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Education / Training 2018 Texas Airgun show

2018 Texas Airgun show

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • FWB 110
  • Daisy 99 first variation
  • Daisy Targeteer gallery and gun
  • Daisy Critter Gitter
  • Daystate CR97 prototype
  • O’Connell rifle
  • Shooting!
  • RAW
  • Big bores
  • Hammer
  • More on the show
  • Prizes galore!
  • The end

It happened last Saturday and if you were there you saw what I am about to report. If you missed it, too bad, because I think it was the best show yet.

Airgun shows usually have a theme; this one had several. Airguns that are never seen was one of them. Let’s start there.

FWB 110

Reader JerryC laid an FWB 110 on my table for display throughout the show. How rare is it? Well, this is the first one I have seen.

FWB 110
It may look like an FWB 150 or 300, but the 110 was the one that started them all.

The 110 is unique because it doesn’t have the anti-recoil mechanism in the stock. It recoils, though this one doesn’t move very much. It was tuned and resealed by Dave Slade and is a masterpiece of a recoiling 10-meter target rifle. Think of a tuned HW55CM or a Walther LGV and you will have it. How do I know? I shot it! Yes, you will be getting a 3-part review!

FWB 110 shooting
I shot the FWB 110. It’s very smooth!

Daisy 99 first variation

I saw this on the table next to me and when I saw it was the first variation, the 1,000-shot gravity feed magazine, I knew it was a rare bird. Then I saw the price and knew I had to buy it. It was my first purchase. Yes, there will be a full review.

Another vendor had a very scarce Daisy 142 — the Daisy that was the last in a line of military BB guns that began with the Number 40 in World War I. I have seen the 140 that has a bolt and the 141 but this was the first 142 I have seen.

Daisy 142
It probably just looks like a BB gun to most folks, but the Daisy 142 is a scarce collectible.

Daisy Targeteer gallery and gun

Yes, an antique dealer from Austin had a table with a Daisy Targeteer shooting gallery and gun. Talk about serendipity! It was priced to sell and sell it he did, to a lucky buyer who wanted it for his man cave.

Daisy Targeteer gallery
Yes, there was one for sale at the show. While they aren’t rare, they also are not common.

Daisy Critter Gitter

This is another super rare airgun I have heard about but never seen. It was made in Germany by Umarex for Daisy but they decided not to sell it in the U.S., and only a handful were ever sold in 1988 — the only year of production. It looks unimpressive, but the Blue Book says a nice one like this will bring $700 or more. In the real world it brings whatever someone is willing to pay!

Daisy Critter Gitter
Only a few Daisy Critter Gitters ever were sold in the U.S. This one wasn’t for sale, but it was the first one I ever saw.

Next to the Critter Gitter, however, was a new-in-the-box Johnson Indoor Target Gun. They sold for $15 back in 1948 — or rather they failed to sell at that price. Not many were produced, though I wouldn’t call them rare. But NIB ones are uncommon! I already own a Johnson and even reported on it for you, but I never had the whole shooting match! You will be reading about this one!

Though the crowd was larger than last year, it was pleasant inside the hall all day.

Daystate CR97 prototype

The Daystate CR97 was the world’s most sought-after field target rifle in its day, which was the late 1990s. The prototype was at this show — AND FOR SALE! Time has passed and you don’t read as much about the CR97 these days, but if you are looking for a focal point for your man cave, this is another one nobody has ever seen.

CR97 prototype
Daystate CR97 prototype should fascinate anyone who knows the history of field target.

David Enoch admires my Diana model 50.

O’Connell rifle

Here’s another one that will slip past the unobservant. It looks a lot like a more common Crosman CG gun, but the O’Connell is super-rare. It has a different kind of valve that the Blue Book of Airguns says resembles a Schimel valve. This is another one that you just open your wallet and hope the seller will leave you something for lunch.

Another airgun you never see — an O’Connell!


The Texas show isn’t just about old airguns. There are plenty of new guns and even some of the major manufacturers and retailers at the show. Sig was on the range all show long, letting the public shoot their airguns.

This young man was enthralled with the Sig MPX. He was pretty good with it, too!

The other thing that was really special at the Sig range was the new ASP20 breakbarrel pellet rifle that you saw in the 2018 SHOT Show report. They had it at this show and, thanks to Sig Product Manager, Stephanie Kee, I got my first chance to shoot the real deal. It cocks just as easily as I remembered from the SHOT Show, and the trigger is still superb. I was shooting offhand, so my report on accuracy will have to wait for the official test, but Sig is flying a lot of gun writers including me to their plant in Exeter, New Hampshire, next month, after which I should get a rifle to test for you. The thing is, if you were at this show, you could have shot it, too.

Sig ASP20
The Sig range was busy with shooters trying the new APX20 breakbarrel (left).


AirForce had the RAW rifles on the line for people to shoot. They are currently in production of more than 200 rifles to fill backorders, and to replenish their stock.They also showed off the RAW Benchrest rifle that they expect to dominate the sport.

RAW Benchrest
The RAW Benchrest  is stunning..

Big bores

Probably the number one public attraction was the big bore range, where the public could shoot one of several big bore airguns. It was the noisiest place at the show, but the people thronged there anyway.


Umarex had their new .50-caliber Hammer big bore on the range and I just had to try it. I had shot it at the SHOT Show but this one seemed a little different and they had their big 500+ grain bullets for me to try. I fired the first shot and missed an easy target at about 60-70 yards. Umarex sales manager Justin Biddle told me to hold the rifle tight. I was holding it loose like you would an airgun, and the recoil moved it off target. I held it firmly for the second shot and nailed the target. The recoil is about the same as a 30-30.

I noticed a large puff of air in the face which Biddle told me was normal. The Hammer receiver has holes to let some of the gas escape, and it hits you in the face. It’s a surprise unless you are expecting it.

Cocking is very light and easy. The 2-shot magazine advances when the rifle is cocked and you don’t notice a thing unless you watch the mag move.

I shot the latest version of the Umarex Hammer.

A few benches down from the Hammer, the AirForce TexanSS was drawing in people. After the blast and recoil of the Hammer the TexanSS seemed quiet and reserved. It was pounding steel targets downrange all day though. I don’t think I saw anyone miss, the times I was there. You can really tell when a heavy lead bullet smacks a steel target!

Ton Jones personal TexanSS was available to the public to shoot. The factory is straining to keep up with the demand for this one.

More on the show

This year quite a few blog readers attended and introduced themselves. Reader 45 Bravo got to shoot my B3 that I tuned recently. It wasn’t a test of accuracy but of what Tune in a Tube can do for a spring piston airgun. I will let him tell you what he thought.

Reader JimM arrived early and stayed for the whole show. I got to watch him as he discovered exciting things for really good prices. In the end he bought three rifles for himself and one more that I bought from him.

Jims rifles
JimM found these three treasures. From the top they are an RWS 34 Meisterschutze Pro Compact, a beautiful early HW35 and a BAM 30 that’s the B3, updated.

Prizes galore!

Another thing that sets the Texas show apart from all others are the fabulous prizes! All day long show director Jeff Cloud ran from one giveaway to another. He started the raffle drawings at 11 and held a drawing every hour until the end of the show. Outdoors on the Vendor range Sig, Crosman and Pyramyd AIR donations were raffled off, including 20 L’il Duke BB guns that each came with a sample of Dust Devil BBs.

Twenty L’il Duke BB guns were raffled to youth shooters.

In a stunning repeat from last year, the young man who won the $4,000 Air Arms RSN70 PCP returned to win an Air Arms TX200 Mark III this year.

TX200 Mark III
The young man who won the RN70 last year won a TX200 Mark III this year! Lucky genes!

The door prize was the last item to go. It was a dressed-up AirForce CondorSS that everybody wanted.

The doorprize, a dressed-up AirForce Airguns CondorSS, was won by a past president of the host club — a fitting way to end the 2018 show.

The end

Once the door prize was won the show was essentially over and dealers started packing their wares. The 2018 Texas airgun show was a success, as anyone who attended can tell you. I hope to see more of you there next year.

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.

80 thoughts on “2018 Texas Airgun show”

  1. Tom,

    I was there and had a blast. I shot all of the test rifles on the range, some of them several times. Unfortunately, one of the ones was the RAW hunting model, not the bench rest model in the picture above. I say unfortunatly because now I really want one. I’m not sure the distance to the second set of plates but I believe around 35 yards. I believe that you could have covered the 13 round group with your trime. For me that is really good shooting. I do hope that you get that rifle to test.

    Was that your Air Venturi Compresser they were trying to melt down? It ran constantly all afternoon. I was surprised by how quite it was and how fast it was filling tanks.

    It was a pleasure to meet and talk with Ton Jones.

    I believe that everyone of the Strait Shooter 4-H Club members present ended up with one of the Lil Duke BB guns either by winning it out right or by donation from one of the other winners. They worked very hard all day long.

    I’ve been to several of the Texas Airgun Shows now and I agree with your assessment that this was the best one. Please pass on by thanks to Jeff Cloud for organizing and running a great show.

    I met and talked with several blog members and I’m sure that there were more that I not get a chance to meet.


    • Jim and BB,

      I have the HM1000X in .357 laminated Sporter stock. They are indeed awesome air rifles. My sincere hope is that the quality does not suffer in the future.

      • RR,

        Me too. It’s going to take me about 2 years to save up for one. I believe that I could add up all of my air rifles and not equal the cost of a MH1000. I know there are several versions of the HM1000 but I wasn’t paying enough attention to note which model. I was too busy shooting. It was a 177 and was shooting JSB RS pellets like a laser. That rifle was the quietest rifle and had the best trigger of any rifle that I have shot (including my 270 Weatherby Mag).


  2. BB,

    Are you sure that’s an early HW35?

    It looks like a modern HW35e to me. Earlier ones had a ludicrously long 22″ barrel, whereas the one pictured appears to have the modern 19″ barrel.

    Either way it’s a beautiful gun with that lovely walnut stock and a very smooth and accurate shooter to boot. Would love to see you do a full test of the modern version.

  3. BB
    Sounds like it was a nice show.

    And I see that Ton had a different scope and scope mount on his Texan SS for the show than the ATN he had on it when you showed a picture of it in your report of part 5 of the Texan SS.

    I was going to ask how it was to look through the ATN scope then noticed it was a different scope on it.

    • And I have to say look at that scope mount Ton has on his Texan SS now.

      That one makes me a little skeptical. Only one small dovetail clamping area.

      Think I would have to go with the setup on his gun you showed in part 5 if the Texan SS.

      I’m thinking he took that nice ATN scope and mount off for the air gun show. I don’t think I would of liked to take the chance of a nice scope getting accidentally knocked around at the show. I know the people there would be careful. But stuff happens ya know.

      • GF1,

        I took a look at that scope. I would say that is a bit too much for me. Nice,… but I do not think so. I would like to keep it under 5 and less is better. I think that I will be doing fully adjustable rings with whatever I go with. The M-rod scope might be a good test fit as that is about the (size) that I am considering. (4-16×56). 30 mm of course. I hate to un-mount it though. I would like to try 24-32 mag., which I know runs totally opposite to your thinking.

        If I shot a lot like you,… I might consider it. But,… I do not need to pay for night vision capabilities. Well,… unless there is a Zombie apocalypse coming soon,… which depending on what nut you talk to,… is immanent. 😉

          • Geo,

            That is one that I have not seen,… not that I have seen that many. They are a front runner in choice. I will be picky on the reticle. I would like the UTG etched mil-dot standard dot/dash, lighting and would very much like clear windage marks on the bottom cross-hair. Clarity at higher magnification,… of course.

            (Thank you) for the link. I did watch it. That video is a good endorsement for UTG.

            I already have several hammers,… so, at this time,… I think that I will forego the scope and hammer model! 😉

            • The scope Tyler was dragging behind the go-cart is the same exact model I have on my Urban.

              Have you found that the elevation and windage knobs track accurately? Do you take the backlash out when you make adjustments? By that I mean for instance when you want to raise the POI, do you adjust the elevation several clicks beyond the intended change and then adjust back down to end up where you want the POI? It seems like I don’t need to adjust as many clicks as calculated to move the POI. For example, if I want to adjust the POI higher by 1/2″ 17 yards, I should adjust the elevation upward about 12 clicks. 1/4 MOA per click would be 100/17=5.9 and 5.9×2=11.8 clicks. In theory that is the number of clicks I should adjust but in reality it is only 2 or 3 clicks. So I don’t try to use the calculation and just adjust a few clicks at a time until I achieve the desired results. Just seems a little off to me. Maybe I am not understanding something here about the adjustments?

              • Geo,

                To be honest, I adjust the turrets when sighting in and then forget it and use hold over/under from that point on. I had forgotten about that tip of going past and then back until the other day when I think Shootski or someone else mentioned it. That is a good tip for Parralax as well.

                It is a bit early for math (real early and only 1/4 cup of coffee) but 2 clicks for 1/2″ at 100, 4 for 50 to get 1/2″ and 8 to get 1/2″ at 25. I do recall that magnification factors in to what you are seeing and what the mil-dots read. Most reticles will only read true at 1 magnification. It has been awhile since I have studied it all but I am sure that BB has covered it and that there is tons more info. out there.

                We are in the same ballpark, but 2-3 clicks to get 1/2″ at 17 does seem to be way off. Maybe run that one past BB?

                Good Day to you,… Chris

            • Half,

              Yeah, the guy gave it a real torture test. It ended up being broken though and not usable.
              I think Tyler’s test of the UTG being dragged behind the go-cart bouncing on the black top was pretty torturous too. But the UTGs still functioned following the test.

              • Geo,

                I don’t know how much more you could expect from a $36 scope with mounts. He shot a 1″, 3 shot group at 100 yards after the torture test. That was after he sighted in initially at only 25 yards. Tyler never shot beyond 20 yards at anytime and that was with a PCP as compared to a Remington 700 in 6.5 Creedmore for the $36 scope test. May not be equal to the UTG but it is sure worth more than $36 IMO.


                PS How,s the Starling population up there these days?

                • Halfstep,

                  I agree with you. For $36 that scope held up exceptionally well.

                  Starlings? What starlings? I haven’t seen a starling in more that three weeks 🙂
                  I must have dispatched more that 20 startlings and several sparrows with the Urban
                  this spring. My bluebirds are happy, happy, happy! They are now nesting their second brood. I have chickadees nesting right outside our kitchen window and also have wrens nesting in their box. Just missing the tree swallows. Haven’t seen any at all this year and very few last year. Don’t know what’s going on with them. I wish they would come back, we really enjoy watching them pick bugs out of the air.

                    • Okay, I watched this one two weeks ago. I actually posted a link there to your modification, making a hole in the end cap to allow adjustments without removing the stock. He was very interested in seeing your mod. Personally, I have found no reason to adjust the power from the factory setting.

                  • Geo,

                    Thanks for the credit. A few comments before yours, on that video, I actually posted a link and explained to Donnie in the comments that I had a mod for the adjuster that I thought he might be interested in and I didn’t even get an acknowledgement from him, so I thought he was uninterested. I thought he would like the mod because it would let him adjust his gun down without unstocking it at the FT matches, if the gun came in a little high on the day he was competing. I’m glad you were able to get his attention. BTW, I saw that you had trouble posting a link to BB’s blog, but I posted Part 4 of the Urban report just by copying and pasting, so I don’t know why you weren’t able to do that with Part 5.

                    Glad your Bluebirds are prospering.


                    • Oh, I see your comment. Didn’t know you used an alias “John Mony” as your user name there. Strange though that Donnie didn’t reply to you. He is very good at replying to everyone normally. He did reply to me though and was very interested in your mod.

                      Don’t know why I wasn’t able to copy and paste that day, seemed to work fine today when I tried it. Who knows….

                      Take care and stay cool!

        • Chris
          Yep I wouldn’t take the scope off your Marauder.

          And yep I guess if your not pesting then that scope might be over kill.

          And soon as you get a scope figured out give a update. But I’ll be waiting for the shooting results. 🙂

  4. B.B.,

    Excellent re-cap of the show. Thank you for all of the fine pictures. The Hammer looks impressive! I would never expect to hear that hear that it kicked like a 30-30 though. It looks like it was a very fine show.

    The top pic in the “Prizes Galore” section shows what appears to be pistols mounted to the range roof main beam header. I thought that was pretty cool and wondered if they were permanently mounted or just there for the show to add some decoration?

    Good day to you and to all,…. Chris

    • Chris USA, those are permanent decorations, but they aren’t real. They are cap guns, air soft guns, and squirt guns pistols and rifles that decorate our Cowboy Action range.

      And Tom, thanks for the kind words, but I get a lot of help from the sponsors, vendors, and club members!

      • Jeff,

        Thank you for answering. I really didn’t know what to say about the guns.

        Yes, you get a lot of help from volunteers! I can’t think of another show that is a well-managed as this one. There are people everywhere, seeking to make everyone’s experience better. And the sponsors and vendors do so much!


      • Cloud 9,

        Thank you. That is a very nice touch! I thought that maybe they were donated from “basket case” air guns that still retained most/all of their exterior looks.


  5. BB,

    LOL! So you got your hands on a ’59 Model 99. They are awesome! Talk about a super plinker!

    I see you had some rather nice air rifles on your rack. It is probably a very good thing I was not there. 🙁

  6. BB,
    I had a great day at the show. I want to thank Jeff Cloud and all the volunteers from the Arlington Sportsman’s Club for putting on another great airgun show.

    Last week had been pretty stressful for me so I made it easy on myself and only brought 4 rifles, one pistol, and about a dozen custom knives to put on my table. The knives got a lot of looks and I sold 4 knives and 1 rifle. I bought a Caldwell Chronograph kit, a sturdy shooting tripod, a tank caddy and one of the Russian bull pup conversion kits for a gen 1 Marauder. Now I have to find a deal on a gen 1 Marauder in .177. I actually left the show with more money in my pockets than I came with. I think that is a first for me.

    It was nice to see everyone. I wasn’t feeling well and packed up early without saying goodbye to everyone. Sorry about that.

    David Enoch

  7. BB ,

    Glad the show is growing for You. I had a FWB 110 in for a reseal , that was also the only one I have ever seen also. Those vintage FWB rifles are the best. I tell springer guys to go pick up a used 150 or 300 they will fall in love with it.

  8. It was a great show, and unfortunately I also left with more money than I came with.

    I sold a bunch of 8 gram co2 cartridges to a proud new owner of a Benjamin 250.

    I didn’t buy any new guns, but almost brought home a very nice upgraded SPA 12. But after handling it, I let a longtime friend get it, as it just didn’t FEEL right to me, and he has been wanting one.

    The B3 as he said is a joy to shoot, I got some smirks from people as I took it out to the range, but the trigger was firm, but crisp, the shot cycle was just a thunk, nothing extra.
    I was shooting a target on a backer at 50 yards, the target was about 12 inches from the bottom of the board, every shot hit the board, there were too many holes to see where I was hitting, but the pellet drop at 50 was not that much, hmm, maybe we can twist a 50 yard test out of him, with the ballistic match only just to see..

    Tom, I still would like first dibs if you decide to part with it.

    I ran into JimQWERTY , we are from the same home town.
    We shot several of the guns, and had a great time, he is an excellent shot, don’t let him tell you otherwise..

    I also ran into Chris Bassett, we hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years.
    We have been through racin gas boats, shooting, and now airguns.

    I saw several of the guns you pictured above, other than the FWB 110, and the Daystate prototype, none of them stood out to me, I guess I am not much of a Daisy collector, as like many, all I saw was a B.B. gun.

    I was surprised I didn’t see any Crosman MK1 or MK2 pistols, and no S&W 78-79g’s either.

    Thanks to all who made it a success, thanks to the vendors outside who endured the heat all day.
    And the Sig people who were tirelessly fearing magazine belts for the shooters almost as fast as they could pull the trigger. (They need to come up with a speedloading device to help on range days. )


    • Ian,

      NOOOO! There WAS a 79G at the show and it was for sale. The seller came to me, asking what I thought he should ask. I can’t remember who it was, but it was an early gun with a shiny finish nut no trigger adjustment screw.


      • Sorry I missed it.

        My name is Ian, and I have an addiction.
        More specifically I have a Crosman Mk1&2 addiction.
        And a S&W 78-79g addiction has recently started too.

        I won an adjustable trigger 78g on gunbroker on Thursday before the show, it should be here this week.
        It is untested, so With your help, I would like to try to do a guest blog on its reseal.

        I recently picked up a Daisy 790 like new in the box, with all the paperwork, dirt cheap, i resealed it using Mac 1parts.
        It now shoots 510 fps with 7.9gr Benjamin hollow points. Which also happens to be its favorite pellet.
        It does not have an adjustable trigger, but it shoots very well and the trigger is predictable.


              • B.B.,

                Just so we are on the same page, I mean the Benjamin Legacy SE.

                But then I read part 4, in which you wrote about the sound baffle interfering with the pellets and making it inaccurate. Was that ever resolved?


                • Michael,

                  That is the rifle I’m talking about. I read Part 4 and see what you are talking about. I had planned to do a Part 5 but my wife got sick and passed away the next month and I forgot a lot of things.

                  I probably should go back and finish the story, just to see if I was right about the end cap interfering with the pellet.


                  • B.B.,

                    As I recall the reason you initially were unable to test the Legacy SE was your own terrible illness, your pancreatitis, in 2010. Illness is awful, but it does serve to remind us of our mortality and appreciate this world while we are here.

                    No rush with the Legacy SE. It is a study of yours that goes back 8 or more years, so it will wait in its box. :^) I do recall you had a similar issue once with a PCP not too long ago and the fix was a bit of judicious filing of a baffle or two.


  9. Thanks for recapping the show B.B!!

    Would love to have attended but the cost to do so would be way out of budget. Appreciate that I can see a bit of it through the blog!


  10. B.B.,

    Off topic but on the subject of big bores just the same, I read an article a week or two ago that argued that while the science of hydrostatic shock is real, for it to really be a factor for larger animals the bullet needs to be both heavy and traveling at a high velocity, a la 30-06. The article argued for lower-velocity (so as not to send a projectile through your house and your neighbor’s house), large caliber rounds such as the .45 ACP and .44 Special to produce greater diameter “wound channels.”

    That got me thinking about common handgun cartridges. If a .357 magnum revolver can shoot a .38 Special round, and a .44 magnum can shoot a .44 Special round, why are there not .50 Special cartridges for the big game revolvers? In the Yukon load it with magnum rounds, but at a range or plinking in the desert, shoot .50 Special.

    Do some reloaders make batches of .50 Special?


  11. Ian,
    I like the Crosman Mk1, M2, and SW 78G and 79G also. I like the grip of the S&W best. I like to shoot them on half cock. The are so quiet and fun plinking on lower power.

    David Enoch

    • David I am just the opposite, I like the way the Crosman feels when shooting targets 1 handed, it seems to hang better, but like the S&W style for 2 handed shooting.

      Or sitting and laying it across my knee.

  12. BB,
    Wasn’t the Daisy Critter Gitter a .380 shot gun pistol? I can’t remember the gauge or cal, but if I recall it was a single shot, shot shell pistol. Oh how I longed for one. I too have never seen one, just read about them in airgun books.


      • B.B.,
        I saw a Quackenbush pistol like that years ago at a airgun show near Little Rock Arkansas. It fired a .32 cal round ball. It wasn’t that expensive. At the time I never heard of Quackenbush so I thought it was probably junk. Just a few short years after that (after buying and reading several books/magazines) I learned that Quackenbush was the real deal. Oh how I wish I had that .32 cal pistol then. Back then there was no internet to speak of. It was hard to find info on airguns back then.


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