Barra 1866 Cowboy

Barra 1866 Cowboy

Doing things the old way Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Western air rifle enthusiasts have it great right now with the dual CO2 powered Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action rifle. It is as close to a centerfire Winchester lever action as we are likely to see for awhile and it uses either Peacemaker BB or pellet loading shells, even though it is a smoothbore. The Umarex lever action is somewhere between a Winchester 1892 and an 1894 design, but way back in the mid 1860s, Winchester lever actions were far more primitive in design, and the Model 1866 was the first rifle to bear the Winchester name. read more

What makes a winner?

What makes a winner?

Last year’s Top 10 Selling air pistols

By Dennis Adler

Umarex and Glock walked away with 2019’s largest number of sales and guns from Pyramyd Air, with the Third Gen Glock 17 CO2 model (right) taking the number 1 spot in sales, the non-blowback Model 19 (back) taking the number 2 position, and the new Gen4 model placing 7th out of the Top 10 for the year’s sales leaders.

For what it’s worth, I picked and reviewed six of the Top 10 selling air pistols for 2019, and of the six I had written up over the last couple of years (yes, they were not all 2019 models), my top guns reviewed in Airgun Experience were in the first three places as well as 5th, 6th and 7th place as the most purchased air pistols of 2019. What is interesting, and perhaps a bit telling, is that they are all based on semi-auto pistols. I wasn’t so much surprised by that, as I was with the number 1 selling air pistol of the year for Pyramyd Air, the Umarex Glock 17 Third Gen. I would have expected the newer Gen4 to be the best seller, then the Third Gen or the G19X, which didn’t even make the list as a best seller! Instead, the first Umarex Glock Model, the G19 non-blowback slipped into the number 2 position ahead of the Sig Sauer M17, Beretta 92A1, and Sig Sauer P365, which came in an impressive 6th place for sales over the 7th place Umarex Glock 17 Gen4! read more

Highest Velocity CO2 pistol Part 2

Highest Velocity CO2 pistol Part 2

And the fastest BB

By Dennis Adler

Among the advantages with the G19X over the Third Gen G17 and Gen4 Glock versions is the improved white dot sights, which for the CO2 model, are very well regulated for POA without excessive aiming corrections often needed for fixed sights on CO2 pistols.

Can velocity carry the day? It depends upon the gun, the distance from the target, the ammo and the individual pulling the trigger. Certainly with long guns, the answer is yes, velocity can carry the day as it did back in the American West with rifles like the Sharps. Handguns played an entirely different role, then and now. Even in the military, the weapon of choice has always been a rifle or carbine, a handgun was more of a defensive weapon, a “sidearm” for use in close quarters, and that is still the role of the handgun in today’s military. Less so for law enforcement, where the handgun is the primary weapon both for defensive and offensive uses, and almost always at close distance. Putting this in terms of air pistols (as training guns) higher velocity means a straighter trajectory downrange with a .177 caliber steel BB fired from a smoothbore barrel at 21 feet. This, however, isn’t always enough. read more

Highest Velocity Blowback Action pistol Part 1

Highest Velocity Blowback Action pistol Part 1

And the fastest BB

By Dennis Adler

The fastest gun in the running for last year’s Replica Air Pistol is ready to find the best BB for velocity and accuracy. Keep reading, you might be surprised which of the steel BBs above delivered the highest velocity. As for the Gamo lead round BBs, they are there to make a point about the history of BBs and the use of lead shot.

I have often said that velocity isn’t everything in a blowback action CO2 pistol, but when you have a high velocity, blowback action CO2 pistol like the Umarex Glock G19X, why not make the most of it? The G19X was the one new model from 2019 that had no peers when it came to sending a steel BB downrange at well over 350 fps, actually an average of 376 fps with the highest velocity right around 380 fps, which is 20 fps over the factory rated 360 fps. The next highest speed clocked with Umarex Precision steel BBs was 379 fps, followed by 377 fps, 376 fps four times out of 10, and a low of 372 fps, which soundly beat any other new model from 2019, including the Replica Air Pistol of the Year which was sending steel BBs downrange at around 300 fps average. What kept the G19X from winning was the non-functional right side slide release, and no bonus point for field stripping. That was enough to keep it from earning 50 points and knock it out of contention. It was a small but tough crowd for last year’s top gun title. read more

Decades of change

Decades of change

What lies behind could be in the future

By Dennis Adler

I had a chance to test the Umarex Colt Commander at the Umarex factory in Germany six months before it was introduced to the U.S. market in 2014, leading a revolution in blowback action air pistols that changed the very face of the CO2 air pistol market in five years.

Here we are at the beginning of a new decade, a very special one to me. When I was young I had remarkable expectations for the far, far distant 21st century and the year 2020, which had seemed to me, would be something momentous, it was so far away in the future. When I was 20, I saw Arthur C. Clarke and Stanly Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey with wide-eyed optimism for a world that was still more than 50 years away from the mesmerizing images on the screen. As far off as 2001 seemed at the time, I believed Arthur C. Clarke’s vision of the future, at least from a standpoint of technology. I shared his vision of incredible possibilities; it was not implausible, we could do this, and a year later Neil Armstrong walked on the moon; it was a beginning, and that was 51 years ago this coming July 20. We have not reached Arthur C. Clarke’s predictions of the 21st century, but in spite of the difficulties, setbacks and politics, we are treading on the periphery of that future, stalled perhaps, by a world that is far different than Clarke envisioned so many decades ago. How does this relate to air pistols? read more