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Education / Training 2019 SHOT Show: Part 5

2019 SHOT Show: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Diana model 30
  • Leapers
  • The really big news!
  • The King Bug Buster!
  • UTG Micro Reflex dot sight
  • P.O.I. rings in 11mm
  • Hatsan Speedfire
  • Crosman Triple threat
  • ASG
  • Summary

Diana model 30

We were in the Diana booth at the end of Part 4. There is one more thing I want to show you in that booth. We talked about it last year, but when I tested a vintage one, it failed during the test. Last August I reported about the Diana model 30. I told you then that this was an airgun that was made from 1972 through 2000. Well, I learned from a Diana representative that the model 30 is still in production today, and that it sells to shooting gallery operators for 1,000 Euro, which is $1,141 as I write this. So the price of $1,000 back in the 1980s wasn’t as far out of line as I had thought.

The gun I tested shot proprietary 4.4mm lead balls. Diana is now working to convert one to shoot steel BBs for the American market. I have no idea what the price will be, but Diana and Air Venturi who will be distributing it both know that no American airgunner will pay a thousand dollars for one. I would expect it to be a quarter of that or possibly a little more.

Diana 30
Diana will produce a model 30 gallery gun for the North American market.

The model 30 is equivalent to some of the very fine historical gallery guns I have tested for you in the past — guns like the Hammerli trainer that fits inside the Swiss K31 battle rifle. I don’t know how long these new guns will be available, so when they hit the market is the time to act. I plan on buying the one I’m sent to test. I know I’m the Great Enabler, but I’m not trying to sell you anything right now. This opportunity is simply too good to pass up, if you want a quality gallery gun. When will they be available? I asked, and, if my memory is correct, sometime before this summer.


I stopped at the Leapers booth next. And that’s when the big stuff started happening! The first one is confusing, but I saw it and have photographic proof, for once. It is a 3-12X56mm scope with etched glass reticle! That’s right — three to twelve power with a 56mm objective lens! Talk about light transmission!

new scope
I can’t find this scope in their catalog, nor in my photos of their booth signage, but I held the scope, looked through it and it does exist — a 3-12X56 UTG scope. I believe it’s in their new Accushot OP3 Series of scopes.

Anyhow, the reticle in this one is duplex — heavy on the sides and extremely fine in the center. It’s an etched-glass reticle. This is a hunter’s scope! It’s what many of you have been asking for.

new scope markings
There’s the proof! This is an enlargement of the markings on the new scope I saw.

The turrets have been enlarged for easier handling. They still have the locking rings at the base of each adjustment knob, and you can feel each click of adjustment even if you can’t hear them. Well — I can’t hear them — maybe some of you can.

The really big news!

Here it is — the 2019 SHOT Show distilled into one product! The next scope I saw was a prototype crossbow scope Leapers is making for a certain client. Because I now own a Sub-One crossbow and because I may be writing about the new Ravin crossbows from Velocity Outdoors this year, I examined it — AND WAS BLOWN AWAY!

The King Bug Buster!

After some examination, I said to Tom Zue, the Leapers representative who was showing me the products, “This could be a Bug Buster! It’s the right size and it has an ETCHED GLASS RETICLE!!!!!!!” Tom then said, “Yes, but the scope tube is 30mm and Bug Busters are all one inch.” To which I replied, “Then call it the King BugBuster! All you need to do is leave off the velocity markings on the ring (for crossbow bolts) and you are done!”

King Bug Buster
Leapers is prototyping a new crossbow scope. If they just leave off the velocity markings for crossbow bolts (arrow) it could be the next Bug Buster.

Tom then smiled at me and said, “You know, David Ding (the owner of Leapers) said the same thing. He thought this would be a great new Bug Buster too.” Then David walked up and joined us, nodding his approval.

Right then Tyler Patner came by and I showed the scope to him. He liked the reticle and agreed that it would make a great new Bug Buster.

Then I saw Val Gamerman, the president of Air Venturi, sitting and talking to Lucy Liu from Leaper sales. So I went over with David Ding and showed the scope to him. He looked at it and turned to Tyler, who nodded his approval. I think we are going to get a new Bug Buster with an etched glass reticle, guys! Oh, and maybe I forgot to mention this — it has an internal bubble level!

All of this happened in just a few minutes. I was in the right place at the right time! That doesn’t happen that often.

UTG Micro Reflex dot sight

I have been reporting about the new UTG Micro Reflex dot sight, and they now have a Gen II version out. It’s more rugged, for law enforcement tactical use.

Gen II Micro Reflex
The second generation Micro Reflex dot sight from UTG (right) is built more rugged than the first one. It also has a larger viewing area, due to a more compact design.

The power button on the left side has been given metal “ears” to prevent it from being turned on when a rifle or pistol is laid down. The gen I sight doesn’t have that. It’s power button stands proud.

The real news here is the battery life. Improved LEDs and a new circuit board give the gen II sight a 30,000 hour battery life! If you leave it on it will continue to be illuminated for 1,250 days, or 3.42 years! The battery of the gen I sight I am testing lasts for 5,000 hours if left on, but Leapers is upgrading it to 30,000 hours as well. Both sights will continue in production, so I’m supposing the gen II will cost a little more.

Gen II side
The gen II Micro Reflex sight is more compact, yet has 6 times the battery life as the gen I! Metal ears now protect the power button (arrows).

2.5-inch Mini Dot Sight

The Micro Reflex isn’t the only dot sight that’s new from UTG. They are also offering a 2.5-inch Mini dot that looks more conventional, yet is still quite small. It comes with a red dot, only. Battery life is the same 30,000 hours runtime.

Mini Dot Sight
A little larger than the Micro Reflex, the Mini Dot is still quite small. Red dot, only.

P.O.I. rings in 11mm

The last bit of news at Leapers is the launch of their P.O.I. scope rings with 11mm bases for airguns. I have been using these mounts extensively (with Weaver to 11mm adaptors) in the past year because they are closer to true than any mounts I’ve used. Unless your rifle base is off or your rifle is a drooper, and many are, the P.O.I. mounts will get your scope aligned quickly.

P.O.I. mounts
UTG P.O.I. precision scope mounts now come with 11mm bases.

Hatsan Speedfire

A reader asked me if the shock-absorbing scope rail on the new Hatsan Speedfire was just rubber bushings for the screws or if it was more. I said I didn’t know but I would look and see. I went back to the Hatsan booth and talked to Hatsan representative, Cecil Bays, who told me the screws do pass through a rubber bushing, but the rail slot that the screws past through is oval. That allows the rail to move slightly under recoil.

Speedfire scope rail
The scope rail is held to the Speedfire by two screws that pass through rubber bushings. The holes in the rail that both the screws and bushings pass through are oval, allowing the rail to move slightly.

Coincidently, Cecil and I were on the same airplane flight returning from the show and I talked to him about your interest in the new Vectis lever-action PCP. He is sending me one to test right away — as well as a Speedfire.

Crosman Triple threat

Another discussion point was whether the barrel shrouds on the three barrels for the Crosman Triple Threat revolver are metal of plastic. At a retail price of $70 I thought they had to be plastic, but I went back and confirmed it. Yes, they are indeed plastic.


I stopped at the ASG booth next. They had told me there are no new airguns for 2019, but they have an airsoft pistol I might be interested in seeing. I used to write about airsoft, but it pulled me away from airguns and I decided I am not the gun for it. However, Bob Li of ASG is my Great Enabler. He got me to buy a CZ 75 SP-01 firearm to go with the CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow BB gun he sent me for testing. Now there is a new CZ Shadow 2, and this one is airsoft.

CZ Shadow 2
The airsoft Shadow 2 from ASG is very realistic.

Shadow 2
The Shadow 2 firearm is a competition grade tactical sidearm.

I hefted the gun and it feels just like the firearm. The Shadow 2 is CZ’s further development of the Shadow SP-01. It’s a high-end tactical sidearm that’s been made for the USPSA, Product Division competition. It retails for $1,300. So don’t go ballistic when I tell you that the airsoft gun retails for $180. Yes, it has Hop Up and it can be fully disassembled. It can operate on either green gas or CO2, though the one that is imported into this country will be CO2. It shoots a 0.25-gram BB, which is on the heavy side for an airsoft pistol. Bob Li said he would send me one for evaluation and I will test it for you, though I have no idea whether Pyramyd AIR will carry it.


I looked for FX at the show, but they didn’t have a booth this year. I know several of you are interested in the new Dreamlite rifle and I wanted to see it for you. But they did not display.

I just looked and there is enough for a Part 6. It will be things that Pyramyd AIR may never carry, but I saw them and you might like to, as well.

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.

44 thoughts on “2019 SHOT Show: Part 5”

  1. B.B.,

    Excellent report. Very exciting stuff. I like the Red Dots.

    Not sure of your point on the 3-12×56. I have the 4-16×56, so I am not sure of new/advantage here. What did I miss? The 3-12 I do have is 44mm objective and is on the Maximus. Both are etched.

    Looking forwards to Part 6!

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

    • Chris,

      I too have the 4-16×56 SWAT Bubbble Leveler and a 3-12×44 SWAT Compact. These are big, heavy scopes. I am wanting smaller, lighter optics that can withstand uber magnum sproingers. If they give the new 3-12 Bug Buster an etched reticle and continue to leave off the light I will be snatching up a couple quick.

      If the Bug Buster gets bigger and heavier, well there is this…


      …with this.


      I have one of these scopes and it is real nice and I have one of these mounts on the way. I really do think this is going to be a super sweet setup.

      • RR,

        I have one of those scopes too. They are very good. They would be even better without the illumination in my opinion. I already have more scopes with illumination than I need. I like a small lightweight scope on some guns, and especially on small lightweight gun. I also have a couple of the wire reticle Hawk 3×7 scopes they are nice but you can’t beat the etched glass.

        It seems the more doodads the better things sell.


        • Don,

          Take the battery out.

          I really do hope the Bug Busters go to etched glass. At rare times the illumination is nice, but most of the time I too could do without. It is getting more and more difficult to find small low powered scopes that are not set at 100 yards. I guess I need to start searching EBay and such and pick up some of the old Weavers, etc. that we used to be able to get, but they are demanding high prices now.

    • Chris,

      This is another one I have wimbled back and forth about. This would be ideal on an uber magnum sproinger.


  2. I would like to feel optimistic about the prospect of a King Bug Buster, but i wouldn’t hold my breath. I hope the TR5 comes out and at some point the .25 Aspen.

      • Actually i just have to regulate myself. My problem though with the .25 vs .22 is not even a contest i just think of the .25 in terms of break barrel and not PCP I just need to change my thinking for the trajectory profile.

        As far as scopes go I have in use UTG bug buster 3-9×32, 6×32. true hunter 6-24×50 and 8-32×56 and a Barska 6-24×60 and i killed a UTG 4-16×56 and i have the ushual assortment of drawer scopes. I think i would like the light gathering ability of the 3-12×56 however that exit pupil on low mag of over 18 is going to require a well fixed cheek weld and personally i like to use max magnification so as not to have the issue. Now present me with a very low light predator problem and i would set up a gun around it.

  3. BB,

    LOL! I need another bb gun like I need a another hole in my head, but I may end up with one anyway. 😉

    Now a new Bug Buster with etched glass reticle would most definitely find a place here. Now as to going up to 30mm, I can deal with it but my druther is 1 inch. I even liked the idea of the newest one out now not having illumination. My druther is to keep the size and weight down as much as is possible.

  4. BB

    You mentioned the locking rings at the base of each scope adjustment. I have wondered is it best to leave them loose until sighting in is finished so the lens can settle? Or should the ring locks be tightened each step of the way during the sighting in process?

    Thanks and lots of good stuff covered today.


  5. B.B.

    Maybe UTG will offer a GEN II 1″ Bug Buster with an etched reticle – it was the thick cross-hairs that stopped me from buying a Bug Buster.

    I am interested in a UTG Micro Reflex dot sight for my FWB 603. I shoot target with aperture sights in the winter but am thinking of fitting it out with a Reflex and a sport stock for snipping during the summer.

    Part 6? …more good stuff to come!


  6. B.B.,

    That Diana Model 30 sure was an attention-getter for me! Does it have the shot counter (probably not)? If not, no problem. Very sweet.

    Of course they are top-cockers like many of the CZ and German trainers of the first half of the 20th Century. Most of those were slightly hard-cocking, but some, like the Mars, were light-cocking. Have you ever shot a Diana Model 30? Can you make an educated guess at the cocking effort?


    • Michael,

      I sure hope they keep the two shot counters. Of course, by taking them off, a LOT of money is saved, because there is a mass of linkages and tiny parts on the inside of the gun. It also reduces the complexity of the gun for manufacture and maintenance. I think you can see where this is going.

      Looking at the example at SHOT was no help, because it was a straight German gallery gun. Diana hasn’t made the American version yet. So I really don’t know. If the two counters added $50 to the retail price would you still want them?


  7. Hi Bearded BB,
    Now, I would like to see a report on the stuff that isn’t necessarily airgun related but that you thought was neat, useful, or clever. I am sure you saw a lot of that kind of thing at the show. Did you look at knives, multi tools, pouches and bags, etc?

    Love the reports,
    David Enoch

  8. B.B.

    How about a report on how a whiskered cheek effects the cheek weld? Then maybe you could show us how good your self sharpened straight razors are at removing the whiskers from the cheek? LOL!
    I always had my winter warmer removed professionally!


  9. B.B.,
    The Shadow 2 airsoft pistol looks pretty interesting, but I must be getting old.
    I know I’ve said this before, but I just cannot understand the fascination with fiber-optic sights.
    All my pistols have nice square Partridge sights; that makes it easy to focus on the front sight.
    I can see the idea of 3-dot Tritium sights for night time defensive use,
    but I have yet to see a pistol with fiber-optic sights that allows me a nice, clear, clean sight picture.
    Someone must be loving them, or the manufacturers wouldn’t be cranking them out. =>
    Looking forward to your report on the Shadow 2,

    • Thedavemyster,

      Not B.B.; but up until a week ago I would have read your post and nodded in agreement over my steaming cup of coffee.
      My attitude seems to be changing since I picked up my SIG 320 X5, full size with fiber-optic front sight. Perhaps it is the fact that it has front sight only fiber-optic or that the sight post and fiber is very small and precise. It was delivered with a green fiber installed and a bag with replacement fibers in both red and green along with instructions for installation. The very first time I presented the pistol to dryfire I immediately knew/felt that it is better than any plain iron front sight of any design (of the many and even more with Tritium inserts) I have ever had the pleasure to use. The proof of the pudding will come with actual use at the ranges and in the shoot house which comes after a few more days of dryfire practice and some purely functional and learning sessions at the ranges with lots of different ammunition and drills.
      Tritium sights are useful under many senarios but the real solution for a nightfight is liberal use of Flash or Flash-BANGS, good flashlight (torch) discipline or better still the current generation night vision gear.


      • OK, Shootski, I appreciate that input; so it may just be that I have yet to come across a fiber-optic front sight that suits me; I shall try to keep an open mind, and check all the new guns at our local store as they come in (many with fiber sights) and see if I can come across a set I can use to get a good sight picture; thanks again =>

  10. YOGI—-Have you ever seen how the Eskimo alter the comb of their rifle stocks ? The hood on their parkas adds so much bulk to their faces that they have to alter their rifle stocks in order to get a cheek weld. —–=—Ed

  11. More significant is what wasn’t shown while Springfield and Sig gave some exciting airguns for replica fans, especially theM1 Carbine, Umarex seems to have totally abandoned the WesternMarket. Yes the 1894,, but it was almost a year after being shown at the 2018Show. No 4 3/4 barrel Peacemakers, areyou kidding? What happened to the Heritage Series? Nothing it seems ASG that markets theSchofield in Europe showed an airsoft pistol! Yawn. The Ruger10/22 is interesting, as is the underdeverler repeater ,but for replica fans , a disappointing show.

  12. Nice to see a bunch of the Shot Show stuff is showing at Pyramyd AIR /latest

    Need to start a go fund me page or something, on the less expensive side the underlever Synergis does look nice /product/umarex-synergis-177-cal-multi-shot-gas-piston-rifle-combo?m=4807 while springers in this price range tend to be less than great I look forward to a report on this one. Someone else, sorry can not remember who asked if the transfer port went left or under the magazine, I would think and hope the transfer port is straight through the pellet probe.

    Also just guessing but the cocking force should be about 25 to 32 pounds. A cool looking rifle and they have bundled it with a scope (good or bad?), looking forward to the full review but it looks like a May release on this one.


  13. Re: Diana Model 30 – I know at least one (North) American airgunner who would pay $1,000 for a gun like that of high quality: me. I also realize I am almost alone in this. I’m looking forward to the steel BB version. I would really like to have a full adult sized, high quality gun like this for target shooting in the house. The Avanti 499 is great but a little small! If the Model 30 becomes available in Canada I’m getting one.

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