With Shot Show squarely in our rearview mirror, we get to see which companies bring all the cool new airgun tech to market. Some new trends have been developing over the last few years, and given what we saw at SHOT, they are still going strong. So, let’s take a little time and check out some of the most recent airgun trends to enter the US market.
It’s taken some time, but we think we finally understand the point of chassis airguns. So a “chassis” airgun is one where the action is set into a frame. This frame often has rails or slots for rails and provides exceptional rigidity and support for the action. As best we can tell, the purpose of transitioning to a chassis system is that it allows for multiple adaptations of the platform, easy addition of accessories, and overall greater stability. A good example from last year is the Air Arms S510 TXS Tactical. The “chassis” part is the new AR-style aluminum frame. Any standard S510 can be installed into this new frame, transforming an older and more traditional airgun into something new and modern. In addition, the new Air Arms AR Frame allows shooters to easily attach bipods, lights, lasers, and other accessories, through M LOK slots on the frame. More and more airguns are opting for this chassis system, so expect to see it implemented in greater numbers.
Not too long ago, the idea of semi-automatic PCPs was something way off in the distance. Heck, we had just started to wrap ourselves around affordable PCPs. But that’s certainly not the case today. Evanix led the way many years ago with their hybrid Evanix Speed utilizing a battery-operated hammer. They continued the path forward a few years ago with their Air Speed line. Rather than use a battery system, they used air from the valve to fire the pellet and reset the hammer. This is not completely new, as we’ve seen CO2 guns do this in the past, but it was certainly new for high-powered PCP airguns.
This trend is really catching on with brands like Benjamin, Edgun, SIG, and many others. These new airguns are starting to push the boundaries of what we’ve come to expect as even possible. Powerful big bore airguns can now shoot accurately out past one hundred yards in semi-auto and even full-auto.
If you wanted to hunt small game in the past, you’d pick an accurate, small-bore PCP. Then, if you wanted to go hunt hogs, you’d buy another airgun, probably a big bore like the Seneca Dragon Claw. Additionally, if you wanted to shoot extreme benchrest, you’d be looking at yet another airgun. Well, all that’s changing.
Air Venturi announced their new Avenge-X airgun system, which represents the future of modern airgunning. You can start with a standard wood stock .177 cal long gun for some morning target practice and then go back to your shop and transform your gun into a .25 cal varmint hunting bullpup with a carbon fiber tank for some fieldwork in the afternoon. You no longer need to buy a new airgun for each shooting discipline.
Some would say that the Avenge-X is late to the table as guns like the FX Impact, Hatsan Hydra QE, AirForce Condor, and many others have been caliber swapping capable for some time, and they’d be right. But none of those guns allow for such a wide range of transformation, all at a reasonable price point, making them certainly more than meets the eye.
Good Things Come in Small Packages
We’ve been watching this last trend develop. Where “power” was the big topic a few years ago, that bridge has been crossed and conquered. Now it’s about how small we can make airguns, keep them effective for the task at hand, and keep the price where most folks can afford them. Some options that come to mind are products from AirForce, Edgun, Umarex, Hatsan, FX, and the list keeps going. Unfortunately, while Edgun, FX, AirForce, and others, have very small and powerful options, they are more expensive. But Hatsan and Umarex are creating something different. Let’s take a look at the new Notos from Umarex USA.
This past year Umarex launched the Notos, representing what we are discussing. It’s a small micro carbine that sells for around $265. It has an AR-style adjustable stock, integrated suppressor, and side lever action. It’s regulated. You can get a solid three mags on the reg and push 15.89 grain Hades at over 20 foot-pounds.
Through some additional accessories, the Notos enters the “transformer” class and can turn into a multi-shot PCP pistol with fiber optic sights. It’s a lot like the Benjamin Marauder pistol but with more features, more power, and more shots, while costing about half as much.
That’s a Wrap, For Now…
We’ve only scratched the surface of all the new airgun tech that’s starting to hit the market. If there’s something that you’re looking for specifically and can’t find it, please give us a call, and we’ll see what we can do to find you the perfect airgun for your needs.