Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel CO2 blowback airsoft kit: Part 2

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

Part 1

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol
The Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel pistol is a competition airsoft gun in a box!

Let’s look at the velocity of the Tanfoglio Gold Custom CO2 blowback airsoft kit gun. When I started the test, I discovered something unusual. The CO2 cartridge I’d loaded last week to test the gun initially had leaked down completely. That usually doesn’t happen until several months have passed, so it got me wondering. I’ll watch the gun and see if it happens again. I left the test today with a 75 percent filled cartridge; so if I test it again in a week and it’s out, I’ll know. And to answer your question, yes, I did use Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each fresh cartridge when I installed it.

Testing the velocity of an airsoft gun is a little different than testing a pellet gun. It’s more like testing a BB gun because the airsoft BBs come in specific weights. The velocities tend to conform to the weights rather than to the individual brands of BBs used. I’ll test the pistol today with the 4 most popular weights — 0.12 grams, 0.20 grams, 0.25 grams and 0.28 grams. And let’s get something straight right now. When we’re talking about airsoft BBs, we’re speaking in terms of GRAMS — not grains. There are about 454 grams in a pound, but 7,000 GRAINS per pound. So a gram is MUCH heavier than a grain. A gram is a decimal unit of the metric system. It’s one-thousandth of a kilogram. A grain is an apothecary (medical) weight from the old English system of weights — a system that is also used by jewelers. It was historically the weight of one barley seed, but has been standardized to one seven-thousandth of a pound.

Regardless of the weight of each BB, they’re all the same size. Their weight is controlled by the material used to make them.

UHC Precision Ground BBs, 0.12 grams
First up are 0.12-gram (1.85 grains) UHC BBs. They averaged 417 f.p.s. in the Tanfoglio pistol. The range went from a low of 406 to a high of 425 f.p.s. That’s slightly slower than the maximum advertised veloicity of 453 f.p.s for this pistol. At the average velocity they produce 0.71-foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Given the design goals of airsoft, that’s fine, because much more than that will start to injure anyone hit by them.

Air Venturi Pro CQBBs, 0.20 grams
Next up were Air Venturi Pro CQBBs 0.20-gram (3.09 grains) BBs. These are value-priced BBs that come in bottles of 2,700 rounds, 5,000 rounds and, for the serious shooter, supersized bags of 125,000!

These averaged 333 f.p.s. with a spread from 315 to 346 f.p.s. This is the recommended BB weight for this pistol, which means it will probably be the easiest one to tune the BAXS (the trajectory adjustment in the pistol) with. At the average velocity, this BB produced 0.76 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. I have other brands of 0.20-gram BBs, including competition BBs; so if this weight turns out to work well in the gun, I plan to give it the biggest test. As a final note, the velocity was right where the specs say it should be (320-350 f.p.s.).

Air Venturi Pro CQBBs, 0.25 grams
This 0.25-gram (3.86 grains) BB is a little heavier than the recommended weight, but sometimes that doesn’t hurt the accuracy at all. With the right BBs, it can enhance it — and this is where having several different brands of premium airsoft BBs is an advantage. I tested velocity with the Air Venturi Pro CQBBs 0.25-gram BB that’s the equivalent of the 0.20-gram BB mentioned above, but heavier. It comes packaged the same way, and I have the 2,700 BB bottle for the test.

These BBs averaged 296 f.p.s. in the Tanfoglio pistol. The range went from 282 to 304 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this BB produced 0.75 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

TSD Tactical, 0.28 gram BBs
The last BB I tried was the TSD Tactical 0.28-gram (4.32 grains) BBs. These are clearly too heavy for this gun, but they did produce velocity very close to the 0.25-gram BBs. The average was 289 f.p.s., with a spread from 274 to 302 f.p.s. At the average velocity, this BB developed 0.80 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Loading the magazine
I don’t have a speedloader, so I loaded each BB one-by-one into the double-stack magazine. They have to be pressed through the top of the magazine, which then holds them against falling out while the gun is operating. That’s the sign of a quality airsoft gun. If you remove the loaded mag for any reason, a BB doesn’t fall out of the mag as it often does on lower-priced gas guns and most spring guns and auto-electric guns (AEGs).

I also note the BBs instantly arranged themselves within the mag…and without any fuss. With lesser guns, the BB stack will have gaps on one side that lead to misfeeds.

Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel airsoft pistol loaded mag
BBs arrange themselves perfectly inside the magazine every time!

Stopping the BBs
Nothing rebounds worse than a plastic airsoft BB. Nothing! Those of you who know airsoft probably wonder how I managed to stop the BBs in the velocity tes. When I tell you that I stopped 100 percent of more than 60 BBs fired, you need to know how I did it! I used a UTG Accushot Pellet and BB trap, and in front of that I placed a heavy cardboard sheet at a slight angle of perhaps 15 degrees to the face of the trap. The trap and cardboard both stood in a shallow cardboard tray that caught all BBs that came back out of the trap. It worked so well that I will use it when I conduct the accuracy test.

Trigger-pull
I proclaimed how much I love the Tanfoglio trigger in Part 1. Now let me tell you the specs. It’s single-stage, with the blade moving through an arc that can be felt, and it breaks cleanly at 2 lbs., 9 oz., which is even lighter than the trigger on my Wilson Combat CQB 1911 firearm. This is a pistol trigger to die for! The only criticism is that it doesn’t break like a glass rod; but since the gun is for action shooting and not bullseye targets, that doesn’t matter.

Shot count
I got exactly 40 shots before the gun began slowing down. After that, there were another 10 good shots before the blowback function came into question. I guess a lot of the CO2 is used for blowback. Since this is a competition gun, that makes no difference. Winners will buy it and use it, no matter what it takes to make it work. This is not a budget plinker. It’s a full-blown competition airgun!

I hope this pistol will be a real tackdriver because that would make it perfect. I know that it’s not a target gun, but it does have to place its shots in the same place to score high in the competitions it would enter. If it does — well, I don’t know that I will let it go back!

44 thoughts on “Tanfoglio Gold Custom Eric Grauffel CO2 blowback airsoft kit: Part 2

  1. BB
    Some of the airsoft pistols I have, including a 1911 clone, recommends 0.25gram BBs in their manuals. any specific recommendations for this Tanfoglio?
    I am also curious to learn more about the hop-up system you mention in part-1. My own experience is that some guns take a lot of time to tune the hop-up, while others are just a piece of cake.



  2. Since I’m a picky person when it comes to pellet guns. And I’m always after the best pellet choice for accuracy of the gun.

    Now for the other part. I have never owned a air soft gun. Or for that fact know anybody that owns one that I could try out and shoot to see if I like them.

    From the video I seen that is on Part 1. I like what this pistol can do from what I see.

    But here’s the question. If I bought this gun and it was going to be the only air soft gun I bought (by the way I always wanted to try one of the sniper air soft rifles)
    Do you think it would make me satisfied enough to go and by a good quality air soft sniper rifle if somebody did a review on one of the better of those.

    In other words I don’t want to try to find the better pistol or rifle or ammo this time. I want to take somebodies advice and not waste money on something that’s going to turn me off.

    I know BB I’m kind of getting to the point. But the point is I want it right the first time around this time when I try something new.



    • GF1

      You can always use the airsoft BBs for pellet gun targets. Smaller than paintballs, but you won’t get a splat when you hit them. Use the bright colored ones unless you want to make it more difficult to see them.

      twotalon


    • GF1,

      Your point is — you don’t want to make a mistake. You want someone else to make it for you.

      Here is how I got in. I bought an inexpensive spring-piston 1911 and shot it, to see what it was like.

      http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/TSD_Sports_M1911_Tac_Pistol_Heavy_Weight_BBW/2493

      When I realized that I could hit motel soap bars at 25 feet repeatedly, I became intrigued with airsoft and started looking at the better guns..That was 15 years ago, and I haven’t ;ooked back.

      B.B.


      • Ever thing I see about the pistol I like so far.

        But I still have other questions.
        If I shoot in the garage at paper targets, or a paper plate, or a piece of note book paper at about 10 yards.
        Do you think it will make it through the paper and into my trap? I don’t want air soft BB’s bouncing around all over the place.

        And the other question if get this gun and I like it I will probably get one of the sniper air soft rifles also.
        So with that said I will shoot both the pistol and rifle outside. Again I don’t want the air soft BB’s laying around on the ground.

        So can the biodegradable BB’s be used with any kind of good results? And will they also work shooting in the garage to punch through paper?

        And one last thing. When you rapid fire the gun. Will it slow down like some Co2 BB or Pellet guns do?

        BB I’m sure you or somebody has covered these questions before. But I have been interested in air soft for a while. So I would like to know. Thanks


        • GF1,

          Yes, an airsoft BB will pass through several sheets of tough cardboard. Paper plates are no problem at all.

          NO! Biodegradable BBs are not accurate! They are good for shooting outdoors in skirmishes or when plinking, but not for when you need accuracy.

          Yes, rapid-fire is bound to slow the gun down some. How much I haven’t tested, but maybe I could after I test for accuracy.

          As far as accuracy goes, with a tight barrel (usually you have to install it yourself, the sniper rifles don’t come with them) you can put 98 percent of your BBs on a man-sized target at 50 yards. But I have actually been able to put 85-90 percent of my BBs on 10-inch hubcap at that distance.

          At 10 meters a good gun can keep all its shots in a half-inch or so when premium BBVs are used.

          B.B.


      • Wow, I must have missed that springer in my perusings around PA. What is the trigger like on that piece? It’s obviously not a 1911 trigger design, but if it’s good enough in its own right, that gun would seem to have a very useful place in the stable.


        • Kevin,

          I just recommended that one because I couldn’t find the one that I bought. It was a UHC 1911 that sold for $10 in 1998. The one I recommended is sold by Team Specialized Distribution (TSD), and I know they import good guns.

          I shot the pistol I wound up buying at the SHOT Show and was astounded to be able to hit styrofoam coffee cups 100 feet away — once I learned when to hold the gun. I bought one and took it back to my motel room and shot it at soap bars for hours!

          B.B.

          My advice is to read the customer reviews and just take the plunge with an inexpensive spring-piston gun. Since you and several other people are showing an interest, maybe I should do a piece of getting into airsoft the easy way? Would you like that?



          • BB,Yes please!
            I’ve become fascinated with this HK45 I was given,and the green gas power plant.
            If a bolt action sniper type rifle with this power plant is capable of minute of bottom of
            soup can accuracy at 20yrds. I may put one on my must have list :)


            • JTinAL,

              I wouldn’t have to test the gun to tell you that it is at least that accurate. The off-the-shelf spring guns I have tested (the sniper “rifles”) from Leapers can do that out of the box.

              B.B.


              • BB.
                Thanks!
                The few springer types I have seen were all big box store cheapies.
                They were only minute of paper plate accurate at @ 10 feet lol.
                I am only guessing but I think the gas operated guns would be
                more accurate for me since I can’t seem to master the artillery hold.


  3. Did you leave the mag in the gun? If so that’s probably why the gun is empty of it’s CO2. The hammer will rest on the valve and is heavy enough to make it all leak out (well it did so in the regular Tanfoglio 1911).
    With the mag in the gun it emptied itself of it’s CO2 overnight but when left outside the gun it will hold it’s gas for months.
    The steel BB variant also have loading issues if you fill the mags to maximum capacity, they prefer around 15 BB’s instead of the 18/19 you can fit in the mag and you have to insert the full mag with the slide locked back instead of inserting the full mag and racking the slide. It will double almost everytime and a BB will bounce around inside and will end up blocking the blowback mecanism since it’s the only hole left in there when the barrel already has a BB in it.

    Can this one be field stripped and disassembled like the firearm they copy like you do on the GSG92, SIG Sauer P226 and Tanfoglio Witness 1911?

    J-F


    • J-F,

      Yes, I left the mag in the gun. I just checked it and it is still holding. The hammer that I let down by hand stopped at a half-cock position and I don’t think it is resting against the valve stem.

      I don’t know whether this gun can be field stripped and until I complete the test I’m not going to find out. While that is of interest to some shooters, it isn’t to me and I have lost too many small parts that way.

      B.B.


  4. Very interesting Blog, B.B. ! Have never considered an air soft but this might light the fire. I only use emails. No FB or anything else. That said, and not being the brighest kid on the computer block, how do I forward this to my air gun pals ? I only use emails for a reason, since I do not trust other systems.
    Thanks,
    Pete


    • Pete,

      Click on the title of today’s report. That will bring up the specific address on this report in the address window at the top of your browser. Copy that and paste it into your messages.

      B.B.


  5. BB,

    I watched that video that you posted in part 1 and I must say that was very interesting. If someone opens an airsoft range around here, I could get into that.


    • RR,

      I know! IPSC shooting costs tens of thousands of dollars each year, when you shoot a firearm. But with airsoft, the cost drops to hundreds! And the equipment is superb! I could do this, too. I may start a local IPSC club, just to do it.

      B.B.


  6. Re: http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2013/08/neat-fix-for-bulk-fill-co2-guns/

    It worked !! I got the same kind of ATF stop leak BB did, just by chance. My 392 would not hold air so I tried the ATF stop leak. I put some in as BB suggested. I shot it a few times and it did not help any. Before I did this it would hold air for several seconds before it all leaked out. I added some more stop leak and pumped it up one time and let it stand on the rifle butt for a couple days. Shot it and It did hold at one pump but at pump 3 I could hear it leaking. I shot it a few times and it was still leaking. I let it set for some 3 weeks on the butt plate, I kinda forgot about it. Yesterday I got it out and pumped it 2 times, no leaking sound. Shot a few pellets and it was working fine. I then gave it 3 pumps and it held air and shot well, at 10Ms. I shot it several times and all was well. Was afraid to pump more than 3 times, afraid it would start leaking again. ?? What may have helped in my case is that I did not pump it up too much, slowly increasing the pumps over time. Since this is the only time I have done this fix, that is just a guess. Thank you soooo much BB, an early (almost free) Christmas gift to myself.


  7. Man, there’s some excellent discussion going on here. :-)

    In the original report, you mention the average velocity and spreads. With pellet guns, it seems common to speak of a tight spread and/or small first standard deviation–that is, demonstrable consistency–as an indicator of the potential for accuracy. Now obviously we’ll see what comes up in the accuracy testing (which I’m really looking forward to), but given the CO2 powerplant and what you know about Airsoft in general, would you say that your spreads here (all under 30 f/s) would in and of themselves predict a potential for accuracy?

    And if so, would you say that indicator is also valid for green gas / propane as a powerplant?


    • Kevin,

      Yes, I am actually surprised that CO2 can maintain this level of consistency with light airsoft BBs. Green gas, being about 1/7 the pressure of CO2 (115 psi, compared to 853 psi) is a lot easier to keep consistent, plus it cools the gun less than CO2 upon discharge.

      This gun has every chance of being accurate. It all depends on me finding the best BB and also adjusting the BAXS well.

      B.B.


  8. B.B., you said this about the 0.28g BBs:

    “These are clearly too heavy for this gun…”

    Why is that clear? I’m not sure I see what you mean.


    • Kevin,

      I said that because the manufacturer recommends 0.20-gram BBs. That would make 0.25-gram BBs marginal and 0.28-gram BBs outside the tolerance.

      However, nothing in the velocity test suggests that they are too heavy, so perhaps I misspoke. I certainly plan on testing them in the gun, but I won’t spend a lot of time with them if they don’t seem to pan out. The same goes for 0.12-gram BBs, which in my experience are much too light for this powerplant. They will probably curve violently in flight.

      B.B.


  9. You don’t want gas hogs. Will the 15% angle of your cardboard increase your group size by 15%?

    I thought the 10 yard sight in distance could account for any kind of error. But you’re right that the shimming of scopes opens up a new level of variation.

    Matt61


  10. Greetings Fellow Airgun Aficionados
    I haven’t given airsoft weapons the time of day in the past. I see from the comments, I am not alone in feeling this way. I always associate airsoft with people shooting at each other in a mock battle. When my father was instructing me in firearms etiquette, one of the worst fa pas would be pointing a firearm at anything you didn’t intend to shoot, living or inanimate. I have gone on to instruct my daughter using similar methods. Those of us with firearms knowledge have a duty to pass on our knowledge in the interest of keeping bureaucrats out of our sport by holding accidental shootings to a zero level. That being said, this Tangfoglio Gold Custom airsoft target pistol has grabbed my attention, and garnered a keen interest with many commenter’s. Although the orange tip of the barrel comes across as looking amateur, I understand it’s need in light of recent events in California. We must reach the younger generation before a similar tragedy is repeated.
    Matt61
    I remember you singing the praises of the Beeman Laser pellets in a past blog. You stated they shot well in your lower powered co2 replica pistols. Since I have 4 cans of the same, I decided to give them a try in my HW75 pneumatic pistol. The gun is one of my favorites, and gives me a velocity of 387 – 390 fps. with the 7.33 grn. JSB RS Exact’s. The Lasers gave me almost identical groups to the JSB’s. That is to say they are measuring 1/4 in. to 1/3 in. at a distance of 7 1/2 meters. The velocity was increased to 399-402 fps. Not cause to break out the champagne, but an increase never the less. Although the gun shoots most pellets well, the Lasers and JSB RS Exact’s are tied for top spot. Thanks for the tip my friend.
    Kevin Wilmeth
    You state “there is some excellent discussion going on here”. I would say you bring excellent topics to the table as well. Questions some may take for granted, need to be brought up and addressed so our knowledge stays current. I look forward to reading more of your input.
    Ciao
    Titus


  11. I don’t have a speedloader, so I loaded each BB one-by-one into the double-stack magazine. They have to be pressed through the top of the magazine, which then holds them against falling out while the gun is operating.

    Really — they have to be pushed in from the top?

    The magazine on my WE/Caspian is rigged so that pulling the follower all the way down brings it to a section where the slit is wider — the balls can be carefully rolled “up” (magazine held with top lower than base) the groove of the follower slit until they fall in and down… Though I’ll admit getting a proper alternation in the stack is sometimes a problem.



  12. I’ve got one of these, but the variant with iron sights. I like it overall, but I don’t think the trigger is VERY good since I’ve tried other, cheaper, airsoft guns with better trigger feel. Trigger is at best OK.


  13. I was in IPSC from the beginning. Shooting 15000 rounds/year just with my 1911s, not including rifle and 22 target. I left IPSC when the “practical” was taken from the game. Several thoughts:
    I read an airsoft magazine recently and it seems that airsoft is killing paintball.
    This Gold Airsoft pistol is great. It feels exactly like the real thing. I haven’t even tested it yet for accuracy but the thing that makes it great as a trainer is the blowback (recoil). I have a Steyr LP 50 that will shoot five pellets with almost absolute accuracy as fast a you can press the trigger but this Gold feels like shooting an IPSC major pistol. The magazines feel exactly like a fully loaded magazine.
    To duplicate an IPSC course I think the targets would have to be closer and proportionally smaller.
    I have the SW 586 pellet revolver (an exact replica -very accurate with superb double action trigger), and the Colt 1911 replica pellet pistol but I fell in love with the Gold with the first shots.



    • “To duplicate an IPSC course I think the targets would have to be closer and proportionally smaller.”

      Ben, it looks like the folks at BAM Airsoft have addressed precisely that issue. They have a video at their site in which they walk you through the closer and the smaller, including footage looking at both over iron sights.

      Understood about leaving the game once it became only a game. I never got started with it because by the time I really became aware of IPSC, it had already gone that way (I simply followed Col. Cooper directly, and have no regrets about that.) And so my own interest, now, is probably not with one of the organizations, but rather with collecting ideas in the vein of an arranger, and constructing my own problem-solving exercises around those. :-)


  14. Kevin,
    Thanks a million! I was getting ready to reinvent the wheel. One reason I dropped out of USPSA (my number was 511) was that it became a pain to drive to the range. I have acreage but as build up occurred around me I put the IPSC guns away and concentrated on archery and air guns. I would encourage anyone interested in this gun/thread to go to the BAM website and see what can be done with a full power handgun at high speed. When I started the El Presidente (three targets at ten yards about a yard apart. Starting with your back to the target on signal, turn, draw, fire two shots into each target, reload and fire two more into each target) a clean ten second run was excellent. I got to about seven seconds but by that time some elite shooters were approaching three seconds with open guns! The classification system is brutal. It is based on a percentage of the top shooters and they got better faster than ordinary mortals!
    I am looking forward to this as a game in my back yard.


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