Old Tech – The Luger Parabellum Part 1

Old Tech – The Luger Parabellum Part 1

An airgun with a history older than almost any other

By Dennis Adler

The highly authentic Umarex Legends P.08 Luger models with fully functioning toggle link operated blowback action, are as physically close to an actual P.08 as possible with the exception of finish. The WWII model takes it down a notch to looking like a well worn WWII era pistol. The grips on both models, the standard P.08 (top) and WWII are both correct for the gun. The P.08 with black plastic grips was known as the “Black Widow” model. 

We take a lot for granted these days with so many excellent CO2 air pistols on the market, and new models arriving every year to expand the scope of firearms history available to airgun enthusiasts, some of who might otherwise never pick up a handgun because they have no desire to own an actual cartridge-firing pistol. Others live in countries where it is not a choice, or ownership demands extensive paperwork, time and limitations to the types of guns and where and how they must be stored. We have a very centric view of gun ownership in the U.S. because we have the Constitutional right, for others who do not share that great privilege airguns are of far more significance, the only practical means to indulge, hands on, in the history and design of firearms, if for no other reason than the appreciation of the gunmaker’s craft. In the U.S., airguns are a window into a world of firearms from past and present that can be enjoyed as a hobby or recreational shooting sport; in other nations it is more than a window, it is a door that opens into a world of firearms history that can otherwise only be seen (as in a museum) or read about. Air pistols become a tangible object one can experience first hand (or second hand if you use a two-handed hold). That is one reason (actually the reason) there are so many more airguns and model variations abroad than reach our shores, though we are getting an increasing share. But it is firearms history that I am most interested in sharing with you in this Airgun Experience because among the many excellent and authentic looking and handling air pistols available today is one of European (German) origin that is old enough to have become so collectible, that original examples in fine to excellent condition are almost out of reach for many; gun laws, government regulations and constitutions notwithstanding. It is the Luger, an arguably antiquated concept that in its time was nothing short of revolutionary. read more


Top 5 Wheelguns

Top 5 Wheelguns

Why revolvers endure

By Dennis Adler

Out of the holster and ready for action, the 7-1/2 inch Umarex Colt Peacemaker has the feel of a real .45 Single Action Army and draws the number 1 spot in my Top 5 Wheelguns review.

Back in my youth (that’s like an episode of Happy Days in writer years) there were two kinds of television shows that boys liked, westerns and detective shows, mostly westerns, but detective shows were a lot like westerns (some actually were) and the heroes almost always carried revolvers. Back in the 1950s and 1960s just about all lawmen; U.S. Marshals, uniformed cops, detectives, both police and private, State Troopers and FBI agents, among others, typically carried S&W or Colt revolvers. It wasn’t until years later that semi-autos began to make a dent in the general law enforcement sidearm category, and even after they did, revolvers remained the preferred backup gun. read more


X-Five Origins Part 3

X-Five Origins Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Sig Sauer builds a P226 ASP competition model

By Dennis Adler

The Sig Sauer X-Five ASP does not disappoint. It delivers velocity, accuracy and for the most part, realistic handling. The 20-round rotary pellet magazine is slow to load, but you do have 20 shots in 4.5mm to send downrange. The slide has a lot of weight and there is plenty of feedback from this pistol when you pull the trigger.

Sometimes with a new model enthusiasm gets the better of you and little things get overlooked but I cannot say that about the Sig Sauer X-Five ASP, because Sig builds all their ASP models to the same standard and while we may not agree with what that standard represents (non-functioning slide releases and takedown levers, and molded in barrel ejection ports), none of these things actually have a role in operating this pistol because the slide cannot lock back due to the magazine design, the gun is not designed to be disassembled, and there are no spent shell cases to be ejected. Sig Sauer logic dictates that these pieces having no function are not important. They are important enough for the slide release and takedown levers to look 100 percent authentic, but left in a fixed position. And I can live with that. The molded-in barrel slide ejection port interface, not so much. The old Beretta PX4 Storm blowback action 8+8 pellet firing semi-auto introduced 11 years ago has an opening in the slide even though it only exposes the top of the barrel when it retracts. It is just an aesthetics issue for me, but if you can overlook that call by Sig designers the heart of this new CO2 pistol is as well grounded as any blowback action pellet-firing model on the market. read more


X-Five Origins Part 2

X-Five Origins Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

Sig Sauer builds a P226 ASP competition model

By Dennis Adler

The new Sig Sauer X-Five ASP is a hand filling blowback action CO2 model. Built to fire 4.5mm lead or alloy pellets, the gun has a 5-inch rifled steel barrel. The barrel recess is 0.25 inches from the muzzle. Standard features include an oversized beavertail, manual hammer (that can be cocked or de-cocked), and ambidextrous thumb safeties.

The new Sig Sauer X-Five ASP is a significant variation of the Sig Sauer P226 ASP, making it a dedicated competition version based on the 9mm X-Five. This version had an SAO trigger, extended frame and slide for a 5-inch barrel length, ambidextrous thumb safeties, extended magwell, and low profile adjustable sights. The new Sig Sauer CO2 pellet model also closely resembles the P226 X Match, which was only produced in 2014.

You may have noticed that I have switched the designation for the new Sig Sauer CO2 model from ASP X-Five as I had it in Part 1 to X-Five ASP, and the latter is how it is being marketed. The two-tone version with natural steel finish (alloy) frame and slide and black X grips, will be added shortly, but both models are otherwise identical. read more


X-Five Origins Part 1

X-Five Origins Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Sig Sauer builds a P226 ASP competition model

By Dennis Adler

Sig Sauer rolls out another new 2018 model with the ASP X-Five, a new 4.5mm pellet-firing blowback action model. This is not a Sig Sauer licensed air pistol (like the excellent blowback action P226 X-Five BB models) but a Sig Sauer product manufactured for and sold by Sig Sauer. The new airguns will be available in both black and silver finishes.

Sig Sauer has been working hard the last two years to establish itself in the airgun marketplace and over the past year has begun to introduce a series of new models that may well be the game changers in blowback action semiautomatic CO2 air pistols. In the past, Sig Sauer has lent (licensed) its name to other CO2 pistols like the exceptional P226 X-Five and recent X-Five Silver blowback action CO2 BB models, but Sig is moving swiftly toward its own proprietary line of CO2 pistols that, in just the past year have already upped the game with the innovative rotary belt-fed pellet firing P320 ASP. Now, using their latest 20-shot 4.5mm rotary pellet magazine, Sig is adding a competition-inspired ASP X-Five model to their CO2 lineup. The ASP (Advanced Sport Pellet ) series X-Five follows on the heels of the new WE THE PEOPLE Model 1911 blowback action ASP BB pistol, and precedes the much anticipated military version of the Sig Sauer P320 (M17 ASP) with a self-contained CO2 pellet magazine concept. read more


ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 3

ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Velocity and Accuracy at 21 feet

By Dennis Adler

The ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow is a hand-filling 38 ounces with an overall length of 8.15 inches and a long sight radius of 6.5 inches for the airgun’s 4.5 inch steel barrel. Although a smoothbore, this is a superbly crafted barrel that delivers consistent accuracy at the optimum 21 foot range.

The SP-01 is a fairly hefty pistol, a full-sized 9x19mm design suitable for law enforcement (the CZ 75 is carried by police and military in various corners of the globe), as well as a personal defense handgun and a competition pistol; the CZ 75 is a many faceted semi-auto. The new ASG CO2 model, brings all of CZ’s best features into one blowback action CO2 model that can be fully upgraded with the aluminum grips and magwell (magazine funnel) shown, as well as a matching aluminum magazine base pad and dustcover rail-mounted optics bridge (which we will address in a later Airgun Experience article). In its basic form, the SP-01 Shadow borders on a being a .177 caliber CO2 target pistol equivalent to the Tanfoglio Limited Custom (currently not available) with the exception of an adjustable rear sight. That is where the optics bridge will come in at some point in a future article. As for today’s conclusion of the ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow update, here is how this second test gun has performed. read more


ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 2

ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

Shadow Blue in the field

By Dennis Adler

The right combination of gun, holster and magazine pouch at the range (even if the range is in your own backyard) makes for a great airgun experience. Here the new ASG CZ 75 SP-01, equipped with the ASG CZ blue aluminum grips and flared magwell (magazine funnel), are matched up with an ASG Strike Systems holster and a Safariland adjustable magazine pouch. I chose this pouch because it can fit single or double stack magazine designs yet holds either type firmly in place until needed. This is a modestly priced outfit for target shooting and practice.

Can grips and a mag funnel make a gun better? Grips, absolutely, the mag funnel depends on the level of stress you’re experiencing during a reload. For target shooting that’s not much, in competition shooting it’s a lot, in a firefight you definitely need any advantage the gun can provide, even being able to funnel in a fresh magazine without hitting the edge of the magazine well.

For Part 2 of the SP-01 Shadow review I am going to run a full drawing, shooting, reloading drill and see how smoothly the Shadow Blue handles. Granted, the standard black SP-01 Shadow runs smoothly, so the advantages of the narrower aluminum grips and magazine funnel are going to be incremental, but different. The greater emphasis with custom grips and accessories is usually aesthetics with practical functions. For competitive shooting, the functions part really weighs more heavily. The upgraded CZ scores high in that category. read more