2019 Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 2

2019 Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 2

Old idea, newer gun – Crosman Full Auto P1

By Dennis Adler

It looks like a Beretta 92FS with an unusual ambidextrous safety on the frame instead of the slide. It’s not wrong though, if you remember that the select-fire version built by Beretta as the 93R had this same look. It also had a folding forward grip, longer triggerguard and extended capacity magazine, but what aspects of the 93R Crosman has used for the P1 are well done. The fit and finish are very good, not as good as an Umarex Beretta 92A1, but nicely done.

Maybe in any other year I would have tested this gun, which is pretty nice, and never considered it a candidate for Replica Air Pistol of the Year but the Crosman has two things going for it, first the solid foundation upon which this “new” blowback action CO2 pistol is built, and secondly, the number of award worthy new models introduced in 2019. When you can’t even make a top 10 list, a newer version of an older design seems to carry more weight, especially when you take into account one of the newest blowback action models this year is based on a CO2 pistol design that has been around for over five years and a centerfire gun that has been around for 108 years! What is new?

The Umarex Beretta 92A1 has the same discounted price as the Crosman, so the advantage in purchasing the P1 is the red laser that comes with the gun.

The centerfire Beretta 92 Series is no spring chicken either, with the original Beretta Model 92 having been designed in 1976. Beretta 92FS models (and variations) are still used by police and military around the world today, but only in Italy was there a special select fire version, the Model 93R produced from 1979 to 1993 and originally designed for use by Italian counter-terrorism forces. It was also used by other police and military forces when a concealable weapon with rapid fire capabilities was required. The 93R is a rare and expensive Class III weapon today.

When Gletcher introduced the Beretta 93R inspired BRT 92FS Auto, around 2015 (in the U.S.), it was the only modern select-fire blowback action CO2 model on the market. Gletcher used a frame and slide design that was similar in appearance and operation to the 9mm Beretta 93R, with a large selector lever on the side of the frame that also served as the safety on the air pistol. This was one a notable difference as the 93R used a separate manual safety lever. Gletcher also used the squared 92FS style triggerguard. I mention this because on the centerfire 92A1 the triggerguard was rounded and this was the design used by Umarex in 2016 for their select-fire CO2 model.

There’s about a 5-year gap between the Gletcher BRT 92FS Auto (left) introduced in 2015, and the 2019 Crosman Full Auto P1. And that is the only actual difference; every single part between these two is interchangeable. While Gletcher put its logo along with the model name on the left side of the slide, and the warning on the right, Crosman did just the opposite.

Gletcher was sourcing their airguns from the same manufacturers in Taiwan that were under contract to the majority of retailers, including Umarex and Crosman. It was no surprise then that Crosman picked up the design after Gletcher discontinued the BRT 92FS Auto.

As in all forms of gun making, there are different levels of quality based on what the retail price point is going to be. Crosman did not cut corners on updating the design being sold today as the Full Auto P1, but it is the same gun as earlier models with the added feature of an included red laser, which makes this gun a pretty good buy. This, unfortunately, has no bearing on the Crosman’s performance and where it places against the other eight guns being considered for Replica Air Pistol of the Year.

The distinctive Beretta 92 Series design with the cutaway slide and exposed barrel makes any copy, centerfire (Taurus PT-92) or CO2 gun, unmistakable as a Beretta design. The Crosman uses the same barrel breech and magazine interface as previous guns and the Umarex models, but it is not quite as finely finished on the inside. A minor detail, but overall, the gun’s fit and finish are going to cost the P1 a couple of points.

In terms of quality build, the Umarex Beretta 92A1 models (introduced in 2016) are a little more refined than the Crosman, but in operation they are pretty much equals. The safety/selector on the Crosman is still hard to move, just as it was on the Gletcher, especially into SAFE. On the plus side, you can’t accidentally knock it off SAFE or unintentionally slip the lever down from semi-auto to full auto.

Average velocity for this model clocked 316 fps with a high of 321 fps (328 fps with Crosman steel BBs), which is miles away from the advertised 400 fps, and that is going to cost the P1 some points. The trigger is quite good on this under $120 CO2 model (including the laser), with an average of 4 pounds, 10.4 ounces single action, and, if you want to pull the first shot off with the double action trigger, that averages 8 pounds, 9 .0 ounces.

The Crosman does have some strong points beginning with the magazine, which has a very easy to manage seating screw (threads back on without much fuss) and a follower tab that is big enough to get a thumbnail into, pull down and hold while BBs are poured into the wide loading channel opening. It’s less trouble than many newer self-contained CO2 BB magazines.

The P1 shoots low (not a big surprise) and POA requires a 3-inch holdover, and this is going to cost some points. The flat black front sight is also a little harder to see with the single center white dot in the rear notch, but this also depends upon the target and ambient lighting. Outdoors it isn’t a big deal, more so on the indoor range.

The P1 gets an extra bonus point for field stripping, which is the same as an actual 9mm model. Here you can also see the seating screw which is the base of the magazine and easier to manage than most.

I am shooting new accuracy tests for this series of articles, so the P1 gets one last shot (without the laser) to score some tight groups. I had a pretty good run with the P1 putting 10 shots inside 1.5 inches with a best five at 0.625 inches from 21 feet using a two-handed hold.

Still not a great bullseye puncher, I managed four out of 10 in or cutting the red, a tight trio off to the right, one lower, and two higher for a 1.5 inch spread from 21 feet. The bad part is I am aiming at the 7-ring at 12 o’clock (a 3-inch hold over) to put shots in the 10 and bullseye.

So, here is how the Crosman Full Auto P1 stacks up:

CATEGORY RATINGS

Model: Crosman Full Auto P1

Authenticity 1 to 10:  7 (More a 92FS/93R hybrid, well done but not great fit and finish)        

Ingenuity of the design 1 to 10: 8 (Based on older existing designs)

Ease of use 1 to 10: 9 (Easy to load BBs and CO2, heavy selector switch, good trigger)

Performance 1 to 10: 7 (Below advertised velocity but in the 300 to 320 fps range)

Accuracy 1 to 10: 8 (Shoots consistently low, best 5-shot group 0.625 inches at 21 feet

Bonus points: 1 (Can be field stripped)

Total Points: 40

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