Optics

Optics

Dialing in your objective

By Dennis Adler

With blowback action air pistols that have cartridge-firing counterparts, most of the accessories will work on the .177 caliber models, including optics like this C-More STS red dot competition sight. While the C-More sight can cost up to $400, roughly four times as much as the Tanfoglio air pistol, it can be switched between guns and it built to handle the recoil of large caliber pistols.

With blowback action air pistols that have cartridge-firing counterparts, most accessories will work on the .177 models including optics like this C-More STS red dot competition sight. While the C-More sight can cost up to $400, roughly four times as much as the Tanfoglio air pistol, it can be switched between guns and is built to handle the recoil of large caliber pistols.

Airguns can be anything from inexpensive plinkers for punching holes in tin cans and paper targets to Olympic competition pistols. Somewhere between those two extremes are blowback action semi-auto air pistols and BB or pellet cartridge loading revolvers. These are excellent training guns, and even suitable for .177 caliber competition (with models like the Tanfoglio Gold Custom) but a far cry from the pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) competition .177 caliber (4.5mm and 5.5mm caliber) target pistols on the market, which are an entirely different level (in operation and price) than 12 gr. CO2-powered semi-autos and revolvers. The difference with guns like the Tanfoglio Custom and Gold Custom, the S&W TRR8 and Dan Wesson air pistols, for example, is that they all have cartridge-firing counterparts and the .38/.357 magnum, 9mm and .45 ACP models have been in the hands of world champions. They also have the advantage of being equipped with optics, and that very same advantage crosses over to the air pistols, in fact, as I will point out in a couple of examples, you can use the very same optics for training with air as are used in competition. read more


One last look at The Shootist

One last look at The Shootist

As 2016 comes to an end, we remember the last John Wayne Classic

with the finest 4.5mm caliber Colt ever created

By Dennis Adler

The poster from the 1976 film shows all of the legendary actors who made The Shootist one of John Wayne’s best western films of all time, Richard Boone (upper left), High O’Brian (upper right), Jimmy Stewart (lower right) Lauren Bacall (lower left) and John Wayne. The limited edition hand engraved 4.5mm Umarex Colt “Shootist” Peacemaker is copies from one of the guns carried by Wayne in the film.

The poster from the 1976 film shows all the legendary actors who made The Shootist one of John Wayne’s best western films of all time, Richard Boone (upper left), Hugh O’Brian (upper right), Jimmy Stewart (lower right) Lauren Bacall (lower left) and John Wayne. The limited edition hand engraved 4.5mm Umarex Colt “Shootist” Peacemaker is copied from one of the guns carried by Wayne in the film.

It is hard to believe but four decades have passed since John Wayne appeared in his last film, the 1976 classic The Shootist.  It was a film populated with memorable characters created by novelist Glendon Swarthout and his son Miles, who wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation. To bring life to the Swarthout’s characters required actors of unparalleled talent and an acting experience deeply rooted to the American West. No one other than John Wayne could have portrayed John Bernard Books. Wayne was the perfect embodiment of an aging gunfighter, tall, heavy, craggy faced and filled with the sorrow and understanding of a man who had lived on both sides of the law, taken too many lives and lived too little of life without a gun. It was his wisdom that gave him solace to face a fight he could not win. Books was dying of cancer, a diagnosis twice confirmed, the second time by an old friend, Dr. E.W. Hostetler, played by the legendary Jimmy Stewart, also in his last film role. Stewart was remembered for two celebrated westerns of his own, Winchester ’73 and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (the latter also starring John Wayne). The film’s casting also required two equally dynamic villains, roles appropriately filled by another pair of unforgettable western actors, Richard Boone as gunman Mike Sweeney, who is seeking revenge for Books having gunned down his brother, and Hugh O’Brian as gambler and opportunistic gunfighter Jack Pulford. Boone and O’ Brian were cast against type having both been TV western heroes, but their roles in The Shootist gave them an opportunity to play off Wayne as few actors had. (Boone had actually done this before opposite Wayne in Big Jake). read more


Dan Wesson 2.5 inch Snub Nose Revolver

Dan Wesson 2.5 inch Snub Nose Revolver Part 2

Pellets downrange from the shortest barreled CO2 wheelgun on the market

By Dennis Adler

Testing the 2-1/2 inch ASG Dan Wesson revolver is a pretty accurate experience right up to the moment you pull the trigger.

Testing the 2-1/2 inch ASG Dan Wesson revolver is pretty accurate to handling the real gun right up to the moment you pull the trigger. 

I have always liked short barreled revolvers and have carried them for more than 30 years so that makes the ASG Dan Wesson 2-1/2 inch snub nose 4.5mm model a very desirable airgun. I’m sure this is the same for many of you who have carried or own “classic” S&W, Colt and DW snub nose wheelguns. If revolvers were the anachronism that some people believe them to be in the 21st century, there wouldn’t be hi-tech polymer frame models today from manufacturers like Ruger and Taurus, or S&W’s scandium alloy frame 340 PD and other lightweight snub nose models, as well as the fact that S&W has maintained the production of its original Chief’s Special (Model 36) after more than six decades! But, as the sole, rifled barrel, 4.5mm cartridge loading CO2 snub nose revolver on the market, the Dan Wesson Model 715 is literally in a class by itself. read more


Dan Wesson 2-1/2 inch Snub Nose

Dan Wesson 2-1/2 inch Snub Nose Revolver Part 1

Airing out the smallest of the DW CO2 Models

By Dennis Adler

Using the same frame and grip frame as the 6-inch and 8-inch barrel length models, the 2-1/2 inch Dan Wesson does not have the shrouded barrel or vent rib, just like the original Model 715 pistols. It does bear the Dan Wesson signature on the barrel.

Using the same frame and grip frame as the 6-inch and 8-inch barrel length models, the 2-1/2 inch Dan Wesson does not have the shrouded barrel or vent rib, just like the original Model 715 pistols. It does bear the Dan Wesson signature on the barrel.

Although more than 200 years have passed since the first handgun was designed for concealment, the idea has always remained the same: place the greatest possible firepower in the smallest possible size—something fit to be hidden in a trouser pocket, vest, coat, or discretely carried in a belt holster. For cartridge firing revolvers, the first significant pocket gun was the six-shot S&W Model No. 2, chambered in .32 rimfire. The Model No. 2 brought into reality the idea of a small revolver in a modest but effective caliber, a six-shot capacity and relative ease of loading and reloading. And if that sounds like many of today’s concealed carry guns, it is no coincidence. Snub Nose revolvers were the gun of choice for police detectives for more than 50 years, and many still carry them as back up guns. Small, easy to handle revolvers have earned their place in history for more than a century, and Dan Wesson owns a piece of that history, too. read more


Beretta M92A1

.177 caliber Umarex Beretta M92A1

To Hop-Up or not to Hop-Up…it’s up to you

By Dennis Adler

The .177 caliber Umarex Beretta M92A1 is one of the best of the new crop of blowback action air pistols, and offers features and handling virtually identical to the 9mm model (plus the airgun’s added full auto feature). The ambidextrous safeties work just like the M92A1’s and also correctly function as a de-cocker.

The .177 caliber Umarex Beretta M92A1 is one of the best blowback action air pistols offering features and handling identical to the 9mm model (plus the airgun’s added full auto feature). The ambidextrous safeties work just like the M92A1’s and correctly functions as a decocker.

Every so often a reader brings something to my attention that I am unaware of and in the case of the new Umarex Beretta M92A1 it is an internal feature that “technically” should not be there, a “hop-up” device.

With the .177 caliber barrel recessed inside the 9mm muzzle, the Umarex not only handles but looks like the real gun right down to the Beretta markings. As a training gun this one excels. Shooting it at 100 feet, however, is not one of the air pistol’s strong suits. But it is interesting to try, hop-up not withstanding.

With the .177 caliber barrel recessed inside the 9mm muzzle, the Umarex not only handles but looks like the real gun right down to the Beretta markings. As a training gun this one excels. Shooting it at 100 feet, however, is not one of the air pistol’s strong suits. But it is interesting to try, hop-up not withstanding.

One of the features of blowback action semi-autos that I have been talking about for some time is their authentic design, not only externally, but internally (with the exception of the components needed for CO2 operation), and that also entails how the airguns disassemble for cleaning just like their cartridge-firing counterparts. But here’s the rub, I never took the Beretta M92A1 apart for an article….until now. read more