by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I’m testing the accuracy of the Umarex Steel Storm BB submachine gun. Of the three BB guns I’ve been testing…this, the HKMP5 K-PWD and the Umarex EBOS…only the Steel Storm lacks a shoulder stock. Shooting for accuracy means I have to hold the gun in two hands as far in front of my face as I can reach, to allow me to see the rear sight notch adequately. So, that was what I did, but this is not a natural way to hold a gun.
As I mentioned in an earlier report, submachine guns are not target guns in any sense of the word, and people usually walk their shots into the target while firing from the hip. With some subs like the H&K MP5 that isn’t as necessary as it is with guns like the Mac 10 and the M3 grease gun, but I find most people do it anyway because it’s fun. No doubt that will be how people shoot the Steel Storm most of the time, but I wanted to show the potential for accuracy in this report.
As with the other BB guns, I stood 15 feet from the target. Ten shots of each type of BB were fired at a 10-meter pistol target using a six o’clock hold. Unlike the HK-MP5, the Steel Storm did not always shoot to the point of aim. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I also tested the gun on full-auto, which with the Steel Storm is a 6-shot burst, only. The guns shoots very fast in this mode; much faster than most firearm submachine guns. I found that actually helped with accuracy more than I would have imagined before testing it.
Daisy zinc-plated BBs
The first test was with Daisy zinc-plated BBs. I shot 10 rounds for accuracy using the semiautomatic mode, where there’s only one shot per pull of the trigger. They gave pretty satisfactory results.
After semiauto, I moved the selector switch to rock and roll and shot three 6-round bursts at another target at the same 15-foot distance. It didn’t surprise me when the group opened up wide, because full-auto fire without a ground mount or pedestal mount of some sort is usually woefully inaccurate. I was wrong about the cause, but didn’t know it at the time.
After the Daisy BBs, I tried the same exercise with Crosman Copperhead BBs. They grouped just about the same as the Daisys, though just a trifle more open but without several groups of each BB it’s tough to say they’re not just as accurate. However, that wasn’t what surprised me.
On full-auto bursts, the Copperhead BBs stayed together much better than the Daisys. It wasn’t due to my technique or from gaining experience with the gun. These BBs just went where the gun was aimed! So, it isn’t the full-auto nature of the gun that’s opening the other groups. This gun just seems to like Crosman Copperhead BBs.
Finally, I tried the Steel Storm with the RWS BBs that I’m evaluating. They’re very smooth, and I’ll be testing them with many BB guns to find out if they offer any clear advantages. With the Steel Storm, however, they don’t seem to. Not only was the semiauto group the largest of the three BBs tried, they also didn’t shoot to the same point of aim as the other two rounds.
The point of impact shifted to the left, and the group size opened just a bit with RWS BBs in the semiautomatic mode. And, the first shot of the 10 missed the trap entirely at 15 feet.
When I went to full-auto, I aimed for the center of the black bull, just to keep all the impacts on the paper. The RWS BBs went everywhere! Obviously, these are not the best BBs for this particular Steel Storm.
The Steel Storm has much to recommend it. It loads quickly and easily, it has plenty of power and the accuracy is pretty good for a gun without a shoulder stock. Shooters are going to love the high rate of fire in the full-auto burst mode. It’s the least expensive of the three BB submachine guns I’m testing, yet it offers a lot of nice features. One of the best features is the lack of fiddley loading and gas-charging procedures. I can see cutting soda cans in two with this all day long!