P320 ASP Part 3

Sig Sauer’s 4.5mm P320 ASP Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Training practice and 10 Meter accuracy tests

By Dennis Adler

The new Sig Sauer P320 ASP is a full-size duplicate of the P320 Nitron version. The CO2 model has a full length dustcover accessory rail to mount lights and light laser combinations for training practice.

Back in 2000 when Walther and Umarex introduced the CP99 pellet-firing model, it was as physically close to the 9mm P99 as possible (for the times and available technology for semi-auto air pistols). The very first blowback action CO2 model, the Walther PPK/S, was also introduced that year, so in terms of advancements in design, technology, operating systems, and model variety, the airgun industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the last 17 years. The new Sig Sauer P320 ASP represents another of those advances being the first high-capacity, blowback action semi-auto pellet-firing pistol. read more

P320 ASP Part 2

Sig Sauer’s 4.5mm P320 ASP Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

9mm vs. 4.5mm

By Dennis Adler

One less thing to complain about, the P320 ASP comes in a well constructed box with a two-piece clear molded liner to store the gun. The P320 ASP is shown with Sig Sauer’s own brand of cast alloy pellets which should generate the most velocity from the new CO2 semi-auto.

“Authentic Sig P320 weight, balance and handling” are the first words you see on the box for this new pellet-firing, blowback action airgun from Sig Sauer. Following the launch last year of the P226 ASP, Sig set out to build the P320 CO2 model to duplicate their polymer-framed, striker fired semi-auto in weight, balance and trigger pull, so that it too, could be used as a training aid like P226 ASP. Many on the consumer side are not impressed with what becomes a limiting factor in the Sig Sauer ASP designs, i.e., their non-functional components, and use of a traditional separate CO2 chamber and magazine. As a pellet firing pistol this latest model from Sig Sauer still raises the bar on overall design by introducing an innovative 30-round, rotary belt-fed magazine. As a blowback model, this is a benchmark in pellet-firing semi-auto air pistol design, making the small investment in a P320 ASP well worth while on that point alone. read more

P320 ASP Part 1

Sig Sauer’s 4.5mm P320 ASP Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

The U.S. Army’s new official standard issue sidearm

has an official CO2-powered training counterpart!

by Dennis Adler

The Sig Sauer P320 ASP (right) is the first semi-automatic .177 caliber air pistol to utilize a 20-round belt magazine. Designed to look and feel like the P320 centerfire pistol (left), the ASP’s weight and trigger pull are virtually identical offering recreational shooters, professionals and competitive shooters another outstanding training tool to hone their shooting skills.

The new Sig Sauer P320 ASP is a historically significant airgun for several reasons; first, it is being introduced on the heels of Sig Sauer having been awarded a U.S. government contract in January of this year to replace our nation’s aging Beretta Model 92 Series semiautomatic pistols with the P320 as the standard issue sidearm for the U.S. Army. The Beretta M9 has been in service since 1985 when the Italian armsmaker became the first foreign branded handgun to be adopted as a standard issue pistol for the United States military. In 1985 the selection of the 9x19mm Beretta M9 (M9 is the military designation for the 92FS) ended a 74 year succession of Colt .45 ACP 1911 models being carried by all branches of U.S. military and a significant number of government agencies. Originally developed by John M. Browning and Colt’s to be the official sidearm for all branches of Government service, the M1911 was officially adopted on March 29, 1911 as the “U.S. Pistol, Automatic, Calibre .45, Model 1911” succeeding a series of .38 caliber Colt double action revolvers that had replaced the Colt Single Action Army in 1889. The Colt’s Patent Firearms Mfg. Co. had continuously won U.S. government contracts for military sidearms since 1855, when the 1851 Navy was adopted, and thus the c.1985 Beretta M9 was to become the first standard issue U.S. military sidearm not manufactured by Colt’s in 130 years! The Sig Sauer P320 is only the second. read more

Bear River Schofield 4.5mm Pellet Shells

Bear River Schofield 4.5mm Pellet Shells

Running on lead

By Dennis Adler

The new 4.5mm pellet rounds come six to a package, so you’ll need at least three packs to fill out a cartridge belt. The Adams & Adams engraved Schofield models are shown with TrailRider Products holsters and cartridge belt.

The one thing that everyone has been waiting for from Bear River (aside from a model with a rifled barrel) is the long anticipated rear-loading pellet firing cartridges. This is one big step forward for the very popular Schofield CO2 model, which only needed fresh ammo to kick accuracy, velocity, and shooting enjoyment up a full notch. The new pellet-loading cartridges look like the pellet rounds for the Colt Peacemaker CO2 model, but they are specific to the Schofield’s cylinder design and, just like Colts and Schofields in the 1870s, are not interchangeable. Score a point for historic accuracy? I don’t know, score a point for Bear River for getting these new rounds into circulation! read more

Umarex Heckler & Koch USP .177 caliber training pistol

Umarex Heckler & Koch USP .177 caliber training pistol

Your basic affordable understudy

By Dennis Adler

The Umarex Heckler & Koch USP is a copy of the 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP models equipped with the DAO trigger system. The entry-level .177 caliber model is a non-blowback action design that provides just enough working features to make it an ideal training gun for the HK USP.

There are certain features that a pistol designed for law enforcement or military use must have and these basic principles have not changed since John M. Browning and Colt’s fulfilled the design requirements for the Government Model of 1911 more than a century ago. What has changed is the means by which those requirements can be met. But the basic requirements of a 21st century sidearm are really not that different today than they were in 1911; dependability under all conditions, comfortable carry weight and ease of operation. The other requirement that many contemporary firearms either eschew or regard as passé is basic familiarity with common operating features; some modern handguns can be extremely complex. It is the latter that Heckler & Koch addresses in its modern but straightforward handgun designs. The USP is a sidearm that one can pick up and understand fully in a matter of moments. There is nothing discrete or clever here. read more

An alternative to steel BBs and rifled barrels

Going back to leaded

An alternative to steel BBs and rifled barrels

By Dennis Adler

The HK P30 is designed to shoot pellets with an 8-shot rotary magazine, but also has the ability to fire BBs that load in the CO2 magazine channel like a blowback action semi-auto. The problem is that with its rifled barrel, shooting steel BBs, (like the Umarex 1500 pictured at left) can erode the rifling in the barrel and ruin the gun’s accuracy with pellets. To get around it, you can use lead BBs like Smart Shot (which is copper coated) or traditional Gamo .177 caliber round lead BBs. The catch is how they function in the HK P30’s magazine.

I know the oil refining industry has a rational explanation for this, but I spent a good portion of my life as an automotive journalist and back in the 1970s when unleaded gas was introduced I was always amused that it cost more at the pump than regular leaded gasoline; you see lead is an additive, not a natural property of gasoline, so they were charging more for not putting it in! How does this apply to air pistols? Today we use steel BBs and a variety of cast alloy pellets as an alternative to traditional lead pellets. Even in the world of cartridge firing handguns and rifles, there are a number of non-lead bullets available today. Lead is not a good thing for humans or animals, but it is an often necessary component of a bullet, a pellet (such as the pellets in shotgun shells, though there is steel shot as well), and yes even original type BBs and pistol and rifle pellets. Environmentally conscious airgun shooters often defer to steel BBs and alloy pellets, and that is commendable, but lead pellets still dominate, and proper shooting conditions (use of pellet traps, just as lead bullets are reclaimed at indoor shooting ranges) can keep lead from becoming an environmental issue. (I use a baffle box behind my targets to trap the pellets). But, there is this little question that has arisen of late with the HK P30, a rifled barrel semiautomatic that can fire either pellets from an 8-shot rotary magazine or BBs from a combination CO2 and BB magazine. The question is what happens to the rifling when you shoot steel BBs through it, instead of a lead pellet? The answer is that using steel BBs will unfortunately erode the rifling over time. read more

Testing the CZ 75 P-07 Duty Part 2

Testing the CZ 75 P-07 Duty Part 2 Part 1

Comparing the .177 caliber and 9x19mm CZ models

By Dennis Adler

The ASG CZ 75 P-07 is the compact version of the full-size CZ 75, both in airguns and real 9x19mm CZ 75 models. The ASG P-07 uses a polymer frame just like the 9x19mm model.

The ASG CZ 75 P-07 has the looks to make it a great CO2 model, an exterior that visually equals (and in a few ways surpasses) the cartridge model for looks, but it all boils down to handling and operation when shooting a CO2 version of a famous model like the CZ P-07. The airgun is an accurate representation of the original CZ 75 P-07 design with the round knurled hammer, (also used on the CZ 75 SP-01) and the deluxe finish with polished slide flats. This version of the cartridge model is sold by specialty retailers in limited editions and makes this CO2 version even more compelling; this is a great looking air pistol! ASG also has the standard matte black version, but the deluxe gun actually looks more real than the 9x19mm model. read more