Beretta M9A3 Take 2 Part 2

Beretta M9A3 Take 2 Part 2

Out of the box testing

By Dennis Adler

The newest 92A1 models come in a box very similar to the new M9A3 (a slightly longer gun) and both share the same basic features, though the M9A3 is considerably different in its overall design, which goes far beyond the color scheme.

The Umarex Beretta 92A1 has been among the best blowback action CO2 pistols since its introduction, and while it has been surpassed for overall authenticity by a few newer guns, it has never lost its appeal as a very interesting take on the military M9 pistol design. The M9A3 was intended to succeed it as the standard issue U.S. military sidearm, but that never happened and the M9A3 became the latest civilian model instead. As a CO2 pistol it is fairly quick on the scene, and like its centerfire counterpart, neither replacing nor duplicating the 92A1. For the air pistol there is one exception, using the same select fire mechanism. The M9A3 CO2 model is otherwise a generation ahead of the 92A1. Aside from the obvious changes shown in the original gun test and noted in Part 1 of this follow up review, there is the revision of the barrel breech to provide improved feeding from the magazine. So we will start with that change, and how well older and newer magazines work in the M9A3. read more


Beretta M9A3 Take 2 Part 1

Beretta M9A3 Take 2 Part 1

Out of the box testing

By Dennis Adler

It’s a mighty fine box for the new M9A3 considering that a lot of guns that cost about the same, like the HK USP, come in throwaway plastic packaging.

Just as the Umarex Beretta 92A1 offered airgun enthusiasts the latest 9mm design in a blowback action CO2 model back in 2015, the new M9A3 brings the CO2 design up to the current centerfire model. And this is one area where Umarex has truly excelled in the CO2 marketplace. The initial test of this new model in March was done using a factory test sample in order to get a review out as quickly as possible. As with other factory sample guns, which are production quality but ahead of deliveries to retailers, and often without a box, I like to run a second series of tests with a new off-the-shelf gun. So here we are with a brand new, in the box, Umarex Beretta M9A3. read more


My favorite CO2 air pistol of all time Part 3

My favorite CO2 air pistol of all time Part 3

And what makes it special

By Dennis Adler

Out of the two dozen CO2 models I talked about this week that have been developed over the last four years, there are five that have become my absolute favorites, well seven if you count the Mini Uzi and MP40, but for practical purposes, I’m limiting this final five to handguns. The choices are obvious to those who have read Airgun Experience over the past three years, and one of these is my absolute favorite among the Colt Peacemaker, Sig WE THE PEOPLE, CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow (Blue), Tanfoglio Gold Custom and Umarex Legends Mauser M712 Broomhandle.

Having a favorite anything means you have had it for awhile, unless something comes along that is so overwhelming it surpasses everything before it. In the world of firearms that only happens once in a great while. With blowback action CO2 models based on actual centerfire guns, it can happen more often because air pistols not only have ties to the latest guns, but can just as easily be based on guns from the past; with air pistols a new gun is always interesting, but it isn’t always new. One of the best examples of this was last year’s Umarex HK USP, a gun that has been around for some time but as a new blowback action CO2 pistol really hit it out of the park. The next closest was the Umarex Glock 17, a design that has been around as a 9mm pistol since 1982. Both are great and maybe in a few years one of them will become a favorite for me, but what I consider a favorite gun has a deeper meaning. read more


My favorite CO2 air pistol of all time Part 2

My favorite CO2 air pistol of all time Part 2

And what makes it special

By Dennis Adler

The Maschinenpistole 40 or MP40 was one of the big hits from Umarex in 2017.
The CO2 version of the full auto 9mm WWII submachine gun allows semi-auto fire as well as full auto, making it much more CO2 and BB friendly. The self-contained CO2 BB magazines use a pair of 12 gram CO2 cartridges. It doesn’t hurt accuracy, either.

When you have a veritable history of American and European firearms recreated today in .177 caliber BB and 4.5mm pellet firing airguns, everything from selective fire pistols like the Mini Uzi, Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 and WWII German MP40, to state-of-the-art semi-autos like the Glock 17 and legendary guns from the American West, like the Colt Peacemaker, finding one gun that raises the bar or hits your “must have” list, is like going to a premier firearms auction with the determination that no matter how many guns catch your eye, you are only going home with one. And so we begin Part 2 back in 2017. read more


My favorite CO2 air pistol of all time Part 1

My favorite CO2 air pistol of all time Part 1

And what makes it special

By Dennis Adler

The very first Airgun Experience was a tribute to John Wayne’s last film, The Shootist, and the limited edition Umarex Colt Peacemaker hand engraved and custom finished Shootist CO2 model. This was the beginning of an entire series of hand engraved CO2 Peacemakers in 5-1/2 and 7-1/2 inch barrel lengths that would be introduced in Airgun Experience articles.

This marks the 400th Airgun Experience article and over the period from No. 1 to No. 400 so many new CO2 air pistols and rifles have been introduced it becomes difficult to keep them all in comparative categories. The only real defining characteristics are magazine types, blowback or non-blowback actions (and that has to include revolvers), sights, though most are fixed sights of one type or another, and lastly, the quality of the build, fit, and finish. In most cases the differences between blowback and non-blowback semi autos covers all the rest, but not in every case and with today’s choices, that really doesn’t pare down the list all that much. So to start, let’s look back at new models introduced since Airgun Experience No. 1, which started with a new model. read more


Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 3

Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 3

An American Military Classic

By Dennis Adler

Troops training with the M1 Carbine had the most advanced weapon American soldiers had ever used. These are Type 1 models c.1942. Also note the soldier in the background practicing with a Colt 1911A1.

One of the true requisites for a firearm being deemed a classic design is that no matter how old it is, no matter how many firearms are regarded as superior in design or capability, it is still being manufactured to this day. Reproductions of firearms from the past are similar validations, but with the M1 Carbine, like the Colt Model 1911A1, the design is still being used and current models still manufactured. How this relates to CO2 models is much the same; today we have Colt Peacemakers, multiple versions of the Colt Model 1911, and now, the beginning of M1 CO2 models. And yes, that raises the question “are there other versions forthcoming?” Perhaps, given that there were different variations of the original M1 Carbine. read more


Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 2

Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Part 2

An American Military Classic

By Dennis Adler

At 4.9 pounds, Springfield was able to come within 9.6 ounces of the military M1 Carbine which weighed 5.5 pounds (as light at 5.2 pounds). Of course that is with the plastic stock CO2 model vs. hardwood on the actual M1 stocks.

Why a Springfield Armory M1 CO2 Carbine and not an M14? Considering that Springfield Armory builds the M14, that is an even better question. The answer is simply that the M1 Carbine is an historic WWII firearm, the M14 is not. One reason Springfield builds the M14 today is that it was developed at the original Springfield Armory with the legendary John Garand. The M14 is essentially a modernized select-fire M1 Garand with a detachable magazine. The M2 Carbine (with a 30-round magazine) was a select fire version of the M1 Carbine developed in 1944 and used toward the end of WWII and again in Korea and during the early years of the Vietnam War. WWII M1 models were also converted to M2 variations with a kit (“Kit, Carbine, T17”) developed at the Inland Division of GM, which built the greatest number of M1 Carbines. read more