Lasers vs. Red Dot Reflex Sights Part 3

Lasers vs. Red Dot Reflex Sights Part 3

Can a laser do better?

By Dennis Adler

This is a much shorter challenge because lasers are a very discrete form of aiming a pistol (or rifle) and have been in use by law enforcement and military longer. Red dot scopes predate practical firearm’s laser sights, but modern reflex sights, like those used on the Sig Sauer M17 and other pistols (centerfire and CO2), are comparatively new.

Red light or green light, which light is best? A green laser appears brighter and easier to see than red, but that’s a half truth. A green laser beam is easier to see but actually isn’t any brighter. All lasers are rated as Class IIIA – intermediate-power of 1 to 5 mW (milliwatts). Our eyes are just more sensitive to the green color spectrum, which makes a green laser appear brighter, and that is the principal advantage. In darkness or subdued light, red or green laser beams are easy to pick up, but as ambient light increases red lasers become more difficult to define and their effective visual range (EVR) starts to diminish. This does not happen with a green laser until much greater distances.

We do have some more context here when you add a laser to the Beretta 92FS. The Walther laser used on my 92FS is the same basic unit that is sold for the .22 LR Walther P22 semi-auto pistol. If we can just briefly segue here, there was a lot of overlap of designs between the Walther P22 rimfire pistol and its accessories and those sold by Walther (Umarex) for the CP99 CO2 pellet pistols in the early 2000s. The P22 bridge mount and Walther P22 laser are still available, along with a variety of accessories for the current full line of P22 rimfire models, including the P22 Target models shown. The laser on my 92FS is a version of the P22 laser. read more

Best entry-level CO2 pocket pistol Part 2

Best entry-level CO2 pocket pistol Part 2

Another “Tale of the Tape”

By Dennis Adler

This is an interesting comparison for me because I have actually done this with the centerfire guns, so I have a somewhat unique perspective on how the PPS and P365 compare as personal defense handguns, and how well their CO2 counterparts can fill in as very affordable understudies for handling and CCW practice. In Combat Handguns we call this head-to-head type of comparison “The Tale of the Tape” and I am going to write this up in much the same way so that the guns speak for themselves and the best choice is clearly evident, though in CH articles I have had a couple of coin tosses over the years. You might want to have some pocket change ready. read more

Best entry-level CO2 pocket pistol Part 1

Best entry-level CO2 pocket pistol Part 1

It’s not the one you think it is

By Dennis Adler

Pocket pistols are not as big a deal with airgun enthusiasts as they are with folks who carry a handgun for personal protection, even though the first blowback action CO2 pistol, the Walther PPK/S, was regarded as a pocket pistol. To be fair, the pocket pistol label has never really belonged to the PPK/S but rather the c. 1930 PPK, which is a smaller pistol. That’s splitting hairs these days because the PPK is larger than many contemporary pocket pistols, some of which are in larger calibers, too. read more

Retrospect Series: Walther CP99 Blowback Action Compacts Part 2

Retrospect Series: Walther CP99 Blowback Action Compacts Part 2

Walther’s Concealed Carry P99 CO2 model

By Dennis Adler

To make this test of the CP99 Compact as realistic as possible I am using the same holster for the CO2 model that I have for my 9mm Walther P99; a Safariland ALS injection molded paddle holster. This is designed for the full size P99 but the Compact fits as well even with a shorter barrel length. As proof of how accurate the CP99 Compact is to the cartridge-firing models, the ALS (auto locking system) thumb release locking system in the Safariland holster works perfectly with the airgun. Makes sense since Umarex and Walther are two sides of the same coin. read more

Retrospect Series: Walther CP99 Blowback Action Compacts Part 1

Retrospect Series: Walther CP99 Blowback Action Compacts Part 1

Walther’s Concealed Carry P99 CO2 model

By Dennis Adler

Concealed carry has many definitions, the most basic being carrying any size handgun concealed from view either by clothing or other means. It is, in fact, easy to conceal a full size Government Model 1911 with the proper cover, the same for a Glock 17, a Walther P99 or PPQ, for example. But not everyone needs a duty-size gun for CCW; most people with concealed carry permits prefer subcompacts or compacts for easier and more comfortable carry in calibers like 9mm. Walther recognized that when the P99 Compact was added to the line in 2004. read more

Why manufacturers upgrade guns

Why manufacturers upgrade guns

Change is always questioned

By Dennis Adler

“Why did they do that?” How many times have you said it in your life? And it’s not just firearms, it’s Oreos, it’s Coke, it’s your favorite brand of shoes, and it’s Colt, or Smith & Wesson, and the list goes on ad infinitum, just choose what item you want to debate. Change is always questioned and sometimes the answers are just not acceptable. Other times the answers are understandable, even if you don’t agree, and when it comes to firearms you need to have an open mind because change is inevitable. It is usually the result of improvements, something gunmakers have been doing since the beginning of gun making. Other times, change is to meet the demands of consumers, but that generally only satisfies a portion of customers, the other portion would have preferred things left as they were. (My personal one is Walther doing away with the ambidextrous triggerguard magazine release on the P99 in favor of a typical magazine release button on the frame. Why did they do that?) read more

Retrospect Series Part 9 – M&P 45

Retrospect Series Part 9 – M&P 45

The display rack gun takes on the Uber-pistols

By Dennis Adler

Its crunch time, time for the Umarex S&W M&P 45 to go head to head with the two higher-priced Umarex German-built models, the Walther CP99 and Heckler & Koch HK P30. It is a comparison of equals in terms of design and capabilities. All three CO2 models are based on centerfire, duty-size (law enforcement and military) use handguns, with the Walther and S&W being polymer frame pistols with striker-fired systems and the HK being a polymer frame pistol with a hammer-fired system. All three are individual design benchmarks as centerfire handguns, all among the first to utilize a polymer frame like Glock. Historically, H&K was the first, actually more than a decade before Glock’s G17 in 1982, then Walther in 1999, and S&W with the M&P (Military & Police) series beginning in 2006 (2007 for the .45 ACP model). There are of course, other gunmakers who have moved to polymer frames, like Sig Sauer, but these three are our topic. read more