Gamo PT-85 Tactical Part 1

Gamo PT-85 Tactical Part 1 Part 2

And now for something Spooky

By Dennis Adler

What could be better for Halloween than a 4.5mm pellet-firing airgun that is nothing short of spooky (as in spies, ghosts and spooks); a tactical model that has every base covered from optics, to light and laser, a full length faux silencer, blowback action, and a double action/single action trigger. It’s the Gamo PT-85, a Beretta PX4 Storm-based design worthy of any 00 or CIA man in the field. It has been around for awhile but is now the last pellet-firing air pistol to offer all of these features in a single package.

This is the kind of gun you see in spy movies carried by individuals who “live in the shadows” a turn of phrase familiar to those who know James Bond films, and this special version of the double action/single action Gamo PT-85 fits the bill perfectly as a versatile, modular pistol for operatives who demand stealth, accuracy, and when need be, a light and laser to illuminate and pinpoint a target. The Gamo PT-85 Tactical Series gives you all the tools of the spy trade in a CO2 powered, blowback action 4.5mm rifled barrel semi-auto. And the Gamo holds a few secrets of its own. For one, this version of the Gamo PT-85 model introduced in 2010, has the capability of being exceptionally accurate because the realistic-looking faux silencer hanging off the end (this is old school trade craft so let’s call a silencer a silencer this time) has a full length extension of the rifled barrel shrouded inside, and thus this PT-85 has an internal barrel length of 12 inches! Combine that with an average velocity of well over 450 fps and at 21 feet this pellet-firing, rifled barrel semi-auto can be optically dialed in to produce sub 1-inch groups. read more


Hatsan Riptor Part 2

Hatsan Riptor Part 2 Part 1

Handing and Accuracy

By Dennis Adler

You know the old saying, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” which basically means you don’t always have to look too deeply for answers or meanings; well that can apply to airguns, especially in this column where I place a lot of emphasis on authenticity and training with airguns. Sometimes you just have shoot them for fun. The Riptor is that kind of air pistol.

The Hatsan Riptor is somewhere between Sci-Fi and retro in appearance but inside it is all business. The 15-shot blowback action pistol weighs in at 22.5 ounces with empty magazine, has a compact-sized overall length of 7.5 inches, a height of 5.0 inches (not counting the seating key protruding below the magazine), and a width of 1.0 inches for the slide with an extra 0.125 inches for the thumb safety. Trigger pull on the test gun averaged a solid 8 pounds, 15 ounces, so no lightweight in the trigger department and this is a single action semi-auto. Trigger take up is 0.625 inches with no stacking but the first 0.5 inches has zero resistance; the actual pull to drop the hammer is 0.125 inches and it is a solid pull with a crisp break. Not a light trigger but a pretty good one, especially in the sub $80 MSRP price range. read more


Hatsan Riptor Part 1

Hatsan Riptor Part 1 Part 2

And now for something completely different

By Dennis Adler

It’s safe to say that nothing else looks like the Hatsan Riptor, an innovative blowback action .177 caliber CO2 pistol from the folks that manufacture some of the finest precharged pneumatic air rifles in the world. The retro-modern semi-auto is Hatsan’s first blowback action pistol.

Hard to believe, but here we are at Airgun Experience No. 200, and to commemorate this little milestone we are going to look at a brand new CO2 pistol from Hatsan with an unusual name, Riptor. Now you’re thinking, “don’t you mean Raptor, like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park?” Nope, Riptor but you’re close. A Raptor is a predatory bird or the dinosaur genus Velociraptor, but Riptor is actually a real made up name. It is a futuristic, genetically engineered hybrid Velociraptor combined with human DNA in the video game series Killer Instinct. So, the folks at Hatsan didn’t pull the name out of their hat(san) but picked one that might aptly be used to describe their new CO2 powered, blowback action, .177 caliber semi-auto pistol. Like the Riptor in the video game, this new pistol is a combination of advanced technology that also has some very prehistoric features for a new CO2 model. read more


Webley MK VI Accuracy Shooting

Webley MK VI Accuracy Shooting

How to get the most out of the latest DA/SA pellet-firing model

By Dennis Adler

In 1858, New York arms manufacturer Ebenezer Townsend Starr introduced America’s first topbreak double action revolver. It was a very complicated design that used a threaded crossbolt passing through the topstrap and frame to secure the barrel assembly. To reload the six-shot percussion pistol one could use the conventional loading lever to seat a lead ball into each chamber, or unscrew the crossbolt, break open the gun and change the empty cylinder for a loaded and capped one. The trick was not to loose the crossbolt! When Webley & Scott developed the MK I in 1880, metallic cartridges had long since displaced loose powder cap and ball, but the idea of a topbreak design to make loading faster was still unsurpassed. The latest Webley & Scott CO2 model follows that historic design for loading pellet cartridges.

Sometimes a new airgun brings a surprise or two, the latest Webley MK VI model with rifled barrel brought only one, it shoots less accurately than its BB firing smoothbore predecessor. I am still at a loss to explain why except that the trigger system seems to operate a little differently, perhaps not by design, but in effect. Like the original Webley MK Series topbreak revolvers, the big advantage in the Webley design, aside from faster reloading, was its double action trigger. In the early 20th century (and as far back as 1880 when the MK I was introduced) double action revolvers were viewed by many with a skeptical eye. Even the first American made double action top break production revolver, the Starr Arms .36 and .44 caliber Model 1858, was met with so much skepticism by U.S. soldiers during the Civil War that in 1862 the Ordnance Department requested that Starr redesign the gun as a single action. The Single Action Starr Model of 1863 was a much more successful revolver, and along with the double action guns already in use, the Starr became the third most issued model carried by Union troops (after Colt and Remington). The earlier 1858 Starr double action models were also used by Confederate soldiers. It was a difficult gun to handle because it could not be thumb cocked for a single action shot in what we would deem a traditional way. It was effectively a double action only revolver unless one knew how to handle the trigger and pre-cock the hammer, the earliest form of two-staging the trigger or staging the hammer. Bottom line, early double action revolvers were not very popular in the U.S., whereas in Europe they were already in common use and Webley was among the leading manufacturers. read more


The Webley’s Reprise

The Webley’s Reprise

The Nickel MK VI Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Building a CO2 model that is 100 percent accurate to its cartridge-firing counterpart has its advantages, especially with a semi-auto pistol like the Umarex S&W M&P40. If Webley built its CO2 model of the MK VI exactly to the specifications of the original MK VI, it would have a very heavy double action trigger, a stirrup latch that requires a strong thumb to release, and a barrel and cylinder that demands using the offside hand or pressing the assembly against your leg to open. That’s how a MK VI works. It would not be an ideal CO2 pistol for handling, and thus that much of the .455 caliber model is marginalized for the air pistol which opens, almost too easily, allowing the the barrel and cylinder group to drop on their own. It’s an extreme opposite to the original gun, but the better of two choices for the air pistol. I’d have preferred something in the middle but as compromises go, the MK VI air pistol errs on the side of convenience. read more


The Webley’s Reprise

The Webley’s Reprise

The Nickel MK VI Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

The Webley MK VI CO2 model with rifled barrel and nickel silver finish is a very close match to the original .455 caliber high polish blued model. Both guns fit the new Pyramyd Air Webley leather holster. The higher stirrup latch on the CO2 model can be a little problematic when holstering if you run it into the edge of the holster, which can push the latch back and open the action. You need to be a little cautious when re-holstering the airgun. The latch on the .455 model has a lot more resistance, so that has never been a problem with Webley revolvers in the past.

Webley & Scott has had an equally robust history manufacturing airguns. Following on the company’s success in the British pistol and shotgun markets, Webley decided to begin manufacturing airguns in the early 1920s, having received its first airgun patent in 1910. Over the course of 14 years Webley & Scott worked on various designs but it was not until the UK Firearms Act of 1920, which required people to obtain a firearms certificate to purchase or possess a firearm, that Webley introduced it first non-cartridge firing pistol. Webley’s first production air pistol, the Mark I, was released in 1924. Their first air rifle, also known as the Mark I, was introduced two years later. The Webley Mark I air rifle set the standard for air rifles throughout the 1920s. A break-barrel, spring rifle, it is today very much a collectors piece. The follow-up model, the MKII, introduced in 1929, became known as the Service Model and was used to train British Army recruits. Today, a complete MKII Service in its original case could fetch as much as $3,000. Working MK I air pistols (which was a single shot break barrel design) can bring up to $450 today. Webley’s first air pistol was followed by the MK I Variant 1, Variant 2, and Second through Sixth Series in 1935. It was replaced by a succession of single shot pistols through the 1970s and later Hurricane, Tempest and Typhoon single shot models. The current Alecto is the latest Webley & Scott single shot model, making the MK VI Webley’s first revolver. read more


The Webley’s Reprise

The Webley’s Reprise

The MK VI is back and in three distinct versions Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Hard to believe you could get 120 years of history into one photo but that is what you are looking at between the illustrations of the Webley MK III, IV, V and VI, and the new nickel plated, rifled barrel Webley MK VI CO2 model laying on top. It represents Webley history from 1897 to 2017.

In 1915 the British military adopted the most ruggedly built revolver in the world, the Webley & Scott MK VI as its standard issue sidearm, but this was not the first Webley to be carried into battle by British troops. Webley & Scott revolvers were first issued to Her Majesty’s soldiers as far back as 1887. The Webley’s topbreak design is, in fact, deeply rooted in the late 19th century beginning with  Over the next three decades Webley & Scott made improvements in the topbreak design through the MK II, III, IV, and V, with the MK VI being developed in the early 1910s. read more