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Education / Training SHOT Show 2018: Part 2

SHOT Show 2018: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • AirForce Airguns
  • What’s next?
  • Hatsan USA
  • Hercules Bully
  • Price point Hatsan
  • Sortie Tact
  • Air Venturi
  • A new IZH 61?
  • Multi-pump
  • One last thing!

Here we go! I go to these shows thinking that nothing can get me excited anymore, and that ends at the first booth, Today that happened before the show opened. AirForce Airguns has been keeping a secret for many weeks that they promised to reveal just before the doors opened.

AirForce Airguns

A few minutes before the doors opened, AirForce revealed that they are incorporating the Theoben Rapid line of PCPs into their lineup. Formerly known as Rapid Air Weapons (RAW), the Rapid lineup is on the cutting edge of pneumatic quality. The only drawback they have is the long wait time when an order is placed. AirForce will bring their manufacturing prowess to bear on shortening the lead time between ordering and shipping, while maintaining the high level of quality the brand has become known for.

The four models they will begin selling are the Theoben Rapid Mark II Plus, the HM 1000X, The HM1000X LRT and the BM 500. The previous owner, Martin Rutterford, will assist AirForce for the next several years to ensure the transition goes smoothly and that quality doesn’t change.

Rapid rifles
These four Rapid PCPs were in the AirForce booth on opening day. They look to streamline the manufacturing process while maintaining the level of quality that made the brand famous.

What’s next?

This announcement will no doubt create a thousand questions like, will they bring back the Theoben gas spring rifles? I asked that and was told everything is still in flux. The most important thing right now is to streamline the manufacture of the current models to meet demands. But I am assured that everything will be considered.

The AirForce booth was crowded, so I will return to cover their other models.

Hatsan USA

Hatsan will be offering an air compressor that looks similar to one we have seen. But this one has a digital gauge for setting the fill pressure.

Hatsan compressor
Hatsan’s compressor looks familiar, but has some different features. The retail price will be around $1,300. In front is the Hatsan 3-stage hand pump that will be budget-priced.

Along with the compressor Hatsan will also be offering two new hand pumps. Their 3-stage pump has an MSRP of $120 and will realistically sell for around $100. The 4-stage pump has an MSRP of $150 and will sell for a little over a hundred. These should boost entries into the PCP world!

Hercules Bully

They have turned the Hercules big bore into a bullpup and given it a carbon fiber reservoir, shaving off 4 pounds of weight and considerable length.

Hatsan Bully
Hatsan rep. Daniel Settle holds the new Hercules Bully — a much smaller and lighter big bore.

Price point Hatsan

Hatsan has joined the race for a budget-priced PCP with their new Flash. It generates the same energy as their AT44 for a price of under $300. Best of all — this rifle is lightweight! It weighs about 6 pounds and feels like a feather in your hands. I predict hunters will love it.

Hatsan Flash
Settle holds the new Hatsan Flash — a price point ($300) PCP.

The Flash will also come in a bullpup configuration they call the Flashpup. The one I saw had a beech stock and weighed a little over 6 pounds, which is still quite light for a PCP.

Sortie Tact

You asked for a stock on the Sortie pistol and Hatsan listened. The Sortie Tact has a folding stock that can be detatched from the pistol. It won’t add much to the pistol’s price and it folds to the side when it’s not needed.

Hatsan Sortie Tact
Hatsan Sortie Tact has a folding stock.

Air Venturi

Over at the Air Venturi booth I saw several new things. First was a double-barreled air shotgun called the Double Shot. It gets 4 powerful shots on a fill and a patent-pending switch controls which barrel will fire. Like the Wing Shot, this one will shoot shot, arrows and slugs.

Double Shot
Two breeches and two shots. The Double Shot is the first double-barreled air shotgun — I think.

A new IZH 61?

I also saw what amounts to a new IZH 61. It’s called the TR5 and it looks just like the 61, except this one has some new things like a groove for a rail attachment under the forearm. The butt now adjusts, too. It accepts 5-shot magazines and works just like the old 61 that many of you remember.

The TR5 looks and functions a lot like the IZH 61.


The Dragonfly multi-pump is another new product in the Air Venturi booth. It’s a wood and steel multi-pump that harkens back to years gone bye. And, to answer your question, it only gets one shot when it’s pumped.

The Dragonfly is a retro-looking multi-pump.

One last thing!

You know how I said “they” are listening? Well, the last thing I will share with you is something I have asked for for many years. I will show you first.

M1 Carbine
Tyler holds an M1 Carbine. This one is airsoft, but I’m assured there will be a BB-shooter to follow.

Air Venturi has entered into a licensing agreement with Springfield Armory to produce replicas of their firearms. The first ones will be airsoft, but BB and pellet models will follow. The M1 Carbine shown here is extremely faithful to the firearm’s design and feel, and when it comes out as a BB gun, old BB will be right there.

That’s it for today. But tune in tomorrow. There will be more to see.

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.

96 thoughts on “SHOT Show 2018: Part 2”

    • JimQwerty123,

      I hate to rain on your parade but it looks like the MSP version of the Diana Stormrider. Probably came from the same factory too. Hopefully Air Venturi has been listening and have corrected the faults seen with the Stormrider.


      • Siraniko,

        I noticed the same thing. The barrel, receiver,bolt, muzzle brake,sights, trigger guard ,safety placement, size and type, and the stock up to the front of the trigger guard look as if they came right off my crappy stormrider. As for AV listening and assuring good quality., I wouldn’t hold my breath. If they are not going to have their employees right there in the inspection room in the plant in China, then they will have to settle for whatever quality they get sent. RWS made the same promise and if they couldn’t pull it off I question whether an upstart like Air Venturi can.

      • Taemyks,

        It looks exactly like the lr700w in the picture. Are you happy with yours and is it accurate. Any information would be great.

        Obviously Air Venturi has been listening and picked up on the lr700w It has all the features I have been looking for. Lets hope for good quality control. Halfstep’s experience with the Stormrider has left a bad taste in my mouth.


        • The one I got was straight Chinese imported from the EU. So I paid extra for the privilege. I had to do fairly extensive cleaning, and adjustment of the valve piston. I also made the cocking handle longer, you couldn’t pump past 4 or 5 pumps without crazy effort. But it is fun to shoot. The mag works perfectly. And after I messed with it it will meet the manufacturer specs with crossman premier pellets.

    • Jim,I’m with you on the Dragonfly.It could be what I’ve been hoping for many years:7lb.or less,wood stock,multi pump,accurate ,good power in .22 cal.,and straightforward to scope.
      Now you have to watch ‘ol Mr.BB.He’s real sneaky ,and can talk around a secret forever.He told us the Dragonfly only gets one shot ;but I’ll bet he’s not telling us that we won’t have to pump it 8 to 10 times to get our next shot.Look at the size of that tank.I’ll bet it is AV’s affordable answer to Fx’s expensive Independence.Or like the modified Benjamin 397/392 with the telltale poppit .
      Well,one can hope anyway.I’ll be dreaming about that one tonight.

      Tin Can Man-

  1. Well, there goes my tax return….

    So on the M1, is it gas blowback or spring?

    My guess since the first is airsoft, it’s either green gas or co2.

    But if you are making a gas operated M1, you might as well make it an M2.
    Twice the fun in 1 gun…

    Maybe this is leading towards a gas or co2 M14, or Garand.
    I know there are gas Garands out there, but they are very expensive.

    And the electric M14’s are good looking, and extremely detailed, but they sound like a sewing machine..

    Tell us about the Crosman SBR when you see it.

    Thanks for the updates!

  2. All exciting stuff. Really. If I only was told I could buy one of all the guns you mentioned today I would have a very hard time deciding which one.

    But one does grab my attention. And a little secret I almost bought one but I been waiting for just what BB said.

    Yep the Sortie with the folding stock. I was trying to figure out what kind of shoulder stock I could get on the Sortie. But now this. I just got a soft spot for semi-auto guns. And the shoulder stock is the kicker for me. And it will even be .177 caliber. Yep definitely excited.

    Now to wait to see when it will be available. That’s the hard part. Guess I’ll make it. Been waiting it out this long. 🙂

  3. BB
    A while back I mentioned how Airsoft was making some great replicas and wondered why they didn’t just convert them to regular Airguns. Well that King Arms M1 Carbine was the one I was talking about. I have it already and a really outstanding G&G replica of the K98…. with a replica scope and mount !
    I imagine the Garand and other replicas are just as good. They have real wood and CO2 mags. Did you catch the wide, double stack looking mag on the M1. Could use something like that for real ones.
    I believe your reply was, Perhaps they are just not ready yet. Do you have a crystal ball?

  4. B.B.,

    Wow. Almost too much to comment on. Glad to see RAW get picked up. Faster service is always better. Glad to see Hatsan put out something light weight. No cheek riser? Hatsan has been real good on features like that. A side shot of that shotgun would be nice to see.

    It is obvious that “they” are listening. I love the innovation and new products.

    ** Perhaps the single most important thing that I would try to impress on all the makers is customer service and parts availability, direct to consumer. That is highly valued. Print some exploded views, assign part #’s (which no doubt already exist), put it on line.

    That is a HUGE factor when deciding my next purchase. I do not want to send my rifle in. I do not want to be told “NO, you have to send it to us” or “yes we have the parts, but we won’t sell it to you”.

    Service, parts, direct to consumer. They don’t have that,.. then well,.. they probably will not be getting any of my money.

    Just something to mention if the topic just happens to come up in your travels at the show. 😉 Have fun and take care.


    • Chris,

      Umarex sent my Walther LGV back to me with a very nice (seriously, very pleasant) phone call and written evaluation that it was performing up to spec and that “All magnum springers vibrate and twang. That is normal for a gun of this power.” It sounds like a cross between a Canada Goose and joy buzzer.

      I shot it twice and then tried a third time. The safety did not engage, the trigger does nothing, but it remains cocked. It’s been cocked for months.

      Is it OK to ship a cocked and loaded air rifle? I didn’t even bother to call them back.



      • I never heard of anyone having the trouble you are with the LGV. you sent it back just because of some twang which I would have not done to have some minimum wage kid work on it. I bet is was very accurate before you sent it in

        • Mildot,

          I sent it back because right out of the box new it twanged, buzzed and vibrated more than any other of my other 100+ springers, including my $39 Chinese Industry Brand sidelever. But according to Umarex USA, that is what Walther LGVs do, totally normal. If you turn up the volume on your headphones, this fellow has an identical one (including twang and buzz) to mine, and you can hear its action from 8:40 – 9:55. (Do fast-forward through to 8:40 as his music is loud and awful.) It’s actually a sustained, loud, “BINNG!” You’ll hear it clear as day:


          I might not have found the right hold or pellet for it, but granting that, it was not as accurate at 10 meters as my TX200, tuned FWB 124, or HW77.


          • Actually, it goes on beyond 9:55 and is more of a “BINNGZZZ!” He also points out its lousy accuracy.

            His other LGV lacks the buzz/twang and is accurate, if you keep watching.

            His defective one, like my defective one, is .177. His non-defective one is .22. That of course has some role in smoothness and even accuracy (perhaps).


    • BB,

      Thank you for the great report, I look forward to hearing more tomorrow.

      Chris – I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YOU!!! Parts diagrams and parts availability are a huge deal to me, too. And this definitely plays into any airgun purchase for me.

      • Gear Junkie,

        If I want ANY part for an air gun, I want to be able to buy it,.. direct. Crosman seems to rule that “realm”, though not direct and on line. But,.. I can deal with a phone call,.. if it gets me what I am after. Simple as that.

        There may be other brands that do pretty well,.. but I am just not aware of them.

        I could be wrong, but I thought that Umerex was just a broker/importer. I did not think that they actually made anything. If I am wrong on that,.. then anyone and everyone,.. please feel free to correct me.

      • Me three, I don’t like disposable Airguns because I don’t consider my hard earned money disposable! I don’t mind spending money to be entertained, but can’t stand having to throw away an Airgun after the warranty is up because it needs a $2-$50 fix that I could do if I had the part. Things wear out, but it does not convey confidence in the overall quality to not have parts available! If Umarex doesn’t have enough confidence in their overall quality to support their customers WHY should I be one of them?

        • DanLK,

          Very wells said. That is important to remember as we are all tempted with new air gun offerings from all directions. I feel strongly the same way, but tend to sometimes forget as new things come out. Thanks for the reminder to stick to my principals.

    • Chris
      Just wanted to let you know I saw your spinner guards they’re similar to what I had in mind however I’m concerned that increasing the price point might be a turn off to some people. I found a beam style torque wrench and will test spinner arm strength later today and will be posting pictures tonight or tomorrow. Thank you for all the positive feedback.

      • Coduece,

        Sounds good. I was thinking of just using Chairgun as a fpe reference and blasting away. If they hold up?,.. move them in closer. Do some point blank. Hit the bearing housing too and see what it can withstand. At what fpe,.. will hinder/stop bearing rotation? Direct hit, not a glance. If you know your fps, then Chairgun will give you the fpe @ what range. That would be good enough for me and manual notations/recommendations.

        I am not sure how a beam torque wrench would directly apply to your test quest, but I guess that you have that figured out.

        Looking forwards to your data findings. I have the bearing guards now, so no worries. I already pushed the 20 fpe limit. Heck, surpassed it. 0% issues.

  5. BB,

    AirForce is taking over RAW. I do indeed hope they keep the high quality. I would not mind if they brought back the gas spring line also.

    I am not in the least bit surprised that they put a shoulder stock on the Sortie this year. It looks nice also.

    OK, now let us see if “they are listening”. We need to see the Double Dragon .50 double rifle.

      • Michael
        To me the Sortie Tact resembles a bull pup. And the cool thing is with out the bull pup linkage trigger issues.

        And the regular Sortie is around 4-3/4 pounds. So I bet the Sortie Tact will still be in the 5 pound range.

        I think it should be a nice balanced little semi-auto.

  6. B.B.
    I have to fully agree with Chris about customer service. I had to send an airgun in for service last year. While the process with Sig service was painless it made me appreciate the availability of parts and information from other makers.

  7. B.B.,

    I almost dropped my coffee when I saw that the M1 is finally going to happen! Do people do happy dances any more? If so, I’ll consider it (and I am a terrible dancer). Coincidentally, yesterday morning I just happened to dust off my ol’ Crosman M1 carbine and pop off a few shots out the back patio door before I left for work.

    B.B., as it is beginning as an airsoft, I imagine the M1 carbine will never come out in a rifled pellet version, but still, very cool.


  8. B.B.,

    O.K., I’ll be the one to write it: the Hatsan BULLY? I get it; it’s a bullpup. Bully – bullpup. Clever. But it is also tone-deaf. Why not just call it the Hatsan Scut Farkus? Every morning (including this morning) I read of another teenager who has decided to stop living because her friends have been cyber-bullying her.

    Slightly related, two days ago in a big box store I saw Crosman is selling the Vigilante under a different name, at least for Wally World stores.


  9. B.B.

    I saw Rossi’s American Airgunner Live video at the Umarex booth. He didn’t mention if Umarex has a prototype for a Glock replica on display at their booth.

    If you can, please get us some information about the new Umarex Glock replicas.

    I would also like to know if Umarex has plans to release the new Legends Cowboy Lever Action as a rifled barrel pellet shooter.

  10. B.B.,

    I don’t know if you remember my (clearly defective) Walther LGV that sounds like a goose hinking.

    I sent it to Umarex, they sent it back saying that higher powered Walther LGVs all vibrate and twang and that it was up to spec. I shot it twice. I then tried to shoot it a third time and the safety did not come on, the trigger would not pull, and it has sat for a few months in a corner loaded and cocked. (I got busy with my work and actually forgot about it until just now.)

    Is it probably safe to send it to Umarex? Or, should I try to open up a cocked and loaded rifle as my first air gun disassembly?


    • B.B.,

      Actually, you solved this for me back in November: /blog/2017/11/weihrauchs-hw55sf-part-3/#comments

      Maybe I can do a guest blog on my opening it up and doing an exorcism on its powerplant! ;^)

      I apologize for oversharing, but it might be I’m a bit PTSDed since hearing about the KY school shooting. For 45 minutes I had to lock down my classroom during an active shooter event (NOT a drill) awhile back, and these things affect me sometimes. It is VERY weird, and the symptoms are inconsistent.

      Again, sorry for oversharing, but just writing the above helped immediately. This blog is a place where I feel I have friends.


    • Michael,

      My brother has a Colt M4 in 22 lr that is imported by Umarex. It started going full auto and firing before the bolt was fully closed, so he sent it back to them. They returned it with a letter stating that they replaced a spring ( didn’t say which spring) and that it was tested and good to go. He didn’t get through the first mag before it did it again. He,s not going to send it back, so they win. In another comment I stated that I never even pay attention to warranty promises any longer. Your experience and my brother,s, along with many of my own, are the reasons why.

      I think I remember BB suggesting to another reader with a similar problem to try recocking with more force or something like that.

        • Michael,

          I was pretty certain on both of those facts as well, but wasn’t quite sure enough to put it in print out there on the ol’ interweb. 😉 Now that I got your gun fixed again ( still ), how do I fix my brother’s M4?

          Have a better remainder of your day!


  11. BB,

    Isn’t the IZH 61 the gun that you have pointed out as one of the best deals in airgunning, until it was foolishly banned as a military weapon because it is manufactured in a Russian arms factory. If my memory is correct on that point and if this is essentially the same gun, how is it getting past the ban. “The Donald” didn’t get it overturned ,did he?

  12. B.B.,

    The Hatsan Flash looks like it will be more than a flash in the pan. Apparently, early testers are getting one in groups at 50 yards in .22 caliber. Two different testers decided on H&N Baracuda Extreme pellets (19.09gr) and H&N Sniper Magnum pellets (18.0gr).
    The Flash will also be available in .177 and .25. As with numerous rifles, one caliber may prove more accurate than the others.

    There will be plenty more about the Flash, but it does go on my current short list for my potential PCP rifle.

    In other news, from someone not competing with PA, this episode of American Airgunner looks at a .82 (20mm) PCP and using helium as a PCP power source.


  13. B.B.,

    I read that Sig Sauer’s new break barrel ASP20 was designed with light cocking (for the amount of energy) in mind. I think that is potentially a big selling point manufacturers either ignore. Either that, or perhaps it is difficult to design such a mechanism. I always look for how difficult a springer is to cock. Actually, there are some CO2 air guns, such as the bang-for-buck champ 2240, that are difficult to cock.


  14. B.B.,

    I just got the news about the Benjamin Fortitude PCP. If last year was the year of the big bore, it appears 2018 is the year of the entry level tsunami. I am swooning but I will not jump in to the water without facts. The Hatsan Flash impresses; I hope the Fortitude does also. The trigger on the Flash is nice, apparently. The trigger on the Gauntlet is improvable. I hope this single stage trigger is both crisp and light. Of course, the rifle’s accuracy is paramount. With the right rifle and pellet, I will know it is I who am on target or not.



  15. B.B.
    After looking at the Hatsan Bully pic I couldn’t help but think of Teddy Roosevelt who coined the phrase bully pulpit, and who might have said after seeing the gun, talk softly and carry the longest 1911 rail, no problem with eye relief there.

  16. Was just about to order Umarex’s new 1894 rifle that uses SAA cartridges when I noticed it’s not out yet. Any sense of when it will be available or when you’ll evaluate it (in your spare time, of course :^>)?

      • B.B.,

        Octagonal barrel, gold/brass-ish receiver and some sort of scoping rail and this would have been SOLD (to me). Like I said before, while the idea of ejecting shells is SUPER cool,.. I would prefer a bb feed tube, like some of the originals were. They might have over-thunk this one, but I also have a feeling that it will be a huge hit.


  17. I love the idea of a WWII PCP replica. But I’ll tell you what I really want….a replica Girandoni, modern valve and tank, that I can take to rondevous….it would be so fun to stand toe to toe with some powder burners and surprise them!

  18. Look up “Martin Orro” or “Girandoni” on the airgun yellow page. From what I’ve read, Martin Orro made a couple of Girandoni replicas and about 3 Lukens replicas. I believe one of the Girandoni’s was sold and the price was $15,000. At that price, we can only dream.


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