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Education / Training 2020 SHOT Show Day One

2020 SHOT Show Day One

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

Hatsan Piledriver

Hatsan Blitz!

Hatsan HydraQE

Hatsan Volt

Hatsan Alpha — grandfathers of the world, rejoice!

Engage warp drive!

Lancer Tactical

Black Ops Quantico

Drum Roll — Mosin Nagant rifle

Rhino Limited Edition

M1A is here!

Bug Buster bubble level!

So much more to come!

If I didn’t see any more of the show than just today I have already seen more new and innovative airguns and accessories than there are at most entire shows. Let’s begin with Hatsan.

Hatsan Piledriver

Hatsan’s Cecil Bays showed me their new 800 foot-pound big bore rifle called the Piledriver. It comes in .45 and .50 calibers. It gets 3 to 6 shots at full power, depending on the caliber. The fill is 300 bar, or 4,350 psi, so you should have a compressor or a large carbon fiber tank for this one.

Hatsan Piledriver

Cecil Bays holds Hatsan’s new Piledriver big bore.

Hatsan Blitz!

Want full-auto? The new Blitz gives it to you in .22, .25 and .30 calibers! Actually the rifle is select-fire, so it’s also semiautomatic. Cecil told me it gets 4 full 16-round magazines in .30 caliber from a single fill (19 in .25 and 21 shots in .22)!

Hatsan Blitz
Cecil holds the new select-fire Blitz!

Hatsan HydraQE

The new Hatsan Hydra QE (no, it’s not a weapon from Marvel Studios) is a systems air rifle that comes to you in one caliber with the ability to switch to two other calibers (.177, .22 and .25) and an arrow launcher in seconds. Best of all, each barrel retains its own scope, so no need to sight-in again, once the scope is sighted for that barrel.

Hatsan HydraQE
The picture tells the tale. Buy the HydraQE is one caliber and then buy spare barrels as the need suits you.

Hatsan Volt

All these PCPs need air and Hatsan provides it with their new Volt compressor. It’s a gun-only compressor that’s powered by either house current or a car battery, so you can take it anywhere. It’s small but Hatsan claims it fills guns 15 percent faster than the competition.

Hatsan’s new Volt is a compressor for filling PCP airguns.

Hatsan Alpha — grandfathers of the world, rejoice!

You know I love youth airguns. The Alpha was made just for me. It’s lightweight, easy to cock, has low power and open sights — as in let’s teach these kids to shoot before their world turns into a video game!

HOWEVER — when Hatsan USA president, Blaine Maniford, told me that the RETAIL price will be UNDER FIFTY DOLLARS — I went ballistic! I have got to test one!

Hatsan Alpha
The Hatsan Alpha. Every grandfather’s dream — a starter pellet rifle for LESS than $50!

Engage warp drive!

By this point I was 30 minutes into the show and already I was panting! This SHOT Show is exploding with new things to see. I want to do justice to all that I saw today, but I have a deadline to consider. So I’m going to select things to show you but not do complete reports on every company. From this point on, you have to pay attention to the headlines to follow along.

Lancer Tactical

I was invited to the Lancer Tactical booth to see what I thought were going to be airsoft guns. They had them — and what great ones they have!

Black Ops Quantico

But they also showed a new line of pellet rifles this year — the Black Ops Soul airguns. I will show just one today — the Quantico air rifle. They are all named for American military bases and the Quantico is a breakbarrel with an extremely adjustable buttstock. It has a gas spring and delivers 14.7 foot-pounds in .177 and 17.7 in .22. 

Quantico Gorka
Gorka Oyaga, sales rep from Europ-Arm (and a blog reader!) holds the Quantico breakbarrel rifle.

The Quantico is a tactical-looking sniper rifle in breakbarrel form!

These are exciting looking air rifles that I hope we will see more of this year. The price point is in the budget class for the Quantico — though I don’t have a final MSRP for you.

Drum Roll — Mosin Nagant rifle

Okay, sports fans. You wanted to see it and I found it for you. This next airgun is a big deal. How about a life-sized 91/30 Mosin Nagant airsoft rifle that the snipers shoot with 0.30-gram BBs? Does BB bring you the good stuff, or what — huh?

Jean Baqué, COO of Sport-Attitude, holds the EXTREMELY realistic 901/30 Mosin Nagant airsoft gun.

Yes it has Hop Up. Yes it is realistic. It even had a Tula Arsenal mark on the receiver ring. 

These are not cheap airsoft guns, guys. These are the guns that serious collectors and skirmishers buy. This Mosin will have an  MSRP of $389. You will buy them from a Lancer Tactical dealer here in the US.

Rhino Limited Edition

Lancer also showed the Rhino (Chiappa) .357 magnum revolver in a BB version. This revolver shoots from the bottom of the cylinder to lower the recoil and reduce muzzle flip with the .357 Magnum cartridge. When I held it I was surprised by the heft. They will be made in a limited production and less than 150 will come to the U.S.

Rhino revolver
Top gun is actually a steel BB (4.5mm) caliber, despite the orange tip on the barrel. It’s the limited edition Charging Rhino revolver. Bottom gun is a true airsoft revolver that weighs and feels exactly the same.

How do you get a limited edition gun like this? I have no idea — yet. But I will try to find out for you.

There is much more to show from Lancer Tactical, but like I said, I’m condensing today’s report.

M1A is here!

More military realism — the M1A from Springfield Armory is here. I saw it. I held it. It’s right on! It was in the Air Venturi booth. It’s a pellet rifle and it feels like the real deal. Last time I held something like this I had more hair, less waist and wore green!

The M1A weighs so much that you guys who only served with M16s are going to complain! Can’t wait to test it!

MiA open
When the underlever that’s disguised as the gas piston is pulled all the way down, a sliding breech opens to reveal a generous loading port.

There is so much more to come from Air Venturi, and you’ll get some each day. Gotta knock your socks off now.

Bug Buster bubble level!

I was such a good boy on this one. Have scars on my tongue from biting it for the past few months. Yes, Leapers did it — a 3-9 Bug Buster with an etched glass reticle, a bubble level and a center illuminated crosshair!

Bug Buster
And yes — that is a 30mm tube! Thank you very much!

Bug Buster reticle
Photographed through the eyepiece with the green illumination on!

So much more to come!

If you poked me with a pin right now I would fly around the SHOT Show for hours — I have so much more to show you. But after 18 hours on my feet I reach tracer burnout, so that’s it for my Day One report!

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.

48 thoughts on “2020 SHOT Show Day One”

  1. BB
    I like the bug buster scope, the reticle lines and dashes and that it is etched glass, like the bubble level and the 30 mm tube.

    I like the Hatsan Blitz. But not if it isn’t reliable or accurate. Will be watching this one.

  2. Oh boy, but the M1A is an underlever BB gun??

    OMG the bugbuster scope i have wanted so sure i would have liked a little more magnification however if it retains the 3yd close focus i will not complain and i love that they used that reticle.
    Wow cant wait to see the cost of things to come new to PCP and still wanting a quality moderator and larger tank for my gauntlet and now you start showing me all the cool new stuff, meh whenever it makes it to market i love seeing all that new. I was kind of wanting the updated Hammerli 850 from last year.
    Fun Fun Fun!!

  3. B.B.

    Nice report! There are many companies that I have never heard of before. Where are they coming from? Are they firearm companies that are branching out?
    So far all the “price point” PCP’s that you have tested have disappointed my expectations. I hope “price point” break barrel don’t do the same.
    Tomorrow is another day.


    • Yogi,

      Well, since no one has stepped up to address this, I will. Ya’ll had your chance.

      It is obvious you have too high expectations for PPPCP’s. You are expecting a PCP to be priced like a cheap sproinger but have the power and accuracy of a Daystate or Air Arms. It ain’t happening. You are not going to get a Chinese air rifle to do it right out of the box. Now, at this past year’s EBR a dude with a MODIFIED Gauntlet gave the Impacts, Air Wolves, etc. a serious run for their money.

      If you want an air rifle that shoots like an Air Arms S510 you are either going to have to buy one or build one. There are some PPPCP’s that have the potential to be modified to compete with the top enders and it will still be cheaper than buying a top ender. That is where I myself may be going this next time.

  4. BB,

    I know what my next scope will be. I have always been a big fan of the Bug Buster line. I am so glad they have finally gone over to etched glass. You did not mention that it is also side focus, but I am certain many of us would see that. 30mm tube? I guess I am not that surprised as you are gonna need room to put all that stuff somewhere.

    I thought you were describing me for a moment there. Once you use one of these things, a Mattelomatic just don’t make it. I would likely enjoy playing with one of those for a bit.

    Hatsan seems to be a very innovative company. They have grasped that the U.S. market is growing and they want to be one of the leaders. It is true that some of their airguns look like they were just carried off of a sci-fi movie set, but that’s OK. I kinda like it myself. It is not a firearm, so why try real hard to look like one?

    Umarex is another company that is starting to pay close attention to the U.S. market. I am looking forward to your thoughts on the Avenger, the Walther Reign and the .22 Synergis.

    I really do like Shot Show and IWA. It is almost as good as Christmas morning as a child. I do hope these are ready for production. It would not be the first time the marketeers tantalized us with a new toy and we never see or hear anything about it again.

  5. Hatsan is really going for the lion’s share of the market. I hope the Piledriver ,HydraQE, Alpha and Volt are on your todo list because I am looking forward to your reviews and their specs. The Piledriver looks like it’s gonna be very,very loud. But with that much power you’re going to have noise, The new Bug Buster is on my radar also.This is from the first day!!!! Can’t wait for the rest of your reports.Thanks for all the hard work!

    • B.B
      How anyone can make a break barrel with all the details included in the alpha is beyond amazing. A fluted barrel on a sub 50.00 gun it must be a plastic shroud over a soda straw smooth barrel.
      The price point of the m1a will will determine for me if the mismatched plastic hand guard will be acceptable. Hopefully the rifle doesn’t use enbloc clips to load making war with feral soda cans a little less risky “ting”.
      And the reticle on the Bug Buster is nearly perfect informative with being cluttered, possibly useful for ranging as well.
      Great reporting as always, looks like you’re having a blast, say hi to Clair at A.A. She’s as beautiful as that new field target rifle.
      Good day all glad to be back although I never really left just lurking.

  6. Good morning B.B. and all,
    I was explaining to my wife that this is the time when the air gun companies bring out their new products and showcase them for B.B. (and all the rest) to see and report on. Every year, we readers get very psyched to hear about the new air gun products they have come up with. B.B. is very energetic with his pom-poms when he sees something he knows we’ll like. It’s really fun for us readers, like RR said, it’s like Christmas for kids. Thank you B.B. for being our air gun ambassador, and all the work that goes into doing it, you are the best!
    It looks like I’ll be buying my fifth Bug Buster before too long…

  7. BB,

    Did you learn anything about the fire rate or power level of the Blitz? Under the Blitz heading, does “Cecil told me it gets 4 full 16-round magazines in .30 caliber from a single fill (19 in .25 and 21 shots in .22)!” am I correct in understanding that as 4 mags each, no matter the caliber, but more rounds per mag in the smaller calibers? And please do your best to get your hands on one of the Alphas. Wanna see one wrung out.

    Also, is it ironic to post a photo of a bubble level scope with its cross hairs askew? 😉 Good morning and have fun today.


  8. BB

    Lots of new stuff, not to my personal tastes but interesting nonetheless.

    Was watching a video of the show and (if I heard correctly, please correct ) the .30 Hatsan Blitz is capable of (theoretically) 1000 rounds a minute – like wow! … $120.00 a minute capability – major WOW!!! LOL! So a 16 shot mag would last about one second – guess that full auto capability is a “fun thing” and should not be viewed in a practical sense.

    Arrow shooters seem to be a big thing these days. In a weird sort of way they actually make sense for hunting big game with an air powered weapon. It takes a huge amount of air to drive a deer-caliber bullet to the necessary velocities but it seems that the average PCP can be easily converted to shoot crossbow bolts to lethal speeds (300 fps plus) and can be extremely accurate to boot. IMHO I don’t think that they should be legal during the archery season (they are airguns not bows) but the ability to hunt small game and big game with one gun has it’s merits.

    See that .22 JSB slugs will be available shortly with the .25 and .30 coming in a couple of months. Curious what the prices will be.


  9. BB,

    Did you get some time to shoot the M1A? I hope you did so. Also, please don’t forget to ask Diane if they are going to make an M1 Garand replica? Is it going to be PCP and will it be semi-automatic?



    • Brent,

      No, I didn’t shoot the M1A. It was not at Range Day and every gun in the SHOT Show has been disabled to not shoot. I will ask Diana if I see them. They leave their booth and wander the show and I seldom ever see them face to face. I will try to ask Val Gamerman at Air Venturi because he knows what they are doing more than anyone.


  10. B.B.,
    OK, there is definitely some interesting stuff here; the girls next door are doing pretty well learning to shoot airguns; but the “rifle” (Crosman 1322 with shoulder stock) with which I started them is too hard for them to pump; hence, this Hatsan Alpha looks like it could be a winner for that role. And I love my two 6X BugBuster scopes; so, even though this new scope is a variable, I will likely wind up with one just to get that etched glass reticle.
    Lots of other cool stuff; thanks for the great info.
    Take care & God bless,

  11. How do you go from a 12ft/lbs HydraQE .177 to a .25 cal 40ft/lbs hunter, just by switching barrels?
    On the M1A, you couldn’t ask for a harder way to cock a springer ergonomically, couldn’t they just make the gas tube the cocking lever? Looks great, but the Vectis is probably more fun, and I wonder if/how guys will hop that one up. Tempted by the belt feed system on that. Shucks, what about a belt fed Mg42? Scale it down a bit maybe.
    I just saw a youtube on the Stinger, a marine improvised weapon from WW2, only 6 were ever made. 1,400 rpm.
    Anyway, yes on the Bugbuster! Keep up the good work. How do I get some JSB swag? Stickers for my tired ol’ CRV. And a Hat. Plus, The .22 Synergis, if its as sharp shooting as my .177, will be good fun beyond 35yds.

  12. B.B.,

    “By this point I was 30 minutes into the show and already I was panting! This SHOT Show is exploding with new things to see.”
    Back to you B.B.!
    “Slow down, big boy! I haven’t gotten to the AirForce booth yet.
    Yes there will be a .50 there.”

    Who’s in a RUSH now?

    This 2020 Shot Show is a Watershed Point in Airgunning!
    N.B., All ya All!


    PS: is the Super Texan a SS or not? On the Web Page it is shown both ways????? Ask AirForce if/if not, both? for me please!

  13. A couple of comments. The Hatsan Alpha has had a major upgrading, yet Tom quotes a $50 price! I bought one of the previous models, when a seller dropped the price down to $46.62. It’s a springer that is said to have a 500 fps velocity. I’venot shot it much yet. Mines in the harvest moon stock finish. I see the new one has a good looking Weaver rail, and a synthetic costed barel and diffent muzzle brake. A smart move by Hatsan. This one may better attract new shooters than my rather plain no frills model.

    Next, that Black Ops Quantico. that one looks like the same airgun as the Swiss Arms TG-1. That TG-1, as I checked yesterday, at the Hilo Walmart, is $79.00.The stock concept seems good on paper, but owners have some problems locking the adjustable parts in place. Swiss Arms claims 1400 fps in .177, and they don’t seem to have a .22 model. That claim of 1400 fps, is, of course, a preposterous claim. Maybe Black Ops will have a more real world velocity claim? Maybe they are addressing the locking of the stock adjusters? Kenny Kormandy reviewed the Swiss Arms a year or two before he lost his fight with esophageal cancer (may he rest in peace). He got reasonable accuracy with premium pellets at least,and said the trigger wasn’t too bad. He said with the adjustable stock, for one of the adjustments, it would only hold in place at one setting, which kind of dampens the attraction of an adjutable stock.

    • Birdmove,
      I was a subscriber to Kenny’s YouTube channel. He was a very honest reviewer and I liked him a lot. It was so sad and painful to watch him go down hill the last few months with his fight with cancer. He hung in until the bitter end, making those videos. His family has kept his channel open with all of his reviews still available. I for one, sorely miss him.

  14. B.B.,

    That picture of Cecil bays holding the Hatsan Piledriver begs for a caption: “Say hello to my little friend!” ;^) That just might be the most “bad-derriered” looking air gun out there.

    And kudos to Hatsan for the Alpha. If it is decent-triggered and accurate, it should be a (and I hate this phrase but it’s appropriate) game-changer.


  15. B.B.,

    It is all too much for my feeble mind to absorb. I do have a few thoughts, however.

    1) The year of the big bore just keeps on rolling.

    2) I see that Hatsan has a PCP arrow launcher, the Harpoon. Like the Benjamin Pioneer, it is more costly than the Umarex AirSaber. It boasts bar setting FPS and FPE, though.

    3) I was a relatively new blog reader when you wrote a four part series on the Evanix Conquest. The full auto version became unavailable in the U.S. shortly thereafter. Now full auto is coming on strong (bb and pellet). The .30 caliber Hatsan Blitz qualifies as big bore, I believe.

    4) The replicas also keep coming.

    5) Day 1, and if I was there in person I would be dealing with sensory overload already. I can’t afford much of anything but I do like to look and to handle when I can.


  16. Good comments today. One thing I always harped on was the benefit of cheek risers. Glad to see more of them,… (at all price points).

    From all I am seeing,.. here and else where,… “they” are in fact listening to us and more importantly,…. responding with offerings. 🙂


  17. B.B.
    Totally off topic, I have been rereading the old blogs as I frequently do. I greatly enjoy the nostalgia, as well as the info. So, and maybe this has been asked before. Why haven’t you rereleased the Airgun newsletter as a hard bound compendium? Old copies are difficult to find, I myself have never even seen one,I can’t help but feel I’m not the only one who would be interested, just a thought.

  18. I finally bought a box of the Crosman Premier domed lights thaf Tomgas mentioned so often in the blog. While my Daisy 880 just hates them, they are a greatdisci ey in my Crosman 1377 carbine. It’s a newer model 1377 that Upuf z steel breech on, then a rifle scope, and Crosman skeleton stock. Tried the pellets in it today, and got some fine groups. Out of about 40 shots, just one flier. Tat 1377 had got pretty picky over the years, but it looks like I have something to feed the beast now.

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