Beretta 92FS CO2 pistol with wood grips: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


The 92FS with wood grips is a big, beautiful handgun. With its weight and size, you’ll be hard-pressed to imagine that it’s an air pistol.

Okay, time to look at an airgun you can actually buy, if you’re so inclined. We’ve certainly been reporting on a lot of vintage guns recently — and I love them, but there’s also the real world to consider.

The Beretta 92FS is the latest iteration of the Beretta 92F, which is the civilian equivalent of the U.S. military sidearm, the M9A1. It’s a 15-round 9x19mm semiautomatic pistol that replaced the M1911A1 beginning in 1988. I won’t go into the controversy of the choice of 9mm over .45 ACP caliber for a handgun, which has been argued at length for the past 50 years, but I’ll be comparing the 92FS with the 1911A1 in terms of ergonomics and performance. And, I’m doing that only because I come from a background of the 1911 model.

The letter S was added to denote a larger hammer pin that stops the slide from flying backwards off the frame if it cracks. That was a problem the Army fixed in the late 1980s, so if you buy a civilian firearm, make sure you get the FS version. The new M9A1 has a Picatinny rail, a beveled magazine well for faster reloading and a reversible magazine-release button.

Big
The first thing that strikes anyone picking up a 92FS for the first time is that this is a very large handgun. It’s not Desert Eagle large, but the wide double-stack grip frame of the 92 makes the 1911 feel like a much smaller handgun. For shooters with average-sized hands, grabbing a 92FS is like holding a two-by-four.

Heavy
Again, the 92FS is an impressive gun with its black-hole weight. The pistol I’m testing for you today weighs 2.75 lbs., compared to 2.40 lbs. for the Colt 1911. When it’s loaded with 15 rounds, it’s going to be even heavier than the Colt with its 7-round mag.

As a result of being both wide and heavy, as well as shooting the very mild 9x19mm handgun round, the 92FS is a sheer delight to shoot. Recoil is almost negligible, especially when compared to the larger, more powerful .45 ACP. No doubt, this was one of the factors that balanced out the size and weight of the gun in the military acceptance test.

The airgun is a realistic copy of the firearm
Everything I’ve said about the firearm applies to the Beretta 92FS airgun, as well. It’s large, heavy and a chunk to hold and shoot. Under the skin, it’s the same 8-shot revolver mechanism that Umarex uses in most of their lookalike pistols and rifles. The slide separates for access to the rotary 8-shot clip (it’s not a magazine, because it contains none of the ammo feeding mechanism).


By pushing down on what would be the disassembly latch on the firearm, the slide opens like this to accept a loaded 8-shot circular clip.

I chose the nicest version of the gun for this test. Over the years, I’ve tested many other Umarex pellet pistols and one rifle for you:

Walther Lever Action rifle
Colt M1911A1 Tactical — Part 2
Colt M1911A1 Tactical — Part 1
Walther CP 88 Tactical — Part 3
Walther CP 88 Tactical — Part 2
Walther CP 88 Tactical — Part 1
Walther PPK/S
Walther CP99 Compact
Magnum Research Desert Eagle — Part 3
Magnum Research Desert Eagle — Part 2
Magnum Research Desert Eagle — Part 1
Beretta PX4 Storm
S&W 586/686 revolver

Now, I’ll test one of the last models of Umarex guns, the Beretta 92FS. The wood grip model I’ve selected to test comes to you in a hard case with the wood grips installed and the standard plastic grip panels in a plastic bag, in case you want to install them at any time. With them on the gun, you have the standard blue model.

General description
The 92FS is a double-action pistol that also operates in the single-action mode. When the firearm version fires, the slide comes back to the rear, ejecting the spent 9mm case and stripping a fresh cartridge from the top of the 15-round double-stack mag (double-stack means the cartridges are almost side-by-side in the magazine, to fit more rounds into a given height). The slide also cocks the hammer when it comes back, making the pistol ready to fire in the single-action mode on the next shot. So, you carry the gun with a round in the chamber and the hammer down. Then, you pull the trigger double-action for the first shot, but after that all subsequent shots are single-action, which gives a much nicer trigger-pull.

The airgun, on the other hand, does not feature blowback. So, while it’s also both double-action and single-action, the hammer must be manually thumbed back to make the single-action work.

The airgun’s sights can be adjusted for windage but not for elevation. To adjust for windage, you first loosen the setscrew in the center of the rear blade, then push the blade in the direction you want to move the next shot.


Loosen the setscrew and the rear sight notch can be slid in either direction to adjust the impact of the group.

The ambidextrous safety does not uncock the hammer. When you put it on, it rotates the end of the valve stem away from the hammer line; when the hammer falls, it doesn’t impact the valve but is stopped by a metal block. So, the hammer still falls when the trigger is pulled with the safety on, but the gun doesn’t fire.


The safety is on, and the valve stem end (that silver half-circular thing in front of the hammer) has rotated up and out of the way. When the hammer falls, it’s blocked by a steel part that houses the end of the valve stem.


Here, the safety is off, and the end of the valve stem has swung down to line up with the hammer. It’s almost out of sight in this shot.

The disassembly pin that’s always so cool in action movies when the hero grabs the gun away from the bad guy and disassembles it in a fraction of a second is the part that opens the slide on the airgun so the 8-shot clip can be accessed. That’s why the airgun Beretta 92FS doesn’t come apart like the firearm.

What would be the slide release on the firearm is just solidly cast into the frame of the airgun. Although very realistic looking, it doesn’t move and has no function. The button that would be the mag release on the firearm is pushed in on the left side of the airgun to release the right grip panel, which gives access to load the CO2 cartridge. I’ll show that in Part 2.

I must say that I’m impressed by the sheer bulk and weight of this handgun. I’m now fascinated by the Beretta 92FS and will probably acquire a firearm later this year (gotta buy this air pistol, too). I know Edith and I will love it for its low recoil. Although the M9 pistol has the reputation for not being that accurate, Army armorers have discovered the ways to tighten the groups to the point that I have heard that one-inch groups are possible at 50 yards. Like anything else, I accept that claim with a grain of salt, but if this gun can hold a two-inch group of 5 at that range, it would be spectacular! And, with the same amount of gunsmithing that has gone into the 1911 over the decades, I’m sure the 92FS is going to continue to get even better.

The gun has a very enviable reputation for reliability in combat. The single operational drawback today being that the Army is procuring cheap, substandard Check Mate magazines that soldiers in-country are replacing with their own genuine Beretta mags as soon as they can. The Army has also changed magazine specifications to try to correct this problem.

As I test the air pistol, I’ll see how reliable it is. Though, with all my experience testing Umarex air pistols, I think it’s safe to say this is a proven system.

91 thoughts on “Beretta 92FS CO2 pistol with wood grips: Part 1

  1. BB,

    Big bulky heavy pistols? Not my cup of tea! Which is why I don’t own a Beretta of any flavor and own two .45 acp semi automatics. One is an “ultra compact”. Also own a Charter Arms Bulldog, which is an even more compact revolver in .44 Special. That Bulldog does kick a wee bit, but not too bad considering it weighs only 19 oz empty. However you would not mistake it as a 9mm or even a .45 acp in a blind firing test!

    Now if Umarex would just make a Bulldog knock off in .22 caliber…..YAHOO!!!



      • David,

        Aye, mine is one of the old ones. Bought it with in 10 months of it hitting the market. Was used (once apparently) in a dealers display case. Sat there for months with a $150 price tag. I offered him $75 and after repeatedly pointing out to him he had not even had an offer, he sold it to me for $75! He said the guy bought it new and traded it in a week later.

        Trick on recoil is to use no hotter than standard .44 special loads in it. I made mistake of loading 240 gr bullets to 1000 fps initially and two shots split the web of my right hand wide open! Compared to that, the standard loads are tame though they still bite!



        • BB: If you buy a Bulldog, buy two if you shoot it a lot. My father carried a undercover for years and it would loosen up regularly. I had one also, and it WILL need rebuilding if you practice a lot with it, which you need to do to master that one. It is the lightest, most powerful and economical of the small revolvers though. Take care ,Robert.


          • Robert,

            Thanks. I used to have one that was loose as a goose, so I sold it rather than put any money into it. I probably would not shoot it much, because .44 Spl. isn’t a caliber I shoot. But I am very adept at making reduced loads, being the woose that I am. So this gun will not suffer much from me.

            B.B.


            • BB: In the face of the recoil shield of the older Charter revolvers there is a screw that likes to back/in and out. It will make the gun not open. If you ever get one ,watch out for that screw. If you have one with a shrouded ejector rod , that could be a real problem. Mine were the old un-shrouded kind ,where you could always pull the rod forward ,without using the regular cylinder latch. Just something I have learned about mine that might help,Robert.


  2. a one-inch group at 50 yards will get you into the Olympics, and once in, into the finals and perhaps medal. Not to be sneezed at.

    Nice shootemupski action in this …. I’m still crying that I didn’t buy the Crosman “357” peller revolver off of this guy at a swap meet last year. I think he’d have let it go for $60, maybe $50.



    • I believe the one inch 50 yard groups are from a vise–maybe that’s what you meant too. It is the Army Marksmanship Unit USAMU who claim these results, but their guns have been heavily worked over and are essentially custom guns.

      Matt61


      • Yes, what I meant is, the GUN will do the part, can YOU?

        Most can’t, spectacularly.

        If I remember correctly, an inch at 50 meters is good Olympic Free Pistol shootin’.

        In fact in my experience given the quirks of both pistols and Ransom Rests, a GOOD shooter can actually outdo a Ransom Rest, for short strings offhand, using some “bastardized benchrest techniques”, consistently.


      • Oh, and I believe the AMU figures, for one thing, it’s possible to hand-load centerfire ammo and I think the bigger, heavier bullets make them behave better than the .22.

        .22 I’m pretty sure I’ve read in more than one place is NOT optimum by a long shot (lol) for accuracy, it’s simply cheap and widely available, hence its wide use in formal target shooting.


  3. Great blog. I’ve been eyeing the Beretta for some time and it’s nice to have some perspective, looking forward to future posts. I have big hands so maybe I’ll get a big pistol.


    • Kit Carson,

      Edith and I discussed getting the firearm last night. She has large hands and I find the pistol very intriguing. The lack of recoil in a gun that is essentially as powerful as a .38 Special is a big draw.

      B.B.


      • Morning B.B.,

        “The lack of recoil in a gun essentially as powerful as a .38 Special”, I think would sure start of firestorm of replies on a powder burner pistol blog. ” How dare you compair my beloved 9mm to that lowly revolver round?”

        I’m trying to get a mental picture of how the safety rotates the end of the valve stem, but it might be because I’ve got the wrong idea of what the valve stem is. I’m thinking of my Talon SS and that the valve stem is the tube that the top hat fits over. I cannot get a picture of it being moved any place to avoid being struck by the hammer. Help

        Bruce


        • Bruce,

          The valve stem is the part that communicates the strike of the hammer to the valve. In this gun, it is a two-piece part, with a stub at the rear that can be rotated out of the way. The picture shows it perfectly, but you may not have understood that the stem was two-piece.

          The 9X19 round is a pipsqueak handgun round and everyone knows it. It has a bad rep for not killing, just like the .38 Special. Only under the best circumstances can it be considered a defensive round.

          And this from a man who carries a .380 ACP as a defense cartridge! But the truth is the truth.

          B.B.

          B.B.


          • BB,
            Things I learned in this article:

            1. Very impressive looking pistol.

            2. “…with its black-hole weight…” I didn’t let that one get by me. Good term.

            3. I actually learned something about the Beretta M9A1/92FS

            4. The round thing that holds the pellets is really called a clip and not a magazine (guilty!!)

            5. You’ve done a ton of Umarex testing – thank you very much.

            6. Do today’s personal defense loads like Hornaday’s Critical Defense cartridges change your opinion of using the 9mm or .38 Special for defense?

            -Chuck


            • Chuck,

              Yes, with the right defense rounds everything I said about stopping power changes. It makes both the 9 and the .38 Spl. good and even the .380 is marginal with the right rounds.

              B.B.


          • B.B. makes a great observation what we say and what we do are often entirely different. While we debate bullet size over the past couple years some of the biggest selling pistols out there have been mouse guns, specifically the new crop of 380’s.



  4. Good review… I’ve held the 92FS firearm and although it is a little heavier than a Glock the extra mass is well balanced and the SA/DA external hammer is a great feature. If a Glock ejects but fails to recock the firing pin then you have a dud shot and need to manually cycle the slide and lose a good round… the 92FS, just pull the trigger!!! Simplicity.

    Can’t wait to see the second review… shooting action CO2 is far cheaper and less time consuming than the real thing. I used the PX4 storm to train some new shooters in the quiet surroundings of my garage before we went out to the range with a revolver and semi. That initial training helped build confidence, hold technique, and sight picture.

    Umarex has done a fine job with their guns.



  5. BB,

    I am from the school of .45. I love the 1911 and still believe it should be in service, though an updated version would be best. HOWEVER, I do have a 9mm S&W 3904 and while it’s not the Beretta, it’s a sweet shooter. While at the range I may go through 50 to 100 rounds of .45 I will usually triple that amount with the 9mm. I my opinion though the 9mm needs more energy. Maybe that’s why there’s a .40 ???

    my $.02

    ka


    • KA,

      I used to shoot the heck out of a 9mm S&W model 39, so I know where you are coming from. I like the little round, but I make no bones about its lack of killing power, which is compounded by the use of full metal jacketed round-nosed slugs. What a horrible combination for defense!

      B.B.


      • True enough. However, the right ammo can make a big, big, difference with the 9mm. Example: A couple years back, I attended a seminar that included a “Gell” test. That is shooting rounds into ballistic gelatin. It was a real eye opener. A lot of rounds were tested but what I noticed the most was the .357 test VS 9mm Par. .357 penetrated 16 inches with 125 gr bullets and expanded to about 45 caliber. The 9 mm Par. penetrated 15 inches with 124 gr bullets and expanded to about 45 caliber.
        Both rounds were Speer Gold Dot, the 9mm round being plus “P”. Modern ammo really makes a difference. That said, I often carry a .45 ACP but do own and use a Glock 19. BTW, if you must use FMJ ammo, .45 ACP is much better.

        Mike


        • Mike,

          I wholeheartedly agree. With the right defense loads, which is mostly the right bullets, the 9mm and .38 Spl. are fine defense guns. I was just referring to the run-of-the-mill ammo that we all buy because it is so cheap.

          B.B.


    • Historically the .40S&W comes from the other direction… To be a round “wimpier” than the 10mm.

      The FBI upgraded to the 10mm, but then discovered the standard load was too powerful for common use/practice — great for killing engine blocks and penetrating car doors, but painful otherwise. So they developed a reduced power loading in the 10mm cartridge for normal use.

      S&W and the ammo companies (I forget which, Winchester?) realized the ballistics of the reduced power 10mm could be achieved with a shorter case, using the same bullets. This became the .40S&W (if Europe had developed it, I suspect it would have been the 10mmKurz (sp?)). The shorter case permitted a staggered (wide) magazine holding more rounds than the long single column of the 10mm, while allowing users to get their fingers around the grip (creating a staggered hi-cap magazine on the 10mm would require a grip that much of the population couldn’t hold).

      I seem to recall that after the .40S&W was released, someone did a historical comparison and found the ballistics were a close match for common “old west” revolver ammo… the 38-40 or was it the 44-40.

      S&W4006 (full adjustable rear sight)
      Walther P99 .40S&W (the nightstand gun — unless I reach the wrong way and grab the CP99 )



  6. Shot a beretta 92 this past weekend. Very fun pistol to shoot. I have big hands so the grip was not a problem. This C02 pistol looks like a great understudy for the real thing.

    I’d like to hop up on my barrel and plead with some air gun company to produce a Colt SAA clone.



      • BB and Al: I vote for the SAA too! Or… a Remington cap & ball look alike?

        Maybe suggest to Mr. Pflaumer that the folks at Uberti could help or partner with Umarex to reduce initial prototype costs? Uberti makes all of those great reproduction guns and black-powder pistols.


    • A Colt SAA would be a great ideal. Umarex could pull it off if they wanted. I have their 10 round S&W Model 586 with 6″ barrel. Also, I own a 10 round S&W 617 with 6″ barrel in 22lr and may I say the similarities are uncanny with regard to size, weight, etc. The two noticeable difference besides color is the grip which on the Umarex feels a little less firm and somewhat hollow plus its trigger pull is softer with double action shooting. I’ve had the 586 a few years and last summer had to send it to the company for repair. I think it was around $65 for a repairs, which wasn’t too bad considering the price of the gun new.


      • Bub, I have the Umarex S&W 586 with 4″ and 6″ barrels. What a fine piece of work and accurate as heck!

        As you noted, even the sound and feel of the action is nearly identical to the firearm or in my case, my old Model 27 .357 ca (the “high class” predecessor to the 586).

        They got this pistol right and could do the same with whatever pistol they put their mid too.



  7. Chuck and Mike are correct, ammo selection has improved greatly in recent years. I have a 9mm I shot regularly and with the right ammo would consider it a good self defense gun. Having said that the main reason I purchased a 9mm is simply because 9mm ammo is cheaper and so I get to shot more. Plus, recoil is much less so you can put a lot more rounds down range without getting exhausted.

    For those who might be interested, I have spoke with a number of ex-military (who carried the M9) and armorers and their personal carry guns are usually the larger calibers. For what it’s worth most prefer the small Glocks and often in 45ACP. One guy’s pick was the 10mm. They all say recoil is manageable.

    BTW my personal home defense gun is an old school 357 revolver.


    • Bub,

      You aren’t going to believe what has transpired at our house. Last evening while Edith and I were discussing the Beretta 92 FS, I discovered that she likes the Desert Eagle that I have been wanting for a long time. So we will probably get one of those and she’ll use it as her home defense gun!

      I want to get the .44 Magnum model, because I think the .50 AE is too much gun for either of us.

      The Beretta will also be a defense gun, loaded with the proper ammo.

      B.B.


      • BB I shot a .50 AE last summer, what a beast! The muzzle flame was awesome though! As a home defense gun, I sure wouldn’t want the liability of the house 4 doors down with .50 cal bullet holes in it.

        I will stay with my .45 Colt Commander as the “nightstand” and CCW gun of choice.



  8. I was going through the new Crosman catalog (gun porn according to my wife) this morning and noticed something interesting. Their scope selection has decreased considerably. Really there is only one suitable airgun scope an Adventure Class 4-16X40 Model CPA416AORG.

    Maybe a bigger surprise to me was the absence of a some CO2 airguns. The 2250s and the Nightstalkers are gone, which is not too big a surprise, but I was shocked not to find the 2260.

    The only remaining CO2 rifle I came across was the 1077, not counting the dual fuel models.

    Bub


    • Bub,

      There are quite a few Centerpoint Optics riflescopes suitable for airguns.

      The Adventure Class has 8 scopes, and 5 have an adj. objective.

      The Power Class listed on their website shows 7 scopes, and 5 have an adj. objective.

      The Game TAG Class also has a scope with an adj. objective.

      I suspect they’re narrowing the line of scopes based on sales history. If it doesn’t sell, why bother to stock it?

      Edith



      • Edith, My observations were made from reviewing the new Crosman 2011 catalog. According to the catalog they are streamlining their scope selection considerably. You are correct, one of the scopes(4.5-14) in the TAG line has AO, but they seem to be marketing the TAG line to the firearms crowd. The Adventure Class has been cut to 4 offerings with only 1 having AO (4-12). They seem to have dropped the Power Class altogether and have 2 models in the AR Series a 3-9 and 4x model. Their red dot selection has been narrowed as well to 1 model.

        Both Pyramyd’s and Crosman’s websites still show a number of models not in the current catalog that Crosman offered in the past. I guess your right if it doesn’t sell they won’t continue to carry it.

        Two thing I find curious. First in a number of their combo packages they still offer a 3-9X40AO scope. I always assumed this would be one of the more popular models for general use and an surprised it has left the general lineup. Makes me wonder if the combo model is fairly cheap and only meant to get someone started. Secondly, I thought Crosman was trying to make a hit in the field target arena, so dropping the 8-32 model seems odd. I just don’t see Crosman at some field day with someone else’s scope on their gun. Who knows what they are up to.

        P.S. Brian glad you liked the gun porn thing.

        Bub


  9. Sorry I’m in a blog posting mood today and may I say how troubling I found B.B.’s comment regarding the Army providing substandard magazines for the M9 pistol. I know military magazines are basically throw away items, but lives are on the line and magazines are not the place to cut costs. Bub


    • Bub,

      Since I was on active duty when the ill-fated M16 with its 1-12″ rifled barrel that shot unstabilized bullets, no one has a bigger chip on his shoulder than me for the Army cutting costs on weapons systems. From my reading, though, the problems has been more one of a wrong specification of magazine coatings than just a cheaper mag, though they did go with the lowest bidder. The coating had a poor reaction with sand and dust, which tied up the mag.

      It’s a case where I think the Army procurement system should have considered the magazine to be part of thew weapon and gone with Beretta, who knows how to make the mags.

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        Your 100% correct Army procurement should have stuck with M9 factory magazines as part of the contract.

        I was just a young pup when the M16 program was launched, but I understand it was quite a folly. So bad that many to this day consider the adoption of the M16/M4 family of firearms a disaster on the part of the military.

        Speaking of Army procurement, I saw a couple weeks or so back they are starting a new two year competition for a new carbine to replace the M4. After all the prototypes and false starts over the past few years only to decide the M16/M4 is as good or better than the competition (usually with a small modification) it’s surprising anyone steps forward with a submission anymore.

        Bub



  10. I purchased one of these from PA a few years ago. Have fallen in love with it. When I first got it the accuracy wasn’t real good but after practice and a good run it it will now almost stack pellets for me at 10 meters, almost target grade…..problem is you go through Pellets cause you can’t stop shooting it…


  11. B.B., I suspect the controversy between 9mm and .45 ACP is older than 50 years. Some sources claim the debate began during WWI where the Luger 9mm did not compare well with the .45 for stopping power. On that subject and more specifically the testimony of combat veterans, I’ve never heard of anyone complaining of too much power. For the airgun pistol, I will be especially interested in the trigger. The only objection I have to my Walther Nighthawk which is otherwise fabulous in every way is the trigger. It is long and creepy because of the double-action and it is positioned somehow to hurt my trigger finger sometimes–haven’t quite figured this out. I also had reservations about the Beretta firearm trigger–my only criticism of this otherwise fine pistol. The trigger was long and seemed to arc. I noticed the difference from my SW 1911 trigger. Although my SW is a more expensive model than the Beretta I rented, I understand that part of the genius of the 1911 is that the trigger and the gun frame are designed for a very short straight trigger press. (Victor where are you? :-)) Before dropping money on a firearm, I suggest that you consider the Smith and Wesson M&P. It doesn’t have the tradition of the Beretta, but from the reviews I read, it stands very tall among the polymer pistols.

    BG_Farmer, the “nature of things” is indeed a misleading term. The sense of it is the essence of something philosophy qua philosophy. It is like a question I asked a physics professor when I was studying relativity. I asked what was light that it could have such strange properties like having an absolute speed limit that apparently forced space to contract and expand as one moved through it at different speeds. The professor just smiled and said, “We physicists don’t indulge questions like that.” Another way to make the distinction is between experiment and untestable speculation although that division is not absolute and is currently being tested by the latest physics. And as you pointed out observation and inference was at work long before the scientific revolution in the West.

    No chance to test the countersteering on my bike due to rain, but I am no end of intrigued at this. Trying it out at 15+ mph on a bike will take a certain act of faith. I have had a similar experience on my bike as the motorcycle phenomenon of applying forward motion to stay upright even when the forward motion was barely perceptible. That lay behind my question of inertia as a stabilizing factor. Is inertia the same thing as gyroscopic precession? PeteZ, didn’t have time to read your article yet.

    Victor, observing the squared up Karate stance and hands held low, I have been surprised at how effectively it can hit and how well it can defend considering how far it departs from the boxing orthodoxy. I had supposed that since the lead jab is not in the Karate repertoire that there was no single counter technique and that the response would be a whole context of legs, movement, and hand techniques. I’ve noticed too that Karate practitioners do not use traditional techniques literally in the application which is understandable, but sometimes I think they give away too much. They don’t really look like boxers but they don’t look like anything else. I have this suspicion that there is more to the traditional methods including the hard block than we give credit for. By the way, if you haven’t seen Tony Jaa, I do recommend him–a Thai boxer of astounding talent. He’s done a lot to popularize Thai boxing which, by adapting the rhythms and techniques of Western boxing to the kicking and other varied techniques of martial arts does make for a powerful style indeed.

    Do you have a particular way of approaching your target when shooting: up, down, side, circle? And on the subject of being tired, what would you consider to be the maximum number of rounds to shoot on a daily basis? Massad Ayoob says 50 and Elmer Keith comes in around that number–maybe 100. That leaves plenty of extra time during an eight hour practice. Do you think dry firing comes under the same limitation?

    Kevin, great news about Danielle’s leg. Kids are resilient. I was in the Virgin Islands myself once and enjoyed the warm water that felt like a bathtub. I wasn’t able to open the video you sent, but I believe I would be upset too if someone took away my XM25 grenade launcher. I wish they would get moving with the AA12 shotgun.

    J-F, I agree about the blog. And I consider the variety to be an instance of the philosophy that to excel deeply in any one area, one should cultivate the whole person. But by the same token, everything should be related somehow or other, and I guess we do go pretty far afield sometimes.

    Matt61


    • Matt61, On the subject of being tired and number of rounds one can or should shot in a day. To me it depends on what you are shooting. With regard to handguns here is my personal experience. With J-frame sized 50 rounds is max, 45ACP 100 rounds, 38/357 in large frame 100-200, 9mm 200-400, and in 22lr I think the law states you have to finish a brick of ammo if you start so 500 rounds.

      Something that also works well is to take a 22lr and a larger caliber gun to the range and switch back and forth. The only downside is you end up with two guns to clean….Bub


    • Matt61,

      Form must translate into fighting style. Maybe not all blocks, but definitely punches and kicks. In tournaments, your punches and kicks are definitely graded for form. I’ve seen guys have a long slug-fest because neither used good form. With good form, a single punch or kick results in a score.
      A lead jab is used in Karate, as are many faints (that’s a personal matter). But again, Karate defense is different than boxing. Hands are held low to block or catch kicks, as well as punches. But we also fight with a wider stance, until we unleash an all out attack (at which point we are still mindful of balance and power). A good Karate kick does not sweep, but rather is more like a quick punch. If you allow it to hang, then your opponent will grab your leg and force you off balance where he can have his way with you. Yes, there is definitely more to traditional techniques than is obvious. Again, form is everything, and kata is a must. A common mistake with kata is that students often train with them the wrong way by “walking” through a kata. Kata’s must be done with kime (i.e., they MUST be done hard and fast, and with great focus). I’ve not seen Tony Jaa, but what you describe about rhythm is correct. There is a rhythm, and a flow, to fighting.

      Practice does not only include firing a gun, it also includes analysis and refinement of little details, like foot position, balance, natural point of aim, head position, arm position, and dry fire. Also, you don’t always spend an equal amount of time on each position, and the emphasis is not always for score. In a single day of a prone tournament, you’ll shoot over 180 shots, including foulers and sighters. That’s a solid 3 hours. But there is usually at least 2 relays, so you’re at the tournament for at least 6 hours. For 3 position, you shoot 40 shots in each position, at 1.5 minutes each shot. Again, for a single relay, we’re looking at 180 minutes, or 3 hours. Also, you might practice both with iron sights, and any (scope) sights. It just depends on what your goals are for that particular day. In any case, for rifle shooting, stamina is also important. On the other hand, there are times when you practice very little, or not at all. I found that practicing up to the day of a big tournament didn’t work for me. If I had to travel, it was best to relax for a few days (sometimes a week) before the big match. It’s best to set goals for a particular practice session, versus just throwing rounds down range.

      Victor


    • Matt,
      The “history of science” tends to attract either second-rate historians and classicists or second rate physicists and mathematicians, so I take anything from such a source with a grain of salt :). Just my opinion, but I’ve know specimens of each type.

      I hope PeteZ sees your professor’s statement and gives his opinion on it– I’m having a hard time taking it at face value. The nature of light seems very much a viable topic, with the current duality (wave and particle) for example, being accepted only as a workaround of sorts.

      Be careful testing countersteer — there is a switchover speed, and you can get hurt turning the wrong way, once you start trying to do it consciously.


      • I believe the ‘controversy’ started well before WWI, when the .45 ACP cartridge was being considered as a replacement for the .38 after experience in the Philippines. The Parabellum was ruled out early because it didn’t offer enough of an advantage over the .38 the Army was using.


    • Matt61, BGFarmer,

      Matt wrote: ****, the “nature of things” is indeed a misleading term. The sense of it is the essence of something philosophy qua philosophy. It is like a question I asked a physics professor when I was studying relativity. I asked what was light that it could have such strange properties like having an absolute speed limit that apparently forced space to contract and expand as one moved through it at different speeds. The professor just smiled and said, “We physicists don’t indulge questions like that.” Another way to make the distinction is between experiment and untestable speculation although that division is not absolute and is currently being tested by the latest physics.****

      and BGF wrote: ****The “history of science” tends to attract either second-rate historians and classicists or second rate physicists and mathematicians, so I take anything from such a source with a grain of salt . Just my opinion, but I’ve know specimens of each type.

      I hope PeteZ sees your professor’s statement and gives his opinion on it– I’m having a hard time taking it at face value. The nature of light seems very much a viable topic, with the current duality (wave and particle) for example, being accepted only as a workaround of sorts.****

      So here’s an answer. I’m a little handicapped by not having underline or bold or something, but I’ll do my best. Physicists fall into 2 schools, the positivists who say “all I know is what my instruments tell me”, and “all I want to be able to do is predict the outcomes of experiments. Then there are more realists or descriptivists who want to _explain_ nature. Usually those folks try to do it in terms of little models, tinkertoy type, of “mechanical” devices. A fundamental problem is that no physicist can tell you what something as basic as electricity _is_.

      OK, we’ve all done lots of experiments with electricity from shuffling feet on the floor and getting a spark, to wiring up equipment, picking things up with a magnet, turning on a light, etc. And a man named Coulomb experimenting with putting charges on spheres and seeing how strongly the conducting spheres attracted each other as a function of separation distance. *Every single electrical experiment* done before roughly 1880 or 1890 and the results of which have stood the test of time can be correctly predicted by a set of four beautiful equations, Maxwell’s Equations. Maxwell’s equations tell you that time varying electric fields and currents must, absolutely must, send out electromagnetic waves (light in other words). Those same equations contain 2 physically measurable (and by 1890 measured) quantities called mu_zero and epsilon_zero. The speed of these electromagnetic waves *must* be exactly the square root of (1/(mu_zero*epsilon_zero) ).

      Lo and behold, that number is up to teensy experimental errors exactly the measured speed of light.

      Heinrich Hertz did experiments to propagate Maxwellian waves, and found they did exist, and thereby almost invented radio.

      Einstein started his career as a boy by wondering what he would “see” if he could ride on top of a wave of light going through the universe. And in 1905 in his special theory of relativity he told the world. The speed of light is constant as seen in all unaccelerated reference frames, because the structure of Maxwell’s Equations yields a mu and epsilon in all of those frames which multiply out to the same number, 299792458 m/s, no matter what frame you measure in. It isn’t that physicists don’t trouble themselves about the why of the properties of light! It’s that our tools reach a point where we can describe and predict, but not give you a deeper explanation. I can tell you exactly how electric charges and currents behave, but I cannot say what electric charge “is” without going circular and saying that well, charge is what behaves according to Maxwell’s Equations.

      Philosophy of physics is advanced very often by the greatest physicists of all. Einstein, Bohr, Paul Dirac, Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman were among the best physicists of the last century, and among those most deeply concerned with with questions of philosophy. It’s too soon to talk about the best physicists of this century. It’s certainly true that history of physics is written by “second rate physicists.” But that’s “second rate” as opposed to, say, “third rate” or “sixth rate.” Clearly a young hotshot physicist doin’ the Lord’s work of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge isn’t going to take time out to write about how his predecessors paved the path for him! But with age comes a certain loss of creativity which means that the new kids take over the frontier bashing and the older scientists do ask how physics (or other science) got where it is. One of the best histories in biology is James Watkins’ book “The Double Helix.” He didn’t write it while he was at the peak of his form as a biochemist.

      The wave/particle duality is no longer of much interest. We needed to think in that kind of tinkertoy or Meccano Set terms as we were developing modern quantum physics. By around 1950 Dick Feynman and Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga had put the finishing touches on what we call quantum electrodynamics, which is in principle Maxwell’s Equations written to include very high energies and very very small distances. It is not a pretty theory, but in fact it is the best predictor of events within its own realm of validity that we have. It reduces to 19th century classical physics when that’s appropriate as a description. Unfortunately, to make sense out of things, we mostly have to stop talking about waves and particles and just talk about the solutions to abstract equations. This is not very satisfactory to a lot of people, some of whom build great castles in the sky to show why quantum physics is wrong and that their brand of non-quantum physics is superior. Most of those folks make elementary errors early in their work, so it’s actually pretty useless.

      The most interesting experiments I know today are in a field called “entanglement” which basically says that under the right initial circumstances two particles can communicate “instantaneously.” But that would be a topic for a much longer essay that I’m not up to writing tonight.

      My back has been very bad the last few days, so I haven’t pulled a trigger in almost a week.

      BB, Edith, if this went too far off track or got too darn entangled, feel free to delete it.


  12. BB,
    Give me a 45 also. I never thought of 9mm guns as being easy to shoot. I have always been able to shoot 45s easier than 9mm. I think I shoot with kind of a loose wrist, at least from a Weaver stance. The 9mm snaps up much more sharply than a 45. In 9mm I have owned S&W69, Browning High Power, Beretta 92 and a Glock 17. I just never fell in love with any of them. And, I can’t think of a 45 that I didn’t enjoy shooting. My favorite 45s a Colt Lightweight Commanders, the Star PD, and the Glock 30. I sure wish I hadn’t sold my Star PD!. I think I enjoyed shooting it more than any firearm I have ever owned. I sold it because no one made left handed safeties for it.

    David Enoch



      • BB,
        What did you think of the PD? I am just curious. It fit my hand well and the recoil seemed to go straight back into the grip. The grip was a little wider than a Colt. I liked being able to engage the safety with the hammer down.

        David Enoch


  13. B.B.,
    What happened to the Benjamin Katana? It left, came back and left again. With a choked barrel and nicer stock that the Discovery, it has been on my short list.
    -HM




        • Victor,

          The Katana I tested could not hold a candle to either the Marauder or the Discovery. I sent it back to Crosman for repairs, but it went back to Pyramyd Air before I got to retest it. That happened last summer when I was in the hospital.

          B.B.


        • Victor,

          My Katana seems to shoot as well as what I have seen Marauder shooters post online. With the right pellet I can get 5-shot groups around .5 to .6 inch c-t-c at 50 yards using only a front rest.

          What I found silly were the complaints that it did not have a shrouded barrel or that it was not a repeater. Crosman already makes a rifle like that – it’s called the Marauder. The Mrod is adjustable for power and is a repeater but for me that did not matter. I personally don’t care for the Mrod’s wacky stock design and where I shoot noise is not a factor. Some .22 pellets are too long for the Mrod magazine; not a problem for the Katana.

          The correct gun to compare the Katana against is the Discovery. It is not possible to buy a Disco and upgrade the barrel, trigger, and stock for less than the cost of the Katana. I am sad to see it go and I will not be selling mine any time soon.

          Paul in Liberty County


  14. Derrick and Loren

    Just got my AR2078/TF79 bulk-fill adaptor modified out in our machine shop. I added a second o-ring groove in the body that will make a seal behind the bleed hole in the rifle tube.

    BB: Stephen Archer has a Feb 11, 2011 blog on this very subject including S/N identification of the bleed hole dimensional change. Basically, the “old” guns had a bleed hole in the end cap threads about 2.5mm from the end. Newer guns have the same hole at 10mm from the end. If your adaptor o-ring sits in front of that hole (like mine) then the co2 immediately leaks out.


  15. To All: Food for thought and/or reply…

    As I refer back to much earlier blogs (the old blogger format of 2006-7-8 etc) it seems from the posts back then that we had many more casual visitors and youngsters asking questions or posting comments on a pretty regular basis. Of course, there were more “anonymous” postings back then however, some were not always anonymous, including me. Now, we all have blog handles and the software is way better but…including myself, it seems to be roughly the same 12 to 15 guys on here on most days and not nearly as many visitors as before?

    Don’t know if this is a good or bad thing but, I think it is an accurate observation.

    All endeavors peak and valley or change over time.


    • Brian in Idaho,

      The issue/question is, how does someone find this blog? I for one, have find this blog many times by searching for info on a particular air-gun. Maybe this blog needs two parts for each post; A post exactly like what we are use to seeing, and a “Featured Product”, that highlights an available product in a mini post. Maybe this mini-post can simply ask owners what their thoughts are, and any recommendations.

      That might help attract new air-gun enthusiast to this blog while searching for product information.

      Just a thought,
      Victor


    • Brian,

      There are a LOT more people reading this blog than there are comments. I have a list of all the registered blog commenters, and it’s considerably longer than I had believed.

      The number of comments on the blogs aren’t going down in number. The blog page is wider, the font is much smaller and the volume APPEARS to be less. It’s an optical illusion 🙂

      In fact, just a couple days ago, I got the stats for all of Airgun Academy for the previous week, and things are still going strong.

      Edith


      • Edith,
        I’ll back you up on the volume — I almost dropped out because I couldn’t keep up with the posts while figuring out the new format. The comments section looks shorter due to the new format, but there is as much if not more going on most days. I do wonder about Brian’s observation, however. When I started reading, there were almost always a couple if not more questions of the type “What gun should I buy” or “Why is my scope not working”, and I just don’t see those type of questions as much anymore. One thing I wonder is if the e-mail requirement for all posts doesn’t cut down on new posters. I also really wish we could use our blogger ID’s: I’m getting used to the new format somewhat, but the separate sign-in (my blogger ID came on-line when I signed into gmail) can be a little clunky.


        • Yes, visual format is different and… maybe the audience has matured (in airgun smarts that is) I started reading the older blogs because BB posted all hi past Umarex pistol links and it struck me that there were a lot more “newbie” type questions going back a few years. Then again, the adult airgun market was different even (just) 2 and 3 years ago compared to today.

          Edith has the stats on hits and posts and that tells a lot of the story on volume here, which appears to be great.

          Maybe the sign in email rqmt is a bit of a roadblock?


          • Mrs. Gaylord,

            In my experience BG Farmer and Brian in Idaho are onto something.

            The lack of “newbie” inquiries on the new blog format is symptomatic. The root of this illness seems to be that the blog is somewhat invisible to search engines. I’ve googled the new site using key phrases that I know were used in the articles that B.B. wrote and can’t get a hit. In the old blog format I could usually count on the google search to find these articles in the first or second hit. Now I go through 5-6 pages of google results and still don’t find the article.

            kevin


            • Kevin,

              (1) Let’s be informal…no more “Mrs. Gaylord.” I want you to call me Edith 🙂

              (2) The old blog site had years behind it. This is basically a new blog that’s just 9 months old. That’s why it’s not easy to find in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

              (3) I get Google alerts every day, and the blog is listed every day that a new one is posted. Further proof that the search engines are picking us up. We just don’t have enough time behind us to be at the top of the heap right now.

              (4) The stats don’t lie as far as the number of page views & the unique visitors. It’s good!

              Edith


              • Mrs. Gaylord,

                (1) Thank you but no. Strict german upbringing is ingrained. I still won’t enter a home unless both the husband and wife are present.

                (2) The young age of the blog explains a bit.

                (3) Glad you’re tracking google results for the blog since I believe it’s still the most active search engine

                (4) Should have realized you’re tracking the growth of your new child/blog. You should be very proud of what you and Tom have created. Your daily dedication and nurturing of this blog has gained worldwide attention. Congratulations!

                kevin


  16. Hi all, just wish to ask another question. Finally have my Marauder now wish to know what flexible rod your speaking of to clean it with. Also would a .22 bore snake be a good idea?

    again thanx for any and all ideas
    William Dawson



      • Mrs. Gaylord and B.B.,

        A suggestion that should increase PA sales.

        It’s nice to see a company like Pyramyd Air carrying quality accessories like dewey cleaning rods. This is a primary reason that I buy most airgun related stuff from PA. I want them to succeed and continue to expand their offerings since I like a one stop shop (saves on shipping for frugal me).

        Dewey cleaning rods come in various lengths as you know. The 26″ dewey cleaning rod that PA carries for .177-.20 caliber is a good compromise for length. The 36″ length rod that PA carries for .22-.26 caliber cleaning of airguns is too long. With rare exception in airguns you don’t need 36″, don’t want to pay for a 36″ rod and the added length can do harm to an airgun in my limited experience (the long rod flexes and must be initially fed by hand which could harm rifling since you must grip the rod firmly enough that it may not rotate freely and the extra length can gouge high cheek pieces on stocks when the rod must be fed from the business end of the barrel). The 24″ or 30″ dewey rod is a better choice in my opinion. The only option of a 36″ dewey cleaning rod on the PA site may explain the lack of sales/lack of reviews on the PA site??!!

        Last but not least. The description of the dewey rods on the PA site states that these rods are teflon coated. They’re not. They’re nylon coated.

        Hope all is well. Blessings,

        kevin


        • Kevin,

          I’ve removed the teflon text & replaced it with nylon. I’ve asked Tom to confirm your suggestions about not needing a 36″ rod. If he agrees, I’ll pass along your suggestion to the purchasing department.

          Thank you!

          Edith


  17. Off topic. I was humbled last night.
    I consider myself a reasonably good pistol shooter….have placed 1st in the airgun arena postal matches a couple of times with my ‘lowly’ Gamo Compact.
    My boys both started archery this fall. Olympic style with recurve bows. Last week my 10 year old, who is doing quite well got up-bowed…from a youth model to a KAP Trex. For those who know bows, a pretty good starter bow…a Chinese copy of a Korean copy of…who knows what. (though a Chinese copy of a copy I could have bought a nice air rifle for the cost….the things we do for our kids).
    Anyhoo, my experience to date has been at his classes watching a bunch of beginners miss the targets more than not.
    Last night however we went out to sight in the bow on an open night at the archery range.
    For close to an hour I watched a young fellow (I’d say 17 or 18) place arrow after arrow in the exact centre of a 4″ bull at 25 yards using a recurve.
    Left a little less impressed with my shooting.


    • Well matched arrows, and a good locked in stance with repeatable anchor point and release…

      Nothing like the schlock equipment my college had. One girl kept claiming the weakest bow they had — then drawing it to somewhere behind her ear — and the release looked very much like she was trying to throw the arrow… On a good day it hit the target — from 5-10 yards away.

      I was using a cheap compound bow sold by Sears (employee discount ) made by a division of Outers. Only 45lb pull. It was too much for one of the college’s arrows — a limp noodle. I was on target #5 and, yes, I did hit the target with the arrow — but I’d watched it flex so much it flew three targets to the left before bouncing back to the right! Stuffed that one back in the box after that shot.


  18. Hello all!

    It’s been a while since I visited here, and a lot has happened since the lat time I popped in. I bought a bench top metal lathe last fall and have been learning how to operate it. I have finally “gotten the hang of” single point threading external threads. And I think I’m at the stage where I want to tackle a more complex project like an internal regulator for a Discovery or Marauder.

    So my question is, do any of you know where I can find some dimensions or blueprints for an internal regulator?

    Also, I’d welcome any other ideas for lathe projects (other than suppressors) that I could build to upgrade my Discovery, Marauder, or 1377c. I don’t have a mill, only a drill press, so I wouldn’t be able to make a breech block, for instance, but I could make round things like a fancy brass bolt handle for the Marauder, or a de-pinger sleeve, for example.

    Thanks in advance!


  19. thanks for all the great knowledge helps bunches. Got scope mounted and went to shoot and already had broke mag spring but fixed it best i could as i bought it awhile back it`s how I`ve gotten this far little here little there till biggest for last. heck bought hand pump over year ago no warranty on it and hadn’t even used yet till tonight, and it worked great.

    again thanks


  20. I’ve just reread the test of the Beretta 92F’S,I had 2 and returned 2 from PR,for these reasons:I determined blow by between slide and breech on both guns.A small piece of paper placed across this area, the tissue would be blown away.I have most of the Umarex hand guns and NO Leaks in these areas.After I returned the 2nd 92F’S for refund I responded with my thoughts that Umarex might want to look at this!AR’s responce was insulting and refused to publish my reserved comments!!In the past years I’ve purchased many fine air rifles and pellet handgun from them!I didn’t have any axe to grind! Sincerely Frank C. Wilson


    • Frank,

      Please contact me (edith@pyramydair.com) so I can locate your reviews and see why they were declined. Do you know approximately when you submitted them? It would help if you had that info.

      Thanks,
      Edith


  21. I have the beretta 92 FS .177 cal and love it, but the exhaust seal is broken. Attempt to repair failed by one dealer in Alabama. Does anyone know someone I might try again to have it repaired?


    • Mark,

      give Pyramydair a call. Many times they will service what they sell or can advise you where to send the pistol for repairs. Their number is on their website (800 262 4867) or you can e-mail them. They really are a top notch company.

      Fred PRoNJ


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