First Test: Springfield XDM CO2 Part 4

First Test: Springfield XDM CO2 Part 4

Point of Aim

By Dennis Adler

Green means go and with the LaserMax Spartan green laser you can go for the tight groups at POA with the Springfield Armory XDM 4.5 CO2 model.

There is little more that I can say about the new Air Venturi Springfield Armory XDM 4.5 that will help better define it as the new benchmark in blowback action CO2 air pistols. Yes, there are blowback action CO2 models that have higher average velocity, but another 25 to 50 fps isn’t going to make a significant difference when the cost of that higher velocity is a loss in hands-on performance. While there are certainly other CO2 models that are as realistic in their overall design as the Springfield, they can only make that claim from the left side of the gun, the right side of the slide and frame have white lettering and manufacturing marks that instantly defines them as air pistols, even the very best of them (except the Umarex Glock 17). Only the Springfield has achieved near 100 percent authenticity in every category of comparison to its centerfire counterpart. Why not 100 percent? Because no matter how brilliantly disguised the manual safety is, the fact that it has a manual safety in the first place, is a departure from the centerfire pistol design. It is a strange point of contention but the requirements of CO2 semi-auto air pistol manufacturing require a manual safety be added if the design of the centerfire gun it is based upon does not incorporate one. The XDM CO2 model has managed to comply without any other compromises and close enough in my book compared to every other blowback action model currently offered today. read more


First Test: Springfield XDM CO2 Part 3

First Test: Springfield XDM CO2 Part 3

“Everything you want in a blowback action pistol”

By Dennis Adler

Rarely can you look at the right side of a blowback action CO2 pistol and not know that it is an airgun due to the white letter safety warnings and manufacturer’s marks. With the centerfire Springfield Armory XDM 4.5 models having a black polymer frame and flat black finish slide, correctly duplicating it for the Air Venturi .177 caliber models guaranteed an air pistol with totally authentic looking fit and finish. Even with the small details.

I have said those words so many times in the past, “everything you want…” and every time it was true within the context of when it was said. But even the best of the lot in .177 caliber blowback action pistols with self-contained CO2 BB magazines, have suffered minor imperfections, and in the overall scheme of things CO2, they were nothing more than minor irritants, almost entirely limited to mandatory warnings in white letters marring otherwise pristinely authentic frames and slides. The first gun to break the mold, the Umarex Glock 17, suffered instead from being a design that could not be field stripped (and Umarex may correct that with the forthcoming Glock 17 Gen4). read more


First Test: Springfield XDM CO2 Part 2

First Test: Springfield XDM CO2 Part 2

A new level of authenticity

By Dennis Adler

No tricks this time, this was my XDM from 2010. You can imagine how incredible it would have been nine years ago to have been able to lay a matching CO2 pistol next to it. Now you can.

We are by nature a people who want what they cannot have. This is not a bad thing; it is what inspires us to reach for higher goals. For Springfield Armory, those goals continue to extend the armsmaker’s reach across the spectrum of innovative semi-auto pistols, and now into the world of blowback action CO2 pistols. Originally (and still) known for its excellent line of Model 1911-A1 pistols, Springfield Armory broke its own mold in 2002 with the introduction of the polymer-framed XD (X-Treme Duty) models. In the subsequent 17 years the company has continued to expand the XD Series and make improvements, including the XDM models introduced in 2008. Yes, it took almost a decade for Springfield to develop its first CO2 powered, blowback action model in 2018, but like everything this company has done, it is done right the first time. Understanding the design of the 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP versions, is the key to understanding the CO2 pistols. In purpose, they are one and the same. read more


First Test: Springfield XDM CO2 Part 1

First Test: Springfield XDM CO2 Part 1

A line in the sand

By Dennis Adler

The new Air Venturi Springfield Armory XDM 4.5 blowback action CO2 model is shown with an early .40 S&W XDM with the complete case and accessories. The CO2 model will not have such a lavish presentation but it will fit the XD Gear holster and the CO2 BB magazines will fit the XD Gear dual magazine pouch. Care to venture a guess which one is the air pistol?

I can remember how impressed I was with the Umarex S&W M&P40, which became the first truly purposeful CO2 training gun, one so accurate in details that a few law enforcement departments that carried 9mm and .40 S&W M&P pistols used the CO2 models for indoor training exercises. The guns proved useful both for recruits and remedial training exercises where live fire (in this case with .177 caliber steel BBs at distances of three to seven yards) could yield a realistic training scenario against targets, while using all other duty gear and accessories in conjunction with the Umarex in place of the centerfire gun. This success as both training gun and as a popular brand name blowback action CO2 pistol for recreational shooting had few equals. In fact, for absolute equality, there was nothing as perfectly matched in all aspects of handling and operation until the Umarex HK USP late in 2018. There are other CO2 models that approach the level of the M&P40 and USP, but none that can equal it. And even the M&P40 has a very obvious air pistol tell with its white lettering on the left side of the slide and right side plastered with white letter warning and manufacturer’s marks. The HK USP followed suit, though far less noticeably. The Glock 17 finally cleared that hurdle with an almost perfect fit and finish and absence of any white lettering or warnings to detract from its authentic Glock appearance. But in building the G17, Umarex designed a gun that could not be field stripped, eliminating one of the essential components of a true CO2 training gun. Even the superb Sig Sauer WE THE PEOPLE 1911, a virtual 1:1 match with its .45 ACP counterpart, had to succumb to white letter warnings on the right side of the slide. Perfection was close for all of these CO2 models, a perfection that would cross the line that visually blurs the CO2 pistol, with some modicum of time for scrutiny, from being anything but a CO2 pistol to the trained eye. Today, I submit for your consideration a blowback action air pistol that has drawn a line in the sand, the Air Venturi Springfield Armory XDM 4.5 semi-auto pistol. read more


Conceptual Evolution

Conceptual Evolution

Looking back and looking forward

By Dennis Adler

For 2019 Umarex only has three new models we haven’t already seen, the Glock 17 Gen4, Beretta M9A3, and Ruger 10/22 but they also count the late 2018 introductions of the Glock 19, Glock 17 Gen3, HK VP9, and Legends Cowboy Lever Action as new models for 2019. Considering their timeline in 2018, they certainly qualify, giving Umarex quite a lineup of new CO2 models for this year.

Every so often you watch a movie trailer and it looks like it is going to be the best new film of the year, but it turns out that all the best scenes were used in the trailer and the movie as a whole falls flat on its face. That’s kind of where we are looking forward to new air pistols this year. Tom Gaylord gave us a thorough look at what new airguns are coming in 2019 direct from the Shot Show floor. And there are a lot of new airguns coming, but in the area of CO2 models, the offerings are impressive but few, as they apply to Airgun Experience readers. We are a picky lot and expect every year to be a banner year with an abundance of new and exciting CO2 pistols and rifles. But the reality is not always as exciting and many months go by between debuts and availability. Case in point, Umarex has announced a second Glock 17 with an enhanced blowback action for even more realistic handling. As a training gun this will be a benchmark, at least for those who want to train for carrying a 9mm Glock. And even just as a CO2 pistol on its own, it will likely rise to the top as one of the, if not the most realistic CO2 pistols built to date. But exhale; we won’t see them until late this summer. This is about the same waiting period as last year’s Shot Show announcement of the Legends Cowboy Lever Action Rifle (before it was pushed back to December). But it has proven well worth the wait. The question is, “What are we waiting for next?” read more