P-08 BB pistol from Umarex: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Umarex P-08-BB-pistol
The new Umarex P-08 BB pistol is a stunning copy of the firearm.

Well, today’s the day we see how this Umarex P-08 BB pistol shoots. As you know, I think this pistol is a big deal because people have been asking for it for years. And, yes, I’m aware that there are Asian BB pistols in the P-08 style that are supposedly all-metal and have blowback with realistic toggle action. But are YOU aware that sometimes those Asian websites lie about what they have? Some of those guns don’t exist, and images are shown to see if there’s enough interest to warrant the development cost.

Think about that before you jump on the bandwagon and criticize a real product. You may be comparing it to something that doesn’t exist.

Back to the gun at hand — the Umarex P-08 is a double-action-only handgun, and I think you’ll understand what that means by now. If you don’t, click on the link to Part 2 above and look at the picture of the revolver. Some of you mentioned that the revolver also advances the cylinder with the trigger in addition to cocking the hammer spring…and you’re right. That does add some resistance to the total effort required. However, I find that it doesn’t add as much as you might think — perhaps 10 percent or so. The majority of the effort to pull the trigger is dedicated to compressing that powerful hammer or striker spring.

I learned in this test that I cannot control the P-08 double-action trigger as well as I thought. Of course, a single-action trigger that just breaks at a few pounds is much easier, but a week ago I shot a 4-inch, 7-shot group at 45 feet with my carry gun, which is a Micro Desert Eagle that’s DAO in .380 ACP. That pistol is lightweight and has a relatively snappy recoil, but the double-action trigger-pull is smooth all the way through. So, I can put the sights on target and hold them there through what is perhaps an 11- or 12-lb. pull.

That is what I was expecting to happen with this BB pistol, but it didn’t. Not quite. Oh, the trigger-pull does stack at the end, and it isn’t as heavy overall as the triggers in my firearms, but the last bit of effort seems to increase or rise a lot more. That rise is what I find difficult to control, and you’ll see the results today. The other problem is that the trigger comes very far back when pulled. It releases very close to the back of the triggerguard, and that’s the spot where the strength leaves your fingers.

The shoot
This is a BB pistol, so I shot at 15 feet, which is the normal BB gun distance. You may think that’s too close for a target pistol, but wait until you see the results of the test. It turns out that 15 feet is a very good distance to shoot, for reasons I will address in a little bit.

I shot at a target pasted to the face of a Winchester Airgun Target Cube. I’m reporting on this target cube in all of the BB gun tests I do instead of writing a special blog about it. The cube now has well over 1,000 shots on it and some of the styrofoam is crumbling off, but it still stops every BB I shoot at it. I consider it an essential part of my shooting equipment; and even though I know it will eventually wear out, I think I’ll get a lot more use before that happens.

I tape a stiff cardboard section to the side of the cube where I plan to shoot. The cube now has holes on all four sides where styrofoam has been blasted out of the center, and I can’t stick any Shoot-N-C target stickers to the center of the cube’s sides. But the cardboard is smooth and takes the stickers perfectly. All I have to do is remove the cardboard after each session, and I think the cube will last a lot longer.

I like using the Shoot-N-C targets with BB guns because of the instant feedback. I’m not going to worry too much about the group size except in relation to my dime, so I don’t care that you can’t really measure a group on a Shoot-N-C target (because the paint flakes off farther in all directions than just the BB hole). The most important aspect is the immediate feedback I get from seeing where the BB went through the target, or after many shots, the fact that there’s no feedback at all. That tells me the BBs are going through the same holes.

This pistol seems to shoot to the exact point of aim at 15 feet, which makes that distance perfect for target shooting. The sights are not adjustable, but they seem to be perfectly centerd and regulated for height in the test gun. However, it does present a problem, as I discovered on the first target.

I use a 6 o’clock hold when target shooting, which means I align the sights with the bottom edge of the bullseye. Many guns are regulated to shoot their BBs up into the center of a small bullseye, but the P-08 places them exactly where you put the sights. So, the group on the first target is low. One shot is in the center, but that was the result of me pulling the trigger to get it to break. In other words, it’s a wild shot.

Umarex-P-08-BB-pistol-target1
All the shots but 1 are at the point of aim. Notice how wide this group is. I’m having difficulty controlling the double-action trigger.

Please understand — this is an accurate BB gun. But I’m having difficulty controlling the trigger. That’s a good thing because it means this pistol can help me learn to better control a double-action trigger.

The one thing that the first target demonstrated was that I needed a smaller target. For the second group, I used a repair paster for the first target. That’s just the center of the bullseye and nothing else. I hoped that the group would be smaller with a smaller aim point; instead, it grew in size.

Umarex P 08 BB pistol target 2
The second group was larger than the first. Clearly, I’m having difficulty controlling the trigger.

Changed the shooting method
If I wasn’t able to shoot well one-handed, then I figured I’d try it from a rested position. I positioned a chair backwards and rested my arm on the backrest, where I shot the third and fourth groups. I won’t show you group 3, but it was about three inches, and I discovered something while shooting it. If you squeeze the trigger too slow, it gets hung up at the end and will never break. Struggling to break the trigger slowly is why this group was so large.

Next, I tried leaning back, so the pistol was rested against the top of the chair’s back. This did improve things, but the trigger was still causing me some problems. As you can see, this group with a rested gun is larger than when I one-handed the pistol.

Umarex P 08 BB pistol target 3
This group is long and narrow — the result of a trigger that’s releasing at odd times. Only one shot went wide.

Next I decided what I had to do was use two fingers to pull the trigger. And when I did that, it worked! Now, I could control the trigger as I wanted to; and when I did that, the gun shot to the point of aim every time. Only when I struggled with the trigger release did I throw shots out of the bull.

Umarex P 08 BB pistol target 4
That’s more like it! Six shots in the black and 4 in the white off to the lower right. Two are in the same hole. This is what the P-08 can do.

Real-world accuracy
In reality, you’re probably going to bounce soda cans around the yard and don’t need the pinpoint accuracy this pistol can deliver. It’ll do that all day long. You’re also going to get a workout for your trigger finger, but that will only improve all your other shooting.

Bottom line
This is the first BB pistol in a P-08 wrapper to make it to our shores. As such, it fills a demand that’s decades old. It’s all you could want in a gun for this price. It delivers the power that’s advertised and can nail the target when you do your part. A welcome addition to the marketplace.

42 thoughts on “P-08 BB pistol from Umarex: Part 3

  1. So that’s why you would want a gun like this! So you can exercise your trigger finger for other guns! I hadn’t thought of that!


    • Victor…

      You have to be careful about getting too much trigger finger excercise.
      I had been shooting my T200 a lot. The trigger is not set very heavy. One day I picked up the .22 R9 and took a shot. Good thing I was within an inch of being on target before I moved my finger. I was going to pull through the first stage and stop at the second while getting on target. I pulled though both stages so fast that I did not feel the second stage at all. I had to check the trigger adustment screw to see if it had backed out and left me with a hair trigger. Nope…still set right. I know my R7s are set even lighter. The whole thing means that I have to get used to a lighter trigger again after shooting a heavier one.
      Tried shooting the 97K a few times yesterday. Almost pulled all the way through both stages with the first shot. I was expecting it too.
      By the way, I don’t shoot with gloves on. Would never feel these triggers at all.

      twotalon


      • I’ll say this from experience with shooting a real Luger . After a long session with one you are just about ruined for shooting other handguns for awhile. Worse than a flinch.


      • twotalon,

        Oh, I know what you’re talking about. When I first shot my buddies Ruger Airhawk, I couldn’t believe how light the trigger was! Well, it isn’t just that it’s light, you can’t feel when it’s going to go off. In total, I’ve had maybe 6 shots go off before intended.

        But the big issue with a bad trigger is that it can cause you to learn bad habits. That’s my one criteria for NOT shooting a particular gun.

        Victor


  2. B.B.,

    OK, so now you got me thinking about owning a CO2 powered BB pistol, or rifle. Are there BB pistols with a light trigger? Say under 3 pounds?

    Victor


    • Victor,

      Yes. The Winchester M11 that I tested recently (and BOUGHT for Edith and I to practice with) has a light trigger. It breaks at 4 pounds, which 1911 shooter consider a light trigger.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Yes! Assuming the NRA rules for hardball haven’t changed, the lower-limit on a 1911 would be 3.5 lbs. So long as the trigger is good, and doesn’t force you to learn bad habits, weight is not an issue.

        Victor


    • Most of the single action have very decent triggers.
      The SIG Sauer P226, GSG 92, Tanfoglio Witness 1911 (the one with blowback), the PPK, the BIG Desert Eagle (not the baby eagle), the Beretta PX4 and Gamo PT85 and all the made in Germany Umarex revolvers that are posing as pistols where you can manually cock the hammer before the shot.

      You have to take these for what they are, fun backyard plinkers. You won’t win any match with them but to eliminate that empty soda can that keeps looking at you (you looking at me? Taxi Driver style) there’s nothing better.

      J-F


      • J-F,

        I’m surrounded by desert, so there are lots of places to spray BB’s. I’m normally an accuracy nut, but one of these could be good for some non-serious finger exercise, with reactive target enjoyment.

        Victor


        • Victor be aware that these are addictive. Shooting semi-auto (or full auto for some of these BB guns) is FUN, you know airguns are like chips and you can’t have just one, get a single action one with blowback, it uses more gas but it’s a lot more fun and the triggers are sweet.

          Counting in the mirror, using my toes, trial and error between 12 and 18. These are all great ideas, man am I glad I’m not the only one who can’t count! Good thing these aren’t multiplications or divisions!
          “kids come see daddy so he he can multiply 4X8″ LOL

          J-F


          • J-F,

            As you might know, early man really didn’t know how to count. So they resorted to things like keeping a bag full of rocks to keep track of things like cattle. It was simple one-to-one association. A similar thing existed with regards to the concept of zero, which the Mayans were the first to actually use. Same with negative numbers, and square roots of negative numbers (i.e., complex numbers). Going even further is the concept of using both positive AND negative frequencies in communications (i.e., The Modulation Theorem). So in the end, we’re always limited by whatever paradigm we’ve elected to abide by as “The Truth”.

            Here’s a true story from my college days as a math major. I was taking an advanced course on higher dimensional calculus, with no calculations of any kind, just rigorous proofs. One guy was struggling to the point of annoying the professor (a brilliant Russian mathematician). One day this one student, Jim, expressed his frustration about the specific topic of Calculus on Manifolds and made ANOTHER annoying comment to the professor, to which the professor turned, walked up to just in front of Jim and sat down on a chair and told a story…
            =================================================
            Three young boys were walking when they found a bag full of coins. They didn’t know how to count, so they asked an old man nearby if he would divided the coins for them. The old man asked, “How would you like for me to divide these coins? Would you like me to divide them like God would, or like man would?” Looking around at each other, the three boys exclaimed “LIKE GOD WOULD!”. So the man took the bag of coins and gave 7 to one boy, 13 to another, and 3 to the other. The boys looked around, completely puzzled .
            =================================================
            Then our professor looked straight into Jim’s eyes and said, “Some of us can do Calculus on Manifolds, and some of us can’t.

            So it’s a good thing to know how to count, because if everyone knew how to count, then Jim wouldn’t have had to endure this story. lol

            Victor


            • Oh, by the way, this student in this story was not named Jim. I changed the name to protect the innocent. I’ve only told this story twice. The first time I did, I found myself referring to the student as “him”, and then upon realizing that who, between the two, I was referring could be confusing, so I switched “him” with “Jim”.




        • If you wanna go nuts… the slide takes 3 lbs to rack, the hammer takes 2 lbs to cock, and the mag release takes 5 lbs to push. On my scale the gun weighs 2lb 1.6 oz with a cartridge but no BB’s, the mag weighs 7.6 oz, and it is equipped with the 1911A1 style functional grip and thumb safeties.

          For what it’s worth…



      • I’m sure you’ll like it. IMHO it’s superior to the Winchester 11 just because of the fidelity to the firearm.
        They often double feed if you put too many BB in the mag or if you insert a full mag and then rack the slide so what I and many other people I know who happen to own one or all 3 of these pistols is to lock the slide back/open, insert the mag, let the slide go back to the front and shoot the mag empty.

        J-F

        9 + ? =10 phew!


  3. “sometimes those Asian websites lie about what they have? Some of those guns don’t exist, and images are shown to see if there’s enough interest to warrant the development cost.”
    No kidding… and it pisses me off but sadly there not the only ones doing this. Where’s the TT-33 Crosman showed at the SHOT show last year?
    I hate it when people show me stuff no one will ever be able to buy. I’m not saying it’s Crosman fault, it may have been a rebranded BB gun from one of those Asian companies you mention as they’ve been torturing us with them for a while now but they surely got a few of them as I’ve seen them in stock on some Russian website.

    J-F

    The math question is 8+6=? I don’t have enough fingers to answer it :( ;)


  4. But I’m wearing socks and it’s too darn cold to take them off LOL

    J-F

    And as incredible as it may seem I just the same question… 8+6=? No wonder some hackers can still post stuff… they must have a calculator!


  5. Everyone,

    Near as I can reckon it, 8 + 6 = something over 12 but less than 18. I recommend trying the numbers in ascending sequence until you hit a winner!

    B.B.


    • O.K., someone’s gotta uncork this old one:

      How do you know your blackjack dealer isn’t too bright?

      He’s barefoot and his fly is open.

      Michael



  6. To the person that said they might be interested in buying a CO2 BB pistol, read B.B.s review of the Umarex Makarov. Most reviewers are liking that air pistol very much, and it’s all metal. I have a Crosman C11 that is all plastic. It shoots pretty well and has a good feel to it. I also have a Walther CP99 that came with a Walther reflex type dot scope. It’s mostly a metal gun. This one is also a blowback. The Crosman has more power, but the CP99 groups tighter. The Walther’s open sights are still usable with the dot scope mounted. . With a blowback it siphons some of the gas power off to work the slide.
    I see no reason not to own, say, one or two CO2 BB pistols. I have a Colt Model 1911 .45 ACP, so I should probably get one in a CO2 gun (maybe the Colt Defender?) so I could practice with a BB gun similiar to my main powder burner handgun.
    It seems, with some of the newer designed CO2 BB pistols that they are trying for more shots per CO2 cartridge, as some newer ones can get many more shots.


  7. B.B.
    Speaking of triggers, I have an HW55M on the way and I noticed in the photos the screw for the trigger seems way larger than the dozen plus other Weihrauch rifles I’ve owned. I am guessing this is a special version for a target rifle? Does it adjust even lighter? If so, I doubt I will take advantage of it. As twotalon mentioned, it is easy to get surprised after shooting other arms.

    Sounds like this Luger would have been good practice for my Ruger LCP. Trigger pull was longer than my attention span. Ended up trading it on .380 that is double \ single with an exposed hammer so I can use my stock pile of ammo.



      • B.B.
        Thanks, I knew you would know – and even better yet you already had a write up! I tried peeking at the Vintage forum for info, but I guess they limit access now. I can understand not letting just anyone post, but not allowing a person to even read it doesn’t seem very friendly.

        Anyway, this will be my first new air rifle in a couple years and I am excited for its arrival. However, just a little worried as the photos were not the best quality. Keeping my fingers crossed. Gets me back up to 4 total.


  8. Maybe B.B., you could do a review of the Crosman C41 (P38 Walther). I have read about that CO2 BB shooter, and the owners reviews are good. PA’s description says 495 fps. It’s all metal with plastic grip. I also hear it gets a lot of shots per CO2 cartridge. 4.5 stars at PA. $59.99 price tag.
    Just a suggestion to add to your long list. I’d rather see a test on this than the Daisy 15XT all plastic BB shooter. This one is non blowback, but I believe the slide can be moved in the frame rails.
    Hey, it must be nice to be in big demand like you certainly are.

    Jon in Keaau, Hawaii



    • Hey Vince …

      Is there any way that I could get you to contact me directly? I would like to talk to you about that airso…..oh oh … that P08 replica that you have. You can try thewheelhouse at theseilerco dot com. I think I would like to try my first airso… oh oh … plastic pea shooter.

      NRS


  9. BB,I wanted to suggest this even though it is a great risk for me .(You may put me on your idiot list,if I’m not already on there)And people have already mentioned picking up bad habits from certain guns,but the no-no I’d like to suggest is as thus.From the past I see you always work a trigger through the pad of your index finger.If you slide your finger through and pull at the first joint you will shorten the 3rd class lever that comprises your finger and gain a power advantage.Also,from this position you may feel that you have more arc of finger motion left when the trigger bottoms out.And with that I’m just going to tiptoe on out of here on eggshells now.-Tin Can Man-


    • Tin Can Man,

      Being a target shooter I tend to use just the pad of my finger. I suppose a better grasp of the trigger would make it easier to pull, but also easier to pull the muzzle to the left at let-off, which is one of my problems with double action triggers.

      B.B.


  10. Tin Can Man …

    What a politician you are! Maybe we can get you to run for Congress.

    Regarding the Idiot List, you can rest easy. I am already at the head of the list and you will just have to fall in somewhere in the back.

    I do remember having a conversation with my grandfather, who probably spent more shooting time with me than anyone outside the Army. I remember him telling me I had a choice to make. I could pull the trigger with the joint of my finger, which could possibly lead to tenderness or even bruising and make shooting less enjoyable, or, I could use the “pad” of my finger which, even though was a more difficult pull, gave much more feedback and feeling for the action of the trigger. There is much more feeling in the “Pad” of the finger than in the joint because there are more nerve endings there. So, with that in mind, I am a finger pad shooter, even while in the service. To this day, I find that it is easier to adjust to the pull if I have the feedback from my finger.

    PS … I just got 5 + 2 = and I ran out of fingers …! Lucky for me I don’t play blackjack.

    NRS


    • NRS,Thank You-I think I could be a good choice for congress because I don’t know that much about anything and I have a hard time making important decisions.–You paddle right because I’m right behind you and I’m going to paddle on the left.–As for the trigger technique;maybe you brought your marksmanship to a higher level,and more quickly that way–Victor’s mirror idea has me confused…wouldn’t fingers in the mirror represent negative numbers?-Tin Can Man-


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