SHOT Show 2018: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The big news
  • Benjamin Fortitude
  • Marauder Field and Target
  • Akura
  • Traveler
  • SigASP20
  • Tight breech and no droop
  • The trigger
  • AirForce E-Pump

I will start the third day on the SHOT Show floor with Crosman. They always have loads of new products and this year was no exception. I actually had to visit the booth two separate times to get what I am about to tell you.

The big news

So — what’s the big news at Crosman? I guess that depends on what interests you, but since I am defining this year’s show as the battle of the price-point PCPs (precharged pneumatic rifles with upscale features selling for under $300), let’s start with the Fortitude.

Benjamin Fortitude

Benjamin’s new Fortitude PCP is regulated, a repeater and has a shroud. It is positioned between the Discovery and the Marauder. read more


Media Day at the Range — SHOT Show 2018: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Media Day upper
The upper range at Media Day has about 50 ranges and vendors. Because of crossbows, the ranges go in both directions.

Media Day
On the lower range there are more ranges, also going both directions, with shotguns on the right.

This report covers:

  • SHOT Show
  • A great find!
  • My interest
  • My collection
  • This BB gun
  • Cocking
  • Takedown
  • Number 25?
  • Sights
  • Summary

Media Day at the Range is an event for gun writers and video makers, only. About 2,000 of us are taken to the Boulder City range where we are allowed to shoot and use some of the newest guns and accessories.

Umarex Hammer

We waited all last year for the Umarex Hammer to come out. From what I saw and sampled this year, I think we will see production guns by mid-2018.

The Hammer is a repeating .50-caliber big bore that gets 4 powerful shots on a fill ton 4,500 psi. The regulator drops the firing pressure to 3,000 psi, and the first 3 shots are all at the same pressure. Shot 4 drops below 3,000 slightly, but at 40 yards all the bullets should stay in a tight group. read more


AirForce TexanSS big bore air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

TexanSS
TexanSS big bore air rifle from AirForce.

This report covers:

  • Background
  • Texan
  • TexanSS
  • Adjustability
  • The valve
  • Aftermarket striker springs
  • Infinite adjustments
  • Trigger
  • Reservoir
  • Documentation
  • Summary

Today’s report should get a rise out of you! We are starting our look at the TexanSS from AirForce Airguns. It’s a .45 caliber big bore air rifle with sound suppression (that’s what the SS stands for).

Background

At the SHOT Show I get to listen to hundreds of airgunners and airgun dealers from all around the U.S., and when it comes to big bores here is what they all want — a shorter rifle that’s suppressed, lightweight, runs on 3,000 psi and is extremely powerful. I listen but seldom mention that some of their requests contradict one another.That should come out in this report. read more


Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Hercules 45
Hatsan Hercules .45 caliber big bore rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Magazine problem
  • Relative size
  • .Magazine works fine
  • Filling
  • Lots of shots
  • Hatsan bullets
  • Power
  • Cocking
  • Useful power?
  • Cowboy Action bullets
  • Use of air
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation so far

Today I will test the velocity and power of the new Hatsan Hercules .45 caliber big bore air rifle. Because this is a big bore, I have to take it to a range to test the velocity. No shooting big bores inside my office!

Magazine problem

I actually had the rifle out for testing a couple weeks ago, but at that time I was unable to load any of the bullets Hatsan provided into one of the 7-round circular magazines. That ended that test. I was actually testing three other things that day, so I didn’t spend any time looking into the problem, but after talking to Hatsan about it online I tried the other magazine that came with the rifle and it worked fine. Apparently I just got one bad magazine. read more


Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan Bullmaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Comments
  • New Bug Buster
  • Power
  • H&N Baracuda 5.50mm head
  • H&N Sniper Light 5.50mm head
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • Shot count
  • Trigger
  • Sound
  • Summary
  • Next

Comments

I’ll start today’s report by listing some of the comments you readers made to Part 1. Several of you don’t care for the Hatsan BullMaster’s looks. That’s why I show a picture of the gun at the top of each report. You have to be satisfied with the appearance if you’re going to buy an airgun this expensive.

Next, several of you commented on the weight. At more than 10 pounds before the scope is mounted, this is not a lightweight airgun. Bullpups are small, but not necessarily light.

Then there is the size, itself. For a bullpup, the Bullmaster is on the large side. The overall length of just under 31 inches is very short compared to a conventional air rifle, but for a bullpup it’s on the long side. That length does give you a fully shrouded barrel that’s just under 20 inches, and you need the barrel length for power, but the point of a bullpup is its compact size. read more


Hatsan BullMaster PCP: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan BullMaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

This report covers:

  • Like the Sortie
  • Comparisons?
  • Companies change over time
  • Description
  • Fill
  • Pressure gauge
  • Magazines
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • So much more to tell
  • Next

Today I start my review of the Hatsan BullMaster precharged pneumatic air rifle. This is a repeating semiautomatic air rifle in bullpup configuration. It is available in both .177 and .22 calibers and the published energies, 21/31 foot-pounds, respectively, are right where they should be for a handy hunting air rifle. I am testing the .22, but since it was sent directly from Hatsan, I won’t publish the serial number. Your chances of getting this particular airgun are slim.

Like the Sortie

I tested the Sortie semiautomatic air pistol for you in a 5-part review back in September and October, and I did it intentionally. I had this BullMaster at that time, and since the actions of the two airguns are so similar, I wanted to start with the smaller one first. Testing the Sortie got me ready for the BullMaster. read more


Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Hercules 45
Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore rifle.

This report covers:

  • Big gun!
  • Description
  • .45 bullets and “pellets”
  • 1000 cc reservoir capacity
  • Onboard air gauge
  • 250 bar fill
  • Adjustable stock
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Barrel
  • Sights
  • I shot the Hercules
  • Sound
  • Evaluation

Big gun!

I’m starting a report on the Hatsan Hercules QE .45 big bore air rifle. First let me observe that this rifle is BIG. And I mean big in all ways. It’s 48.4 inches long and weighs 13 pounds before a scope is attached. I was surprised by that number, so I put it on a balance beam scale, and the rifle I am testing came to exactly 13 lbs.

The Hercules rifles come in the following calibers: .22, .25, .30, .357 and .45. Some of the specifications like magazine capacity differ by caliber (the .22 magazine holds 14 pellets), but the length and weight remain the same throughout the range. read more