Accessorizing the Umarex Glock G19

Accessorizing the Umarex Glock G19

Best options for an entry level air pistol

By Dennis Adler

This is the Umarex Glock 19 air pistol, not an actual 3rd generation model, but it is hard to tell because there are only two obvious differences, first the crossbolt safety at the top of the trigger (if you see it) and the absence of the caliber marking 9×19 after the GLOCK logo, the model number 19, and AUSTRIA all in capital letters on the left side of the slide.

I like to think of myself as a “the CO2 cartridge is half full” kind of guy and hope that airgun manufacturers eventually get everything right. But I have learned that sometimes you just have to be overly optimistic. It’s like major league sports; you hope your team is going to win the championship every year even though you know from experience they’ll probably never make it to the semi-finals. But it does happen once in a great while, so there is always a glimmer of hope. I was disappointed with the first Umarex HK USP when it came out as a non-blowback model some years ago. After a long wait, in 2018 they hit it out of the park with the new blowback action USP, currently a serious contender for my Air Pistol of the Year. So, let’s take a second look at another non-blowback with the promise of greater things to come, the Umarex Glock 19, a pistol that was actually less disappointing than it appeared. This mid 2018 offering was a big surprise in ways that other non-blowback models have disappointed. For one thing there is the potential versatility of this entry level air pistol to lay the groundwork for a follow up blowback action model, very much like the first HK USP. When that will happen is a little uncertain, hopefully not as long as the USP, but what can the current G19 model accomplish in the interim? read more

Umarex Walther PPS M2 Part 3

Umarex Walther M2 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Why Gun Manufacturers Change Designs

By Dennis Adler

Rarely do you have the opportunity to choose between an older and newer version of the same gun, the original version usually goes away, but not so with the Walther PPS and PPS M2, at least for the present. Making that choice is entirely based on aesthetics and function. The changes to the PPS in the M2 configuration has changed the way the magazine release works and where it is placed, changed the grip fit and contour and even the sights and magazines. They really are two completely different guns, especially as CO2 models.

I think this is an instance where one look at the new gun explains everything. There’s no question as to why Walther (and Umarex) redesigned the PPS, other than why it took them eight years. I’ll even concede that the magazine release button on the PPS M2 works just as well as the ambidextrous triggerguard release on the PPS (I’m right handed, so concession is easier). But that one issue does not detract from every other change in the pistol’s design and handling. The M2 is a better gun overall. Good enough, in fact, that the PPS has been updated as a CO2 model while the PPQ CO2 pistol is still based on the original 2011 design. (The PPQ Airsoft model has been updated to the M2 design as well as the .43 caliber paintball version). The original PPS CO2 model (or PPS Classic as it has been re-categorized), was an exceptional blowback action BB pistol and very close to the 9mm model in looks and general handling. It remains one of the best subcompact CO2 pistols in its class. The M2 version is unlikely to dethrone the original unless it is a more accurate pistol, and that’s a tall order. read more

Umarex Walther PPS M2 Part 2

Umarex Walther M2 Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

Why Gun Manufacturers Change Designs

By Dennis Adler

At a glance, it is pretty obvious that the PPS M2 is a total redesign of the frame, grip, and slide. It goes even further on the 9mm versions. The squared off upright stance of the PPS has been replaced by more contoured lines, a more ergonomically shaped grip and a sense of style that the otherwise excellent PPS seemed to lack. As for the personally lamented loss of the ambidextrous triggerguard-mounted magazine release, I may be in the minority of Walther owners in the U.S., but I never had a problem with it or learning how to instinctively use it to drop an empty magazine. The new push button release is just as fast and by and large, more familiar to the majority of semi-auto pistol owners, but not ambidextrous.

Redesign by design is the best way to summarize the total number of changes between the Walther PPS (henceforth the PPS Classic, anyone for a Coke?) and PPS M2 centerfire and CO2 models. The Umarex Walther PPS M2 shares very little with the PPS, aside from internal operation and trigger design, including the obligatory crossbolt trigger safety. The M2 clearly shows its PPQ M2-driven design changes making it a more contoured pistol that is better balanced in the hand. Visually the PPS and M2 have almost nothing in common, but as a CO2 training gun, the M2 falls into that same perfect niche as its predecessor. But perhaps even better, as each of the PPQ derived enhancements to the PPS benefits not only the gun but the individual who handles it. read more

Umarex Walther PPS M2 Part 1

Umarex Walther M2 Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Why Gun Manufacturers Change Designs

By Dennis Adler

At Walther, change has never been made for the sake of change. Developing the PPS took years and when it was introduced it created its own market niche; a 9mm slightly larger than a .380 Auto Walther PPK/S. The PPS was introduced in 2008; the Umarex CO2 version was introduced in 2014. The new PPS M2 CO2 model (right) updates the design to match the 9mm PPS M2 introduced in 2016.  

There is design development and then there is design evolution. The latter is often a change that comes over time to improve a pistol’s operation, such as a better safety mechanism, improved sights, or the famous change from the original Colt Model 1911 configuration to the 1911A1. This has always been controversial, since manufacturers, including Colt, often revert to the old design in order to appeal to consumers who prefer the flat mainspring housing. This is design change by consumer demand, and it doesn’t happen often, but it has happened to Walther, not once but twice in recent time with a change from what I personally regard as one of the truly innovative advancements in magazine release designs. It starts with the Walther P99 (developed in 1995) and later copied on the Walther PPS (in 2008). It is an ambidextrous magazine release incorporated into the back of the triggerguard. Heckler & Koch uses a variation of this design on their H&K pistols and it makes dropping an empty magazine a simple movement of the trigger finger, or support hand thumb, (with a two-handed hold). It is different, maybe even unconventional, but it’s easy to learn and easier to use than a traditional magazine release button on the frame. And the design was ambidextrous from the beginning. read more

Sig vs. Sig Part 3

Sig vs. Sig Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

“We The People” and “The Right of the People”

By Dennis Adler

An incomparable duo, the Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE in .45 ACP and 4.5mm are the best match up for design and handling of any 1911 pistols. Firing offhand at varying distances, the two semi-autos are almost identical. That demands a special word of caution about brandishing the CO2 model in public (the cartridge model goes without saying). Almost no one can tell it is an airgun unless they are looking at the muzzle. This is the same caution I gave with the Umarex S&W M&P40 and Sig Sauer P226 X-Five, along with a number of other air pistols that are almost indistinguishable from their centerfire counterparts.

Sig’s 1911 CO2 model is not a quiet air pistol, probably a little louder than most blowback action models and it delivers a decent kick when the slide comes back. Not as much as a .22 pistol, but enough to get a feel for shooting a handgun. Like the Sig Sauer 45 ACP Sig 1911 model the air pistol uses the John M. Browning-designed platform of frame, slide, barrel, and recoil system using a recoil spring guide, single recoil spring, recoil spring plug and barrel bushing. The CO2 model follows the same design with internal modifications to accommodate the CO2 firing system which includes an additional lightly wound recoil spring around the barrel, like a blowback action semi-auto. Externally you are experiencing the .45 ACP model when you pick up Sig’s CO2 version of the WE THE PEOPLE. The flat mainspring housing is finely checkered as is the frontstrap, something you will not find on other 1911 CO2 models. Both Sig 1911 models use ambidextrous thumb safeties, the raised palmswell grip safety with extended beavertail and skeletonized hammer also make the CO2 model identical in handling, such as when manually de-cocking or cocking the hammer if a situation dictates that action. read more

Sig vs. Sig Part 2

Sig vs. Sig

“We The People” and “The Right of the People” Part 2 Part 1 

By Dennis Adler

Similitude is the word I would use for these two pistols, identical in every feature except caliber, firing method and recoil. Up to the point where you pull the trigger, there is no difference in handling. The CO2 Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE 1911 is a total replacement for every training regimen except live fire with .45 ACP rounds.

For those who have a CCW no one will disagree that training with your handgun is not only essential but can make the difference between being a survivor or a statistic. Of course, no one is going to carry a BB gun for protection, unless you’re up against a renegade gang of ground moles, but with the cost of ammunition and range time, among other things, getting in proper training is costly. Sig Sauer has always had this in mind with their airguns, but never has it been so well expressed as with the WE THE PEOPLE duo of .45 ACP and 4.5mm models. Training with a 100 percent accurate stand in for your centerfire handgun is absolutely worth the price of the air pistol. And even if you don’t have the WE THE PEOPLE .45 ACP model, if you carry, or plan to carry a full-sized 1911, the WE THE PEIOPLE 4.5mm CO2 model is still a 100 percent accurate understudy for a modern 1911 tactical model. read more

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 3

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

One gun, one holster…

By Dennis Adler

Four guns, four holsters, combinations that work well with either centerfire or CO2 models (for training) but not all are as easy to carry concealed due to holster design, the size of the gun, and how the holster fits around the waist. Pictured are the Umarex Beretta 92A1 (top left) Umarex S&W M&P40 (top right) Sig Sauer P226 X-Five (bottom left) and Swiss Arms 1911 TRS.

From a purely technical evaluation of each gun and holster combination, there’s one clear choice, but it comes from weighing the specific advantages and disadvantages of each. The first consideration, since this is not a law enforcement or military open carry evaluation, is ease of concealment with a duty-sized handgun. All four CO2 models accurately duplicate the size and approximate weight of their centerfire counterparts, so for training purposes they all work and work well with the holsters shown. read more