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Education / Training SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range 2023

SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range 2023

This report covers:

  • Umarex
  • Airguns for self defense
  • Why?
  • Hammer carbine
  • Notos CRK
  • Was there anything else?
  • One last item
  • Summary

Well guys for some reason my editing permissions have been curtailed. I can no longer post images. This report has many images that I will post when my editing permission is restored.

Well, it was supposed to rain on Monday for Industry Day at the Range. It did rain before I arrived and after I left but while I was there the sky was overcast but dry. But it was cold. It was in the high 30s when I arrived and the wind was around 25 mph, but after a hour the temp was up to 40 and the wind was gusting to 35. Yeah, but it was a dry cold!


The bus let me out near the Umarex booth which was a good thing because they were the only airgun manufacturer at Industry Day. That was also a good thing, because I might have wasted a lot of my time at another manufacturer’s range, but fortunately Umarex was the only game in town. So I spent most of my time with them. Go figure!

Airguns for self defense

I have heard somewhere that you shouldn’t use an airgun for self defense. Oh, wait, that was me. Well, here is an exception to that guideline. Umarex has two new self defense airguns. They shoot .50 caliber pepper balls (think pepper spray) that at 21 feet are quite accurate. The pistol is called the HDP (home defense pepper/pistol?) and it comes in a short and a longer version.

The short HDP pistol.

I shot both pistols, the short and the long. I like the size of the shorter one that’s called the Compact but the longer one has fiberoptic sights front and rear and this is one set of glowy thingies I really like! Here, let’s see what BB did on a silhouette target at 21 feet.

HDP target
That’s 13 shots on the dummy at 21 feet in a 30 mph wind. The 10 in the center are on his breastbone where the pepper will get into his nose quick!

I missed the dummy with one shot because I thought I had to throw a curve ball because of the wind. No sweaty-da, because they all went straight where I aimed. 

HDP sights
How about them puppies? You can’t miss at 21 feet with those bad boys.


Why is BB touting this pepperball shooter so much? Because over the years he has had numerous inquiries asking what airgun was good for self defense. Until now — none of them. At least none of the ones BB knows of.  But this one is the real deal. It can shoot rubber bullets, pepperballs or the powder balls that we shot at the range. They are the practice rounds. And let me tell you a story.

I was shown the HDP by Breanna, an Umarex employee who is a competition pistol shooter herself. Of course she was too modest to mention that to me, but Justin Biddle gave me the full scoop.

There is so much more to tell, but BB plans to test this one and Pyramyd — buy these! We have many readers who don’t want to shoot firearms or can’t, yet they want something for home defense. Until now all I had for therm was a tactical flashlight.

Breanna told me that a man who was an anti-gunner but lives in a rough neighborhood had one of these for defense while walking his dog. He used it in a real threat, plus he practiced with it before that and now he wants to get a firearm. Way to go, Umarex!

Hammer carbine

Oh, yeah — they also had the new Hammer carbine on the range. Didn’t I mention that?

Hammer carbine
The new Umarex .50-caliber Hammer carbine with Umarex employee Kyle Bruso behind it and looking ever-so-cool.

BB watched while many others shot it,  then he took his turn. A 350-grain lead slug took out a paddle on a reactive target at 50 yards with 780 foot-pounds of energy. And BB was surprised to NOT get a glaucoma test (blast of high-pressure air in the eye) when the rifle fired! Umarex fixed it by putting seals in the front and back of the magazine chambers. The air pressure blows them out and seals the chamber and you don’t get blasted in the eye anymore. I sure hope they do that to the rifle as well!

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Notos CRK

The .22-caliber Notos CRK compact precharged pneumatic (PCP) sidelever repeater is new but the Notos is not. It’s getting a lot of press for being lightweight and accurate. And now there is a carbine. At $265 retail it is definitely in the PPP category. It was on the Umarex range but I didn’t shoot it — mostly because of the wind. Umarex, who gave us the world’s first price-point PCP in 2017 (the Gauntlet) just keeps on doing it!

Notos fox
Justin Biddle shared this recent photo of a fox that was harvested at 52 yards with a Notos PCP.

Was there anything else?

Okay, BB isn’t shilling for Umarex. They were just the only guys out on the range. And I do have a couple other things I saw while I was there, but let’s move on.

There were other things at Media Day, thank you very much. Try this highly adjustable benchrest that RETAILS for under $200!

RealAvid benchrest
Real Avid benchrest.

BB is going to try to get Pyramyd AIR to carry this one. It’s too good to pass up!

One last item

It’s from Poland and it’s called Rubox. It’s a rubber block backstop wall that you build on-site, fill with stones and it will stop a .50 caliber BMG! BB saw a man fire 40 rounds of 5.56 at point blank range and barely leave a hole!

Rublox backstop
Stack them, then fill them with small stones. 

Small stones.

100 shots
One-hundred shots from an M16 at point blank range (maybe a foot?).

This one isn’t for most of you, but I thought it is too cool to pass up!


It was cold, windy and wet. But there were an exciting number a great new products to see! Tomorrow we go inside to the SHOT Show!

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.

40 thoughts on “SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range 2023”

  1. Everyone,

    The problem was a sign-in issue that Pyramyd AIR informed me about. It is corrected now and life can return to normal agin. Enjoy your coffee and sorry for the inconvenience.


  2. Not your fault, Tom. Glad the IT people did quick damage control. That Umarex defense pistol might be a future gift for daughter – she is not anti-gun, just does not care to own a firearm, at least at this time. She lives with her cat and likes to run early in the morning so that makes her a good candidate for this type of self-defense device.

    The story about the anti-gun man who was converted to the 2A side reminds FM of something he saw written somewhere a few years ago: “a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged once.” Still recall with gratification “converting” an anti-firearm cardiologist – close friend of FM’s – to the shooting sports after taking him on a shooting trip. He had too much fun. Or is there such a thing as “too much” fun? Nope.

  3. BB,

    Thanks for the report! Cold? That’s relative I guess – to me, “cold” is when you spit and it bounces 😉

    “Plastic guns” seem to be all the rage these days. Recently there was an article about how 3D printed “ghost” pistols (no serial numbers) were becoming popular with gangs. Since they can’t control the criminal activities the Liberal government will probably blame the 3D hobbyists and confiscate their printers.

    As an accurate, light weight PPP, the Notos CRK sounds interesting! Hope to see a blog on that one!


    • Vana2,

      Don’t you live in the geographically 2nd largest country in the World; with fantastic mineral reserves?
      You would think the government would have more important things to do then worry about the subjects small arms!
      To many living in the Capital and I guess fearful of the forever wanting to breakaway part


      • Shootski,

        You do realize that our government bans some airguns because they LOOK DANGEROUS and blowguns are “restricted weapons” because they are so deadly! (Just watch one of those low-budget Ninja movies and you can see that blowguns can kill a man instantly at 200 feet!)

        Most annoyed, seems that criminals have more rights than honest people – they can assault law abiding citizens who are not legally allowed to defend themselves.

        Don’t mind me, our politicians are being even more sneaky/slimmy than usual and the rubs me the wrong way.


        • Hank,

          Sadly I knew that!
          We have some areas of the USA that are also slimy and sneaky and choose to refuse the will of the majority and rulings by the Supreme Court. They do it by establishing tangent restrictions to hamstring that will. A classic is gun bans within 1,000 feet of any school which of course includes trade school, private, parochial, and Public schools from pre through university.
          Works just like minefields.


        • FM does not wish to start a political opinions’ hamster wheel rolling here but you did mention airguns in your comment, so…seems you need some good, common sense, non-slimy/sneaky – and sane – people to run for elected office and get kindred-spirit voters behind them, maybe insert a strong Bill of Rights in your Constitution. And before FM forgets – make term limits for ALL politicians, at all levels, the law of the land. One term only. Can’t git ‘er done in one term? Get out of the way for the next elected official to give it a shot.

          • FM,

            I’ll only say that I wish our prime minister was as good at managing our country as he is at finding ways to stay in power.

            In order to find some humor in a situation that is not at all funny I’ll share this with you…

            POST TURTLES…
            While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, whose hand was caught in the squeeze gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation… Eventually the topic got around to politicians and their role as our leaders.

            The farmer said, “Well, as I see it, most politicians are ‘Post Turtles’.”

            Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle’ was.

            The farmer said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle.”
            The farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain.
            “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb arse put him up there to begin with.”

            Have a great evening!

        • HANK: Not only does your government ban some airguns because they LOOK like firearms, but we in the US suffer under similar prejudice. Yesterday I took my ailing (more about that latter) TX200 into UPS for shipping back to Air Venturi. They stated that it “looked” like a “real” gun and they could not ship it. OK . . . next stop Fex Ex. Nope, no BB guns. Next, a 40 mile drive to the regional UPS center. Sure . . . just package it up and give it to any UPS driver. Now, return 40 miles back to the original UPS store for packaging materials. As soon as I walked in, they exclaimed that a mistake was made and they’d be happy to ship it. Oh, so sorry.. OK, good. They measured it, packed it real well, and it was ready to ship. Now for the real killer . . . $244 to ship it to Air Venturi! It was all packaged and by now I was exhausted. Shocked, but I paid it. By the time I get this rifle back, it’s going to be one expensive TX200. I just hope it shoots. Orv.

          • Maybe the thing to do is package it up well and declare the contents as an “air pressure tool,” which it is; realize this would not be practical for most, but sometimes you might be better off taking your pride and joy to the repair facility yourself. If only we could set up a “relay shipping system” with like-minded people willing to help a fellow hobbyist/enthusiast for reasonable charges, that might be a new business in the making. Then again you’d have to account for all the pesky nonsense laws and regs getting in the way.

  4. Boy I had no idea that M16’s were that accurate.
    Looks like lots of cool stuff. Glad when manufacturers improve their products.
    I sure hope that a Notos becomes on test!! What caliber was used on the fox?
    Glad photos, at least some of them are up and running.


    Ingenious system by the Poles. Unfortunately it needs to be able to stop a SAM.

  5. Yogi,

    Only comes in .22 caliber IF PA website is accurate:
    13 FPE! In the “stock” condition.

    SAM Is the acronym for Surface to Air Missile; hard for the Rubox to stop the Missile once they are off the surface!


  6. I bought one of those self defence pistols.

    Mine is the “LTL Alfa 1.50′, a 7-shot repeater, 50” calibre (rubber ball, rubber coated steel ball, pepper ball, etc) black plastic pistol, powered by a 12g CO2 bottle, the seal of which is pierced at any time after loading, by a slap-up on the butt of the grip. All sounds good doesn’t it, and I would tell you more, but…

    …after a short while of working fine, something in the repeating mechanism developed a fault, making it jam. As it’s currently a single shot failure, I have added it to my pile of “to-be-taken-apart to-be-fixed or thrown-away airguns”… 🙂

    My lesson: doesn’t matter what, if it’s unreliable, it’s absolutely no good for self defence!

    PS I first mentioned this (LessThanLethal) LTL Alfa 1.50 in my comments below the blog “Crosman Fire breakbarrel air rifle: Part2”

    • hihihi,

      I did a quick online search on your less lethal pistol.
      Seems that many of the websites are from countries that refuse to allow their subjects…err I mean, Citizens, to a lethal self defense option. There are a GREAT many of them?

      The RIGHT of the People to Bare Arms SHALL NOT be INFRINGED!

      LONG Live the Second Amendment!


          • Shootski,

            Gotta agree with you on sticking with lethal and pray you never find yourself in the position to use it. As they say it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

            As to the price, there are a number of good firearm pistols around that price point so why spend that much on a pepper gun that may be less than effective.


          • At that price can get a good 9mm concealed-carry handgun. Thankful to live in the Sunshine State where such is still possible and where citizens’ rights prevail. As our governor said when warning against looting and associated crimes after the Hurricane Ian disaster, “You never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home. And I would not want to chance that if I were you given that we are a second amendment state.”

        • I noticed that it comes in orange – which seems to me the best option identifying it as LTL – pink, black and tan. The last two are easily confused with firearms. I guess it could work both ways.

          • Henry_TX,

            Regardless of what colors or what muzzle color if you pull anything out and brandish it as though you intend to shoot, cut, hammer, chop, slice, dice or stab a loved one or me I WILL move off the X and STOP the threat.


        • Mike in Atl,

          Depending on local laws someone Red Flagged, or Hit with a Protective Order might only be able to possess one of them for some period of time or forever in some instances.


      • shootski

        ‘The RIGHT of the People to Bare Arms SHALL NOT be INFRINGED!’

        AMEN!!! Short sleeves and tanktops or death!!!

        but not infringed!! plain hems only!!!


  7. And the TX200 drama goes on. Another delivery delay by UPS for “Emergency situation or Severe Weather”
    Mass quantities of drizzle and dampness or there may have been a ferocious coyote or bob cat on the road? More likely a neighbor’s barking dog.
    Gave up and changed the delivery address to the local PO.
    UPS representative said there would be a $7.00 fee for that change. Told him to forget it and did it for free utilizing the prerecorded options. Sad thing is, I had already done that for this delivery the second I got the shipping number after having this problem with the HK MP7 delivery. Must have been ignored?
    Only had to repeat my zip code 4 times for the computer to get it right. It did however reply “Sorry, my fault” every time. Totally relieved my anxiety … Right.

      • Shootski, it’s out for delivery again and hopefully to the Post Office instead of my ‘Nonexistent home address.’ as requested. However, the PO closes at 4:30 and they will deliver by 7pm.
        We shall see.

    • I dislike UPS and so I’m not surprised what seems to be happening, or not, as in this case.

      However, they’re not the only dodgy couriers. Here’s what the French postal service did to me:

      On egun ( German auction site) I saw a Diana 75 with renewed seals – all original ones eventually disintegrate – and so I won/bought it. Hurrah! 🙂

      Many weeks later, the seller responded to my ‘why am I still waiting?’ with proof of having shipped the airgun, so I continued to observe the French postal service tracking information, which kept on being updated to the same, it’s in transit message.

      Then, one day it said that it had been delivered.
      Oh, and apparently it had been too long for me to raise a case of ‘but I ain’t got it’. 🙁

      Bob M, I hope yours will have a happier outcome! 🙂

      • 3hi
        Had a person who lived on my road knock on my door one day and deliver packages left at ‘his’ gate. Rare event most of the time that someone would do that. I am fortunate to live around people who are honest and look out for each other.

  8. Here in the UK, those Umarex self-defence airguns are generally sold as paintball guns because, well, you can sort of fit those in instead can’t you. This means that they then fall outside the well established legislation on airguns – strictly speaking, the term in UK legislation is ‘air weapon’: ultimately, in the eyes of the law a firearm, but a firearm that is an airgun (used in a mechanical how-does-the-gun-work sense) less powerful than the 6 or 12 ft.lb limits. One retailer, for example, has an unboxing video for the HDR which was/is available in 7.5, 11 and 16 joule variants – those last two are more powerful than an air pistol is allowed to be – but rather pointedly only says the 7.5J version is suitable for paintballing.

    Depending on how stupid and lazy the retailers are, they just cut-and-paste the Umarex product description with its nudge-nudge wink-wink talk of being ready to use in an emergency and its ability to fire all sorts of ammunition.

    There’s also a new arrival on the market, from Snowpeak, and at least one retailer includes the slogan “better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it” in their advertising. Where have I seen that before?

    All this matters – in the UK – because while paintball guns aren’t explicitly mentioned in the firearms legislation there are bits of it that still apply, and the long-standing guidance on firearms legislation says this:

    ‘It should be noted that the majority but by no means all guns powered by carbon dioxide which discharge paint pellets and which are used in adventure games are unlikely to cause serious injury, nor were they designed as ‘weapons’. As such, they should not be considered to be firearms.’

    I don’t see how this situation can last, but if it comes to a head in the wake of accidental or deliberate misuse I can see it ending badly – as in ‘let’s have more laws’ – if the subtleties above are just too subtle for the popular press and attention seeking politicians.


    • Iain – UK, what an interesting insight into British politics, erm, airguns-, erm, firearms legislation, … never mind, it’s all the same! 🙂

      I remember that while I was surfing the internet for a powerful CO2 defence pistol, I frequently came across “marker”, or “paintball marker”. Now I understand the importance, ie the term applied is what categorises the device in law. 🙂

  9. Here in the US, I believe the term paintball marker is used specifically to avoid it ever falling into the rules for firearms and airguns. It can even ship as sporting goods.
    However, check out RAP4 BB/pellet conversions. it shoots the smaller paintballs about 1/2″. An expensive item. (Real Action Paintball. Mag Fed Markers)

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