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Education / Training 2020 SHOT Show Day Two

2020 SHOT Show Day Two

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:
Air Venturi
Avenger PCP
Bada Bang
Ataman big bore
Hill compressor
Hatsan Invader
AirForce Airguns
.50 Texan
Raw HM Micro
RAW systems rifles
That’s all for today

Air Venturi

I told you there were a lot of things to see and I had to skip past them to finish Part One. I will begin today by going back and looking at what we missed. I’ll start with Air Venturi.


The Butterfly is the Air Venturi Dragonfly with a pump-assist built in. You remember the pump-assist that was tried on the Benjamin 392  many years ago? The additional linkage makes pumping the gun much easier. That linkage is built into the Butterfly, which was named for the look of the linkage. So, it’s a multi-pump that’s much easier to pump. You multi-pump guys will want to check this one out.

The Air Venturi Butterfly is a Dragonfly with a pump-assist mechanism built in.

Butterfly open
Air Venturi representative, Cory Bach, shows how the Butterfly got its name.

Avenger PCP

The Air Venturi Avenger is a precharged pneumatic air rifle that has a rotary magazine, a full-length shroud and an externally adjustable regulator. It’s to be offered in .177, .22 and .25. The MSRP will be $329 and people wonder whether that makes it a price-point PCP. I think it does — if it functions as advertised. Also, look for it to be priced closer to $300.

I always knew there would be an upward creep in the price point when I coined that phrase three years ago. We don’t have nickel candy bars anymore, do we? The crunch for this rifle is will it perform? This is a hot market right now and there is a lot of competition.

The Air Venturi Avenger is a price point PCP with a lot of good features. Can’t wait to test it!

Bada Bang

Bada Bang is an electronic airgun target system that works with guns up to 12 foot-pounds. It’s operated by a smart phone app and offers numerous different games and challenges. It was shown last year but is out now and I will be testing one for you soon.

Bada Bang
The Bada Bang electronic airgun target works with a smart phone app.

Ataman big bore repeater

I saw a prototype big bore air rifle from Ataman in the Air Venturi booth. This one is .45 caliber and made to shoot pistol bullets that are 0.452-inches in diameter. It will produce energies in the 300 foot-pound range and it is a two-shot repeater with a shuttle in the breech.

Ataman big bore
The Ataman big bore is in the prototype stage at this point.

Ataman shuttle
The Ataman big bore will be a two-shot repeater.

Hill compressor

I saw the new Hill compressor in the Air Venturi booth, as well. It looks stout and rugged, and it carries the Hill name that is well-known for reliability. I was told that this compressor is a true set-and-forget unit that will shut off when it reaches the set pressure. It’s said to operate at 75 db, making it the quietest compressor around. It’s for filling airguns and not tanks. 

Hill compressor
The Hill compressor will be added to the stable of reliable air compressors.


I have been telling you for years that Leapers was building a large clean room in the US to be able to manufacture scope sights. Well, they have started production of the first one! It’s a first focal plane 1-8X scope that was shown only in the new products section at the show. No photographs are permitted in that section, but Leapers owner, David Ding, had another one set aside in the booth to show me. This may be the only image of this new scope from the SHOT Show.

UTG American scope
This first focal plane 1-8X scope was made in Livonia, Michigan. It’s compact, yet features an 8X magnification range!

Hatsan Invader

I skipped past one significant Hatsan PCP in Part One. The Hatsan Invader is a semiautomatic PCP that’s offered in .177, .22 and .25 calibers. Magazine capacities are 14, 12 and 10, respectively.

Cecil Bays holds the semiautomatic Hatsan Invader.

AirForce Airguns

I went to the AirForce booth next. Owner John McCaslin gave me the tour of their new products. We started with the .50-caliber Texan — and no, they do not call it the Super Texan!

.50 Texan

The .50 caliber Texan is really just a .45 with a larger Lothar Walther barrel, a carbon-fiber tank that saves a pound of weight and a larger valve. Their .45-caliber Texan now gets 750 foot-pounds at the muzzle, and this fifty is getting up to 820 foot pounds, though AirForce is still testing ammunition so that number will rise. The carbon fiber tank holds 250 bar or 3,625 psi of air. Let me tell you — that hole at the muzzle looks pretty large!

Texan 50
The big difference in the .50-caliber Texan is the size of the hole at the end!

Texan 50 muzzle
That’s a big hole!


And now, prepare for the onset of the Great Enabler! I knew about this rifle a week ago and once again had to bite my tongue to keep from spilling the beans. How about a lightweight, systems-based RAW for Hunters? Meet the Raw HM Micro.

Raw HM Micro

The Micro is built on an aluminum chassis and optimized for size and weight. The chassis means all sorts of add-ons are possible, plus the weight is reduced. The Micro will come out as a .25-caliber first and I think of it as a hunter’s airgun.

RAW Micro folded
When the stock is folded the RAW Micro is a very small package!

RAW Micro
When the butt is deployed the Micro is still a small carbine!

It’s coming out soon, so start saving your pennies! I can’t tell you what the price will be yet, but it will probably be lower than you think.

RAW systems rifles

But the real story at RAW isn’t the one rifle — it’s what AirForce has done to the entire RAW lineup. They have managed to maintain the scrupulous quality RAW owners demand and still gear up for higher rate production. And, instead of just one dedicated model, they have made the rifles upgradable to various configurations.

They were showing their new lineup of HM 1000 and 1000X rifles in both wood stocks and the new chassis stocks. Even the wood stocks are new and are relieved for the removable tanks. They are also set up for benchrest matches, to accept precision rifle rests in front and bags in the rear. The AirForce approach is to manufacture every stock to be able to shoot benchrest, but to not limit it to just that.

RAW rifles
RAW Benchrest HM 1000X wood stock on top, 1000X LRT wood stock in the middle and the same 1000X in the chassis system stock below.

RAW stock cutout
The new RAW wood stocks are relieved to allow easier removable, plus save weight.

RAW owners will soon have platform airguns that are custom as well as customizable. 

That’s all for today

I have so much more to tell you about! This is the best SHOT Show I have seen, of the 22-23 I’ve attended. And airguns are starting to be mainstream in the shooting sports. This show demonstrates it.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

58 thoughts on “2020 SHOT Show Day Two”

  1. Off topic: Looks like the option to edit comment went down to 5 minutes,.. from 30 minutes. Also, I use to be able to stay signed in,… like,… for days. Now, I have to sign each time I get on the site. No big deal on either observation,.. just thought I would mention it to confirm if other readers are seeing the same thing. Also, the “Howdy Chris” at the top right of page has gone away (seen after signing in, before)

  2. BB
    I like the RAW micro as well as the other RAW’s.

    And of course I like the Hatsan Invader and as I say if its reliable and accurate.

    And now we got a butterfly multi pump gun. Now if we can get a butterfly hand pump for the people that still like to hand pump their pcp’s.

  3. BB,

    Is that a focus knob on the side of the Leapers?

    I like the looks of the Invader, though I personally could do without the semi. A side lever would have been just fine, thank you very much. Hatsan has always been innovative with the appearance of their airguns. I think more airgun companies should explore the sci-fi look rather than the tacticool look. This one sort of bridges between the two. I would have to do something with that sight rail though.

    I would also be very interested in the Hydra QE. If it will shoot, FX is off the list.

  4. Just wanted to mention that where I’m getting the Mustang tuned we started talking about old cars and different hobby’s and found that he use to be into air guns (hadn’t talked to him in years after I sold my last drag car I had). He goes hold on I’ll go get them. And what does he bring out but two AirForce Talons both in .22 caliber and the old style bottles that you take off the guns to fill.

    I mentioned what I had including the other China compressor I have. Well needeless to say we did some trading for the work he’s doing for me. He was excited to get the stuff from me. I gave him some tins of JSB pellets and he asked where I got them. So told him about PA website and gave him a catalog too. So that all worked out nice. No money out of my pocket so speak.

    What was funny is he was using some old Daisy wadcutters that looked like the old Crosman ashcan pellets.i asked him what the Talons grouped like. He said like a shotgun blast. I go wait and see what happens when you try the JSB pellwtsi gave him. I’m suppose to go pick the car up friday and he is suppose to let me know how the JSB’s do.

      • Deck and Big Iron
        I’m pretty sure your right.

        He said he hasn’t shot them in years. I’m pretty sure I rekindled the fire. Plus he now owns 3 of my guns and my other China compressor that he said he can’t wait to use and shoot the guns.

        And it’s been probably a good 9 years since I have had a muscle car or such. And can’t wait to get it. I drove it the other day after he got the final tune done on the dyno. Its now at 401hp and 460 fpt. And that’s at the rear wheels. Its automatic so they tend to loose more at the wheels than the manual cars do. They say a loss of about 50 to 75 hp. So right now the engine is probably making around 460hp and 510fpt. All I know is the 50 series radial tires is not going to cut it. It was like driving on ice when you get in it. Right here goes a big smiley face. 🙂

        Oh and if anybody missed what kind of Mustang it is, it’s a 95 GTS with the pushrod 5.0 that the Fox bodys had. They were a lighter weight race version that you could get the options you wanted instead of buying a package that was already determined. Yep were gonna have some fun. 🙂

      • Big Iron
        Read my comment above.

        And yep the SVT Cobras are cool.

        You wouldn’t believe the cars he had there modding and tuning. You should go to his website and check out the pictures and the videos. Cool stuff. Search Turbo Connection in Edwardsville Illinois. If you do let me know what you think.

  5. In digging around I have found out that TCFKAC is trying to get back into the act.

    They have unfortunately dropped the Discovery from their lineup. You collectors had better get busy.

    The Marauder is now offered in semi.

    TCFKAC is finally offering a line of side lever PCP’s. The bolt sticking out the back may be on the way out. To sweeten the pot, they are pretty nice looking. Now if they can only shoot. TCFKAC still needs to learn how to build a Gen 2 ‘pup. Oh well, you can’t have everything.

  6. Thanks for sharing BB!

    Have to say that I am overwhelmed with the variety of new airguns and accessories that are at the Shot show. Something new to suit everyone’s tastes.

    Yup, airguns are definitely going mainstream; as the accuracy, range and power of airguns is increasing the powder burner guys are taking notice. Easy to see why, used to be that you could shoot rimfires pretty well anywhere there was a safe backstop, not anymore. And totally forget about discharging a centerfire anywhere but on a bonafide range – the police would show up well before you had you scope sighted in! The permissions that I hunt and pest of don’t allow powder burners at all. Things are changing and the airgun manufacturers are right there to jump on that bandwagon – good for us, good for the industry!

    Had to laugh… We don’t have nickel candy bars anymore, do we? If you remember nickel candy bars you are close to the average age of today’s airgun enthusiast – 58 years young per a recent thread on the forum I frequent.

    Great stuff!! Too much to take in all at once, all the specs get jumbled – looking forward to your reports where we can (calmly) look at the features of these new airguns one at a time.


  7. The butterfly pump finally gets to go to the dance! Congratulations on that. That’s a wooodstock too..
    Also, if the Avenger is accurate, the Benjamin Marauder has been upstaged, and it only took ten years.
    I hope the Badda Bing is interesting in real life.

  8. B.B.,

    Like Rob, I took notice of the Air Venturi Butterfly. Boy Howdy did I take notice! Please test it. That is one air gun I can say right now I will buy as long as it is accurate and even just OK triggered. Who would’ve thunk it? (Actually, I thought idly last year that a multi-pump / PCP would be an ideal match for the butterfly pump-assist mechanism. I should have made a comment on the idea here, but no, I was lazy. :^)

    Oh, and I’ll bet it stings like a bee!


    • B.B.,
      Ditto what Mike said about the possibility of you testing the new Air Venturi Butterfly. I just went back and re-read all 4 parts of your report on the Air Venturi Dragonfly (in case anyone missed it, it’s right here: /blog/2018/06/the-seneca-dragonfly-multi-pump-pneumatic-rifle-part-4/ ). It looks like the main issue with that gun was the high pumping effort (46 lbs). It would be very interesting to see how much less effort is needed to get the Butterfly to reach full power; thank you.
      Take care & God bless,

  9. Testimonial to Hawke Optics…..

    I bought a Hawke Vantage 4-16×44 SF scope in Nov of 2015. A few weeks ago, the reticle twisted off level. I called Hawke and asked about their ‘lifetime limited warranty’. Ben in customer service asked me a few questions and sent me a return RMA number in about 10 minutes.

    I sent the scope, a copy of my 2015 Pyramyd AIR shipping manifest and a short explanation of the problem. Yesterday (10 days later) the UPS guy showed up with a brand-new replacement scope.

    There were no additional questions asked or excuses made. I admire and respect Hawke Optics for standing behind their warranty and will be adding more Hawke scopes to my collection in the future.


  10. B.B.,

    Thank you for the information on the AirForce .50 cal Texan.
    “The .50 caliber Texan is really just a .45 with a larger Lothar Walther barrel, a carbon-fiber tank that saves a pound of weight and a larger valve.” Is that all! Lol.
    I must say I’m looking forward to this one. So far I pretty much thought I had the Big Bore scene covered from .30 to .58 caliber covered but the performance of this one looks like a step out in range and size up in humanely harvested animals. I hope you have the opportunity to test one! I’m still negotiating with my Treasurer…. I guess that will give me time to get some more of the performance numbers that will help decide what kind of glass to put on it. As a guess I can see 250+ yards depending on the barrel twist rate and slug design. Barrel options become much more desirable with the extrapolation of Kinetic Energy spread this beast seems/could be capable of.

    Thank you for your diligence covering the Shot Show for us.


    PS: comment edits are back to 30 minutes.

  11. Coduece,

    I have wondered and asked the same thing several times in the past and never did get an answer from anyone. With his involved project,.. I was hoping that BB might have had an e-mail to contact him.


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