Legends Makarov Ultra: Part 2

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

Part 1

Umarex Legends Makarov Ultra BB pistol
Legends Makarov Ultra is very realistic!

This report covers:

• Single-action trigger.
• Charging.
• Loading.
• Velocity.
• Blowback.
• Slide remains back when magazine is empty.
• Shot count.

Let’s look at the velocity of the Legends Makarov Ultra BB pistol. Because the gun has blowback, I’ll also report how that works.

Umarex is currently making a huge marketing push on their lookalike airguns and the undisputed leader in airguns that look like firearms. The Makarov Ultra is one of their latest and greatest new products.

Trigger
A firearm Makarov has a trigger that’s both single-action and double-action. Single-action means the hammer must be cocked for the gun to fire, and the blowback action of the slide accomplishes this. But for the first shot, you must manually cock the hammer, because, unlike the firearm Mak, the trigger on this pistol will not cock the hammer on its own. The Makarov Ultra trigger is not double-action.

The trigger-pull, however, is quite odd. A single-action trigger is traditionally light and crisp. The Makarov Ultra trigger, however, pulls through a long arc, and the pull force increases as the trigger nears the end of its arc. It feels like a double-action trigger, even though by strict definition it’s single-action because the hammer must be cocked separately.

The trigger is not objectionable, nor is it too heavy. It just doesn’t feel like a conventional single-action trigger.

Charging the pistol
The pistol is charged by a conventional 12-gram CO2 cartridge. The cartridge fits into the magazine that drops from the Makarov’s pistol grip. Because the Makarov has a magazine release located behind the rear of the magazine floorplate, it’s not convenient to release from the pistol and requires the use of 2 hands to do the job.

Umarex Legends Makarov Ultra BB pistol magazine
Like many BB pistols, the Makarov Ultra’s magazine houses the BBs, CO2 cartridge and the gun’s valve.

Once the magazine is out of the pistol, the CO2 cartridge installs easily and is tightened in place by the tension screw on the bottom of the mag. The piercing went so fast there wasn’t even a telltale hiss of gas that escaped the cartridge. Naturally, I put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the cartridge before installing it.

Loading
The stick BB magazine loads very easily. I put the base of the mag up on a small ledge to elevate it and pulled the follower down to its locking point. A funnel-shaped hole on the magazine is where the BBs are fed in. If the magazine is sloped forward just slightly, up to 16 BBs drop in and roll forward with ease. This is perhaps the fastest-loading stick magazine I’ve yet encountered.

Umarex Legends Makarov Ultra BB pistol loaded magazine
With the bottom (floorplate) of the magazine elevated slightly, the BBs drop easily through the widened hole and roll out of the way.

Velocity
Umarex rates the Ultra pistol at 350 f.p.s., and I found the rating to be slightly conservative. I started shooting BBs with the first shot out of the pistol, and the first few shots with a 12-gram cartridge are almost always above the expected average. Let me show you 10 shots from the first string of 16 BBs that were fired. Several BBs failed to trigger the chronograph’s skyscreens, but all 10 shots came from the first string of 16 BBs fired from the gun.

Shot Velocity
1       370
2       372
3       364
4       360
5       344
6       350
7       349
8       344
9       346
10     342

I allowed at least 10 seconds between each shot, except for between shots 4 and 5. There were several BBs that failed to trip the skyscreens between those 2 shots and I didn’t allow as much recovery time. The average for these 10 shots is 354 f.p.s., with a variation of 28 f.p.s.

The next 10 shots are much more telling. This time I allowed at least 15 seconds between each shot, and when they failed to trigger the skyscreens, I still allowed the time.

Shot Velocity
1       383
2       352
3       374
4       364
5       361
6       358
7       360
8       355
9       356
10     353

This time, the average velocity was 362 f.p.s. and the spread was 31 f.p.s. That means the average went up with the second 16 shots. Notice how fast that first shot is? The gun had laid dormant for at least 10 minutes after the first string. All of this is on the same CO2 cartridge.

Blowback
The Makarov Ultra is a lightweight BB pistol, so the blowback is pretty snappy. It feels very much like shooting a firearm.

Slide remains back
After the last BB has been fired, the slide remains back, making it obvious the gun is out of ammunition. This is the same thing the Makarov firearm does.

Umarex Legends Makarov Ultra BB pistol slide back
The slide stays back when the magazine is out of BBs.

Shot count
Besides velocity and how well the blowback works, another important performance parameter is the number of shots you can expect to get from a CO2 cartridge. For the first 2 magazines, I was conserving gas unrealistically, just to get an idea about the velocity potential. So, I shot the entire third magazine the way a shooter might — pulling the trigger as fast as I could. That took the total count up to 48 shots. On the fourth magazine, I slowed down to one shot every 10 seconds and got an average velocity of 320 f.p.s. The numbers declined steadily as these shots were fired. So the gun was running out of gas. But that’s still a shot count of 64 on one cartridge.

Blowback was still strong through magazine 4. On the fifth magazine, though, the gun started to sound weaker almost immediately. And on shot 9, the slide failed to cock the hammer for the first time. Therefore I think it is safe to say the Makarov Ultra will give you 4 good magazines on one CO2 cartridge.

Accuracy testing will come next. I hope the Makarov Ultra is an accurate BB pistol because its manual cousin — the gun that doesn’t have blowback — is legendary!

42 Responses to “Legends Makarov Ultra: Part 2”

  • Reb Says:

    Sounding pretty good overall! Makes me wonder if I’d rather have the non-blowback for the trigger or the blowback version for awesomeness factor. Either would definitely be perfect for Concealed Carry training-10+!

    Reb

  • RidgeRunner Says:

    RifledDNA,

    Yes, you can put an o ring behind the Talon P stem. That will reduce the power level and increase the shot count, however with that itty bitty tank you should not expect much.

    The P-Rod also has a greatly reduced size reservoir compared to it’s sibling.

    Another thing to think about is caliber. The TP only comes in .25 and the PR only comes in .22. Yes, you can change barrels on both of them, but it is difficult to do on the PR.

    Now, if you do happen to get a Talon P and you don’t like it, let me know. Perhaps we could work something out.

    • Reb Says:

      RR,Thanks for letting us know about the Talon P not coming in .22 I guess I just took for granted that Crosman would not “Hamstring” it to .25 and not offer the more flexible, available and less expensive .22 cal. I’m not ready (yet) for the jump to .25 as a matter of fact the only.22 “pellet” I’ve been able to access locally is CPHP, so there’s still a whole world out there yet to be discovered!
      That 2240 platform keeps looking better all the time!
      Reb

    • RifledDNA Says:

      I think I am leaning to the talon p, I like the look, 900 in .25 is certainly enough for hunting. Tune it down for target practise. Amp it up for woods walking. Easy fill operation is a plus. The multiple shots with the p rod is a good thing but 700 in .22 is less than my springin np so that knocks it way down for me. The talonp is going to be the little brother to the real deal fx or similar high top, the pcp pistol is like a training run, get used to the systems and what not. I can’t stand the standard disco to be completely honest, Im not Tacti-cool, but modern firearms turn me up, scars and modded out ARs, like the Valkyre garands are sweet.

  • Reb Says:

    As it would happen, I do believe that I already have the perfect holster for this gun! :D

    Reb

  • Chris S Says:

    BB,
    Was there noticeable loss of gas while changing out magazines?

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Chris,

      Since the valve is contained in the magazine, there can be no gas loss. The gun has no gas it it. The mag contains it all.

      B.B.

      • Michael Says:

        B.B.,

        I hope more and more CO2 pistols do this as it allows the owner to get extra mags and swap them out to reduce the cooling effect. I really like the Legends C96, and I think I’ll get two extra mags for it for that reason.

        Michael

        P.S. My C96 has an excellent trigger for what that pistol is, so go figure!

      • RifledDNA Says:

        As soon as I saw those second clip velocity numbers, it was obviously using the gas very efficiently, like this xbg I picked up, no blowback, but Im getting about 8 – 19 rd clips per cartridge

  • Michael Says:

    B.B.,

    I purchased a Legends Makarov Ultra from Pyramyd Air shortly after they first became available, and I returned it after one or two days (and around 100 shots) because of its trigger. Everything else about the pistol was wonderful, but the trigger pull was incredibly long with a final stage that varied from probably nine to twelve pounds from shot to shot.

    Note that I wrote “final stage” instead of “second stage,” because the trigger would sometimes have three stages, sometimes four, and every now and then just two. During its long travel, the weight would fluctuate noticeably multiple times, and then the final stage was always extremely heavy. During parts of the travel it would sometimes be smooth, but it was usually gritty. The trigger was also unpredictable from one shot to the next.

    I do not believe my pistol was defective, either. It shot reliably and with a nice hard kick and had acceptable accuracy (for a small BB pistol) at 5 meters in my basement. It was certainly a bit less accurate than it might have been with a useable trigger.

    Too bad, too, as I had really looked forward to this one.

    Michael

    • Reb Says:

      Micael, That’s what I like so much about the way B.B.performs his reviews,He may have sprinkled a little sugar on it but the issue was brought to light and was not sugar-coated, this was part of the inspiration for my earlier post, which reminds me,Gunfun & RDNA, beatcha this time!

      Reb

    • RifledDNA Says:

      Do you try oiling it? And if all else was good you didn’t want to exchange it? You also must have been sure it wouldn’t break in and smooth out?

      • Michael Says:

        RDNA,

        If after a few hundred more rounds and oiling it, it improved two-fold, the trigger still would not quite have been good enough, at least for me, to keep it rather than send it back. Who wants a sometimes three, sometimes four, stage trigger? I have so many CO2 BB guns with VERY good triggers, like my Tanfoglio Witness blowback and Dan Wesson (in SA), that something needs to be reasonably nice for me to shoot it.

        For example, I bought one of those Winchester AR type BB guns last month. The trigger has a stiff second stage, but the stage is CRISP. And the first stage is light and predictable. I love shooting it.

        Above I wrote about how great my Legends C96 is, including its nice (not awesome, but nice) trigger. I wonder if there is a consistency/tolerance issue in the making of these Legends pistols, at least the blowback models, all of which should have decent SA triggers. Surely they are made by Wingun or ASG or someone in Asia, not in Germany.

        Then again, most owners of the P08 say some of the same things about that trigger as I have about the trigger on my Makarov Ultra. If not for the negative reviews on the trigger of the P08 model, I’d have bought one when they came out, but no thanks.

        Michael

        • Charles Stoehr Says:

          Michael,

          If Pyramyd Air gets the KWC blowback version of the P08 for 4.5 mm steel BB, you might have your chance to get one with a lighter single action trigger. I have the Umarex Legends P08 and am disappointed with its heavy trigger. I really hope Pyramyd Air will sell the KWC blowback P08s. I think it will be much better than the Umarex P08.

  • Aj Says:

    Edith,

    Are the historical archives down? I have been getting “not found” for the last several day when trying to access them.

    Thanks,

    Aljoh

    • Edith Gaylord Says:

      Aj,

      They’re in the middle of transferring them from Blogger to Airgun Academy, and some are temporarily unavailable. And I believe only 2009 is currently unavailable. If you have something specific you want to read, I may be able to get a temporary link for you.

      Edith

      • Aj Says:

        Thanks Edith

        I can wait, just browsing in case I missed something. I ran into this while browsing the 2006 entries.

        AJ

  • Reb Says:

    B.B.,Michael’s comment above about extra magazines reminds me,I have a few Airsoft guns that I need parts to complete,what would be the best place to acquire replacement parts for a variety of different guns? I especially would like to get a magazine or 2 for my Crosman StingerP311 but I also have a M4A1 of unknown origin.

    Reb

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Reb,

      Some airsoft guns are supported as well as airguns, but not all.

      For the Crosman guns, which may be made in China, I would contact Crosman customer service.

      Your M4A1 needs to be identified. There are only a few makers out there, but their parts don’t all interchange. I just depends on which p-art you need. Some are more universal than others.,

      Have you tried contacting Pyramyd Air?

      B.B.

      • Reb Says:

        No Sir, I haven’t. Just peeked at their current inventory which is where I finally found mags for my Stinger. many internet searches never listed PA as an option or I would’ve already ordered one with my Chrony.Thanks for the heads-up on the M4A1,I suspected identification might be an issueMost of the parts I need for it are external-i.e,buttstock, forearm & sight, might these parts be slightly universal?
        Thanks also for your quick response!

        Reb

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          Reb,

          Yes, if your M4 is a quality one, then buttstocks and forearms should be entirely universal. UTG makes the best stuff and it fits all guns that are close to the spec.

          B.B.

          • RifledDNA Says:

            A friend of mine has a guy with about a dozen action airsofts, m4s and the like and I was looking at the extendable stocks and couldn’t believe the quality, they looked like they could go right on a firearm. I almost bought a gun so I could mod a stock like that onto something. How close to firearm specs can some of these stocks be? Are any spot on? Or are they all just clones that could never actually interchange?

            • B.B. Pelletier Says:

              RDNA,

              Spot-on is just a slang term. The precise term is mil spec and some of the UTG stocks are mil spec. That means they meet the required military specification and are able to pass government inspections to be accepted for use on combat rifles.

              B.B.

  • Gunfun1 Says:

    I like that the slide stays open on the last shot. And the fps that the pistol is making is respectable. But you know me. How accurate will it be. That’s what I want to know.

    I know the accuracy part is coming. And I don’t know if I will ever own one. But it is fun learning about the replica guns thats for sure.

  • Reb Says:

    I myself would rely on a Makarov as a CCweapon & would consider one of these 2 guns to be an invaluable tool for training & technique honing purposes!

    Reb

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Reb,

      I carried a Mak for a while in an ankle holster because of its reliability and accuracy. But it was just too big and when I wear shorts I have to hide it somewhere else. That’s why I switched to the Micro Desert Eagle.

      B.B.

      • RifledDNA Says:

        Are you saying the micro D.E. is smaller then a mak ? That’s almost unreal, what caliber is the eagle?

        • B.B. Pelletier Says:

          RDNA,

          The Micro Desert Eagle is much smaller than a Makarov. It comes in .380 ACP caliber which is 9X17mm, while the Makarov is loosely referred to as the the 9X18mm. The Makarov cartridge is more powerful, but the difference isn’t large.

          B.B.

          • Michael Says:

            B.B.,

            I just did a google image search on the Micro Desert Eagle. Man! That is TINY. It must be about the size of all those (infinite, practically) .25 semi-autos, but .38ACP! It looks like a man’s palm could cover it entirely.

            Talk about a pocket cannon.

            If Umarex did a CO2 version of that, hmmm. Well, where’d they put the powerlet?

            Michael

      • Reb Says:

        I carried mine in the small of my back through a few iffy times back in them Carnying days, while I was a more robust young man.Never had to pull it!

        Reb

  • Matt61 Says:

    How enticing. Who needs blowback? The legendary pistol sounds good enough for me. This sounds like the very thing for snap shooting practice. And I suspect that bbs are even cheaper than pellets.

    Reb, very encouraging about the possibilities of improvement. Besides, I think that business of starting when you are a kid only applies if you are seeking world-class performance which I certainly am not.

    I was out at the range on Saturday, and it was not a good scene. Slinging Lead where are you? You are vindicated once again. On my first clip with the Garand, the gun jammed and when I removed the stuck cartridge, the bullet came loose pouring powder all over the place. Fortunately most of it missed the receive but not all. That’s it. I need to learn how to crimp. I’ve heard that this is necessary for semi-auto guns because of the way the cartridges are bounced around by the action. I was hoping to avoid this since I am not taking my rifle to war but just to the range. But I cannot have cartridges coming apart like this. So, what’s the quick story on crimping bullets into a case? Is it hard?

    Fortunately, this did not happen again for my 70 odd rounds that I shot. I did get failures to feed, but they were benign. Either the bolt closed on an empty chamber without feeding the next cartridge, or the bolt would hang up with the cartridges poised to feed. I just had to retract the bolt and release, and it was fine. Still, this was disturbing. If I was out in the Pacific War with this rifle I would be dead. And it’s mysterious too since I was using the prescribed load of 51.5 gr. of the recommended powder that the gun was tuned for–measured to 1/20th of a grain! I suspect that this gun has been hotrodded so much that it is finicky. The failures to feed were probably allowed as an acceptable price for the extra accuracy. All I can think to do is to continue refining my reloading skills. I think I will also clean out the gas system in case fouling is causing a problem.

    When I went out to the 100 yard range to try out the scope on my Anschutz, I found that it was shooting about three feet to the right of point of aim. That was weird by itself since I don’t remember anything like that deflection before. I dialed like mad, but the movement left began to slow, and the point of impact started dropping down. My elevation ran out about 10 inches below point of aim. The windage was getting tight with about 6 inches still to go. I’ve already reversed the rings for this scope. I guess I could reverse the orientation for each of the rings. But I’m getting this uneasy feeling that the scope is the problem since it has exhibited some large changes to points of aim while sitting in the same mounts. The only reason I can think of for this (referencing the blog) is that the adjustments are so extreme that the erector tube is floating around inside the scope housing. If I can get the adjustments more in the middle of the range, maybe they will be more stable. Fortunately, I have several sets of rings on hand, so I’m facing a long series of tests. It looks like I will spend a lot of time adjusting the reticle with respect to the back of the rifle.

    On top of this, a guy comes up next to me and starts yacking non-stop. He was nice and relatively well-informed, but he would not stop. I could hardly concentrate, but I didn’t know how to shut him down. With his blackpowder set-up he had nothing but time it would seem. At least I can share the knowledge he was so generously imparting. He showed me a rather nicely set-up flintlock with shiny silvery furniture, and showed me how very well-balanced it was. The reason, he said, was because the barrel narrowed in the middle and then opened back out again towards the bore. That’s certainly a new twist on the choke concept. I couldn’t understand if there was some other purpose to this other than the balance. In the midst of some other thread, he also mentioned something called a “chunk” gun capable of incredible accuracy. The chunk gun, he said, indicating a very heavy barreled gun with hand movements, had a conical bullet seated and then some propellant added in behind. It sounded like a breechloader although the context was blackpowder. It was news to me. Anyone heard of anything like this?

    Anyway, my shooting was overall pretty poor. The troops panicked, sniped, forgot to follow-through. Pathetic. As the German officer says to a recruit in The Forgotten Soldier (with a “petrifying” expression): “You scum, you are not worthy of the arms you bear!” At least, I can say that I did manage to remember the cardinal rule when I finally tried out the Garand offhand at 100 yards. The first couple shots completely missed the 12 inch square target paper. But the remaining 18 were well-within it and three were within an inch at the very center with one pinwheel. I guess I could chalk the session up to an expensive lesson in remembering to follow-through. Also, the Garand is so much fun to shoot. Walter Mitty would have a field day: “With the tropical sun blistering the atoll, he looked at the blasted berm where the inevitable banzai charge would come. Smiling sardonically, he flicked away his cigarette and slid the last clip of Sierra MatchKing bullets into his Garand…”

    I was a bit dazed when I finally made it over to the pistol range which is just when more range weirdness came into play. While trying to settle down with my Single-Six, a guy walked over to me and stood rather alarmingly close. Made me nervous. Then, he said, “Blackhawk.” I said, “No, Single-six.” Then, he said, again, “Blackhawk.” I said, “No, it’s a Ruger Single-Six.” Then, he smiled and walked away?? And to top it all off, I got placed to a woman with an incredible figure. It didn’t do much for the shooting concentration although it wasn’t what I would call a misfortune. I was so tired anyway, that I could hardly maintain the Isosceles position. I did notice, though, how well the SW 686 was shooting. Fantastic gun that I was inspired to get by blog posts on the airgun version!

    Matt61

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Matt,

      That muzzleloading barrel you saw is called a swamped barrel. They were common on better guns a century ago.

      Chunk guns have been described extensively on this blog by BG_Farmer. They are long-barreled rifle that are shot prone with the gun resting on a log called a chunk. They shoot round balls and are very accurate to about 60 yards.

      B.B.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Matt,

      I forgot the most important thing. Get a Lee Factory Crimp die for your Garand. They squeeze the neck like the factory and they are renowned for accuracy.

      B.B.

    • RifledDNA Says:

      I have to say, this post is the most entertaining part of today’s blog.

    • Slinging Lead Says:

      Matt61

      That is quite a cast of characters you run into at that shooting range. There must be something in the water.

      I doesn’t make me happy to hear about your setbacks, but I am encouraged by your continued good humor in the face of these unfortunate events and errant weirdos. I will drink a toast to a trouble free range visit for you.
      Na Zdorovie!

    • /Dave Says:

      Matt,

      Swamped barrels lighten up the gun considerably. Less tiring to aim and shoot offhand and give a better balance for a long gun overall.

      What a crew you’ve got there at your range! I don’t know what to tell you except don’t take as many guns to shoot and allow time for the bs’ers… I think the girl was there to test everyone’s powers of concentration under stress…

      I’ll second BB’ssuggestion for the Lee factory crimp die. Easy to set up and easier to use!

      /Dave

  • John Says:

    I had one of these before they came in with the blowback. Blowback was the one thing on my wish list on these. But I’m not likely to buy one of these since I have something else on my want list. I really want a 1911 bb gun with blowback that closely matches my 1911 that I’m still building. That way I have a trainer to practice with until I have a good idea how to accurately shoot the real one. That way I get in some good training without spending a fortune on .45 acp. Then if a need arises that I must take a shot with the real one I will have met the well trained part of the 2nd amendment. A rifle is no problem. I’m an artist with one of those, but my pistol work is terrible. I need to fix that.

    • Michael Says:

      John,

      You should check out B.B./Tom’s report of May 6, 2011. He describes the M1911A1 shooting technique of Lieutenant Colonel Edward H. Bonsall, who was awarded the U.S. Army Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.

      It seems like an excellent method to 1911 accuracy.

      Michael

  • kevin Says:

    B.B.,

    Some of us have gone through difficult financial times, some of us are going through difficult financial times and some of us will go through difficult financial times in the future.

    For this reason I’m very interested to hear what the ONE airgun is that you would keep and the ONE firearm is that you would keep while you would endure a financial crisis.

    This is not a “WHAT GUNS I KEPT AND WHY” this is a ONE airgun and ONE firearm question.

    kevin

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Kevin,

      Interesting. I will give this some thought. I think I know which pellet gun it will be, but let me think about it.

      B.B.

  • Mike U Says:

    The Makarov looks really nice, and I had a copy of the other Umarex Mak and enjoyed it. But what I would really like to see is some replicas of revolvers, especially pellet-shooting ones with rifled barrels. Right now I think there are only two: the Crosman and the 586/686 Smith & Wesson. Plus a few more bb shooters like the Dan Wesson and the Python. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a Smith & Wesson Shofield replica, or an H&R, or a Colt or Remington single action, a Webley .455, or even a Nagant revolver replica? That last one might be hard to produce with blowback, but what if? I realize that everyone is hot for semi autos these days, but I think there is a place for more revolvers. I’d really like to see a Webley replica. There is a .455 for sale at my local gun shop, and I would buy it but for the $1500 price tag. A CO2 version would be great.

  • Michael Says:

    Mike U.,

    Recently B.B. did a series of reports on the new Colt Python BB replica.

    Michael

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