2016 SHOT Show: Day 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

2016 SHOT Show: Day 1
2016 SHOT Show: Day 2
2016 SHOT Show: Day 3

This report covers:

  • Umarex USA
  • Action Sport Games
  • Beeman
  • Gamo
  • Something fun
  • Xisico
  • Megaboom
  • Meopta
  • Good-bye

Today I will present the last report on the 2016 SHOT Show.

Umarex USA

There is one more new gun in the Umarex USA booth. It was a show special model of their Beretta M9 pistol. This one was weathered to look like it had seen service. It was their Desert Storm commemorative. They had it in a glass case, rotating throughout the entire show for buyers to see, and they limited the number of guns each dealer could purchase. They increased the total number of guns made from 500 to 750, and as always, they sold out quickly.

Beretta Desert Storm
Beretta Desert Storm commemorative pistol was featured in the Umarex USA booth.

Action Sport Games

Action Sport Games (ASG) is riding high on their new Dan Wesson 715 revolvers — both BB and pellet. They are a leader in airsoft guns, and are looking for the best BB and pellet air pistols to bring them solidly into the airgun arena.

In their booth I saw two new action BB pistols for 2016. Both are patterned after popular CZ semi-autos, and both feature full blowback. Full blowback is where the metal slide comes all the way back — not part way. It gives the pistol more of a kick and comes closer to simulating the recoil of a firearm.

Another feature these new pistols offer is realistic disassembly. ASG knows what features the market wants, and intends providing them.

ASG CZ pistol disassembled
The new ASG action BB pistols disassemble like the firearms they copy.

ASG CZ Shadow
CZ Shadow offers full blowback for realistic recoil.

Beeman

Visiting the Beeman booth at the SHOT Show is bittersweet for me. I remember the old days when the company lead the pack with top offerings that were the dreams of every American airgunner. I was fortunate enough to have lived through that period and to have shared in many of those dreams.

Today the Beeman company is entirely different. Their Chinese owners have turned over importation and support of their premium airguns to Air Venturi and they now concentrate on Chinese airguns that are Beeman in name only. However, they are in the market and I did look through their booth, although, like Gamo, their no representatives did not help me.

I saw racks of Beeman and Marksman rifles that are carried by Pyramyd Air. Nothing new or exciting. But that strange double barreled (both .177 and .22 caliber pellets shoot at the same time) spring rifle was still there, along with a wood-stocked companion! They must be selling them somewhere. I vowed to test one last year, but I never found where to get one.

Beeman Double barrel rifles
The tactical Beeman Double Barreled rifle has a mate. It’s a sporting style in a wood stock. I still don’t know where they are sold in the U.S.!

Gamo

The Gamo booth was nearby, so I wandered over there. Last year when Edith was with me we got a very thorough explanation of all Gamo’s new products for 2015. This year it was back to the cold shoulder. Plenty of Gamo reps in the booth — they just didn’t talk to me.

What I saw was nothing dramatically different. A lot of reskinning and one confusing poster that announced the new Raptor Whister. I don’t know what a Whister is, but it may have just been a typo for Whisper, a title Gamo uses on a lot of their airguns.

Gamo Whister
Gamo calls it a Whister, but I have to believe that’s a typo.

The other thing at Gamo is they are back touting their spring guns as shooting 1,650 f.p.s. This despite proof that it’s impossible to achieve that velocity from a spring gun without resorting to trickery. Some things never change.

Something fun

You never know when something out of the ordinary will pop up at SHOT, and I saw something I had to share with you readers. Someone made a throne from artillery shells! This is like the antler chairs you sometimes see in western decor, only the materials are more appropriate to shooters. Anyway — it’s worth a smile!

Artillery throne
Tube artillery shells, linked .50 BMG shells and recoilless rifle shells make up the artillery throne. I want one!

Xisico

I stopped by the Xisico booth to examine what looked like an air compressor and discovered what must be the most unique airgun product this year. At least it is if I understood correctly what I was looking at! This is a booster compressor, similar to the Shoebox we all know, but designed to accept a fill from a hand pump!!!?? And I have to believe I was told it accepts air from a bicycle pump — not a 3-stage pump.

It’s larger than a Shoebox, and what I saw has the appearance of a brassboard prototype (a more advanced prototype that possibly works but definitely not as advanced as pre-production), so I imagine we won’t see one for sale anytime soon. But this shows us what people are working on. I don’t know enough to fully comprehend how it will work, but I will keep watching this curiosity.

compressor
This booster compressor from Xisico will bear watching.

The serious new air rifle in the Xisico booh is the new Sentry. It’s a repeating PCP they hope to offer at an affordable price. I held it and everything seemed good for a basic repeater. It’s fully ambidextrous.  This will also be one to watch.

Xisico Sentry
Xisico’s new Sentry is a repeating PCP that will be priced for a budget.

Megaboom

Of course I couldn’t walk past the Megaboom booth. Not with inventor, Ralph Hoetger, standing there wearing his exploding hat! Megaboom was just purchased by ShotStop targets, and Ralph will be retained to promote them at shows and events. I hope to see them at the 2016 Texas Airgun Show!

Megaboom
Megaboom targets are now part of ShotStop.

Meopta

I stopped by the Meopta booth to meet someone on a different project and was both surprised and blown away! While I was in the booth, Meopta representative, Matt, showed me several of their products. One, I liked a lot. Their MeoPro 8X42 binos are small, yet clear with a wide field of view. The view was stunning! I had not expected to see something so beautiful in that booth!

Meopta is a world-class maker of optics with a one-million square foot plant in the Czech Republic and a plant in the U.S. They grind the lenses over there and assemble the scopes and binoculars in both places, I believe.

I own Zeiss NVA border guard 7X40 binos that are nearly world-class. I have looked through Steiner binos that are world-class and unsurpassed. These Meopta MeoStar and MeoPro binos are in that same class for several hundred dollars less, though they are still expensive.

Meopta also makes riflescopes of unsurpassed clarity, but most do not correct for parallax to 10 meters. If they would make a riflescope for air rifles I think they would find a small market among advanced field target competitors and serious airgun hunters.

Someone asked me last week what other things I did while I was at SHOT. Well, I went to the Meopta booth and saw exactly what I want. Unfortunately it’s beyond my reach. Oh, well. It’s nice to have dreams!

Good-bye

I left the SHOT Show and the Venetian Hotel with a lump in my throat. Edith had made the reservations and this was to be the first year we would stay at the hotel adjoining the SHOT Show convention center. I so much wanted her to see their Italian marble hall that’s arranged like an M.C. Escher print. But this year I walked out alone.

Venetian floor
Time to leave the Venetian. SHOT Show 2016 is over.

68 thoughts on “2016 SHOT Show: Day 4

  1. Very nice last report on the SHOT show.

    The ASG tear-down was most interesting. I like it, the concept anyways. Having had the 92FS all the way down, I can appreciate this feature.

    The Xisico line was interesting. Nice tail end, but what is up with that fore end? Still, they are getting it right with the ambi. and adj. comb. Nice looking at the pistol grip area. I will have to check them out more just to see what they are about. The pump? was interesting as well. Supplying an auto-pump with a hand pump? Someone is thinking “outside the box” on that one for sure, maybe too far out.

    The “Whister”?, not even sure what to say there. The word Whisper shows clearly on the logo’s below. Bad on them for the snub. Even more for the 1650.

    Overall, very nice. The throne looks a bit uncomfy, but hey, that one is all about the “looks”.

    As for things of beauty and losses,…kind of at a loss there myself. You seem to be doing real well though.

    Thanks again for the time and effort spent going and reporting on the SHOT.

    Chris


  2. BB,

    That booster compressor from Xisico looks to be based on the same booster pump technology that Rick Eustler showcased a while back.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VM_s5uFCec

    If it can take the output of a small shop compressor and fill to HPA, that would certainly be worth having, most especially if the price is less than a Freedom 8. As for doing it with a hand tire pump…

    Now that Sentry looks to be interesting. If it has similar performance to that of the Discovery with a similar price tag, it will likely become a big seller for them. From what I hear some of their knockoffs are not too bad, especially if you tune them.

    So you are telling me that you believe the double barrel Beeman shoots both barrels at the same time? That is even sillier than having a double barrel sproinger in the first place. No wonder nobody seems to be carrying it.

    I too miss our “Godmother”. She has left her mark on many.



      • I think Beeman still has the corner on the market for dual caliber rifles that come with two interchangeable barrels, in .177 and .22. I know they are made in China. I kind of like the Silver Kodiak X2 rilfe in that line. It has nickel coated receiver and barrels. Maybe that nickel might help fight of the constant rust problem of Hawaii. But, as an example, I had a bottom of the line Beeman takedown spring piston rifle if .177, and emailed their website about breech seals. They never answered me. That same day, which was late on a Sunday afternoon, I emailed Crosman with a question on shipping airguns to Hawaii. When I got up Monday morning, the reply from Crosman greeted me as soon as I checked my email.

        Say what you want about Crosman, but they know what the definition of customer service is, and carry it out every day. Also, I have a bunch of Crosman airguns, the oldest going back almost ten years. They all just continue throwing pellets and bb’s down range at amazing reliability. My only airguns that have broken down were made by other companies.

        So, when I decided to buy my first gas piston break barrel rifle, what brand do you think I chose?


        • Durability of Crosman products tends to be very good however their triggers can use help and like anything else mechanical require periodic maintenance.
          Fortunately they do offer replacement parts and should be around for another generation or better.


        • I had one of the original dual caliber rifles way back in the ’90’s and it was a good gun but once I put the .22 barrel in it it stayed that way.
          I think they should offer a combo .22/.25 now that pellets are readily available.
          I’d buy one IF they keep the prices reasonable.


          • Reb, I was thinking about that when I wrote my message above. Why not a .22/.25 caliber setup? Shoot, they could even make a set with three barrels, .177, .22, .25. The Beeman I had was, it appears, the same as the current “Guardian” model, bit with a quick removable barrel, via a set screw. I thought it would be cool to have a quick takedown air rifle. That one just was not a very good gun. And, oddly, you could not take it apart, as they used some kind of weird one way only round nut and a bolt with no head on it. Too many plastic parts too. It was a very weak airgun too. One time I did a quick penetration test of some of my air rifles, when I needed to humanely kill a wild rooster. My Crosman Custom Shop CO2 carbine in .177, sunk a pellet way into a piece of 1×2 scrap wood. The Beeman, the pellet just bounced off and barely left a tiny dent. I used the Crosman, and it did the job great. I still hear and read messages about Beeman’s dual caliber air rifles, and they get good reviews from private owners.


  3. BB,

    I think the reason that no one at Gamo spoke with you is that you took a picture of their “goof”. They were probably pretty tired of hearing about it and just did not care to hear more.

    Also, they may have recognized you and knew their products were not up to snuff for your reviews.


  4. BB,
    Did you see that Beeman is now the distributor of the QB 78/79 line of airguns? You tested one as the Tech Force years ago. I feel these are a diamond in the rough. With a little work they are very accurate little rifles. Also the tanker version (79) is easily turned I to a pcp with a regulated Ninja tank.


    • Scott,

      The QB rifles are indeed diamonds in the rough. A few have been shown to be fine gems and the bulk of them are fit for use as industrial abrasives.

      The framework is there. It was always there — ever since Tim McMurray showed them how to build a Crosman 160 with all the best features and they produced the first QB77. They simply refuse to put better barrels on their rifles. And that keeps them from becoming everything they could be.

      B.B.


  5. B.B.
    Thanks for your final report!
    Are most bicycle pumps 1 or 2 stages? Really good pumps are capable of pumping skinny tires up to over 100 psi.
    Did anyone at the Umarex booth say what they are doing with Walther. The forums are rife with rumours that Pyramid Air and other dealers are not going to continue to sell them. Most models are out of stock on everybody’s website. Is this the end of the LGV and LGU, in the US anyways?

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      No, I have not heard that Umarex is selling Walther. Remember, they also make firearms — a lot more than airguns. That part of the business must still be lucrative.

      I will keep my ear to the ground, but I already showed you new versions of the LGU that were in the booth.

      B.B.



  6. Wow. The incompetence of Gamo is stunning here. The fact they’ve spelt ‘Whisper’ as ‘Whister’ on a promotional poster is incredible. And, if it turns out not to be a mistake and instead is the name of a new rifle, it’s a bloody awful name.

    Tom, I have a very interesting question for you: With the misery, death and invasion that’s been wrought upon our nations, politically and culturally, and with how dark our future now inevitably is, did your sense the undercurrent of this at SHOT?

    Thanks man.


  7. Be care what you ask for as you may get it! The artillery throne chair will give you quite a big bang 😉 Probably good for constipation too.

    As always, enjoyed your daily blog.


  8. BB,
    Thanks for the reports. I just looked back over your reports to figure what news I was most interested in. I guess for me the new calibers for the AirForce Texan was the most interesting to me.

    What was most interesting to you?

    Thanks,

    David Enoch


  9. B.B., Thank You for the “final roundup” of the shot show. You are the ears and eyes for many of us who are unable to go, but dare to dream. I thought it was low for Gamo to snub you, the Godfather of air guns. Yet Crosman awards you! Does Gamo not know the following you have? Sure you have knocked their triggers and some of there guns. But that is what you do, tell it like it is, good or bad. I also remember you bragging on the Whisper (just Whisper in the name on that rifle). I also thought you gave high praise to the new Gamo revolver. Lots of praise to it. So maybe they should focus on what they have done right and expand on it. Stop with the foolish claims like 1650 fps and killing pigs with a .177 springer. Lately, Your words about Edith, are so touching! Thanks again for all you have done and do!
    Doc


  10. Thanks for the reports B.B.!

    I think that a reasonably priced reliable HPA compressor would be well received and I am surprised that there are so few models available.

    Expected that the PCP manufacturers would step in and offer suitable compressors with a small buddy tank and fill station. Something like that would really blow open the market for their rifles – even if it was sold as a lost-leader they would cash-in.

    I know a number of people who are very impressed (and will no longer wager with me) with PCPs but are hanging back on buying a rifle because of the cost of setting up a HPA source. The idea of hand pumping doesn’t appeal to them.

    Will be watching the Xisico with interest. I have a regular compressor in the workshop that could be used as a first stage but I would prefer if it was stand alone unit. I never considered the shoebox for that reason.


    • Vana, I agree with most of what you said. I too dream of a lower priced compressor. Using my compressor isn’t a turn off for me, but still the shoe box is more than I can part with (when you add the gun and all else). Maybe Xisico can do it.


      • Doc,

        I was searching for a HPA compressor a while ago and found a company in China (of course) that was selling suitable compressors.

        http://gxaircompressor.en.alibaba.com/product/656124509-214665070/GX_30_MPa_electric_air_compressor_Luxury_with_adjustable_gauage.html

        More searching and I came across a web site in USA who was selling the same (far as I could tell by the pictures and specs) compressor for under $800 – they had 20 but were sold out. (Coincidence that the Chinese company would only sell in lots of 20.)

        Then the Omega compressor hits the market with a unit that looks like the $800 one I was checking out but they are selling them for $1,795.

        https://www.precisionairgunsandsupplies.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=Raptor-Pneumatics-EZ-Fill-4500

        I have not done a lot of searching recently but seems Omega has the market cornered and is taking advantage of it.

        You would figure that if one company could sell them for $800 then others could as well.

        Wonder why doesn’t an outfit like PA buy HPA compressors directly from China and cut us all a decent deal. It would be to every bodies (except maybe Omega’s) advantage.

        The manufactures are doing what they can to introduce low cost PCP rifles. IMHO, I think that the market is being restricted by the over-head costs of setting up a HPA source – not the rifles themselves.

        Just my nickels worth (we no longer have cents in Canada).


        • Vana2,

          Very good observations and opinions. As they say, you “hit the nail on the head”. Links saved for further research though I am pretty sure I have the Omega one already. Thanks, Chris


    • Vana2,

      I echo 100% of what you said. Plus time to fill, plus auto features, plus no pre-stage. For the price of a pre-comp. and a Shoebox, you are not that far from an Omega. While still narrowing a PCP, the Omega might just be it unless I see something else or someone has a better idea.


      • Doc, Vana2, Chris USA

        The base model Shoebox is still a pretty good deal compared to cost of other HPA compressors. Around $600 I believe now for a base Shoebox.

        And it sure is nice to not have to hand pump. Hook up the gun and they are full in just a bit over 5 minutes.


        • GF1,

          Mmmmm? I thought it was comp./bottle/gun. Not comp./gun. 600 + pre-stage beats 1800 or so by quite a ways. Maybe I missed something a few months ago in my preliminary research. I could live with a 5 minute gun fill.


          • Chris USA
            Yes you can hook the gun right up to the Shoebox with a hose and fill it up.

            The reason for a bottle is to fill the gun up when your out in the feild. Well that’s what I used it for. I had a Benjamin carbon fiber buddy bottle that took about 40 minutes to fill with the Shoebox. Then if I was out shooting say at my brothers house and I didn’t want to hand pump my guns I had the buddy bottle that would fill my gun about 9 times.

            So yes you can fill your gun from the Shoebox in 5 minute depending on the gun and how low you shoot the gun down on the resivoir pressure. Obviously it takes another minute or so to fill if you shoot more. If you shoot less shots well then the Shoebox will fillthe gun in quicker than 5 minutes.


            • GF1,

              Thank you for the fill info. and ok on the rope bit. Good luck with your test. The springer will be the real test.

              Did try hand on scope. I liked it and shot well. Will try outside when weather breaks.

              Tried the rope rest as well. I liked it but could not get super steady. Will try more for sure! And wow,…the mobility is awesome!!! A perfect hunter set-up,…between trees.

              Both good tips and encourage others to try.


              • Chris USA
                Thanks for the feed back.

                The thing about any new technique that is tryed. A person still has to get a feel for it if it’s out of there normal shooting routine.

                And when you tryed shooting with the rope. Did you still use your front hand rested on the stock and barrel by chance or under the stock. And maybe best hold of all would be with the rope and frond hand rested on the scope.

                Just throwing out some ideas.


                • GF1,

                  Hand was back on the rope test. I could see hand on scope + rope rest working (real) well. Notes made and will try. Yes, both were out of norm but could get used to both pretty easy I think. Solid(ist) steady is the key for me. Man, I loved the mobility of the rope rest!
                  Perfect for multiple targets at multiple angles and distance. It was the LGU was on a turret!


                  • Chris USA
                    Let me know if you try different holds on the gun with the rope rest.

                    And yes on a turret is a good way to explain the rope rest. That’s what is kind of unique about the rope rest. You can get in multiple positions or should I say on targets in multiple positions by just rotating the scope on the rope. And most of all the stability it offers along with getting on different targets fast.

                    It is a real nice setup if you are shooting a semi auto gun at different targets fast shooting. Air gun wise a 1077 with a small magnification fixed powered scope would be a ideal set up to fast shoot the dreaded ferral cans when a 6 pack of them wonder into veiw.

                    Go back about 40 years and that’s what I was doing with my Winchester 190 semi-auto .22 out on the farm.

                    You sure you don’t want to try out a scoped 1077? 🙂



  11. Quick udate.
    Just ordered the Stoeger bi-pod and and picatinny tri ring to try out the scope monted bi-pod test.

    Should have everything by the weekend.

    Oh and got some of the 33.95 JSB pellets for my .25 Mrod. Been wanting to try them. So good as time as any to order them I suppose.

    And stay tuned scope torture test number 1 comming soon to your favorite blog. 🙂



      • Reb
        Remember I got the scope mount bi-pod idea after BB showed AirForce’s top of the barrel mounted bi-pod that he talked about in one of the Shot Show reports. Of course that is different than what I’m doing with the scope mounted bi-pod. Two different systems.

        I don’t know what to think will happen when I mount the bi-pod to the scope for real. Will the scope endure. Basically take more shock or have less. On the spring gun anyway. Don’t know if groups will be better or worse on the spring gun.

        Now on the other hand the pcp guns will do fine I’m thinking. I’m talking about the two particular pcp guns I have right now. The .22 Talon SS and the .25 Mrod that’s stuned up pretty hot.

        My main goal is to get the two pcp guns really stabilized on the shooting bench for the long distance shooting. Well long distance to me anyway. Trying to get them two guns working out to about 150 yards. But probably 120 will be max most of the time. That’s why the heavier 33.95 JSB’s got orders for the .25 Mrod. It’s doing pretty well out at those distances now with the H&N Barracudas that are 31.02 grain.

        So hopefully with the addition of the scope mounted bi-pod and the heavier pellets I can get my .25 Mrod where I want it.

        Well that’s the plan anyway.


    • GF1,

      What?,…… No “Rope-A-Scope” test (first)? 33.95g.,…..wow. Keep us posted on the FPE and FPS on that! As well as trajectory.

      As for the test,…. on a PCP,… I should think,… no worry’s.


      • Chris USA
        I already said I know what the scope on a rope does for a gun when you shoot that way. Done it all the time when I was a kid.

        I want to know what the bi-pod mounted on a scope will do.

        That’s what I have never tryed yet.


  12. What are the cylinders on the side of throne with the holes in them? That’s the one part I didn’t understand. This would be thematically perfect for Game of Thrones if anachronistic. I don’t watch the series but have seen pictures of weird-looking thrones from there.

    Yes, that Sentry looks interesting, and I like the little cheekrest. Let’s have a review of that and the Russian Ataman guns.

    I go to Las Vegas ready to be turned off by its ersatz show business quality, but it usually turns out to be fun. They can be very creative.

    On the subject of handguns, my FBI expert says that the top people in the Bureau can hit “head shots at 50 yards with boring regularity.” There’s something to strive for. On a good day, I might get most of my shots into that area at 25 yards. Also he has officially refused to endorse either the Isosceles or Weaver stances, claiming that they both have their uses. But for both he advised keeping the elbow bent rather than locked straight.

    Matt61


  13. Tried to sneak a peek at Xisico’s new Sentry but it looks like they want you to call instead of having a catalog online.
    Bummer, guess it’ll have to wait till Monday.


  14. B.B.,

    If the Gamo guys know who you are, and I’ve got to believe they do, well… that’s just plain stupid of them to ignore you. Also, like you, I feel sorry for the Beeman name and legacy.

    G&G


  15. BB,
    for what it’s worth, less the pontification, she’s watching over you.
    We go on, the kitties help supervise, the toilet seat stays properly aligned, as do the forks and spoons.
    And one day, something comes up,…and miraculously, Edith tells you what to do.
    Amazing, isn’t it?
    If not yet, just see if that doesn’t happen.
    Just see.
    To you, the best,
    David


    • Dave
      I know you replied to BB. But I’m with you 100%. My mom and dad passed away quite a few years back. I’m 54 right now. And yes I can still hear their voices pop up a certain times. It’s my dad when I’m shooting. Its my mom when I want to get a new toy and I know I shouldn’t if you know what I mean.

      Yes it’s amazing. And sorry but just had to reply.


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