SHOT Show 2008 – Part 3

by Tom Gaylord

Part 1
Part 2

Today, I’ll start showing you pictures from the SHOT Show. Now that I’m back on my big computer, I can process photos much easier, plus I’m no longer constrained by slow RV park wireless connections. Thanks to the analysis done by BobC, I was able to correct Monday’s photos so more of you can see them.


On the way to Las Vegas. Just outside Flagstaff, Arizona, we encountered a winter blizzard and had to pull our RV off the road at this rest stop. As it turned out, we were in a canyon and within five miles the snow stopped.


My wife, Edith, and me standing on the observation platform at the rim of Meteor Crater – the most perfectly preserved meteor crater on earth. It’s about one mile to the far side of the crater. The next morning the temperature was a balmy 7 degrees F (-14 C).

After bragging to my wife that Las Vegas is always warm in the winter, we ran smack into one of the coldest winters they had in a long time. The days struggled to make it up into the 50s, and, while those of you in Minnesota and Idaho think that’s warm, I was prepared for temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the day and dropping to the 40s at night! It was butt-cold in our drafty Class A RV, and we had the heater running most of the time. In the afternoon, however, that hot desert sun sent inside temperatures soaring up to 81 degrees, so regulating our living space proved to be a major challenge at this year’s show. I think I’ll go back to hotel rooms, thank you very much!


This classy cased pistol came from Crosman’s Custom Shop. It’s based on the 2300-series pistols, but you can change nearly everything to suit your tastes. The box comes with the gun.

Remember the rumor that Crosman was going to charge $1,000 for their wood-stocked custom 2250? I saw one in their booth at the show, and of course the rumor was wrong. For a handsome skeleton-stocked carbine, the price is in the mid-$200s.

Of course, the Benjamin Discovery was the big news at Crosman this year. From the feedback they received throughout the show, they know they have a hit on their hands. I shot a TV interview about the rifle for one of the cable sportsman’s shows, so some of you may see that soon. I don’t have any details about when or where.

Another big announcement from Crosman is their new archery division. They showed some serious hunting crossbows in their booth, and they tell me they’re getting into archery in a big way this year.


Justin Biddle (right) of Umarex shows me Ruger’s two new offerings. From appearances and a shockingly low price, I know there’ll be some heat on these two.

Umarex USA
I spent a lot of time in the Umarex USA booth – primarily because of all the exciting new models they’re bringing out. I’ve already told you about the Walther Falcon Hunter Edition that’ll be available in .25 caliber and the Walther Talon Magnum that’s an inexpensive 1,200 f.p.s. .177 breakbarrel. The two new Ruger rifles (Air Hawk and Air Hawk Elite) are two more shockers. See that thumbhole I’m holding? That’s the Air Hawk Elite that sells, with scope, for under $180! The rifle JB holds sells for $110!

In this case, the Ruger name won’t be as important as the price. These should be big sellers!


Air Arms biathlon rifle shoots 5-shot clips that are stored in the right side of the forearm.


Promatic electronic target can be timed and reset remotely. Shooters can compete in timed-fire exercises or first one to hit, wins. Air Arms uses them to demonstrate field target to the public.


Air Arms always has interesting targets in their booth. This spinner set looks very inviting for long-range plinkers.

Air Arms
The Air Arms booth was active with growth plans for airgunning here in the U.S. They’re considering offering a challenge to U.S. field target shooters for a field target match at Camp Perry during our national firearms matches. This would be a mirror image of the Irish team challenge that was settled at Creedmore range in the 1870s and gave us our first American long-range rifle team.

That’s it for now. More pictures are on the way!

29 thoughts on “SHOT Show 2008 – Part 3”

  1. SIG pistol,

    I know very little about these pistols except they are BB pistols (steel, not airsoft), and they are made by CyberGun – the airsoft maker.

    According to the specifications on the Pyramyd Air website, they hold 23 BBs, so that implies a stick magazine – not an 8-round clip.

    Besides that they are powered by CO2.

    That’s all I know.

    You might want to look at the online manual to learn more.


  2. Hi Tom. It looks like I’ll have to take in one of these major gun shows someday–except for the RV part.

    I’m curious to see that the offerings of major firearms manufacturers in airguns don’t seem to have much success. I haven’t heard many good things about the Remington rifles. And when I was starting out in a state of total ignorance, I picked out a Winchester rifle from the Cabelas catalogue–I think the model number was 10SSB or something like that–as the rifle I wanted and that gun is certainly not on the radar. You would think that the firearms expertise would carry over easily but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I would be interested if people have other impressions of this category of guns.

    So, it is with great curiosity that I’m following the foray of Ruger into the airgunning world. The price is right which I believe is a Ruger characteristic, but how will they perform? I would be very interested in a review.


  3. B.B.

    Excellent job on the Shot Show.

    I have A couple of questions on the Ruger Air Hawk Elite if you don’t mind. Is this A Ruger design or an import? If an import, who makes it for Ruger? What brand scope is used? What is your first impression? I would also like A review.

    BobC NJ

  4. Matt61,

    Actually, you have given me a good idea for a blog topic – airguns offered by firearms companies. Remington once did make a BB gun themselves, and it ranks as an all-time classic. But today they buy from others. S&W once made their own pistols, rifle and a BB gun. Now they license Umarex to make the 586/686 (which is still one of the best air pistols made, in my opinion).

    So maybe I’ll look into the airguns made by firearms companies. What do you think?


  5. BB,

    On a forum discussion of the Rugers (and how they should be made in US and look like 10/22’s), someone quipped that maybe Marlin would brand an air rifle to look like a Glenfield 60. It would be nice to see a smallish underlever (lever looks like tube magazine) with oak leaves and squirrels pressed on, although maybe it should be targets and tin cans in the checkering:).

  6. B.B.

    Yes indeed, a blog on the airguns of firearms manufacturers would be great. I had forgotten about the S&W revolvers which you’ve reviewed favorably, so maybe the picture is not all bleak.

    Also, is there anything to know about the purpose of a thumbhole stock? I have never cared for the looks but suppose that it does allow for a firmer grip of the rifle and perhaps more control. Anyway, is there anything to be said about this design that falls outside of personal preference?


  7. Matt61,

    Thumbhole stocks are a matter of taste. They aren’t my taste, either, but apparently we are in the minority.

    And thumbholes come in all flavors. There are the very form-fitting ones that actually do feel good all the way to the huge ambidextrous ones like the Ruger has.


  8. B.B.,

    Without A doubt I Would Also like A review about airguns of firearms manufacturers. I shoot the Remington Genesis, and have become pretty good with it. Also, I do prefer thumbhole stocks. I feel they give me better control(at least on the Genesis). BB, Is there an equivalent book like The World Encyclopedia of Rifles and Machine Guns, that covers Air Guns? If not, what are you waiting for(smile).

    BobC NJ

  9. Question on targets like the Air Arms spinner set. I just bought a Gamo Rocker Pellet Trap from PA. Hardly a week old and already a few geologic layers of flattened pellets cover each target. Those pellets don’t want to come off, not without a fight. Any suggestions on how to easily remove caked-on pellets?

  10. Nice photo of you both.

    Yes it is cold in Minnesota.

    Does your wife like to shoot airguns too? My wife really isn’t that interested in the sport, but my neices have a blast when they come over.

  11. BobC,

    Thank you again for the book. There is no one book that covers all airguns, but Smith’s “Gas, Spring and Air Guns of the World” covers the old ones fairly well. However, in the last 50 years since that was written, hundreds of new airguns have been discovered.


  12. Caked-on pellets,

    Those pellets have soldered themselves to the paddles, and you know what that means. It takes heat to remove solder.

    Leave them alone. As you continue to shoot, new pellets will blast off old fragments. There is no good way to clean the pellets off.


  13. ajvenom,

    My wife isn’t a gun nut like me, but she does shoot. Her first encounter was when we had a rat infestation, due to nearby construction. She killed 29 in two weeks with a Sheridan Blue Streak, I believe. I may have the number wrong, but it was in that vicinity. Her best shot was kneeling at 25 feet, when she drilled a rat between the eyes.


  14. BB. I also would be interested in you writing about airguns offered by firearms companies but then I am also waiting for the continuing saga (gentle prod) of the rifle field competition series, the 10 meter rifle competition series and of course the 10 meter pistol competition series (/gentle prod). With all the blog topics you currently have and have promised to try to do I’m thinking you certainly have a lot on your plate so I will hang in there and visit each day and learn a little more on each visit.


  15. Thanks for the ShotShow info. Attended the NRA show in St. Louis af few years back. It was great… though a bit light on the airgun offerings.

    The Rugers both look and sound fantastic. Can not wait to see some testing results. Right now though I’m waiting for a Discovery in 22ca. Just found the funding and will be placing the order soon.

    I’m one of those that do like rifles with pistol grip handles or thumbholes. It is an ergonomic issue – my wrist does not flex as much as it once did and that style of grip fits better.


  16. I am still very curious about the Walther Falcon hunter edition rifle in .22 cal. have you had a chance to try out this rifle yet? would you reccomend any other.22 cal. for small game hunting. I would like my next purchase to be a good hunting rifle in the 300$-400$ price range. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Also I have never used a .25 cal. is there really that much more stopping power over the .22?

  17. B.B.,

    I commented elsewhere on my disappointing test of an IZH-61 for use in biathlon. Thanks for your response – I will obtain another one and test again.

    I just noticed the reference to an Air Arms biathlon rifle seen at the SHOT Show 2008 (picture included in Tom Gaylord’s review). Any sense of whether this rifle will be available commercially this year? Looks like it might fill the gap nicely between an inexpensive repeater (IZH-61) and the $3000+ biathlon-specific rifles (Steyr LGB1, etc…)

    Thanks again,

    MA XC Ski Guy

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