Here are some rifles that caught our eye at the 2018 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, better known as SHOT Show, in Las Vegas. All prices are suggested by the manufacturer.
GAMO BIG BORE
What: The new GAMO TC35 (.35-caliber) and TC45 (.45-caliber) air rifles are tactical/hunting guns that generate enough velocity and kinetic energy, depending on the load, to hunt predators and deer. Both guns have 480cc carbon fiber air cylinders, an adjustable two-stage trigger, in-line valve system, integrated suppressor and a Weaver Rail System for mounting optics.
What else: Both can shoot 1-inch groups at 50 yards and sustain hunting energy to nearly 100 yards. Each tankful of air produces about 15 shots. Energy at the muzzle can exceed 150 foot pounds, with velocities ranging from 600 to 900-plus feet per second. Check local game laws before attempting any big game hunting with an air rifle.
GAMO SWARM MAGNUM
What: This upgrades last year’s swarm, which introduced the 10-shot magazine. By replacing the spring-operated powerplant with an inert gas cylinder, this pre-charged pneumatic, or PCP, .22-caliber air rifle can achieve speeds of 1,300 feet per second. And instead of breaking and cocking the gun for each shot, you can fire off the 10 rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger.
What else: Whisper Fusion noise-dampening technology, a patented polymer jacketed steel barrel, adjustable trigger, nylon stock with large thumbhole, and a 3-9x40 air gun scope.
Price: List price $329, but available for less via some online retailers taking pre-orders.
What: The Hammer is an American-made .50-caliber air rifle, touted as the most powerful production air gun on the planet. This gun can fire a 550-grain lead slug that generates 705 foot-pounds of energy and 760 feet per second at the muzzle. Lighter, 250-grain slugs are launched at more than 1,000 feet per second. This high-pressure gun’s carbon fiber cylinder holds up to 4,500 pounds per square inch of compressed air. One pressurization yields three full-power shots.
What else: The magazine holds three rounds. The stock and forearm are polymer, and the forearm accepts M-LOK accessories. A sling stud is incorporated into the lower half of the rear stock. You’ll also get a standard AR Magpul grip, externally visible air pressure gauge, button-rifled barrel and 8.5 inches of Picatinny rail.
SIG SAUER ASP20
What: This easy-cocking, break-action, single-shot rifle is available in .177 and .22 calibers. It includes an adjustable two-stage ASP MatchLite trigger, rifled steel barrel, suppressor, and either wood or synthetic stocks. It takes 33 pounds of pressure to cock the rifle; Sig says standard effort is 48-52 pounds.
What else: It’s American-made. A scoped version is expected by May.
Price: $399.99 to $489.99.
CROSMAN BENJAMIN FORTITUDE
What: This PCP air rifle comes in .177 and .22 calibers. Fully pressurized, it can deliver up to 90 shots at a speedy 950 feet per second in .177 and 800 feet per second in .22. The regulator built into the 3,000 PSI reservoir controls the output air pressure for shot consistency.
What else: It’s a repeater, using interchangeable 10-shot rotary magazines for bolt-action firing. Synthetic stock.