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Accessories 2024 SHOT Show: Part One

2024 SHOT Show: Part One

This report covers:

  • Umarex
  • Self defense
  • Day one of the show
  • AirForce Airguns
  • Firebird Targets
  • Summary

Today I report on the SHOT Show — both Media Day At The Range and day one of the show. On media day the media gets to see and shoot some of the new guns that come out that year. This year the day threatened rain all morning and it’s always cold and windy at the Boulder City gun range where this is held.


The only airgun manufacturer at the range this year was Umarex, so we spent a lot of time there. Both Ian McKee and I shot an Umarex Prymex — a new breakbarrel  that was in .22 caliber. This one is  light weight, smooth and easier to cock.

Tom shoots Primex
I shot the Primex and busted a water bottle at 15 yards offhand.

We also saw an AER16, which is a AEG BB repeater. This one they had just received that day and it was acting up so we didn’t get a chance to shoot it, but imagine an airsoft gun that someone turned into a gun to shoot steel BBs!

We did get to shoot an Umarex AIRJAVELIN FishR, an arrow gun with a difference. This one is for fish! Both of us shot a 1,200+-grain first practice arrow at a target Gar at the bottom of a deep pool on the range!


Fishing arrow point.


There will be more on Umarex from the show, but this is what I saw on range day.

Self defense

I get inquiries about using airguns for self defense all the time. Normally I don’t recommend them but I saw some guns at the Byrna booth that might do the trick. The SD (pistol) launcher is a less lethal means of repelling an assailant at up to 60 feet away. The launcher fires pepper balls that both sting and shower the offender with a pepper agent that works like pepper spray. These launchers are legal in all 50 states and do not require background checks.

Because of the interest in these types of less lethal launchers I may do a report series on them.

Byrna Pepper ball launchers.

Day one of the show

On day one I walked into the display floor at opening time and visited the Ounce Pistol booth first. I saw these last year and have intended buying one since then. I will report on it in this blog, though it is a firearm and not an airgun.

Ounce pistol
Ounce pistol.

AirForce Airguns

My next stop was the AirForce Airguns booth. John McCaslin runs a tight ship and, though I often visit him at the factory, I had no idea what the company was bringing to the show. The first item was a new fill assembly that’s rated to 4,500 psi.

AF fill device
The AirForce fill device allows for positioning the gauge and hose where you desire. The bleed is a button instead of a screw.

I was also shown the TalonBolt carbine — a smaller version of the TalonBolt for hunters. The arrows are also smaller, to match the carbine’s size.

TalonBolt carbine
The new TalonBolt carbine is for hunters who want something smaller and more maneuverable.

The last item I saw had been a prototype at the Pyramyd Air Cup last August, but it’s now a new product — a field target pistol! Until recently the sport of field target has been primarily a rifle contest, but air pistols are breaking into the game. This RAW pistol has shown itself to be competitive in the short time it’s been around, and it looks like it’s here to stay.

RAW field target pistol
RAW field target pistol.

Firebird Targets

I’ll leave you with something new from Firebird Targets. These are the explosive targets that you hear on many television shows. They will soon be offering a quiet target that goes off with a huge puff of smoke but no boom. It’s perfect for airgunners who want an action target without disturbing the neighborhood, because the regular Firebird targets sound like a quarter stick of dynamite!

Firebird target
New quiet Firebird target.

This target is currently under evaluation by the ATF and they need to sign off before it can be sold. Firebird knows how much airgunners want this new target, and as soon as they can, this target will be on the market. But the release date is up in the air and entirely out of Firebird’s hands. 


This year is a good one for airguns. I saw so much more on day one, but owing to time constraints, here in the Pacific Time Zone, it will have to be rolled into additional reports.

46 thoughts on “2024 SHOT Show: Part One”

  1. “Because of the interest in these types of less lethal launchers I may do a report series on them.”

    While I have no intention of giving up my firearm pistols, I have seen many ads for these pepper ball pistols and I have wondered if they live up to their claims. For curiosity’s sake alone, I would like to see you do a report series on them…I think it would draw a lot of commentary!
    It looks like you guys are having fun…keep it up. 😉
    Blessings to you,

    • thedavemyster,

      though an interesting idea, I think B.B. Pelletier cannot review the top requirement of these self defense items, namely, that they have to be absolutely dependable at any time.

      I bought a similar less than lethal pistol which after a while decided to jam! JAM !

      Mine was the Alfa LTL 1.50 which was like reaching for that one almighty rock to launch and watching it crumble to dust in your hand. For self defense that pistol is worse than anything else, including the literal ‘piece of… ‘ profane language I uttered!

      I suspect something like a can of pepperspray might be better to have at hand, and a long-handled gardening tool, and a large dog, and…
      … best of all, some very powerful sprinting legs! 🙂

      • hihihi, it looks like you have a good point about the Alfa LTL 1.50 pistol.
        I looked at the reviews on Amazon, and only 50% thought it was good.
        This was the best of the critical reviews, and it would steer me away from it:

        *0000 terry pate
        1.0 out of 5 stars quality and value for your money
        Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2023
        i liked initially when i got it, i used it 3-4 times a week , eventually it fails to shoot, it expends the air cartridge inside the weapon before you even shoot, when it does work one trigger pull and it continues to shoot until the air cartridge is expended. not very accurate, not even close to the $230 price tag, needs to be recalled and fix the flaws, my opinion totally unsatisfactory, too late however to return…I can probably use as a paper weight……

    • The friend who gave FM the Gamo breakbarrel bought himself a Byrna self-defense pistol last year; will ask if he’s tested it and what he thinks of it. As far as is known, he’s not had to use it in a self-defense scenario and thank God for that. These “self-defense devices” might be the thing for those who are squeamish around firearms or live in places where powder burners are highly restricted. However, they HAVE to function reliably at all times!

      Blessings back to you, Dave.

    • I have looked into several versions of this type of less than lethal launchers. But I have yet to see / find a review of any, some are a type of quick review with a lot of manufacturer’s advertising. Nothing to compare the advertising to the actual performance. It would be a welcome change to see an actual review of the different versions of Byrna launchers.


      • “…some are a type of quick review with a lot of manufacturer’s advertising.”

        Mike, yeah, you’re right, that’s bogus; I trust BB to give us a more honest look at those LTLs. 🙂

  2. Good report and some interesting products. The airjavelin fishr reminded me of the time a buddy and I were spear fishing underwater eight miles up the lake from where we were staying. We were probably early teens back then. There was a rock outcropping where we were attempting to shoot fish. The spear gun was basically a big rubber band powered contraption. We didn’t get any fish. But I managed to cut the bottom of my foot wide open from one side to the other on an unseen piece of broken glass apparently wedged between a couple of a slippery rocks. Emergency room and crutches followed.

      • Thanks, that makes sense. During the episode I described, we fancied ourselves as divers and had face masks and were holding our breaths (because we had no SCUBA gear). So we were already under the water when we tried to shoot.

        On a different note, I am trying to understand as best I can the shooting ability of Lee Harvey Oswald when he was in USMC training. His scorebook for rifle shooting can be seen online at: https://www.rrauction.com/auctions/lot-detail/345171706200220-lee-harvey-oswalds-us-marine-corps-rifle-score-book-warren-commission-exhibit-no-239

        If I understand the description correctly, the 500-yard slow fire target is 10”x10”. And, if the diagram is to scale, the bullseye appears to be 4” in diameter. LHO scored 6 out of 10 shots in the bullseye. And the other four were very close to the bullseye. If I am calculating it correctly, the 4” bullseye would be 4/5 of a MOA. I am asking if anyone here has experience with the USMC or other military shooting range setups. Do the above dimensions appear reasonable to those with experience?

        • Elmer Fudd,

          Not completely clear on your question(s)

          That would have been in the 1950’s very early ’60s and shooting Standards were much higher. I recall the 500 targets were in the 20″ x 20″ sizes in the late ’60s early ’70s for rifle slow fire.
          Your math is correct for Shooter MOA in unit inches but actual MOA is an angular measurement that results in 1.0472 inches at 100 yards, 5.236 inches at 500 yards.
          You can use this MOA calculator: https://www.indecorous.com/bullseye/moacalc.html

          Dimensions of Oswald’s groups? Yes, doable with some GI rifles.
          He is reported to have used a Italian military/hunting rifle: 6.5 x 52 mm Italian Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle topped with a 4x scope.
          The 6.5 x 52 cartridge is relatively low recoil and good out to 700 meters in the hands of an excellent marksman; which he was if we believe his pencil recorded records.


          • Thanks, that helps. After I posted the questions, I found this dimensioned diagram. It shows the bullseye as 12” instead of the 4” bullseye I was assuming. The writer of the description of the shooting record book was apparently calling the bullseye the “target.” And, if the bullseye is in the 10” to 12” range, that makes things appear a lot more reasonable.

        • Elmer Fudd,

          Have you visited that part of Dallas?
          I have stayed at the Hyatt Regency for conventions and walked that area often. At least once each trip i stop into Wild Bill’s to get/order another pair of dress Lucchese Cowboy boots.
          Oswald’s task was not much of a shot(s) compared to what hunters often do in the western mountains.
          That limo was just about under his window perch and not going all too fast fast.


          • Yes, I have visited the Sixth Floor Museum. It was a quick visit, and I wasn’t able to roam around the area. I hope to get there again someday and spend some time checking out things and contemplating. But I have spent so much time looking at photos and films and reading and discussing things online that I probably know the area better than our backyard. If I calculated correctly, a human head would be about 7 MOA at 266 feet distance. That seems to be well within Oswald’s shooting ability.

  3. BB,

    I for one am looking forward to your take on things that you find at the Show this year. I have heard much of the Byrna over the years, some from those in law enforcement. I will be most interested in your take.

    I know sometimes you are torn by what you should report on at the Show. I think you know what interests me, but I am but a lone voice in the wilderness. So many want to know about the latest and greatest whizbangdoodle. I do not mind knowing about them. It does help to keep me knowledgeable to what is going on.

    My interest is more to what is not the latest flash in the pan, but what solves a real world problem and will be around for years to come. I have seen the true innovative advancement of the PCP into a serious airgun.

    I have also seen the ammunition we use change from chunks of roughly shaped lead to precise pellets and “slugs”, helping to improve the accuracy of many airguns.

    I and a few others wait for the next great advancement in the world of sproingers. Many have been playing around with various ideas, some of which are very promising. Unfortunately, most fade into obscurity because they are demonstrated in some flash-in-the-pan product by some company trying to make a quick buck, instead of trying to build their idea into something that will last and they will commit to building it for quite some time.

    Yes, that is a very steep uphill battle. Just look at what happened to Walther’s attempt to build a quality sproinger. The same thing happened to Sig Sauer.

    Air Arms and Weihrauch produce some of the finest sproingers in the world, but it was not easy for them. I am certain they face an incredible pressure to join the rest of the quick kill industries.

    I guess I will sit here and play with my “old gals” and hope that one day something truly new and made with real lasting quality comes along. Until then I will enjoy “hearing” about the “latest and greatest whizbangdoodles”.

    • Sean in Beulaville,

      Brandishing charges in most places if you are lucky… If your unlucky that day 2-3 45ACP rounds into your center Mass if i’m nearby or worst case probably two well placed 12 gauge loads of some type in your Thorax/Groin.

      SMARTEST design/marketing I’ve seen in some time!


    • I’m not a Force Science guy, but when Tasers first came into vogue, one of my concerns was that it looked like, was shaped like, and was discharged like a handgun. Taser said it was because they didn’t want officers to learn new “muscle memory” that they would forget under duress, and their solution was for officers to either carry them in a cross-draw holster or be used weak-hand only. And then mistakes happened, because under stress we revert to gross motor skills, and few people – cops included – get effective stress inoculation in training. Most famous example: Kim Potter. Watch the video. There’s no doubt when you watch the video that she thought she had her taser (and yes, I know; the root cause of the whole situation was failing to comply). I was good on the street, and being on SWAT for ten years gave me a good amount of stress inoculation, and I was the only uniformed officer at my mid-sized agency who didn’t carry a taser (for this reason and a few others).

      Why does the less lethal device have to look and operate like a firearm?

  4. I’m always curious about new airgun stuff. Unfortunately a great deal of it is never available in Canada.

    I make “less-lethal” devices (like my walking stick) but don’t see their usefulness in a serious confrontation.

    An intruder coming into my home will be met with full force – no warning, no questions, no quarter… and leave in a box (or several small bags).

    • Hank because of that rounded ball at the end of your walking stick, you are in violation of the law.

      With the stroke of a pen, your prime minister has made that walking stick illegal, unless you have the BFTSDD (Blunt Force Trama Self Defense Devce) license.

      Walking sticks can only be a straight stick constructed of material naturally harvested from dead trees that died of natural causes, and were harvested in accordance with Canadian laws.

      Adding a 90 degree handle for a better grip is allowed, but it must be less than 5 inches, but longer than 3 inches in length, and be made from the same material as the stick.

      AND you have to apply in advance for the modification to be approved and include a $200 registration fee.

      If you don’t follow the steps, you are in violation of the law regarding AWS (Assault Walking Sticks). And will be subject to prosecution by the RCMP.

      See how silly gun laws can be?

      • Thanks for that information! Will look into that in more detail.

        So the prime minister has taken another step in supporting criminals by making possibly defensive items illegal. It’s OK for criminals to use violence against citizens but not for the citizens to legally defend themselves in a similar manner.

        …I do have a number of straight “walking sticks” available (not that I need one for defence).



        • Last year at the Kubel Korps meet in Ohio, met a nice gent from Canada who showed FM a book titled “Why Trudeau Is A Great Leader And Deserves Respect.” Every page was blank. Methinks at the next election you all need to riddle Justin with ballots – negative ones. Oops! Watch your language, FM…you could be in potential violation of some “hate language” statute found in the pages of some invisible law book.

          • FawltyManuel,

            here are my slightly sarcastic thoughts: as we live in decidedly dangerous and terrible times, please be careful to only speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but what we are told to be the truth. Also, be careful not think in public lest the authorities seek to silence the result at source! 🙁
            However, do be sure to play the election game and remember, it’s all about the voting, nothing else, ok?! 🙂

        • In my defense, the law wasn’t there when I made my walking stick 😉

          Many of our laws are questionable. I made a quick stop at the local hardware store to buy an axe that was on sale. In passing the sports area I remembered that I needed some pellets. The clerk told me that he had to (because of the law) ask for identification, sign for the ammunition and he had to carry the pellets to the checkout for security reasons… I was carrying an AXE and obviously (wearing a T-shirt and shorts) was not concealing an airgun. Like how dangerous is a tin of pellets relative to walking around the store with an axe.

          Wonderful world we live in.


          • Vana2,

            I think you may have made your comment in answer to someone else.

            “Wonderful world…” indeed! Situations like that remind me of the 2006 comedy-documentary ‘Idiocracy’. You know it? 🙂

    • Vana2,

      “I make “less-lethal” devices (like my walking stick) but don’t see their usefulness in a serious confrontation.”
      If at close (bad breath distance) i will take your “walking” stick over a holstered gun anytime. By the time the perp thinks ’bout drawing…. With very little training one arm, one leg/knee will be out of commission and at the very least a concussion a split second away. Obviously the dominant arm goes first if at all possible.

      I really like your walking stick Hank. I looks so civilized to modern man and non confrontational too…LOL!


      • Shootski,

        At “bad breath distance” it’s not wise to mess with someone who’s been trained to deal with that sort of situation. 😉

        Unconscious would be a blessing, severe damage is most likely.


    • Kevin,

      That looks too much like a presentation rifle. No extra barrels and a plastic engraved naming tag. Obviously the “shooter” wore white gloves and a white balaclava given the lack of any visible (photograph) evidence of having been touched by a human.

      Terrible misfortune since it is probably never going to be more than a collector trap.


  5. B.B.,

    Know that you are exhausted but nonetheless in your element. Thanks for the teaser about the ounce pistol. Nice to know these folks are still around. Curious to know why they are not answering my emails and why they are not acknowledging my orders.

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