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Anics Skif A3000 CO2 pistol

by B.B. Pelletier

Anics Skif A3000 is an attractive CO2 pistol. Holding 28 shots, it is the high-cap leader among pellet guns!

I was asked to report on this air pistol by one of our readers. I don’t think very much of the gun, and I’ll try to tell you why, but for the sake of the person(s) who might like to get one, I will also try to tell all its good features.

28-shot repeater!
Right off the bat, the A3000 has the largest magazine capacity of any pellet pistol I know of, and also one of the largest BB magazine capacities. It shoots both BBs and pellets, which I will get into in a moment; but, with 28 shots on tap, it out-classes every other repeater on the market. The magazine is a transparent plastic stick affair with individual tubular pellet/BB holders running around like bumper cars on the inside. They follow an elongated track clockwise, until finally aligning with the barrel for firing. You load each chamber from the rear, then manually advance the tubes. Loading takes some time, but this is a double-action pistol that fires as fast as you can pull the trigger.

The magazine is unique. Twenty-eight separate plastic tubes move in a clockwise direction to bring either pellets or BBs (it doesn’t matter which) in line with the barrel, which snaps backwards to hit them and drive them back to open the valve. A bit like a nasty game of croquet.

Very good feel in the hand!
The Skif is also quite attractive, which is it’s strongest point after the magazine capacity. It’s just a real pleasure to hold. The rear sight is adjustable. And that’s pretty close to where the good points end.

A horrible trigger!
The double-action trigger-pull of 12 to 15 lbs. is about as bad as it gets. Not only do you have to advance those 28 plastic tubes inside the magazine each time you pull the trigger, but the way the gun works is that the barrel is also the hammer! It moves forward as the trigger is pulled until it finally slips off the sear. Under spring tension, it slams backwards into a hole in the magazine. The back of the barrel slams into a plastic tubular pellet holder and rams it backwards through another hole in the magazine into the firing valve, forcing it open. The pellet or BB is then pushed forward through the moving barrel by the force of the gas exhausting from the valve. It must have sounded neat to the drunken designers when they first thought of it at the fraternity kegger, but it works about as smoothly as a frozen caulking gun! It also has a single-action feature, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having 28 shots…no? However, the single-action trigger-pull is very nice, if a trifle heavy at just over 5 lbs.

Accuracy – schmakuracy!
As if a moving, spring-powered barrel were not enough to throw off all shots by itself, the Skif A3000 accommodates both BBs and pellets. The rifled barrel is one of those compromise-type affairs you’ve heard me talk about. No chance that anything emerging from the muzzle will go in any but a general direction! However, that’s not all. Those 28 plastic tubular pellet/BB holders in the magazine have to be small enough inside that a 0.173″ diameter steel BB will not fall out. To do that, guess what they do to the thin soft lead skirt of a pellet that starts out at 0.177″? That’s correct, they squash it down to fit! They even give you a little tool to poke the pellets into the tubes because they fit so tight.

Your chances of actually hitting what you aim at with a Skif A3000 increase with the size of your target. Pop cans at 20 feet are very possible. I was able to hold groups to 2″ at 30 feet when I shot single-action off a rest. However, who wants to cock the hammer manually every time when there are 28 shots aboard? In the double-action mode, the gun becomes a good noisemaker.

Your best chance for accuracy is to stand inside a weather balloon and shoot. You’re almost guaranteed to hit something.

I have laughed to read velocities quoted at over 500 f.p.s for this pistol. Maybe with BBs it goes that fast, but with regular lead pellets it’s in the 380-415 f.p.s. realm. That’s still cookin’ for a small pistol like the Skif, so feel grateful to get two full magazines of shots per CO2 powerlet.

This pistol is one you either will love or hate. Those who love it, enjoy the realism, the heft, the look and feel of the gun. Those who hate it are more focused on accuracy and shooting performance.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

67 thoughts on “Anics Skif A3000 CO2 pistol”

  1. I want to add a little bit about my negative experience with this gun. The trigger is indeed REALLY heavy in double-action mode. And on top of that, after about a hundred shots it broke down and was not able to work in double-action – it only fired in single-action mode. After I disassembled the gun I found out that trigger is connected to the moving barrel at the plastic barrel holder, and the plastic is really soft. So, the notch (at the point of connection) was worn out. Most likely it’s a feature of all these guns – the plastic used for the barrel holder is not the same as used for the frame and it won’t hold for very long, sooner or later it’ll give up and you’ll end up with single-action only pistol.

    But I agree, it felt good in the hand. Almost as good as P99 with backstrap of right size.


  2. BB,
    a moving barrel seems devastating to accuracy, but it works with the 1911A1 where the barrel tilts before the bullet cleared it.

    The low velocitiy surprised me. People (like Tex Force) talk about the Skif as one of the most powerful co2-repeaters; maybe they didn´t measure it and got fooled by the loud bang.

    How is this single-action working? Do you have to cock the barrel?

  3. Markus,

    In single action you just cock the hammer. I don’t have a Skif on hand to check, but I’d bet a cookie that when you cock it the barrel is levered forward.

    The Skif is a little more powerful than other CO2 pistols of the same barrel length, and perhaps when people speak about velocity they are using BBs (5.3 grains) instead of pellets (7.5 grains) as a measure. I don’t like shooting BBs in anything but a dedicated BB gun, so I never really tested the gun with them.


  4. I just ordered a Skif and after reading the blog and comments perhaps I made a poor choice. All of the revues I found on the internet were pretty good but the fact that Pyramyd does not sell them should have alerted me!————————–D.G.

  5. D.G.,

    Since you are getting the gun anyway, will you please tell us what you think of it? Tell us about accuracy, the trigger and anything else that strikes your fancy.

    As a new owner I’m sure your observations will be of great interest to us all. I know I am curious.


    • I guess they’re inserting and anchoring a tank to avoid leakage through the pumping slot which seems like a lotta work when the 2240 is already “tanked” I’d like to learn more about it as I was dreaming of doing the same with my Benjamin 3120 when I couldn’t find a replacement pump arm.

  6. The Skif is suppose to be able to shoot pellets, BBs, and lead round balls. I just wondered if any gun that shoots BBs can also shoot lead round balls? e.g.,Walther PPK/S, Gamo V3, etc,.—————————————D.G.

    • Not really. An average steel BB is .173-.175 while lead balls are .177 and most BB guns now use magnetic feeding system instead of spring loaded feeding. So the possibility of a jam or misfeed is very real.

  7. B.B.

    Yes, in single-action mode the barrel moves forward when you pull back the hammer. Cocking the hammer takes considerable effort, so much in fact that if you don’t know it can be done, you are reluctant to do it. Anics makes a similar gun under license from Beretta called the A-9000S. It is finished better and shoots a little smoother, but still suffers from many of the same problems. Test data can be found at: http://aa.uncw.edu/ward/airguns


  8. Lead round balls in BB gun? In pellet gun – maybe, or in a gun which can shoot both. But in a dedicated BB gun?

    Consider CP99 Compact. It’s a CO2-powered gun which shoots BB only. Actually, it’s a very fun gun to shoot (it has its issues, but it’s nice nevertheless). Look how it operates and you’ll find at least THREE reasons not to use round lead balls.

    1) They can jam the barrel, because it’s tailored toward BBs, which are just a little bit smaller in caliber than pellets.

    2) Steel BB is held at the top of the magazine by a small magnet, which prevents it from falling into the barrel and rolling out. Obviously, magnet won’t work on lead ball.

    3) Last, but the most important – magazine is build with little tolerance for BB diameter and since lead ball is just a little bit bigger than BB it doesn’t even fit into the magazine.

    Obviously, if you can’t load it into the magazine you are unlikely to be shooting lead balls (there is no access to the back side of the barrel for manual loading), but of two other reasons I’d consider first one most important – who cares that one can somehow load it into the breech, if the very next step will be an attempt to remove jammed ball from the middle of the barrel.

    Not all guns will have all three problems, but if barrel is made having only steel BBs in mind its caliber is a bit smaller than lead round balls.


  9. B.B.

    I just got a Crosman Quest from my friend. It shoots decently, but I’m trying to get better performance from it. I removed the two plastic washers that are around the barrel and replaced them with steel washers. I noticed a definite improvement in my accuracy. I was wondering what you’d recommend me doing to improve the accuracy and overall performance of my rifle. I have very limited funding, but I do have some mechanical skills. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Will,

    Clean the barrel with JB Bore Paste. Use the best pellets They are JSB, Crosman Premier and Beeman Kodiak. Do not oil your transfer port. Eventually the rifle will stop detonating. And learn how to shoot a spring rifle. The Quest needs a lot of technique.


  11. Hello BB,

    Sorry, this is a bit off topic…

    I just took my 30+ year old Slavia 624 apart and soaked the leather seal in neatsfoot oil. It went from hard as rock, to very soft and supple…while still keeping its shape.

    I was told that I should have used silicone oil, and that neatsfoot oil ruins the leather seal.

    Is this guy right? If so can I do something to save the seal?

    I plan to use a VERY thin coat of Moly paste when I rebuild it.


  12. One more quick question, exactly how accurate is the izh-61? You say it’s about as accurate as an olympic rifle, so I’m guessing it’s quite accurate. I was curious as to how accurate that is, as in what size groups should I expect at say, 15-20 yards? Thanks again,


  13. BB– I cancelled my Skif order. I was afraid of problems based on your blog (and other’s comments). I ordered a Beeman P3 instead. By the way, did I make a better choice? Have you ever done a review of the P3?——-D.G.

  14. Airspft guy,

    I went to the Hobbytron site, after doing a Google search. The address you gave (the second one) wasn’t correct. Once there I was unable to find the gun you mentioned. Their search function took me all over the site, but no luck.

    However, Pyramyd AIR, who hosts this blog, has a HUGE airsoft site that does work. http://www.pyramydairsoft.com Have you looked there?


  15. Thanks for the review of the Skif … as a newbie airgunner I guess I was impressed by the 28-round capacity, then very disappointed by the trigger pull and what that did to accuracy … plus having a very tired trigger finger before even emptying the first mag … so if there’s anyone out there chomping at the bit curious to try one for themselves, email me at leon_a28314@yahoo.com and I’ll sell mine to you at a bargain price … tool, 2 mags, hard plastic lockable foam-lined case and manual, just like I got it from Compasseco.com … whom I no longer even look at, btw. Pyramyd is KING !

  16. B.B. I received my Beeman P3 and noticed that it had fiber optic sights; nowhere could I find info that P3s had anything but open sights!I’m not upset about it, just bewildered. Are you aware of this “change”? This is off of the Skif subject but still in the great realm of airguns—-D.G.

  17. I bought the pistol and sent it back. I could not fire a whole magazine without one of the pellets jamming the magazine, which would “lock” up the trigger which advances the magazine. The action was very rough even when it worked.

  18. The Skif can be reasonably accurate in SA. Getting it to cycle consistently requires a good pellet to magazine chamber(s) match, and proper seating of the pellet. Unfortunately this match seems to differ from mag to mag. High quality wadcutters are good candidates.

  19. sorry, was about to say, iv just purchased one of these guns, the LB version (long barrel) and as is obvious from the name, it comes with an extended barrel, in the form of a silencer. this greatly increases its accuracy, and power, up to and over 600fps with bbs and 500fps with pellets. im amazed at the range this pistol has, and i enjoy the realism of it as well as the accuracy and shooting performance.

  20. My oh My, what a lot of fuss about a c02 gun, I have one and it’s fine, not the most accurate but good enough, load it correctly and it won’t jam. Trigger a tad heavy so if you want to shoot competition don’t buy it. However, if you want a fast, fairly accurate decent quality c02 pistol with a good amount of power you would be hard pushed to find one which will match the Skif 3000 for the money.

  21. Hey there i would like to know if you can recomend an air gun that one can use for self defence.I live in South Africa, we have a lot of crime and it’s impossible to get a firearm license.

  22. I’m looking for a semi auto pellet pistol for fun and maybe some hunting. I wanted a .22 but I cant seem to find any in current production. Why is this and is there a site where i can buy one? If not whats the best alternative?

  23. There is only one semiautomatic .22 pellet pistol and it isn’t in production at this time. It used to cost about $1,000 when all was said and done.

    A better solution is to get an LD conversion from Mac-1, but it isn’t powerful enough for hunting.

    Your best bet is an AR-6 by Evanix.


  24. ok so i have a spring pistol and am looking to upgrade to air.. i want something realistic.. and most important an actual magazine, i dont feel like fumbling around with these little 8 shot rotary things.. this seems like a good gun but most of the reviews are bad.. i shoot cans and want to kill a few small birds that annoy me at night.. some one suggest a good gun please.. ill spend up to 200 for the gun

  25. as an add onto that^^ some acurracy, and velocity would be nice too im not sayin somethin that compares to real guns just good.. hell my spring pistol shoots like 2-3 FOOT groups at like 20 feet

  26. Hopeful,

    The Anics is CO2 not air. You don’t want an air pistol, your budget won’t permit it.

    You have 2 different requirements.

    If you want a repeater, you’re pretty well stuck with CO2. If you want to shoot small birds, I recommend the Crosman 1377 for your budget.


  27. I’ve been reading the revue on the hunk of crap SKif A-3000 . I read blogs where people took the gun apart and re-oiled all the moving parts and most importantly,loosened the screws on the magazine just enough to make it feed more smoothly. Will this work,or is this like trying to pee in a head wind ? Thanx HHaraway@aol.com

  28. Howard,

    Trying to get the Skif A3000 to shoot well is like putting lipstick on a pig.

    The barrel is the striker that opens the gas valve. It moves backwards to hit the valve on every shot. There is no way to make this gun more accurate.

    It’s probably possible to lighten the trigger, but is it worth it? If you own the gun the answer is probably yes. But if you don’t own one, I don’t think it’s worth buying.

    Just my opinion.


  29. i was thinking about buying this gun, but i have the crosman c11 and want a pistol that has accuracy (its fun to shoot, but i can not hit a coke can at 30 feet!) would this gun be able to hit a 2 inch target at a standing 30 feet? thanks


    P.S. i was also thinking about the walther cp99. how much better is its accuracy?

  30. Kyle,

    The Skif A-3000 is notoriously inaccurate – ever for a BB gun.

    You will not find a BB pistol that is accurate. There are only a few long BB guns that are accurate, like the Daisy 499.

    Now, when you shift over to pellet pistols, things change. The Walther CP99 is a pellet pistol that can definitely hit a Coke can at 30 feet every time, if you do your part. But I’m hoping you meant the CP99 and not the CP99 Compact, which is another BB gun. The CP99 is an 8-shot pellet pistol that can hold a one-inch group at 30 feet.


  31. I own a skiff & agree 100% with B.B. about everything he said about it.

    I like the look & the feel, but the action & accuracy are terrible!

    The double action is so heavy, that I only shoot it single action, & even though the trigger break is much better in single action, the accuary is still NOT that much better!

    I’m trying to return it because if that is not enough reason, I never got the second mag that was supposed to be included in the kit, & they are now telling me that it may very well be several more months before they have any more spare mags, if they get them at all!

    FYI… You can shoot it in single action two ways. Either by pulling the slide back, or cocking the hammer. Neither are easy, but I prefer to cock the hammer.

    (BTW… I am NOT talking about Pyramyd AIR. I did NOT buy it from them, as they do not sell this gun. Pyramyd is awesome & is always the first place I go!)

    I also agree with B.B about the Evanix AR6. I own one & love it!

    – The Big Bore Addict –

  32. just to put my two pence in, i own the a3000 f1, the longer barreled version. i don’t know what you guys normally shoot but the trigger weight is not all that heavy. just to prove my point, i am 17 years old and can lift around 70Kg’s (as a strength guide). i was told this was a “man’s gun” by the store clerk. i often finish an entire gas bulb in rapid fire (yes i use my index finger). now i’ve finished blowing my ego, i’ll give all the a3000 virgins and noobs some tips on this gun

    firstly, for those of you just starting out with this gun, you will find that your middle finger is alot stronger to start with and moving your hand down the grip (so the edge of your hand is on the back edge of the grip) helps if you want to cock it with one hand.

    secondly, for the love of god OIL IT!!! don’t be shy about spraying large amounts of oil (what that really means is a)the factory workers have an aversion to oil… b) you need to put large amounts of oil) in the magazine, barrel, slide and all other areas where parts rub together. and don’t forget that pellgun oil on the top of your bulb either.

    lastly, if you get a leaky cartridge, it is probably the operator not the gun. shake the gun when you insert the next cartridge (with pellgun oil) to ensure the bulb is sitting comfortably over the pin that punctures it. remember that the screw must sit snugly against the base of the cartridge before slapping the lever shut.

    hope this helps all you guys that are having trouble, good luck, be safe and have fun.


  33. The A3000 is a pretty good gun if you use for its intended purpose, that is as a plinker – not a target pistol. Reports of jamming are normally down to the user not seating pellets correctly. Remember to do this and lube working parts now and then and you shouldn't have much troble. It's more powerful than Colts, Gamos, Walthers and S&W, so give it a more "forgiving" grip to handle the recoil and it's a good gun. If
    you want accuracy get a Crossman 1377, you won't find better without spending a lot more money, and you sure as hell won't find anything more powerful! If you really must have a Walther avoid the CP99; it's tacky, underpowered and not that accurate. Go for the CP88 instead, it feels better, it's better built more powerful and most importantly more accurate.

  34. badger,

    Thanks for the overview on your experiences with A3000, crosman 1377 and the CP88.

    This is the kind of knowledgable information that should be shared with all the other airgunners that read this blog regularly. Unfortunately, you posted your great comment under an article written almost 3 years ago and not many airgunners look back that far for current comments. Most of the airgunners, like you, are exchanging airgun experiences, asking questions and answering each others airgun questions under the most current article that B.B. has written (B.B. writes a new article every day, Monday-Friday). Here’s a link (you’ll have to copy and paste) that will take you to the most current article, scroll down to the bottom of the article and click on “comments” and you’re a part of the current discussion:


    look forward to seeing you there!


  35. Eight pounds would be a very nice double-action pull. Twelve pounds is getting excessive.

    To appreciate these numbers you must have some experience with double-action trigger-pulls. The numbers don't mean much by themselves. That's why I added the comment that the trigger is "… about as bad as it gets."


  36. I thought I'd let you know my experience, I have had a skiff A-3000 for many many years now, over 7 years. I use it infrequently but do use it and can note the following;
    Its still working as it did day 1
    The bb vs pellet issue, I purchased a mix when I got the gun, however, above coments are slightly in accurate. The plastic tubes are indeed very tight but, in a way of lead being fixed in by brass, the plastic looses and stretches, so a bit like a DVD player, you have to make a choice, day 1, it will take anything but, once you put pellets in a lot the mag stretches and metal bb's fall through.
    The worst bit about this gun is the sight, it's awful, you adjust it, it becomes loose again and moves around freely.
    Great gun, never jammed,,it's gone through god knows how many boxes of pellets but the sight is useless.
    The co2 also does not store, if you put the gun away for 24 hours, expect the co2 to have leaked away

  37. This gun IMO is AWESOME and is in my top 5 of my airgun collection (of around 40) you must oil te gun right ot of the box , all moving parts and even the mag . My Skiff chory'd at 645 fps on one shot and 70 % were in the 500+ range and the rest in the high 400's using wadcutter rws hobby . Mine is also very accurate and a BLAST to shoot , so much so that I bought a 2nd one as they are SUPER hard to find now .. my 2 cents in defence of my BELOVED SKIF A 3000 , (might be my favorite pistol)

  38. I agree with some of the comments about this pistol, especially about the double action feature which has failed on my A-3000LB. I also agree that it is not very accurate, but it’s not that bad. I have had mine for a few years now, used it quite alot and apart from having to replace the seal it has been reliable.However I disagree about the power. I use .177 Superdome pellets, 8.3 grain and have chronographed it several times. It always delivers between 650 and 680 fps with a new CO2 cartridge. This takes it above the 6ft-lb legal limit here in the UK.

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