2014 proved to be a very interesting year in airguns. There were new airguns released boasting great new technologies. Some were successful, some are still waiting to be successful…. Anyway, the point is that the industry is constantly evolving with new products being created and released each year.
The place to see all this new airgun tech is at SHOT show in Vegas. Guess What? I’ll be there for the whole week covering the show for Airgun Depot. That means daily blog posts, Facebook posts, and eventually some great video interviews from all the major players in the industry. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at what 2014 brought to the table.
Crosman’s new agenda
Crosman started out 2014 with some bold ideas. Their new NP2 Break Barrel got off to a bit of a rocky start, they keep working out the bugs as necessary. Every new product release is going to have its shaky moments. I’m sure that it will become the true replacement for the Trail NP they’ve always hoped it would be. My work with one of the most recent versions of the rifle has proven to be much improved.Benjamin Trail NP2 .22 Caliber
The Marauder, perhaps their most profitable and successful adult airgun, went on a diet and got a facelift all at the same time. The 2nd Gen Marauder has a new, much lighter, synthetic stock and still proves to be a major contender in entry level PCP market.
The new Armada is essentially the Marauder on steroids. It’s got a very cool M4 looking stock with Magpul hardware. As far as “cool” looking airguns go, there aren’t many that can top the Armada. But, that’s not what I’m most excited about. There’s rumor that Crosman will have a .357 big bore out for 2015. I’m very excited to see if they can pull it off and how it will do in the market. Very cool stuff indeed.Benjamin Armada Magpul Air Rifle
Gamo got something going on
There’s a few companies to watch for in 2015, and I believe Gamo is going to be one of them. They’ve been very communicative with me personally about some of the really cool things coming out this year. Of course you’re going to have to wait to see what they are!BSA GRT Lightning XL SE Air Rifle
Available in 0.177, 0.22 & 0.25 Caliber
This comes on the heels of what I would call their great comeback of 2014. I tested several Gamo and BSA products last year and I have to say that I was really pleased to see what they are doing. The G2 Gamo Whisper .22 is a really nice gun with good accuracy and performance, as is their Fusion Whisper IGT .22. Their BSA GRT Lightning XL is a sweet gun that I love to show whenever time allows. And, don’t even get me started on the BSA R-10 MKII. If there’s one airgun that I really regret having to send back it was that one.Gamo Whisper G2 Air Rifle
So keep your eye open for our posts from the Gamo booth. I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves this year.
Umarex looking out for those making the switch
One of my favorite guns of 2014 arrived late in the season. The Umarex Fuel .177 promised to be an accurate, inexpensive, powerful break barrel that could be shot off an integrated bi-pod. There are so many things “wrong” with that statement. I really don’t know where to begin. At least that was my initial thought.Umarex Fuel – Sweet Airgun.. Sweet Results
But, getting the chance to actually work with it proved me wrong and them right. The Fuel turned out to be a real surprise and fits that entry level crossover shooter that wants to try airguns without having to invest a lot of money.
Umarex has also poured a lot of life back into the replica pistol market. Folks that love to shoot, love to shoot something similar to their actual firearms. Or, maybe they want something that’s impossible to get without a class 3 weapons license. In both cases, Umarex has some great products that blur the lines between airguns and “real” firearms, at least in feel and function. Their WWII commemorative 1911 is a great example.Colt 1911 WWII Commemorative BB Pistol – Co2 Limited Edition
Hatsan, pronounced “HOT-SUN” is was definitely HOT in 2014
I’m sure they are still counting the numbers, but if you wanted to bet on which may be the fastest growing airgun brand in America, you’d be on the right track to pick Hatsan USA. Last year Hatsan USA released the first real competitor to the Benjamin Marauder. Their AT44 Quiet Energy line hit the market like a meteor and continues to pound away at the competition. Their entire Quiet Energy line brought affordable “quiet” hunting power to the back yards of a lot of airgunners. But that was not all they released in 2014. They expanded their Vortex Gas Ram offerings and several new versions of the entry level airguns.Hatsan AT44S-10 Quiet Energy Air Rifle
Available in 0.177, 0.22 & 0.25 Caliber
And, they are already warming up for 2015. Their new Carnivore line of big bore BT65 Quiet Energy guns are currently available for pre-ordering right here at Airgun Depot. You can get a glimpse of what they have to offer by catching up on my blog posts and also the most recent video I just released.Hatsan BT65 Quiet Energy .30 Cal Prototype. One of 2 currently in the USA for testing and evaluation.
Gentlemen start your engines…
So to sum things up. If you think 2014 was a big year for airguns, you ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s a great time to be into airguns. Technology is improving almost every day, and new products are hitting the market regularly. So, buckle up and get ready as we head off to SHOT Show January 20th through the 23rd to see what 2015 has in store!