Umarex G19X vs. Sig Sauer M17 Part 1

Umarex G19X vs. Sig Sauer M17 Part 1

Following government trends can lead down many paths

By Dennis Adler

In a way, you are looking at what the U.S. Army MHS evaluation team looked at when considering a replacement for the Beretta M9. Both the M17 and Glock 19X were designed for that job, and the contract went to Sig Sauer. Civilian models of both guns are available today, as well as the CO2 versions shown. If the P320-based M17 hadn’t had a clear advantage with its modular design and removable fire control housing that can be moved from one frame size to another, it’s almost even money that the Glock would have won, considering that Glock provides arms to 65 percent of U.S. law enforcement and government agencies today.

This is more of a discussion than a gun test, at least for the moment, as we look at what is transpiring with handguns being carried by Federal agencies and the military. The tossup for years has been between Glock and Sig Sauer. We know that Sig has the won the short game with its contract to replace the Beretta M9 with the P320/M17 as the military’s standard issue sidearm, and that there are two Sig versions, M17 and compact M18. But Glock is still playing the long game, and some Federal agencies are switching from various Sig models to Gen5-based Glocks; the FBI, for example, with a Glock 17 Gen5 designed specifically for the FBI, the 9mm 17M, and for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, Glock has another hybrid 9mm, the G47. Other Glock 17 and Glock 19-based models have also found their way into federal holsters, some of which were formerly occupied by Sigs and HKs. As this relates to CO2 pistols, the paths some U.S. government agencies like the Secret Service, FBI and Border Patrol are pursuing with a move to new Glock models, casts an interesting shadow across Sig Sauer’s path, and given the, shall we say, aggressive move by Glock into the CO2 market in just a little over a year, (through Umarex), it appears that Glock is going to be bumping muzzles with Sig Sauer here as well. Sig’s solid advantage, however, is that the M17 blowback action CO2 model is a pellet-firing pistol with a self contained CO2 pellet magazine, vs. Glock’s Umarex offerings all being CO2 BB magazine designs. read more

Sixguns and a pair of parallels

Sixguns and a pair of parallels

Has Europe always been ahead of us?

By Dennis Adler

As a nation, the United States has always been in the shadow of European armsmakers, some of whom have been manufacturing guns longer than the U.S. has existed. Early American gunmakers were nearly all Europeans who brought their venerable skills to the Colonies and helped establish the various schools of gun making in America during the 1700s. Samuel Colt was the first great American entrepreneur and inventor to set off on his own course in the 1830s, and even he had the foresight to make sure his U.S. Patent designs were also registered and patented in Great Britain and France to prevent European gunmakers from copying them. read more

Small Guns

Small Guns

Air pistols of a certain type

By Dennis Adler

Small guns date back to pre-Revolutionary War flintlocks, but became a staple of handgun manufacture beginning in the 1840s with Henry Deringer’s small, percussion lock pistols. Deringer’s designs got hijacked by other armsmakers who called their guns Derringers, using a double “r” to make the name into a class of small gun. Colt had small pistols as well including the Root Sidehammer .32 caliber cap-and-ball revolver. By the time of the Civil War, Smith & Wesson had developed the first self-contained metallic cartridge, the .22 Short and a small revolver to use them, the No. 1 S&W (bottom right), which were often hand engraved like this New York style. Little guns took on a new look by the early 1900s after American arms designer John M. Browning developed the .25 caliber centerfire cartridge (among others) and the design for the Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket Hammerless pistol. It was also built in Belgium by FN and known later as the Baby Browning.

What exactly is a “small gun?” The answer to that not only depends upon whom you are asking, but in what century! Small guns have been around for hundreds of years. Back in the 1840s the answer was  Henry Deringer’s Philadelphia-built single shot percussion lock pistol, or a similarly designed gun (Deringer was blatantly copied by others who got around it by spelling his name with a double “r” as Derringer and using it to describe their gun as a type of pistol). By the 1860s, Smith & Wesson had redefined small pistol with its 5-shot, metallic cartridge loading No. 1 revolver chambered for .22 short rimfire and No. 1-1/2 for .32 rimfire. But a small gun could also be a.32 caliber Colt Root sidehammer cap and ball pistol, or Colt’s Model 1848 and 1849 cap and ball pistols. What they all shared in common was size; these were really small guns, even by today’s standards. By the 1880s, when medium to large caliber cartridge revolvers were the dominant sidearm, a small gun was bigger than before, if it was a revolver, and by the turn of the century, it was smaller, certainly flatter, if it was one of those newfangled, magazine-fed small caliber semiautomatic pistols designed for Colt by John M. Browning. Fabrique Nationale (FN) had similar guns to Colt, also designed by Browning, and built in Belgium for the European market. read more

Umarex Mini Uzi Carbine

Umarex Mini Uzi Carbine

The other Uzi option

By Dennis Adler

At one point I had two versions of the Umarex-built Uzi .22 LR models which I had tested for Combat Handguns and when the CO2 model came out I was one of the first to order the new blowback action air pistol and put it to the test. The CO2 model averages between 380 and 390 fps. The faux suppressor does not extend barrel length (wish it did); it is just a plastic tube with a 0.25 inch circumference channel. It does shroud the BB from the elements for an additional 7.5 inches before it leaves the suppressor’s muzzle.

I sometimes get so caught up with authenticity I overlook some otherwise very good airguns that are also based on original designs, like the Umarex Mini Uzi Carbine, which is a Mini Uzi pistol with a folding metal shoulder stock, i.e., pistol becomes carbine by swinging the forward folding stock around from against the receiver to your shoulder. In the real world of firearms, a Mini Uzi with folding metal stock is a fairly pricey item to own, but as a CO2 model, only about $100.

Umarex had started out building .22 LR versions of the famous Uzi Pistol and Carbine for sale under the Uzi name, and using similar construction introduced the Mini Uzi in the popular and affordable .177 caliber with a plastic, rather than metal, receiver. Still, it averages 40 ounces. The BB pistol has a folding shoulder stock and features like a semi-auto 9mm Mini Uzi.

This one has been around for awhile and I have not really given it much coverage because I have always favored the select-fire version Mini Uzi Subgun (which you often see on the crawl at the top of the Pyramyd Air home page showing popular or new models). The Umarex version is a semi-auto only model and it houses the CO2 in the grip and not in the removable BB magazine, while the select-fire Mini Uzi subgun uses self-contained CO2 BB magazines and costs about $30 more. But, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Umarex semi-auto because it has the same style forward folding metal shoulder stock, plus it comes with a faux suppressor, which makes the gun a real conversation piece, and in the real firearms world a solid Title II firearm. But there are no requirements here, just a desire for a famous Israeli design that has become legendary. read more