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2023 SHOT Show Day one

Industry day

This report covers:

  • Lots of new products
  • The AvengeX
  • Compressors
  • Norica Viriatus
  • Airacuda Max
  • Time out
  • New pellets?
  • Another compressor
  • Scopes
  • AirForce
  • The RAW Micro Hunter
  • TalonBolt
  • Summary

So far the 2023 SHOT Show is a trade show of stark contrasts. Gamo and Daisy aren’t here. Velocity Outdoors isn’t here, and they are both Crosman airguns and Raven crossbows. Remington isn’t here. In fact someone said they would like to see a list of all those who aren’t at the show this year. I would too.

Show attendance is off, also. I can’t tell how much but it feels like a third of the attendees are missing.

Lots of new products

On the other hand, at the booths I visited the number of new products is quite large. Let’s start with Pyramyd Air.

The AvengeX

Tyler Patner showed me an entire new line called the AvengeX. This is NOT the Avenger, though it looks very similar and some of the best features carry over. But the AvengeX line begins where the Avenger leaves off. This is a new lineup of repeating precharged pneumatics that do look like the Avenger, but Tyler told me about several important differences. 

Tyler AvengeX
Tyler Patner of Air Venturi holds the base model AvengeX. It’s all metal in a synthetic stock.

Here are a few of the notable features the AvengeX offers that go beyond the Avenger:

  • Metal receiver
  • Carbon fiber reservoir (some models)
  • Sidelever
  • Modular tactical design (some models)
  • Wood stock (some models)
  • HUGE number of shots per fill (210 with 10.3 gr. pellet at 900 f.p.s.)
  • Upgradability (barrels, reservoirs, stocks)
  • Power adjustability down to 12 foot pounds in .177 and under 20 in .22 caliber
  • Power up to 29 foot pounds in .177, 49 foot-pounds in .22 and 60 in .25
  • Adjustable regulator
  • Adjustable trigger

The AvengeX is Tyler’s baby and he has designed it to be almost all things for all shooters. Think of it as the next step for the Avenger owner. Prices start at $500.

Tactical AvengeX
There’s the tactical AvengeX, carbon fiber reservoir on top and tube reservoir on bottom.

Compressors

Just a few days ago I was predicting the arrival of the $500 air compressor. I’m talking about a fully supported compressor, not one that you may have to support yourself. By support I mean parts and repair information. Well that was what Tyler showed me next. The Air Venturi Rovair is a portable (for filling airguns to 4500 psi, not tanks) compressor that will retail for $500.

Like most of these new portables, the Rovair fills guns very fast. It also operated on 110V household current or 12 volt from a car cbattery. Unlike many of them the Rovair is maintenance free. It has dual cooling fans to keep the heat down and that prolongs the life of the unit. This is a set and forget unit, though the user should always be ready to disconnect the unit when the job is over. In other words, don’t start it and then go to the grocery store.

Rovair
The Air Venturi Rovair is a personal compressor for filling airguns up to 4500 psi.

The big guy wasn’t left out, either. They revised the design of the big compressor (this one is for filling tanks) into an even more robust job they call the Krypton. I don’t think they liked it when I reminded them that the planet Krypton blew up when Superman was a baby.

Krypton
The Air Venturi Krypton. The new water filter stands on top.

Tyler told me they made the compressor better in every way, and that’s saying something because I’m still using mine that I bought from them used many years ago.  One feature that stands out in this new one is a better water filtration and removal system. I was jealous, but my Air Venturi compressor is still soldiering on and I expect many more years from it. And it is rebuildable with parts they stock and information they supply. That’s what my comment about support meant.

Norica Viriatus

Another precharged pneumatic Tyler showed me was the Norica Viriatus. It’s a sidelever bullpup repeater in a wood stock. In Europe this one has a good reputation for accuracy with its shrouded and choked Lothar Walther barrel.

Nokia Viriatus
The Noria Viriatus will join the Seneca lineup.

The SHOT Show has changed in recent years. They have expended into space across the street  from the main convention center in a display hall called Caesar’s Forum. I used to know where every airgun booth was located, but with this new space, plus the several displayers who aren’t attending, things have gotten jumbled. So after leaving Air Venturi I stumbled into the Xisico booth.

Build a Custom Airgun

Airacuda Max

The JTS Airacuda Max is a rifle that I believe reader 45Bravo from Huston tried to connect us to. He tried to get JTS to attend the 2022 Texas Airgun show, but for some reason they weren’t there. But I saw the rifle in the Xisico booth. Travis Whitney showed it to me.

Airacuda Max
The JTS Airacuda Max is a regulated repeating PCP from Xisico.

The rifle comes in .22 and .25 calibers and retails for $420. This one has been out for a while but I haven’t reviewed it yet. It has a 1/2X20 threaded muzzle to accept aftermarket suppressors and it also has a shrouded barrel so there isn’t that much to suppress.

Time out

Excuse me but there is someone out on the strip (lucky me — my room overlooks the Las Vegas Strip) beating the heck out of a white Audi R8 mid-engine supercar and I had to stop to look. All day and night they blast up and down the strip in Maseratis, Ferraris, Lambos and other exotic cars like teenagers on their first day out of school. There are places here in Vegas that rent cars to these guys (never saw a woman, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, too) to get the adrenalin out of their system. Okay, back to work.

New pellets?

As we were heading to another display a wall of pellets caught my eye. Pellets? New pellets that BB had not yet tried? Yes JTS has a line of .22 and .25-caliber domed pellets and Xisico owner, Zhen John Ye, told me they intend to expand the line to many head sizes and pellet shapes. Travis gave me samples to test for you and I intend doing just that — perhaps in the Airacuda Max?

Another compressor

Then Travis showed me another $500 compressor — the JTS Jaco Comp1. It looks a lot like the Rovair. These little guys are making the dark side brighter for all of us!

JTS compressor
The JTS JACO Comp1 portable compressor is yet another $500 unit that will make many shooter’s lives easier.

Yes, it runs on both 110V house current and 12V car battery current, so it’s the ideal way to take your airgun to the field. And like the Rovair this one is also maintenance free.

Scopes

After the compressor Travis showed me a whole line of scopes. The big guy he showed me went from 5 to 30 power and had a 34mm tube and a 56mm objective lens. That lets a lot of light get through. It was a first focal plane job that was north of $600 I believe. But it has a Christmas tree reticle that illuminated and did not kill the image — at least inside the hall. 

JTS scope
This 5-30X56 scope has a 34mm tube for lots of light.

He also showed me several less expensive scopes including one that just illuminated a small cross at the center of the reticles. I think one of our readers said if anyone made something like that he’d buy it. Well, it’s about $200 and it’s in stock now at Xisico.

AirForce

I moved out of the hall and over to the main display floor in the Venetian convention center to see my friends at AirForce Airguns. As tight-lipped as they are I was expecting to see just two products. Instead I saw six! Cowabunga, I’m going to show you the most important (to me, anyway) ones today and save the rest for a spillover next Monday. There is a LOT of stuff that is spilling over — believe me!

The RAW Micro Hunter

You hunters should get ready because the RAW Micro Hunter is here! RAW isn’t just a target rifle brand anymore.

RAW Micro Hunter
The new RAW Micro Hunter. I want one!

This little puppy comes in .22 and .25 caliber. It has a 1/2X20 threaded muzzle, BUT — lookie lookie what’s inside the shroud ahead of the barrel!

RAW Micro Hunter
See that blue doohickie? It’s an air stripper the same as Olympic target air pistols have and it is user-adjustable for perfection with a specific pellet.

Think this one is a little anal? Anal is what appeals to buyers of these higher-end air rifles. BB wants one of these real bad, but he’ll have to wait on all the orders it’s doubtless going to generate.

TalonBolt

Okay, the TalonBolt an arrow launcher and they have the speed governed to be as accurate as possible with target bolts and broadheads. I think this one might give my Sub-1 crossbow a run for the money!

TalonBolt
Thar she blows — the TalonBolt from AirForce Airguns.

Summary

Whew! This show is just bursting with new and exciting products and this is only the first day.  BB wishes he wasn’t so old. It gets tired too soon. More to come.

40 thoughts on “2023 SHOT Show Day one”

  1. Tom ,

    There seems to be changes in the market afoot. Hopefully for the better. Is it possible to simply have displays without corporate presence?

    This report covers: 1st paragraph 3rd sentence: “Velocity Outdoors isn’t here, and they (but there) are both Crosman airguns and Raven crossbows.”

    Section Norika (Norica) Viriatus Why does my brain keep whispering Norinco? The stock of their bullpup looks like they just cut the pattern out then rounded the edges with a router after inletting. Probably as a cost cutting measure.

    Siraniko

  2. I will be interested in what other “projects” AirForce is up to.

    There is an older .177 Diana 34 that is coming to live at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. It was supposedly built back in 1995. I was a wondering what trigger it had. Perhaps you folks out there could answer that for me?

    P.S. Speaking of AirForce, did you happen to pass on my ideas?

  3. BB
    When you say beating on the Audi. Do you mean. Someone physically hitting on it or someone running it hard. That’s what we called it as kids and to the day when someone runs a car hard. They are beating on it. Just had to say. And enjoy your day. πŸ™‚

  4. BB,

    A chicken and egg thing? Is attendance down because main companies are not at the show or is it that the companies aren’t there because the attendance is down? LOL!

    That’s some good news on compressors. I’ve always said that the PCP market is restricted by the need of an inexpensive/reliable source of HPA. Do any of these airgun filling stations have an external reservoir? Think it would be ideal if the compressor filled and maintained an small (1 liter) tank (off-line) so the shooter could quickly fill the PCP from that reservoir without having to wait for the compressor. Being a fisherman I’m patient by nature but I would find that waiting around for a compressor to fill my airgun to be stressful… I’d rather be shooting πŸ˜‰

    I’m glad to see more entry and mid-level PCPs coming to the marketplace. The notable features the AvengeX are pretty impressive, it’s obviously designed by an airgun shooter! I think that a modular design that is tunable and upgradable is the way to go. It gives people a place to start and the options to change things as their needs/desires dictate. Win, win for the company and the customer.

    Hank

  5. I just wanted to chime in… I bought one of the original Nomad compressors… maybe 4 years ago?…. when I picked up an early RAW TM1000.. Used it at home and the range, very convienent! Then, suddenly, it quit. I called Air Venturi and they walked me through some tests and exams of the unit. We couldn’t figure it out so they had me send it in. I was told that a part wasn’t lubed properly when the compressor was assembled. They fixed it and sent it back. It has worked great ever since. They didn’t have to do that since it was well over a year out of warranty. Pretty stand up folks if you ask me and due consideration when making a purchase…….especially on something like a compressor.

  6. Interesting progression on the AvengeX turning the Avenger into a modular bottle gun platform. Thanks for all the coverage Tom! Really miss your roundtable videos with Rossi and Chapman.

  7. I’d like to discuss with you the on-going saga of the repair to my AA TX200. Yesterday, I shared the decision to ship my precious rifle back to Air Venturi for repair. Rather than belabor that journey again today, I’ll go back to this past November, when I reported that my TX200 was shooting pellets so that they entered the targets laterally, tearing the paper. My spread began to grow to where I began to think I couldn’t aim any more. I sought the aid of you here on this Blog. I was advised that it was likely my breech seals had failed. I have absolutely no experience as an airgunsmith. I was fearful to get into this rifle, but I finally did after reading Tom’s various blog posts looking into the TX200. I also watched numerous YouTube videos, many more than once. Easy, right? Twenty minutes, no problem. I finally did discover why my breech seals failed. Upon their removal, I found two small shards of lead imbedded in them. Last Fall, I allowed a good friend to take a shot with my TX and he evidently insurted the pellet the wrong way and it broke apart when he fired.. I carefully dug out all that I could find at the time, but it wasn’t good enough. I’m like the Thee Stooges all wrapped into just me. I ordered new AA OEM breech seals. I also decided to do a tune while I had it apart. So, I get a Vortek SHO PG4 Steel tune kit. How hard can it be? OK, I’ll try to avoid the sweat, grease and near tears. My mechanical skills were simply not up to performing this project. I FINALLY get the gun almost reassembled. I’m compressing the spring and attempting to replace the final bolt into the trigger assembly. My very strong son is compressing the spring with all his might while I replace the bolt. WHAM! The trigger assembly explodes across the room. Little pins and parts all over the kitchen. I find and replace three little pins; there’s still one pin hole and small allen screw hole open. The gun won’t fire. I’ve screwed up big time, taking on way more than I should have. I carefully use Ballistrol to wipe everything down. I then wax the beautiful stock once again and reassemble the gun in the stock. I call Pyramyd Airguns, who after a good laugh at my story, transfer me to Stacey at Air Venturi. She hears me out and gives me a return work order number. Now I’m back to my story from yesterday. Read it and weap with me. UPS charged me $244 dollars to wrap, ship and insure the return to Air Venturi. I’m going to have one expensive AA TX200 when I get it back to me . . . I certainly pray that it shoots well again. This is my story up to now. Orv.

    • Orv,

      Well that is one heck of a horror story. Did you loose a bet with the Lord?

      I am so sorry all that happened to you. You are now a PhD of what not to do. And that is a credential I’m sure you didn’t want.

      Please don’t throw in the towel.

      BB

      • No Sir, Tom. I learn, laugh, share and get on with life. I just look forward to getting my favorite airgun back. Until then, I’ll enjoy some of my other fun guns, such as my Dragonfly MK2. All is not lost, this is just being deposited into my bank of experience. Thanks, Orv.

    • Orv,

      I’m surprised/shocked at the shipping charge. Wonder what the cost would have been if you had just handed UPS a 48 x 8 x 4 inch, 10 pound box, insured for $800 and they didn’t know it was an airgun.

      Hank

      • Shipping any package at the UPS retail stores is CRAZY expensive. UPS offers their route customers who ship regularly a very large discount based on the expected quantity. USPS will ship your rifles, just make sure you package well with the appropriate cushioning. Taking the action out of the stock is usually best. I have made my own shipping boxes by cutting down and re-folding corrugated cartons, and using a lot of tape. Suggest adding insurance for a nice rifle.

        • Air Venturi requested that the rifle be shipped in the stock so that it could be test fired upon the completion of the repair. Should my TX200 ever require repair in the future, I’ll most definitely find another way to get the job done. Thanks for your responses, Orv.

  8. Thanks BB for the report on this show, and taking us for the ride. It is great to have a peep at the direction the industry is taking. This seems to be an exciting year.
    Of all the new products you described, I am most interested in the AvengeX (did I spell it right?), particularly for its large power range adjustment. Having a high power hunter and a low power practice gun (with lots of shots) in one single package is nice. A good adjustable trigger makes it even better. The feral soda cans in my garage are worried.
    By the way, I do not gamble but Vegas can be fun. On the other hand, renting an exotic and running up and down the strip is not my cup of tea. Or coffee in my case.
    Best!
    Henry

    • Henry,

      I wish I had time to have fun out here. I get up at 3 to get ready for the day and look at the blog, then get to the show at 8:30 and work until 2. Then I dash back to my room to write the next day’s report because 9 pm in Vegas is midnight on the east coast where the blog publishes.

      I guess a week after I get home I’ll see whether I had any fun! πŸ˜‰

      BB

      • BB, I wouldn’t worry about it. I have found there are only a relatively few days we remember well in our lives, and they always involve a very special occasion like President Kennedys assignation or in my case for example, getting in the pilot’s seat of a McDonald Douglas DC-8 starting up 4 jet engines and taxying it around the airport for the first time. A breath-taking event with no prior experience.
        Funny, I actually told a co-worker I was training to do the same thing. “Today is going to be a day you will never forget for the rest of your life.”
        Most just fall into the “Many years ago” file. It’s not so much the date but the day that contributes to the essence of life. But who am I to preach to you, being much younger. πŸ™‚

        • >>> β€œToday is going to be a day you will never forget for the rest of your life.” <<<

          I like that attitude Bob!

          Think I'll print that off (in large bold text!) and frame it!

          Hank

          • Hank
            That may be the second time you said you may hang my words on the wall.
            Just a little curious as to why. Aside from liking my attitude as you said.
            It may be considered a tautological statement and somewhat humorous mixing the word never and for the rest of your life as they both imply, for a long time.
            I have left out words to the effect that never forgetting something for long is highly unlikely and adding “For the rest of your life” is more empathic.
            A bit rhetorical.

            People from Brooklyn NY are notorious for butchering the English language and taking shortcuts in statements.
            The way I see it, speech and written words are just tools for communication and if I am successful with the communication I have succeeded. Despite breaking the rules. πŸ™‚

  9. I was all ready to thank God for my TX200 finally being delivered, but wait, it only weighs 4.5 lbs. No …. it must be the scope, the mount and tin of pellets I ordered with it. Better luck tomorrow.
    I was at the Navy Marina emptying an old shipmates’ 32′ sailboat.
    He was taken away to the VA mental care facility for dementia. He failed to maintain the boat and it was sinking from a leak and all the dumpster stuff he piled up in and on it as a result of hording. One of the symptoms.
    Found mold all over the place and now we are going to have to crush it or give it away. What a waste. It’s a rare twin keel New Zealander wood boat.

  10. I want to see one of those RAW Micro Hunter in .177 caliber shooting 12 ft-lbs max and without the butt-stock. Then I can shoot in it in AAFTA Field Target Pistol matches!

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