Barra 009 Part 001

Barra 009 Part 001

A big surprise from out of left field

By Dennis Adler

More Glock than not, the new Barra 009 blowback action CO2 pistol is based on the Glock 18 design, and like its 9x19mm centerfire counterpart, is a select-fire pistol.

Yes, this is exactly what you think it is, a Glock 18, or rather the blowback action CO2 version of the select-fire 9mm made by Glock for law enforcement and military use, and the assassin in the opening scenes of the James Bond film Skyfall. In terms of modern centerfire handguns, the G18/G18C machine pistols are the Holy Grail of Glocks that you generally cannot own, let alone shoot, unless you’re part of a police SWAT team, member of an elite military unit, or government agency. Even if you are a Class III firearms dealer it’s pretty hard to get a G18/G18C, and you won’t find that many opportunities to shoot one. That is what makes the new Barra 009 (a very subtle reference to MI6 and the 00 section) about as desirable as blowback action CO2 pistols can get; this is simply as close as most of us will ever come to a G18, even though this new select-fire model bears no Glock markings! read more


Umarex 850 M2 part 9

Umarex 850 M2 part 9

Into the field – paper, tin cans and varmints beware

By Dennis Adler

And one last trip to the shooting range to test the 850 M2 and Axeon scope at 25 yards, this time with the Sig Sauer 16.6 gr. Zero Pb hollow points. The crux of this test is to first compare the Sig pellet’s accuracy with the outstanding H&N Sport 18.62 gr. Baracuda Hunter Extreme .22 hollow points from the previous range test, and secondly, to see how well the gun performs in the field firing from a kneeling position shooting at tin cans roughly the size of small game. The 850 M2 with cheek piece extension and the Axeon scope weighs 8 pounds, 4 ounces (empty; no CO2 or pellets loaded). Most .22 rimfire small game rifles are about a pound lighter, averaging 7 pounds, 8 ounces; a Ruger 10/22 weighs 5 pounds, the Hatsan Escort .22 LR (yes they make rimfire guns, too), is a bolt action with a synthetic stock and weighs 5 pounds, 9 ounces. So, like I said, the 850 M2 is a little heavier than most .22 LRs.

The Umarex 850 M2 has shown potential as a small game or pest gun that is quiet, fast handling and with theright pellet, can deliver 10 foot pounds of energy (FPE), which is effective on small game. Of course, you have to be working in fairly close for an very accurate shot, and 25 yards (75 feet) seems to be where the 850 M2 lives for consistent sub-1-inch groups. A pellet will travel much further, of course, but as distance increases accuracy decreases. I can definitely put a .22 caliber pellet from the 850 M2 on the target from 50 yards, but I can’t necessarily say where it will hit with the same accuracy. The trajectory of .22 pellets fired from the 850 M2 can actually be witnessed through the scope and the bowed trajectory can become predictable if you have the opportunity for consecutive shots as I did at 25 yards with the H&N Sport hollow points, and they gave me consistent 1-inch or smaller groups from a rested position with the Axeon scope. read more


Umarex 850 M2 part 8

Umarex 850 M2 part 8

Into the field – paper, tin cans and varmints beware

By Dennis Adler

Today it is time to begin wrapping up my series on the Umarex 850 M2 with a test of different pellets at maximumeffective range. With the .22 caliber model you have the option to send some pretty heavy lead pellets downrange and fitted with the Axeon 4-16×44 scope keep your shots sufficiently accurate to take small game and certainly kick tin cans and print tight groups on paper.

I have found the Umarex 850 M2 can be a little difficult sometimes. The forestock is hard to remove (at least for me) whenever you need to load CO2, and there is an occasional loss of CO2 pressure from the 2×12 gr. adapter while shooting, but it doesn’t happen with any regularity. It could be the adapter but it also happened once with an 88 gr. CO2 cartridge, velocity just drops off like you are out of CO2, which, in fact, you are. The seating of the CO2 in the receiver is very precise; there is even a special warning sheet with the gun pertaining to this. In general though, when everything works, the 850 M2 is a surprisingly well balanced, fast handling, and accurate .22 caliber CO2 bolt action rifle suitable for both target shooting and small game hunting. For this latest series of tests I am shooting five different types of pellets from two different manufacturers looking for the perfect combination of accuracy and performance.

Recap from previous tests

My earlier tests used H&N Sport .22 caliber lead pellets; the 13.73 gr. Sport wadcutters, 21.14 gr. Baracuda Match round nose pellets, and 18.62 gr. Baracuda Hunter Extreme hollow points recommended for small game hunting. My original comparisons were rated for both velocity and muzzle energy at 72 degrees. Here is the recap: The Sport clocked an average velocity of 555 fps which generates 9 ft. lbs. of energy (13 joules for those in Europe). The highest velocity with the Sport pellets was 566 fps, which increases energy to 10 ft. lbs. and 13 joules. Standard deviation for eight shots was 7 fps. read more


Stuff I’ve done

Stuff I’ve done

Looking back at a few years of messing around

By Dennis Adler

At a glance, even a second glance, if you look at this picture you really don’t know for certain that these are not real guns from different eras, especially the 1911, the Tokarev and the Peacemaker at the top. There is very little to give away their CO2 builds beneath the aged finishes.

This isn’t a brag column, not even an instructional one, it is just a look back at some crazy ideas I have had that went through my mind and that I acted on. We are talking about air pistols here. I’ll be the first to admit I am tool challenged and don’t like taking things apart, well not taking them apart just putting them back together. In a long succession of projects I have broken more than I have fixed. But I discovered that I did have a knack for refinishing guns (and better if I knew how to disassemble and reassemble them). I have also ignored the rules that say you can’t blue an alloy gun. It has been done commercially with varying success by everyone from Colt to Umarex. And, of course, there are some wonderful anodized finishes on aluminum and alloy parts used for PCP air pistols, and components manufactured to upgrade a handful of CO2 models like the ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow, a personal favorite. But mostly when I get into messing with an airgun’s finish it is because I just hate the way it looks “as is” and that is especially so when the gun has so much more potential than it exhibits with a, and I’m trying to be nice, cheap, crappy finish of convenience. read more


First Look: New Barra Schofield Part 3

First Look: New Barra Schofield Part 3

A little more aging

By Dennis Adler

Let’s jump to the end, the finished gun has been wiped down and wrapped up in an old oiled rag like it was going to be stored away. Fast forward 100 years, and you unwrap your heirloom S&W handed down from your great grandfather; and since we’re making this up, your great grandfather who was a Deputy U.S. Marshal. (I’m sure there are a few readers out there descended from 19th century lawmen, so this really isn’t that much of a tall tale). How did we get to this point? Read on.

Old blued guns that have aged with time (as opposed to those meticulously preserved) usually end up with gray finishes (often referred to in auction catalogs as “an attractive silver-gray patina” or “smooth blue gray patina” and occasionally “mixed gunmetal appearance”) along with traces of deeper bluing and case colors, if they originally had any color casehardened parts. Some old finishes also turn dark or brownish (plum). It all depends upon the original bluing process or the conditions under which the gun was kept, but the majority of 19th century revolvers that have lost their finish over time do not look like the aged finishes used on CO2 air pistols and that is really the point. read more


First Look: New Barra Schofield Part 2

First Look: New Barra Schofield Part 2

Almost aged to perfection

By Dennis Adler

At a distance one would be hard pressed to decide if this was an old S&W Schofield revolver or the new aged Barra Schofield hanging on the wall with an old hand tooled leather holster and cartridge belt.

If we are going to look at the new model as just a finish option it will need to perform as well as the original and nickel Schofield models, both with BB shells and the rear-loading pellet shells. First, let’s review what those guns delivered for velocity.

Colt v. S&W

Compared to a 7-1/2 inch barrel length Colt SAA, the Schofield and Colt are comparably balanced but almost everyone to a man will find the Colt faster to cock because of the larger hammer and longer hammer spur. I’ve never found the difference that significant when drawing from a holster – strong side or crossdraw (my personal preference) –especially since the Schofield’s hammer has a shorter length of travel to cock the action. The real difference for me is in re-cocking the gun after firing the first shot, and here the longer Colt hammer has a slight advantage. Of course, one learns how to work with what they have. If all you carried back in the day was an S&W model you got fast with it. It just depended how fast the guy with the Colt was. read more


First Look: New Barra Schofield Part 1

First Look: New Barra Schofield Part 1

Almost aged to perfection

By Dennis Adler

The newest addition to the Bear River (now Barra) Schofield line is an aged finish model. The new gun has two obvious advantages, better looking faux wood grips that also show aging, and the removal of the white letter warnings that obliterated the right side of the frame (which are evident even on the Adams & Adams hand engraved “Texas Jack” nickel model at top).

The Bear River Schofield models that came out four years ago were authentic in design but were sorely lacking in a proper finish. I was amazed at this one shortcut that took away from what was potentially a worthy rival to the Umarex Colt Peacemakers. Bear River responded after I had polished out one of the black matte guns and then had it engraved by Adams & Adams, by adding their own nickel version (without engraving), which, as expected, took off and by 2017 had become a worthy rival to the 7-1/2 inch Colts, despite still having a smoothbore barrel. Bear River discovered that loaded with pellet cartridges (the same used in the Webley MK VI pellet revolvers), that the six-guns were capable of coming very close to rifled barrel Peacemaker accuracy. And that remained the standard for Bear River, with plans for the future to add other finishes, barrel lengths, and a rifled barrel model. read more