Blowback action felt recoil and what it means to shooting practice Part 3

Blowback action felt recoil and what it means to shooting practice Part 3  Part 2  Part 1

Last Gun Standing

By Dennis Adler

The final four test guns include (from left to right) Swiss Arms 1911 TRS, Sig Sauer 1911, Umarex Colt Commander and Sig Sauer P226 X-Five. (Both Sig models are Sig Sauer licensed airguns but not Sig Sauer products like the current P226 ASP and P320)

Right out of the chute the Umarex S&W M&P got bumped by the first of the final four test guns. But first, the .22 LR model used in Part 3 for a baseline; this is a classic American target pistol, the Browning Medalist. As you will notice the slide is short and has only 1.25 inches of travel, enough to eject the spent .22 shell case and re-cock the firing mechanism. The pistol uses target grips that support the shooting hand and bring the gun into proper alignment when aimed (this grip design will come into play later in Airgun Experience when we get into target shooting). It has a bull barrel and enough weight that recoil (muzzle rise) is less than an inch and felt recoil is less than some of the CO2 models already reviewed! So the bar has been lowered for felt recoil from a .22 but raised by two of the blowback action CO2 models in Part 3. read more

Blowback action felt recoil and what it means to shooting practice Part 2

Blowback action felt recoil and what it means to shooting practice Part 2 Part 1

Just for kicks

By Dennis Adler

For this series on recoil I have chosen eight different blowback action semi-auto models, most with different characteristics, several with true short-recoil operating designs where the back of the barrel lug and slide lock together in battery and disengage with the barrel tilting slightly downward and unlocking from the slide interface when fired. Pictured from top to bottom, Tanfoglio Limited Custom, Umarex S&W M&P40, Umarex Beretta 92A1, ASG CZ-75, Swiss Arms 1911 TRS, Sig Sauer 1911, Sig Sauer P226 X-Five, and Umarex Colt Commander. They all work about the same way, but only one will deliver the most felt recoil for training purposes.

Readers have already raised the question of building CO2 powered blowback action air pistols with increased recoil. While this contradicts the goals of centerfire pistol manufacturers who look for ways to reduce recoil, for CO2 pistols, if you want more authenticity, you need more felt recoil. This is, in part, what will be a result of Sig Sauer’s current venture into building new models that generate higher velocities with self-contained drop free CO2 BB magazines. Higher velocity should mean more recoil from the blowback action (if everything is kept proportionate); action, reaction. read more

Swiss Arms The other Beretta Model 92

Swiss Arms  The other Beretta Model 92

The P92 delivers an accurate 92FS semi-auto design

By Dennis Adler

No second place finishers here, the Swiss Arms P92 version of the Beretta 92FS semi-auto was out a little more than a year before Umarex and Beretta teamed up to produce the newer Beretta 92A1. The Umarex has the newer rounded triggerguard and Mil-Spec 1913 (Picatinny) rail, and of course, a selective-fire switch. The Swiss Arms model is a standard production-style 92FS, which is also still manufactured by Beretta.

Every so often a great airgun comes along, and in a year or so it gets forgotten, or worse, overshadowed by another great airgun…of nearly identical design. This is the case of the first great blowback action Beretta Model 92FS air pistol, the Swiss Arms P92. The Model 92 Beretta design, one of the Italian armsmaker’s most successful pistols (and with more than 500 years of gun making history behind them, that’s a lot to say), has seen many iterations and improvements since it was introduced in 1976. The 92FS variation arrived in1984, just in time for the 9mm model to be adopted as this nation’s standard issue military sidearm the following year. As an air pistol, the Beretta 92FS has been around since 2000 as one of the premier Umarex Beretta models, however, it has always been a non-blowback semi-auto with an 8-shot rotary pellet magazine. Umarex and Beretta did not jointly introduce a blowback action .177 caliber BB model until late in 2015. At that point in time, most Beretta enthusiasts already had or were familiar with the blowback action .177 caliber Beretta 92FS models from Swiss Arms, which preceded the Umarex by more than a year. read more

The 21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Gun Part 4

The 21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Gun Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Swiss Arms 1911 TRS and Umarex 1911 Colt Commander shoot it out

By Dennis Adler

The top guns in 1911 CO2 models, the Swiss Arms SA 1911 TRS with front and rear slide serrations, dustcover accessory rail, combat sights, flat mainspring housing, raised palmswell and extended beavertail grip safety, and the Colt 1911A1 by Umarex with A1-style arched mainspring housing, updated white dot combat sights and skeletonized hammer and trigger.

It goes without saying that there can be no loser is this competition; both the Umarex Colt 1911 Commander and the Swiss Arms SA 1911 TRS are guns at the top of their game for blowback action CO2 semi-autos. If you have the budget, both should be in your airgun collection. And while they are very much alike in many ways, the subtle  and not so subtle differences are what separate a late 20th century rendition of the Colt Model 1911A1 from a 21st century tactical version of the same gun. read more

The 21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Gun Part 3

The 21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Gun Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

Before you ask…the Swiss Arms 1911 TRS vs. the Umarex 1911 Colt Commander

By Dennis Adler

Perhaps the best two 1911 airguns there are, the tried and true Umarex Colt Commander, introduced in 2014 and the latest 1911 model, the Swiss Arms TRS Rail Gun. Both share many of the same features, but the Swiss Arms model is a true challenger to the Commander’s reputation as the top gun in 1911A1 CO2 models.

I know what you’re thinking; the Umarex Colt Commander is the best blowback action CO2 semi-auto air pistol there is. It has proven more accurate and easier to handle than any other 1911A1-style airgun on the market and has been the undisputed leader in blowback action models since it was introduced in 2014, but it is not alone. The Umarex Colt 1911 Commander has a twin, sort of, the Remington 1911 RAC and at the time of their introduction in 2014 they ranked as the most exact in detail and operation to an actual .45 ACP model. As I have noted in earlier reviews, Remington made some odd choices in the graphics for their 1911 CO2 version, while Colt and Umarex tried to stay as close to factory markings as possible, and provide all of the requisite safety warnings. One of the most important features of these two (and so many later blowback action models) was the use of a self-contained CO2 BB magazine correctly sized to that of a 1911 cartridge magazine. I first saw and tested this model as a pre-production version back in 2013 during a visit to the Umarex factory in Arnsberg, Germany. The gun was introduced three months later at the 2014 Shot Show. The Umarex Colt Commander set the standard in 2014. But standards are meant to be exceeded. read more

The 21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Gun Part 2

The 21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Gun Part 2 Part 1

Comparing the Swiss Arms SA 1911 TRS with a .45 ACP Rail Gun

By Dennis Adler

The Swiss Arms SA 1911 TRS is a perfect match to this Taylor’s & Co. Model 1911 A1 FS Tactical Rail Gun. With all of the latest exterior features of a 21st century Rail Gun, the Swiss Arms model sets a new standard for authenticity of features. Never mind the name on the side of the slide, most modern 1911s manufactured in the U.S. bear their makers names on the slide, from Colt to Kimber and Wilson Combat, so this is perfectly up to spec.

There is nothing in this visual comparison between the Swiss Arms SA 1911 TRS and the imported Taylor’s & Company 1911 A1 FS Tactical, to indicate that one of them is a blowback action CO2 air pistol and the other a .45 ACP tactical firearm. Swiss Arms has built the best looking contemporary CO2 Model 1911 thus far, accurately duplicating all of the modern updates that have been applied (externally) to the venerable Model 1911. read more

The 21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Gun Part 1

The 21st Century Colt 1911 Rail Gun Part 1 Part 2

Keeping one of the oldest continuously carried military handguns up to date

By Dennis Adler

The Swiss Arms SA 1911 series are the most realistic looking and handling of all 1911 CO2 blowback action airguns. They have the fit, finish and handling (up until you pull the trigger) of several top line 9mm and .45 ACP 1911 Rail Guns. Pictured are the SA 1911 Tactical Rail System (TRS) model (bottom) and SA 1911 Military Rail Pistol (MRP).

The Colt Model 1911 is 106 years old, and for an old gun (the oldest military pistol still in use) the M1911 proved it still has the chops by being selected back in 2012 as the Marine Corps new CQBP (Close Quarter Battle Pistol). The USMC version, or M45, is a specialized 1911 Rail Gun based on the Colt XSE Series Rail Gun. As manufactured for the U.S. Marine Corps the M45 costs around $1,875. The civilian version costs even more selling for $1,999. Colt 1911 Rail Guns have become extremely popular, not only for their elite USMC status, but for the fact that they can be easily equipped with tactical lights and laser sighting devices, making them ideal for law enforcement SRTs (SWAT) and personal defense use. read more