2017 SHOT Show: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

  • Umarex USA
  • The Hammer
  • .50 caliber
  • Repeater
  • 4500 psi
  • Absolute zero
  • Second Zero
  • MP 40 BB gun
  • Umarex Forge
  • Trevox and Strike Point
  • Optical Dynamics flashlights
  • Still not finished

Before we begin I want to tell you about a blog series I will start this week. I have the new Air Venturi air compressor on hand and I used it for the first time yesterday. It works so well that I’m jumping the line to get the report started. You can expect to start reading about it this week.

The 2017 SHOT Show was the biggest show I have ever experienced for airguns. Some manufacturers like Crosman and Umarex brought out many new gun models and related products that are really different. Others brought out only one of two items, like the Gamo Swarm Maxim, but they are so significantly different that they deserve to be recognized. My work is cut out for me this year!

Now let’s get into today’s report. I’ll begin with Umarex USA.

Umarex USA

I already showed you the Umarex Gauntlet that I shot on Media Day. At $300 for a regulated 10-shot repeating PCP, this rifle will be a killer in the market. Based on the Chinese QB CO2 rifle that is in turn a copy of Crosman’s iconic 160, the Gauntlet is going to open up the market for precharged guns. But we have seen that — what else is new from Umarex USA?

The Hammer

What, indeed! The new Umarex Hammer .50 caliber big bore is reported to get 700 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle that will make it the most powerful big bore when it does get into production. I got the full details on the Hammer from Umarex USA marketing manager, Justin Biddle, and, with thanks to him I’m now going to share them with you.

Umarex Hammer
Umarex Hammer.

.50 caliber

I was told that the Hammer barrel is based on the .50 caliber Browning Machine Gun (BMG) barrel and that it is a true .50 caliber. That will present no problem, because a .50 BMG bullet is actually 0.511-inches in diameter. That’s close to a standard size for cast rifle bullets. Fifty caliber cast rifle bullets run either 0.495-inches for round balls or 0.510 to 0.512-inches for lead conicals.

The reason I mention this is because I was told that the 700 foot-pound figure came from shooting a 500-grain cast lead bullet. If shooters want to get that kind of power they will have to use the same bullet Umarex used, or one of similar weight. I feel that Umarex will have to offer a bullet of that weight when the rifle comes out.

Biddle also told me they are looking at trimming a few inches off the barrel length, as the Hammer they displayed at SHOT is very long. When you cut down a PCP barrel you loose velocity, so they will have to be careful if they still want to make the power claim.

Repeater

The Hammer is a three-shot repeater that uses a true harmonica clip. Harmonica clips pass through the receiver from one side to the other or from the top to the bottom. When they get to the end of their travel, they either stop or they fall out. At the SHOT Show, the clip was falling out at the end of its travel, so I’m sure they will refine that to keep it on the receiver.

Hammer clip
The Hammer has a 3-round harmonica clip that slides from left to right through the receiver.

The Hammer action is operated by a sliding forearm, and I am pleased to report that the effort needed to cycle the action and advance the clip is very small. This air rifle is quite slick already!

4500 psi

The Hammer operates on a fill to 4500 psi. That means that you get one fill to that level from an air tank. After the first fill, the pressure to which you can fill starts to decline. I’m told the rifle gets three powerful shots on a fill, and it has a regulator, so I’m told those three are all the same! I’ll have to test one, but this will be the biggest news in big bore airguns in a long time — even bigger than the power!.

Based on what I saw and was told I believe the Hammer won’t come out until later this year. There is still some development to be done before it is ready for the market, and Umarex USA won’t release it until it is. But when it does come out the world will have a powerful new big bore!

Absolute zero

This is a device that clamps to your barrel and allows you to sight in at 25 yards in just two shots. When you are finished you are sighted-in at 100 yards. It’s obviously for firearms, but there is no reason an airgunner shouldn’t be able to use it, as well. I will keep tabs on it for you.

Absolute Zero
At 25 yards put the two laser dots on two targets provided with the device, then fire a shot. Afterward, leaving the two dots on the targets, adjust the scope’s reticle to the bullet hole and you’re done! This picture was taken from a video in the booth.

I imagine that using the Absolute Zero on an airgun will give you a zero at a different distance than 100 yards. Once that distance is determined, the tool will be just as useful to airguns as it is for firearms.

Second Zero

How many times have you been hunting when you see a target at a range that’s different than your zero distance? If the difference is small, you can hold over or under to compensate, but what it’s large? Second Zero can fix that. It is a flip-up lens that optically adjusts your zero to a second specified distance. The one at the show was a 300-yard zero for a scope that was zeroed to 100 yards.

Second Zero
Second zero optically changes your zero distance.

The device attaches to either the scope’s objective bell or to the scope base on the rifle.It flips up (or down) for use and is stored out of the way at all other times. Custom zero distances can be provided by the manufacturer, but each lens has one specific correction at which it works.

MP 40 BB gun

I mentioned the Umarex MP 40 BB gun in Part 1, but I had to use a photo of a firearm to show you. Today I have the actual airgun.

MP 40 BB gun
The Umarex MP 40 BB gun.

It’s all-metal and seems very realistic. There is a selector switch for safe, semiautomatic and full-auto. And the stick mag holds 60 BB in line, just waiting for the trigger to be pulled. This will be a fun one to test.

Umarex Forge

You aren’t going to believe this one! The Umarex Forge is a breakbarrel rifle in a checkered wood stock that gets 1250 f.p.s. in .177b, using alloy pellets. Comes with open sights, 4X32 scope, gas piston, adjustable trigger, SilencAir sound suppression and retails for just $159!!! I plan on testing this one as soon as possible.

Forge
I was thrilled to see the Umarex Forge. If it’s accurate, they have a winner!

Octane Elite

The Octane spring rifle has done well in the past few years so Umarex wanted to keep it going. This year they introduced the new Octane Elite that now has their StopShox vibration damper. The news this year is they are holding the line on the price — at $249 with the StopShox.

Octane Elite
Justin Biddle holds the new Umarex Octane Elite.

Trevox and Strike Point

Umarex brings out two new air pistols this year — one springer and one multi-pump. The Trevox is the springer that’s touted to get up to 800 f.p.s. with alloy pellets. The Strike Point is a multi-pump that looks like a 1377 (fightin’words, I know) and gets up to 650 f.p.s. in .177 with alloys. The Trevox comes in .177 and the Strike Point in both .177 and .22

Trevox
Umarex Trevox promises rifle power in an air pistol.

Strike Point
Umarex Strike Point brings all the flexibility of a multi-pump

Optical Dynamics flashlights

And then there were the Optical Dynamics hunting flashlights. These are LED lights that will positively identify game at up to 200 yards for the OD 40 and 400 yards. for the OD 50. Designed to fit on your gun for nighttime target identification, they are bright beyond belief.

OD-50
Justin Biddle holds the Optical Dynamics OD 50.

Still not finished

We have now seen a lot, but there is still more SHOT Show to come. Like I said in the beginning, 2017 is the year of the airgun. There will be at least oner more report.

39 thoughts on “2017 SHOT Show: Part 6


  1. Great series of reports BB. I took a glance back at some of your previous visits and the advances and changes are astounding. A question, who actually manufactures The Forge break Barr?


  2. BB, does the Hammer launch a 500 grain .50 cal cast bullet at 800 fps out the muzzle!! And its 3 shot repeater ! How far out can we hunt deer with one of these and what sort of accuracy to expect out of this kind of big bores?


    • Riki,

      The accuracy is the key. We will have to wait and see about that.

      As far as how far out can we hunt deer? The answer is “How far out can you hunt squirrel?”. If you can take an air rifle and repeatedly hit the kill zones of a squirrel at 50 yards, you can hunt squirrel with that air rifle out to 50 yards. If you can only hit the kill zones of a squirrel with that air rifle at 25 yards, that is your limit.

      BB was telling us he was shooting 1.5″ groups at 100 yards with the .45 Texan. I am shooting 1″ groups at 100 yards with my .357 HM1000X. I myself would not hesitate to take a head shot at that range with either rifle.

      The .45 Texan has enough FPE at that range to penetrate into and likely through the heart/lung kill zone of a deer or larger game and create a large enough wound channel to be effective. If you are confident and competent enough to hit the kill zone with something like this at longer ranges, you can kill deer with it at those ranges.

      I would hesitate to do such at 100 yards or further with my .357 HM1000X for several reasons. I know it would have enough FPE for the penetration, but I would be unsure of the size of the wound channel. Plus, I personally would hesitate to shoot any animal in the heart/lung zone with anything. I have only shot two deer behind the shoulders in my lifetime and they did not die quickly enough to suit me. Unless I had to depend on killing that deer to feed my starving family, I will stick with a head shot or pass up the shot. That’s just me.


      • RR, I see you are a hunter, so very nice. Every where I only come across anti-hunters trying to condemn me of ” animal murder” & burning my soul in hell. I agree with you on accuracy. In fact I first test the accuracy of my rifle, then test the penetration of my ammo and then study the anatomy of the game so as to find the weakest spot on the skull. There is difference between head shot and brain shot while shooting with air rifles. Squirrels are protected here, I hunt crows, rats and few other animals. I can put a pellet in a crows brain at 40 yards all day.
        You shoot dears in the head? I have everywhere read that deer should be shot at the heart lung area.and not in the head, am curious to know why not and whether or not it can be done reliably.


        • The heart and lung is the easier shot, if not as quick. There are more intricacies in the head shot, angle of the head, front/side/back. If you take a wrong shot (and there’s plenty to take) you’ll miss anything humane when going for the brain shot. From the front, if your angle is wrong it will hit, skim along the skull then come out the back. Other shots that are off just an inch or so can take off an ear or a jaw, and result in a run-away. Meanwhile the effective kill area of chest shot is massive in comparison. While not as quick as the brain shot, striking the heart (roughly the same size as the brain) is close to an instant drop, the lungs which are substantially larger and still next to the heart will cause expiration usually within 75 yards and a short time frame. Then there’s also the liver, which should not be your primary target, but if you happen to hit, is packed to the brim with blood vessels, also leading to a fairly quick demise.

          So basically, most people are maybe half as good as they think they are at shooting, and the blanket advice is shoot at this 12″+ target instead of this 2″ target.


          • Another downside of the brain shot on big game animals is they frequently turn their heads (much more often than they turn or move their entire bodies). The probability that they will turn their head just as you squeeze off a round is actually fairly high.


        • Riki,

          I hunted deer for 30+ years using both centerfire rifles and archery equipment. I don’t hunt deer any more because the deer on my property all have names and come running over to greet me when I get home from work.

          I agree with RR that a brain shot would likely be best with a big bore air rifle – it is a 2 1/2″ target best taken perpendicular to the side of the head or directly from the back of the head. Wouldn’t recommend face-on shots because the angle of the scull might not allow the best penetration.

          A heart (3″ target) or lung (6″ target) would be very effective as well but the deer will not drop on the spot. This is the preferred archery shot.

          When I rifle hunted I preferred a neck-shot but don’t recommend that for an AG.

          As to the problem of “anti-hunters” their emotional comments are usually based on ignorance. Most of them use leather products and eat meat… and meat doesn’t grow on white Styrofoam plates covered with plastic wrap. Each to their own beliefs.

          Hank


          • the thing with animals raised for slaughter have the instinct for survival breeded out. like the way the cows stand in line as the ones in the front are killed do not try to run. you cannot do that with deer they will not stand there. I cannot hunt deer any more either


            • Mildot52

              The resident deer on my property have come to trust us and are comfortable approaching to within a couple of feet. I have been accepted into the herd, guess it is because I speak their “language” (sounds and signals) and it is fun to interact with them.

              I took a “phone video” of two does and two fawns last fall. The alpha doe had me watch over her fawn feeding (4 feet from me) while she was on guard, then I told her to come and eat while I guarded (the neighbours dog was out) which she did.

              They are all still “wild” and will react to strangers like any wild deer would.

              Hank


          • Thanks Auronotcs and Vana2 for taking the time to explain it to me. For animals that are facing me, and have skull which I suspect will deflect the pellet up and out, I wait for them to put the head down, and shoot them a little above the eye line That part of the skull is fairly flat and the pellet punches right through it into the brain. Reading anatomy helps.
            Thanks again for clearing it.


            • Riki,

              Though I once was a very avid hunter and at various times in my life had to literally live off of the land, it has been quite a long time since I have hunted as I have not had to do such to feed myself and my family. Nowadays I just like to shoot, but should the need arise I am prepared to resume hunting. It will be difficult to do such in the immediate vicinity of my house though, as with Vana2 I have a substantial herd of deer and other various game species that our “pets”. When shooting my air rifles I have on occasion had to hold my fire until the squirrels vacate the range.

              As I said though, should I get hungry I may have to reduce the number of “pets” around the house.



      • BB, that formula is ingrained into my brain. I rounded off 793 to 800 fps. It is (700X450240)/500 and sqaure rooting the answer. I was very much astonished at the power and velocity that gun is able to obtain using compressed high pressure air alone. I bet in a coming few years we will have a thousand fpe air rifle ! 🙂


        • Riki
          Like this too.

          How much pellet weighs (grains) × feet per second × feet per second ÷ 450240.

          And I say it’s imbedded into my brain. I can remember in my brain by things I see. But it all equals the same thing. 🙂


  3. BB,

    I am really looking forward to your report on the Air Venturi compressor. If my memory serves me correctly, do you own an Omega compressor? If so, I would like an honest comparison as I am planning on buying a compressor in the next few weeks.


  4. Another fine report. The clip on the Hammer looks huge! It will be interesting to see what the final version turns out to be. Innovative optics/lights. New pistols. Thanks again for all the effort. Looking forward to the last report. I hope you are getting rested,…… you are going to be a busy man this year.

    One suggestion on the AV compressor,…. some up close shots of the “guts”. Maybe even remove a cover if that is easy to do. Lot’s of people like a pretty car,…. but many too like to know what is “under the hood”. Any durable testing data. Self service? Re-build kits? Noise level? You get the idea.

    Good Day all,….. Chris


  5. Pingback: 2017 SHOT Show: Part 6 | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  6. B.B.

    Did you get to the Action Sport Games booth at Shot Show? I saw a report that ASG is introducing 2.5 inch and 4 inch barrel versions of the Dan Wesson 715 pellet revolver. Can you confirm that?


  7. one thing about that absolute zero gizmo is attaching it to the barrel will give one zero taking it off will really change the zero. some loads more then others. I saw an instructor at 600 yds have a guy with a MI garand shoot 5 rounds and get good hits. then he held a pencil on the barrel made the guy shoot 3 more and he missed the whole target


  8. B.B.,

    How are you going to be able to do reports on all of these goodies? It’s overwhelming, and you still have one more report to go! For example, your description of the Octane Elite reminded me of the Umarex Throttle, which has been a report in stasis for a month but has really piqued my interest.

    Maybe it’s time P.A. provides you with a part-time assistant, and get cracking on that indoor range / workspace for you. After all, there are only so many hours in a day.

    Michael


  9. Wow, there is a wealth of creativity in the airgun world. I was wondering what would have the name of “Hammer” and I think that name is appropriate. It would be interesting to see how much kick the rifle has. And it’s nice to see the harmonica clip reappear. That’s the way, gunmakers. A piece at a time, let’s rebuild the IZH 61.

    The sighting options are interesting. The Absolute Zero has high tech, but it seems dependent on the same thing as any zeroing technique which is the skill of the shooter. If your shot isn’t good, the lasers mean nothing. That Second Zero idea is intriguing as well. But if serendipity is what is driving this, then having only one back-up zero is not going to help much with all the possibilities that are out there.

    Matt61



  10. would love to see a video of the MP40 in action. If it works well it could pave the way for a select fire WW2 Heritage Series. Thompson, SW 43/44, M2 carbine . Had suggested the Dan Wesson 715 in 2.5 and 4 inch pellet versions, Wonder why Umarex won’t release the 4 inch chrome Python here, Webley should have a Mark VI pellet ,and a Bulldog version. Umarex there are a lot of gunfighters waiting for the 4 3/4 Peacemakers, as well as some lever guns like Winchester 73 and 92. Bear River , drop the hammer on a Wells Fargo 5 incher too!


  11. B.B.
    You are the first I’ve read about the Umarex Trevox. Neat. I hope it is better than most of higher power “spring pistols” that are tested here. Thanks for the info.

    Doc



  12. The worst part of these shows is having the interest drummed up to find out they won’t be available for months or more, remember the Beretta 92 select fire? The MP 40 now pushed on the website from May to ,June which means July or August . Some listed as next month like SIG , 320 ,pushed to end of April. A Gamo Swarm from Feb to end of April. Crosman 1875 , May, not much in the here and now


  13. Michaelr,

    You have to bear in mind that the SHOT Show is a trade show for manufacturers and importers to show their new wares to dealers. We are privileged to see these things this early, but many of them are still in development.

    B.B.


    • I understand that , but there are big differences between manufacturers. Some companies in the firearm world have products ready to ship by the time they are shown. Ruger is known for that. It is a lot nicer to see something followed by ,these will be on your dealers shelves soon. For now it seems the interest has been stimulated and the waiting game is in play.



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