What’s Go­ing On?

The Editor takes us round the air­gun ex­hibits at this year’s Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show

Airgun World - - Contents -

All the news from the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show - full re­port from the editor


Here we go, then, and my first stop is the Air Arms stand, where MD Claire West is flash­ing her fa­mous smile and check­ing last-minute de­tails be­fore the flood of show-go­ers hits her com­pany’s su­perb dis­play. While I ponce a cof­fee, this world’s great­est liv­ing air­gun­ner, Nick Jenk­in­son, gives me a mini-tour of the

new, reg­u­lated, Ul­ti­mate Sporters. ‘Bit spe­cial, th­ese, Terry,’ says Nick, smil­ing the smile of the sat­is­fied ge­nius, and he’s right. Ini­tial re­ports are declar­ing sin­gle-fig­ure vari­a­tion in the lat­est ri­fles’ shot-to-shot out­put, plus a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease of ‘per­fect’ shots per charge. Add the ad­justable gun fit and the in­cred­i­ble con­trol it brings, and it’s easy to see why even the un­flap­pable Nick is vis­i­bly ex­cited about this de­vel­op­ment.


My next stop was the huge BSA/Gamo ex­hibit and I went straight to the star of this par­tic­u­lar stand, the new De­fi­ant bullpup PCP. Three ex­am­ples were on show and my eye was drawn to the lam­i­nated ver­sion, with its reg­u­lated, side-lever ac­tion, shrouded bar­rel with si­lencer, and a scope mount that seemed to strad­dle the ri­fle’s air reser­voir. All three vari­a­tions had am­bidex­trous stocks, ad­justable butt pads and ‘soft touch’ cheek pieces, with the lam­i­nated ver­sion priced at £1099 and the wal­nut and Soft Touch mod­els, £1049. A full test has been ar­ranged, so look out for that.


We do love a ver­sa­tile PCP pis­tol, th­ese days, and We­b­ley seem to have come up with some­thing that will def­i­nitely ap­peal to this mar­ket. Their new Eclipse, with its re­mov­able, ad­justable, ambi’ shoul­der stock, 12-shot mag­a­zine in .22, 14-shot in .177, side-lever ac­tion and 5.5 ft.lbs. of muz­zle en­ergy, will re­tail for £449.99, and there will be no short­age of tak­ers for this one.


A short di­ver­sion to the Hull Car­tridge Com­pany stand earned me an au­di­ence with Hans Weihrauch, and he con­firmed that

sup­plies of his com­pany’s HW40 pis­tol were now cop­ing with the UK de­mand for this re­mark­able PCP. As we spoke, my at­ten­tion was cap­tured by the lat­est in­car­na­tion of the per­ma­nently pop­u­lar Weihrauch HW30, the ju­nior break-bar­rel that seems to be the fun-gun of choice for so many fully-grown air­gun­ners. Now avail­able with an am­bidex­trous, syn­thetic stock, this mini su­per­gun will ap­peal to even more of us, in the UK and far be­yond.


I tried sev­eral times to get a con­ver­sa­tion go­ing with Ter­ence Ho­gan of Daystate, but he was per­ma­nently oc­cu­pied with cus­tomers en­quir­ing about the new Wolver­ine R and Red Wolf ri­fles, so I de­cided to head over to the ranges to watch mem­bers of the pub­lic shoot­ing th­ese Daystates, af­ter which I vox-popped a few to see what they thought. Pat from Wi­gan told me, ‘That Wolver­ine is a ma­chine! The in­struc­tor told me where to aim, but I was not only hit­ting the tar­gets, I was hit­ting the same pel­let marks!’ An­other shooter, who had made the trip from New­cas­tle, said, ‘I could have stayed on that range all day! I can’t be­lieve how well those Wolver­ines han­dle, too. If our lass reads this, she al­ready knows what I want for my birth­day!’


There’s al­ways some­thing of in­ter­est on the Ron­nie Sun­shine’s stand, and this time it was a won­der­ful ges­ture of sup­port for our troops. A fully-cus­tomised, one-off BSA Scor­pion has been fit­ted with a reg­u­la­tor, plus an ex­tended air reser­voir, and boasts a pol­ished, en­graved ac­tion, ambi’ lam­i­nated stock and custom si­lencer. The ri­fle comes fit­ted with a Hawke AirMax scope and Sports­match mounts, and it’s all pre­sented in a padded hard case, but the best news is, every penny raised from its £20 a ticket raf­fle will go to the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion, which works so hard to sup­port our ser­vice per­son­nel. I bought a ticket – I hope you will too. Con­tact the Ron­nie Sun­shine’s crew to do just that.


Next stop was the Jack Pyke stand, where a chat with Glenn and Gavin re­vealed a whole range of new prod­ucts, in­clud­ing their lat­est English Oak Evo­lu­tion cam­ou­flage pat­tern. From what I saw at the show, the on­go­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the Jack Pyke brand will be gath­er­ing pace, thanks to the com­pany’s

re­sponse to the feed­back it gets from its huge cus­tomer data­base, and con­sul­tants like our own Phil Hard­man and Mick Gar­vey, plus more ex­pert in­put from Air Gun­ner’s Ed­die Jones, and the pi­geon­shoot­ing mae­stro that is Andy Crow. I took away a cou­ple of items for test­ing, so they’ll make an ap­pear­ance very soon.


On to the A.S.I. stand, where pride of place was given to this month’s Editor’s Test sub­ject, the FX Air­gun’s Crown. You can read all about this truly ground­break­ing ri­fle, start­ing on page 18 of this is­sue, but any­one who got to han­dle one at the show would have been as as­tounded as I was at how light and handy the Crown is. In this age of air-pow­ered su­per­guns, the Crown is push­ing the fea­tures en­ve­lope ever fur­ther. There’s more to A.S.I. than meets the eye, and I’m work­ing on a full, behind-the-scenes fea­ture that will re­veal just how well this com­pany takes care of its cus­tomers.


The pre-show gos­sip flowed, as it al­ways does, and plenty of it was fo­cused on what the Ster­ling Arms Com­pany would bring to the ta­ble. Well, Ster­ling didn’t dis­ap­point, with not one, but three new ri­fles, and the Ster­ling hat-trick was just about as di­verse as it could be. We were shown a sport­ing PCP ri­fle with an elec­tronic ac­tion, a ‘trib­ute’ to the vin­tage We­b­ley MKII, and a side-lever cock­ing, twin gas-ram pis­ton, re­coil­less ri­fle. Yes, you read that last bit cor­rectly, and as soon as any of those ri­fles are avail­able, we’ll be test­ing them for you.


The Umarex stand was vast and un­miss­able, with rack upon rack of world­wide best-sell­ers on dis­play, but my in­ter­est cen­tred im­me­di­ately on the new, CO2-pow­ered, RP5 pis­tol. Paddy Egan and his UBC chums wan­gled the first range test of the pumpaction, 5-shot RP5, and their find­ings can be found on page 47. I had a play with the new pis­tol, and with its shoul­der stock accessory I found it rock-solid on aim. There are some

in­ter­est­ing plans for the RP5, and if Umarex can bring it in for any­thing close to the planned £250, it has to be a win­ner.


The High­land Out­doors stand was com­pre­hen­sively kit­ted out, as it al­ways is, but the per­ma­nent queue at the Sig Sauer demon­stra­tion lane di­verted me im­me­di­ately. Here I found, and shot, the new ASP 20 gas-ram break-bar­rel, and it’s an im­pres­sive ri­fle, in­deed. I spoke to Sig Sauer’s airguns Project Man­ager, Dani Nav­ickas, af­ter my demo and she pro­vided a slideshow of the ri­fle’s tech­ni­cal func­tions, in­clud­ing the Sig’s se­ri­ously trick trig­ger ar­range­ment. This com­bines to­tal safety with pre­ci­sion in a way I’ve never seen be­fore, plus in­dis­putable proof that the ASP 20 is a ri­fle that has been de­vel­oped up to a stan­dard, rather than down to a price point. Yet an­other air­gun I can’t wait to try.


All of this top air ri­fle tech needs di­rec­tion, of course, and that’s where scope spe­cial­ists, Hawke, come in. The Hawke of to­day re­ally does have a sight for pretty much every­thing you can do with an air­gun, and the lat­est range of Sidewinder FFP - First Focal Plane - scopes has, lit­er­ally, added a new di­men­sion to the com­pany’s prod­uct line-up. I’m a big fan of FFP scopes, where every­thing in the field of view stays rel­a­tive through­out the scope’s mag­ni­fi­ca­tion range, and a box of th­ese Sidewinders has just ar­rived in the office, so we’ll be study­ing those in the very near fu­ture.


Within our in­dus­try, no com­pany ex­udes more en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm than Scott Coun­try. There’s al­ways some­thing go­ing on in and around their mo­bile ex­hibit, and if I could have made it through the crowd, I’m sure I could list the new prod­ucts. The fact is, this stand at­tracts so much in­ter­est that every time I got there it was packed with pun­ters. I know Scott Coun­try had an in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful show, as did ev­ery­one I spoke to, and like me, they are all look­ing for­ward to next year’s event.


To ev­ery­one who came to the Air­gun World / Air Gun­ner stand to see us, thank you so much for the kind words and con­struc­tive crit­i­cism; I prom­ise we’ll con­sider them all. We’ve al­ready de­cided to com­mis­sion a se­ries on what to look for in a sec­ond-hand pur­chase, plus more types of DIY fixes that any air­gun­ner can do. Please keep that in­put com­ing, it’s ab­so­lutely price­less.

My final thoughts on the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show 2018 are as sim­ple as I am. As I said at the start, our sport needs this event to be­come a per­ma­nent fix­ture, and from what I’ve seen so far, it has every chance of be­com­ing just that. Well done, ev­ery­one – and roll on next year!

A.S.I. had this month’s cover star on dis­play, and it amazed all who han­dled it.

Plenty of new gear on ap­proach from Jack Pyke - and we al­ready have some, so keep ‘em peeled for re­views.

What a fan­tas­tic ges­ture from the Ron­nie Sun­shine’s crew.

Ster­ling Ar­ma­ments gave us not one, but three new ri­fles, plus a re­minder of their HR81 of yes­ter­year.

We­b­ley has its fin­ger on the pis­tol pulse, cour­tesy of the new Eclipse.

Here’s where the magic hap­pens. I watched a chap hit­ting tar­get af­ter tar­get with the new Daystate Wolver­ine R.

Weihrauch will broaden the al­ready wide ap­peal of its HW30, with the in­tro­duc­tion of a syn­thetic, ambi’ stock.

Hans Weihrauch (right) and Thilo Shal­lenkam­mer flew over from HW head­quar­ters to check out the show, and liked what they saw.

The Air Arms Ul­ti­mate Sporter has be­come even more ‘ul­ti­mate’ with the in­clu­sion of a reg­u­la­tor. Rolling de­vel­op­ment keeps on rolling.

There was im­mense in­ter­est in the De­fi­ant, BSA’s first bullpup and a gen­uine can­di­date for the com­pany’s ‘flag­ship’ sta­tus.

Pis­tol po­ten­tial. This Umarex RP5 is al­ready at­tract­ing tremen­dous in­ter­est. Find out more on page 47.

A & M were be­sieged by po­ten­tial cus­tomers through­out the show.

Scott Coun­try’s Paul Ste­wart does his fa­mous Elvis im­pres­sion to en­ter­tain the crowds.

Sig Sauer s airguns Project Man­ager, Dani Nav­ickas, knows the com­pany’s ASP 20 in­side-out.

Hawke’s Sidewinder FFP scopes drew in­tense in­ter­est, and I can lit­er­ally see why.

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