2016 Texas Airgun show: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • It was a great show!
  • Some of the guns I saw at the show
  • Seriously though
  • Not for sale
  • Demonstrations
  • Air Bolt
  • Robin Hood
  • An interesting find
  • Will there be another show?

It was a great show!

I sold more airguns at this show than at any other I have attended. Besides that I met a lot of readers who came up and shook my hand. That is so nice, because it tells me who I’m reaching.

I had my latest book for sale on the table and it looks like I sold about 20 of them. I wanted to have coffee cups, hats and tee-shirts, but I’m updating my Godfather logo so it will be right when I sell them. Next year for sure.

The bottom line was — I had a great show! So did every dealer I talked to. Larry Hannusch told me he sold more guns than he normally does and Sun Optics actually sold out of several items. I know AirForce Airguns was doing a brisk business on the tables behind me, and Dennis Quackenbush, who usually only brings guns for people who have ordered them actually had guns for sale this time! He told me after the show he sold several of them.

Quackenbush pistols
The two Quackenbush pistols on top are .58 caliber big bores. They generate 170 foot-pounds at the muzzle! On the bottom is a .25 caliber pistol. Some of these might have left the show with Dennis!

The thing is — there was a lot of money at this show. People weren’t as tight-fisted as they usually are. I had two guys who didn’t do a deal with me at the show, but were still in touch for days afterward. One of them I steered to Pyramyd Air, because what he really wants is a new pellet rifle. We both thought the Walther Terrus in .22 caliber would be ideal for him. And I am still talking to the other gentleman who hopes to meet with me this weekend to seal the deal on one of my rifles. I still have two potential purchase deals going. So, the show’s not over yet.

Some of the guns I saw at the show

I told you about some of the airguns I saw in Part 1. Today I’d like to look at some others. Dennis Quackenbush brought around a Gangsta pistol for everyone to gawk at. It has sights on the right side of the slide because that’s how the hoods hold them in the movies.

gangsta gun
Dennis Quackenbush shared this gangsta gun with us.

Seriously, though

Okay, that gun was a joke. But the next ones were anything but. My brother-in-law, Bob, told me about an Anschütz rifle he had seen in another row. It was across the room and with the crowd it took me a while to get over there, but from his description I guessed it was a field target gun and it was.

Right next to it was a sharp-looking Walther LGR single stroke target rifle. I didn’t ask if it was sealed because I didn’t want to hear that it was. I was trying to hold out for that mega deal you hear about. I already told you I was in turmoil over two guns on Larry Hannusch’s table and I was hoping beyond hope that a Sheridan Supergrade would walk in the door. There was one at the show, but apparently is was not for sale.

Sitting next to the LGR was an FWB 150 Tyrolean. Now, the 300 Tyroleans are scarce, but this was the first 150 Tyro I have seen. Next to it was a Park HR93 recoilless pellet rifle. Besides being collectible, the neat thing about a Park is the fact that it is cocked by a chain and not by a conventional cocking link.

Park and 150
That’s an FWB 150 Tyrolean in the center. Both rifles are rare. The rifle on the left looks like a Daisy 753. Don’t know what the one on the left is. Is it the Park?

Not for sale

There were some guns on display that couldn’t be bought. One gentleman had a rack of ancient BB guns with their original prices posted. I saw several people stop and look at it — probably because I was standing there for a long time, myself!

not for sale
They are beautiful, but not for sale. This educational exhibit drew a lot of attention.

Demonstrations

One feature this show offered were public demonstrations of various airgun events and even the guns, themselves. John McCaslin of AirForce spent the entire show on the range demonstrating the Texan and Condor rifles, and letting anyone shoot. I heard some club members who hadn’t known about big bore airguns before this day (thought they were talking about punkin’ chunkin’) quoting the specs of the Texan’s bullet weight and velocity. Many sets of eyes were opened this day!

The club also put on demonstrations of field target, benchrest and airgun silhouette for the public. That was one prime reason they wanted to hold the show — to introduce these airgun sports to as many shooters as possible. Well, that goal was achieved! Once they started the demos they never left the range all day, as hundreds of interested shooters cycled through.

Air Bolt

I demonstrated the Air Venturi Air Bolt system to the public. As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I mistakenly placed the arrow stop at 35 yards instead of 25 yards, so my shots went low. Once I figured that out, though, all my arrows went straight to the kill zone. No less than 6 other shooters and I put 7 arrows into 3 inches in the kill zone from an offhand rested position with that new hunting revolution.

Robin Hood

Then Rossi Morreale and I filmed a segment for American Airgunner, in which he shot the Air Bolt. He told me that he had previously shot the arrow through a lightweight backstop and then through both sides of a commercial van! When I get back to my review of the Air Bolt I will stress the need for the strongest possible arrow stop you can buy. Mine is rated to 400 f.p.,s. and works with field points, but even it cannot stop the arrows when broadheads are attached!

After I left the ranges, I left the Air Bolts and my air tank with Rossi, who wanted to sight in his Dragon Claw for a pig hunt Jim Chapman was taking him on the next day. I have heard that he did get his pig, so that part was a success.

When he returned the arrows to me. one had been destroyed by a Robin Hood, in which one arrow hits the tail of another. So, that question has now been officially laid to rest!

Robin Hood
A Robin Hood. Arrow on top hit the tail of the arrow on the bottom and scraped off its tailpiece and o-ring. Notice the o-ring has slid along the entire arrow and come to rest in the fletching! It doesn’t get center-er than that!

An interesting find!

Before the show, Rick Ward emailed me with an interesting find. He bought an airgun collection that included a Parris BB gun in a Lucky McDaniel box. I blogged Lucky McDaniel and showed you the special Daisy set he had made for his training. This air rifle, though, was something different — something even earlier.

Before Lucky went to Daisy to make his trainer — the one the U.S. Army adopted for their Quick Kill training and Daisy later brought out as Quick Skill — he used Parris BB guns. I have heard of them and I have seen a Parris gun that sported a Lucky McDaniel sticker, but this was the first Lucky gun in a Parris box I had ever seen. Collector Larry Hannusch agreed that the box was the collectible, rather than the gun.

This gun has sights, which Lucky had removed from his Daisy trainer, but the box has a label showing Lucky holding the same Parris BB gun and it has sights! I learned something from this rare box!

Lucky McDaniel
An early Parris Lucky McDaniel instinct shooting trainer was found by Rick Ward.

The gun is a common Parris gun, but the box establishes it as a Lucky trainer! That’s cool. Sometimes you learn important things at an airgun show, but you’ll never know unless you attend.

Will there be another show?

At the end of the day I asked the Arlington Sportsman Club show management how they felt things went. To say they were impressed would be conservative. They now know how great an attraction a show like this can be, and they realize it’s only going to grow from here.

If they hold another show next year they will need a large tent to house some of the dealers. I know some dealers did not rent tables because they wanted to wait and see if this show would be a success. Well, they missed a crowd with money who came to buy airguns! Those with tables know how good it was. Next year I expect the show to double in size — both in dealers and also in public attendance. Maybe we cvan remove the table imitation (two per dealer — max) and they will have even more room to spread out.

Justin Biddle of Umarex USA was out on the range all day, and he told me he plans to get a Texas sales tax permit to sell airguns at the show next time. Anyone who saw the business AirForce Airguns did probably wants to do the same. Making several thousand dollars in sales is no big deal when you sell to the box stores, but it doies pay your expenses. And seeing the enthusiasm of the crowd just makes you want to satisfy them.

If there is a show in 2017, I strongly recommend you try to attend. Besides simply buying airguns, this show is a detailed education in the hobby. The people you get to talk to and the things you get to see will stay with you for the rest of your life.

48 thoughts on “2016 Texas Airgun show: Part 2

  1. B.B.
    Ok you talked me into it. Next year…but what happens if I see something that I HAVE to have. Should I ship it home via UPS. I really don’t want to sus a hard case and go through the airline hassle. Some of us coastal residents would fly in.
    Will dealers ship?

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      The bottom line is — find a way. Some dealers will ship. I just bought a gun from one who ships. Maybe you can send it UPS yourself. Allow extra time for that. Maybe a different dealer lives close and will bring it to you. There are all kinds of different solutions.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        I’ve just reread this and part 1, really amazing stuff. Frankly, because I am unable to go to shows, experiencing them vicariously through your reports on them is it for me, so I just can’t get enough of them. Nevertheless, have you considered doing, say, a two or three part series on how to have a table or two — a “Dos and Don’ts” piece — at an air gun show and/or air gun plus firearms show such as the Texas show? Even though I can’t see how I could do that personally, I am curious about that, too.

        Michael


  2. Hi BB,

    The rifle on the left in the picture is a feinwerkbau 300S running target. When are you going to do another classic airgun blog?; this picture prompts me to ask.

    I am going to try to make it to Texas next year for this show.

    Best regards,

    Carel


  3. Oh man, I am really going to have to get down to the Hickory, NC show this year! They even had a range set up where you could shoot until your heart was content. Maybe I can talk Lloyd into coming along. He and I enjoyed it last year and he managed to pull off some pretty good wheelin’ and dealin’.

    At almost every airgun show I have attended You can see the latest and greatest and on a table next to it may be an air rifle from the 1700’s. I do not care how long you have been into airgunning, very likely at every show you are going to see something you have never seen before.


  4. This question came to me from Peter, who felt it was unrelated to the blog topics.

    Peter has a 2240 pistol he’s installed a longer Lothar Walther barrel on and he wondered if adjustable grips are worth the investment. I told him they woul;dn’t be for me. He then asked me this:

    Hi Tom, I will post to the other blog after this…..

    No, I don’t want to pay that much neither. I guess what I am really wanting to know is, without adjustable grips, or for that matter, using the stock 2240 grips, how do I align my wrist to lock at that crucial downward angle for 10 meter shooting?

    Regards,
    Peter


    • Peter,

      Adjustable grips are not necessary for the hold I showed. I was taught to do it on an M1911A1 that had military grips.

      The benefit of the adjustable grip is the tightness of the fit. But if the grips are not really well made, they can hinder more than help.

      Also, a 2300T (similar to what you have made) is not a true 10-meter pistol anyway. You will be shooting informally — not formal 10-meter target. So it really doesn’t matter that much.

      I hope that answers your question.

      B.B.


      • Hi BB, no, not formal shooting, but want to develop good 10 meter techniques. So, how do you lock your wrist even with stock grips? When my wrist is locked, I find my gun is pointing down 45 degrees toward the ground. I had to straighten out to aim properly and fatigue sets in quick……wax on wax off Mr. Miyagi? 🙂

        …thanks for the fantastic pictures….as if I was there (I wish!)

        Regards,
        Peter


        • peter,

          Locking the wrist is not a classic 10-meter technique. I think I was one of the few who did it. It’s from pistol (Olympics) what means .45 acp. It works by rolling the arm to the side and relaxing again. The elbow moves under thew arm and the arm (and wrist) are locked.

          The 10 meter pistol grip, in relation to the gun, forces the wrist to lock up and down. That is classic and does require 10-meter adjustable grips.

          B.B.


          • Hi BB, I’ll have to really think about this and try it again with the 2240 in hand. I might not be visualizing this right. I believe I can lock my elbow. Dropping the wrist downward does lock my wrist, but now I am pointing at the floor at a 45 degrees angle. Keeping this arm/wrist configuration, I have to lean way back to straighten out the gun. I’m certain I am doing something incorrectly. What am I doing wrong?

            Thanks,
            Peter


  5. B.B.,

    Very nice report with all of photos. That antique bb gun collection was beautiful. The drop in the stock/comb on that 4th one down is insane! The second and third for that matter too. I love that deep stamping (or iron work?) on 2 and 3 as well. The Quackenbush big bore pistols were a treat as well. What is that second lever sticking out the side? The bigger of the 2 being the bolt.

    Chris


  6. B.B.,

    I have a Tyro FWB 150 in LEFTY. I have only twice seen such an air rifle up for sale on the Net.

    Thanks for these reports and shows. I wish my annual work schedule would allow me to attend.

    Michael


  7. You mention the gangsta gun as being a joke.

    Back in the early 80’s I saw a working prototype machine pistol, a Browning hi power converted to full auto.

    To control recoil, there was a second pistol grip that extended from the left grip panel, to over the slide.

    The sights were moved to the right side of the slide as these were, but professionally done.

    Was it practical with the 2 grips?
    No, but it was more controllable with 2 hands counteracting the recoil left to right, instead of up and left.



  8. BB,

    Susan and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. We will be there next year.

    In part 1, you mentioned Larry Hannusch’s antique butt reservoir rifle. Next to it was an Air Cane and a display case with several antique pistols including at lease one with a ball reservoir. Did you happen to take a picture of the pistols that you can post on the blog?

    I see that I need to be studying the Blue Book more. I walked by several of the guns in the pictures above without realizing what they were.

    Jim


  9. When you were telling about the table with the Walther LGR, I was hoping you were going to tell us you bought it. I’ve been waiting to see a report on those for a while now. So close!


  10. I won’t miss a future show! I have not missed any in Texas! I did see and recognized a number of collectibles and rare guns! I have access to blue book online and some were not in the airgun BB! They had some rare prices also! That really did not bother me! If it is what I went looking for I would have purchased! I did make some deals and purchases on the some airguns I don’t think I would have stumbled on any place else! What is the date of the Hickory show and location? I would more than welcome Carel at any show! I did some homework on Texas club! I’m told it is the first time it has been opened to the public in that manner? As all shows I rate it near the very top! I met some really outstanding members! With exception of one person I was dealing with and let someone he knew walk all over my deal!! He did not seem to care? But! He cost himself a package deal of several thousand dollars! He could not have been from Texas!! Courtesy will go along way! Very happy that I was not a young man! It can happen anywhere! I won’t let it tarnish my attitude toward any future dealer’s are gun or airgun shows! This was just an independent! I found later he was not from Texas! That’s why we have freedom in our country and should be thankful that we still have active duty veterans and passed veterans representing us as a Country and at these shows! And not just airgun shows! Semper Fi!!


  11. I can’t wait to see this Godfather logo. And with all this free shooting available, I would go nuts. As for the Air Bolt, I think the Robin Hood feat is hitting the arrow precisely in the center so that it splits completely in half. But this is close enough. With my success of last weekend, I am now fantasizing about a genuine English warbow of 120 lbs. with $40 arrows. I was struggling with my 60 lb. bow, and even the 120 lb. is far less than the 180 lb. of some of the original bows, but it’s something to aspire to.

    Matt61


    • I can’t imagine a 180 lb draw. Or 120, for that matter. Every five pound increment from 40-60 is very easy to feel. Doubling or tripling it would be nasty. I know Howard Hill did it when he was 70, but that was him, not me!


  12. I have to say, this show was a lot of fun to attend. I enjoyed the Umarex guns I shot, didn’t think I’d enjoy the burst and full auto BB guns that much, but they were fun. I also got to shoot a Texan, and man does that make want one, but here in AR all you can shoot with them are basically pigs, but I guess that’s okay.

    Maybe I’ll actually get to go to the Malvern show this coming year as well as the Texas show. Since you know Malvern is only like an hour away and all.

    Auronotcs


  13. Hi BB, I probably misunderstood, but what you said about holding the stock 1911 with a locked wrist, I am very interested in understand how. Do you any tips or pictures? I mean why put on a 10 meter grip when you can do without? Sorry for being persistent.

    Thanks,
    Peter



  14. Hi BB

    I think it was a very good show, better than last year with a lot more foot traffic. So much, in fact, that it was sometimes difficult to walk down the crowded aisles (which is a good thing). As always, there were friendly people and a wide variety of guns and equipment. You can learn a lot at an airgun show by simply observing and asking questions.
    I sold more guns than usual and bought a few. This was my second time to display some old bb guns and it was a lot of fun and prompted quite a bit of conversation – especially with young kids and their dads. I would encourage everyone to bring some unusual items for “show and tell” to promote interest in our hobby. Kudos to Larry H. for always doing this and sharing his collection and knowledge with us.
    Those who missed this show missed a very good time. Thank you for your part for making this happen


  15. It’s great that they are trying to get more people into BR and field target. I just wish they had more events for regular air guns so people could try it without having to buy a special gun they would never use for anything else.

    What would I do with a sub 20fpe .177 for the rest of the time? I like using my 25 cal Cricket and don’t want to invest $1500 – $3000 in another gun with such limited uses.

    AOA has the right idea with their extreme BR comp. makes far more sense in America if more participation is the goal.


  16. Hello, I have been reading this blog for about a year. It has been a valuable resource to me while getting involved in the airgun hobby. You guys have given me the confidence to open up and repair my Beeman p-17 and reseal a daisy 880. Most of my guns are inexpensive but alot of fun to shoot. Had the chance to go to the airgun show and meet Mr. Gaylord which was great. There were quite a few powerful guns that were nice to hold and even get a chance to shoot at the range. Not my cup of tea as I live in the suburbs with only 30′ feet or so to shoot in the backyard. But there was a dealer there from Kansas that I was able to get a crosman 400 which after some study on my part is a good open sight shooter. My son picked up a crosman 101 multipump that is also a good shooter. Neither of these will win any beauuty contests but are really goood for what we want them to do and the prices were unbeatable. The101 has a nice pump action, much easier than my 397. The 400 is missing the magazine and is tricky to load. You have to be careful of the types of pellets being used to not get them hung up in the action. As we were leaving I saw the 753 from your picture and tried to bargin the gentleman down on his price but he held firm. Then I kicked myself all the way back to Houston for not getting it. Like I need more airguns, this is probably not the place to get help with my addiction as y’all seem to have it worse than me. Lol.


  17. Your not helping. 🙂
    I have seen gun broker. I check lots of sites for clearance guns also. I started to ask you if it would be alright if I brought a Stoger x-3 for you to do a review. Brand new in the box. One of the big box stores was getting them off the shelves and I snagged a few. The one I’m shooting has broken in quite nice. It’s the kind of shooter that is just right for backyard shooting. Easy to cock and not very hold sensitive. Still needs the artillery hold (thañks Tom) but very forgiving. . Needed some pull lenght added to make it easier to hold.
    But I know you keep a full plate of things to do and probably don’t need me to add to it.
    Already looking forward to next year, Lord willing.


  18. Randy, I wish I did. Did not get a card or anything from him. I would recognize him if I saw him again and did see him in the video that American airgunner made. Would like to thank him for the guns we bought at the show. When we got them it was a ‘pig in a poke’ but ended up being a good deal.
    Pat


  19. Also you might want to post your question on the latest blog as more people will read it. Someone else might have met him. I can almost remeber his name as I did introduce myself, but it has been awhile since the show.
    Pat


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