Heckler & Koch pistols Part 1

Heckler & Koch pistols Part 1 Part 2

Revisiting two often overlooked CO2 pistols

By Dennis Adler

The Umarex Heckler & Koch USP (left) and P30 are based on the 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP models equipped with the DAO trigger system (although the CO2 model of the P30 can be manually cocked). The lower-priced, entry-level .177 caliber USP model is a non-blowback action design that provides just enough working features to make it an ideal training gun. The same applies to the higher-priced HK P30 which is designed to fire 4.5mm pellets with 8-shot rotary magazines or BBs from the self-contained CO2 BB magazine.

There are many long established armsmakers that have licensed their name to manufacturers of CO2 pistols, and nearly all of the famous German brands have signed on with Umarex. Makes sense, Umarex is a German manufacturer and they own the greatest name in German firearms, Walther. But I would wager that Heckler & Koch, established in 1949, has become almost as famous the world over in just 69 years (Walther built its first handguns more than a century ago and thus has quite a head start on Heckler & Koch). read more

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 3

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

One gun, one holster…

By Dennis Adler

Four guns, four holsters, combinations that work well with either centerfire or CO2 models (for training) but not all are as easy to carry concealed due to holster design, the size of the gun, and how the holster fits around the waist. Pictured are the Umarex Beretta 92A1 (top left) Umarex S&W M&P40 (top right) Sig Sauer P226 X-Five (bottom left) and Swiss Arms 1911 TRS.

From a purely technical evaluation of each gun and holster combination, there’s one clear choice, but it comes from weighing the specific advantages and disadvantages of each. The first consideration, since this is not a law enforcement or military open carry evaluation, is ease of concealment with a duty-sized handgun. All four CO2 models accurately duplicate the size and approximate weight of their centerfire counterparts, so for training purposes they all work and work well with the holsters shown. read more

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 2

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

One gun, one holster…

By Dennis Adler

Deciding on a modern gun and holster combination is actually quite a bit more difficult than a vintage, or pre-WWII gun and holster. There, the choice for a number two could easily have fallen to one of the early-style CO2 1911 models and a World War Supply Tanker shoulder holster; an excellent combination. My choice would have been my custom weathered Gletcher Tokarev TT-33 and the World War Supply Tokarev holster. Choosing a modern day blowback action CO2 model presents a far more varied field, which also makes the point that there are a lot of modern pistols available as CO2 models. Getting the right gun and holster combination can be equally difficult. Back in the pre-WWII era most semi-auto handguns had unique contours and dedicated holsters like those for the Luger P.08 and Walther P.38, or PPK, Russian handguns also had distinctive shapes so again holsters were limited to specific guns and there were few choices. Today, there are more holster makers than gun manufacturers and choices abound for every conceivable handgun and means of carry. read more

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 1

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 1

One gun, one holster…

By Dennis Adler

In the world of blowback action air pistols, historic recreations just do not get any better than the Umarex Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 (bottom) and the limited WWII edition shown. Umarex meticulously copied all of the essential details from the original 1932 Mauser model (top) right down to the operation of the thumb safety, semi-auto, full auto selector switch, and removable box magazine.

Legendary holster maker and personal defense authority John Bianchi, in his book “Point Blank” noted one basic tenet about carrying a firearm, “Master one gun and one holster.” In the world of concealed carry that is sage advice, though some people have more than one carry gun and more than one holster, depending upon the situation where concealed carry is warranted. (Bianchi also holds the world record for concealing the most handguns at one time, a total of 32 pistols). The idea behind the one gun, one holster rule, is to know your carry gun and holster so well that their use becomes intuitive. How this translates to training with air pistols, which is fast becoming a common and affordable means, is no different, and in many cases the holster in use is the same one that will carry the actual centerfire counterpart to the CO2 powered training gun. But that is not the idea behind this article. Rather this is literally based on one gun and one holster, as in, “if I could only have one air pistol and holster what would it be? And honestly, this is a lot more difficult to answer with an air pistol than an actual cartridge-firing handgun for self defense. With the most recent CO2 models one not only has contemporary handguns to consider but almost the entire 19th and 20th century as well, with CO2 models offering designs that date back to the 1870s! To make this choice a little easier, let’s limit it to semi-auto pistols from any period, and there has to be a good holster available to pair with it. For me, that opens several doors but there is only one I am going to walk through to get my personal favorite, the one blowback action CO2 pistol I would choose hands down if I could only have one; the Umarex Mauser Broomhandle Model 712 and the Chisholm’s Trail Model 712 holster, belt and magazine pouch. read more

First Look: ASG’s new CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow Blowback Action Pistol

First Look: ASG’s new CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow Blowback Action Pistol

Stepping up the Česká zbrojovka game Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

CZ models one and all, from top the ASG CZ-75 standard model, center, the new ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow, and bottom, the CZ-75-based Tanfoglio Limited Custom. All three CO2 blowback action pistols share many parts and design elements in common.

Sometimes a plan comes together, and sometimes it doesn’t. This is the latter. Last week in my review of the new ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow I encountered a problem with the rear sight being too low to align the red fiber optic sight at POA for a 6 o’clock hold on the target. The Shadow was shooting low and left. After correcting my own POA by aiming high and right, I had fairly decent accuracy results.

The rear sights on both the ASG CZ-75 (top) and new SP-01 Shadow are dovetailed, but only the Shadow’s are removable.

One feature this new CZ has over the standard CZ-75 model is a true dovetailed combat-style rear sight which can be unscrewed and removed from the dovetail in the slide. In the accompanying photos I have done that and then proceeded to make a small paper shim from a piece of a National 10-Meter pistol target, which is a fairly think piece of paper. I cut the square to the size of the area under the rear sight and then punched a screw hole in it. I used a glue stick to make the paper shim stick to the underside of the sight directly under the screw hole and then reattached it to the slide. The thickness of the paper allowed me to leave the screw a little looser and the rear sight not cinched all the way down. This gave me the equivalent of about three clicks in elevation on an adjustable sight. And that is the most you can get. Any greater thickness of paper and there isn’t enough clearance at the back of the sight to get the dovetail back into the slide. Trust me, I tried. read more