The guns of World War II are generally out of date by contemporary standards, and most have become venerated collectables like the M1 and M1A1 carbine, M1 Garand rifle, Winchester Model 1897 trench gun, and Colt Model 1917 revolver, but one gun from WWII is still regarded as a modern weapon, the Colt Model 1911A1. This timeless design is still found in the holsters of elite U.S. military forces, albeit a more militarized 21st century variation, but still at its core a Model 1911.read more
Recreating the Remington version WWII 1911A1 in .177 caliber
By Dennis Adler
Remington manufactured the 1911 and 1911A1 under their own name to supply the U.S. military with additional guns during WWI and WWII. These are rarer today than many WWII Colt Model 1911s, not as rare as a Singer M1911A1, but still rare. The .177 caliber Remington 1911 RAC looks right at home with this WWII officer’s jacket and J T & L Model 1942 1911A1 holster. (Holster courtesy World War Supply, jacket courtesy Allegheny Trade Co.)
Two World Wars increased demand for the Model 1911A1 beyond Colt’s production capacity requiring the company to license other manufacturers to produce guns to meet military quotas. The first request came in 1914 (three years before the U.S. entered WWI) with approximately 30,000 guns being produced at the Springfield Armory through 1915. In 1918-1919 Remington-UMC manufactured over 21,500 Model 1911s. An additional 100 were produced by North American Arms Co. in Quebec, Canada, in 1918.read more
The handgun of The Greatest Generation in .177 caliber
By Dennis Adler
Pictured with a portrait of the 1911’s inventor, John M. Browning, and a copy of the patent for the design, dated Feb. 12, 1911, the CO2-powered Tanfoglio Witness 1911 is the closest in appearance to the improved c.1924 version.
Success, in the truest sense, must be measured by more than achieving a place in history; itmust ultimately be gauged by its longevity throughout history, and there is only one handgun design from the early 20th century that has remained in continual use to the present day, the Colt Model 1911A1.
John Browning’s designs went through various stages of development between the first Colt semi-auto of 1900 and the introduction of the Model 1911A1 in 1924. Shown are the principal guns designed by Browning and manufactured by Colt’s. (Courtesy Mike Clark/Collector’s Firearms and Tim McGonigel collection)
Designed by John Moses Browning, his earliest patent for a semi-auto is dated April 20, 1897; a date that would appear on the slides of Colt semiautomatic pistols for nearly half a century. Between 1900 and 1911 Browning’s designs would make the Colt’s Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Co. one of the world’s leading producers of self-loading pistols. The road leading to development of the Model 1911 was well traveled by Browning with an entire series of semi-auto designs for Colt’s beginning in 1900.read more
Choosing a favorite .177 caliber CO2 pistol Part 2
And the winner is…
By Dennis Adler
Two of the top guns in .177 caliber that were on the must have list from last year included the Umarex Legends Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 (left) a fully functioning selective fire blowback action airgun that has captured not just the look but the distinctive Mauser operation of the classic 1932 full auto model. The Mini Uzi (not so mini next to the Mauser) is one of the most famous semi-auto, full auto pistols in the world, and like the Mauser is accurately reproduced to the smallest details in this exclusive, selective fire version.
What is it about a blowback action or cartridge-loading .177 caliber air pistol that excites you?For me it is having an air pistol that is as close to the real gun as possible. Often, this will also mean having a handgun chambered in.177 caliber that would not be affordable, or generally obtainable as a cartridge firing model. This specifically applies to those with selective fire mechanisms. The options for that latter category have increased over the past couple of years with models like the Mini Uzi pistol, one of the best built and most accurate to the original airguns in the world.read more
With 15 years of testing air pistols under my belt (that’s a lot of 12 gram CO2 cartridges!), my favorite guns keep changing from year to year with improvements in design, construction, and most of all authentic operation. Test guns come and go with regularity, some interesting, some intriguing, a few disappointing, but every so often one comes into your life that you put a hold on, and end up purchasing. This is the same for testing cartridge guns. Over the last couple of decades I’ve tested hundreds of handguns and rifles of all types from Colt single action revolvers to state-of-the-art tactical weapons, for half a dozen different publications, and once in a while a gun comes along that after testing it, you know it’s not going back. This is something you cannot do often otherwise you have to wear a T-shirt that reads “Will work for Guns”. Being a gun collector and testing guns for a living is like having a Cold Stone Creamery next door to a GNC.read more
Aiming downrange with the classic Walther semi-auto
By Dennis Adler
The Umarex Walther CP88 Competition brings the classic design of the Walther P88 Champion 9mm pistol to the world of airguns with a 4.5mm, 8-shot semi-auto based on the most exclusive of the P88 models manufactured in 1992.
In design and operation, the Umarex Walther CP88 shares an internal kinship to the 4.5mm Walther CP99, also introduced by Walther some 16 years ago. Both use 8-shot cast alloy rotary magazines which are loaded at the breech after using the slide release lever to open the action. Depressing the release allows the forward portion of the slide, containing the barrel, to move forward exposing the chamber. Once loaded, pushing the slide back to the closed position makes the gun ready to shoot. Internally, the CP88 models, like the CP99 pellet pistols, are revolvers with the rotary magazine cycling around the barrel bore like the chambers on a revolver.read more
After more than 15 years this is still the top 8-shot 4.5mm target pistol
By Dennis Adler
The Umarex Walther CP88 is a true competition derived pistol design based on the 9mm P88 Champion model, which used a 6-inch competition barrel and single action trigger.
There’s an old belief that if you do things right the first time you don’t have to do them overagain. A little more than 15 years ago Umarex and Walther did something absolutely right called the CP88, and it is still one of the very best 4.5mm multi-shot pellet pistols you can own.
The 9mm semi-auto it was based upon, the Walther P88 was, at one time, one of the top ranked semi-autos in Germany for law enforcement use, a finely crafted, high-capacity 15+1 pistol with exceptional handling and accuracy. It was, however, an expensive handgun for law enforcement use and was only produced in its original version from 1987 to 1993, when it was replaced by the slightly smaller and less expensive P88 Compact. The lower manufacturing cost was due to minor changes in the pistol’s design which simplified some of its features. The Compact version was discontinued in 2003, by which time the new polymer-framed, striker-fired Walther P99 had replaced the P88 in the holsters of most German law enforcement officers.read more