Tokarev TT-33, Makarov PM1951 and Grach MR-443
By Dennis Adler
Why would you build a non-blowback action CO2 semi-auto with a slide that locks back and has a fully functioning slide release lever? It even locks open on an empty magazine if you pull it back, and functions to chamber the first round when loading. So we are left to figure out why one key feature from the otherwise superb CO2 model is left off. The short answer is economics. Blowback action is an “effect” which is only a small contribution to the shooting experience if you are not using the airgun for training purposes, yet the Gletcher Grach has a double action/single action trigger even when there is no slide action to re-cock the hammer. (Chambering the first round with the slide cocks the hammer). Doing away with blowback action has two principal explanations, well three if you consider lower cost of manufacturing, but then why do everything else? The two logical reasons both date back to the turn of the last century and the introduction of the Umarex Walther CP88 and Beretta 92FS 8-shot rotary pellet-firing magazine semi-autos in 1996 and 2000, which also have double action/single action triggers and functioning hammers. They were designed to provide optimum velocity and to be fired double action or single action, the latter for greater accuracy by manually cocking the hammer for each shot. This is the same idea behind the Gletcher Grach, plus the added features of a moving and locking slide and functioning slide release. The question then, is how much of an improvement will this gun see in velocity with .177 caliber steel BBs for the tradeoff? It makes sense for a target quality pellet-firing model like the Umarex Beretta 92FS and Walther CP88 but does it make sense for a BB firing model?