The Umarex M45 CQBP is a very close visual match for the military (and civilian) version of the .45 ACP pistol carried by members of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operation Command, and members of Force Recon. The .45 ACP design developed by Colt’s brought the M1911 into the 21st Century, and has kept the gun in the U.S. military arsenal for an unprecedented 105 years. The Umarex M45 CQBP is in its own way, yet another acknowledgment of the Colt’s unrivaled success.read more
Two steps forward, two steps back, but what a price
By Dennis Adler
One of the biggest “wish list” requests for the Umarex Colt Model 1911 Commander was the addition of extended ambidextrous thumb safeties and a dust cover rail. That’s actually what Colt did with the real 1911 in 2012 when they introduced the M45A1 Close Quarter Battle Pistol (CQBP), which was adopted that same year by the Marine Corps for issue to elite U.S.M.C. tactical units.
It’s no secret, that even though the Beretta M9 (92FS military version) is the standard issue sidearm for our military, that special ops teams, whether Navy SEALS, USMC Force Recon, or other elite U.S. Special Forces, do not necessarily use the Beretta. Navy SEALS carry the Sig Sauer P226; Marine Corps special operations, the Colt M45A1 CQBP. So when Umarex decided to step up and deliver a more modern .177 caliber 1911 blowback action semi-auto, they based its appearances on the Colt M45A1 CQBP. You’ll note I said “appearances” and the reason for that is this recently introduced model is more about looks than full features.read more
One of my very best friends wrote a book some years ago titled Steel Canvas. It was a literary and illustrative history of the art of arms engraving, and over the years it has not only inspired many of my articles on firearms, but portions from several of my own books on Old West and Civil War era firearms. Engraving was regarded as not just an art form but a means of paying respect to the individuals who were presented with engraved pistols and rifles like Winchester lever actions and Colt Peacemakers, and long before that finely embellished knives, shields, and armor. The art of arms engraving spans more than 500 years since the earliest Matchlock and Wheelock rifles and pistols were engraved in the late 16th Century.read more
When is a 7-1/2 inch barrel not a 7-1/2 inch barrel?
By Dennis Adler
This is a story about barrel lengths, overall lengths, conceptions, misconceptions, and interpretations, it’s also a story about how one gun can have two barrel lengths at the same time!
Let’s begin at the beginning, when Samuel Colt patented the revolver in 1835 (his first patent filed in Great Britain in October of that year) and again in February 1836 for his U.S. patent. (Colt knew that if a patent were filed first in the United States the same could not be applied for in Great Britain or France, whereas a U.S. patent could be granted regardless of whether there were foreign patents preceding it. He was pretty savvy for a young man).read more
The last time I did a “BBs vs. Pellets” comparison I didn’t exactly have a perfectly level playing field. Both guns were Umarex semi-auto designs (the Beretta 92 FS and 92A1) but the 92 FS used an 8-shot rotary pellet magazine while the 92A1 was a blowback action model with a self-contained BB and CO2 magazine. The guns had different operating systems and different average velocities. It was a coin toss decision. This time both guns are exactly the same, Umarex Colt Peacemakers with 5-1/2 inch barrels, the CO2 contained inside the grip frame, and the BBs and pellets loaded into individual cartridges. The only variances are the pellet gun’s rifled barrel vs. the BB model’s smoothbore, and the ammunition, Hornady Black Diamond 5.1 grain black anodized steel BBs and Meisterkugeln 7.0 grain Professional Line lead wadcutter pellets.read more
The Sig Sauer 1911 Tactical is a 21st Century take on a very early 20th Century design. The Colt Model 1911 is 105 years old; in gun years it should be an antique, but John Moses Browning’s design was so good that the fundamentals of the Model 1911 still work. Except for the addition of dust cover accessory rails, the return to the original John M. Browning style flat mainspring housing on the majority of the latest models actually puts them closer to 1911 than 2016! Whatever else remains of the original Browning and Colt’s design also works as well today as it did 105 years ago. Improvements such as ambidextrous manual thumb safeties (though some will dispute their merit), skeletonized target triggers, Delta style hammers to speed up movement and improve lock time, the upswept beavertail grip safety (which few will ever fault), have made the latest 1911 Models better handguns, but very much the same guns. Sig Sauer’s approach is no different, nor is the .177 caliber Sig air pistol vs. the traditional Colt Model 1911 Commander airgun. They are also two sides of the same coin.read more
Sig has been marching to the beat of its own drummer for over 150 years building guns that are distinctively Sig in nature. In modern times Sig first earned its reputation with the famous P210, introduced back in 1947. Despite its historic heritage and distinctive designs, in 2004 the revered Swiss armsmaker came to terms with what almost every gun manufacturer in the world acknowledged as the most significant handgun of the 20th Century, the Colt Model 1911. Sig Sauer began building its own versions of the standard Colt Government Model. (This was followed by a Carry model with 4.0 inch barrel introduced in 2007, a Compact variation, and in 2011, an Ultra Compact with 3.3 inch barrel. In addition Sig Sauer offered two 1911 Tactical Rail Guns, the TacOps, and 1911 XO.read more