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Education / Training The 2017 Texas airgun show: Part 1

The 2017 Texas airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Smaller show
  • Fewer dealers?
  • On the other hand…
  • TX200 Mark III
  • Behind me — a Supergrade and …
  • What about dealers — Sig
  • Crosman
  • Umarex
  • More to come

Last Saturday the 4th annual Texas airgun show was held at the Arlington Sportsman Club in Mansfield, Texas. Let’s begin with the weather, since Hurricane Harvey had many people concerned.

Smaller show

We lost many dealers from south Texas. It’s hard to say how many for sure, but I estimate 5-10 at least. Then there was the loss of the public that I would put around 50. They had to stay home and contend with the weather, and I understand that.

But there were also lost a lot of folks from other states who read the word Texas and Hurricane and thought the entire state was getting hit. Folks, Texas is large. Very large. The airgun show is hundreds of miles inland from any coast (about the distance NYC is from Washington D.C.), so by the time it gets up here it’s just a lot of constant misting rain and perhaps a constant gusting wind of 40-50 mph. The Arlington Sportsman Club ranges are all covered very well, so shooters and guns didn’t get wet from the several brief showers we did have. The wind was very pleasant 10 mph and the day was a balmy 78 degrees at the hottest. That’s paradise in Texas in August! I’m saying the weather was perfect for the show and anyone who was there will tell you the same thing.

Fewer dealers?

There were many more manufacturers, importers and retail dealers at this year’s show, but fewer private dealers. That probably relates to the weather, because we didn’t have the 4-5 dealers who always arrive without reservations on show day and want tables.

On the other hand…

The private dealers that did come had the best selection of airguns I have ever seen. Perhaps not as many tables of them, but when I finish telling you what was at this show you’re going to kick yourself if you missed it! Let’s begin with two (yes, I said TWO) Whiscombes for sale! And one of them was sold! I did not get a picture of the happy buyer, but that is a major score at any airgun show.

TX200 Mark III

Reader Jonah had asked me to bring my TX 200 Mark III so he could at least try one. I did, but I never took it out, because Jonah found exactly what he was looking for on a table. There were two Mark IIIs for sale at what I thought were astoundingly good prices. There may have been others, but these were the first ones I saw.

TX200 Mark III
That TC200 Mark III with a Hawke scope was the first air rifle I saw at the show. I almost bought it on the spot! Above it is another .177 TX that was priced at $450!

TX200 Mark III Jonah
A happy Jonah holds his prize!

Jonah didn’t even ask to see my rifle, because he found the same two rifles I found, and one was a .22 that he wanted. It had a Vortek tune on it. He came by my table to ask what I thought of the .22 TX and, when I told him I almost bought it myself, I think he was pleased. Guys, this is how to do it. Jonah knew what he wanted, came to an airgun show, found a nice one at what I think is a fantastic price and got to shoot it before he bought it. That’s the way airguns should be sold!

Behind me — a Supergrade and …

I’m just warming up! Behind my tables were the tables of the show’s organizer, Jeff Cloud. He was selling a beautiful Sheridan Supergrade. Jeff has become interested in multi-pump pneumatics and has learned how to seal many of them, including Supergrades. He resealed my Blue Streak that I reported on last year.. Besides that Supergrade, Jeff was selling a Crosman 101 pumper, a rarer model 100 (the .177 caliber version) and a 102 repeater. Those guns stayed on his table for the whole show. Dumb old me wanted to buy the 102 to test for you. So I sat next to it for the entire show and just now it dawned on me what I had failed to do! DUH!

Show organizer, Jeff Cloud, had a beautiful Sheridan Supergrade for sale! Underneath are a Crosman 101, 102 and a model 100. Guys, you don’t see these guns at every airgun show!

He also had a Hahn 45 BB revolver in the box. This is very similar to the .22 caliber Crosman Single Action 6 that Crosman also made. I see these at a lot of airgun shows, but seldom in this condition. I would rate this one as excellent to almost new in the box. Now, I have seen shows with as many as 20 of these for sale, but like I say, not in this condition

An almost new in the box Hahn 45 BB repeater.

Jeff also allowed other folks to display their airguns on his tables. There was a used Shoebox compressor, plus many pellet gauges, because Mr. Pelletgage, Jerry Cupples, manned the table for the entire show.

What about dealers — Sig

I have so much more to share with you, but right now let’s move outdoors to see some of the dealers who came. Sig Sauer was a first-time displayer at this show and they also had a local dealers selling their airguns inside the show! They were on the range all day where the public could shoot their Sig MP-X submachine guns at the SIG Texas Star target — a target that Dani Navickas from Sig showed me can be reset by shooting at it — you don’t have to call the range cold and walk to the target. She had people knocking them down and back up throughout the entire show!

Sig had a strong presence at this year’s show. They ran a range all day and sold new guns inside!

Sig range
When I visited the Sig range, Dani Navickas had this gentleman demonstrating the Sig Texas Star!

Sig Star
The Sig Texas Star can be shot down and back up again! Dani Navickas discovered that on her own!


Next to Sig, Crosman was letting the public shoot the new Benjamin Wildfire at falling plate targets. Twelve plates and 12 shots in a magazine. Turns out it isn’t as easy as it looks on television!

They had three rifles running for most of the show. And I would like to point out that because the Wildfire runs at a 2000 psi fill and is very conservative with air, they ran all three rifle on one 98 cubic-foot carbon fiber tank!

Benjamin Wildfire
Crosman had three Benjamin Wildfires going throughout the show!


Next to Crosman and Sig on the same range, Umarex USA was set up. They probably had several different airguns, but as soon as I walked up I heard the zipper-like sound of a sub-gun. Sure enough, they had the Umarex Legends MP40 on the line, and the young fellow who was shooting it was absolutely delighted with the experience!

Umarex Legends MP40
This lad was gettin’ on some targets. A commando in training?

More to come

I have so much more to tell you and show you! But that will have to come in the next installment. Want it tomorrow?

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.

87 thoughts on “The 2017 Texas airgun show: Part 1”

    • Hiveseeker,

      Very nice on the cake! 🙂 That has to be a first, I think!


      Happy Birthday! Someone mentioned a zero this year,… my bet is on 50. 😉 As for more on the show?,… I say sure,… bring it on!

      Good Day to one and all,…. Chris

        • Happy birthday Tom.

          Sorry I missed you and the Texas airgun show, but with living in Houston, Harvey kind of prevented that.

          We didn’t flood, but many people did.

          We were providing propane, dry storage, and trucks to people that needed them.

          Maybe next year.

        • No kidding. Congratulations, and thanks for all the reminders from everyone. I was still thinking of you as early 60s from a reference in the blog. Time marches on. I may need to think about getting to the Texas airgun show myself.

          The weather described with misting rain and 50 mph gusts is not exactly ideal, but give credit to those shooting ranges that are protected from all that. And it’s certainly better than Harvey. The photos I see are beyond my comprehension. I also can’t help but think of how my gun collection would fare in those conditions. Not well. At any rate, the conditions in California are the complete opposite. The other day it was 116 and was supposed to feel like 121 degrees. I stepped outside on purpose to experience that. It didn’t feel obviously different from 110. Just damn hot.

          Yes, to more airgun show coverage as soon as possible.


            • That is ideal by any standard. Incidentally, the hot weather here at least allows me to play with the minds of my fellow range members which is turning out to be quite a sport. Once someone asked me if I was a federal agent, maybe because of my mass of equipment. For my last hot outing, I wore my boots and my new camouflage hat, and someone asked me if I was doing special training. Ha ha. Yes, it’s called plinking while getting dehydrated..


        • HiveSeeker,

          Well, when it comes to computer “baking”,… they won’t even allow me within 5 blocks of the kitchen! If it was me, I would go for the beef brisket, slow smoked with a side of burnt end baked beans. Some pepper heat, of sorts, and plenty,.. would fall in somewhere. More of the chef-y type rather than a pastry chef sort really. Not really sure how I would work air guns into all of that anyways. I will leave that to you.

          By the way,…. the “candles” on the cake look to be running a bit hot. I would get that checked out if I was you. 😉

          Again, super fine job on the cake. That was a real treat for all of us, as I am sure it was for B.B.,…. once he made out the candles anyways. 😉 Hey,.. I can relate. My coffee pot sits (on top) of my lap top. Step 1,.. Step 2,… 🙂

          12:01 AM ehh? 😉 I’ll bet you were just waiting to spring that on us all? Hey, if your going to be first,… you might as well do it in Grand Style! That qualifies.

  1. B.B.

    Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

    As once a century events become once a decade, DO NOT MESS WITH MOTHER NATURE!
    and Hurricane season has not really started yet.

    PS I do hope to make one of these shows…

  2. Enjoining shooting the TX200 I purchased at the show. Already over 100 shots through it. Trigger first stage is way too long, due to the original owner removing the second stage trigger screw for some unknown reason. I knew the first stage was awful long when I bought gun, just couldn’t see the screw missing. Would have bought gun anyway even if I had noticed missing screw.

    Air-Arms referred me to Pyramyd AIR for possible replacement. Sent them a note. Hope they can supply a screw.

    Anybody know where I can get the screw? I’m sure its metric thread. Anybody have an extra laying around?

  3. B.B.,

    For crying out loud…ANOTHER ONE!!??

    Seventy is not just the age to count your own blessings, but also to count how much of a blessing your life has been to others. Happy 70th birthday.

    ps-Don’t worry about getting older. If you treat seventy like just another number, your body and mind will forget that there is a zero after the seven. Happy 70th birthday. 😉

  4. Hi BB
    Sorry I’m late! Wish you a very happy birthday Sir!. May the good Lord grant you excellent health and abundance of blessings to continue your inspirational work. Thank you so much for this blog. I’ve learned enormously from it , and all my current knowledge is entirely due to your extreme generosity with your vast experience. Looking forward to more on the Texas airgun show. Wish I was there! You people are so lucky to have the freedom to do what you love! God bless!

  5. B.B.

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for all you do day in and day out to make this blog the best. You keep inspiring me to improve my shooting and airgun knowledge every day and also in how to approach life in general.

    Sounds like you had another great airgun show this year, even with the weather keeping folks away. Our show out here in Hangtown last year was ok but did not have many of the larger companies represented. I was able to get another Apache Fire Ball rifle in about 85% shape at the show so it was good for that. I guess I shouldn’t complain about our show if I don’t help organize it. Will check on when the next one is coming up and try to get involved. I know it is a lot of work and hard to please everyone.

    I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the Texas show.


  6. At 70 …
    Some say your old,
    But I disagree,
    For in two days ….
    They’ll be saying it to me !

    We’ve known happiness,
    We’ve known tears,
    The knowledge you share here,
    Will be appreciated for years !

    And God only knows,
    How the reaper missed me.
    I’ve tempted him often,
    and few will disagree !

    Not sure about you,
    But 70 will be,
    Monumental for a guy,
    like me !

    Not sure what will come,
    But hopefully next year,
    We’ll be Seventy Young !!

    Have a happy, Bob M

  7. Ok probably tired of seeing this. But got to show how groups change from say to day. Well all except the fabulous FWB 300.

    And I didn’t put the yard stick on the paper. I wanted it to be seen what happened and not cover it up. But check out the Tx this time. I did not do no warm up shots of paper this time like I did on that group from the other day. I just picked up the guns and started shooting at the target dot. Here’s today. And I’ll post the other day target next.

        • Hiveseeker
          Yes both pictures are 50 yards.

          And look closer. No the Tx (can’t) shoot. Yes the FWB 300 (can) shoot. The FWB can do this day after day unless the wind gets up in the 10 mph range. So that’s the limiting factor with the FWB 300.

          The HW30s out shot the Tx today in my opinion. Look at the first 3 shots the Tx fired. I would probably hit a sqerrial just picking the gun up shooting the first shot. But for sure would of been iffy on a sparrow.

          Which one of the guns by looking at both pictures from the two different days would you bet on trying to hit a sparrow at 50 yards.

          I would pick the FWB 300. The Tx and HW30s can’t repeat groups like the FWB 300. Close but not dead on. That’s the difference if your pesting with a gun verses target shooting.

          Then see what happens if your out in the feild supporting the gun off a tree limb or such. Believe me that changes things alot.

        • GF1
          I thought this would be a problem back in the late 70s with my FWB124. My theory was that it would be a good thing to precede my first shot with a little warm-up. I would work the barrel thru several cocking motions as close to the cocked state as I could get. If I went too far, no big deal since the 124 would uncock very easily. The theory being that I was “warming up” the lubes. What do you think?
          Of course this would be very hard to test on most modern guns with all the safeties (bear trap).
          Larry in Algona

          • Larry
            Some people know that certain pcp guns need the valve knocked to get the air pressure and seat and such stable.

            And on spring guns they all have their own personality. You can see how my .22 Tx definitely has to be warmed up. But what’s funny is I had a .177 a while back. It needed no warm up shot at all.

            And the HW30s I have shoots low the first shot 98% of the time. Then it’s pretty well shooting like it does.

            But now my FWB 300. It shoots first to last shot the same no matter how long I shoot it or how long it sets. And it’s even got a heavier aftermarket single spring in it along with a o-ring for a seal in the ring groove where the factory cast iron spring would go.

            And I think it’s more like the seal and spring and trigger latch and so on seating theirselfs on that first shot fired is what happens. What I do if I’m grabbing the Tx or HW30s to shoot at a pest. I take and load a pellet and I take a shot into a pot of soil and sand I have out in the garage. Then I load a pellet and take my shot at the pest.

            So you see. This paticular Tx and HW30s is not my choice for pesting. And I’m talking sparrows and starlings. My FWB 300 is what’s setting in the breezeway waiting to be loaded and make the shot. It’s just so dependable and super accurate that it’s what I use.

  8. Tom, Happy Birthday and Best Wishes.
    Many thanks for all the work you do on this blog. I’ve found it profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness and other sundry items.
    Larry in Algona

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