Umarex S&W 586 Stocked Part 1

Umarex S&W 586 Stocked Part 1

The revolving Carbine-Pistol has a history

By Dennis Adler

In 1855 the U.S. Cavalry was issued a large caliber, single shot U.S. Springfield pistol with a detachable shoulder stock. It was intended for combat at longer ranges than pistols, but more efficiently than the Model 1855 U.S. Springfield rifles being carried by the infantry.

When is a handgun not a handgun? When it is a Pistol-Carbine. The idea of taking a handgun and attaching a shoulder stock to the butt, thus making it more suitable for shooting accurately at greater distances goes as far back as the mid 1800s. One of the earliest and most successful designs was the .58 caliber, single shot, U.S. Springfield Model 1855 Pistol-Carbine, which was derived from the 1855 U.S. Springfield Rifled Musket. The Pistol-Carbine was designed by the U.S. Ordnance Department specifically for use by the cavalry, as it provided both a saddle pistol and, with the detachable stock, a carbine that was reasonably effective, both on horseback, or for dismounted cavalry. read more


The BB Conundrum Part 3

The BB Conundrum Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Smart Shot, lead, steel and dust

By Dennis Adler

The generally underpowered Umarex Walther PPK/S gets an impressive boost from using lightweight Dust Devils which work perfectly in the stick magazine and blowback action of the PPK/S.

A pound of lead or a pound of Dust Devils will fall at the same rate of speed according to Galileo, but a 7.4 gr. lead BB will have a slower velocity than a 4.34 gr. Dust Devil. Galileo never had to deal with such problems. To begin our final installment let’s review the velocities with the test guns fired using Smart Shot and Dust Devils.

The first gun up was the latest Umarex Walther PPK/S which sent the heavy copper plated lead shots downrange at a marginal average velocity of 228 fps, and even with .177 caliber steel BBs the PPK/S can barley do better than 290 fps. But loading the Walther with Dust Devil BBs gave the CO2 pistol a competitive average velocity of 315 fps. So, let’s see what the PPK/S delivers in accuracy at that velocity, and not from 15 feet but a full 21 feet like other blowback action BB models that shoot in the 300 fps range. read more


The BB Conundrum Part 2

The BB Conundrum Part 2 Part 1

Smart Shot, lead, steel and dust

By Dennis Adler

The best all around choice for a CO2-powered, blowback action air pistol, the Umarex S&W M&P40 proved to function flawlessly on Smart Shot copper plated lead BBs. These make the training experience that much better since Smart Shot can be used on reactive metal targets.

The number one choice in blowback action CO2 pistols for training with a reactive or metal target has to be the Umarex S&W M&P40. So this is where we begin the search for a blowback action pistol with a self-contained CO2 BB magazine that will function correctly with Smart Shot. For whatever reason, the copper plated lead rounds, although heavier than steel BBs, get driven down into the magazine channel when the pistol fires. This compresses the follower spring and can force one round out of the loading port and jam the magazine. If there is no loading port nothing happens, and the Smart Shot functions perfectly. In semi-auto designs where jamming happens, it becomes continual making it impossible to use Smart Shot. But do all blowback action (or non-blowback action) semi-autos with self-contained CO2 BB magazines have loading ports that allow this to occur? The answer is not all, and the first and best example is the M&P40 which has one of the smallest loading ports and heaviest follower springs of any self-contained CO2 BB magazine. 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


Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 2

Favorite airgun and holster combos Part 2 Part 1 Part 3

One gun, one holster…

By Dennis Adler

Deciding on a modern gun and holster combination is actually quite a bit more difficult than a vintage, or pre-WWII gun and holster. There, the choice for a number two could easily have fallen to one of the early-style CO2 1911 models and a World War Supply Tanker shoulder holster; an excellent combination. My choice would have been my custom weathered Gletcher Tokarev TT-33 and the World War Supply Tokarev holster. Choosing a modern day blowback action CO2 model presents a far more varied field, which also makes the point that there are a lot of modern pistols available as CO2 models. Getting the right gun and holster combination can be equally difficult. Back in the pre-WWII era most semi-auto handguns had unique contours and dedicated holsters like those for the Luger P.08 and Walther P.38, or PPK, Russian handguns also had distinctive shapes so again holsters were limited to specific guns and there were few choices. Today, there are more holster makers than gun manufacturers and choices abound for every conceivable handgun and means of carry. read more


Gamo PR-776 vs. Umarex S&W 586

Gamo PR-776 vs. Umarex S&W 586

The You Asked For It Gun Test Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Down to the wire, the Umarex S&W Model 586 and Gamo PR-776 are nearly an equal match despite their significant price difference, but only one will turn in the best accuracy.

There are some surprises with these two CO2 pellet revolvers and not the ones you may be expecting! Right off the top there was a big difference in average velocity with the Umarex S&W Model 586 averaging 415 fps with 7.0 grain Meisterkugeln Professional Line lead wadcutters. With a fresh CO2 cartridge the highest velocity the S&W clocked was 429 fps. A second run through the ProChrono chronograph averaged 411 fps and standard deviation for 10 rounds was 13 fps. I expected the Gamo PR-776 to fall fairly close to the S&W but it averaged 430 fps with a high of 446 fps and a standard deviation of 10 fps. So for velocity with the 7.0 grain lead wadcutters the Gamo outperformed the Umarex by a small but consistent margin. But velocity does not in and of itself make one CO2 air pistol more accurate than the other. read more


Gamo PR-776 vs. Umarex S&W 586

Gamo PR-776 vs. Umarex S&W 586

The You Asked For It Gun Test Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

Umarex and Smith & Wesson teamed up to build a very accurate pellet pistol with the Model 586. In the absence of an L Frame Model, I am showing the CO2 model with an N-Frame S&W Model 57 .41 Magnum. Overlooking the full length L Frame lug on the 586, notice how well the airgun duplicates the hammer, rear sights, cylinder thumb release, and triggerguard contours. But what is that little lever sticking out behind the trigger on the 586?

With a price differential of $175 you could purchase a pair of Gamo PR-776 pistols for what one Umarex S&W Model 586 costs, so why make this comparison? The answer is simply that the Gamo is a heck of a lot of air pistol for the money, especially when you stack it up against the much more expensive S&W branded wheelgun.

Facts on the ground

Thus far we know that the Gamo is made the same way (and very likely in the same factory) as the Umarex S&W 327 TRR8. That happens when you have airguns built in Taiwan, an international manufacturing hub for brand name air pistols and air rifles. Taiwan is followed by Japan and Germany for the majority of CO2 airgun manufacturing. Germany is where most top-of-the-line Umarex pellet firing CO2 airguns are manufactured, like the Beretta 92FS, Walther CP99 and S&W 586. Umarex also has guns produced in Japan and Taiwan, but when an air pistol wears Made in Germany on its frame, the price is more often going to be higher. And commensurately you expect better fit, finish, and quality for the money. The S&W Model 586 does not disappoint. read more