ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Update Part 1

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

Shadow Blue

By Dennis Adler

Introduced this year, the new ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow is based on the original CZ Shadow model and Shadow II, which was replaced in 2018 by the Shadow 2 Black & Blue version. The design of the CO2 pistol is virtually identical to the SP-01 and as shown uses the rubberized SP-01 grips, and has the larger ambidextrous thumb safeties and slide release of the SP-01 Shadow.

It is rare that I do a follow-up article on a gun that I have recently tested, but the new 2018 ASG CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow left some interesting questions after its initial range test in March; one of which was that the test gun was continually shooting low at 21 feet, and the hold over was around 2 inches. This was not a terrible thing but it was uncharacteristic for the CZ 75 CO2 models. So, this is test gun number two, and the entire range test will be redone in this updated review of the ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow. There is, however, more to this one specific ASG CZ model than initially meets the eye. Not only is it exceptionally authentic to the centerfire Shadow (updated by the Česká zbrojovka Custom Shop for 2018 to the Shadow 2 Black & Blue), but the CO2 model from ASG can be modified with an accessory kit to look more like the original Shadow competition version, Shadow 2 and competition CZ 75 Tactical Sport models. How you may ask can this be done? Look down. read more


PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 3

PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Drafting a new framework for blowback action 1911s

By Dennis Adler

The new Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE 1911 is nothing short of a reckoning for blowback action CO2 models, delivering top performance, high velocity, superior fit and finish, fully operating features, and superb accuracy; it is everything you could want in a 1911 training gun. And if you like the distressed finish, exceptional alloy grips and finely checkered frontstrap and flat mainspring housing, there is simply nothing else in its class. Considering that the majority of blowback action 1911 models are all based on the same platform (and built in the same factories, regardless of brand name), the added attention to Sig Sauer’s build, valving for higher velocity, excellent white dot sights, and target trigger, take this 1911 to the head of the class.

There are a number of reasons to buy a blowback action 1911 CO2 pistol and one of them is for training. Other obvious reasons are that you like airguns, like Colt pistols, the Model 1911, or it is just a cool looking historic gun. I like them for all those reasons but right now, until someone outdoes Sig Sauer, I like the new WE THE PEOPLE better than any other blowback action CO2 Model 1911. I know, special edition guns with unusual finishes, custom grips, and some form of custom engraving isn’t for everyone, but aside from the distinctive 50 star grips on the Sig Sauer, most of the embellishments on the slide are pretty low key, more a component of the gun’s distressed finish, than something that stands out and shouts “look at me!” Subtlety can be very effective and this finish makes a quiet statement. read more


PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 2

PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

Drafting a new framework for blowback action 1911s

By Dennis Adler

From this angle, were it not for the caliber marking on the frame it would be almost impossible to tell if this is the 4.5mm (.177 caliber) WE THE PEOPLE or the .45 ACP model. Sig Sauer has gone the distance to bring as much authenticity to this blowback action CO2 Model 1911 as possible.

Authenticity has many faces. Building an “authentic” CO2 pistol has just as many interpretations. If you want total authenticity then there is no better example than the Umarex S&W M&P40 blowback action CO2 model. If you want a 1911 that toes the line you won’t find it in the Colt-licensed Umarex version (sold in the U.S.) which comes close but gets a fail from purists because it has the S arrow F safety markings and a finish that leaves you wanting for (a) an antique or weathered finish – which they did with a limited edition model some time back, (b) any of countless Cerakote-like finishes, like FDE, or (c) the best possible option, nickel plating. Aside from that the Umarex Colt Commander is an excellent model with white dot sights, skeletonized trigger (and a darn good one, too), skeletonized hammer, 1911A1 raised mainspring housing, full field stripping capability, and a self-contained CO2 BB magazine. In fact, everything you can find desirable about the Colt-licensed model can be found on any number of blowback action 1911 CO2 models. But, what you can’t get is the one thing no one, not Umarex, Swiss Arms, Tanfoglio, Remington, or anyone else has done until Sig Sauer, match it feature for feature to an actual .45 ACP production model 1911. Sig’s WE THE PEOPLE does it and does it right with everything that made the Umarex Colt Commander a leader in its class, everything that Swiss Arms and Tanfoglio got right except for branding (or over branding if you will), everything that makes the aforementioned 1911 models great CO2 pistols (particularly the Swiss Arms and Tanfoglio 1911s), and then doubled down with an authentic distressed finish and branding that matches the centerfire Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE. This is what makes the difference to those of us who want “authenticity” even if it comes packaged as a special edition model. When you look at all the upgrades and options for finish and features that are available today for 1911 models from Kimber, Colt, Sig Sauer, Springfield Armory, Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Les Baer, Nighthawk Customs, (and that’s just U.S. manufacturers), as well as custom finishes, custom grips, hammers, triggers, sights…well you get the point, the WE THE PEOPLE is almost middle of the road and done in a patriotic theme that certainly can’t be regarded as flashy. read more


PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 1

PREVIEW: Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Drafting a new framework for blowback action 1911s

By Dennis Adler

With one new model, Sig Sauer has reestablished the level of authenticity that can be achieved with a CO2 blowback action Model 1911. The “We the People” is part of a benchmark new design from Sig Sauer inspired by our nation’s rich patriotic history and the role the Model 1911 has played for more than a century. According to Sig Sauer, “This pistol serves as a fitting tribute to both the Second Amendment and the most storied handgun in history.”

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

With these words, the Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787. Built upon the principals of the Declaration of Independence and forged out of America’s seven-year long war of independence from 1776 to 1783, “We the People” is perhaps the most defining three words in American history, and are requisite to the creation of not one but two significant Model 1911 pistols from Sig Sauer. The WE THE PEOPLE Model 1911 in .45 ACP and 4.5mm (.177 caliber) are a matching set, making this the most authentic to a centerfire 1911 model of any CO2 blowback action pistol built thus far. This is high praise for a new model that has just been removed from its box and remains untested. read more


Swiss Arms 1911A1 Part 3

Swiss Arms 1911A1 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

From John Moses Browning’s first design to the original

Model 1911 the future was already written

By Dennis Adler

I rarely go off on a rant about fit and finish, but I am at a loss for any reason companies like Swiss Arms, Tanfoglio, and other major manufacturers can’t see the logic (or the consumer demand) for a nickel plated 1911A1 model. They have the features right and the finish wrong. We all know you can’t get a consistent gun blue finish on an alloy (aluminum) pistol, but you can get an excellent nickel finish. The WWII era 1911A1 at right has a factory nickel finish. Look how much better this is than the modern Cerakote-like finish on the Swiss Arms model. 

Authenticity is something that so many airgun enthusiasts demand, that I am often amazed by how few manufacturers acknowledge this segment of the airgun marketplace. Granted most CO2 air pistols are in the $100 to $200 price range, with some very nice examples hovering at around $80 (retail or discounted), so it is understandable from a marketing perspective that some corners are going to be cut. Just when you begin to accept that reality, someone comes along and proves that “it just ain’t so” with a model like the nickel plated Umarex Colt Peacemakers. Why nickel? Because an authentically blued model just isn’t a practical option, you can’t really blue an alloy pistol to look the same as bluing on steel. You can come close but not perfect. This gives us antiqued finishes (weathered) as an option and that has worked well on many pistols, Peacemakers, the Broomhandle Mauser, and others, some as special limited editions, but the obvious option manufacturers could pursue with many blowback action CO2 models that just don’t look right with a modern matte finish, like the Swiss Arms 1911A1, is to forego modern finishes on CO2 versions of guns that were originally built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and simply put them out with nickel finishes. Even Colt’s offered nickel finishes on semi-autos as far back as the early 1900s (1908 for hammerless .25 ACP, .32 and .380 ACP models and 1935 for the Model 1911A1). So this begs the question, why can’t Swiss Arms and Tanfoglio 1911A1 models (pretty much the same guns with different brand name licensing) turn out a nickel plated version that would look like a proper period pistol, even if they still had their brand names and Warning information on the slide? It is understandable that only Umarex can use the Colt name, but let us not forget that during WWI and WWII the 1911/1911A1 was also manufactured by other companies like Remington-UMC, Ithaca, Remington Rand, US&S Co., Springfield Armory and even the Singer Sewing Machine Co. It is the design and finish that matter not the name on the slide. Swiss Arms and Tanfoglio could and should offer the 1911A1 style CO2 model with a nickel finish. read more


Swiss Arms 1911A1 Part 2

Swiss Arms 1911A1 Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

From John Moses Browning’s first design to the original

Model 1911 the future was already written

By Dennis Adler

A somewhat modern Cerakote-like finish on the Swiss Arms 1911A1 isn’t quite right, but then again neither is the big Swiss Arms logo on the slide, but if you look at the balance of the pistol it is about as close to a c.1924 Model 1911A1 (Transitional Model) as an air pistol can get. The 1911A1 is shown with an original lanyard and a World War Supply reproduction of the Model JT&L 1917 military holster, leather belt and dual magazine pouch for the Model 1911.

Swiss Arms introduced its 1911A1 (which they simply refer to as a 1911 even though it is the early 1911A1 configuration) several years ago, but it has not received the degree of attention the Swiss Arms 1911 Rail Guns get because they are the more popular 1911 variants. Swiss Arms, which licenses its name to the 1911 line (and I’ll explain why shortly), is a very old company, but you might not recognize it until you know that prior to 2000, Swiss Arms was Sig Arms, and is now part of a larger conglomerate that includes independently operated Sig Sauer GmbH, Mauser, J.P. Sauer & Sohn GmbH, Sig Sauer, Inc. (in the U.S.) and Swiss Arms, among other companies. The Swiss Arms name on a 1911 air pistol is equivalent to the Sig Sauer name on a 1911, and Sig Sauer makes some of the finest centerfire 1911 models in the world (over 20 different models) including the new “We the People”1911 in .45 ACP and new blowback action .177 caliber version, which we will be unveiling in Airgun Experience next week! read more


Swiss Arms 1911A1 Part 1

Swiss Arms 1911A1 Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

From John Moses Browning’s first design to the original

Model 1911 the future was already written

By Dennis Adler

“The Board recommends that the Colt Caliber .45 Automatic Pistol of the design submitted to the Board for tests be adopted for use by foot and mounted troops in the military service in consequence of its marked superiority to the present service revolvers, and to any pistol, of its extreme reliability and endurance, of its ease of disassembly, of its accuracy and of its fulfillment of all essential requirements.”                      

– U.S. Ordnance Department Board of Officers report, March 20, 1911  read more