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Education / Training SHOT Show 2008 – Part 2

SHOT Show 2008 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

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!

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.

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.

47 thoughts on “SHOT Show 2008 – Part 2”

  1. B.B.–Scott 298 reporting in, glad you had a great time at the show. Question for you-I’ve noticed a new group of rws 350’s on pyramyd’s blog. Are they the same gun only with different stocks or are there internal modifications as well? I have a report coming out shortly concerning Umarex. I am in contact with them as we speak and depending on the outcome is it will have great weight on what I have to report. Say hello to your wife for me -keep the reports coming-Thanks, Scott Herlihy

  2. B.B.,
    Lots of interesting tid bits of info in this blog.

    Beeman 1000H… is still holding my interest. Loved the rifle it looked great and felt great in my hands. Checked the O-ring on the one I had and that was not the problem. In fact after the 22 result were found to be bad the 177 was remounted and tested again. Results were about the same as the prior test.

    Beeman Falcon 8-shot PCP… excuse me while I wipe away the drool. Sounds like the Discovery only better. Price and accuracy will define the final sales results. Hope you find time to review that one soon.

    Have a belated item to add to the wish list to be provided to the airgun designers. Would like to see a PCP semi-auto rifle with blow back in 22-cal. Six or eight shot clip is fine. Just need the blowback to improve trigger pull. My thinking is if could deliver 15 or 20 good shots per charge that would be enough for a small game hunt. Is this technically possible or just one of my pipe dreams?

    Thanks for the info,

  3. This is way off topic but it got me a little excited. I seen a golf ball sized leaf just sitting in the middle of my snow covered yard, that I just had to see if I could hit from the house. My range finder said that it was about 75 yards away, so I decided to use my Genesis instead of my multi pump. The lead pellets that I normally use grouped surprising well but were all short of the target. I decided to switch to Gamo Raptors, I don’t like them but they are supposed to offer longer range. The first shot was just to get a bearing, and the next 3 all went through the leaf.

    I know it’s only a leaf but the point is that I was able to hit a small target at long range with a lousy rifle and ammo multiple times. Actually, all shots grouped better at 75 yards than they normally do at 10 meters. It’s probably a short range parallax problem.


  4. BB – did Baikal have a booth set up? I’m curious as to when they’re coming out with the new version of the Drozd. According to their website it’ll take 12 and 88 gram CO2, as well as pre-charged air.

  5. Airdog,

    EAA represents IZH in the U.S.

    The all-black Airsource Drozd was there, but I was told it will not be in for many months – no reason given.

    You must take the IZH website with a grain of salt. They often show guns that are conceptual. Also, EAA may not decide to import them.


  6. Marduke,

    It was noisy around your booth at SHOT, so I’m glad to be able to listen to the test! I’m going to recommend this product to Pyramyd AIR for a test-run. At the retail I was given at SHOT, ($76 for the 200+ lumens model) it should sell well. If that was a wholesale number, then the retail will be much higher and it may not sell as well.

    I was very impressed with both the brightness and the crush test.


  7. DB,

    The Beeman Falcon R will be priced above $1,300.

    FX makes two semiauto PCPs. They had reliability problems when they first came out, but I think they are working well now. They cost $1450-1800, and get more than your 12-15 shots.


  8. B.B.,
    Too bad for me about the price of the Falcon R. Sounded like a lot of fun… but it is a bit out of my price range for a small bore airgun.

    Back to the Discovery in 22. But that is OK it seems like it will do just fine for small game and general slow fire plinking.

    Will just have to have something else for the rapid fire fun. Maybe a 1077 or something like that in CO2. Only good for warm days but what the heck.

    Thanks for the previews,

  9. Hi BB,

    I was given a Hammerli X2 from a family member. As you know it has interchangeable .177/.22 barrels. I really like it too. Seems pretty powerful and plenty accurate.

    Here is my question. When I fire the thing in .177 mode, it cracks like a firearm. Perhaps this is dieseling, perhaps supersonic. I just don’t know. It doesn’t happen everytime and never with the .22. Is this dieseling? And why does it occur intermittently? Can it damage the gun?

    I read your post on combustion and damaging and since this rifle is so close to the sound barrier I just didn’t know.

    Let me know if you have any thoughts. For now, I will keep in in .22 mode (with no crack), but I sure like the .177 mode and would prefer to fire with that barrel.



  10. Craig,

    If the pellet is going supersonic, you’ll get a high percentage of cracks. Even if you are right at the barrier.

    What you probably have is detonation, a bad form of dieseling. A silicone chamber oil through the transfer port usually takes care of that.


  11. CF-X guy,

    Pyramyd AIR has been having trouble getting Weihrauch airguns. They are not reordering when the guns sell out. They still stock Beeman HW guns, however, and the Beeman HW 97 Mark III is available.



  12. Did PA remove the country of origin next to their manufacturing lists? Will we see the country of where and individual airgun is made or Length of Pull descriptions etc…like AirgunExpress.com used to have?

    Are the Discovery AR in the .177 cal. shipping now? I ordered one in a .22 for hunting and see 3/8/08. I’m glad to see an american made pcp with a wood stock that I can afford. The Uk shooters have been asking a lot questions and can’t believe the price. Perhaps it will give the BSA Lightning a good run for the money.

    Seem’s like you need a crossreference guide to tell what airgun you are actually getting and nowdays.

    Is it just Gamousa that changed hands or was it Gamo as a whole?

    Too bad about the weihrauchs…well some will live on through Beeman.

    Keep up the great work. I think you, like Beeman, has done a great job keeping airguns alive because of your genuine interest in the sport.

  13. ajvenom,

    Are you using the model assistant specifications, located on the left side of the page for every individual airgun? The model specifications are given there. Length of pull and country of origin are not given.

    The Benjamin Discovery is shipping in both calibers, but the shipments have been small. I imagine there are many backorders, because Crosman is paying a lot of attention to the first rifles they ship. They want to get the line running well before they turn up production to full capacity.

    The entire company, Gamo, was purchased by a Spanish-based company. Gamo USA was a small part of the deal, in which 80 percent of the ownership was transferred for 70 million Euro. Going by price, alone, that makes Gamo the second-largest airgun manufacturer in the world, after Crosman.


  14. LOL…I bought a crosman 2100 to replace my 766 I sold when I was a kid. Missed it ever since.

    I’ve spent about 2 years reading everything I could find on airguns and have now have several airguns that I shoot. Few I bought from PA and a couple used because I just couldn’t find what I wanted in the local stores or they are discontinued.

    It’s a very hard addiction to quit. It’s nice to know that I am not the only one.

    I just want to say thanks to everyone who has contributed to this blog.


  15. B.B.

    My R7 double gold will arrive today. It is for my daughter’s 11th birthday. I was originally looking at the HW30 and R7. Placed a order for the R7 then I seen a R7 double gold and was in the panic mode. Had to cancel my order before the order went through and reorder. My only regret is that I won’t get to check out those iron sights, even though I altimetly plan on scoping it.

    My question is, when it comes in do you think I should gift wrap it?

  16. BB,

    The Falcon Trophy looks interesting. Do you have an idea what the price will be?

    Thanks for the info on flashlights! It is hard to find good ones for a reasonable price. The best deal I’ve found is the K2 LED HEAD LIGHT by River Rock for $25 (sold at Target stores, not online). It has a 3 watt LED, puts out 85 lumens and runs on three AA batteries. The Rayovac brand of this light was at Costco for about $16, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore.

    .22 mutli-shot

  17. BB,

    Yikes! And I assume that is without a pump.

    $600 is definitely not entry level for me – I’ll stick with the Benjamin Discovery on my wish list.

    .22 multi-shot

  18. BB,

    I wish to comment on the problems you had with the Beeman 1000H. I loved the gun and the two caliber concept, but had the very same problems with my Beeman Silver SS1000T and returned it for a refund. I loved the rifle so much that when I saw a wood stocked/blued model at Wal Mart for $125 I bought it. Guess what? Yep! SAME PROBLEM! So back to Wal Mart it went! AND I now have the SAME problem with a Tech Force 9722! Common denominator? All chinese made guns! A Beeman tech told me these are leather seals and that may be the problem. He told me to make sure they were well oiled. I put several drops of Beeman chamber oil in it and the velocity returned to normal for about 10 rounds then yo-yoed between normal and sub 350 fps. Repeated the oil and same results. Normal for about 10 rounds. I repeated this experiment about 4 times with same results each time!

    Breech seal fell out? Bah! You would notice that very quickly and mine didn’t fall out!

    I feel the problem may be a bad seal or spring. Now I am soured on chinese guns! Not only did I have problems with these three guns but also had a new Tech Force TF7922TH which developed leaky seals in less than 400 rounds! And a TF 35 pistol which couldn’t hit the side of a barn from inside! All chinese guns and all nightmares. I have spent more in shipping than the cost of a new gun!

    Any thoughts BB?

  19. pcp4me,

    Well, that’s what can happen with Chinese guns. I’ll get this one fixed and we’ll go from there.

    At one time very early in my writing career (1994) I actually refused to test Chinese airguns because I thought they were all crap. Then I got bullied into it because people said, “But look at all you get for so little money!”

    But Chinese airguns have gotten better over the years. There are some now that can kick some European butt, they are so good.

    However, you have to do what you feel comfortable with.


  20. BB,

    An update on the Beeman dual caliber problems and the TF9722. I talked to a Compasseco tech yesterday about the 9722 and he told me they had leather seals as do the Beeman chinese guns!

    He said don’t use Beeman chamber oil but rather vegetable oil or neatsfoot oil and allow plenty of time to soak the seal.

    I don’t have either of the Beeman guns but tried it on the TF9722.

    The first shot dieseled and gave 785fps. They soon settled to 600 fps with the RWS hobby and stayed there for about 25 shots then started yo-yoing between 600fps and -350fps.

    So if you put a drop or two of vegetable oil in the chamber every 20 shots and let it sit 10 min these guns are shootable. Or you could just send it back for a refund like I will.

    IMHO the only reliable way to make the Beemans perform reliably is to install a Jim McCari spring and a new piston with a synthetic seal!

    Oh, and the burning vegetable oil stinks!

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