SHOT Show 2014

This was my first trip to SHOT.  I was there for two complete days.  And, when they say SHOT is BIG, they are not giving the show its due credit.  SHOT is GINORMOUS!!!  I spent the bulk of my first day completely lost, and occasionally stumbled into a booth I wanted to see.  So, that night, I memorized the map, and laid out a plan of attack.  I wish I would have been able to record video, but I was late to register and missed the boat for a media pass.  And, since only those with media badges were allowed to capture photos and video, the pictures you are about to see NEVER HAPPENED.  :)

This is the  Raptor Pneumatics EZ-Fill-4500 Air Compressor.  It is a stand-alone unit, with an automatic moisture purge and adjustable automatic shut-off dial.  It requires no additional components (moisture traps, pre-compressors), and makes about the same noise as a clothes dryer.  It is cooled by an antifreeze radiator system, and weighs around 60 lbs.  It fills a 75 cubic foot, 4500psi tank (from zero to full) in less than 4 hours.  Price is $1800.  It is available at Airguns of Arizona and Precision Airguns and Supplies in the U.S.  FX Airguns will be distributing this same model to European dealers.  Me likey!!


This is the FX Ranchero.  It isn’t a new.  I just took a photo because I need one for smacking pigeons inside the grain bin ladder casings.  Just imagine this thing rigged with a Sidewinder 30 and scope cam?!?  :)


This is the FX T12 400 (seen below the Verminator Extreme).  It is a newer rifle that hasn’t been getting much press.  It is a more affordable FX gun that puts the most important things first (accuracy and noise moderation).  What you get:  smooth-twist barrel, sound suppressor, multi-shot, ambidextrous stock with adjustable butt-pad, and and excellent two-stage trigger.  What you give up:  side-lever cocking, no power adjuster, no regulator.   As I understand, in .22 you’ll get 60 very consistent shots, and 70-80 usable “hunting” shots.  Price is $1295.


Next up is the 2014 Benjamin Marauder.  This one requires a bit of talking.  First off, if the wood stock I held was any indication of what Crosman intends to sell, I am impressed.  It is WAY better than the previous stock.  The wood grain is much nicer, and it has a semi-gloss coat.  They have taken the bulk off (adding up to nearly a pound of wood), and have made the gun much easier to handle – especially at the forestock.  The pistol grip was also leaned down, and the trigger was moved back.  This creates a much nicer hold than the previous model.  Finally, the checkering is infinitely better than the previous version, and they have done away with the “Benjamin” print on the underside of the forestock.  The gun now comes with a pre-installed “depinger”.  This little device is designed to reduce the vibration in the air cylinder created when the hammer strikes the valve.  Because the depinger occupied a small amount of air space in the cylinder, Crosman extended the cylinder just enough to make up for this “lost” space.  And finally, I have learned that Crosman will still be using GREEN MOUNTAIN barrels on their .25 Marauders.








And, here we have the Benjamin Trail NP.  Just like the Marauder, the wood is much nicer on this new model (MUCH nicer).  Crosman has also redesigned the nitro-piston.  They showed me how it works, and I even understood a little of what the engineers were explaining.  :)  Basically, Crosman claims to have increased the power of the Trail from 15fpe to 18fpe, while at the same time significantly reducing recoil.  There are also synthetic and real-tree versions.  The trigger also underwent upgrades, but since you can’t cock a gun at SHOT, I have no experience with it.  And, Crosman has plans to make an XL version of the gun.



Moving on to the Kalibrgun stand.  This fine, young man is Peter from Top-gun Airguns.  He is holding the Cricket.   Neat story behind how Top-gun Airguns came to be importers of this gun.  They called the Czech Republic (where the gun is made), and found that no one answering the phones spoke English.  But, Peter’s father speaks Czech.  So, Peter puts his dad on the phone, and the rest is history.  :)  


This is the Colibri (Hummingbird in English).  It is a semi-auto pistol/bullpup hybrid.  At 29″, it is a little longer than I expected.  I think earlier versions of the gun may have been shorter…..not sure.  The Colibri is not yet available, as Kalibr still has a few quirks to work out.  If they get their ducks in a row, it may be available as soon as April.  If not…..later.  I took a hard look at the gun, but could not decipher how the cycling mechanism works (because it is completely covered in an aluminum case.  I am curious if the gun has a pellet probe, or if it simply fires the pellet from the magazine into the chamber.  This gun is still very much a mystery.  I don’t think I’m alone when I say I want to see this thing in action. Below the Colibri is the Kalibr Cricket and Cricket Rifle. 






Now on to Nite Site.  I’m pretty jazzed about their new night-vision package called the “Viper”.  It is designed for airgun users.  The effective vision range is around 120 yards.  This reduced power allows the unit to operate off a smaller battery than its more powerful counterparts.  So, instead of having a saddlebag with a heavy battery, you use a small, lithium-ion pack that sits neatly on top of the scope.  And, that little pack grants 4-5 hours of steady use.  Nice!  The Nite Site brothers have agreed to send me a Viper for testing.  They should be available for purchase in a couple months ($599US)




Hawke had a pretty sexy booth – located kitty-corner to Airguns of Arizona.  My buddy Brad Boner (left, blue shirt) was there shaking hands and kissing babies (and a little talking about scopes).  He held a Sidewinder for me so I could capture these images of the new SR-PRO reticle.  It is based off the SR-12, but they have done away with the clunky range estimator of the SR-12, and moved it to the lower part of the vertical reticle.  Smart.  Brad shook his head at the fact that I used the large Bushnell banner as a focal point.  :)  That banner was 80-90 yards away.  






This fine-looking gun is the Daystate Wolverine “B” (for bottle).  It is Daystate’s new flagship.  While the gun looks similar to the Air Ranger, the similarities stop there.  This is not a revamp of an old idea.  The gun was designed from the ground up.  It is completely new technology.  I’ll be having a close look at one of these in the coming months.  If you haven’t seen Airgun Gear’s video of this gun, check it out.  Oh yeah, and ALL Wolverines destined for the U.S. ship with Huggett moderators STANDARD.  




I stopped by Sightron for one specific purpose.  Their 10-50x models are the favorite of top FT shooters.  I needed to see what all the buzz was about.  Now I get it.  At 50x magnification, the parallax on these babies is super sensitive to range estimation.  Add in the fact that the minimum focus range is 8m, as well as very impressive glass, and you see why these things are showing up at so many competitions.  In my opinion, they are superior to the 10-50x made by Nikko Sterling.  Better glass.  Better reticle.  Again, just my opinion.  They cost around $1200.



This is the Vortex booth.  I had to swing by just to see if they put that XLR reticle I love so much into any other scopes besides the HSLR (the scope I have atop my Bobcat .25).  The answer was: no, they haven’t.  But, I thought you guys might like some photos of their impressive booth.  They bought up two full spaces, walled it all off, and created the “Vortex Experience”.  :)




Now onto Airforce guns.  This was one of my nicest visits of the show.  I spoke at length with Yvette Hicks, operations manager.  And, I’ll be honest, the woman scared the hell out of me.  :)  Don’t get me wrong, she is as nice a person as you’ll ever meet.  But, she is a pitbull for her company, her employees, and her customers.  She is also very honest and forthright, a breath of fresh air at a show that sometimes seemed more concerned with perception than reality.  Below are their new models – the Escape –  based off the Talon Pistol.  All of these models are designed around a hunting platform.  They are light and pack a wallop!  There are two shrouded versions, and two (longer barrel) unshrouded.  The most powerful model (bottom) comes in at 90 ft/lbs.  Whoa!



And finally, we have the Evanix booth.  When I arrived, I was greeted by Si Young Lee, the very friendly managing director.  He immediately said, “I know you from the Internet.”  :)  Mr. Lee ran through the whole Evanix line with me.  I had a lot of questions because I have no experience with any Evanix guns.  My first impression was that the ventilated metal-work seen on many guns is actually much nicer in person than in photos.  Additionally, most of their guns were also much smaller than I had perceived from photos.  The grips on most guns definitely seem better suited to smaller hands (like mine).  The gun I was most interested in was the new, side-lever bullpup seen in my paws below.  Like the Rainstorm bullpup, it is a mechanical side-lever action.  But, unlike the rainstorm it is not entombed in aluminum.  :)  Despite loving bullpups, I didn’t have any interest in the Max or the Rainstorm, because I did not care for Evanix’s electrical trigger (Max) or the over-the-top design of the rainstorm.  But, this new bullpup is more my style.





And that’s the end.  There were many more photos to be taken, but I had to keep a low profile (due to no media pass), so many booths (Hatsan, Umarex, Pyramyd, Leapers, Nightforce, etc) went un-recorded due to their less-than-opportunistic locations (ie.  I was too afraid of getting busted :)).  If/when I return to SHOT, I’ll be sure to have my act together, and get myself a media badge.  Then, I’ll have cameras running.



46 Responses to “SHOT Show 2014”

  1. Shootemclint says:

    Man thats awesome ted! I could spend hours at a show like that. What did you think of the new Daystate Wolverine? I’ve had my eye on the Air Ranger and the Matador for a long time but other priorities keep popping up. (Just picked up a Ruger Mini 14) lol.

    • Ted Ted says:

      The Wolverine is a whole new animal. The mechanics and trigger are a big step up from the Air Ranger. The wood is what you’d expect from Daystate. All that’s left is to have a go with it at the range.

      • northwoodhunter northwoodhunter says:

        Hey Ted when do you plan to post a new video on YouTube because im really a big fan of your channel.

    • trfuchs8508 says:

      Would like more info and a date to look foward to purchase of Crosman np xl. I was getting ready to order one but now I’m willing to wait for new model. Would prefer .25 cal. Parrotman

  2. Airmarksman Airmarksman says:

    Very nice Ted. I am hoping to make it out to that show one of these years. I have been thinking about selling a few of my PCP’s and getting an Evanix bullpups for hog hunting here in Florida. I would love to get my hands on the 9mm one. Have a good day.

  3. erc2596 says:

    Any word on when FX might release the arrow barrel kits for the Bobcat?

  4. mikedoh says:

    Thanks for the nice write up and the risking of broken thumbs for your clandestine efforts.

  5. fireguzzi says:

    So jealous, I would love to be there!

  6. Doug Doty says:

    I think that Evanix Bullpup is interesting. Will learn more about it in time I am sure.

    The hummingbird is a little less interesting now that we know how big it is. Maybe is is a long neck hummingbird.

  7. Royale 500 says:

    Hey Ted, in the 4th picture you’re holding a Benjamin Marauder. Zip up your fly!

  8. Hepotter says:

    For literally a few dollars more,Benjamin could have put a regulator in the new style/s of Marauder…and came out with a game changer, and a serious market contender with higher end pcp rifles.

    After-market regs for the Marauder are available for $100, so would a buyer pay $100.00 more for a regulated Marauder?

    Given that this gun is a solid, performing, accurate platform, I DO believe the majority of shooters would gladly pay for a factory installed regulator!

    They are SO close….

    PS: I’ll bet that Kalibrgun Colibri, at 29″ vs the original manual 24″, won’t come cheap in semi-auto!

    • Ted Ted says:

      I agree re: the reg. It could potentially put the gun on the same spec sheet as the HW100, at $400-500 less. I’m betting their reasoning for omitting a reg would be related to increased service issues. Just a guess. I couldn’t get a ballpark $$ on the Colibri. Mum was the word.

  9. Precision says:

    Thanks, Ted, That was a very comprehensive report from a SHOOTER. Too many reviews from long established writers seem full of themselves!
    This was a nice clean observation. I look forward to your continuing reports from the field.Beware, Bock beer in Germany is 22% alcohol!

  10. critter gitter airguns critter gitter airguns says:

    sounds like you had a blast i would have came but i gotta go to atlantic city for a pool show next week, but i will see you at benchrest 2014.thanks for the photos you made me feel like i was there. yeah ted make sure the barn door is closed when u have ur mug shots taken

  11. Justin says:

    Great post as allways but one question; how much are the AirForce escapes going to cost?

  12. manabeknives says:

    Such a Great report, even with the lack of pictures. :) While at the Hawke booth, Did Brad mention if/when they will bring out their 10-50×60 Sidewinder? Appreciate all the work you. Thanks
    Still got that mischievous grin

  13. glockaxis says:

    So much stuff I really want!! The FX above looks tempting but even with the reinforced barrel attachment I am still weary about the stability of the barrel and having to treat it with kid gloves. Hmmm

  14. campfussell says:

    Thanks for all your hard work Ted. So many air guns so little time ;-)

  15. aberry01 says:

    Very cool Ted, very cool. And some of those attending the show call it work!

  16. steeldreams says:

    Thank you so much Ted for an excellent report.. I think you would qualify as a CNN correspondent.. such a comprehensive and balanced style.. makes the audience feel like we were at the Shot Shot.. thanks.

  17. Mickey Hunkin says:

    Wow, some really cool new stuff. You seem to have covered all the popular airgun related vendors, but nothing about Air Arms. Were they present, and do they have anything new on the horizon? Great job, maybe someday I go.

  18. ps790xps790 says:

    Thank you for the report Ted. This is great stuff. What do you think of the Colibri vs. Bobcat? I know the Colibri won’t be out for a few months but I guess I just to know whether if it would be worth waiting for or if I should just purchase a Bobcat .25.

  19. Tuttimal says:

    OH my-from sticks and stones through ball and musket to smokeless, recoilless, and jet propelled…and now this. Makes me wanna be a kid again.
    I wonder what Davy Crockett would have thought about all this?

  20. chsnnstrong says:

    The New Daystate Wolverine is better than I expected… nice wood design

  21. helimech81 says:

    Very nice job. The new wood stock for the marauder looks awesome. I do have a suggestion for a future video. We all know how you feel about the Benjamin Marauder .22 from your past experience. That is one rifle a lot of new guys to the pcp world get for their first gun. Myself included. I wouldn’t mind seeing you test the new synthetic stock .22 Marauder to see if Benjamin’s improvements to the rifle made a real difference. I received my .22 synrod for Christmas and have finally got everything to start shooting and tuning it for 3000psi. I can’t wait.

  22. Ted, do you think that the Benjamin titan will have the nitro piston 2 this year.

  23. RobertHN says:

    looks like the new trai no scopes have side parallax adjustment. Wondering if the new nitro piston will fit on my trail np.

  24. drewciferpike says:

    Two opinions/observations, and then a question:

    – Thank you for your quick overview of so many different aspects of the AG world. To be honest, I’d never considered a Marauder because of the “fatty” stock and weight. I know there are countless aftermarket mods, stocks, etc., but I wanted something out of the box. The lighter weight and increased ergo has piqued my interest, and only because you mentioned them.

    – I’m with you: That’s the only Evanix bullpup that interests me. Not really into Tacticool.

    – Has Hawke discussed which models will sport the SR-PRO reticle? I’d like to see something that delivers a smaller range of magnification (maybe 10-24x?), and lighter weight (no IR, etc.).

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

  25. airgunaddict says:

    you should try shooting a RWS Diana. It is much better than a Benjamin Trail. Also thanks for getting pictures of the shot show.:)

  26. tasmedic says:

    That night vision looks interesting. However, I’m right in the middle of experimenting with the “rolaidsbench” night vision system. So far, it has knocked spots off my pulsar n550 system (which cost me a fortune) and weighs a fraction of the pulsar system. So, Ted, IF you ever get time when you’re not killing starlings ;-) I’d recommend that you browse his youtube offerings, if you have not already done so. Now… back to my brand new FX independence and that Vortex LR scope with XLR reticle you recommended!

  27. sonny says:

    Worth the read.

  28. cherry says:

    Ted you spoke of air force? I would love for you to do a review on a air force!! Some of us just getting started on pcps used at that. still cost as much as AR-S. Love airguning more than ever just cant spend on the high end of the market.Thanks for what you do!Been shooting airguns all my life.Still learning everyday 45 going on 25 just toss us rednecks a bone Made in USA every now and then.Keep it up Thanks.

  29. ctr125 says:

    Hi ted I have been watching your videos for a while now and they are great. I have a Ruger explorer 177 it only shoots like 600 fps so im thinking about getting a pcp, but im only 13 and i don’t have alot of money so i was thinking a benjamin discovery but im not sure do you have any suggestions it has to be under $500 Thanks

  30. Mata49 says:

    Hi Ted,
    just wanted to thank you for all the work you do. Been reading the blog for about a year now, I’m prior mil and done allot of work with traditional firearms. But as far as the Air Gun world comes I’v learned most everything from watching your videos, thank you again and keep up the good work.

  31. HarveyLockStockBaker says:

    Hi ted, great too see suck a huge selection of guns so many to choose from, are you embracing England with your presence at the British shooting show biggest in Europe next month, huge selection of airguns and every thing under the sun. Be great to meet you keep up the great work bro.

  32. Brad Copeland says:

    Just wanting your opinion about the syn. Marauder vs wood .I can get the syn. Now but I was wondering if the wood stock is worth waiting for. Crosman says it will be at least 5 to 6 months away.
    Is the current syn. Marauder 25 the same as the future wood version?

  33. mcc1961 says:

    Ted, it would be great to see you review the new Airforce Escape. I just got a .25 Condor and it is a really solid airgun.Any reason you haven’t had a video review on one yet.

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