Hey, it’s Christmas! Merry Christmas to you and your family! As much as things have changed over the last two years, thankfully some things have remained the same. At least for the time being. Yes, we still have holidays and the traditions associated with those holidays are more or less the same as they have always been. OK, yes, we’ve got plenty of conversation fodder around the events of the past two years, but getting together with the family, breaking bread with them, and opening presents are still approved activities.
Looking back over the past year for us, we had a lot to be thankful for. We thought today would be a good time to revisit some milestones that are worth looking back on during this time of the year. Christmas time is a good time to remember those things you are thankful for, and in line with this season of thankfulness and joy, here's a glance back at some of our biggest stories from 2021.
Air Archery Popularity Surges
Yes, our air archery products, the CO2-powered AirJavelin and the PCP AirSaber, were introduced in 2020. These twin product releases in 2020 just whetted the appetites of the airgunning and air-hunting public for 2021. Not only were both of these products insanely easy and fun to use, they were both really good at doing what they were made to do–fling arrows fast! The AirJavelin is all about fun, but it is serious fun. If there was ever an introductory drug to airgunning, the AirJavelin is it. Virtually no recoil, lightweight design, custom fit, and easy to use CO2 power, this arrow flinger elevates a backyard game of darts on a Morrel Yellowjacket bow target to a whole new family-friendly level. And yes, you can hunt with it, too!
The AirSaber is a much more serious tool, but no less fun for those who use it. The big news with the AirSaber is big power. With a much longer and heavier arrow than the AirJavelin, the AirSaber smacks the target with authority. Yes, not just any target will do for practicing with the AirSaber. Only a bag or target rated for 400 FPS or higher should be used. With an initial velocity well over 400 FPS and energy output well over 130 ft-lbs, the AirSaber is not a device to scoff at. This air archery gun has been used to harvest game on at least two continents and will be used more and more as air archery and airgun hunting grows in popularity.
PCP Airguns Are Here To Stay
2021 is a year where movement towards PCP airguns only seemed to pick up steam. Our original foray into PCPs with the Gauntlet proved to be a great success. We followed up on that success by offering a new rifle, the Origin in .22 caliber. The Origin was initially released as a kit that includes a high-pressure hand pump. This combo was offered at a price well under $400 dollars and made a great impression on the airgun shooting public as it managed to offer shooters the utility of being able to buy a PCP and then go shoot that same day. While this could have been done before, it could not have been done while offering the shooter such great value. And it wasn’t like the Origin was some anemic or otherwise sub-par rifle. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Origin delivers serious power, outstanding accuracy, and a host of smaller, yet very important features like the Ever-Pressure tank system, the same 10 shot rotary magazine that is also used on the Gauntlet, easy side lever cocking system, and easy to read manometer. The demand for the Origin was so great, especially from customers who already owned filling solutions that we decided to offer it as a standalone rifle without the pump. So for 2021, the Origin and its success helped lead to Umarex USA’s success.
But wait, there’s more! Yes, that wasn’t the only news for 2021 in the PCP department. Mid-year we introduced the Gauntlet 2! The original Gauntlet platform had been introduced 4 years previously and has been a huge success for us. The Gauntlet set the standard for performance, pricing, and features that are essential for today’s airgunner. But there was room for improvement. We heard from many shooters that they desire more air and more air capacity. The Gauntlet 2 delivers big on both. A big 24 ci tank and adjusted regulator pressure for both .22 and .25 calibers means heavier pellets can be pushed harder and more pellets can be shot on a fill. There were a whole host of other changes that make the Gauntlet 2 very easy to live with, too; a knurled bolt handle, slimmer, more ergonomic stock, easier adjusting cheekpiece,
Picatinny scope mount and quick detach sling stud built into the stock.
Either way you go, both the Origin and the Gauntlet 2 are great additions to your airgun collection. And if you are looking to dip your toes into PCP airgunning for the first time, the Origin kit is hard to beat!
Big Names, Big Launches!
One huge part of our business is licensed replicas. OK- honestly, it is one of the things we are the best in the world. Our leadership has worked extremely hard creating license agreements with some of the biggest names in the firearms world so we can create airgun replicas of those companies' fantastic products. We make BB, airsoft, pellet, and, more recently, paintball replicas of some of the most popular brands and models in the world. I mean, we are talking about iconic silhouettes here! How iconic? Just check out these two major releases from 2021, in alphabetical order.
Our most recent license agreement was made in 2018 with GLOCK, Inc. Initially we just made .177 BB and 6mm airsoft replicas of their designs. However, in 2021 we broke new ground for the GLOCK brand by offering US consumers the first officially licensed .43 caliber paintball GLOCK marker in Model 17 Gen 5 trim. Not only was this a first for the GLOCK brand and for us, we also made a limited edition of this first model. Complete with sequential serial numbers and a GLOCK case, these units sold out fast! The version available now may not be a limited edition, but it’s no less special. If you want the hottest property in magazine-fed paintball performance, you have to look right here!
The 2021 replica release that really got me excited was with a license partner that we’ve had for a long, long time. Smith & Wesson is a household name even among folks who don’t own guns. With a history in the American firearms scene that literally stretches beyond 150 years, there’s a replica or two that could be made from their vast catalog. One that was missing, however, was in the wheelgun department. Yes, the big wheelgun department, in fact. Elmer Keith’s pet cartridge, the .44 S&W Magnum was popularized in the behemoth M29 “N-Frame” revolver. But what made the M29 one of the most instantly recognizable handguns on earth had nothing to do with Keith, but rather Hollywood. The M29 was prominently featured as Detective Harry Callahan’s sidearm in the Dirty Harry film franchise. Clint Eastwood grimacing at a bad guy ought to be enough to stop him in his tracks, but equip “Dirty Harry” with “the most powerful handgun on earth” and Hollywood magic is made. Smith & Wesson still makes the M29 today and it is still quite an eyeful to behold. Now you can pick up our replica .177 version or one of three 6mm Elite Force Airsoft versions for your airgun plinking needs! And remember, these are 1:1 replicas, so the effect upon seeing our replicas in person will not be lost! These are amazing replicas, even if we do say so ourselves!
What Does 2022 Have in Store?
There is no doubt about it, 2021 was a big year for us here at Umarex USA. If you’ve been following us for any time, you also know that we don’t sit back on our laurels and passively watch the ships go by. No, we are working hard right now to make sure that 2022 is even better than 2021 was. 2022 is a year of particular focus for us. Airgunning is changing and we are changing with it. We are proud to be developing new products that fit very well with the current trends– we are even driving those trends with our products. While we can’t say anything concrete now, know that with SHOT Show just around the corner of this new year, we will be raising the curtain and the bar of our airguns. You just wait and see. Until then, we sincerely wish you and your family a very warm and Merry Christmas!