Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 2

Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 2

What it takes to become 2018’s Top Gun

By Dennis Adler

The Umarex Ruger Superhawk while based on the Umarex S&W 327 TRR8 is pretty much its own gun with Ruger trademarks, different barrel design and different sights. With the optics rail removed from the top of the barrel the gun takes on a more practical look and with pellet loading shells is a pretty accurate shooter. The shells are more efficient to load into the cylinder using Bianchi Speed Strips. The speed loader hits the side of the grips making it a little awkward to use, i.e., not as much “speed” in speed loader, which is a moot point with pellet shells since they don’t fit the speed loader.

As might be expected, a revolver up against nine semi-autos of varying design would have little chance of prevailing, unless it was a 4-3/4 inch, rifled barrel Umarex Colt Peacemaker, (just a hint to Umarex about the standards and expectations we have here at Airgun Experience), so the first of the 10 to go is the Ruger Superhawk, but not without a good run at the title. While it is a blatant re-branding of the S&W 327 TRR8, the Ruger name, logo in the grips and shorter bull barrel are neat touches that set it apart from the S&W DA/SA model. The real surprise for me came with the improved trigger having a smoother 6 pound, 7.0 ounce DA and 5 pound, 11.0 ounce SA average pull and a solid staging of the hammer firing double action. read more


Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 1

Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 1

What it takes to become 2018’s Top Gun

By Dennis Adler

Each year since I began writing the Airgun Experience I have selected one new model as my Air Pistol of the Year. For 2018, given the variety of new air pistols and satisfying, though not overwhelming number of models introduced, the focus has specifically turned to CO2 air pistols that are based on actual centerfire handgun models, whether new (like the Sig Sauer M17) or older (like the HK USP) so long as the air pistol is new. I am also establishing an updated point system based on five comparative categories with values from 1 to 10 points for each. This is going to separate out a number of guns simply because of their various features, or lack thereof. The gun chosen as Replica Air Pistol of the Year will be based solely on total points earned. read more


First look: Hatsan’s new 1911-A1 Model Part 2

First look: Hatsan’s new 1911-A1 Model Part 2

What makes this airgun tick?

By Denis Adler

The Hatsan H-1911 looks like more gun than it is, a bit confusing but also satisfying if you like authentic details in an entry-level CO2 powered pellet pistol that looks like a hard chromed Government Model 1911.

After the initial first look at this 1911-style pellet-firing air pistol, the big question has been “Why?” It all comes down to how it fires 4.5mm pellets. There were only two ways to fire pellets from a semi-auto style air pistol. The first was using an 8-shot rotary magazine, as originated by Walther and Umarex over 20 years ago with the first CP-88, a non-blowback action semi-auto introduced in 1996. It was, and remains, one of the most authentic looking CO2 air pistols on the market.

Semi-auto style CO2 pellet pistols go all the way back to 1996 when Walther and Umarex introduced the CP-88 and its cast alloy 8-shot rotary magazines. Internally, the gun operated like a revolver rotating the magazine like a cylinder to bring each pellet into line with the barrel. This is still one of the best and most accurate semi-auto style pellet pistols on the market after more than two decades.

It was followed by the equally authentic looking Beretta 92 FS pellet-firing model in 2000. Both are still manufactured today and have yet to be surpassed, even by Walther and Umarex. They are non-blowback action by virtue of the firing mechanism; internally they function like revolvers with the action rotating the magazine for each shot. The slide release is used to open the action (by allowing the slide to move forward and expose the breech), and a new rotary magazine to be inserted. The second design, also by Umarex, is the reversible stick magazine that loads into the pistol grip. It holds a total of 16 pellets using an 8-shot rotary magazine on either end. It was introduced with the Beretta PX4 Storm in 2007 and the magazine design is used today on a number of pellet-firing semi-autos, including the new Sig Sauer P226 and P250 ASP. read more


Shot Show Preview: A first look at Hatsan’s new 1911-A1 Model Part 1

Shot Show Preview: A first look at Hatsan’s new 1911-A1 Model Part 1

A different “spin” on loading

By Denis Adler

The new 2018 Hatsan H-1911 is a mixed bag, it looks like it is going to be another fairly accurate-looking M1911 CO2 pistol, but it doesn’t quite deliver what you’re expecting. The front and rear sights are early 1911-A1 style, as is the hammer, but the grips are modern G-10 style.

As a gun writer I have looked forward to the annual Shot Show for over 20 years, it is the firearms industry’s own international forum for introducing new models, not to the public, but to the industry itself and its retailers. The only way the general public finds out what is new at the Shot Show is through media outlets (internet and print media) following the show, which runs this January 23rd to the 26th at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. However, once in awhile we get a preview of what is going to be introduced, and today we get a look at the new Hatsan H-1911. read more


Hatsan Riptor Part 2

Hatsan Riptor Part 2 Part 1

Handing and Accuracy

By Dennis Adler

You know the old saying, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” which basically means you don’t always have to look too deeply for answers or meanings; well that can apply to airguns, especially in this column where I place a lot of emphasis on authenticity and training with airguns. Sometimes you just have shoot them for fun. The Riptor is that kind of air pistol.

The Hatsan Riptor is somewhere between Sci-Fi and retro in appearance but inside it is all business. The 15-shot blowback action pistol weighs in at 22.5 ounces with empty magazine, has a compact-sized overall length of 7.5 inches, a height of 5.0 inches (not counting the seating key protruding below the magazine), and a width of 1.0 inches for the slide with an extra 0.125 inches for the thumb safety. Trigger pull on the test gun averaged a solid 8 pounds, 15 ounces, so no lightweight in the trigger department and this is a single action semi-auto. Trigger take up is 0.625 inches with no stacking but the first 0.5 inches has zero resistance; the actual pull to drop the hammer is 0.125 inches and it is a solid pull with a crisp break. Not a light trigger but a pretty good one, especially in the sub $80 MSRP price range. read more


Hatsan Riptor Part 1

Hatsan Riptor Part 1 Part 2

And now for something completely different

By Dennis Adler

It’s safe to say that nothing else looks like the Hatsan Riptor, an innovative blowback action .177 caliber CO2 pistol from the folks that manufacture some of the finest precharged pneumatic air rifles in the world. The retro-modern semi-auto is Hatsan’s first blowback action pistol.

Hard to believe, but here we are at Airgun Experience No. 200, and to commemorate this little milestone we are going to look at a brand new CO2 pistol from Hatsan with an unusual name, Riptor. Now you’re thinking, “don’t you mean Raptor, like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park?” Nope, Riptor but you’re close. A Raptor is a predatory bird or the dinosaur genus Velociraptor, but Riptor is actually a real made up name. It is a futuristic, genetically engineered hybrid Velociraptor combined with human DNA in the video game series Killer Instinct. So, the folks at Hatsan didn’t pull the name out of their hat(san) but picked one that might aptly be used to describe their new CO2 powered, blowback action, .177 caliber semi-auto pistol. Like the Riptor in the video game, this new pistol is a combination of advanced technology that also has some very prehistoric features for a new CO2 model. read more