The Bullshooter

Friday, March 03, 2006

SHOT Show 2006

Once again the SHOT Show, premier trade show for the Firearms and Outdoor Industries, was held in Las Vegas a few weeks back.

For coaches and participants in Junior Sporter Air Rifle were the prototypes of a new compressed air / PCP rifle at the Air Force airguns booth. John McCaslin, the owner and manager of Air Force has been producing a highly regarded American made hunting air rifle for some years, and is now ready to tackle the Sporter air rifle market. While there are still issues being addressed, it is expected that this gun will be available by late spring or early summer. The next challenge is sourcing a sight system that will be as reliable as the old Gamo sights, yet be affordable enough to keep the entire gun legal according to the 3 Position Air Rifle Council's cost limitations.

USA Shooting had a booth overflowing with clothing items and trinkets bearing their logo, and the crowds responded with a vigor. By the second day, most of the tables were bare, with nearly all sizes except the extremes being sold out. USA Shooting's cooperation with Ruger and Talo distributing with a special edition of 2008 of their popular 10/22 in a red white and blue stock of racy proportions is reportedly completely sold out.

Steyr was there with their new 10m match air rifle, the LG110, of which the first production copies were received in late December. In conjunction with the new rifle, Steyr importer for the US Scott Pilkington created a new inspirational poster, featuring Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin holding the new air rifle on the surface of the moon. Scott says the highlight of the show for him was when the owner of Umarex and Walther, Wulf-Hienz Plfaumer stopped, looked at the new poster, and said, "Perfect, that is the perfect advertisement".

Daisy were celebrating their 120th year in the business and had lots of neat goodies for showgoers.

The biggest news for pistol shooters was that the famous Swiss target pistol producer Hammerli will be no more. German rival Walther has bought out Hammerli lock, stock and barrel, so to speak, and will shortly be moving everything to Germany. Nothing seems quite clear as to Walther's intent at this moment, as conflicting stories abound, but it seems quite sad for such a famous name to be bought by a lesser rival. However the writing has been on the wall for Hammerli for nearly a decade now.

Stay tuned for more information on new products and developments from the IWA Show in Germany later this month.


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