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.