Posts Tagged ‘CO2 pistol’
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report addresses:
• Crosman 2240 pistol is accurate!
• Sight-in reveals a tip!
• Accuracy testing
Today, I get to shoot the Crosman 2240 air pistol as a carbine. Thanks to the adapter from R. Arms Innovations and the adjustable UTG 6-position Mil Spec AR stock, my 2240 is now a handy carbine. Allow me to explain why that’s such a good thing.
2240 is accurate!
Many years ago, when I knew much more than I do now, I wrote an article for Shotgun News about some vintage air pistols — specifically the Crosman Mark I Target pistol and the Smith & Wesson 78G. Both vintage air pistols have superb handling and light, crisp triggers, not to mention their fine adjustable sights. I was writing about how the golden age of target air pistols had ended 30 years earlier, and I included a Crosman 2240 pistol in the article, just for comparison. You know — so people could see how far things had slipped over time. Imagine my chagrin to see the 2240 turn in the best results of the test, despite having a much cruder trigger and sights that were as simple as a door latch. I wrote the article that way, admitting my surprise that the current gun bested the two golden oldies, despite lacking all of their sophistication.
Sometimes, I think of myself as the Charlie Chaplin of writers. I’m always doing things my readers know will explode in my face, and I guess it’s funny to watch — or, in this case, read. Anyhow, the Crosman 2240 rubbed my nose in it real good that time!
We now have a chance to let the 2240 sprint like the thoroughbred that it is. The peep sight that comes on the pistol could not be used when it was a pistol; but with this adjustable stock attached, it can now come into play.
One more thing I learned in today’s test. I thought I had the stock adjusted perfectly when we began. It was set up for the Benjamin Marauder pistol that has a scope mounted on it, and what I didn’t consider when switching over to the 2240 was how far my eye would be from the peep hole. Fortunately, the UTG stock adjusted one more click in, and then the peep sight was in the right place. That’s why an adjustable shoulder stock is better than a stock of fixed length when you’re trying different air pistols like I am.
One reason you read this blog is the occasional tip you get. Well, today’s the day! The 2240 uses a standard rear sight that has a peephole on the same plate as the notch. Simply flip the plate over (you have to take it off the sight to do this), and the peep is available. It isn’t a precision target aperture, but neither is the peep sight on a Garand, M1 Carbine or M16, for that matter.
The rear sight has both a notch and a peep hole. They adjust in both directions, but the adjustments are somewhat crude. Loosen the screw and slide the plate up and down for elevation. For windage, the entire sight slides a little side-to-side.
You adjust elevation by sliding the peephole up and down — always moving in the direction you want the shot to move. There is also some sideways adjustment by sliding the whole rear sight side-to-side, but it’s not much. On my gun, it didn’t go far enough. This is where the tip comes in!
If you can’t move the rear sight, maybe you can move the front, but on the 2240 the front sight is fixed. Ahh…but the barrel isn’t fixed! So, you move the barrel instead of the front sight. Two Allen screws on the forward barrel band (one on top, the other on the bottom) are loosened, and the barrel is pushed from side to side. But there’s a catch.
While you always move a front sight in the opposite direction you want the pellet to go, when it’s the entire barrel that’s moving, that gets reversed. Move the muzzle in the direction you want the pellet to move.
It took me 6 shots to get in the bull at 12 feet, then the sights (and the barrel band) were locked down. I moved back to 10 meters and started shooting. A confirmation shot was close to the center of the bull, so the sight-in went perfectly.
The first pellet I tried was the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier. As I was shooting the group, I could see that all the pellets were hitting inside the small bullseye. But after shot 6, the hole they were making became large enough to see from 10 meters. I know that 0.84 inches for 10 shots at 10 meters doesn’t sound very good, but it looks better when you see the hole!
Next, I tried some RWS Hobbys. They usually do well in guns like the 2240; and on this day, they didn’t disappoint. The first 8 went into a group that measures 0.462 inches between centers, but then the gas pressure started to drop. I could hear it happening, but I continued shooting. Shots 9 and 10 dropped below the main group, opening it to 1.043 inches. If only I’d stopped when my gut instincts told me!
This group made me mad because I knew that my 2240 uses CO2 pretty fast. In fact, I debated shooting the second 10-shot group because sight-in and confirmation had already used up 7 shots. I knew my gun had 25 shots on full power. I guess I just tried to scrape by, and this is what happened.
So, I changed the CO2 cartridge and started again. This time, I shot JSB Exact RS pellets, that I expected to do the best of all. And I think they did. Nine of 10 shots went into 0.497 inches, and one shot strayed to the left, opening the group to 0.698 inches. I don’t actually know which of the 10 shots is off to the left because I never called it.
The R.A.I. adapter and UTG 6-position adjustable stock were made for the Crosman 2240. I love this little air pistol, and these accessories turn it into a handy carbine. The sights are crude; but as these groups demonstrate, you don’t need target sights to do a good job.
No, I’m not going to shoot this gun at 25 yards. Sure it can do it; and yes, the groups will all be larger. With a gun like this, 10 meters seems like a comfortable distance to me.
If you enjoy the 2240, and I know there are many who do, perhaps this adapter and stock are something you should consider. If you own several Crosman air pistols and have other family members who like to shoot, I think this adapter and stock are almost required.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Before I start, here’s a word on the project I’m doing on how this blog has affected people’s lives. The emails are coming in, and they’re big and full! I think we’re going to get a lot out of this.
A reminder to those who don’t know what this is. I’m asking readers to email me the story of how the blog has impacted them. I’ll maintain complete anonymity for everyone unless you tell me that you want me to use your name or handle. And your email addresses only go to me — no list is being kept.
To join this project, click this link to find the special email address at the bottom of the May 30 blog report. I look forward to hearing from you.
This report covers:
• BB caliber
• Piercing problems
• Description of the gun
• A lot of BB guns!
The airguns at this year’s SHOT Show were exciting for a number of reasons. I mention them as they come up in these reviews, and today we’ll begin looking at a BB pistol that I was very surprised to see. Hatsan’s 250XT TAC-BOSS bears a strong resemblance to a Ruger Mark III Hunter .22 pistol. Normally, lookalike airguns are copies of either military or otherwise iconic firearms. The Ruger Mark III is certainly a popular handgun, but it’s not really in either category. Yet, here’s a BB pistol that copies it so closely that it even has the quirky Ruger disassembly lever in the back of the pistol grip.
The 250, as I’ll call it for the rest of this report, is powered by a single 12-gram CO2 cartridge that’s contained in the magazine with the BBs. That mag slips into the pistol grip, just like a firearm mag. The gun is made in Taiwan and has an airsoft heritage. That seems to be the popular thing today, an airsoft manufacturer converts one of their guns from 6mm plastic BBs to 4.3mm steel BBs.
The magazine holds 17 BBs in a stack. To load the gun, you pull down on the magazine follower and drop the BBs in through the top portal one at a time.
And, by the way — I know that nearly all airgun makers refer to steel BBs as 4.5mm and .177 caliber these days, but they’re not! BBs measure 0.171-0.173-inches in diameter, which works out to just over 4.3mm. This is important when owners try to do things that won’t work because their guns are mislabeled. That’s why I always refer to steel BBs as either BB caliber or I tell you the nominal measurements.
This airgun doesn’t have blowback but I wanted to make sure, so I installed a CO2 cartridge. Naturally, I used a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip. When the cartridge is pierced, the gas usually stops flowing instantly. It didn’t this time. A soft hiss went on for 15 seconds as I tightened the cartridge more and more, using the large Allen screw in the magazine base. That’s very unusual, so I exhausted the gas and tried a second cartridge from a different manufacturer, also with Pellgunoil on the tip. Since I had to release all the gas in the first cartridge, the magazine was allowed to sit for 10 minutes to return to room temperature before the second trial.
The second time, the gun sealed immediately, just as it should. Since I used a different cartridge for this test, I conducted a third test using the first brand of cartridge, just to see if it was a cartridge problem. It wasn’t. The third cartridge also sealed immediately. This is a lesson in how important it is to always use a drop of Pellgunoil on the tip of each cartridge, because this pistol really needed it!
Incidentally, I really like how the piercing screw is hidden in the base of the magazine. I know BB pistol shooters make a big deal over being able to see the piercing mechanism, and on this gun you can’t.
The gun is finished entirely black. The grip frame and grips are plastic, as well as both sights. The remainder of the parts are metal, including the fluted barrel jacket. The barrel is 6.75 inches long and smoothbored. The shape of the triggerguard doesn’t match the Ruger Mark II triggerguard. This one is scalloped for the finger(s) of a second hand. That’s probably an improvement because two-handed pistol shooting is very popular today.
The gun weighs 29 oz., and the grip is very comfortable. Both sights are fixed, and the front sight has a green fiberoptic tube. That probably makes sense on a BB gun as it is a point-type airgun. You don’t need precision for a BB pistol.
The bolt doesn’t move, though the Ruger-like flanges at the rear will make you at least give it a try. I think a blowback version of this pistol would be so cool because that bolt would come back just like the bolt on a firearm.
The safety is in the same place as the safety on the Ruger firearm, and it works the same way. It’s easy to apply, and a right-handed shooter can both apply it and take it off with their thumb. Once applied, it blocks the trigger.
This pistol is double-action only. That said, the trigger-pull is light and smooth. There’s no stacking (sharp increase in the pull effort) near the end of the trigger travel. There’s a pause at the end of the travel, however, and a skilled handgunner will be able to pull to this point, then squeeze off the shot.
A lot of BB guns!
Before anyone mentions it, I have been testing a lot of BB guns this year. And there are a lot more to come. This seems to be the year of the BB pistol, and Edith and I have selected the ones most people are talking about; or in the case of today’s pistol, the ones they should be talking about.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• Winchester Target Cube
• Rested position
• Overall evaluation
Today is accuracy day for the Legends Makarov Ultra BB pistol and the big question is: How does it hold up against its non-recoiling brother that we all know is very accurate? I think you’re going to be pleased with the results.
I installed a fresh CO2 cartridge, which — thanks to yesterday’s report on CO2 – reminded me to put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of the cartridge before piercing. As before, the piercing was nearly instantaneous with no loss of gas. I looked at the face seal with a jeweler’s loupe and saw that it’s a thick (relatively) clear synthetic that looks like it will do its job for a long time to come.
Next, I loaded some BBs into the front of the magazine. Here’s a tip for this. Lock down the mag follower at the bottom of its slot and elevate the bottom of the mag. This way, the BBs will easily fall into the enlarged hole in the front of the magazine. If one overshoots the mark, it remains in a trough and can be rolled back to the hole very easily.
Winchester Target Cube
Once again, the Winchester Airgun Target Cube was pressed into service for a target holder and backstop. I taped the targets to the cube that now has thick cardboard on both sides. No more styrofoam comes out because of the cardboard; and the targets tear better, even when the BBs are shot at lower velocities.
The Target Cube keeps the BBs from bouncing back. That keeps the shooting area cleaner; and since I shoot BBs in my bedroom, that’s a good thing. If you shoot a lot of BBs in the house, I recommend the Target Cube.
I then sat on a chair at 5 meters from the target and put a large pillow on my lap. When doubled over, the pillow allowed me to rest my arms so I could achieve a very steady 2-hand hold. It’s the gun we want to test — not the shooter.
The sights on the Makarov are very fine, but also sharp. I had no problem getting the same sight picture, shot after shot.
The first target I shot was a 50-foot smallbore bull. Those are just slightly larger than 10-meter air rifle bulls. I had no idea where the pistol was shooting, nor how accurate it might be; but at 16 feet, I felt this target was large enough to keep all the shots on paper. I used a 6 o’clock hold, like I always do with handgun sights like these.
The shots landed about 3/4-inch below the point of aim. While the first 3 shots seemed to scatter, the next 7 stayed inside them, resulting in a fine-looking 10-shot group. In measures 0.916 inches between centers and looks even better. The bulk of the shots landed inside a half inch!
The second target looks even better. I called that shot that went to the left because of the very hard trigger pull we’ve already discussed. Actually, the trigger isn’t that hard for a double-action pull (which it isn’t), but for target shooting it’s way more than you want. This time, 10 shots went into 1.189 inches, with 9 of them in 0.727 inches.
I was really impressed with the way this pistol wants to lay them in the same hole at 5 meters. That trigger pull, though, takes discipline to overcome. The tendency is to try to overpower it, which will result in shots thrown wide to the left in my case.
I decided to try a larger aim point for the third group, so I substituted a 10-meter pistol target instead. The bull is twice the size of the others, and I wondered what it might do. Oddly, it pulled my shots closer together, though I did get a very vertical shot string. This time, 10 shots went into 1.334 inches, with 9 in 0.683 inches. Look at this group, and you’ll see the pedigree of the non-recoiling Makarov showing through.
Yes, I think this Makarov is just as accurate as its non-recoiling brother. What separates them is the stiffer trigger on this one. It makes you really hold tight, and any distraction will cause you to throw a shot.
I like the Makarov Ultra BB pistol. In fact, I think I’m going to buy this one for my growing collection. This is what inexpensive BB pistols should be.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• Single-action trigger.
• 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report addresses:
• Missing Part 3 of the adapter report on the Marauder pistol.
• Description of the 2240 adapter.
• Mounting the 2240 adapter.
• Adapter mounted — now what?
• How difficult is the adapter to install?
If you’ve been waiting for Part 3 of the report on the R.A.I. AR Adjustable Stock Adapter used on the Benjamin Marauder pistol, you’ve been waiting a long time. I tested the pistol at 50 yards for a Part 3 report, but the results I got were unsatisfactory. I didn’t think they represented what the pistol can do, so I didn’t report them — and now a lot of time has passed.
I still plan on writing that report when I get a good day at the range, but today I have something different to show you. R.A.I. stands for R. Arms Innovations, an Illinois-based company that makes adapters to connect adjustable AR stocks to various Crosman pistols and turning them into carbines.
Dave Rensing, the owner of R. Arms Innovations, got started by making an adapter so his young son and daughter could shoulder his Benjamin Marauder pistol. When he discovered that the adjustable AR stock makes it possible for the pistol to fit both young people and adults, alike, he knew he was onto something.
Crosman already makes a stock that converts many of their pistols into carbines. But the stock they make has a fixed length of pull. Either it fits or it doesn’t.
The innovative way Dave designed his adapter allows it to be adjusted for a variety of cast-off and cast-on (butt slanted toward the body or away from it) positions, cant angles plus a wide range of comb heights. In other words — a stock that can be easily adapted to fit most people.
This is all just old news for those who read the first 2 tests of the R.A.I. adapter and the Benjamin Marauder pistol. But, today, we’re looking at a different adapter — one that works with the popular Crosman 2240 CO2 pistol. This adapter will be more popular than the Marauder pistol adapter because there are many times more shooters who shoot and modify the inexpensive 2240 family of air pistols.
The 2240 adapter is very similar to the Marauder adapter, except for the way it interfaces with the pistol. The Marauder has a threaded hole where the power is adjusted. The adapter can bolt directly to that. The 2240 doesn’t have a hole, and the 2240 end cap is flush with the pistol. The adapter for the 2240 had to include a new end cap into which the adapter can be bolted.
The Marauder pistol has a threaded hole in its end cap to accept the R.A.I. adapter bolt. The 2240 pistol end cap doesn’t have that threaded hole.
Mounting the adapter
To install this new end cap, the pistol’s end cap must first be removed. The rear sight screw and a screw at the top rear of the grip frame hold the 2240 end cap in place. You only need to remove these 2 screws and then the factory cap comes out of the pistol. Next, attach the new cap that comes in the R.A.I. kit. It has a threaded hole that you’ll need. The adapter will then attach to the gun like it should.
Crosman 2240 end cap (right) has been removed and the R.A.I. adapter end cap (left) is ready to be installed. Only two screws are removed for this. The R.A.I. end cap has the threaded hole that accepts the adapter bolt.
Once the adapter is attached, you can screw the buffer tube of any AR extendable stock to the other end of the adapter. I used the UTG 6-position Mil-Spec AR stock on the Marauder pistol, and I note that R.A.I. offers the same stock with some of their kits. Obviously, this is a high-quality stock at a good price.
The R.A.I. adapter is mounted and swung up as high as it will go.
The R.A.I. adapter is swung down as low as it will go. This lowers the butt considerably. And the adapter can be locked in position at any point around a complete circle.
The UTG stock is attached to the adapter and extended as far as it will go.
The UTG stock is collapsed as far as it will go.
Once the adapter is mounted and the stock is attached, what can you do? This is where Crosman 2240 owners can go nuts because the possibilities are virtually endless. You can use the gun just as it is, like I’m showing here. Crosman puts a peep sight on the 2240; but until you have a shoulder stock, you can’t use it. With the stock attached, I can switch the rear sight to the peep and use it.
But most 2240 owners will probably want to switch to a steel breech. It adds strength to the gun, plus there’s an 11mm dovetail rail on top for mounting scope rings. And that extra strength can be used to hold an 18-inch barrel! Now, you have a carbine that the stock is ideally suited for! Crosman sells all these parts very reasonably.
How hard is it to install?
I don’t like things that are difficult, so I worry when there are parts to be disassembled. But here is what it took to install this adapter. It took a total of 10 minutes for me to disassemble the 2240 and install the adapter and stock. That includes the time spent taking the pictures. It isn’t difficult at all!
In the next report, I get to do something I’ve wanted to do for years. I get to shoot this 2240 using the peep sight!
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• Recent trend of lookalike airguns
• Introduction of the Umarex Legends line
• 4 Makarovs
• Makarov Ultra description
Umarex has made lookalike airguns for over a decade, now, and the guns they’ve made have had a big influence on my firearm ownership trends. It seems that I acquire the airgun first, then long to own the firearm as a companion. I know that sounds backwards, but that’s how it’s happening to me!
First was the Walther PPK/S BB pistol — a cool sidearm that spawned a desire for a firearm PPK/S. I satisfied that with a .22 LR Walther several years ago. Next was the pellet-firing Colt M1911A1. That one came after I had owned a number of 1911s; but when I got it, I didn’t own any 1911 firearms at the time. But within 10 years, Edith and I are broke out with them — having more of that type than any other firearm!
The Umarex pellet-firing Magnum Research Desert Eagle was impressively accurate but so large that I thought myself immune from its charms. But just a couple years ago, I added a .357 Desert Eagle to the gun closet.
The one firearm I never thought I would own was the Winchester 94. I’ve never warmed to that design; but when Edith saw the pellet-shooting Walther Lever Action, she warmed to it right away and soon there was a 30-30 in the closet next to it.
Here come the Legends
Umarex has decided to step up the pace on lookalike guns by introducing their Legends line. The Legends are also lookalikes, but they’re copies of firearms that are legendary. Not that the 1911 and the Winchester 1894 aren’t legendary — for they certainly are, but now Umarex will concentrate on those firearms that have achieved a spot in everyone’s eyes — either by their design or by their role in life or both.
They chose the Luger to kick things off. You all witnessed the test of the Legends Parabellum P.08 pistol that turned into a desire to renew my acquaintance with Herr Luger’s legendary 9mm sidearm. That happened just this past Christmas. As it was happening, Umarex launched their Legends C96 Mauser pistol! To that I said, “Absolutely not!” We’ll see how long that resolve lasts.
Just a week ago, I completed the test of the Legends Colt Python BB revolver. I owned a Python in .357 Magnum years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was one handgun I worried about spoiling by over-handling. I don’t need that. Give me a good old Ruger Security Six any day, and I’ll turn a blind eye toward the scratches.
Today, I’m starting the review of a lookalike handgun that has had a huge influence on me in a number of different ways. I’m now looking at the Legends Makarov Ultra BB pistol.
Umarex began the Legends line of guns as special copies of iconic firearms, and it was fitting that the Makarov was the first to be produced. That one was not offered with blowback, but I found it to be amazingly accurate when I tested it. Then I “taught” Crystal Ackley to shoot with a BB Makarov on American Airgunner, and the gun really took off. In truth, if you saw that episode, I didn’t teach her anything. All I did was tell her what to do, she did it and it worked! Always! Crystal was a natural shooter who out-shot everyone on the show.
At the same time, I acquired a Makarov firearm that I’ve mentioned from time to time in this blog. It’s the only semiautomatic pistol I’ve ever seen that has never jammed or misfired one time in close to a thousand shots. The design is rugged, yet the gun is accurate, and it has a light double-action trigger-pull and mild recoil. Too bad the puny 9x18mm cartridge it’s chambered for is so entirely unsuited to military use, because the gun is a rock-solid reliable piece. A 1911 should be so reliable!
To complete the Makarov story, I must mention the firearm Maks that were converted by Izhmash to fire BBs. They were imported into the U.S. for a short time, until our Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined they can be converted back to firearm status and stopped all importation.
This pistol started out as a Russian 9mm Makarov, then Ishmash converted it to shoot BBs. The Russian grips look different than the Bulgarian grips, but Makarovs had many different styles over the years.
That makes a total of 4 Makarovs in my possession at this time. Three are BB-guns and the other is the firearm. This is a mini collection within my airgun/firearm collection. Now the question is if the new Legends Makarov Ultra is a worthy addition to the party.
The Makarov Ultra
The Makarov Ultra appears very similar to the original Umarex Makarov, but how different can it be and still be a close copy of the firearm? Of course, the big difference with the Ultra is the addition of blowback. When the first Mak came out, the usual suspects howled, “I would buy one in a second, if it just had blowback!” Now, it does.
The pistol is sized to the firearm, and I doubt even an expert could notice any difference unless he examined the gun. With a CO2 cartridge installed it weighs a shade under 24 oz., where the unloaded firearm weighs 26 oz. Only the slight presence of the folded cartridge piercing screw handle under the magazine floorplate gives any indication of what’s inside.
The metal finish is a matte black that’s more subdued than the blued steel on my Bulgarian Mak, but very similar to the Russian version. The grips are closer to the Bulgarian grips, though there are so many Makarovs in the world that just about any grip can be found on them.
The Makarov firearm is both single- and double-action. So, it can be safely carried loaded with a round in the chamber — just pull the trigger when you want to start firing. The Makarov Ultra is single-action only. The trigger looks like it will fire the gun; but pulling it with the hammer down accomplishes nothing. Once the hammer is cocked, though, every shot makes the slide blow back and cock the hammer again. After the last BB has been fired from the 16-round magazine, the slide remains open — to tell you it’s time to reload. Extra magazines may be purchased so you never need to stop shooting.
The sights are fixed — front and rear. This is identical to the firearm. There are Makarov firearms with adjustable sights and double-stack magazines, but I believe these are civilian models, only. Contrary to what the wikipedia writeup says, the Makarov firearm is a very accurate pistol.
Yes, the Makarov Ultra does disassemble, just like the firearm. Pull the triggerguard down in front and slide the slide back and up off the frame. Disassembly takes about 2 seconds. There’s no reason to disassemble the pistol, but I know that some owners just have to do it! Just know that disassembly is not authorized by the factory; and if you damage your gun or lose parts, the warranty doesn’t cover you.
I give the Ultra model high marks for realism. It lacks the lanyard loop on the bottom left of the grip frame and the safety doesn’t decock the hammer like the firearm safety does; but other than that, it’s a remarkable package. For those who like realistic BB pistols, the Makarov Ultra is one to have.
by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
It’s accuracy day for the Beretta model 84 FS BB pistol, and some of you have been eagerly awaiting this day! I decided to shoot 3 different BBs in the gun just to give you a general idea of how well it groups.
Because this is a BB gun, the shooting distance was 5 meters, which is 16 feet, 5 inches. I sat backwards on a chair, resting my forearms over the back, so the pistol was fairly steady. I selected a 10-meter rifle target for this session because the smaller bull seemed appropriate for the shorter distance.
After installing the CO2 cartridge and loading the first 10 BBs, I tried to shoot the target and the gun wouldn’t fire! What was wring? I knew this was a double-action-only trigger, and it should have worked. Right?
Wrong! This trigger is not DAO. It only feels like one! It’s really a single-action trigger that requires the hammer to be cocked before it’ll work. You can squeeze the trigger all day and nothing will happen until the hammer is cocked. So, with this little problem out of the way, the test could begin.
Crosman Copperhead BBs
First up were 10 Crosman Copperhead BBs. As I shot, I noted that the pistol was very steady in my rested hands. And the target shows that…I think. Ten Copperheads went into 1.521 inches at 5 meters. But note the 2 holes that are apart from the main group. Eight of those BBs made a group measuring 0.78 inches.
The farthest of the 2 holes that are apart from the main group — the one to the extreme right — was a called flier. My hand twitched to the left as the shot fired. The other one, though, was held just like all the rest.
Daisy Premium Grade BBs
Next I tried 10 Daisy Premium Grade BBs. Like I mentioned in Part 1, they’re top-grade BBs that always deliver the goods. This time, 10 of them went into 1.114 inches. There were no called fliers, and the group is fairly well centered on the bull.
The last BB I tried was the Umarex precision BB — another top-grade BB. Ten of them grouped in 1.28 inches, with 9 going into 0.998 inches. There were no called fliers in this group, either.
As I told you in Part 2, the trigger-pull on this pistol feels very much like a double-action pull. That’s one where the trigger first cocks the hammer before releasing it to fire the gun. It “stacks” or increases in effort significantly toward the end of the pull, like a vintage Colt double-action revolver. Once you learn how to use that, it helps with accuracy. The pistol is actually stabilized before firing.
This little Beretta is a fun BB gun, make no mistake. I found it trouble-free and easy to use. The sights are right on, and there are no quirks in the operation. If you like BB repeaters, this would be one to consider!