The XDM 3.8 Part 4

The XDM 3.8 Part 4

The 1:1 Shooting Test conclusion

By Dennis Adler

If you had to pick which one is an air pistol at a glance, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the .177 Springfield XDM 3.8 in my right hand (larger .45 ACP muzzle) from the 9mm XDM 3.8 in my left. For authenticity, the XDM’s with Melonite-type black and Bi-Tone polished slides are a perfect match for their centerfire counterparts in both the looks and handling department. But how does the CO2 model stand up against the 9mm for defensive shooting practice?

This last installment is really what practical shooting with a CO2 understudy is all about. What we learn from these shooting drills is the fundamental handling of the centerfire model, and in a 1:1 shooting test at practical defensive distances the lessens are almost entirely interchangeable from holster draw, aiming, and firing. What the photos don’t show is the difference in felt recoil and the sound of a 9mm pistol discharging. Otherwise, what you see with one gun is the same as the other, and that is the bottom line value in training with air. Even if you’re not training to carry concealed, or even considering a 9mm pistol for home protection, the total equivalence of the XDM 3.8 CO2 and centerfire models is beneficial for basic handgun skills, even for shooting air pistols. read more


The XDM 3.8 Part 3

The XDM 3.8 Part 3

The 1:1 Shooting Test begins

By Dennis Adler

For the most part, all that separates these two Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 pistols is what comes out of the muzzle and how that round is propelled. With gun powder vs. CO2, Air Venturi and Springfield have mastered the art of building a 1:1 blowback action pistols.

Doing a 1:1 shooting test between a centerfire pistol and its CO2 blowback action counterpart is always exciting, at least for those of us who shoot both cartridge and BB/pellet guns for sport or small arms training. It is often a mix of compromises going from CO2 to centerfire, but with the recent crop of blowback action models beginning last year, it has become more of a level playing field, except for report and recoil between gunpowder and air. The Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 has brought the same level of handling and authenticity to the game as the Sig Sauer WTP 1911, Umarex HK USP Blowback, ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow, Umarex S&W M&P40, and to a lesser extent, the Umarex Glock 17, (however the forthcoming Glock 17 Gen4 CO2 will be field strippable, which puts the Glock in the very same league as the Springfield XD Series of air pistols that are 1:1 in every respect, including exterior design and markings. For the moment, and things are changing monthly as to which gun is the most authentic, the XDM 3.8 Bi-Tone is, in my opinion, the No. 1 CO2 model in this rapidly expanding world of blowback action air pistols. read more


The XDM 3.8 Part 2

The XDM 3.8 Part 2

The Tale of the Tape

By Dennis Adler

Real 1:1 design means inside and out, at least as far as a CO2 firing system can be adapted to a centerfire pistol, and the XDM 3.8 has taken this concept to the next level for blowback action BB-firing models. The CO2 model is on the right. Quick tells are the small molded in wording on the left lower section of the slide, the more orange than red fiber optic front sight, and a .45 ACP diameter muzzle vs. a 9mm muzzle, though the XDM was offered in a .45 Auto version up until 2017 with the 4.5 inch barrel (XDM 4.5).

In Combat Handguns magazine, “Tale of the Tape” is a series of articles I do comparing two similar handguns. Occasionally, I make this same comparison between centerfire handguns and their CO2 counterparts, and that is what I will be doing today with the Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 CO2 model against a 9mm XDM 3.8 Bi-Tone version.

As I mentioned in Tuesday’s article on the XDM 3.8, Springfield Armory has decided to limit the XDM Series to the company’s black Melonite finish slide and no longer offer the option of a satin polished stainless steel version. The Bi-Tone finish is still offered for the XDS Series and XD 5-inch .45 ACP models. Since the CO2 model is also offered in a black Melonite-like finish, you have a current version blowback action pistol as well, though I prefer the Bi-Tone look on the XDM 3.8 model. It is a sharp looking pistol and the satin stainless steel (9mm) and alloy finishes (CO2) are not highly reflective, either. read more


The XDM 3.8 Part 1

The XDM 3.8 Part 1

Springfield Armory hits another one out of the park!

By Dennis Adler

Air Venturi and Springfield Armory raised the bar for authenticity with the XDM 4.5 and now, with the Compact 3.8, the CO2 models set an even higher standard for total authenticity. Of the three pistols shown, two are blowback action CO2 models, one is a 9mm XDM 3.8.

The Top Gun crown keeps changing hands every few weeks as new 2019 models are revealed but this time it looks like it is staying in the same family as the Air Venturi Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 models arrive in both black and the centerfire XD Series bi-tone finish with a polished alloy slide contrasting the black polymer frame. Better still; the newest XDM CO2 models use the centerfire 3.8 Compact versions’ extended capacity magazine with XD-Gear grip extension. This model is virtually indistinguishable from the compact centerfire XDM model in every way except for what comes out of the muzzle when you pull the trigger. The balance, weight, trigger design and operation, dual safety system, white dot rear and red fiber optic front sights, and finish are perfectly duplicated. Like the XDM 4.5, the 3.8 has exact dimensions to fit all XD Gear and aftermarket holsters. The self-contained CO2 BB magazines fit XD Gear Grip Frame extensions and the pistol comes with all three sizes to match the interchangeable backstrap panels. The CO2 magazines fit XD Gear and aftermarket magazine pouches as well. Glock may claim perfection but the Springfield Armory XDM series is perfect. read more


Top vintage military arms

Top vintage military arms

CO2 in War and Peace

By Dennis Adler

When we are talking about copies of legendary military arms as CO2 models, it is not just a gun based on a design, it is a gun copied in detail from an original design like the Umarex Luger P.08 Parabellum and Mauser Broomhandle Model 712. Pictured are the limited edition WWII models. Only the P.08 is currently available.

In the past several years the world of CO2 pistols and rifles has been exposed to military history in ways that airgun enthusiasts could only have dreamed about as little as five years ago. Sure, there have been BB and pellet guns in the past that were based on military arms, like the Crosman Model M-1 Carbine built from 1968 to 1976, as well as a number of military training air rifles manufactured during WWI and WWII (very rare finds today), and more recently the Winchester Model M14 CO2 BB and pellet rifle, introduced in 2012, and of course, the excellent Diana K98 Mauser (under lever cocking) pneumatic pellet rifle. But in the world of blowback action CO2 pistols, rifles, and CO2 BB and pellet cartridge loading revolvers, the period from 2015 to 2019 has been a remarkable one for military arms enthusiasts. read more


DPMS vs. MP40

DPMS vs. MP40

Can an historic automatic subgun rival a modern AR-based SBR?

By Dennis Adler

With almost 80 years separating these two designs it is impressive that they still bear so much in common. The German MP40 was one of the most successful submachine guns of its time and remained in use for decades after WWII. The DPMS is among the more recent SBR designs based on the Vietnam-era M16, but in a modernized M14 version with collapsible stock, short barrel, and quad rails. However, when you get down to the skin and bones, they are both the same fundamental idea. Choosing one over the other in CO2 is really a matter of preferences for vintage or modern military designs.

Recreating the MP40 as a blowback action CO2 model with full auto firing capability gave the Umarex Legends series a second superstar for vintage military arms enthusiasts to enjoy. An original WWII-era MP40 would be cost prohibitive for most firearms enthusiasts, as well requiring a Class III firearms license to own, while the CO2 model, which joined the Umarex Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 as a second vintage select-fire airgun design, provides as much authenticity as possible at a mere fraction of the cost for an original. The Crosman DPMS Panther SBR is a modern counterpart to the MP40 and like original WWII guns, a new centerfire DPMS SBR is also expensive and requires special permissions and expenses to own. But these two have more in common than ownership restrictions for their centerfire counterparts, even as CO2 models they are counterparts in the theory of their design and operation. Like the DPMS compared to the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine, there is that same generation gap that makes the vintage arms so much more appealing. Only here, these guns are on a truly equal footing. read more


Scoping out the competition

Scoping out the competition

Adding optics to the DPMS SBR

By Dennis Adler

The Crosman DPMS Panther SBR being a modern AR platform is optics ready with the quad rails for sights, tactical lights, laser aiming devices, and the adjustable foregrip, which comes with the CO2 model. This article will only be on optics for improving the accuracy of the DPMS. After I do some research into options, I’ll do the same test with the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine.

Unless you happen to have a $550 EOTech HWS sitting around or on a centerfire rifle, odds are you’re not going to buy one to put on a $180 air rifle…but I have one on a tactical 12 ga. shotgun, so I made the swap, readjusted it and shot my first series of 10-meter targets with one of the best optics in use today.

I have a lot of optics on hand to try on the DPMS from tests on centerfire guns, and many of these sights cost considerably more than the air rifle, but there are also a few that are in the CO2 price range. First, with training in mind, let’s go all in and begin with an optical sight that would be used on a centerfire model. read more