Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 5

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 5 Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Match Pistols – Shooting the Beeman P3

By Dennis Adler

There is both a sense of age and longevity in Dr. Beeman’s P3, which is one year older than the First Edition Blue Book of Airguns, (now in its 12th Edition). The P3 is one of those finely crafted German airguns that have withstood the test of time, while others have been discontinued over the same period. As a single shot Match Pistol it is also one of the more affordable at $230 ($40 less than the Air Venturi V10 and ten bucks shy of being half the price of the Weihrauch HW 75).

I know that over the last 18 months we have focused on blowback action air pistols and rifles, training guns matched to their centerfire counterparts, and classic single action revolvers, which is the primary objective of the Airgun Experience, but this little sidestep into single stroke pneumatics and 10-Meter pistols is also an integral part of handgun (and rifle) training. This is an approach established more than four decades ago by Dr. Robert D. Beeman with his first “Adult Airguns” imported from Germany. Thus the P3 plays a very important role in this story of improving one’s shooting abilities. The P3 breaks down the basics of target shooting by providing simple operation, exemplary accuracy at 10 meters, and the benefits of modern fiber optic sights (also used on many compact and full-size cartridge firing handguns). Like the Air Venturi V10 for 10-Meter training, this is also a short course compared to getting into comparable centerfire handgun and blowback action understudies, like the S&W M&P40. With single shot pneumatics the greater emphasis is placed on sighting accuracy and trigger control than on learning all of the handling skills such as slide and safety operation, magazine changes, tactical reloads, holstering, drawing, etc. The singular focus with models like the Beeman P3 is on learning to hit the bullseye with repeatable accuracy. No rushing from shot to shot; just timing and consistency.

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Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 4

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Match Pistols – The Classic Beeman P3

By Dennis Adler

The big difference between the Air Venturi V10 and the Beeman P3 is their design purpose. The V10 is a 10-Meter pistol, which meets all the basic requirements for that shooting discipline, whereas the Beeman P3 is a Match Pistol that allows a two-handed hold. The V10 is also slightly larger overall, but both are overlever pneumatics that can shoot 4.5mm pellets at around 400 fps.

This is where it all began. We are talking about the history of Adult Airguns in America, and that history begins with Dr. Robert D. Beeman, the editor of my first airgun book, the First Edition Blue Book of Airguns published 17 years ago. But my history with Dr. Beeman goes further back to my role with the Blue Book of Gun Values as one of the contributing editors on black powder pistols and air pistols (along with fellow Pyramyd Air author Tom Gaylord). In 1998 Blue Book publisher Steve Fjestad and I spun off the black powder gun section into a separate book that is now published periodically (and currently edited by John Allen); along with a series of hard cover books that I have written on black powder arms. The reason that black powder guns were spun off from the regular annual Blue Book of Gun Values was simply that there wasn’t enough room in the Blue Book to properly cover them. The same thing occurred in the 2000 edition of the Blue Book and the following year the First Edition Blue Book of Airguns appeared. I was the author and Dr. Beeman was the editor and co-author. By 2001 when the First Edition appeared the number of airguns available had grown exponentially and like the black powder guns needed to have their own dedicated book. That was 17 years ago. Today, there are so many more airguns (than black powder guns) that the latest airgun book (12th Edition) has grown from the original 160 pages to 840 pages! And much of that growth over the years begins with Dr. Beeman and the founding of Beeman’s Precision Airguns in 1972.

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Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 3

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Shooting the Air Venturi V10

By Dennis Adler

The Air Venturi V10 is absolutely capable of being used in entry level 10-Meter ISSF sanctioned shooting events. The grip design is based on 10-Meter styles although it is somewhat unique in its rough wood grained finish. This gives you superb grasp but rough edges need to be smoothed out for a comfortable grip by using a wood rasp. In this shot I have already adjusted the contour where my middle finger rests behind the triggerguard.

You can spend a lot of money for a 10-Meter pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) competition pistol like a Morini MOR-162MI (one of the most expensive with an MSRP of $1,900), a Hammerli AP20 PRO (one of the more affordable at just under $1,000) or a Walther LP400 (around $1,700), and they won’t feel much different in your hand than the Air Venturi V10 single shot pneumatic. A 10-Meter air pistol is built to a competition standard with mandatory grip designs and a generally similar configuration. Most PCP models look very much the same, as do modern single stroke pneumatics like the Air Venturi V10. The differences are speed and accuracy. A PCP pistol is faster to shoot, a single shot pneumatic slower, but the V10 is definitely competitive at the entry level, and at under $300 you can afford to get into training, even if you never intend to get into competitive shooting. (This also opens the door to Match Pistols, which I will begin covering in Part 4).

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Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 2

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 2 Part 1

The Air Venturi V10

By Dennis Adler

A modern update of the Gamo Compact, the Air Venturi V10 is an entry level 10-Meter single shot target pistol using a stainless steel pneumatic air cylinder, oil stained walnut target grips, a 2-stange adjustable target trigger, and fully adjustable rear sight.

The Webley Hurricane is a very old air pistol design established in 1930 by Webley & Scott as the Senior Model. It was replaced by the improved Senior New Model just prior to WWII, and remained in production until 1964. Not a bad run for an air pistol. The first model or “Variant 1 Hurricane”, an improved target version of the Senior New Model, was introduced a little over a decade later. The example tested in Part 1, is a “Variant 2 Hurricane” manufactured from 1990 to 2005. The shorter barreled Tempest model is the last of this historic British Webley design.

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Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 1

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 1

Starting with the basics

By Dennis Adler

To start this series on target pistols and target shooting I dusted off an old friend, a Webley Hurricane that I have had for 17 years. When you spend days of every week working with the latest semi-autos (cartridge loading and CO2), the very basics seem to fade, maybe even the reason you got into shooting air guns in the first place, and pulling out the Webley reminds me that sometimes you need to go back to the beginning. The Hurricane, or a pneumatic single shot pistol like it, is a great place to start.

I think we all begin as target shooters, whether it is with a BB or pellet gun, a .22 caliber pistol or rifle, or even larger caliber guns; the idea is to aim and shoot to hit the target. I began as a target shooter in the 1970s and for the most part have never ventured far from that path over some 40 years. When I began testing and evaluating guns for a living in the late 1990s, it was almost always with stationary targets at predetermined distances. Even today it doesn’t matter if I am testing a .32 ACP pocket pistol or a .44 Magnum revolver, a 9mm target pistol like the Sig Sauer Max Michel, or a single action Colt Peacemaker, only the distances to the target change, the goal remains the same. Target pistols, however, are a more dedicated breed of gun best suited for that purpose alone due to their specific design, weight, balance, sights and efficiency of operation. And the best way to begin learning about target shooting, if you have never done it, is with an airgun.

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Saga of the MP40 and the baffle box

Saga of the MP40 and the baffle box

Stopping steel and lead in its tracks

By Dennis Adler

The Umarex MP40 is not only accurate but pretty powerful, even at 25 feet on full auto. And I have a blown to bits baffle box to prove it.

My recent exploration of the MP40 weathered model’s accuracy proved to be quite exceptional. After Thursdays article, I went back and shot several more magazines to test quick reloads (I have one spare magazine) and firing with the gun shouldered and my support arm through the sling (as pictured) my groups from 25 feet kept getting tighter. This is one very accurate CO2 air rifle on full auto, especially shooting in short bursts. I average six to 10 shots by feathering the trigger, i.e. just enough pull to fire the gun but not an extended trigger press, on and off in under a second. You can hear it and feel it in the bolt’s recoil so less than a second and you’ve got it. Some of you have already tried this using the shoulder strap to really stabilize the MP40 from the shoulder and are getting the same kind of accuracy, so I haven’t done anything exceptional. What I did do, however, is blow the entire center out of my baffle box! I usually get about 10 gun tests done before I have to make a new baffle box. I shot this one to piece in two days with the MP40.

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The latest Umarex Legends MP40 Part 2

The latest Umarex Legends MP40 Part 2 Part 1

Weathering History

By Dennis Adler

The weight of the MP40 pretty much neutralizes any appreciable muzzle lift on full auto, though the same cannot be said for the M712 Mauser with the selector on R. It climbs and empties in a couple of seconds fired offhand. These are the two best weathered finish military CO2 reproductions you can own, a pair that offers authentic looks at a price that wouldn’t even cover the shipping cost for one of the original Class III firearms. Currently an MP40 is worth from $13,000 to $19,000 and an M712 Broomhandle from $12,000 to $17,000. The real 9mm and 7.63mm guns come up for auction this weekend at Rock Island Auctions.

So, the Stanley Baker (center below) Guns of Navarone photo idea with the MP40 was not lost on at least one reader, even though the 1961 WWII epic starring Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn took place in occupied Greece, not France.

Seems I have a lot of old film buffs reading Airgun Experience so putting these Umarex Legends WWII models in a proper visual context makes it a bit more interesting. So does the fact that these guns were used by so many different factions, aside from the German military, underscores their role in the war with French, British and American forces. French partisans carried many different guns, whatever was available, and many were armed by the British with the Sten submachine gun. Built in Great Britain during the war, Stens were given to the French Underground and other partisan groups aiding the Allies. The Sten was about as cheaply made a weapon as possible, costing around $10 in 1940. To put that in perspective, a Thompson, used by U.S. forces, cost $200 in 1940. But nothing was cheaper to carry than a captured (liberated) German MP40.

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