Impressions from the NRA show

Monday, May 25, 2009

On Friday, May 15, Airguns of Arizona flew me to Phoenix, Arizona, to meet with them and cover the NRA Show there. I will be covering in detail in future blogs what’s new at Airguns of Arizona, so this blog will be a quick blitz of what some of the other airgun organizations were exhibiting at their booths.

First, though I want to mention that Airguns of Arizona is manned by and excellent crew of folks who are business people of course, but also passionate airgunners. They are even nicer than they sound on the phone, and they are great fun to spend time with. Tony Belas, director of Daystate, was also at the AoA booth. I spent a great deal of time with him, and you’ll be hearing more about our conversations in future blogs.

This is virtually the first thing that I saw at the NRA show: Tony Belas (left) and Greg Glover grinning at me. It was a portent of good times to come..

So what else was happening at the show?

John McCaslin, president of AirForce Airguns, was there showing off his air rifles and the complete line of BKL mounts and rails that AirForce will now be manufacturing in the USA.

Mike Ezell, Walther airgunsmith for Champion’s Choice, showed me the Walther LG 300 Anatomic which is a compromise halfway between a conventional wood stock match rifle and a full aluminum stock. There is more adjustment on the cheek piece than a conventional wood stock and a different butt plate. The pistol grip is on a ball and socket and offers a bunch of adjustments. There is a new accessory rail as well. Ezell says you can generally count on 100-125 quality shots, plenty to get a shooter through a match in any temperature, any weather.

The thing that caught my eye at the Crosman booth is a new line of GameFace “marking” airsoft ammunition. These mini-paintballs put an end to the argument: “I got you!” “No you didn’t.”

Joe Murfin had a ton of commemorative Red Ryders at the Daisy booth, and they appeared to be selling like hot cakes. While I was there, one gentleman bought three two-gun sets for his grand kids.

Norvin Hornberger of Gamo demonstrated the Extreme CO2 air rifle. Powered by an 88 gram CO2 cylinder, it’s a pump-action, .22 cal. repeater that will send ten shots down range from the rotary magazine very rapidly. It has a synthetic stock, rubber recoil pad, and comes with a 3-9 x 40 scope.

Stacey Greene of Pyramyd Air took time to show me the new Evanix Blizzard S10. Available in both .177 and .22 cal. and right and lefthand versions, this PCP rifle has a 10-shot rotary magazine, sidelever action and shrouded barrel for a neighbor-friendly report.

This is just part of Stoeger’s large display of their new line of break barrel springers. I believe they are made in Turkey.

At the Umarex USA booth, Justin Biddle showed me the new RWS/Diana LP8 pistol. This new break barrel spring-piston pistol is ambidextrous, easy to cock, and extremely easy to mount a scope or a red dot. I predict it will become very popular.

That’s it for now.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

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