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Education / Training SHOT Show 2022 — Media Day at the Range

SHOT Show 2022 — Media Day at the Range

This report covers:

  • 30-caliber Gauntlet
  • The Primal 20
  • AirSaber Elite X2
  • Summary

Well, sometimes you pays yer money and nobody else does, so you own the field! Only Umarex decided to have an airgun range in Boulder City for Media Day at the Range, so I guess I will tell you what I saw there.

30-caliber Gauntlet

Well, I knew I had to try the new .30-caliber Gauntlet out! Yes you can hunt with it, and Umarex is promoting hunting this year but I think this rifle was really developed for a single purpose — long-range benchrest shooting. When the other contenders are costing in excess of $1,500 it’s a boon to find a rifle that sells for a third of that. The Gauntlet in .25 caliber did very well at the 2019 Pyramyd AIR Shoot, and I think that lit the fuse.

Gauntlet 30 caliber
BB sights a 6-inch spinner at 50 yards and the .30-caliber Gauntlet smacked it repeatedly!

What you get when the cost of admission (to the long-range benchrest competitions) declines is a lot more players. Remember, the rifle is just one cost to compete. There is also the scope, the mounts and of course the tanks for the air. 

I have to report that the .30 recoils a bit because of the higher mass the air is moving. I hope to get my hands on a .30-caliber Gauntlet to test for you. For now, though, I am still testing the Gauntlet 2 in .25 caliber.

The Primal 20

Umarex is coming out with a 20 gauge shotgun they call the Primal 20. It’s a two-shot repeater with a sideways sliding Delrin magazine. Delrin for smoothness and also because it is synthetic it gives a little and helps seal the breech.

This really is a smoothbore, but it has a rifled choke. I suppose you can shoot shot in this gun if you wish, but what I was shown was something else. I was shown a 395-grain 20-gauge lead slug attached to a 20-gauge plastic wad. Woopie — a new big bore!

Primal 20
Brad Webb of Umarex holds the Primal 20.

Primal 20 slug
The Primal 20 slug dwarfs a .25 caliber pellet.

One nice thing about the Primal is the safety feature. If the bolt slips off the sear without the trigger being pressed, such as when you slam the butt of the gun on the ground, there are two detents in line to catch the striker. When you retract the bolt with the sidelever it’s click – click – click.

Also, the sidelever is ambidextrous. It was on the left side at the range, but it could just as easily be on the right.

The Primal 20 has already taken a red deer doe, and the slug passed through the torso to lodge against the skin on the opposite side of the animal.

I shot the Primal several times and was hitting a steel plate target at 50 yards. For real accuracy testing I will of course need to be provided with a test Primal 20 that I can wring out, personal-like!

I see some of the Umarex Hammer in the Primal 20, like the sliding two-bullet-magazine. But there is no blast of air in the shooter’s eye. Hurray for that! And the recoil is relatively mild.

Oh, and the price? They say a retail of $550 right now. I hope that holds.

Primal 20 mag
To load the Primal 20 magazine, the shooter rams in the slug from the front with a black powder short starter.

The Primal fills to 4,000 psi. That’s high but it also means that you can fill it all the way full a couple times from a large carbon fiber air tank.

I have no idea of how many shots there are on a fill. But maybe BB will get one to test for you? I hope-a, hope-a, hope!

AirSaber Elite X2

The last Umarex product I will show you is their new double-barreled AirSaber Elite X2 arrow launcher. We have all seen pneumatic arrow launchers but this one gives you two shots per loading. And Umarex had a way cool way to deploy their arrow stop bag. It was on an electric cart that is radio controlled, so the range didn’t have to go cold to run it out!

arrow bag cart
They drove the arrow bag out on the range on a radio controlled cart.

I shot the AirSaber at around 25 yards and tried for as Robin Hood. I think they knew what I was trying to do because it wasn’t until after I shot they told me there barrels are not set to converge. The left arrow will always go a half-inch to the left of the right arrow, unless you compensate with the sights. Phooey — no Robin Hood for BB!

BB shot the AirSaber X2 at about 25 yards. No Robin Hood. 


This year’s Media Day was definitely smaller, with fewer people attending that any I have seen. I suppose the whole 2022 SHOT Show will be the same, because most Europeans and Asians aren’t going to brave the travel restrictions to come. It will mostly be Americans talking to Americans. We shall see.

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.

39 thoughts on “SHOT Show 2022 — Media Day at the Range”

  1. BB,

    I’m glad despite the dearth of participants that there are still interesting things being shown. The Gauntlet platform seems to be getting stretched to big bore now that they have the small bore covered. The 20 gauge comes out as 0.615 inches according to Wikipedia. Sooner or later somebody will try a round ball of lead, probably patched, for accuracy. Does the AirSaber X2 always fire the right hand side first before the left? Hoping Umarex lets you play and report on their new products soon.


    PS Section 30-caliber Gauntlet 1st paragraph 2nd and 3rd sentence: “Yes you can hunt with it, and Umkarex (Umarex) is promoting hunting this year but I think this rifle was really developed for a single purpose — long-range benchrest shooting. When the other contenders are costing in excess of $1,500 it’s a boone (boon) to find a rifle that sells for a third of that.”

  2. BB
    Well that’s some interesting stuff.

    If that .30 caliber Gauntlet shoots like I think it will that just might be my first .30 caliber air gun. And I hope you was smacking that target at 50 yards. The question is what size groups did it get.

  3. “BB sights a 6-inch spinner at 50 yards and the .30-caliber Gauntlet smacked it repeatedly!”

    Well what is so great about that????
    Make that a one inch spinner and I can do that with my 12 fpe springers. Seems like just a waste of air!


  4. BB

    Thank you for reporting! 🙂 30-caliber Gauntlet – I will directly took it with me if possible!
    This radio-controlled target cart brought me an idea. I bought radio-controlled Tiger I model tank for my older boy recently (he has now tank – jet – train – aircraft carrier – rocket etc. phase). This tank I discovered has a great potential to be radio controlled target carrier. It runs through off road with tremendous torque-force 🙂 I will create a target holder; it would be even more fun as you can shoot moving target! 🙂 It will be a great fun on the grandparents ranch in summer, I can feel it already 😀

    • tomek ,

      What a great idea! You have inspired a blog that I will write soon called “Bad BB.” It will be about the crazy things I did and saw when I was a young punk in the Army. One was at Graefnwhoehr. No — two were! Goodie! 🙂


    • Excellent idea tomek!

      …hmmm My (16 yo) granddaughter is not into RC tanks so if I bought her one I could play with it 😉

      Because I like plinking at random ranges a spinner mounted on a mobile target platform would be ideal!

      Kids these days have such wonderful toys – it’s good I’m in my second childhood 🙂


      • Hank – I was thinking the same, what a great toys they have! I was not able to even dream on all of this stuff when I was in their age (my boys are now 8 and 5yo). This Tiger tank is even capable to shoot 6mm BB’s (plastic)! And it makes noises, simulates real recoil and so on… amazing! Of course I did chrono it and the BB’s are almost 50m/s fast 🙂 I will definately think about some solution for a moving target – one paper target and some spinners. It can really move some weight through the area and the battery last for hours (I bought also extra strong accu pack hehehe).

        • Played with one of these around age 10 – ran on “D” batteries and also fired plastic shells; besides mowing toy soldiers down with it, fired shells at my little sister. She made a good moving target!

    • tomek

      Something tells me that shooting low would be expensive. And you would have some explaining to do to your son. (On the other hand, he might like the idea if you could make it blow up).


  5. BB,

    It sounds like you are not going to have to fight the crowds as much this year. Hopefully you will be able to cover more of the airgun world this year.

    Umarex has come a long way in the last few years. It is also good that their Chinese manufacturing facility has learned quality control, etc. I may end up with an Umarex yet.

    P.S. The Primal 20 is looking really interesting, but proprietary ammunition scares me. I have been down that road before. Also, whatever happened to the Havoc ammunition?

  6. BB, I hope you had some fun with the big bore, for the 20 gauge, maybe some wads that take smaller, heavier, longer bullets? That slug will never fly at 1000 fps, but
    would it be possible to get a rifle bullet out of the big bore that fast with the rifled choke? I mean you could do the same thing now if you had the right wads with any of the big bores that are commonly available, if you can load the bullet in breech. Or it may be easier to just grab the right size rifle off of the well equipped rack in the armory at your house. Getting my Mrod stock refinished a much lighter amber color, the sanding takes forever. Its not a fence post now.

    • 1stblue,


      As long as the bore and mag is sized to take the wad and slug without a 20 gauge hull it will be easy, IF NOT CHEAP, to build your own.

      Are you doing an oil based finish?


      • B.B.,

        I have thought of adding wheels or building/buying a small dolly. My hand truck works fine at home if i’m to lazy to carry all my stuff to the yard.


      • RidgeRunner,

        I did provide two LINKS for that very reason ;^)
        It looks like you can use any 20 gauge reloading components that are not too long and build your own.
        That keeps you from needing to only shoot THEIR ammo…works for me. Allows even birdshot to be used or even ROCK SALT!


          • RidgeRunner,

            Punkin Chunkin is a hole ‘nother sport!
            I’ve been in the flatlands for too long. I’ll be glad when my wife is done with her bout of breakthrough Omicron! And, she forgets that I gave it to her :0. We will head to the mountains and leave behind the batty flatlanders and their
            ID 10 Tango ways.


  7. The butterflies are coming! The butterflies are coming! I’ve waited since 2016 (when it was first announced) for a commercial version. But my appetite was first whetted by B.B. Pelletier on August 10, 2007! “Benjamin 392/397 that’s easy to pump” /blog/2007/08/benjamin-392397-thats-easy-to-pump/

    Of course at the moment it is merely on order by Pyramyd AIR. My heart has been crushed before. It was announced at Shot Shows more than once in the past, first by Crosman, then by Air Venturi. Now this time is by Air Venturi again not as the Butterfly but called the Seneca Dragonfly.


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