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.

The Mini Uzi has a folding skeleton shoulder stock, selector switch for SAFE, FIRE and FULL AUTO at the top of the pistol grip and uses self contained CO2 BB magazines.

The Mini Uzi has a folding skeleton shoulder stock, selector switch for SAFE, FIRE and FULL AUTO at the top of the pistol grip and uses self contained CO2 BB magazines.

The blowback action is evidenced by the ejection port opening and closing with each round fired. On full auto, the airgun also has a respectable kick for a .177 caliber pistol.

The blowback action is evidenced by the ejection port opening and closing with each round fired. On full auto, the airgun also has a respectable kick for a .177 caliber pistol.

Another excellent example of late is the Umarex Mauser Model 712 Broomhandle pistol. Not only are the original Model 712 (or Model of 1932) Broomhandles incredibly rare and expensive, they are a Class III firearm. The Umarex comes very close to duplicating the look and operation of a real Model 712, with full metal construction, interchangeable CO2 BB magazines and selective fire.

If you are a military arms enthusiast or collector, or a Broomhandle Mauser collector, the fact that this is a .177 caliber airgun is no deterrent. The Umarex Legends Model 712 is as close as you can get to this rare and expensive Class III selective fire pistol from 1932.

If you are a military arms enthusiast or collector, or a Broomhandle Mauser collector, the fact that this is a .177 caliber airgun is no deterrent. The Umarex Legends Model 712 is as close as you can get to this rare and expensive Class III selective fire pistol from 1932.

It is by far one of the most desirable of all current blowback action air pistols and if you are a vintage firearms enthusiast or collector, the Umarex Mauser Model 712 is probably the must have airgun of the last couple of years, period.

Selective fire airguns are a rare breed in their own right and limited to a handful of models, both pistols and rifles. I will be testing one of the very latest Sig Sauer models next month, along with a series on military and historic longarms.

The real 7.63mm Model 712 Broomhandle and all Broomhandle’s before it had many unprecedented features like a manual safety on the left rear of the frame actuated by pushing the lever upward into a notch, which either locked the hammer so that it could not be cocked, or if cocked, blocked the hammer’s forward movement. This is the original “cocked and locked” and is correctly reproduced on the Umarex model. Umarex has also accurately copied the Model 712 selector switch right down to the N R indicators on the left side of the frame, as well as the elevation adjustable rear sight, blowback bolt action and thumb safety.

The Umarex Legends Model 712 has the correct manual thumb safety lever which either locks the hammer back so it cannot drop, or prevents it from being cocked if down. The selector switch on the left side has a locking button, press it in and rotate the selector from N (semi-auto at the top) to R (full auto to the right).

The Umarex Legends Model 712 has the correct manual thumb safety lever which either locks the hammer back so it cannot drop, or prevents it from being cocked if down. The selector switch on the left side has a locking button, press it in and rotate the selector from N (semi-auto at the top) to R (full auto to the right).

The gun is so exact in detail and dimensions that an original (or reproduction) Mauser wooden shoulder stock holster will not only mount on the back of the pistol grip, but the gun with the magazine removed will fit inside the stock just like a real Mauser Broomhandle. As to the gun’s markings, it bears the WAFFENFABRIK name on the right side of the frame, and the correctly milled out side panel just behind the magazine well. Except for a militarized (Parkerized-type) finish not used on the actual Mausers, the Model 712 stands out as one of the most authentic .177 caliber reproductions of a classic military pistol.

the Israeli Uzi. Built as a carbine and in several pistol configurations, it has become one of the most legendary late 20th century designs, and the select fire .177 caliber Mini Uzi pistol is by far the best choice in a modern CO2-powered medium frame semi-auto/full auto design.

The Israeli Uzi is produced as a carbine and in several pistol configurations. It has become one of the most legendary late 20th century designs, and the select fire .177 caliber Mini Uzi pistol is one of the best choices in a modern CO2-powered semi-auto/full auto design.

A little later in history and long after the Broomhandle had ceased production; another selective fire pistol came on the scene, the Israeli Uzi. Built as a carbine and in several pistol configurations, it has become one of the most legendary late 20th century designs, and the select fire .177 caliber Mini Uzi pistol is by far one of the best choices in a modern CO2-powered, large frame, semi-auto/full auto design. It is no lightweight, and has rudimentary military sights, but it is more fun to shoot than almost any other .177 caliber airgun on the market today. But I did say, “Almost.”

What is the most exciting new blowback action .177 caliber air pistol you should own? Well, the conspicuous absence of one new model introduced in 2016 may have tipped my hand, and for those of you who were expecting me to pick the Umarex Beretta 92 A1 as my top gun of 2016, you are 100 percent on target. This is the new airgun you have to own.

And the winner is the new Umarex Beretta 92 A1 blowback action selective fire pistol. Based on the current 92 A1 model, the .177 caliber airgun uses self contained CO2 BB magazines.

And the winner is the new Umarex Beretta 92 A1 blowback action selective fire pistol. Based on the current 92 A1 model, the .177 caliber airgun uses self-contained CO2 BB magazines.

With all the features of the 9mm model, the .177 caliber pistol has white dot sights, ambidextrous thumb safeties that also function as a de-cocker. It is nearly the identical size and weight of the 9mm model and fits most holsters designed for Beretta Model 92 Series guns with dustcover rails.

With all the features of the 9mm model, the .177 caliber pistol has white dot sights, ambidextrous thumb safeties that also function as a de-cocker. It is nearly the identical size and weight of the 9mm model and fits most holsters designed for Beretta Model 92 Series guns with dustcover rails.

It has every desirable feature you can ask for. It is a 100 percent accurate copy of the 9mm model, it has a perfectly tuned double action/single action trigger, fires in either mode, has ambidextrous manual safeties that also function as a de-cocker, exactly as they do on the Beretta 9mm military models. The slide locks back after the last round is discharged; it uses correctly-sized CO2 BB magazines for quick, authentic reloading, a correct slide release, white dot sights for quick target acquisition, and it field strips exactly like the 9mm version.

The blowback action airgun has a fully functioning double action/single action trigger, correct slide release, and the slide locks back when the magazine is empty. The disassembly lever (forward of the slide release) operates exactly the same as the 9mm and the airgun field strips the same, right down to the barrel, guide rod and recoil spring being removed from the slide for cleaning.

The blowback action airgun has a fully functioning double action/single action trigger, correct slide release, and the slide locks back when the magazine is empty. The disassembly lever (forward of the slide release) operates exactly the same as the 9mm and the airgun field strips the same, right down to the barrel, guide rod and recoil spring being removed from the slide for cleaning.

The ambidextrous safety/de-cocker is easy to operate for right or left-handed shooters. Note the selector switch positioned just below the slide and behind the right grip panel. The indicators are a single dot for semi-auto, and three dots for full auto fire.

The ambidextrous safety/de-cocker is easy to operate for right or left-handed shooters. Note the selector switch positioned just below the slide and behind the right grip panel. The indicators are a single dot for semi-auto, and three dots for full auto fire.

It is as authentic in details as the Umarex S&W M&P40 and the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five. So why did I pick the Beretta over the S&W and Sig for 2016? The 92 A1 has selective fire control, the one added feature that put it over the top and into the year’s best slot. A choice made with Airgun Experience.

Center group fired offhand from 21 feet semi-auto, measures just under 0.75 inches. Upper group fired full auto grouped inside a 3-inch circumference using a firm two-handed hold.

Center group fired offhand from 21 feet semi-auto, measures just under 0.75 inches. Upper group fired full auto grouped inside a 3-inch circumference using a firm two-handed hold.

Happy Holidays! The Airgun Experience will return next week with a new series on 1911s, “The War Dogs.”

A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

3 thoughts on “Choosing a favorite .177 caliber CO2 pistol

  1. I could see picking the Beretta for its’ realism, and select fire capability. I am not a big Beretta 92 fan ,andfor select fire I will stick with the Broomhandle Mauser and the UZI. My vote for handgun airgun of the year goes to the Schofield revolver . Hopefully we will see the triad completed with the 1875 Remington. The wish list for select fire stands atM2 Carbine and the Chicago typewriter,the Thompson



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