2019 SHOT Show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Media Day — Velocity Outdoors and Sig
  • American Airgunner
  • New compressor
  • Fortitude Gen II
  • Crosman barrels?
  • Crosman Night Stalker
  • Benjamin Mag Fire
  • Sig Day at the Range
  • MPX PCP
  • ASP Super Target
  • P365
  • Summary

Media Day — Velocity Outdoors and Sig

I usually attend Media Day the day before the SHOT Show opens, but last year there were no airgun manufacturers there. So this year I decided not to go to Media Day, but to go to Sig Day at the Range instead. It’s held on the same day. That left me with some time on Sunday, the day before. And Velocity Outdoors, the corporation that owns Crosman and all of its various holdings, hosted a media presentation of its products at Machine Gun Vegas — an indoor gun range where you can shoot fully automatic weapons. On this evening the place was all ours.

American Airgunner

When I arrived I saw nobody I recognized, for Velocity Outdoors has many other companies beside just Crosman. But then Rossi Morreale of American Airgunner came in with his film crew and we did an impromptu show segment while looking at the new offerings from Crosman and Benjamin.

Tom and Rossi
Rossi Morreale (right) was at the Velocity Outdoors event. Yes, BB (second from left) now has a white beard — ho, ho ho!

New compressor

Benjamin will bring out a new large air compressor in 2019. It’s called the Benjamin ReCharge. and it will fill large carbon fiber air tanks to 4,500 psi. Don’t hold me to this but I heard the suggested retail was going to be $1395.

Benjamin ReCharge
Benjamin’s new ReCharge compressor will be another low-cost solution for airgunners.

Fortitude Gen II

Okay, you readers have been jazzed about this. I shot the new second generation Benjamin Fortitude! The short story is that a few of the original guns had leaking issues and many owners felt the rifle was too hard to cock. I tested the Fortitude for you and mine cocked easily enough, plus it held air fine, but Crosman took your comments seriously and took a second look at the gun.

As long as they were doing that they figured why not make other improvements. The new rifle is very easy to cock, has a nice light trigger that’s also crisp, gets 80 shots on a fill (with a 20 f.p.s. variation), and has a more accurate Crosman-made barrel. Rossi and I both shot it and the new rifle is quite nice. I may need to do a full retest — it’s that much different.

The rifle looks the same as the first Fortitude. But now you can adjust the striker spring from the high 500 f.p.s. (in .22) range to the mid 800s! And high power is where those 80 shots are. On low power they counted over 200 shots — on a gun so quiet you cannot hear it fire! Rossi and I both commented on how quiet the rifle is!

Fortitude target
This Zombie target was shot by three different people at 20 yards offhand. The zombie’s eye is about quarter-sized. The new Fortitude Gen II is accurate!

Crosman barrels?

Here is a story within a story. Remember I told you that Crosman rifles some of their own barrels? Well Senior Product Design Engineer, John Solpietro, who showed me all the guns told me that Crosman has had an internal program going to create better barrels. As a result, they now rifle ALL their own barrels — .177, .22 and .25! They have found no significant difference between the new barrels they are rifling and the premium barrels they were buying from Green Mountain. John didn’t give me any details, but I did verify that reaming the seamless tubing before rifling is now a step used for Crosman barrels.

I think this internal program is laudable. I wonder why their marketing department hasn’t touted it more?

Crosman Night Stalker

Nightstalker was a semiautomatic pellet rifle years ago. Now they have broken the name in two and applied it to a BB pistol that has an integrated laser! Whaaaat?

Night Stalker target
This target was 7 yards away and John Solpietro “painted” it (arrow) with the built-in Night-Stalker laser!

Night Stalker
The new Crosman Night Stalker BB pistol has a built-in adjustable laser!

This is a blowback BB pistol, so don’t expect inch groups, but at 7 yards (21 feet) I did put 20 BBs into about 4 inches. The laser is adjustable, so in theory you can get it right on. I need to test one!

Benjamin Mag Fire

The Gamo Swarm Maxxim repeating breakbarrel spring rifle has caused quite a stir in the marketplace. Everyone is talking about it! Well, Crosman is working on their own repeater they call the Benjamin Mag Fire. I had the chance to shoot it and can tell you it’s lightweight, reasonable easy to cock and very accurate (remember those Crosman barrels). The rifle we shot was a preproduction prototype, so they are still improving it.

Benjamin Mag Fire
The Benjamin Mag Fire will be a new entry into the world of repeating breakbarrels.

The evening with Velocity Outdoors — the company we all know as Crosman — was a big success. I learned a lot and made some new friends.

Sig Day at the Range

Sig Day at the Range is much like Media Day only Sig is the sole host. They have sponsors who help with the setup and costs, but it’s pretty much a one-gun-company show.

MPX PCP

I went to see the airguns, of course, and they were there! Let’s start with the MPX PCP. This is a .22 caliber semiautomatic that has a 13 cubic inch (about 213 cc) air tank as the stock. The tank is filled to 3,000 psi and regulated down to 1,100 psi. That means there are lots of 10.5 foot-pounds shots — at least 150 per fill, if not more!

Sig MPX PCP
Sig’s MPX PCP is a 30 shot semiautomatic repeater that uses an assist (the trigger) to advance the belt.

I found the gun accurate and fun to shoot — especially with the Sig red dot sight that was on it. It does come with military M4-type sights that fold down when you want to use optics.

The day was very windy with winds gusting to over 50 mph, so I wasn’t able to stand very steady on the range, but when I did the MPX did it’s job. This will be one that gets a full test!

Terry shoots MPX
Terry Doe of the UK shoots the MPX PCP. It was a cold and very blustery day!

ASP Super Target

Most of you know that I have eagerly been awaiting the ASP Super Target single stroke pneumatic target pistol. Well, it was there at Sig Day and it will be in my hands in February for testing, if all goes as planned. And, it is everything we have hoped for.

The trigger is nice, the adjustable sights are clear and crisp, the ergonomic wooden grip is shaped exactly like a P210 grip and — best of all — this pistol is easy to cock! The last SSP that was easy to cock was the IZH46M that we can’t get anymore. So this one is sorely wanted and needed.

ASP Super Target
Sig Super Target is a single stroke we will all welcome.

The trigger will leave Sig set at 2 lbs. but Ed told me it can adjusted lighter. And, although the wind was blowing a bloody gale, I managed to hit what I shot at. I can’t wait to get it on my 10-meter range at home! I just hope I can resist the urge to buy the 9mm P210 target pistol to go with it, because that one is a major outlay! And I have long wanted one.

P365

The last new airgun I saw at Sig was the P365 BB pistol that we saw at last years SHOT Show. That one was just a mockup; this one was made of production parts. It’s still being tweaked, but I expect to see it by the middle of this year. I already own the companion 9mm firearm that has become my main carry pistol.

P365
The Sig P365 BB pistol is nearing development.

Summary

In all these two events were of major impact for me. They were a good beginning to what I hope will be the best SHOT Show ever!

49 thoughts on “2019 SHOT Show: Part 1

  1. 200 quiet shots per fill from an American PCP?
    That’s what plinkers have been wanting!

    I am glad to see that SIG is going forward with the .22 MCX.

    When they first announced them, They were saying .177 & .22, then it changed to .177 only.
    But 5 magazines at ~10 ft. lbs. in the MCX platform?
    That is going to be a small pest game changer if its accurate.(which from SIG it probably will be.)

    We can’t wait for your report on them.

    Have fun,
    Ian


  2. B.B.,

    Glad you are having great success making new friends, I think it is that smashing beard that makes you even more approachable, along with having obvious fun at SHOT SHOW 2019!

    Please a request, put a bug in SIGs ear to take the P320/M17 airpistol and make an X FIVE variant!

    I do like the look of the P210 pellet shooter! I’m going to have a hard time not getting the 9mm P210 Target ( but I’m holding it for SUPER for that many $$$$…maybe) even though I love the fullsize 9mm X-FIVE…a real shooter for lots less $$$ than a P210 with 5″ barrel..

    Photograph Caption on “Sig’s MPX OCP” (PCP) looks like the fix needed.

    Enjoy your Shot Show!

    shootski



  3. B.B.,

    I find it odd that some people complain about the Air Force design forcing them to have a relative high scope to barrel mounting yet I don’t hear much complaint when it comes to the M4 platform. Looking at the second picture accompanying the MPX PCP it looks like it isn’t any lower than the Air Force design. Does the Sig MPX PCP also force you to use a high mount? Can a scope be mounted using low mounts?

    Purchasing a Sig 210 to compare with the Sig ASP Super Target is a very hard thing to resist. Maybe Sig might have a spare lying around to help in your report. 🙂

    Siraniko

    PS Section Benjamin Mag Fire First paragraph Third sentence: Well, Crosman is working on their owe (own) repeater they can (call) the Benjamin Mag Fire.




      • R.R. & Siraniko,

        The issue about HIGH mounts (as well as Air Force’s & Stoner’s rifles) is like the movie The Never Ending Story!
        High mounting of sighting systems does not effect accuracy DIRECTLY; all things precision being equal shooter knowledge and skills application effects repeatability and accuracy.

        But then you two know that already!

        CANT RANT!

        shootski


        • The problem with the scope being mounted high is that airguns are often used at closer ranges, like maybe 10-15 yards at times. It’s counter intuitive to use the necessary holdover at those ranges. I know when I first began using airguns again I had to keep reminding myself to hold over, not under.


          • Geo791,

            I understand that the angle formed between the sight line and the bore axis is not optimal for an extended point-blank range for small targets. It would seem that if you sighted in at 20 yards you would need to hold under…unless your MV is very low.
            Not knowing what airgun and how you choose to sight in I can’t say much about your need to hold over.
            My point to R.R. and Siraniko was about arms that are typically shoot much farther than 10-15 yards and have rather high MV with relatively flat trajectories…especially the “Mattelomatic” battle rifle.

            shootski


  4. B.B.,

    I was afraid the Fortitude Gen II was comming out. The original just did not meet expectations.

    How am I going to save up for a top end gun with all these great moderately priced guns showing up?

    I like the beard. Have fun. I can’t wait for the next reports on the show.

    Don



  5. B.B.,

    On the Fortitude, have they kept the Maximus trigger and just added a lighter spring?

    Also the leaking problems have they said just what that problem was from?

    As a Fortitude owner I have found it to be accurate and fun, the real question is will the gen 2 be ready before August?

    Last year after Shot I wanted one and then it was April, then May, June, July, August. Just hoping this is not another long wait. Is the gen 2 ready to go?

    Mike


  6. B.B.,

    Nice report. I like the beard. Good length too. That is right about where I wear mine, lengthwise. Trim back every 2 weeks from there.

    Nice on the Fortitude. Yes, they should be touting their barrels!

    Good Day to you and to all,……… Chris


  7. BB,

    Lots of good stuff in this report.

    Am I correct that the Sig rifle is still using the magazine belt as the “chamber”? If this is accurate at 25 and 50 yards, this will be a huge seller.

    That ASP Super Target looks nice. That is going to be hard to resist.

    I am glad to hear TCFKAC has been working on the Fortitude. Many people have not been happy with it. I may end up with one of these yet.

    Nice beard. Great idea. Go incognito. Maybe Gamo will talk with you this year. 😉



  8. B.B.,

    I like the beard. It suits you. And yes, it’s gray (whose isn’t?), but it makes you look slightly younger, maybe five to eight years younger. Not that you’re vain (hey, who isn’t?).

    Michael



  9. B.B.,
    Looks like some good times!
    I eagerly await your testing of the ASP Super Target.
    That’s one sweet-looking pistol; I hope she shoots as good as she looks. =>
    Take care & God bless,
    dave



      • How close, internally, is it to the Chiappa-made FAS6004 – the large adjustment screw for trigger weight near the front of the trigger guard looks very familiar? The Sig uses the ‘hammer’ as the overlever catch doesn’t it, presumably to go for the automatic pistol look, but that does lose the very low barrel position relative to the grip. Rather like the HW75, it is compromised slightly when judged solely as a target pistol.

        Iain



  10. B.B.,

    Great report and you are just getting started. I can see myself taking a DPMS and an MPX out to the back 40 and enjoying some me time.

    I saw a AirForce Texan SS Big Bore Air Rifle up close and personal about a week ago. Seems to be finely crafted.

    Just learned there is a 100 yard indoor range in Conroe. I hadn’t heard of it before.

    I hope the cats are doing well. I hope you are, too.

    ~ken


  11. B.B.
    I see the MPX PCP as what air gunners have been doing to their CO2 versions with an air venturie bottle. I will be watching for the reviews on this one to see if it has any enhancements other than the regulated air supply. I would like to find out that the accuracy is better than the MCX that I have now. It is pop can accurate at 15 yards but a 1″ spinner is hit and miss.
    Gerald


  12. B.B.

    Nice beard! I didn’t even recognize you at first. You didn’t mention that Steve Scialli was standing next to you in the picture. I think that’s Steve holding the Benjamin Mag Fire in a picture as well. With that beard and your cap on, you look exactly like a close friend of mine. He had some cancer removed from his cheek and had to grow the beard because he wasn’t able to shave. It looks good on you though 🙂

    Thanks for the update on the show too.

    Geo


  13. Hi BB…Thanks for your Shot Show posting…I’m a Sig guy & anxiously awaiting your Sig Super Target Testing…Do you have any idea what they will price it at ? I put it in a class with the FAS 6004, the HW 75, Walther CP88, Beeman P1, Air Venturi V10……An Entry level 10 Meter Target gun ? Other than the Grips I don’t see a comparison to a P210 ? I hope they list it soon so I can buy one… Does Sig compare it to their P210 ?

    Chuck


  14. So, the Fortitude, can it be filled with a hand pump to a lower pressure? Oh, and I recently grew a full beard also. 65 years old now, and had never grown a beard or mustache. Facing my own mortality, and it can affect ones regular processes. I just decided, hey, what the heck!


  15. The big thing that got my attention is a name brand compressor. MSRP being what it is means the price should be near 1000 or less. That means Air Venturi needs to compete with the nomad and the big one. I have a feeling we’re only a few years from a truely affordable pump. 500$ got me a TIG/MIG inverter welder and it has 90 hours on it at least. The cheap compressor is on the horizon, just like the ppp was.






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