Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 1

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 1

One gun, one holster…

By Dennis Adler

In the world of blowback action air pistols, historic recreations just do not get any better than the Umarex Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 (bottom) and the limited WWII edition shown. Umarex meticulously copied all of the essential details from the original 1932 Mauser model (top) right down to the operation of the thumb safety, semi-auto, full auto selector switch, and removable box magazine.

Legendary holster maker and personal defense authority John Bianchi, in his book “Point Blank” noted one basic tenet about carrying a firearm, “Master one gun and one holster.” In the world of concealed carry that is sage advice, though some people have more than one carry gun and more than one holster, depending upon the situation where concealed carry is warranted. (Bianchi also holds the world record for concealing the most handguns at one time, a total of 32 pistols). The idea behind the one gun, one holster rule, is to know your carry gun and holster so well that their use becomes intuitive. How this translates to training with air pistols, which is fast becoming a common and affordable means, is no different, and in many cases the holster in use is the same one that will carry the actual centerfire counterpart to the CO2 powered training gun. But that is not the idea behind this article. Rather this is literally based on one gun and one holster, as in, “if I could only have one air pistol and holster what would it be? And honestly, this is a lot more difficult to answer with an air pistol than an actual cartridge-firing handgun for self defense. With the most recent CO2 models one not only has contemporary handguns to consider but almost the entire 19th and 20th century as well, with CO2 models offering designs that date back to the 1870s! To make this choice a little easier, let’s limit it to semi-auto pistols from any period, and there has to be a good holster available to pair with it. For me, that opens several doors but there is only one I am going to walk through to get my personal favorite, the one blowback action CO2 pistol I would choose hands down if I could only have one; the Umarex Mauser Broomhandle Model 712 and the Chisholm’s Trail Model 712 holster, belt and magazine pouch. read more


Winning the Cold War

Winning the Cold War

The battle between CO2 and the thermometer Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Back in the Old West guns had to work no matter what the temperature. With CO2 powered Peacemakers it isn’t quite as cut and dried. Depending upon the gun, CO2 can be problematic at temperatures below 50 degrees (CO2 works best at between 70 and 80 degrees), but as this cold weather test will show, there are always exceptions. (The custom 5-1/2 inch Colt holster by Chisholm’s Trail is now available from Pyramyd Air)

Using Nitrogen in place of CO2 has its benefits if the temperature is well below minimum for CO2. But there is another question, CO2 super cools when rapid firing is involved, this could be fanning a single action, like the 5-1/2 inch Umarex Colt Peacemaker or using a select fire semi-auto, such as the Umarex Model 712 Broomhandle Mauser. I have put these two classic 19th century handguns (the Broomhandle was initially developed in 1895), into a 21st century battle to see how well Nitrogen survives the ultimate test of an air pistol. read more


The latest Umarex Legends MP40 Part 2

The latest Umarex Legends MP40 Part 2 Part 1

Weathering History

By Dennis Adler

The weight of the MP40 pretty much neutralizes any appreciable muzzle lift on full auto, though the same cannot be said for the M712 Mauser with the selector on R. It climbs and empties in a couple of seconds fired offhand. These are the two best weathered finish military CO2 reproductions you can own, a pair that offers authentic looks at a price that wouldn’t even cover the shipping cost for one of the original Class III firearms. Currently an MP40 is worth from $13,000 to $19,000 and an M712 Broomhandle from $12,000 to $17,000. The real 9mm and 7.63mm guns come up for auction this weekend at Rock Island Auctions.

So, the Stanley Baker (center below) Guns of Navarone photo idea with the MP40 was not lost on at least one reader, even though the 1961 WWII epic starring Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn took place in occupied Greece, not France.

Seems I have a lot of old film buffs reading Airgun Experience so putting these Umarex Legends WWII models in a proper visual context makes it a bit more interesting. So does the fact that these guns were used by so many different factions, aside from the German military, underscores their role in the war with French, British and American forces. French partisans carried many different guns, whatever was available, and many were armed by the British with the Sten submachine gun. Built in Great Britain during the war, Stens were given to the French Underground and other partisan groups aiding the Allies. The Sten was about as cheaply made a weapon as possible, costing around $10 in 1940. To put that in perspective, a Thompson, used by U.S. forces, cost $200 in 1940. But nothing was cheaper to carry than a captured (liberated) German MP40. read more


War Dogs – The Classic German Luger and Mauser Part 3

War Dogs – The Classic German Luger and Mauser Part 3 Part 2  Part 1

Downrange with the WWII Mauser Broomhandle Model 712 and Luger P.08

By Dennis Adler

Both the Luger and Mauser designs date back to the late 19th century, the Broomhandle going through numerous changes from 1896 to 1937 but remaining very similar in design, even the Model 712 with its removable box magazine. The 712 is the basis for the latest Umarex WWII version of the Broomhandle. The WWII Umarex Luger P.08 is also a solid representation of the 1908 version of the Luger, which eliminated the grip strap safety.

The idea of a selective fire machine pistol (a fully auto handgun as opposed to a fully auto submachine gun) dates back to the very early 1900s. There had been several German models, like the Steyr M1912, offering selective fire mechanisms long before the Broomhandle Mauser in 1932. The Model 712 came with a standard 10 round magazine allowing the pistol to fit inside the wooden shoulder stock and an extended capacity 20 round magazine, which was advantageous when discharging the gun on full auto. read more


War Dogs – The Classic German Luger and Mauser Part 2

War Dogs – The Classic German Luger and Mauser Part 2 Part 1

The WWII Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 and Luger P.08

By Dennis Adler

The Umarex Legends WWII series now includes the Mauser Model 712 Broomhandle. The enhanced finish on both CO2 models gives them an even more realistic appearance, especially the P.08 with its aged dark brown grips. The Model 712 is again so accurate in detail that an original Mauser wooden shoulder stock will mount and lock into the rear pistol grip channel.

You didn’t have to be a German soldier or a member of the French underground to have a Model 712 in the 1940s. The Broomhandle Mauser design transcended wars, ideologies and nations; it was one of the most advanced handguns of its era. The Model 712 Broomhandles had been used by explorers, adventurers, expeditionary forces, and individuals everywhere in the world from 1932 until well after WWII, even though all Broomhandle manufacturing at Mauser had ended in 1937. In addition to other Broomhandle models, Mauser produced nearly 100,000 Model 712 pistols, a great many of which were sold to the Chinese in the 1930s, but the Model 712 and other Broomhandle models in 7.63mm and 9mm were also being used prior to, during and after WWII in countries as far flung as England, France and Italy, Austria, Turkey, Persia and the Middle East, in Finland, Norway, Indonesia, Siam (Thailand), Russia, the United States, and South America. Not as ubiquitous as the semi-auto models, the 712 was in that same rare category as the fixed magazine 20-shot models introduced in the early part of the 20th century and long before the 712 with its detachable box magazine. (Two years earlier Mauser had built a small number of Model 1930 semi-autos with the same removable box magazine that would be used on the selective fire Model 1932). The Umarex Mauser Model 712, particularly the WWII limited edition with weathered finish, looks even more like a real Model 1932 Mauser. read more


War Dogs – The Classic German Luger and Mauser Part 1

War Dogs – The Classic German Luger and Mauser Part 1 Part 2

The WWII Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 and Luger P.08

By Dennis Adler

Recreating legendary firearms in .177 caliber is a specialty of Umarex, and their Umarex Legends models now have the WWII Edition M712 (right) and Luger P.08. While the P.08 remained very much the same, there were many Broomhandle variations.

If you watch WWII movies, you would think that the only handguns German soldiers ever used were Lugers, Walther P.38s and PPKs, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Germany is home to some of the world’s most legendary armsmakers, and indeed the Georg Luger-designed toggle link action semi-auto was one of Germany’s principal sidearms from 1908 throughout WWII, but the guns at hand were far more extensive than many realize. In addition to the 9mm Walther P.38 semiautomatic pistol, which wasn’t even adopted until after the start of WWII, officers also had the Walther PP, and PPK, the .380 ACP Astra 300, 9mm Largo Astra 400, and .380 ACP Mauser HSc. In addition to Lugers and P.38s, soldiers in the field who were issued sidearms could have carried the 9mm Parabellum Astra 600, 9mm Browning Hi-Power, which were manufactured during the occupation of the FN factory in Belgium. Earlier Browning FN pistols like the 32 ACP Models 1910 and 1922 were also put into service during the war. read more


Another look at the Umarex Broomhandle Mauser Model 712

Another look at the Umarex Broomhandle Mauser Model 712

Simply one of the best CO2 semi-auto air pistols in the world

By Dennis Adler

The Mauser Broomhandle, or C96, was one of the earliest and most successful semiautomatic pistols. Introduced in 1896, by the time this photo was taken, likely between 1902 and 1904, western lawmen were already carrying semi-autos. In this photo, Anadarko, Oklahoma Territory Sheriff James Thompson and his deputies are displaying their guns for photographer Annette Ross Hume. Take a close look at the guns. At the top is Sheriff Thompson’s shoulder-stocked Broomhandle. (Photo courtesy Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma)

Editors Note: Due to some unexpected weather the article I had planned for today has been delayed until next week.  I began to think about new models from the last couple of years and if there was one CO2 pistol that stood out above all the others, and let me tell you, that is not a short list, but there is one favorite that certainly rises to the top of any list, the most personally enjoyable CO2 powered airgun that I own, the Umarex Model 712 Broomhandle Mauser. So, the following is a reprise of my original review of that gun from 2016. We’ll pick up with my original plan next week as we head into the 1-year anniversary of the Airgun Experience next Tuesday, May 30. read more