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Education / Training 2012 SHOT Show: Part 1

2012 SHOT Show: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Announcement: Timothy Burman is this week’s winner of Pyramyd Air’s Big Shot of the Week on their facebook page. He’ll receive a $50 Pyramyd AIR gift card! Congratulations!

Timothy Burman is the Big Shot of the Week. He’s holding his HW97K in .20 caliber.

The day before the SHOT Show opened this year was a special day set aside for the media to sample all the new guns at a range in Boulder City. There were 1,200 official registrants and another couple hundred who got in after the registration ended, plus about 500 personel running the ranges. So, for 2,000 people, each of whom fired 100-1,000 rounds, there was a whole lotta shootin’ going on!

Only two air gun ranges were running — one by Crosman and the other was Pyramyd AIR. At the Crosman range, I got a chance to sample the new AR-16 upper that converts your lower to a PCP target rifle. It has a Lothar Walther barrel and is a repeater that loads via the charging handle. Whatever sort of lower receiver you attach the upper to is what determines the kind of rifle you have, so the one that designer Scott Pilkington let me sample was quite nice.

But it was the 9mm Conquest (yes, it’s both semi-auto and full-auto) rifle that thrilled me most. Maybe it was because I was repeatedly hitting the silhouette target at 200 yards with a rifle the first time I fired it! That’s hard enough to do with a centerfire rifle right out of the box, but this gun did it the first time.

Tom shoots the 9mm Evanix Conquest at Media Day.

The 9mm is not ready for the market yet, and I still have the .22 report to finish; but it’s being developed, and we already know that it works. As it gets closer to being a reality, I’ll get into the particulars — but at least you know it’s coming.

The show started the next day, and I saw a number of interesting new things right off the bat. I’ll start with Hatsan USA. The company has stepped out on its own and will do business under the Hatsan name from now on. The designs that have been driven by other companies will no longer encumber the Turkish designers. We already know they make great firearms, and we hope that will spill over into the airguns they bring.

I saw two new things that need to be tested. They offer a new Quattro trigger that’s extremely adjustable, according to president Blane Manifold, who referred to it as a match trigger. I’ll withhold judgement until the first test, but here’s hoping he’s right!

Hatsan’s new rifles carry their name. Hopefully, their features will be fresh and sharp.

They also have a shock absorber system (SAS) that they say will isolate the shooter from the powerplant buzz. I hope the guns won’t need to use it much because they’re inherently smooth to begin with, but again, only a test will tell.

Over at Crosman, there are so many new products that if I were to tell you all of them it would take more room than this blog can dedicate. But one new product caught my eye over the others — the new butterfly hand pump. Those who read my report of the Benjamin 392 pump-assist gun will understand that applying the same technology to a hand pump means easier pumping to maximum pressures.

The new hand pump looks like a radio tower when the handle is extended. The butterfly design amplifies your energy to reduce the effort required to pump.

The new pump is in development and, no doubt, will require more time before we see it for sale…but it is in the works. With Crosman’s stake in the pneumatic world, I think they need to fast-track this one!

At Umarex USA, there was another cornucopia of products, but once again something special caught my eye. This time it was two Hämmerli rifles — one a sporter and the other an affordable 10-meter target rifle.

Hämmerli’s sporter and affordable 10-meter target rifles will be the topic of our tests this year.

While there are many attractive attributes to these rifle, I do have a couple concerns for the 10-meter rifle. First, the max fill pressure is 300 bar, which is close to 4,500 psi. Not many U.S. shooters have air at that pressure. The guns can be filled to 200 bar, of course, but the shot count is reduced.

The velocity for the 10-meter rifle is 780 f.p.s. — way above what the other target rifles generate. I know Walther (Umarex owns both Hämmerli and Walther) would never dare field a target rifle that shoots that fast, so I’m curious to learn why they thought this one would be okay. Perhaps, it was just marketing copy written by someone unfamiliar with competition and was obtained with a non-lead pellet that would never be used in the real world. I certainly hope so — because in all other ways, this rifle has a lot going for it.

Another very interesting gun at Umarex was the Morph 3X — a BB gun that changes from a pistol to a rifle to a shotgun. I’ve got to test this one as soon as I can, because I’ve never seen anything like it. Okay — maybe in some cartoons or when the Joker pulls a revolver with a 6-foot barrel out of his waistband to shoot down the Batplane — but never in the real world!

Glenn Seiter of Umarex USA holds the parts of the amazing Morph 3X — a one-gun-does-it-all for BB-gunners.

I’ll end this part of the report at the AirForce booth, with the Spin-Loc air tank attachment system. How many times have I heard people say they wish AirForce tanks had a pressure gauge? This is it, and it allows the shooter to index the tank in any position or rotation he desires. The tanks also have a new adjustable buttplate that allows you to not only adjust the rotation, but also the length of pull.

The new Spin-Loc air tank attachment system gives the shooter the in-tank pressure gauge shooters have been asking for.

On the opposite side of the tank, there’s a male quick-disconnet fitting, so the gun can be filled while still on the gun. This is another feature that’s been requested, and it makes sense to put it on with this new fill system.

I have taken a lot more pictures than I’m showing here, and of course there will be a more detailed report after I return from the show. I’ll try to make sense of some of the rumors you may have read. Til then, chew on these new toys and let’s hear what you think.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

145 thoughts on “2012 SHOT Show: Part 1”

  1. It’s 00h42, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get much sleep, I’m torn between sleep and going online searching for some of these new things. I want more info, I NEED more info. I read that the Crosman Tokarev TT-33 look alike seems to be a blowback pistol and I’d very much like to get my hands on one.
    It’s sad (to me) to see a 10M rifle with such high velocitys, it means they probably won’t even be available here.

    I can’t wait to see the second report and I can’t talk about the others here but if you have more interesting stuff to show and tell us about I wouldn’t mind a 3rd blog about it.



    • J-F,

      I’m still awake and will probably work most of the night writing up the descriptions for those new products for Pyramyd Air’s website! It gets crazy every year a few weeks before SHOT as we get ready for Tom to leave and Pyramyd AIR to prepare all their handouts and displays for their booth and Media Day. Then, as the products are revealed after the show begins, it’s an insane race to get everything quickly written up, priced and activated. There won’t be even a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel until February…and maybe not even then since I don’t know everything that’s coming down the pike. Exciting, yet exhausting 🙂


      • You’ve been working hard indeed just with the bunch of new Hatsan rifles.
        I can’t wait for that “order” button to appear on the TT page and your description is way better than the very short basic one on Crosman website but I think (I hope) there’s a typo, Length : 3.0 ???
        This sounds like a pistol I would buy:

        This is a close copy of the Russian WWII service handgun. It has the same heft, feel and function as the Tula Tokarev. This CO2 BB gun has a metal frame and a synthetic grip. This is a must-have for plinking fun and if you like military replica guns.

        Must have indeed!


        • J-F,

          The length is 8″ (that’s what it says on Crosman’s site). I wrote up this pistol last night for Pyramyd AIR, but then I got down to the last of the details & saw that Crosman doesn’t provide the velocity for the gun! So, we couldn’t activate it without that info. Sigh.


          • I REALLY regret not getting one of these
            when they were available 🙁

            Edith do you think the price it was sold for could be left on those discontinued pages when it was an item that was sold? I once told us that the discontinued pages were sometimes a product description that had been changed so these can’t have a price and the same thing for products not yet available but on those that were once sold… and if the search bar on Pyramyd AIR would bring up these discontinued pages it would be nice too, I had to search the blog archive and click on the selling link to access the page, it’s not hard, it would just be more convenient.


            • J-F,

              I think it would take a change in programming for the prices to show up for discontinued products. Since the list of programming items is already huge, it’s probably not going to happen in my lifetime.

              Discontinued items don’t show up on searches because we don’t want to show customers products they can’t ever buy.


              • It’s too bad because Pyramyd AIR isn’t just the greatest online airgun store it’s also an invaluable source of information, the discontinued products would make another great source of info.

                Could you (or anyone else that remembers or bought one) around what price is was going for? I looked at some of the firearm versions on sale on GunBroker this morning and they we’re going for around 200$.

                If anyone has one and wants to sell it… 😀


                  • So that’s why I didn’t buy one… 200$ this early in my short buying career was deemed too expensive. If it came out today I’d order one right away. Reading this blog and Tom stories I came to appreciate finer (and often older) things and developed a special interest for nice pieces like this.


      • It’s nice to have electricity again and look at those pic on a larger screen 😉 but who is that thin muscular guy shooting the Evanix, we see him again with that weird looking pump from Crosman… you really seem to be in great shape, I should loose some weight too (but hopefully not using the same method), must be nice to walk the show this year with less weight to carry.

        The Tokarev is called the C-TT, I’m hoping for a full metal pistol not a plastic one like the C11, it’s already on their website
        I’m also interested in the Nitro Piston break barrel pistol from Crosman, they call it the Trail NP Pistol which is also on their website
        with the awesome looking MAV 77 that will probably never make it up here

        Have a good last day at the show and don’t gamble too much (what would happen to us if you won the jackpot…)!


      • All I can say is its about “darn” time.

        Curious to see how it is gonna work. Is it an “attachment” which mates to the older/existing tank, which will increase the overall “length” of the tank? And if so, about how much?

        Or is it a replacement tank valve with a gauge and a fill nipple for older existing tanks?

        Or is it a brand new spanking tank that has to be bought? And if so, do you know if AirForce will allow previous customes to send in their old tanks in for retro-fitting (at a cost, of course).


        • Exactly Pete! Not really an advanced enhancment that would have required special engineering….

          Let me speculate,….I’m an airgun company, and there is an enhancement my customers are clammering for. Let me go ahead a produce thousands of guns without this enhancement, because they are buying my product based on its current features.

          Then a number of years later, I finally introduce the simple enhancement. Not only do I get to sell new guns to new customers since I have made my airgun more competitive (since Marauders, etc., are on the scene, eating into my business),….but I also get to make money on retro-fitting, or selling replacement parts to my old customers for those old/existing guns.

          I don’t think thousands of people are going to buy a brand new tank just for a gauge, unless they have justifiable disposable income, or their old one is caput.

          I already know my current Condor’s efficient fill pressure, power setting, number of shots before new fill is needed, and power curve. Been living in the dark for a while, but will consider retro-fitting if the price is right.

          • AirForcer,

            You said:

            Let me speculate,….I’m an airgun company, and there is an enhancement my customers are clammering for. Let me go ahead a produce thousands of guns without this enhancement, because they are buying my product based on its current features.

            Of course, that’s not the real thought process. Sometimes, it’s this:

            I have a great product, everyone loves it, it’s selling better than ever and there are no complaints. There are REQUESTS, but virtually no complaints about malfunctions. Whatever improvements I make must not compromise the performance and quality of the current products.

            With that in mind, a small company with extremely limited R&D takes very careful, measured steps. On the other hand, if you’re a big or have been around for 100 years and have a large R&D department & budget and have a large variety of products, you can afford to do more because all your eggs are not in one basket. One mistake doesn’t affect 90% of your line of products. If something doesn’t do well, you have unrelated items that will not let you down. You take bigger risks. Some pay off, some don’t.

            Big companies can throw big plates of spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Smaller companies throw very tiny plates of spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. AirForce doesn’t want to release something too soon, as almost every product they sell will be affected.


              • AirForcer,

                In my opinion, you can have a much greater impact if you know the system and work within that to effect change.

                I’m just telling you how it is, not defending or bashing the system. Understanding how airgun companies work (and respecting their right to do things as they wish) is the first step in being part of change. That’s why Tom and I nurture some ideas brought to us, but choose to ignore others that we believe will not work in current structures.


            • Edith,
              I think you really nailed that analysis. The only tiny risk Air Force had was an aftermarket supplier beating them to the punch with the innovation. But, the airgun market can support a LOT of after-market products and I think that makes people buy even MORE of the OEM airguns. That symbiotic relationship is very healthy for the entire airgun community.

              • I know I’m not going to make any friends with this comment, but I don’t care.

                There have been complaints about the airforce line throughout the years. From respected modders like Tim McMurray, etc. There is a blog dedicated to wringing out issues that airforce left undone, and a slew of people making after market parts to compensate. I know two in particular that had already worked this issue out in their garages. Even on this blog a few years back there was a debate about the airforce line of products. Remember? I respect those the “call it what it is”, and don’t try to sell me.

                If it took this long for them to add a gauge and fill nipple to their tank, it doesn’t speak very much to their R&D department.

                Just my opinion.

                • PelletMan,

                  It’s all a matter of numbers. If 95% of your customers report no problems but a vocal group of 5% does, do you spend your limited R&D time/money only on the issues bothering 5% or do you look for ways to bring about improvements that make your product even more desirable to others who have not bought your products yet and will also have a positive effect on the complaints brought about by a very small portion of your customer base?

                  Usually, the customers see only the issues that bother them and want their problems solved. The company, however, has plans for improvements that they know will solve many or some of the customer complaints and also give them a leg up on the requests they get for changes that will make their guns more desirable. Basically, killing 2 birds with one stone. That’s part of the reason companies don’t rush an improvement (other than something related to safety) until they’ve covered more than the complaints of a small, vocal group.

                  I’m not saying the minority doesn’t have a point. I’m just telling you how I believe the system works. You don’t have to like it, but it is a fact of life.


                  • To use your own husband’s words:

                    People have been asking AirForce to do this for about the past decade.

                    Most businesses know that for every one person that takes the time to lodge a grievance, there is a percentage of those that just live with it.

                    A decade to put a gauge and a fill nipple on their tank.

                    You can have the last word. This isn’t my first rodeo.

            • Just buy the gauge and fittings from the firm that makes (tens of) thousands a year for Steyr, Walther, FWB, Tesro, Anschuetz, etc. All the gauges look the same and up to the fitting the tanks are virtually identical. Or did you suppose that each of the boutique ten metre firms design and build their own?

              The RandD costs would have been very small. And the risk as well.

              • It’s not as easy as just drilling and tapping a couple extra holes in the valve body and screwing in a guage and a fill nipple.

                The exposed part of the valve body sits inside the frame on the top and bottom when screwed in. A guage or fill nipple would get in the way and prevent the tank from being installed.
                At the very least, you would have to have a longer valve body so the tank can be screwed in without the guage and fill hitting the frame.
                Then two problems arise….
                What direction will the guage and fill nipple be pointing?
                Will a scope mount far enough back with the extra overall tank length now?


              • i think edith misses the point you are making.
                agreed they should have been able to deliver this sooner and with less cost by what you mention.
                they would still need to work out the issue of fitting their proprietary valve to the mix.

                  • If you don’t insist om proprietary fittings, it is. But if AF wants to reinvent the air tank, be my guest. There are already one or two European firms who specialize in in working with gun designers.

                    Oh, it’s a year of design and setting up tooling, but much of that (which way things point and can I fit a scope) is why we have CAD machines. Heck, I’ve seen gauges that are just inset into the tank, and most Euro gauges are just put into the end of the tank, clear of all valves, so you can watch the gauge as you fill the cylinder. I don’t see why AF is making it seem harder than it need be. Look on the Steyr site and see where all the gauges sit. No reason at all to put them near other fittings.

                    For every customer who takes time to complain or suggest there are likely 10 or 20 more who want the change, but don’t think anybody will even bother to read their letter. Be sure of it.

                    • Petez,

                      I suspect we’re never going to agree on this.

                      A really good reason many mfrs like to create propriety parts is because they get control over the quality.

                      I’ve seen the airgun industry from another perspective (from the inside looking out) and have heard my share of nightmare stories that literally force mfrs to make their own parts. They usually don’t want to do it but have no other reasonable choice.


  2. Let me talk a bit about how airguns and everything involving them are a good thing to hoard in these times.

    I have a friend who grew up with a father who was building R/C airplane engines. Apparently no one remembers Hy Johnson’s engines now, but they were a big deal at one time. My friend, Hy Johnson’s son, grew up interested in ham radio, and what really impressed him was, other than things like electrolytic capacitors wearing out, radios and electronic equipment in general, can theoretically last forever. R/C airplane engines wore out – Radios, essentially, did not. This impressed my friend deeply, and thus he got into the “new tech” of electronics rather than the “old tech” of mechanical things.

    Now, things are changing. The Internet is getting to be, as I’m fond of saying, less interconnected and less of a network. It’s certainly more creaky than it was 10 years ago. Electronic stuff is the stuff that wears out now, try getting by with a 10-year-old computer or cell phone. But the old mechanical stuff, the RWS’s and Benjamins, Sheridans, old Crosmans, how old are they now? Some of these guns are 40 and 50 years old and going strong, some older than that. I’m happy as a clam to have found a nice motorcycle that’s a mere 16 years old, I was looking at bikes that are 25-30 years old. Sure it’s not running right, it’s running too rich and blubbers and pops a bit, but I can fix those old carbs, not a modern EFI system. I can fabricate new jets from a hunk of metal if I have to.

    So hoard all the old guns you can, and the new guns that are the old guns of the future, hoard pellets while they’re still cheap, hoard sights and scopes and all the goodies, while they’re so easy to buy. And patronize your local gun shows, your local shooting clubs, your little 10-meter local match, the stuff that was around before more than a few college profs thought about Boolean logic or Karnaugh maps, because good honest blued steel and lead pellets will be around when the Internet is, to quote Homer Simpson, “Is that thing still around?”

    • Yes indeed. Just because it’s old technology doesn’t mean that it is bad technology. Sometimes it’s better for many things. Let’s say you wanted to preserve something in writing for 10,000 years. What would work? Something carved in stone or gold would probably still be here. The computer stuff? It’s long, long gone!


      • Hm, on the subject of longevity of guns, I have this question. I’ve been admiring my Mosin-Nagant built in 1931 and visualizing it in these horrific scenes of the Eastern Front that I’ve been reading about. -40C, struggling for hours in snow up to your chest, losing your gloves and having your frozen hands give way, so that you fall off a truck and get run over by following vehicles, oil turning to ice on your rifle and making it stick, metal so brittle that a stamp on gear pedals causes them to snap off.

        Hold on there. If the molecular structure of metal can be changed so much that it can be broken by hand, what’s to ensure that it recovers at normal temperatures. I imagine a crisp head of lettuce that gets frozen so that its cells walls get slashed to ribbons by ice crystals. When it’s thawed out, it is a limp mess. Can that happen to metal in guns? Will my rifle explode? Anyone know about the metallurgy involved?


  3. Really interested in that new Crosman handpump. While I like my Hill, if Crosman can produce a RELIABLE pump that uses less effort, I’ll be all over it. I really wish they’d work on an electric air compressor capable of 300 bar (or even 200 bar at this point)…the price point for that, to me, would be about $1,500.

    Those Hammerli’s are looking good too. But at 300 bar, it’s probably something I’ll never even consider buying.

    • Chasblock,

      You get it! Yes, the new pump has to be reliable, and yes, it has to do what they say, but I know Crosman won’t put out a bad product. Until now they have been at the mercy of a Chinese manufacturer, but this is one they will be developing in New York.

      You will also be able to vary the effort required against the fill rate!

      I will buy one immediately if it passes the test. It has the potential of boosting PCP sales quite a bit.


      • I would consider one if it got the pump cycle down to, say, 30 strokes or less.

        Also, it looks like Hatsan created a match rifle to match the 4500psi fiberglass tanks. You think? If the industry goes that way (and why not) it would certainly increase fiberglass tank sales and make scuba tanks obsolete for PCP.


        • Hi, Chuck. I reckon it only makes sense to have a 4500psi gun if it’s regulated. If it’s regulated, any old pressure will do on the reservoir side, as long as it’s above the pressure on the valve side, within reason. More reservoir pressure just increases your shot count as long as you’re “on the reg,” and less fill pressure hurts nothing but your shot count.

          But if such a gun were un-regulated with the typical PCP bathtub curve, it’d make no sense at all, even for folks with 4500psi tanks. As B.B. has taught us, if your gun wants the same pressure as the max. pressure of your tank, you get ~zero full fills from your full tank! And in my experience, you typically walk away from the SCUBA shop with ~4300psi in your 4500psi tank, unless you’re willing to wait a long time to top the thing off after it cools from the initial fill (often the difference between while-you-wait and leave-overnight fills).


      • And as soon as I see your test, I’ll probably be next in line for one… Hope it isn’t obscenely expensive (considering the cost of the current pump — I’d consider $250-300 viable…)

    • Not too sure about the efficiency of this new pump design. It reminds me of the Filipino butterfly knife (the balisong) which is a folding knife that operates by a similar design. Force is not really an issue with them, but they can be opened with great speed. (They’re illegal.)

      As for this pump, I’m a little suspicious of the ergonomics. Two arms are better than one. BUT only if you are really using your arms. You should be using your bodyweight to operate the pump as B.B. mentioned in an earlier blog. Transferring bodyweight is basic to boxing, batting, swimming and pumping airguns. If the arms are just being used to conduct force then two arms should be little or no different than one. So much for the initial downward part of the stroke. But towards the end, the angle changes so that you are no longer pushing down but inward on both sides so that your arms are working in opposition. I seem to remember certain types of bodybuilding equipment with a similar principle that were found to put an unhealthy strain on the heart. So worse case scenario with this pump is that it encourages you to rely on arms instead of body and uses your arms in a way that causes heart strain. I would give this pump a hard look.


      • So much for the initial downward part of the stroke. But towards the end, the angle changes so that you are no longer pushing down but inward on both sides so that your arms are working in opposition.

        I don’t see anything indicating the hand position/angle changes… The articulated linkage looks to control an intermediate shaft — I suspect the goal is to have the handles move a greater distance, through the linkage which drives the intermediate pump portion. Something close to the eccentric wheels of a compound bow — instead of the hand grips needing, say, 150lbs of down force for the last inch of stroke at hgh pressure, this design may use 75lbs down force over a two inch handle stroke, with the linkage producing the 150lbs over one inch of the actual pump…

        If the pump were, say, a 2:1 lever system, it likely requires close to twice as many strokes at half the individual stroke effort to fill — since they can’t fit a double length main stroke to lever the secondary over a normal pump stroke length (OTOH: maybe the handle shaft itself telescopes into the intermediate shaft during the stroke, so it /could/ result in a pump that starts at chest height rather than waist height).

  4. The Hämmerli AR20 rifles are also avaiable in 6 foot-pounds for the 10 m market and in 12 foot-pounds for field target, so don’t worry. The tank size is the same as other rifles but with the option to fill to 300 bar for even more shots.

  5. BB,
    Wow! you picked some doozys to tease us with.
    Re: Pictured 9mm Evanix Conquest: That stock! Is it an optical illusion or does it slip on a bottle similar to the Talon SS? Me want one for Mr. T! Also, two bottles on 9mm? How intriguing.

    • The Hammerli AR-20 can be bought stock, no upgrades in Germany for EUR 650. Ten meter rifles sold In Germany are pretty competitive, so a 10% discount is probable.

      But you and I are outside the EU, so we don’t pay the 19% value added tax. So we would pay around US$ 640 + shipping. Duty is 3% on air rifles and 0.0% on air pistols. Air shipping would run about $50 to $75 on one single gun. Now if two or three folks got together costs would go down.

      You don’t need an import license for precision air guns; not sure about really big bore guns.

      Yes, I have done this before for an AP, and if this health problem isn’t fatal in the short term, may do it again. Of course, you can always tuck the gun in your suitcase and save duty and shipping.

      Happy to provide details off line.

      And BTW, I’m not at all sure the AR-20 is a bit better than the Made in USA AirForce Edge.


  6. BB,
    Re: AirForce Spin-Loc tank: The tanks also have a new adjustable buttplate that allows you to not only adjust the rotation, but also the length of pull.

    Is this buttplate adaptable to my current Talon SS tank?

    Love the idea of filling the gun with the tank still mounted. I’m hoping the male quick-disconnect is a Foster?

  7. BB, there was a post on the Yellow today about Iron Plate competition in Europe. It looks like speed plates, practical pistol, or some other draw and shoot firearm competition but with C02 airguns. My question to you is which or the C02 repeaters you have used would you recommend for a competition like this? I shoot a 1911 and several Glocks and I carry a Glock.
    Here’s a link to a video of the competition: http://www.youtu.be/watch?v=Xki_8v66MoU&feature=related


    David Enoch

  8. Hmmm, I see four underlever Hammerlis and two sliding compression chamber units – one with the underlever. The others appear to be tap loading similar to the RWS 46. Very attractive. Will have to wait and see how well the Turkish built these and can they hit what one is aiming at?

    Perhaps it’s time to get into the Air Force World and see why everyone thinks they’re so great.

    I’ve been pricing SCUBA tanks again and a 3,000 psi 80 cu ft. tank can be had in the $150-$180 price range plus either shipping and/or sales tax. Have to factor that into the equation if I go Air Force.

    Just when I thought I didn’t need anything else in my collection……

    Fred PRoNJ

    • Fred,
      Considering plunging into the PCP world? You will like it! For a tank, I suggest you skip the 3000psi ones and go with a 3442 (3500) psi 100 cfm. 4500 is best, but much more expensive and many dive shops can’t fill to 4500, and in NJ, forget the fire houses. If you use this calculator http://calc.sikes.us/ you can see the difference in the number of fills you’ll get from different sizes and pressure ratings of tanks.
      Do try a local dive shop, because you are going to need them for fills. Go when they aren’t busy and when you might catch the owner or at least a permanent staff member. Tell them you are doing paintball (they will understand that) and ask if they have a loaner 3500psi loaner tank with valid hydro test that they will sell you for cheap. After renting a tank for a few weeks and several fills, I asked the owner if he’d just sell me the tank, and I got it for $100. Or ask if any of their distributors might have a special on a 3442 psi tank, or have one coming up. I got a 100cfm tank and valve for $200 that way. Then when you go for a fill, tell them you need the pressure at the max. Shops are different, some will fill to 3700 if the tank is hot ’cause they know it will drop to 3500 when it cools, others go strictly by what’s stamped on the tank. You’ll be able to tell.
      Bottom line suggestion: rent a tank from a shop first and see if you can establish a rapport (you will, you’ve got that personality), then if you like them, buy a tank from them. It will have their name sticker on it and you will get better service. That’s been my experience anyway. I just had my tanks filled yesterday and the usual guy I see was training a new staffer, and he told the trainee,”These airgun guys aren’t like divers, they want their tanks filled up so they have max pressure when they are cold. You short them and they are going to come back and ask for a free fill.” The training worked, he, he, he.

    • If these big underlever are anything like the PCP’s Hatsan makes they’ll be winners.
      Hatsan makes the Hammerli Pneuma and Air Venturi Halestorm, they’re labelled AT-44 by Hatsan, they also make a bigger PCP series called the BT-65.
      The AT-44’s are available in .177 and .22 caliber in single shot or with a 10 shot mag.
      The BT-65’s are available in .177, .22 and .25 caliber also in single shot and with a 10 shot mag.

      I love my AT-44, it’s the sub 500 fps version they make for the Canadian market, 10 shots in less than a 1/4 inch at 10m with Crosman cheapo wadcutters.


    • Hi, Fred. In addition to what Lloyd said, I think portability and lifespan are worth considering when deciding on a tank. On the lifespan, I think aluminum and carbon fiber tanks have to be retired after 15 years of service. I’m not an expert, but I’m *pretty* sure that steel tanks have a much longer lifespan (40 years? forever as long as hydro passes?), so your cost over time can vary.

      The biggest deal for me is the portability. The carbon fiber tanks are MUCH lighter and smaller. If you’re mainly filling at the house, carbon fiber might not have much or any advantage over a big steel tank. If you do much of any lugging to the range, to camping trips, etc., go directly to carbon fiber. If portability is required, I would go so far as to choose CF *even* if I could only fill it to ~3500psi.

      Oh, also consider the fully-baked cost, including the fittings, hoses, gauges, etc.


  9. I’m very impressed by Crosman and their continued zeal to introduce new and innovative products for airgunners. They seem to set the bar very high. From what little I’ve heard about this years SHOT Show Crosman has at least double the new introductions when compared to any other manufacturer.

    Apparently Crosman still isn’t ready or has shelved? their electric compressor, ala shoebox compressor idea. Sigh.

    Here’s a list of new introductions from Crosman:

    – NEW Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston Break Barrel Pistol in .22
    – NEW TR77 Break Barrel rifle in .177
    – NEW Turbo Aire hand pump
    – NEW 90 cu in and 342 cu in air tanks
    – NEW Desert Rose lever action BB rifle
    – NEW Russian C-TT BB pistol
    – NEW MAV 77 Underlever in .177
    – NEW Marauder Woods Walker PCP Pistol with CenterPoint sight
    – NEW 1720T PCP Pistol
    – NEW Nosler Ballistic Tip ammunition in .22 and .25
    – NEW Powershot lead-free ammunition in .177 and .22
    – NEW pellet assortment of .22 ammunition
    – NEW Zombie Targets
    – NEW duty field targets, spinning targets and resetting targets
    – NEW 2.5x32mm Pistol scope
    – NEW Reflex Sights
    – NEW Green Laser Sight
    – NEW 3x32mm, 1-4x24mm, 4-16x40mm scopes

    …..and NEW binoculars and cameras.


      • B.B.,

        Thanks. That’s encouraging. I’ve been patiently waiting for 2 years. You’ve probably been waiting for 4 ? years LOL!

        Appreciate your reply so late at night. I just assumed by that time of day you would have been sitting in a dimly lit room alongside Mac counting tassels on the stage. Be safe on your return.


        • Kevin,

          Do you not like the Shoebox compressors? Or are you just looking for one that doesn’t need to be chained to a shop compressor? Or maybe you have heard some bad things about them? Just curious, as I was thinking about going with one myself….


          • /Dave,

            Shoebox is ok. You probably know this but my shooting buddies Scott DeCapio (Estes Park) and Dr. Berger (Denver) both have them. They’re high maintenance and slow. They’re also not a true compressor but a booster. I’ve been waiting to see what Crosman delivers since I’m hopeful it will be better and know that they will stand behind the product 100%.


    • I think Crosman is outdoing themselves year after year, with great new products coming out.
      That big undelever, that C-TT, those scopes, the nitro piston pistol.
      The only thing I can complain about and it’s a business decision they choose to make is not doing much detuning for the Canadian market.
      I would buy a detuned Disco on the spot if I could and I’m not alone!


  10. I have to say,BB you look great in those pics! I am sure that this must be a very EXCITING place to be! I have that Christmas morning feeling seeing so much progress in the airgunning field! There goes my budget.Have a great time sir.

  11. B.B.

    My, oh, my! You are the luckiest man. To touch and to test all this – yummy! The only thing I would like more than accompany you on this show – is to be able to dive into each of those guns innards, to click, to pull, to measure, to study and compare.


      • B.B.,
        I sincerely hope that Gamo comes out with something better than the CF-X. I love my CF-X, but since it’s been discontinued, and since you found that a possible Gamo replacement for it wasn’t nearly as good, I have my doubts about where Gamo is going. When I visited their booth, I saw what looked like a lot of the same.

  12. Hi B.B. Regarding that Morph 3x…does the shotgun set-up fire more than 1 BB at a time, or does it have a larger diameter bbl that fires a charge of BBs? Is it CO2?

  13. To use your own husband’s words:

    People have been asking AirForce to do this for about the past decade.

    Most businesses know that for every one person that takes the time to lodge a grievance, there is a percentage of those that just live with it.

    A decade to put a gauge and a fill nipple on their tank.

    You can have the last word. This isn’t my first rodeo.

    • PelletMan,

      How many people? 2%? 5%? 12%? AirForce has hundreds of irons in the fire. They can’t work on all of them at once. No matter which idea they work on first, there will be people who will complain that they aren’t responsive to THEIR ideas.

      You can’t please everyone, so the company does whatever they think is best for the bottom line. I’m not crass. Just realistic 🙂


      • I have to take Edith’s side on this debate.

        I’m actually glad for the reality of market economics. It makes jobs for those willing to undertake the task of improving on an existing manufactured product. This is part of what built our country. “You can’t please all of the people ask of the time”, and I’m a firm believer in “nor should you try”. There is always room for improvement in a company (which IS made up of imperfect people), but no one is 100%.


        • Just like you yanks to applaud and supporting one of your US companies for doing “half the job”.
          Glad over the pond we have airgun manufacturers like Air Arms, and Daystate that are responsive to thier customers, and bring out “finished” innovative products.
          I guess this explains why alot of your manufactured products are produced overseas. I’ll match my AA510 against anything american made, fresh out of the box, without having to buy aftermarket add-ons.

          • Nice choice, John! But, I personally can’t afford one now, so if I have a choice between shooting an accurate (yes, I said accurate) Discovery and having to wait another couple of years to get something, which do you suppose I’ll choose? I’ll get the Disco. I like to shoot. I’m also not afraid to scratch it in the field, but I would be afraid to take a nice AA or Daystate out. They are true works of functional art! 🙂


            • Cheers Dave!

              No worries. Disco is a respectable airgun for its price point and purpose. So is the Marauder. Crosman/Benjamin appears to do a great job of listening to their customers, and in some cases driving your airgun market, which is why they have probably been consistently successful over the years.

              My main point was about companies that don’t. Yes, they can do whatever they want, but what kind of company philosophy is that? Not one to be proud of I’m sure. Glad AirArms and Daystate don’t subscribe to that way of thinking.


              • John,

                I’m glad Air Arms, Daystate, Falcon, and others don’t think that way too. It gives me something to shoot for in the future, when hopefully I can afford one. At that level, I think my decision would be more on which style appeals to me the most, since they are all good and more accurate than my ability anyway.

                As for the Crosmans, Benjis, and Air Force, I think they all have their niche too. Kind of like comparing apples to oranges…. I agree about people’s work ethics though. Too many are content with just getting by and not going that extra mile and really listening to their customers. But, as Edith said, sometimes that is generated more by economic survival than what most people realize. Now, it may sound like I just contradicted myself, but I was just talking about apples and oranges again….


  14. Now I remember what that hand pump reminds me of, appearance-wise.

    The amazing “Isotron” antenna, still being sold in the back pages of QST magazine, one of the worst antennas ever made and only a slight improvement over the Heathkit “Cantenna” which was a dummy load built into a paint can.

  15. B.B., welcome back from the SHOT Show. Is it true that people can go up to booths or dedicated gun ranges and pretty much shoot all they want? That would be a reason to go. Those Hammerli guns look very sharp. I don’t understand why the target rifle is so high-powered. Wouldn’t that outright disqualify them from sanctioned matches? I’m skeptical about the multifunction Swiss army knife gun that can do all different things. The same principle seems to be behind the “modularity” craze for the AR rifles. My inclination is to put your effort into quality for a single type of gun which is not that easy to do. Hence my interest in the new model precision AKs. This rifle is supremely optimized for doing damage in a battlefield environment and represents the culmination of military service rifle development.

    Generally, I’m astounded at the number and variety of products at this yearly show, and it makes me think about the pressures on developers. Is it an option to tell your boss that you just didn’t come up with anything new this year and that, you’ll stick with what works? Probably not. If that’s the case then you can probably assume that a percentage of new products are just variations and not really anything new. It’s like published writing of which there is great volume but not much that is truly innovative.

    As to the boys who went to heaven, their stories, I think, are a little compromised to a dispassionate onlooker, not because of what they say, but because of their background. However, that doesn’t apply to Akiane. I happen to believe that her paintings are just what she says they are, but I also think that people of any persuasion can admire them; most are not of overly religious themes. I am not really a fan of the visual arts, but I am just mesmerized. There’s something uncanny and preternatural about them and the girl too–even in her appearance.

    I was reading an article about the new 25mm gun with smart exploding projectiles that seems to be doing very well in Afghanistan. Distance is calculated by counting the number of rotations. But how would that account for elevation angle? The gun is supposed to be accurate to 500 yards and with a 25mm (1 inch) caliber, it has to have a pretty significant arc or it would flatten the shooter. Anyway, the whiz kids have figured this out. Could this gun spell the end of military marksmanship?

    How about this Hawaii 5-0 mystery that I came across while watching a rerun of an old episode. A rogue army sniper assassinates a guy by shooting him on a moving sailboat from 800 yards away(.) Danno looks at the bullet (which is in pristine form) that is recovered from the body and says, “Steel-jacketed…Rifle ammo!” ???? Can you have a steel-jacketed bullet of any kind? How would it engage rifling and expand? If as I suspect, this is a wholly bogus statement, it would be part of the extensive stage machinery of Hawaii 5-0. Both the old and the new are very careless with facts. What is supposed to be their office is an old museum, and their geography often makes no sense. The old show actually took over the elevators in our building for filming, but in the actual episode, they spliced our building in with several others. To a local it looks kind of ridiculous, but if the aim is to publicize the islands, I guess they are doing that.


    • Matt61,

      B.B. & Mac stayed in Vegas a little while longer. That way, they can avoid the big SHOT Show exodus at the airport on Friday. They both return home on Sunday.

      Today, they made their annual trek to Gold & Silver Pawn, which is the location for the Pawn Stars TV show.


    • Matt,

      frost oif all, the SHOT Show only opens to the public on the last day. Before then, you need some kind of credentials. Mine are for the Press, which I get from working for Shotgun News.

      As for shooting, that was at a separate event called Media Day. It was held at a huge rifle range about 30 miles south of Las Vegas the day before the show opened. Once again, it takes credentials to get in, but once in you can shoot anything they have. And there is lots of swag to pick up! I got several knives, teeshirts, hats and flashlights.

      The SHOT Show itself demands that all guns and air guns be rendered inoperative and any ammunition either be sealed or be rendered inert. Anti-gunners would be shocked that 2,000 people could shoot a quarter millions rounds of ammunition (Media Day) and that 70,000 people could handle guns (SHOT Show) all without a mishap. I never saw an unsafe act at Media Day, despite the crowds. Lots of folks having a good time, but all serious when handling guns.



    • Matt61, I too have see how the film makers create their illusions for TV and big screen. It is only by being familiar with the actual lay of the land that we can see the way they create that illusion.
      I did some quick research on steel jacketed bullets. More than one, like
      made the same statement; “Steel jackets are widely used in bullets that originate in the European and Chinese markets.” The above page speaks about a number of different jacketed bullets while discussing bullet materials in general.

      I never associated the movie title, “Full Metal Jacket”, with the bullet but apparently this is where the term is used. Apparent FMJ is a three letter acronym for it. The web page, http://www.wolfammo.com used the acronym throughout. A wikipedia page states that most of the wolf ammo is steel jacketed but I couldn’t find that information on the wolf web site.

      Nevertheless, it appears that steel jacketed ammo is out there (although Hawaii 50 takes liberties with reality as does every other TV series or film I am aware of. Actually, I think the Flash Point series may offer more realism that many (but even so, it is follows a script, something reality seldom does).


      • Tom,

        You know the saying … when life gives lemons make lemonade.

        Grab a pair of your old pants and take a photo in them, add a “before” shot and send it in to Subway. You could be the next Jared. Our little secret.

        In all seriousness hope you are feeling well. Health is certainly everything, as I learned first hand with my daughters.

        Best Regards,


  16. Anybody using the pellet pens that PA sells?
    I looked at the reviews, and reading between the lines, it looks like about the only complaint is that you can’t stick them in your back pocket and spend all day sitting on large rocks…..because they are plastic.


  17. I found a bunch of press releases from Crosman on their website.

    The Tokarev will have has a nice 99$ retail price

    Their line of tanks seems pretty nice with long easy to carry shape

    The pump makes a lot of promises including a reduction of the total work needed to pump by up to 39% AND a more consistent effort instead of the building up of force that we are used to.

    I’m really not sure about the MAV 77, with a MSRP of 530$ (40$ less than the TX200 it seems to copy), it does include a scope but still, 530$ for a Benji or 570$ for the AirArms I think I’d go with the proven quality of the AA.

    And finally one of my favorite, the Trail NP Pistol, I think they’ll have a real winner with this one, it’s going to be hard to beat for backyard plinking, no price has been announced but if it’s around 100$ they should be good. With velocity that are said to be “up to” 500fps I’m just hoping this was achieved with light weight pellets and that it doesn’t go over our stupidly low Canadian limits.

    Go have a look at what else has been posted in there, a bunch of new scopes, binoculars, an airsoft revolver that looks a lot like the new Dan Wesson, Zombie targets.


      • Whew! …I thought maybe I woke up in a different dimension this morning….. On the other hand, I guess now I won’t be finding all of those missing springs, socks, and steel balls I’ve lost over time…

        • /Dave…
          One thing to do in case of missing parts…
          Get a good magnet. I have two that are usually used for finding dropped hardware, and getting tire flatteners out of the driveway. One is a round magnet on a long handle. You swing it slowly over the ground (or carpet) like a metal detector. The other is a bar with wheels on each end and a handle in the middle. You drag or push it over the suspect surface.
          Only work as long as the pieces that are seeked are not UNDER or ON something.


        • /Dave

          Another option…
          If you have enough space (garage or basement), get a tent that is large enough that you can set up a small work table and a work light in it. Keep the bug nets zipped when working inside. Any flying parts will be somewhere inside (possibly in your clothes), other than the possibility of a flying springer back end plug. It will be imbedded in a wall.


  18. Tom or Edith, do you know whether Pyramyd AIR will stock the new Hatsan pcp’s? They are called BT-65 and have adjustable cheekpiece and buttplate. Not match rifles, but nice looking stocks.

    Also the AR-20 10m match model is already available in the U.S through Champion’s Choice and does indeed cost less than 1000$.


    • Roy,

      Since Pyramyd AIR has had no issues selling previous Hatsan-made PCPs, I’m guessing there’s a real good chance the PCPs will be added to their inventory. But, just to be sure, I’ll email them now and see if they can give me a guarantee & a timeline when to expect them.


      • I almost told him the same thing word for word:
        Pyramyd AIR recently started carrying a bunch of Hatsan rifles, they seem to only be carrying springers for now but since they carried the AT-44 under rebranded names (Hammerli Pneuma and AirVenturi Halestorm) they should eventualy carry the Hatsan line of PCP’s.
        Watch the daily blog there and ask Tom Gaylord or his wife Edith about it, they should be able to inform you as to it’s availability.

        But I didn’t know you’d reply to him so quickly!


          • No problem, always happy to help, especially a fellow airgunner 😉
            The service is next to none here, if only they had a Canadian store, I’d order everything there instead of having to wait for my next visit to the US (my next order is over 400$).


    • WOW that sounds a lot like what I told you doesn’t it… (Roy came on the CAF this morning to ask about the BT-65 because the Hatsan PCP’s have been distributed for a little while in Canada and since he’s in the US I told him to ask here).
      You won’t find more helpfull than Tom, Edith and the gang here.


  19. Edith & Tom,

    Just spoke to Sam Ventura. He used to shoot FT with you at Damascus. He asked that I send you greetings and kind regards. He asked that you pass these sentiments along to Mac as well.


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