My favorite CO2 air pistol of all time Part 1

My favorite CO2 air pistol of all time Part 1

And what makes it special

By Dennis Adler

The very first Airgun Experience was a tribute to John Wayne’s last film, The Shootist, and the limited edition Umarex Colt Peacemaker hand engraved and custom finished Shootist CO2 model. This was the beginning of an entire series of hand engraved CO2 Peacemakers in 5-1/2 and 7-1/2 inch barrel lengths that would be introduced in Airgun Experience articles.

This marks the 400th Airgun Experience article and over the period from No. 1 to No. 400 so many new CO2 air pistols and rifles have been introduced it becomes difficult to keep them all in comparative categories. The only real defining characteristics are magazine types, blowback or non-blowback actions (and that has to include revolvers), sights, though most are fixed sights of one type or another, and lastly, the quality of the build, fit, and finish. In most cases the differences between blowback and non-blowback semi autos covers all the rest, but not in every case and with today’s choices, that really doesn’t pare down the list all that much. So to start, let’s look back at new models introduced since Airgun Experience No. 1, which started with a new model. read more


War Games: Uzi Pistol vs. HK MP5 K

War Games: Uzi Pistol vs. HK MP5 K

Two classic military arms air each other out 

By Dennis Adler

The Uzi (right) is more than 50 years old in design yet remains as viable a self defense and tactical pistol today as in the 1950s. The blowback action CO2 model sold by Pyramyd Air has a select fire system that allows both semi-auto and full auto. The Umarex HK MP5 K is a more modern design which is still in use today by military and law enforcement. The CO2-powered PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) version is a very authentic rendering of the compact H&K pistol with folding stock.

Few military arms have remained as universally accepted around the world as the Uzi pistol and Heckler & Koch MP5K. Neither gun in full automatic military versions is available to the general public without an ATF Form 4, local law enforcement approval, a federal background check and a $200 tax stamp, or a Class III license for automatic weapons. But, both have been spectacularly duplicated as CO2 blowback action versions by Umarex. There is a special select-fire Uzi Pistol with folding shoulder stock sold by Pyramyd Air, a semi-auto only model from Umarex, and the HK MP5 PDW semi-auto version. These 20th century firearms, one more than 50 years old in design, are still in daily use the world over; that’s how good they are and how well they perform in combat and law enforcement situations. As CO2 models they put at hand designs that most of us could neither afford nor use for practical shooting, but as .177 caliber airguns, they serve a purpose for sport shooting and, if need be, as training substitutes for the actual guns. Either way, both are great fun to shoot as CO2 models. read more


What are we looking for in a blowback action CO2 pistol?

What are we looking for in a blowback action CO2 pistol?

Reality Checks

By Dennis Adler

Blowback action airgun enthusiasts are a relatively new breed in terms of airgun history. Blowback semi-autos have only been around since Umarex and Walther developed the first PPK/S .177 caliber model in 1999. Prior to that Umarex and Walther had developed the non-blowback action CP88 pellet-firing models with a DA/SA trigger, but without blowback action the Walther’s hammer had to be manually cocked each time to fire single action.

This article is more of an open forum for debate than it is about any one specific airgun model. The development of new blowback action air pistol designs over the past several years has almost kept pace with centerfire and rimfire semiautomatic handguns, and in most cases, model for model, leading air gun enthusiasts down a very interesting path, yours truly included.

A little over 17 years ago the groundbreaking Walther CP99 (right) took the CP88 concept one step further with a P99-based polymer frame. The 8-shot, 4.5mm pellet firing, non-blowback action, striker fired air pistol became a training gun for German police using the P99. The concept of learning basic skills and firing without the cost of live ammo (9mm) made the CP99 one of the world’s most popular 12 gr. CO2 pistols. The PPK/S, however, remained the only blowback action CO2 pistol for many years.

When I began writing about air pistols I was already involved with cartridge-firing handguns and, by the nature of my work, reviewing new makes and models for Guns & Ammo, American Rifleman, Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, Pocket Pistols, and Guns of the Old West, I had access to the very latest firearms. read more


The 100th Airgun Experience

The 100th Airgun Experience

What have we learned?

By Dennis Adler

History has, in a way, dictated which guns are the most significant, among them the great Webley MKVI. As a manufacturer, Webley also has a lengthy history building airguns, so their c. 1937 MKVI in .177 caliber is based on the same blueprint as the original .455 caliber military revolver.

History has, in a way, dictated which guns are the most significant, among them is the great Webley MKVI. As a manufacturer Webley also has a long history building airguns and their c. 1937 MKVI in .177 caliber is based on the same blueprint as the original .455 caliber military revolver. (Webley holster by World War Supply, belt courtesy John Bianchi)

It’s hard to believe, but here we are at No. 100. A lot of airguns have been tested in the previous 99 Airgun Experience articles. When I set out to create this series of short features, rather than following a traditional blog format, I decided to write and illustrate them as I would for a magazine. This comes from 40 years in the print media world as an author, editor and publisher; it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Hopefully, those of you who have followed the Airgun Experience throughout the last 99 articles and others who have recently started to read the columns on Pyramyd Air have come to appreciate the depth and detail in each review. The goal has always been to inform, illustrate, and educate as much as possible, not only with reviews of the airguns but their use for enhancing firearms knowledge and improving shooting skills. read more


Shooting on Auto

Shooting on Auto

Can accuracy be maintained?

By Dennis Adler

The current hot trio of selective fire, blowback action airguns: the Umarex Legends Mauser Model 712, Mini Uzi Sub Machinegun, and Umarex Beretta M92A1; all three actual-size self contained CO2 and BB magazines for even greater authenticity.

The current hot trio of selective fire, blowback action airguns: the Umarex Legends Mauser Model 712, Mini Uzi Submachine gun, and Umarex Beretta M92A1; all three use actual-size self-contained CO2 and BB magazines for even greater authenticity.

Fully automatic handguns, rifles, machineguns and machine pistols were designed for a specific reason, saturation firing. From the 19th century Gatling gun to John M. Browning’s legendary BAR, the Broomhandle Mauser Model of 1932, Colt M16, and the famous Israeli Uzi, the use of full auto has been intended to give the user a tactical advantage. But what good is that advantage if you can’t hit anything (accurately) with the gun?

Anyone who has ever fired an automatic weapon, whether an M16 (my first experience in basic training a very long time ago), an Uzi or other selective fire weapon never forgets the first time. I was told by the drill sergeant to “…squeeze off a few rounds,” and I did, about 30 of them….to which he responded, “son, (in a voice very much like R. Lee Ermey, “you’ve been watching too many John Wayne movies.” I learned how to feather the trigger, get a firm hold and maintain my sight picture. But accuracy was never as simple as all that when the selector switch was rotated. This was true the first time I fired an Uzi pistol and several other full auto weapons during visits to arms manufacturers over the years. The real takeaway was not learning to fire hell bent on emptying the magazine (you have to do that at least once) but using the firearm’s sustained fire capability to its best advantage, which is generally close quarters under fire or to suppress enemy fire. read more


Choosing a favorite .177 caliber CO2 pistol

Choosing a favorite .177 caliber CO2 pistol Part 2

And the winner is…

By Dennis Adler

Two of the top guns in .177 caliber that were on the must have list from last year included the Umarex Legends Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 (left) a fully functioning selective fire blowback action airgun that has captured not just the look but the distinctive Mauser operation of the classic 1932 full auto model. The Mini Uzi (not so mini next to the Mauser) is one of the most famous semi-auto, full auto pistols in the world, and like the Mauser is accurately reproduced to the smallest details in this exclusive selective fire version.

Two of the top guns in .177 caliber that were on the must have list from last year included the Umarex Legends Broomhandle Mauser Model 712 (left) a fully functioning selective fire blowback action airgun that has captured not just the look but the distinctive Mauser operation of the classic 1932 full auto model. The Mini Uzi (not so mini next to the Mauser) is one of the most famous semi-auto, full auto pistols in the world, and like the Mauser is accurately reproduced to the smallest details in this exclusive, selective fire version.

What is it about a blowback action or cartridge-loading .177 caliber air pistol that excites you? For me it is having an air pistol that is as close to the real gun as possible. Often, this will also mean having a handgun chambered in.177 caliber that would not be affordable, or generally obtainable as a cartridge firing model. This specifically applies to those with selective fire mechanisms. The options for that latter category have increased over the past couple of years with models like the Mini Uzi pistol, one of the best built and most accurate to the original airguns in the world. read more


Umarex Uzi .177 caliber Subgun

Umarex Uzi  .177 caliber Subgun

The Most Authentic Select Fire Air Pistol Ever!

By Dennis Adler

The latest .177 (4.5mm) caliber Umarex Mini Uzi is available in an exclusive PyramydAir select fire version with semiautomatic and full auto operation.

The latest .177 (4.5mm) caliber Umarex Mini Uzi is available in an exclusive PyramydAir select fire version with semiautomatic and full auto operation.

The Uzi pistol is one of those rare firearms that has an unforgettable look, and since it has been around for more than 50 years almost everyone has seen an Uzi, at least in films and television dramas. It has been used by Navy Seals, Federal Agents, the good guys and bad guys alike, both on film and in the real world; but, there are two truly significant images, one fictional, and the other all too real that etched the Uzi pistol into the American consciousness. The first was the original 1986 Delta Force movie starring Lee Marvin and Chuck Norris (unless you’re old enough to remember The Wild Geese starring Richard Burton). The second was the afternoon of March 30, 1981 when John Hinkley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan as he left the Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, following a speech to AFL-CIO leaders. In the ensuing mayhem after the first shots were fired by Hinkley, Secret Service agent Robert Wanko was seen on news footage drawing an Uzi from beneath his jacket as agents scrambled to protect the President. That image of Agent Wanko and the 9mm subgun has forever linked the Secret Service with the Uzi, but the gun’s legendary fame goes back to the early 1950s and its use by Israeli soldiers following the establishment of Israel as a state in 1948. read more