Chiappa Rhino Part 4

Chiappa Rhino Part 4

Trigger points

By Dennis Adler

Dueling Rhinos, the Charging Rhino (needs no explanation) feels and shoots exactly the same as the Limited Edition 50DS. I was hoping for a lighter single action trigger pull, but that seems to be how the guns are made.

As a cloud of despair settles around the triggerguard of the Rhino I am reminded of so many revolvers and DAO semi-autos that have heavy trigger pulls. Yes, but the Rhino is a DA/SA not a DAO, yet it has no actual hammer to cock, just a cocking lever that looks like a hammer, and when used depresses an internal lever that manually presets the internal hammer and rotates the cylinder to the next round, the same action as the first stage of firing the Rhino double action. Having said that, the tension on the CO2 model’s trigger seems to be accentuated rather than relieved from that of firing double action, the reverse of what is supposed to happen, and does happen with the centerfire Chiappa. Is this a deal breaker? Could be for some but look back at earlier tests with revolvers that shot better double action than single action; the first that comes to mind is the Umarex S&W 327 TRR8, which has a decent SA trigger pull but runs much smoother when fired double action. Why? Because the pull through of the trigger stages the hammer as the cylinder rotates into battery. Staging the hammer is an asset on revolvers (mixed opinions on this but I find more in agreement with staging the hammer when you have a moment to pause before firing). I have even demonstrated practicing with staging the hammer on revolvers in past Airgun Experience articles, and have done the same in handgun articles for magazines. Of course, you had the option to cock the hammer and lessen the trigger pull travel and resistance on those guns. With the Rhino, cocking the internal hammer only lessens the trigger pull travel but not the resistance. read more


Chiappa Rhino Part 3

Chiappa Rhino Part 3

Air Rhino

By Dennis Adler

One lesson learned over the past few years with BB cartridge loading revolvers, (and lever action rifles), is that even a smoothbore can shoot pellet cartridges. The Chiappa Rhino is marked for both BBs and pellets and can use readily available Dan Wesson Model 715 pellet shells.

The Chiappa Rhino has two promises, one that it is the most unusual CO2 air pistol to come along, and two that it has already been approved by Chiappa for use with BBs and pellets (by changing to pellet cartridges). As I noted in Part 2, Chiappa also wisely built the CO2 models to use existing pellet loading cartridges readily available from ASG that are used in the Dan Wesson Model 715 pellet models. Same for the DW speed loader. The fact is there’s nothing left to ask of Chiappa except some different barrel lengths. The gun is done right from the get go with one little exception. read more


Lasers vs. Red Dot Reflex Sights Part 1

Lasers vs. Red Dot Reflex Sights Part 1

What Works Best?

By Dennis Adler

Nothing new about red dot sights, they just keep getting smaller…but the gun at top is a Walther CP99, with bridge mount and Walther Top Point red dot, all almost 20 years old, the vintage Aimpoint MK III is 37 years old and still works, although compared to modern red dot sights is a little less competitive. In its time though, it was groundbreaking.

This is a subject that has many shooters seeing red. Red dots. Painting the target with a laser literally gives you a red dot on the target (and there are green lasers too, that are easier to see in brighter light). The laser indicates where your shot is going to hit when sighted in for POA. With air pistols, like blowback action, smoothbore BB models, this is not always as precise as with a centerfire gun, but even so, a laser is easy to see. However, with red dot scopes, the first developed over a quarter of a century ago, (I still have one of the early models manufactured by Aimpoint, a MK III that I purchased in 1983), sighting becomes more focused because you were no longer looking at a red dot projected downrange on the target, but rather a red dot within the scope that is as stable as the pistol’s own sights. Why the distinction? With a laser any movement of the gun moves the laser on the target and the greater the distance the grater the movement. Trained operators (SWAT, military Special Ops) have little trouble with this, than say the average shooter, but at closer distances a laser is an advantage for anyone. This is still less of an issue with a red dot scope or reflex sight; today military and law enforcement use both. In civilian pistol competition the dominant use of red dot scopes and reflex sights (within specific classes of competition) really makes the case for their use. With air pistols, and primarily blowback action CO2 models, the options are more limited as only certain models are suitable for use with a reflex sight, while any air pistol with a dustcover accessory rail is laser adaptable. read more


Barra 009 vs. Umarex G17 Gen4 Part 2

Barra 009 vs. Umarex G17 Gen4 Part 2

Parts is Parts, or are they?

By Dennis Adler

It is the face off that could not be avoided, the brand name Glock 17 Gen4 vs. the no name Barra 009 version of a select-fire Glock 18.

We have seen “interchangeability of parts” with other CO2 pistols, blowback action 1911s and the non-Beretta branded Model 92 Series models (Swiss Arms P92 and Gletcher BRT 92FS), which I have addressed in previous Airgun Experience articles. It all makes perfect sense because the same design air pistols (from the same factories) basically use the same parts, only the names are changed, but they look pretty much alike otherwise. This is prevalent with blowback action 1911 CO2 models – Swiss Arms, Tanfoglio, Air Venturi (John Wayne 1911), Umarex Colt Commander, even the superb Sig Sauer We The People – so it should be no surprise that we are seeing the first gun to share the internal components that make up the Glock 17 Gen4 CO2 model. There is already a select fire G18C Air Soft model from Umarex, and there are different Glock CO2 and Air Soft (GBB) versions sold in Europe that we may never see in the U.S. (but you never know). The point is, the parts exist and work in different platforms and the 009 is the first CO2 BB model to emerge from the Glock parts bin. read more


M17 Reboot Part 2

M17 Reboot Part 2

Un-boxing and mounting the Sig Sauer Reflex Sight

By Dennis Adler

As none of you have this yet, we are going to share this airgun experience step-by-step. So think of this installment on the M17 Reboot as a still frame video. With the new M17/M18 Low Profile Reflex Sight in hand (the mention of the M18 unfortunately does not hint at a forthcoming M18 CO2 model but rather that this sight comes with a mounting base for the M18 Air Soft model as well), I am going to un-box and follow the directions to install the Sig reflex sight on an M17 ASP.

It’s a box full of little wonders from Sig Air. Included are the Low Profile Reflex Sight with dust cover (shown on the sight), two mounting plates, tools, instruction manual and a lens cloth. The only extra tool needed is a small Phillips head screwdriver.

What comes in the box? read more


Stuff I’ve done

Stuff I’ve done

Looking back at a few years of messing around

By Dennis Adler

At a glance, even a second glance, if you look at this picture you really don’t know for certain that these are not real guns from different eras, especially the 1911, the Tokarev and the Peacemaker at the top. There is very little to give away their CO2 builds beneath the aged finishes.

This isn’t a brag column, not even an instructional one, it is just a look back at some crazy ideas I have had that went through my mind and that I acted on. We are talking about air pistols here. I’ll be the first to admit I am tool challenged and don’t like taking things apart, well not taking them apart just putting them back together. In a long succession of projects I have broken more than I have fixed. But I discovered that I did have a knack for refinishing guns (and better if I knew how to disassemble and reassemble them). I have also ignored the rules that say you can’t blue an alloy gun. It has been done commercially with varying success by everyone from Colt to Umarex. And, of course, there are some wonderful anodized finishes on aluminum and alloy parts used for PCP air pistols, and components manufactured to upgrade a handful of CO2 models like the ASG CZ-75 SP-01 Shadow, a personal favorite. But mostly when I get into messing with an airgun’s finish it is because I just hate the way it looks “as is” and that is especially so when the gun has so much more potential than it exhibits with a, and I’m trying to be nice, cheap, crappy finish of convenience. read more


First Look: New Barra Schofield Part 1

First Look: New Barra Schofield Part 1

Almost aged to perfection

By Dennis Adler

The newest addition to the Bear River (now Barra) Schofield line is an aged finish model. The new gun has two obvious advantages, better looking faux wood grips that also show aging, and the removal of the white letter warnings that obliterated the right side of the frame (which are evident even on the Adams & Adams hand engraved “Texas Jack” nickel model at top).

The Bear River Schofield models that came out four years ago were authentic in design but were sorely lacking in a proper finish. I was amazed at this one shortcut that took away from what was potentially a worthy rival to the Umarex Colt Peacemakers. Bear River responded after I had polished out one of the black matte guns and then had it engraved by Adams & Adams, by adding their own nickel version (without engraving), which, as expected, took off and by 2017 had become a worthy rival to the 7-1/2 inch Colts, despite still having a smoothbore barrel. Bear River discovered that loaded with pellet cartridges (the same used in the Webley MK VI pellet revolvers), that the six-guns were capable of coming very close to rifled barrel Peacemaker accuracy. And that remained the standard for Bear River, with plans for the future to add other finishes, barrel lengths, and a rifled barrel model. read more