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Air Guns 2023 Pyramyd Air Cup: Part Two

2023 Pyramyd Air Cup: Part Two

2023 Cup Tyler safety
Tyler Patner gives the safety briefing to the first round of Benchrest competitors.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Benchrest
  • Vendor’s row
  • Bug Buster Accushot Pro
  • Vortek
  • Gunslynger
  • Attendance was down
  • Summary

Today we continue to look at the 2023 Pyramyd Air Cup. Most of this will be from days one and two, which is way I retitled this report.


The Benchrest competition started on a relatively calm note. I doubt the wind was blowing over 5-7 mph. It picked up in the afternoon and gusted  to 20-25 mph. What’s worse — it blew in different directions at different distances and could easily move a pellet several inches at the 100 yard distance. Figuring out where it was blowing was half the competition. Many competitors had wind flags out to help identify the problems. And, I couldn’t believe it but some were click adjusting for wind!

2023 Cup Benchrest 1
At the start the Benchrest match shot into calm weather.

Another problem was newer shooters shooting at the wrong targets. This happens in many matches, but I heard conversations that told me some of this year’s shooters were unfamiliar with it.

There was one last issue, and I have never seen this at a high level match. Some You Tubers were going right up to the competitors during the match and sticking their cameras into the shooter’s field of view. In sanctioned national matches such behavior will get them thrown out of the event, but it was permitted at this year’s Cup. A change needs to be made. During competition all media should be off the firing line, taking telephoto shots.

The Airgun Sporting Association Benchrest rules allow 30 minutes to shoot 25 bullseye targets on a single target sheet. One shot per bullseye is permitted. There are also non-scoring targets on the sheet to be used for sighters.

Vendor’s row

Once the Benchrest competition started I went over to Vendor’s Row to see what was happening. Vendors with airguns could have their own separate range, and there were several at this Cup. 

The first booth I stopped at was Leapers who had several scopes racked for the public to see. One of them was today’s surprise.

2023 Leapers David
Leapers’ David Ding stands next to the Bug Buster Accushot Pro.

Bug Buster Accushot Pro

This is the scope reader RidgeRunner has been asking for. It’s a Bug Buster with a 34mm tube and an ETCHED GLASS RETICLE. They come with scope rings, so the larger tube shouldn’t be a problem.

2023 BB reticle
I illuminated the reticle for this photo — taken through the eyepiece!

The retail price will be $400. And David tells me the Accushot Pro scopes have Integrix DNA in them. The cost savings comes from not using expensive German glass lenses. I have the scope shown in the photo and can tell you that it’s sharp and clear. It’s slightly longer and heavier than the current Bug Busters and the parallax stops at 10 yards instead of three. I will be reporting on this scope very soon.


I went to the Vortek booth next and saw too much to fully report today. But the star had to be the new gas piston they have that users can adjust! And, guess what? It’s adjusts via a removable adaptor that has a Foster fitting!

2023 piston adaptor
The adaptor to adjust the new Vortek gas piston has a Foster fitting!

2023 piston adaptor pump
The new Vortek gas piston adjusts with an adaptor that has a Foster fitting.

Tom Gore had installed the new piston in a couple Weihrauch breakbarrels in blonde curly maple stocks and asked if I wanted to try one. Well — YEAH! So he said there’s a three-inch round white flower up on that berm about 35 yards away. Why not shoot at that?

2023 Vortek blondie
Tom Gore is proud of his blonde Weihrauch with the new adjustable gas piston.

So, I shot it offhand and drilled it dead center. “You hit it!” Gore exclaimed. 

“Of course I hit it. I was aiming at it,” I responded with icy calm demeanor.

“Try it again!” he asked.

“Nope.” I said as I handed the rifle back to him. “One shot of dumb luck is my limit for the day.”

There is more to tell about the Vortek booth and some of you are going to be sorry you didn’t attend the Cup when you find out. But that’s all for today.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear


The Gunslynger match is Pyramyd A.I.R.’s unique take on a steel silhouette match. It’s a timed event and the fastest I saw was 20 targets down in 45 seconds. That was where the shooter was loading each pellet singly, though he was 10 seconds slower when he shot a semiautomatic rifle.

This match brings a large audience because everyone can see what’s happening.

Ian McKee competed in the Gunslynger and in his round he finished first in the first three heats. Then one of the You Tubers came up while he was loading magazines and getting ready for his next heat to interview him on the line and he forgot to remove the safety on the next round. He blew up after doing that, which is why nobody with media should be on the firing line at any time!

2023 Gunslynger
Ian McKee finished first in his first three heats. Then, after a You Tuber interrupted him as he got ready for heat four, he lost his concentration.

Attendance was down

There were a lot of people at the Cup this year, but not many of the public came. That seems strange since there is no charge to enter and some of the vendors were selling airguns. And some of our readers live close by. I guess we have to publicize it more next year.


There is more to come next week. There’s still field target, plus the banquet and a couple more on Vendor Row, so stay tuned.

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.

49 thoughts on “2023 Pyramyd Air Cup: Part Two”

  1. B.B.

    Sounds like a lot was going on. Hopefully, you entered at least one competition!? In shooting, you only compete against yourself.
    I hear that Buddhist Monks, when meditating, can stop their heart beat. It would be an usefull skill in Bench Rest.

    As we learned during Covid, why travel when you can see everything on U-Tube later…
    Be thankful they were not Tik-Tok influencers doing really stupid stuff!!!


    PS what is the zoom range of the Bug+ scope. If not German glass then who’s?

  2. B.B.,

    Let me get this straight…Media on the Firing Line AFTER the Make Ready Command has been given!

    Were/are there NOW rules for the Media to follow hence forwarded?

    Did anyone (RO) brief the Media on Do this and Don’t do that?

    BUMMER for Ian!


  3. “Some You Tubers were going right up to the competitors during the match and sticking their cameras into the shooter’s field of view.”

    That is such a low-class thing to do! Unbelievable! #_#
    I wish it had NOT been permitted; enabling low-class behavior just encourages more of it…yikes!
    On a happier note, that new Bug Buster scope is pretty interesting.
    And, for sure, this BB quote is one for the history books:
    “One shot of dumb luck is my limit for the day.”
    I love it! 😉
    Blessings to you,

  4. Tom,

    Looks like Vortek wisely took your evaluation unit and didn’t give it back because that initial unit was defective. Hopefully when this new unit gets into your hands this will last longer.


  5. Don’t let Tom fool you about getting a lucky shot.

    He made one other great shot other than the flower, cementing why he is called “THE GODFATHER OF AIRGUNS.”

    By the way, BOTH shots were offhand, with totally unfamiliar Airguns, and did these on the first (and only) shot needed…


    • “…cementing why he is called ‘THE GODFATHER OF AIRGUNS’.”

      45Bravo, roger that!
      BB may have missed it (as it was posted later in the day) a couple days ago, but when “The Godfather” refers to you as “The Godfather of Airguns,” then you are truly something special, LOL!
      I’m glad you guys had a good time. 🙂
      Blessings to you,

        • BB

          While your choice to withhold names is commendable,, keep in mind that these “tubers” are making money from getting in peoples way. I think that qualifies them as “professional” even if they don’t have the ethical standards we should expect from real professionals.

          Since there are no governing bodies to teach them ethics,, perhaps an “outing” on a well read blog might.


  6. BB,

    It looks like I will need to be saving up a lot of pennies for both the scope and the gas piston. I cannot wait for your report on these.

    Did you happen to ask Mr. Ding why so many scope manufacturers are going away from the small, low powered scopes? His own company has dropped the low powered BugBusters and is apparently planning to drop the entire line in favor of the large diameter, higher variable powered scopes. Hawke Optics still puts out a low powered, albeit variable, one inch scope with glass etched reticle. This is what I have been wanting in a BugBuster. I do like that reticle though. Finally, one that is not so busy as to be totally confusing and yet with small markings for finer shooting.

    A variable gas piston for a sproinger? I do hope this will be affordable.

    • RR,

      David Ding and I talk a lot about a lot of things. His plate is very full, as he will be building scopes here in the USA. 45Bravo and I gave him a lot more things to think about.


      • BB,

        Maybe these things will happen. I try to keep in mind that profitability has to be the prime consideration for manufacturers. That is likely why the 4X and 6X BugBusters went away. “Everybody” wanted variable high-powered scopes. I have to keep in mind that you have told us many times that we are but a small part of the market.

  7. Ah, “love” today’s media types – mostly jerknalists, few journalists. Here’s a thought – whoever sticks his/hers/its nose in a shooter’s field of view gets equipment seized which is then used for target practice. Of course they get ejected as well.

    Looking forward to future reports on the adjustable gas pistons.

    • FM-

      I agree with your assessment of the current pool of people running around with cameras (definitely not journalists). On the other hand, these folks got close to the shooters on the firing line, because they were ALLOWED to. Were there no RSOs on sight or were they just incompetent? Did the organizers not plan for safety? Definitely seems like a bit of a black eye for Pyramyd to allow a cluster like that.

  8. BB, would you please explain how this worked in more detail? It seems illogical to me. Maybe I am confused or just misunderstanding it.

    “ It’s a timed event and the fastest I saw was 20 targets down in 45 seconds. That was where the shooter was loading each pellet singly, though he was 10 seconds slower when he shot a semiautomatic rifle.”


    • Elmer,

      There are 20 targets

      5 chickens at 10 yards
      5 pigs at 25 yards
      5 turkeys at 40 yards
      5 rams at 55 yards

      Knock each one down. When all targets are down you are finished.

      In 45Bravo’s case, he finished first ahead of the entire line.


      • Thanks, so the shooter that was 10-seconds slower when using a semi-automatic and was faster using a single-shot must have had more missed shots when using the semi-automatic than he did using the singe-shot?

        • Elmer,

          Yes, I think that must have been how it happened. But this shooter was just as fast loading single shot as he was shooting semiauto. He was a shooting machine!


            • EF

              Loading a pellet, requiring the target and firing all within an average of 2 point five seconds does sound a bit daunting.

              Add to that cocking a break barrel and I think the people at Guinness might be interested. (the record keepers not the beer makers,,,,maybe)


              • Edlee, the world record air rifle shot that Guinness recognizes is a very narrow set of parameters.

                Tom actually got to meet the guy (Chris Turek) that set the current record in 2019 of 150 yards with a 7.3 grain .177 caliber pellet. Using iron sights, no optics,

                He also used an unmodified AirForce airgun.
                I will post a photo of Tom and Chris in my blog coming soon.

                Here is a link to the video about that World Record shot.


                • Thanks Ian

                  I am certainly impressed with Chris’ ability.

                  But my interest was more about the loading speed you accomplished. Loading single pellets is a very delicate operation. Doing so at a rate that also allows aiming and firing all within an average of 2 1/2 seconds is truly amazing.

                  That said, I guess the question is,, was this what was done? Or was the “loading” done by means of magazines (which I suspect is the case)?

                  Just the firing of 20 aimed shots in 45 seconds seems beyond my abilities unless, of course, it was with a semi auto of some kind.

                  But, none of my airguns is equipped with a “paddle” for cycling rounds and so I must imagine that this would speed things up considerably. I still doubt my ability to make things move that quickly, regardless.

                  I await your blog with interest.


                  • Nic was doing what speed BB described in the single load PCP event,
                    That means he was loading from an open tin of pellets, that were randomly in the tin, not pre staged, then loaded into a single shot tray, using an Air Arms S400 bolt action.

                    I was shooting in the magazine fed PCP division, which allows any type of action.
                    I saw only one SAM (Semi Auto Marauder) on the line and it was sidelined in the first round with some mechanical issue. I think I was the only other person on the line with a semi auto. Most were using side lever rifles, and bolt actions.

                    Having proven that a $500 pcp can be competitive (if the shooter does his part), I am sure there will be many more on the line by next year..

                    I do not video myself, but according to BB, I had the attention of several people with cameras after my first round, (I didn’t see that, I was just focusing on the task at hand).

                    I guess we will see if I pop up in any online videos.


                    • If you,, or anyone else finds you on Utube, I would love to know about it.

                      I was a lot faster than most with my loading and firing back when I was shooting ten meter matches,, but nowhere near the speed of these guys.


        • Elmer, they also had 3 divisions.

          Springer Airguns (and gas rams) single load.

          Single load PCP,

          And magazine fed PCP
          You could use bolt action, side lever, or semi auto rifles in the magazine division.

          In the top photo of this blog you see the back of a man with the name NIC.
          He is a shooting machine, his right hand never came off the bolt and his left hand kept in constant motion.

          Picking up a pellet putting it in the loading tray and picking up another.

          He is a living model demonstrating the conservation of movement.

          When I write my blog about the CUP, I will post a link to a video I took of him doing his magic..


  9. Tom,

    It sounds like it was a lot of very good fun. I might have gone this year to watch the proceedings, but I had/have a busy to-do list while the summer is still here.

    I actually did not discover the event was open to the public for free until a year or two ago. Pyramyd does mention that it is free and open to the public to watch, but it doesn’t seem to be trumpeted much. My suggestion is they really advertise that loudly on the website and in one or two automated e-mails dedicated to that subject.

    Real, professional press does not typically behave as you described above, the exception being those that are sensationalist. At the very least Pyramyd should (and maybe do) issue press passes with the requirement that those taking video a) have a pass, b) get a sheet with the rules for their conduct, c) a list of potential consequences for breaking the rules and d) their signature on an agreement that they have read, understand and accept the rules. Finally, small signs at every event should stipulate that during the competition no interaction with competitors or entering the competition area are allowed. Pyramyd perhaps does these things, but in case they don’t . . .

    U tubers are typically amateurs or semi-amateurs who lack knowledge, experience and common sense. That, and a few generations in a row have grown up with a sense of entitlement and no respect for common decorum.

    Again, it sounds like a whole lot of fun, and I look forward to reading more.


  10. “One shot of dumb luck is my limit for the day.”

    BB – let it be my next T-shirt please! How about a PA T-shirt with some awesome custom airrifle on it with this sentence? Is it a good business idea or is it a great business idea? 🙂

  11. I actually spoke to most of the You-Tubers doing videos while shooting Benchrest and Field Target and wasn’t bothered by their questions or the fact that they were getting up close shots while I was shooting. I guess some folks just get rattled by the intrusion and some do not. I am sorry to hear 45Bravo was rattled. I sometimes practice shooting with distractions like noise and movement around me, so that I become accustomed to them and they don’t affect my focus on my task.

    • Cloud 9,

      I think it is great to be that comfortable with shooting events; but not everyone has your amount of experience or disposition.

      I guess i’m just old school and don’t think it wise that any shooting line should be intruded on by folks not directly involved in the shooting, immediate administration, or SAFETY of said event.
      I certainly have shot in highly distracting conditions and can tune out most all of them including nearby explosions and rounds whistling by. There are folks that cannot deal with any degree of distraction and to be fair to them media needs to stay off the line during Make Ready to COLD Range at a Minimum.

      Just my opinion,


  12. Need some help guys. I have what appears to be an R9 / HW 95 that is not labeled. It also appears to have a factory walnut stock. Are unlabeled or unmarked HW guns common? How could I get more info on this?
    David Enoch

  13. On the new Bug Buster I wish they kept the 3 yard parallax like the old model. Is there a way to modify a scope to get parallax adjustment in a range shorter than it was originally made for?

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