Into the field – paper, tin cans and varmints beware
By Dennis Adler
The Umarex 850 M2 has shown potential as a small game or pest gun that is quiet, fast handling and with theright pellet, can deliver 10 foot pounds of energy (FPE), which is effective on small game. Of course, you have to be working in fairly close for an very accurate shot, and 25 yards (75 feet) seems to be where the 850 M2 lives for consistent sub-1-inch groups. A pellet will travel much further, of course, but as distance increases accuracy decreases. I can definitely put a .22 caliber pellet from the 850 M2 on the target from 50 yards, but I can’t necessarily say where it will hit with the same accuracy. The trajectory of .22 pellets fired from the 850 M2 can actually be witnessed through the scope and the bowed trajectory can become predictable if you have the opportunity for consecutive shots as I did at 25 yards with the H&N Sport hollow points, and they gave me consistent 1-inch or smaller groups from a rested position with the Axeon scope.read more
Into the field – paper, tin cans and varmints beware
By Dennis Adler
Today it is time to begin wrapping up my series on the Umarex 850 M2 with a test of different pellets at maximumeffective range. With the .22 caliber model you have the option to send some pretty heavy lead pellets downrange and fitted with the Axeon 4-16×44 scope keep your shots sufficiently accurate to take small game and certainly kick tin cans and print tight groups on paper.
Recap from previous tests
My earlier tests used H&N Sport .22 caliber lead pellets; the 13.73 gr. Sport wadcutters, 21.14 gr. Baracuda Match round nose pellets, and 18.62 gr. Baracuda Hunter Extreme hollow points recommended for small game hunting. My original comparisons were rated for both velocity and muzzle energy at 72 degrees. Here is the recap: The Sport clocked an average velocity of 555 fps which generates 9 ft. lbs. of energy (13 joules for those in Europe). The highest velocity with the Sport pellets was 566 fps, which increases energy to 10 ft. lbs. and 13 joules. Standard deviation for eight shots was 7 fps.read more
This isn’t a brag column, not even an instructional one, it is just a look back at some crazy ideasI have had that went through my mind and that I acted on. We are talking about air pistols here. I’ll be the first to admit I am tool challenged and don’t like taking things apart, well not taking them apart just putting them back together. In a long succession of projects I have broken more than I have fixed. But I discovered that I did have a knack for refinishing guns (and better if I knew how to disassemble and reassemble them). I have also ignored the rules that say you can’t blue an alloy gun. It has been done commercially with varying success by everyone from Colt to Umarex. And, of course, there are some wonderful anodized finishes on aluminum and alloy parts used for PCP air pistols, and components manufactured to upgrade a handful of CO2 models like the ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow, a personal favorite. But mostly when I get into messing with an airgun’s finish it is because I just hate the way it looks “as is” and that is especially so when the gun has so much more potential than it exhibits with a, and I’m trying to be nice, cheap, crappy finish of convenience.read more
Old blued guns that have aged with time (as opposed to those meticulously preserved) usually end up with gray finishes (often referred to in auction catalogs as “an attractive silver-gray patina” or “smooth blue gray patina” and occasionally “mixed gunmetal appearance”) along with traces of deeper bluing and case colors, if they originally had any color casehardened parts. Some old finishes also turn dark or brownish (plum). It all depends upon the original bluing process or the conditions under which the gun was kept, but the majority of 19th century revolvers that have lost their finish over time do not look like the aged finishes used on CO2 air pistols and that is really the point.read more
If we are going to look at the new model as just a finish option it will need to perform as well as the original and nickel Schofield models, both with BB shells and the rear-loading pellet shells. First, let’s review what those guns delivered for velocity.
Colt v. S&W
Compared to a 7-1/2 inch barrel length Colt SAA, the Schofield and Colt are comparably balanced but almost everyone to a man will find the Colt faster to cock because of the larger hammer and longer hammer spur. I’ve never found the difference that significant when drawing from a holster – strong side or crossdraw (my personal preference) –especially since the Schofield’s hammer has a shorter length of travel to cock the action. The real difference for me is in re-cocking the gun after firing the first shot, and here the longer Colt hammer has a slight advantage. Of course, one learns how to work with what they have. If all you carried back in the day was an S&W model you got fast with it. It just depended how fast the guy with the Colt was.read more
The Bear River Schofield models that came out four years ago were authentic in design but were sorely lacking in a proper finish. I was amazed at this one shortcut that took away from what was potentially a worthy rival to the Umarex Colt Peacemakers. Bear River responded after I had polished out one of the black matte guns and then had it engraved by Adams & Adams, by adding their own nickel version (without engraving), which, as expected, took off and by 2017 had become a worthy rival to the 7-1/2 inch Colts, despite still having a smoothbore barrel. Bear River discovered that loaded with pellet cartridges (the same used in the Webley MK VI pellet revolvers), that the six-guns were capable of coming very close to rifled barrel Peacemaker accuracy. And that remained the standard for Bear River, with plans for the future to add other finishes, barrel lengths, and a rifled barrel model. read more
I am paraphrasing the legendary William B. Ruger, Sr., when I say that all gun designs serve the same purpose, to fire a projectile, but what the gun fires and how it fires it, will dictate the design of the gun. Case in point, John M. Browning designed .32 ACP and .380 ACP cartridges and he designed the guns to fire them in 1903 and 1908, respectively. Bill Ruger, Sr. was something of a modern day J.M. Browning and what I learned from my time around him in the 1990s, while I was writing a short biography of his life, visiting his factories, talking with his engineers and staff, and having quiet, introspective dinners with him discussing firearms history, was that great design, and the fundamental breakthroughs that come with them, become the paradigm for all that follows. I understood than as I do now, that with few exceptions, every single action revolver, regardless of manufacturer (including the c. 1953 Ruger Single Six and c. 1955 Ruger Blackhawk), is descended from Samuel Colt’s original revolver designs, even though Colt had died years before the Peacemaker was designed. Ruger’s point being that no matter how different, regardless of the ammunition it fires; however large or small the pistol may be, the fundamentals of its design began with Colt. Bill knew this when he designed the original “Old Model” Single Six .22 revolver, and all the Ruger-designed and built single actions that followed. Were it not for Sam Colt…read more