Ghost Guns

Ghost Guns

Don’t look over your shoulder

By Dennis Adler

Built to train for competitive shooting, the Tanfoglio Gold Custom and Limited Custom CO2 models both fit competition rigs made by Safariland for the matching 9mm models. The designs by Italian armsmaker Tanfoglio S.r.l. are authentic to their centerfire guns. Developed in 2012 and 2013, they were imported into the U.S. until a couple of years ago. They can still be found for sale in Europe and Canada.

Looking ahead I know there are some new air pistols coming, I know of one or two for certain because I have them (and I still can’t tell you yet), but there are others promised that I have told readers about in recent weeks that are coming next month (as in tomorrow), that probably are not going to show. We all know most of the reasons and know the impact on imports and manufacturing wrought by the current global situation, so no point in belaboring things here. We will see some impressive new guns in July, maybe the long awaited optics mount for the Sig Sauer M17 P320 ASP, eventually the reportedly impressive new Glock semi-auto pellet model, and a comparable Walther PPQ, so appetites are thoroughly whetted and patience evaporating as we head into summer. read more


Sig Sauer ASP Pistols Part 3

Sig Sauer ASP Pistols Part 3

Pellet Power Showdown

By Dennis Adler

The Sig Sauer ASP Super Target comes with the adjustable trigger set for a minimum amount of take up and a light pull in the mid 2 pound range. I think most shooters will find this factory setting combination more than satisfactory, but the gun does have four excellent trigger adjustments, so nothing is chiseled in stone.

We now arrive at the Precision part of the Sig Sauer trio, the graduate course for CO2 air pistol shooters, but the entry level course for single stroke pneumatic competition air pistol shooting. The Sig Sauer ASP Super Target stands on the line that divides these two shooting disciplines. As a competitive entry-level target pistol with an average selling price of $350 it is going up against spring piston models like the Beeman P1 and P11, and single stroke pneumatics like the Beeman P3 and Air Venturi V10. The Sig falls into the middle price range between the Beeman P3 at $230, the Air Venturi V10 at around $300, and the Beeman P1 and P11 at $429 to $499 dollars, respectively. The Super Target is about three times as much as the M17 and X-Five ASP models. Here’s why. read more


Sig Sauer ASP Pistols Part 2

Sig Sauer ASP Pistols Part 2

Pellet Power Showdown

By Dennis Adler

The Sig Sauer X-Five ASP does not disappoint. It delivers velocity, accuracy and for the most part, realistic handling. The 20-round rotary pellet magazine is slow to load, but you do have 20 shots in 4.5mm to send downrange. The slide had a lot of weight and there is plenty of feedback from this pistol when you pull the trigger.

This brings us to one of the most interesting of the Sig Sauer pellet-firing CO2 pistols, the X-Five ASP,which in the centerfire world was known as the X-Five, a competition model based off the great Sig P226 made famous by U.S. Navy SEALs as far back as the mid 1980s. Sig Sauer has built more than 30 versions of the P226 platform since 1983, plus the X-Five Series of guns, a total of three models, and the X-Series of seven different competition and match grade pistols, which ended their production runs in 2014. Simply, there were a lot of P226 X-Five and X-Series competition models for Sig Sauer to draw upon when developing Sig Air’s X-Five, CO2, blowback action pellet firing model. read more


Sig Sauer ASP Pistols Part 1

Sig Sauer ASP Pistols Part 1

Pellet Power Showdown

By Dennis Adler

Sig Sauer’s trifecta of top pellet pistols – the blowback action M17 P320 ASP (left) adjustable sight target pistol the X-Five ASP (center), and Italian-crafted, single shot pneumatic, the Super Target, with it historic profile based on the legendary Sig P210.

For the present, Sig Sauer holds the top position for CO2 and entry level single stroke pneumatic pellet pistols with a trio of airguns all based on centerfire Sig Sauer semiautomatic models; the U.S. military M17, the competition X-Five Series, and the classic Sig P210. That gives us the three air pistols shown above, the M17 P320 ASP, X-Five ASP and ASP Super Target (the lone single shot pneumatic model in the Sig Air line). In terms of technology, i.e. manufacturing, magazine design, and firing system designs, the M17 P320 ASP and X-Five ASP (and to a lesser extent the earlier Sig Sauer P320) employ technology not found on other blowback action, pellet firing CO2 models. This fact should have changed by now, but due to the global pandemic the airgun industry, like every other industry has been affected and new models are scarce, even some established airguns are now on back order including a couple of the Sig Sauer pistols. What’s happening? read more


Why manufacturers upgrade guns

Why manufacturers upgrade guns

Change is always questioned

By Dennis Adler

Change is inevitable in gun making. Manufacturers come up with improvements, some suggested by consumers, other created by factory designers. In CO2 pistols the best example of this is the Umarex Walther PPS and PPS M2, the same fundamental gun and firing system (blowback action, CO2 in the grip frame and stick magazine with a full size base pad), but otherwise an almost entirely new gun with improved sights, different triggerguard, slide and frame contours, grip design, and magazine release mechanism (the old PPS used the P99 based ambidextrous release from the P99, the M2 uses the frame mounted release, which is not ambidextrous, from the PPQ M2. The same has transpired with the 9mm centerfire guns with Umarex following suit, which makes sense since Umarex and Walther are the same company. Despite the use of a stick magazine, the PPS and now PPS M2 remains one of the very best blowback CO2 action pistols for shooting fun and fundamental CCW training. Change can be good.

“Why did they do that?” How many times have you said it in your life? And it’s not just firearms, it’s Oreos, it’s Coke, it’s your favorite brand of shoes, and it’s Colt, or Smith & Wesson, and the list goes on ad infinitum, just choose what item you want to debate. Change is always questioned and sometimes the answers are just not acceptable. Other times the answers are understandable, even if you don’t agree, and when it comes to firearms you need to have an open mind because change is inevitable. It is usually the result of improvements, something gunmakers have been doing since the beginning of gun making. Other times, change is to meet the demands of consumers, but that generally only satisfies a portion of customers, the other portion would have preferred things left as they were. (My personal one is Walther doing away with the ambidextrous triggerguard magazine release on the P99 in favor of a typical magazine release button on the frame. Why did they do that?) read more


The Factory Shop

The Factory Shop

Back in the day when a man could order a Colt Peacemaker

By Dennis Adler

In 1873 the first Colt Single Action Army pistol was built. Serial No. 1 was the foundation for all Peacemakers to follow.

Every gun of the Old West has a story, sometimes it is a short story, sometimes it is a legacy. But every one has a story. About 148 years ago the Colt Peacemaker was a brand new gun. Colt’s Superintendent of the Armory, William Mason, had received the original patent for his design on September 19, 1871. A second patent was issued on July 2, 1872 and a third on January 19, 1875, all of which were assigned to the Colt’s Patent Fire-Arms Mfg. Co. The very first Colt Single Action Army, a 7-1/2 inch barrel model, was manufactured in 1873 and bore serial No. 1, the very gun you see pictured above. (In 2009 it sold at auction to a private collector for a record $862,500). read more


Following a thread

Following a thread

The sound of faux silence

By Dennis Adler

About the only thing the two Beretta models share in common is the CO2 BB magazines. This makes the older magazines one may have for a 92A1 suitable for use in the newer gun and probably the most important thing of all for anyone who adds an M9A3 to their airgun collection. The treaded barrel presents an interesting feature since Umarex does not sell a faux suppressor for the M9A3.

In a recent article on “Why tan guns have great appeal” I pointed out that the Umarex Beretta M9A3 has a threaded barrel unlike the earlier 92A1 version, but that Umarex does not offer a faux suppressor to fit the newer Beretta semi-auto/full auto CO2 model. One of our regular readers, an avid collector and also one of the most astute when it comes posing questions, asked if there is a faux suppressor out there that fits the M9A3’s authentic-looking threaded barrel. The answer is yes, but it follows an idea that has long attracted air pistol enthusiasts to reproductions of military arms, some of which in their centerfire lives were designed for or altered to accept a silencer. read more