by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Beeman
The Beeman booth was bursting with new models this year, but before we go there, I asked Don Walker, their service manager, about the 1000H rifle I had problems with. He said he wasn’t aware of any general problem with power loss, but the breech seal, which is a common o-ring, can be prone to fall out on some rifles. When I get home, I’ll check that immediately. Beeman included a spare inside the case, so if that’s the problem I’ll be running again right away. If it’s anything else, I’ll send the rifle to Beeman and Walker promised to tell me what the problem was.

Double Gold guns
These are a family of spring guns that have been carefully hand-assembled and have scopes mounted and sighted-in by the Beeman service staff. I learned that the R9 Goldfinger has always been sighted-in by Beeman, as well. You should be on paper at 10 meters as soon as you take the rifle out of the box. The new Double Gold guns include the R1, RX2, R9 and R7 rifles and the P5 pistol – a new version of the HW70 breakbarrel pistol that has no open sights and looks very sharp!

Falcon
Beeman will be selling Falcon precharged rifles in 2008. The 8-shot Beeman Falcon R was formerly called the Prairie Falcon, and there’s also a new Falcon carbine. Both have Lothar Walther barrels. Neither rifle will have a regulator, according to Falcon director John Cooper, but they have exceptionally well-balanced valves that get a good string of shots within a narrow band of velocity.

There will also be a single-shot Falcon Trophy that will be Beeman’s entry-level PCP. It’s truly ambidextrous and has a bolt that switches easily from right to left sides. All the Falcon rifles will accept Falcon’s match-grade adjustable trigger that must be installed by Beeman.

One final, exciting rifle from Beeman is the new Heavy Target. It’s a derivative of the AR1000 but with a special trigger unit that has been more carefully assembled. The rifle comes without sights but has a 4-12×40 scope mounted, and a price that will vault it into the killer class. Beeman also offers the rifle with a nickel finish and 3-9×40 scope in the Silver Sting model.

Leapers
As usual, Leapers had double-handfuls of new products, the most exciting of which is a new 3-9x Bug Buster! Imagine what you can do with one of those! They also have several new long eye-relief scopes, including a new 2-7x variable. There’s now a whole family of long eye-relief scopes.

Leapers is the company I’m working with on the RWS Diana scope mount base to correct for the scope stop and barrel droop. I spoke with the engineer who’s working on the project, and we feel we have finally gotten the design down. It’s just a question of which prototype we choose for the final production article. By mid-year, we hope to have a foolproof mount for all Diana spring rifles.

Leapers also has some exciting new lasers and flashlights. One is a combination laser/flashlight for tactical pistols that I will test on my new Wilson CQB Light Rail. If it can withstand that, it should work well on any airsoft pistol. The other new item is a green laser that’s many times brighter than current red lasers. I saw the dot indoors at 100 yards.

The final Leapers product is a tactical bag with a single shoulder strap. If the street price is anywhere near the SHOT Show special price, I predict this will be a best-seller! I got one that I plan to use right away. It has more pockets than a magician, and looks like it will carry everything you need for a day trip.

Super-bright flashlights
An item that caught my fancy is a new tactical flashlight that puts out over 200 lumens of light and costs under $100. That level of power can be used to force compliance and give you time to club an intruder with a baseball bat or simply run away. Until now, that level of light cost over $200 and did not come in an aluminum shell that can withstand 20,000 lbs. of crushing pressure. It’s made by Fenix.

In the AE Xenide booth, I saw a 1,500+ lumen light that operates on rechargable batteries and sells for less than $350. Compliance? You can easily force it out to 30 yards.

There was much more to see. I’ll be returning to this report in the future.