Smell the roses!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Price-Point PCP
  • Silencers
  • Lookalikes
  • More lookalikes
  • $100 PCP
  • More than just guns
  • Hand pumps
  • Compressors
  • Airgun technology
  • Big bores
  • There’s more

Today’s report came to me as I was planning to test the accuracy of the Umarex Legends Ace in the Hole revolver. I have so many tests waiting for my time, but today’s report had to come first.

Gentlemen — we are living in airgunning’s Golden Age. I know I have written that many times, but today I would like to reflect on all the good things that are happening in our world. Let me start with the Price-Point PCP.

Price-Point PCP

When I got into precharged pneumatics in 1995, I was dragged into it kicking and screaming. No PCP rifle cost less than $600 in that day (think $900 today) and the high-pressure hand pump had just been invented. I had to use a 3000 psi aluminum scuba tank that cost an additional $120 and I had to beg the local dive shop to fill it for me. I actually created a release form that I signed and left on file with them to absolve them from all risk of selling air to a non dive-certificated person! That might sound extreme in 2018, but in 1995 that was the way it was done, and plenty of dive shops refused to sell us air. read more


Finding the pot of gold

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Trick number 1
  • Walter
  • Daisey
  • Trick 2
  • A gem!
  • Trick 3
  • Trick 4
  • Trick 5
  • Trick 6

I’m writing this report today because I need to. Something inside is telling me to get this out and I can’t think of anything else.
Today I’m going to talk about finding great deals.

Trick number 1

Several years ago I wrote a report about how to use common misspellings to locate hard-to-find items on public auction websites
like Gun Broker. We all hear people mispronouncing the names of famous airguns and firearms, but did you know they sometimes spell them that way, too. Take Anschütz. Many Americans pronounce it Anschultz, as in Ann Schultz. So, I went on Gun Broker and typed in Anschultz and, sure enough, there were 6 listings. Nobody who types in the correct spelling of the name will see these 6 listings, unless the seller also put the correct spelling in the title. It also means there will be very little competition on these listings. That’s the way the internet works.  But, if he listed it under Anschultz I doubt that he knows the correct spelling. read more


Where are airguns today?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Spring-piston guns
  • The price-point PCP
  • High-pressure air compressors
  • Action air pistols
  • It’s been done before
  • Airgun shows
  • Hunting
  • They’re listening now!
  • Summary

After writing 6 reports on the SHOT Show I thought it was time to look at all that has happened in airgunning in recent years. We are in a golden age of experimentation and refinement, and it’s good to stop and reflect on that for a moment.

Spring-piston guns

If you had asked me what the future of the spring gun was before I attended this SHOT Show I would have told you that everything that could be done had been done. Then, at the show, I saw not one but two novel new breakbarrels.

Crosman has their new Akura breakbarrel with the Precision Barrel Lock or PBL. It is a novel new way of locking the breech at the shot by using some of the compressed air to push a pin back into the spring tube. The rest of the rifle is a straightforward gas spring breachbarrel, but the question we have to ask is why they felt it necessary to lock the breech this way. A few other airguns use mechanical locks that are operated by the user, so there must be an advantage to locking the breech, but will we see it when I test the Akura? read more


SHOT Show 2018: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • Traffic was down
  • Sig
  • Sig magazines
  • Hatsan
  • Crosman
  • Umarex USA
  • ASG
  • Conclusion

Today I will give you the final report on the 2018 SHOT Show. Did I save the best for last? That’s for you to decide.

Traffic was down

Every SHOT Show is larger than the previous one, but not this year. I would estimate attendance was down by 10-20 thousand, based on how open the aisles were on the first 2 days. Some booth holders lamented about it, but all of the ones I talked to who actually write business at the show (take orders for the year) told me business was up. I think the tire-kickers stayed home and only the serious buyers came. Let’s get started!

Sig

The new Sig breakbarrel is a landmark air rifle, but it wasn’t all that I saw in their booth. The next exciting thing was the new Sig Super Target single stroke pneumatic target pistol! When I pumped it I was surprised by how easy it is! This may be a target air pistol that many women and older children can cock. That is a landmark achievement, because I had been holding out for the Daisy 499 to be made into a pistol for the same purpose. If a Daisy 747 single stroke pistol takes 20 lbs. to pump, this pistol takes 10 or less. I was told that the velocity is around the 300+ f.p.s. mark, which is in the Daisy ballpark. The trigger is very nice and I can’t wait to test one! read more


SHOT Show 2018: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Meopta
  • Leapers
  • P.O.I. Airgun Rings
  • Vanquish 700
  • Air Venturi Hellboy
  • ASG
  • AirForce
  • Are we done?

Before I start I want to say a word about who I cover at SHOT. There are plenty of airguns I never look at, for reasons I think are good. These are the fringe companies that have no representation in the U.S., or they have a couple of shyster dealers with bad reputations. I don’t want to give them any attention. The other people covering the show can “scoop” me on these. Yes, I miss a few things, but I also avoid giving credibility to guns that will only break your hearts.

That said, why do I cover Leapers and not other scope companies? Am I getting a kickback? Well, there is a story here. I used to go to Burris, Leupold and many other scope manufacturers, and they all received me the same way. “Airguns? You write about airguns? Sure, we have a couple scopes that could be used on an airgun, I guess.” read more


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


SHOT Show 2018: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Gamo
  • Big bores?
  • Daisy
  • Gamo Urban
  • Winchester big bores
  • Diana
  • Umarex USA
  • Cowboy Lever Action
  • Single action
  • But wait…
  • And the show goes on…

We’re back at it today. I’ll start with Gamo

Gamo

Gamo is the one company that never gives me any information about their products. A few years ago their VP of sales was very helpful, but in the last 20 years of attending the SHOT Show, that was the only time anyone helped me. So I just read the signs and try to make sense of it.

Big bores?

Gamo has a line of big bore airguns this year. They look like Bizarro copies of AirForce guns — where the size and shape are similar but nothing is quite the same. These single shots are called the TC 35 and TC 45, indicating their calibers. They have carbon fiber air reservoirs that serve as the butt of the rifle. read more