will be stocking these items as soon as they become available.

Brocock’s Air Cartridge System is making a comeback!

The BACS are still being supported by a network of dedicated hobbyists in Europe, but Brocock has resumed manufacture and and intends to resume distribution as soon as possible. British laws make it impossible to produce the cartridges there, but the company is assembling the network necessary to make and sell the cartridges in other countries. As soon as these details are worked out, it seems reasonable to assume that the guns that use them will follow.

A rare moment when the Ukrainian shooting gallery was relatively uncrowded!

While walking down one aisle, I was impressed that there was always a crowd in front of one booth. It turned out to be a shooting gallery from the Ukraine – with several important differences. First, although it was computer-driven and scored, the backstop is strong enough to stop a rifle bullet. So you can shoot with airsoft guns, as the visitors at IWA were doing, or you could use a full-power 9mm pistol or even a 7.62 rifle for tactical training – all on the same system. I watched as the software projected thrown targets that the shooter had to engage before they hit the ground. The score was announced verbally in whatever language the shooter selected.

Joshua was very intrigued by this amazing gallery, and I believe he intend to explore the possibility of bringing one or more into the country. It runs on a regular PC, so the equipment costs are lower than comparable training galleries displayed at the show – about one-tenth the cost as it turns out!

When IWA closed, Walther took many invited guests down to Ulm to tour their new automated plant and to help them celebrate their 120th year of operation. We toured the new plant and were shown the step-by-step operations of transforming raw steel into a P99 pistol. I was surprised by the number of individual inspections the parts and pistols must pass and also by the fact that all final finishing is done by hand. The shop is laid out so the parts progress linearly as they are fabricated and assembled, with the final stop being proofing and function-firing.

Walther CNC machines carve an airgun receiver from a single block of aluminum. Cutaway is fully assembled. Black areas are the receiver.

Final human touches before the guns go out for finishing!

Our final stop in the plant tour was the new Walther museum, which displays representative products from both their airgun and firearm heritage. It was torture for 75 gun fanatics to be rushed through Walther Nirvana so fast!

At Walther, they leave no doubt who their favorite salesman is!

That evening, Walther hosted a gala celebration dinner for about 350 guests. It was an evening of fine food, entertainment and speeches. The president of the National Rifle Association, Sandra Froman, told the audience how much America appreciates the Walther tradition. This is significant to airgunners because Ms. Froman has long supported the airgun movement, and even has an air pistol of her own!

The IWA show and Walther anniversary celebration were bright spots in my airgunning life, and I’ll never forget them. I have resolved to return to IWA as often as possible, because I believe it is as important as the SHOT Show, if not more so. My thanks to B.B. Pelletier and to Pyramyd Air for giving me the time and space to address you on this blog! Stay tuned!

21 thoughts on “IWA 2006: Europe’s SHOT Show! – Part two”

  1. I understand Gamo is about to bring out a .22 smoothbore air shotgun and shells. Can’t wait to get a look at one of those. Oughta be just the thing for those yard quail (grasshoppers) and barn tigers (mice).

  2. Denny,

    Yes, they showed the new air shotgun at the SHOT Show in February. It’s a springer, so it can’t be too powerful, but perfect for grasshoppers and mice.

    The Gamo marketing VP told me it would be good for squirrels! I guess he’s never hunted them.

    Anyhow, it should prove to be an interesting airgun.


  3. BB,

    I am going to buy a air pistol.Im choosing between the crosman 357 kit or the walther cp-88 with compensator.Wich one is better?Tell me what you think and the price factor does not count.

    CF-X guy

  4. Target shooters,

    The glove is to protect the hand when it’s jammed into the hand stop on the stock and the sling cuts off the circulation. The coat is to bind the shooter and help him get into a more rigid position.

    Which is why I shoot target pistol, where the only equipment is a pair of shooting glasses.


  5. CF-X guy,

    Power with the 8-inch barrel will be better with the 357. Accuracy will be a wash. Trigger goes to the CP-88.

    Here is the big difference between the guns – the CP88 feels more realistic. The 357 is a lot of gun for the money.


  6. my crosman 357 8 inch can’t hit anything further than 10 ft away, yes I’ve adjusted the sights and done all the things that are suggested but it still does it. now on the otherhand the Gamo M8 revolver I have puts lead where you point it.

    “Ejection depends on the design of the action – not the cartridge. No BACS that I know of is self-ejecting because non operates in a semiautomatic airgun.”

    I know that it depends on the design of the action but I’ve never seen a airgun that uses shells to hold a pellet, I assumed it was simillar to the shell ejecting gas airsoft guns in that the shell was an attempt to make the rifle more realistic while at the same time creating a faster reload rate.

    speaking of the shell system, wouldn’t it be cool in a bolt action design with a detachable magazine

  7. BACS guy,

    They do have such guns! Not many of them, I admit, but I have seen a bolt-action BACS rifle, and the Winchester 1873 was actually a very popular air cartridge gun.

    I have not seen the detachable magazine, however.

    And the BACS isn’t quite the same as the green gas air cartridges in airsoft. They use all the air to power the pellet in a BACS.


  8. BB,

    It would be great if something like the back drop material of the computer shooting sim. could be affordably made for a backstop “blanket” in case of a pellet trap miss. The material could be enginered down, since it would only need to stop a projectile at rimfire power levels(for the most powerful air rifles), and need not display graphics. I think many backyard shooters would find such a material a welcomed addition to their home ranges! I would.


  9. Jason

    I acquired some blast blankets from the Army, they are designed to stop shrapnel. They are a little heavy, but they will make a great backstop. Each one is 6’ x 3’ and they easily lace together, overlapping so as to leave no gap for pellets to get through. They can be hung over a fence or folded up when you don’t want a range in your back yard. I don’t know how many foot-pounds they are good for. I will test them when I get home, but the ones I have did a great job of stopping shrapnel from an IED Improvised Explosive Device. Maybe you want to check your local Army Surplus store.


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