Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 2

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 2 Part 1

The Air Venturi V10

By Dennis Adler

A modern update of the Gamo Compact, the Air Venturi V10 is an entry level 10-Meter single shot target pistol using a stainless steel pneumatic air cylinder, oil stained walnut target grips, a 2-stange adjustable target trigger, and fully adjustable rear sight.

The Webley Hurricane is a very old air pistol design established in 1930 by Webley & Scott as the Senior Model. It was replaced by the improved Senior New Model just prior to WWII, and remained in production until 1964. Not a bad run for an air pistol. The first model or “Variant 1 Hurricane”, an improved target version of the Senior New Model, was introduced a little over a decade later. The example tested in Part 1, is a “Variant 2 Hurricane” manufactured from 1990 to 2005. The shorter barreled Tempest model is the last of this historic British Webley design. read more


Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 1

Target Pistols and Target Shooters Part 1

Starting with the basics

By Dennis Adler

To start this series on target pistols and target shooting I dusted off an old friend, a Webley Hurricane that I have had for 17 years. When you spend days of every week working with the latest semi-autos (cartridge loading and CO2), the very basics seem to fade, maybe even the reason you got into shooting air guns in the first place, and pulling out the Webley reminds me that sometimes you need to go back to the beginning. The Hurricane, or a pneumatic single shot pistol like it, is a great place to start.

I think we all begin as target shooters, whether it is with a BB or pellet gun, a .22 caliber pistol or rifle, or even larger caliber guns; the idea is to aim and shoot to hit the target. I began as a target shooter in the 1970s and for the most part have never ventured far from that path over some 40 years. When I began testing and evaluating guns for a living in the late 1990s, it was almost always with stationary targets at predetermined distances. Even today it doesn’t matter if I am testing a .32 ACP pocket pistol or a .44 Magnum revolver, a 9mm target pistol like the Sig Sauer Max Michel, or a single action Colt Peacemaker, only the distances to the target change, the goal remains the same. Target pistols, however, are a more dedicated breed of gun best suited for that purpose alone due to their specific design, weight, balance, sights and efficiency of operation. And the best way to begin learning about target shooting, if you have never done it, is with an airgun. read more


Saga of the MP40 and the baffle box

Saga of the MP40 and the baffle box

Stopping steel and lead in its tracks

By Dennis Adler

The Umarex MP40 is not only accurate but pretty powerful, even at 25 feet on full auto. And I have a blown to bits baffle box to prove it.

My recent exploration of the MP40 weathered model’s accuracy proved to be quite exceptional. After Thursdays article, I went back and shot several more magazines to test quick reloads (I have one spare magazine) and firing with the gun shouldered and my support arm through the sling (as pictured) my groups from 25 feet kept getting tighter. This is one very accurate CO2 air rifle on full auto, especially shooting in short bursts. I average six to 10 shots by feathering the trigger, i.e. just enough pull to fire the gun but not an extended trigger press, on and off in under a second. You can hear it and feel it in the bolt’s recoil so less than a second and you’ve got it. Some of you have already tried this using the shoulder strap to really stabilize the MP40 from the shoulder and are getting the same kind of accuracy, so I haven’t done anything exceptional. What I did do, however, is blow the entire center out of my baffle box! I usually get about 10 gun tests done before I have to make a new baffle box. I shot this one to piece in two days with the MP40. read more


The latest Umarex Legends MP40 Part 2

The latest Umarex Legends MP40 Part 2 Part 1

Weathering History

By Dennis Adler

The weight of the MP40 pretty much neutralizes any appreciable muzzle lift on full auto, though the same cannot be said for the M712 Mauser with the selector on R. It climbs and empties in a couple of seconds fired offhand. These are the two best weathered finish military CO2 reproductions you can own, a pair that offers authentic looks at a price that wouldn’t even cover the shipping cost for one of the original Class III firearms. Currently an MP40 is worth from $13,000 to $19,000 and an M712 Broomhandle from $12,000 to $17,000. The real 9mm and 7.63mm guns come up for auction this weekend at Rock Island Auctions.

So, the Stanley Baker (center below) Guns of Navarone photo idea with the MP40 was not lost on at least one reader, even though the 1961 WWII epic starring Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn took place in occupied Greece, not France.

Seems I have a lot of old film buffs reading Airgun Experience so putting these Umarex Legends WWII models in a proper visual context makes it a bit more interesting. So does the fact that these guns were used by so many different factions, aside from the German military, underscores their role in the war with French, British and American forces. French partisans carried many different guns, whatever was available, and many were armed by the British with the Sten submachine gun. Built in Great Britain during the war, Stens were given to the French Underground and other partisan groups aiding the Allies. The Sten was about as cheaply made a weapon as possible, costing around $10 in 1940. To put that in perspective, a Thompson, used by U.S. forces, cost $200 in 1940. But nothing was cheaper to carry than a captured (liberated) German MP40. read more


The latest Umarex Legends MP40 Part 1

The latest Umarex Legends MP40 Part 1

Weathering History – Is it real or is it Umarex?

By Dennis Adler

During WWII men and women who fought with the French Resistance were often armed and famously photographed with captured guns like the MP40. The French Underground aided American and British forces with intelligence on German positions but the Resistance also saw its share of combat throughout occupied France. The Umarex MP40 looks very much the part in this modern rendition of a WWII photograph. The Umarex weathered model comes with a leather shoulder strap which makes the submachine gun easier to carry and fire on full auto.

The famous line “War is Hell” has many meanings, literally and figuratively, both to man, environment, and machine. The first two are well documented throughout history, the machine part is usually pictured in battlefield photographs of damaged or destroyed tanks, trucks, military and civilian vehicles, less seen are images of handguns and rifles lost on the field of battle. Handguns, carbines, and submachine guns, while marred and beaten often managed to continue in service, reclaimed by soldiers on one side or another, and in the case of the German MP40 often captured, stolen, or otherwise given into the hands of resistance fighters in France (the French Underground) who aided the Allies in the Western European theater, particularly in undermining the German occupation of France. The resistance movement provided the Allies with vital intelligence, attacked German occupation forces, and more importantly provided escape routes for Allies caught or trapped behind enemy lines. These men and women performed an invaluable service, often at the cost of their own lives. Members of the underground were often armed with captured German handguns, rifles and submachine guns like the MP40. read more


Blowback action felt recoil and what it means to shooting practice Part 3

Blowback action felt recoil and what it means to shooting practice Part 3  Part 2  Part 1

Last Gun Standing

By Dennis Adler

The final four test guns include (from left to right) Swiss Arms 1911 TRS, Sig Sauer 1911, Umarex Colt Commander and Sig Sauer P226 X-Five. (Both Sig models are Sig Sauer licensed airguns but not Sig Sauer products like the current P226 ASP and P320)

Right out of the chute the Umarex S&W M&P got bumped by the first of the final four test guns. But first, the .22 LR model used in Part 3 for a baseline; this is a classic American target pistol, the Browning Medalist. As you will notice the slide is short and has only 1.25 inches of travel, enough to eject the spent .22 shell case and re-cock the firing mechanism. The pistol uses target grips that support the shooting hand and bring the gun into proper alignment when aimed (this grip design will come into play later in Airgun Experience when we get into target shooting). It has a bull barrel and enough weight that recoil (muzzle rise) is less than an inch and felt recoil is less than some of the CO2 models already reviewed! So the bar has been lowered for felt recoil from a .22 but raised by two of the blowback action CO2 models in Part 3. read more