56 Years ago, Crosman gave us a sense of reality

56 Years ago, Crosman gave us a sense of reality

Welcome to the “Was” Part 2

By Dennis Adler

A single CO2 powered DA/SA revolver that fires .22 caliber pellets and looks like a classic S&W would seem like a perfect gun for 21st century air pistol enthusiasts, but no such gun exists unless you go back to the mid 20th century. What?

It is mind boggling that with today’s technology airgun manufacturers, who have made stunning advances in the design and manufacturing of blowback action semi-auto CO2 models, have not pursued some equivalency in the design and manufacturing of DA/SA revolvers, with the exception of the most recent offerings from ASG with the Model 715 Dan Wesson lineup. And even still, they are .177 caliber pellet pistols, not .22 caliber. You have to go to an entirely different type of air pistol to get into .22s today. read more

56 Years ago, Crosman gave us a sense of reality

56 Years ago, Crosman gave us a sense of reality

Welcome to the “Was” Part 1

By Dennis Adler

This was as good as it got in the 1960s when it came to an authentic-looking CO2 model of a centerfire handgun. And it was a Smith & Wesson-style revolver. In the 1960s and 1970s the vast majority of uniformed and plain clothed police, state and federal lawmen, even the FBI, were still packing double action revolvers, mainly Smith & Wesson models, along with various Colt revolvers like the Detective Special. Most everyone learned to shoot back then with a revolver (unless you were in the military where the Colt M1911A1 was the primary sidearm). Even so, revolvers had proven to be the best choice in learning gun handling skills. Crosman knew this in the 1960s, but not for the reason you might suspect. read more

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrade Part 3

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrade Part 3

Sig fine-tunes the smallest blowback action pistol

By Dennis Adler

“New and improved” is one of the great sales pitches of all time. Most of the time it is marketing hyperbole, but every so often there are real improvements to a product that warrant “New and improved” and the Sig Sauer P365 CO2 model is one of them, though you won’t see “New and improved” anywhere on the packaging because it is the same blowback action air pistol with some internal changes made to assuage issues that arose with the first production models in 2019. Alterations to the valve and porting, slide, and trigger have made 2020 models better guns. And unlike the 2019 models, the 2020 design has passed the same reliability tests as the 9mm model. The action is smoother, over cooling of the gun is no longer a problem, and the vastly improved trigger pull will sell you on the P365 all over again. That’s the one thing you can test immediately if you want to know if you have just purchased a 2020 model (especially if you also have a 2019 because the feel is completely different). read more

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrade Part 2

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrade Part 2

Sig fine-tunes the smallest blowback action pistol

By Dennis Adler

It is not unusual for gunmakers to go back and improve a design, it is, however, unusual for an airgun manufacturer to do this, and in most cases it’s a long time in the making. For centerfire (and rimfire) guns, safety concerns over a design flaw, or a discovered weakness in a part is often a driving force for change, other times, it is to improve accuracy or durability, or to respond to consumer demands. There are examples of all these circumstances with handguns and rifles, but you would have to look much harder to find an airgun manufacturer that has implemented changes to a new design less than a year after its introduction for no other reason than to improve performance and reliability. But that is exactly what Sig Sauer’s Sig Air Division has done with the P365. read more

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrade Part 1

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrade Part 1

Sig fine-tunes the smallest blowback action pistol

By Dennis Adler

In 2019 Sig did what no airgun manufacturer had done before, they designed a Micro Compact blowback action CO2 pistol with a self-contained CO2 BB magazine. That in itself, sold a lot of guns, but in order to make a CO2 pistol this small, one that could use a 12 gram CO2 cartridge, meant that there were some big hurdles for the Sig Sauer’s Sig Air Division engineers to clear. Back in the summer of 2019, Sig Air’s Product Manager Dani Navickas, said that “Sig likes to challenge their R&D engineers, so it was actually a challenge to the R&D team to completely replicate the [9mm] P365 in 1:1 scale so it would be a great training tool. It had to be an equal.” In all of those respects the CO2 model achieved its goals, as I proved in my comparison between the CO2 model and the 9mm pistol last year, but the air pistol nevertheless fell a little short of (consumer) expectations in velocity, and its small size had some unforeseen complications. The first series of P365 models were nevertheless impressive for their authenticity to the 9mm Sig and accuracy with .177 caliber BBs out to 21 feet. For such a small air pistol the precision handling all but made up for the gun’s minor shortcomings. read more

Umarex Thompson M1A1 Part 6

Umarex Thompson M1A1 Part 6

Outfitting for the field

By Dennis Adler

A gun by itself is all it needs be to perform its function. Everything else just makes it easier. Holsters and cartridge belts, magazine pouches, accessory bags, all were developed to make guns easier to handle in the field, and on the battlefield they were all the more important. The more complex the weapon, like a submachine gun, the more support gear it needed. The Thompson M1A1 needed several essential pieces to make it most serviceable in combat, beginning with a sling to shoulder the weapon and on occasion add support for firing by wrapping one’s arm in the sling. Guns with magazines needed a place for extra magazines, extra cartridges, and the military had multiple designs for M1A1 magazine pouches and other belt carried accessory pouches; the U.S. Military Musette bag – a 20th century version of the frontier era “possibles bag” held whatever else might be needed from small accessories and extra ammo to maps and tools, rations, a wool cap, and other small gear. And of course, a soldier needed a belt to carry a holstered sidearm and spare ammo or magazines (depending upon the type of handgun). Most of the items mentioned were manufactured for the U.S. military by various companies during WWII. read more