This year’s IWA trade show in Nuremberg attracted huge numbers of visitors and exhibitors – and Mat Manning was there to see what all the excitement was about
The annual IWA Outdoor Classics show in Nuremberg, Germany, is firmly established as a major European showcase for the world’s gun trade. Around 50,000 people visited this year’s trade-only event at the huge Messe exhibition centre, which played host to more than 1,500 exhibitors. As ever, the gigantic halls were crammed with the very latest hardware, clothing, ammo and accessories – lines that you can expect to be making their way into gun shops during the coming year. This year’s IWA line-up included several exciting developments on the airgun front – here are just a few examples of what was on offer…
Haendler & Natermann was showing off several new pellet lines, including some hard-hitting heavyweights for high-powered airguns. If the 46.3-grain Baracuda .30 isn’t hefty enough, there’s even a .35 (9mm) version which tips the scales at a mighty 81.02gr. The new ammo incorporates a special alloy to minimise lead fouling and promises pinpoint accuracy at distances beyond 50m – as long as you’re using an airgun with the grunt to hurl them that far…
The big news on the Gunpower stand was that the Theoben brand is set to receive a big boost across the UK and Europe. Geoff Darvill of Gunpower (pictured below) explained that he has been working closely with Airforce Airguns, which now owns the Theoben brand. He confirmed that gunsmith Martin Rutherford of Rapid Air Weapons would be still be very much involved in the operation. “It’s a very strong and trusted brand with a reputation for quality. We are committed to maintaining that while ensuring much wider future availability,” explained Mr Darvill.
The tendency for hard BB ammo to bounce off a target or backstop is no joke, but H&N’s new Dust Devils bring a fast and effective solution to the problem. The frangible BBs are designed to shatter on impact to eliminate the risk of ricochet. Made from a magnetic compound, the lightweight 4.35gr .177 (4.5mm) BBs are also very fast through the air.
Cometa unveiled the new regulated versions of the entire Orion range. Designed by Lane Regulators, the new component will improve shot-to-shot consistency and significantly increase the total number of shots per fill. A retro-
fit kit will also be available. Iker Osa of Cometa (pictured above) said: “More and more customers are demanding regulators. The new regulated versions answer that demand, and still offer all the usual Orion features.”
Air pistols are currently enjoying a massive surge in popularity, and Umarex’s new Glock 17, which will be in the shops later this year, looks set to be a winner. Recreating the look and feel of the classic pistol from Austria, the fist-sized CO2 plinking pistol fires .177 pellets or BBs and is supplied with three eight-shot rotary magazines and a case. Additional features include blowback action, a rifled barrel and metal slide. TACTICAL BROCOCK The new Commander is a very different addition to the Brocock range. The tactical air rifle is kitted out with a Huma regulator, numerous Picatinny accessory rails and an interchangeable drop-down pistol grip. Built around a sidelever action with the proven Slingshot hammer and valve system, it’ll be available in Hi-Lite and metal buddy bottle versions, and with synthetic or Cerakote options. The Commander has a shrouded barrel with muzzle brake as standard. Shot capacity ranges from 45 per fill from the 40ft-lb .25 to a whopping 520 at sub-12ft-lb.
The new Commander is a very different addition to the Brocock range. The tactical air rifle is kitted out with a Huma regulator, numerous Picatinny accessory rails and an interchangeable drop-down pistol grip.
Built around a sidelever action with the proven Slingshot hammer and valve system, it’ll be available in Hi-Lite and metal buddy bottle versions, and with synthetic or Cerakote options. The Commander has a shrouded barrel with muzzle brake as standard. Shot capacity ranges from 45 per fill from the 40ft-lb .25 to a whopping 520 at sub-12ft-lb.
Daystate has added an HR version to the popular Renegade range. Adorned with a Cerakote finish and Picatinny rails, the regulated PCP boasts all the usual Renegade features including the hybrid mechanical/electric HTU trigger release, sidelever action and multi-shot magazine. Daystate says it should be in the shops by the end of the summer.
The Vulcan bullpup from Airgun Technology has had a major revamp. The Vulcan 2 has a longer barrel and greater cylinder capacity to deliver even more shots per fill. And, for power-hungry FAC shooters, there’s a .30 version churning out 120ft-lb. The sidelever-action bullpup has a new trigger and safety catch, and an uprated aluminium magazine. Options include synthetic, laminate and walnut stocks, as well as a tactical version with an adjustable cheekpiece.
Highland Outdoors unveiled several new telescopic sights from Nikko Stirling. Among them was the Diamond FFP, a first-focal-plane optic with a choice of either 30mm or 34mm tube for improved light transmission. Well-suited to airgun use, the Diamond FFP has side parallax adjustment down to 10m, multi-coated lenses and lockable target turrets. Options include 4-16x and 6-24x magnification, and a choice of glass-etched reticle designs, plus illuminated variants.
The uprated Wildcat MkII was on show on the FX stand. The new variant uses the Swedish firm’s X barrel system, which lets the shooter swap from a liner with smoothtwist rifling at the end to a liner that is fully twisted. The new barrel attachment uses two screws instead of one. The new bullpup is also four inches shorter than previously in both .177 and .22 calibres, and has an M20x1 thread for the easy attachment of an extra shroud. The trigger parts and reload mechanism have been upgraded, and the breechblock has also been reworked to deliver better consistency and a higher shot count. Looks like a promising update.