Tanfoglio Limited Custom Part 2

Tanfoglio Limited Custom .177 caliber semi-auto

What it takes to make a winner Part 2

By Dennis Adler

The Tanfoglio Limited Custom is a full size copy of the 9mm competition model with a weight of 2 pounds, 12 ounces. The CO2 model has an identical slide release, ambidextrous thumb rest safeties, and oversize magazine release. The only noteworthy visual difference between the CO2 model and the 9mm Tanfoglio is the absence of a ported slide and the two-tone finish.

The Tanfoglio Limited Custom is a full size copy of the 9mm competition model with a weight of 2 pounds, 12 ounces. The CO2 model has an identical slide release, ambidextrous thumb rest safeties, and oversize magazine release. The only noteworthy visual difference between the CO2 model and the 9mm Tanfoglio is the absence of a ported slide and the two-tone finish.

The Tanfoglio Limited Custom is by far one of the best blowback action CO2 models I have ever tested, and as a competition practice gun, it is second only to the Tanfoglio Gold Custom. However, if your shooting preference is open sights, then the Limited Custom exceeds just about every other blowback action CO2 model you can own. High praise, but having tested all of the major blowback action airguns produced in the last 16 years, if I had to pick one for target shooting it would be the Tanfoglio models. Since I have not yet tested the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five with Bomar-style competition sights, I will reserve that one as a possible equal to the Tanfoglio. But we’ll get back to the Sig vs. the Tanfoglio next month. read more


Tanfoglio Limited Custom Part 1

Tanfoglio Limited Custom .177 caliber semi-auto

What it takes to make a winner Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Like the .177 caliber Tanfoglio Gold Custom, the Limited Custom with open sights is ideally suited for competition practice from the same holsters used is IPSC and Bianchi Cup Open Class. The Tanfoglio airgun is shown with a Safariland 014 alloy pistol platform, 032 ELS competition belt and magazine pouches.

The Tanfoglio Limited Custom with open sights is ideally suited for competition practice with the same holsters used in IPSC and the Bianchi Cup Open Class. The Tanfoglio airgun is shown with a Safariland 014 alloy pistol platform, 032 ELS competition belt and magazine pouches.

The Tanfoglio Limited Custom competition pistol is an Italian version of the CZ-75. The 9mm cartridge-firing versions of the .177 caliber Limited Custom and Gold Custom competition CO2 pistols are also based entirely on the CZ-75 using a short-recoil operated, locked breech design. The CZ-75 is a well established design used by armsmakers the world over, and though the names may be different, what is behind the name remains a CZ-75. Česká Zbrojovka developed the platform in 1976 and improved upon it with the addition of a firing pin block in the late 1980s, (CZ-75B), and the addition of a de-cocking lever (CZ-75 BD). While CZ-75 duty pistols are DA/SA, the competition versions are SAO designs (as are the CO2 models), but still share the ambidextrous safety, triggerguard design, and unique Česká Zbrojovka slide to frame fit. read more


Best blowback action airgun sights Part 3

Focused Groups

Best blowback action airgun sights Part 3

The Top Guns

By Dennis Adler

These four blowback action CO2 models have the best overall authenticity, operating features, balance in the hand, triggers, and sights of the air pistols tested. In price, the Tanfoglio is the most expensive with a $189 MSRP but the lowest at a discounted price of $80; the Sig is the next with an MSRP of $149 and a discounted price of $110, both the Colt 1911 and M&P40 have MSRPs of $120 and discounted prices of $100 and $90, respectively.

These four blowback action CO2 models have the best overall authenticity, operating features, balance in the hand, triggers, and sights of the air pistols tested. In price, the Tanfoglio is the most expensive with a $189 MSRP but the lowest at a discounted price of $80; the Sig is the next with an MSRP of $149 and a discounted price of $110, both the Colt 1911 and M&P40 have MSRPs of $120 and discounted prices of $100 and $90, respectively.

The four contenders for best blowback action airgun sights are the Umarex Colt Commander, Umarex S&W M&P40, Sig Sauer P226 X-Five and Tanfoglio Limited Custom. What pushed the Beretta 92A1, Sig Sauer 1911 and Max Michel 1911 out of contention? Little details, some almost negligible, others noteworthy when brought face to face with the four guns that came out on top. First the excellent Beretta M92A1; it could just as easily have been a top five with all of its authentic features and best-in-class handling, but it also has small, military-style sights, white dots yes, but smaller and just a step down from the excellent white dot sights on the Colt Commander and S&W M&P40 for rapid target acquisition. However, these are the actual sights used on the 9mm Berettas. In other respects the Beretta is hands down a better gun to shoot than the Colt Commander (isn’t that how Beretta got the U.S. Government contract in the first place back in 1985?), but this is about sights, and the M92A1 doesn’t make the cut. read more


Best blowback action airgun sights Part 2

Focused Groups

Best blowback action airgun sights Part 2

Thinning the herd

By Dennis Adler

A trio of three dot sights available on blowback action air pistols; the Sig Sauer 1911 (left) Umarex Colt Commander (center) and Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911. All three take completely different approaches to the white dot sight design.

A trio of three dot sights available on blowback action air pistols; the Sig Sauer 1911 (left) Umarex Colt Commander (center) and Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911. All three take completely different approaches to the white dot sight design.

I have always been a fan of white dot sights, particularly tritium night sights, which are a must for serious 24/7 carry, but if I had to make a choice between three white dots, or just a white dot front sight, I would probably pick the white dot front paired with a wide notch black rear sight. The best example of this type with a blowback action CO2 air pistol is the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five. Why a single dot over the three white dots? Aligning three dots is an absolute lock on target, and some of the best handguns in the world rely on this design, but putting the front dot between the goalposts is a little quicker under varied lighting conditions. Still, the majority of law enforcement models like the S&W M&P9, M&P40, M&P45 and M&P Shield, Beretta M92A1, and Glock models, rely on three dots (the Glock design actually has a standard white outline rear sight notch and white dot front, which was shown in Airgun Experience No. 102 with the ISSC M22). The majority of replacement sights for Glocks are three dot, tritium night sights, or fiber optic sights, the latter being a completely different subject in regard to CO2 models. Not to sound hypocritical, among my several EDC handguns, only one has a white dot front sight (and it is a tritium sight), the other two have three dot sights, one of which is custom fitted with tritium combat sights. read more


Best blowback action airgun sights Part 1

Focused Groups

Best blowback action airgun sights Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Blowback action CO2 models offer a wide variety of sight designs and action to duplicate cartridge-firing models. This makes a CO2 semi-auto an ideal practice gun, especially to hone trigger and sighing skills. Pictured are the new Sig Sauer Max Michel (top center), Umarex Beretta M92A1 (top right), Tanfoglio 1911 (center right), Umarex S&W M&P40 (bottom right), Tanfoglio Witness 1911A1 (center of group) and Sig Sauer P226 X-Five (far left).

Blowback action CO2 models offer a wide variety of sight designs and actions to duplicate cartridge-firing models. This makes a CO2 semi-auto an ideal practice gun, especially to hone trigger and sighting skills. Pictured are the new Sig Sauer Max Michel (top center), Umarex Beretta M92A1 (top right), Sig Sauer 1911 (center right), Umarex S&W M&P40 (bottom right), Tanfoglio Witness 1911A1 (center of group) and Sig Sauer P226 X-Five (far left).

Target shooting with blowback action semi-autos is as close as you can get to shooting a small caliber handgun. The one thing always absent from CO2 powered air pistols, whether semi-autos or revolvers, is appreciable recoil, even to the level of a .22 caliber pistol. So how is target shooting with an air pistol in any way equivalent to firing a cartridge handgun? With CO2 powered semi-autos it is the blowback action which, regardless of the level of recoil, still puts the slide in motion, and with it, the gun’s front and rear sights. Learning how to reacquire the sights and get back on target is a key training skill that can be learned with CO2 powered, blowback action airguns, but there are differences in guns, designs, and sights. read more


Walther PPK/S and ISSC M22

The Valentine’s Day Airgun

Walther PPK/S and ISSC M22 – A pair of CO2 Models to replace Cupid’s arrow

By Dennis Adler

A Valentine’s gift that is suave, sophisticated, fun to shoot and affordable, a copy of the Walther PPK/S made famous in the James Bond films.

A Valentine’s gift that is suave, sophisticated, fun to shoot and affordable, a copy of the Walther PPK/S made famous in the James Bond films.

OK, I’m not saying this is going to work for all of you guys out there, but one year for Valentine’s Day I gave my wife a hand engraved Henry Rifle with her initials on one side of the receiver and mine on the other side. This is still known around our house as the second St. Valentine’s Day massacre. But let’s just say that you and your significant other share an interest in air pistols, so how about picking two that can become a fun way to learn about shooting. Nothing brings a couple closer together than teaching someone a two-handed hold with a semi-auto pistol, (this goes with the assumption that your wife’s arms are not longer than yours). read more


New ASG Dan Wesson 4-inch Model 715 pellet revolver

New ASG Dan Wesson 4-inch Model 715 pellet revolver

An inch and a half more barrel, but what a barrel!

By Dennis Adler

The latest ASG Dan Wesson Model 715 with 4-inch barrel has the same full shroud and vent rib design, plus an under barrel Picatinny accessory rail, a feature not found on the actual .357 magnum models.

The latest ASG Dan Wesson Model 715 with 4-inch barrel has the same full shroud and vent rib design, plus an under barrel accessory rail, a feature not found on the .357 magnum models.

Dan Wesson designed a handgun that made having to choose a barrel length unnecessary because the frame was designed to allow changing barrels, and there were four standard options from 2-1/2 inches to 8-inches. That’s a lot to ask from an airgun that duplicates the entire look of the Dan Wesson Model 715, so to have a 2-1/2 inch, 4-inch, and 6-inch barrel length Dan Wesson air pistol you need to purchase three guns. Considering the price of a .357 Magnum Dan Wesson Pistol Pack, (with three barrels, 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch), the trio of ASG Dan Wesson airguns are still a fraction of the price (about $420 for all three, compared to $1,688 for the Model 715 Pistol Pack). read more