Blog Update

Hi Everyone – This is Kristen Coss, Marketing Director with Pyramyd Air. We wanted to let you know that Dennis is retiring from writing the Airgun Experience blog to focus on his health. Pyramyd Air appreciates his airgun and firearms expertise and his contributions to this blog for nearly 5 years, and we wish him well.

Although no new content will be added, we encourage you to explore the many topics Dennis wrote about over the years. There is lots to learn, and lots to keep you entertained! read more


Temporary Blog Hiatus

Hi Airgun Experience readers – this is Kristen, Marketing Director with Pyramyd Air. Dennis is feeling under the weather and will be taking a break from the blog for a bit. Be sure to check periodically – he will be posting as soon as he is able to. He is in good spirits and looking forward to getting back to blogging! Thank you!


Barra 1911 vs. Sig Sauer WTP and Swiss Arms TRS

Barra 1911 vs. Sig Sauer WTP and Swiss Arms TRS

May the best gun win

By Dennis Adler

A trio of top 1911 CO2 designs, the new Barra 1911 (rear) is a more authentically designed version of the Swiss Arms 1911 TRS (front). The odd gun in the group, meaning not a Rail Gun, is unique in its own design, the Sig Sauer We The People. While the TRS is “based” on a 1911 design (since Swiss Arms does not technically build a centerfire 1911), the Barra and Sig are copied from actual current 1911 centerfire models. What do I mean by technically? San Swiss Arms is part of the L&O conglomerate of companies headquartered in Switzerland that includes Sig Sauer GmbH and Sig Sauer Inc.

Let’s go with an assumption that the Barra 1911 is the second best blowback action 1911 on the market.First,authentic stylinghas to make it better than the Swiss Arms TRS and the Umarex Colt Commander. As for the Sig Sauer 1911 We The People, it is exactly the same in appearance as its .45 ACP Sig Sauer 1911 WTP counterpart, and whether you like the patriotic heavy-handedness of the gun’s design or not, 1:1 is 1:1 no matter what the centerfire gun looks like. I happen to think the Sig is one of the best looking 1911 designs that is not a Colt, not particularly for the “1776” and “We The People” embossing on the right and left sides of the slide, which is fairly subtle against the finish, but rather for the rugged, distressed finish itself, the 13 stars on top of the slide, and the 25 stars on each grip panel, the flat mainspring housing, fine grip checkering, and polished black grip safety, ambidextrous thumb safeties, hammer, and slide release. It is one of the most well thought out and finely-executed blowback action air pistols that has been built. Being second to that is no mean feat. read more


Barra 1911 Part 1

Barra 1911 Part 1

The first “new” gun of ’21

By Dennis Adler

The shape of things to come is the shape of things that were, the Colt Model 1911. This is still the gun to beat when it comes to a timeless classic even in its latest tactical guise as a Barra CO2 version of the current Colt Combat Unit Rail model.

Why did I put “new” in quotes? Well, there’s nothing new about a blowback action 1911, even a modern tactical version like the Barra. Why then is the first new model for 2021 based on a design that was used for one of the very first blowback action CO2 models introduced seven years ago? The answer is that the 1911 is the most successful handgun of the 20th century; the fundamental design is literally 110 years old! If you think about it, there isn’t much from 1911 that is still around today in its original form. What else is memorable from 1911? The first bi-wing seaplane was put into service in 1911, and flying boats would become highly successful in commercial aviation by the 1930s. In 1911 GM introduced the Kettering electric starter on the Cadillac and hands and wrists have been thankful ever since. Crossword puzzles….OK, that’s one that really hasn’t changed too much, but when it comes to handguns a whole lot has changed since 1911 and continues to change, yet the 110 year-old Model 1911 design endures even in the age of polymer-framed Glocks and Sig Sauer M17s. Why? Because John M. Browning designed the most rugged, reliable, and easy to service handgun for the U.S. military in 1911, a gun so good it remained the standard issue sidearm from 1911 to 1985, that’s 74 years; through two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the early conflicts in the Middle East, and even since it was replaced (twice in a little over 30 years time), the 1911 has remained in use with some specialized military units and with law enforcement. In spite of newer, higher capacity, lighter weight handguns, the 1911 is still that good in 2021. read more


Year End Summary

Year End Summary

Putting things in context

By Dennis Adler

Here’s two CO2 pistols that few of you expected to see in the running for 2020’s top gun title, and of course, the Barra Schofield Wells Fargo won as Replica Air Pistol of the Year. Why that happened is more about the quality of the gun than how new it is technicaly, though every change in an air pistol is worthy of review and evaluation. And such was the case with both the Umarex Colt Peacemaker from the Pyramyd Air Airgun Builder project for 2020 and Barra’s move to fulfill the wishes of airgun enthusiasts who wanted to see the classic 5-inch barrel model of the S&W Schofield. Just think if Umarex had released a 4-3/4 inch CO2 Peacemaker this year how things might have gone! But this has not been your typical year or anything like it.

This has been a most unexpected year. No matter what your political or fundamental beliefs, 2020 has been a year of unraveling that has put us in a place we have not seen in recent history, although we have all been here before, if not us then our parents or grandparents, but the story is told the same; prosperity reversed for the many, health and well being in jeopardy and the future hopeful but distant. It sounds like a storyline that could as easily be a Western or science fiction film (actually it is, over and over) but 2020 is not a film it is our reality. We really are at the end of the last reel, when everyone looks to the sunrise and heads toward whatever lies just beyond the horizon, because the next chapter has yet to be written. read more


2020 Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 1

2020 Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 1

Big wheels

By Dennis Adler

Coming to a holster near you in about a month the new Barra 5-inch Schofield Wells Fargo model just makes it into the 2020 Replica Air Pistol of the Year competition with a handful of production models that have been used for test guns. Barra expects shipments to start coming in next month and they should be available in January. Expect pricing to be the same as the 7-inch aged finish and nickel models.

With revolvers making up a part of the new guns for 2020 I have decided to make a few changes to the comparisons and points system from previous years beginning with last year’s single extra point for field stripping, since revolvers can’t be field stripped like a semi-auto. Secondly, since two guns in this year’s comparisons have adjustable rear sights, in order for the comparison’s to be more equal, adjustable sights will also be an extra point, so if any guns end up in a tie, one may get an extra point or two to decide the winner. read more


CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 5

CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow 2 Part 5

CZ vs. CZ – Looking for the top gun

By Dennis Adler

ASG has three different CZ models but they are the same guns inside with the same magazines and CO2 systems. What separates them is aesthetics of design and minor differences in handling. Will better sights and a slightly different trigger for the Shadow 2 contribute to the better performance?

There are only a few CO2 pistol lines that explore a series of original models, the Umarex Glock series, for example with the Glock 19, Glock 17 Third Gen, Gen4 and G19X (Gen5-based), and now the ASG CZ 75 line with the CZ 75, SP-01 Shadow and Shadow 2, which like the Glocks, delineate a progression in model improvements. More commonly a new gun replaces its predecessor, but with the ASG CZ line we have the opportunity to compare three generations of design first hand.

Three different triggerguard shapes, three different hammers and two different trigger designs are noteworthy changes between models along with slide profiles; the general handling of each is similar, and the most effort thus far has gone into the Shadow 2. It is one big step up in design from the SP-01.

Triggers and triggerguards

Looking at all three ASG CZ 75 models the changes in designs over the years are sweeping from the original shape of the frame and slide to the changes in triggerguard shape and addition of serrations, to the final evolution of the Shadow 2 trigger which is less curved than its predecessors; the bold crescent-shaped trigger was a design trait of all CZ models, so this is noteworthy, too, as is the bold change in the backstrap and beavertail designs between the SP-01 Shadow and Shadow 2. The current evolution of the CZ design both as a centerfire pistol and a CO2 model is a better handling pistol that is more closely associated with target pistols than duty pistols. To that end, CZ still sells an updated version of the CZ 75 B and the SP-01 Shadow, now designated as the Shadow 1 series, as well as the full competition CZ 75 TS Czechmate, (similar to the Tanfoglio Gold Custom). The next gun I would like to see duplicated by ASG would obviously be the CZ 75 TS Czechmate with the optics bridge and muzzle break, as used in IPSC Open Division competition. read more