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Education / Training Mayhem .45 Sport Tactical air pistol: Part 1

Mayhem .45 Sport Tactical air pistol: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

The Mayhem .45 Sport Tactical air pistol is a big, heavy airgun.

If you liked the Dan Wesson revolver we looked at a couple weeks ago, here’s another realistic airgun for you — the Mayhem .45 Sport Tactical air pistol. This one is a semiautomatic pistol style, and the owner’s manual says that it fires semiautomatically. Without a 12-gram CO2 cartridge installed, all I could feel was a double-action-only trigger-pull, because every pull of the trigger was obviously also cocking the internal striker. So I installed a cartridge to see if it really is semiautomatic once charged.

Not a semiautomatic
Indeed, this is not a semiautomatic! When you pull or squeeze the trigger, you’re also retracting the internal striker against a powerful spring. A true semiautomatic would cock this striker spring for you by the action of firing. In a firearm, the moving slide would push the external hammer back until the sear caught it and then all you would have to do is squeeze the trigger a little each time to release the sear. That is the definition of semiautomatic. The exposed hammer you see on the gun is a solid cast piece that doesn’t move, so the real striker (the correct name given to a weight that is internal and doesn’t pivot on an axis, but moves straight back and forth to impact the end of the valve stem) is inside the frame of the gun and hidden from view.

Some people insist that double-action-only applies to just revolvers, but that is incorrect. Glock sells only firearm pistols, but they label their triggers correctly as double-action-only. The Mayhem trigger is also DAO.

General impression
The Mayhem is very large and heavy. The grip feels wide — like the grip on a double-stack firearm pistol in which the cartridges in the magazine are offset to accommodate twice as many in the same magazine height.

The entire exterior of the pistol is metal except for the grip. That’s where the weight of 2.29 lbs. comes from.

The sights are the fiberoptic type that I usually criticize for their lack of precision, but this is a BB pistol and probably capable of shooting to the same precision as the sights can control. So, in this case, the sights match the capability of the gun very well. There are no adjustments for these sights. The front is a red tube that is largely unprotected from impact and the rear is a curved green tube that appears as two green dots.

The entire top of the pistol is a stylized Weaver rail that Pyramyd AIR calls an optics rail. Under the muzzle, there’s also a short Picatinny rail for accessories like tactical flashlights. Weaver bases will attach to Picatinny rails, but not vice-versa.

Looking down on the top of the pistol, we see the stylistic “Weaver” sight rail that extends the length of the gun. It should accommodate standard Weaver bases, but it has non-typical scalloped notches instead of the usual square Weaver notches.

Underneath the slide at muzzle, there’s a short Picatinny rail for tactical flashlights and lasers.

The whole plastic grip panel pulls back to expose the CO2 cartridge housing. Loading is quick and easy and the screw that tensions the CO2 cartridge does not show when the grip is forward.

The grip pulls back to expose the CO2 receptacle. The BB magazine is a metal stick-style.

The 19-shot BB magazine is a stick-type located in the front of the grip. It’s made of metal and better-made than 90 percent of the stick magazines I see in similar airguns. The spring-loaded follower pulls down and locks at the bottom so you can load the magazine with one hand. There’s a wide opening for loading the BBs. When you’re finished, push the base of the follower that protrudes through the bottom of the magazine, and it’ll unlock and spring forward to tension the BBs.

The slide doesn’t move on this gun, nor is there any blowback sensation. The trigger stacks toward the end of the pull, allowing you to control the gun for more precision. It isn’t as easy to control as a gun with a single-stage trigger, but you can learn to control this kind of trigger pretty quickly. I imagine a gun like this will be chiefly used for plinking at soda cans and targets of equal size, though I do plan to test it on bullseye targets.

The power is rated at 430 f.p.s. Since this is a steel BB gun, there can be no confusion about what that means. Only steel BBs will be used in the gun, so any that I try should go approximately that fast.

Airsoft heritage
This is another air pistol that made the transition from airsoft. You can see that in several places, starting with the threaded muzzle that’s obviously meant for a silencer. A second clue are multiple references made in the owner’s manual, where the instructions refer to this as a “soft air” pistol.

There’s nothing wrong with transitioning from an airsoft gun, We saw that in the Dan Wesson revolver and liked it very much. But this pistol must stand on its own merit, so it’s going to be treated the same as all other BB pistols. As nice as it feels, I hope it does well!

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.

47 thoughts on “Mayhem .45 Sport Tactical air pistol: Part 1”

  1. I am more troubled by referring to a Glock as DAO ;).

    I think it’s interesting that airsoft crossovers are so uncommon. Speaking of airsoft, do you know of any instances of hop-up being tried for a non-airsoft bb gun?

    • Darth,
      I have been thinking the same thing about increasing the velocity on these “semi-auto” double action CO2 pistols. I have a Crosman T4 and from what I can tell, the power limitation is controlled by: (1) mechanical limitation of the valve stem travel, (2) barrel length, and (3) general leakiness of the design. On the T4, it looks like the thickness of the round wire hammer transfer bar (it shifts into position between the hammer and valve stem and transfers the hammer blow) could be altered to open the valve a few more thousandths. BB has mentioned this transfer bar, which also acts like a safety on the S&W MP R8 pistol. I am looking at the MP right now (it is still intact) and the T4 (it is in pieces) and the function of the transfer bar looks similar, although the T4 is more robust. I might have to give it a try.

      I am curious about Darth’s hop-up question, too.

      Thanks, Lloyd

      • A guy has been trying to mod and/or make a new valve for the Tanfoglio Witness without any success, since it was made for airsoft and now throws steel BB’s close to 400 fps it seems to be pretty close to the limit as it is.
        Maybe you’ll have more luck with the T4…


    • BB,
      Thanks for the differentiation between double action and true semi-auto.
      I am curious if there are any real semi-auto revolvers in either CO2 or powder, or anything else. Seems like there must be.

      • Lloyd,

        Not to confuse you, but I was referring to airguns — not firearms.

        A semiautomatic firearm loads the next cartridge into the chamber with every shot. Semiautomatic firearms can have DAO triggers and still be semiautomatics.

        BB pistols don’t normally load BBs into the barrel. They blow them in at the instant of firing. Nothing semiautomatic about that. So they are really DAO guns.

        In the case of Umarex, they have cylindrical clips and thus they are revolvers. In the case of this gun they are just DAO guns, period. Not semiautomatic and not revolvers.


        • Vince,
          Thanks for that link, that’s what I was looking for. I guess compared to the usual semi-auto magazine, the revolver has a disadvantage in that you still have to unload the brass, if you have brass, that is. The indexing grooves remind me of the old push type “Yankee” screwdrivers that would take a real bite out of the palm of your hand in an instant. I see there is also the Italian Mateba linked on that page, but it doesn’t have the external indexing mechanism. Very nice looking gun, with it shooting through the bottom cavity of the cylinder. I have been fiddling with a compact pcp pistol and was headed in that direction. Shows that there aren’t too many new ideas left, LOL. I have a long way to go (hope the link works).

              • It seems to have a pretty good kick!
                Give us some more info on this thing (if you can) what caliber is this? How many fps are you getting with a pellet in it?

                If they can make an airgun out of a airsoft using CO2 do you think they could do the same thing with HPA replacing green gas?


                • J-F,

                  I’m guessing that the airsoft mfrs are testing the waters right now. With the success of the Dan Wesson revolver, they’ve got to be feeling really good about making pellet & BB guns out of airsoft guns! When Tom reports back from the 2012 SHOT Show in January, I’m hoping he’ll see lots of airsoft mfrs with pellet and BB guns…and not just handguns. They should be able to come up with long guns, too.


                  • Edith,
                    I am puzzled by the fact that paint ball manufacturers didn’t get into airguns a long time ago. They had the manufacturing technology, brainpower, marketing base, plus I could imagine a lot of the young paint ball enthusiasts moving on to air guns as they got older and were looking for a familiar marquee.
                    Do you know if many of the airsoft manufacturers are descendants of some of the stronger paint ball companies?

                    • Lloyd,

                      Paintball mfrs want to stay as far away from guns as possible. They have “markers.” By making airguns, they’d be entering a different arena that might compromise what they feel is their safe zone.

                      When the state of California wanted to make airsoft guns illegal except for the those painted bright colors, the paintball organizations sided with the gov’t, threw airsoft under the bus, and basically stated that airsoft was tainting paintball and should be wiped off the map. So, you can imagine what the paintball organizations must think of pellet guns & BB guns! I’m guessing they’re providing some feedback to mfrs to stay away from pellet and BB guns.



                  • Edith don’t forget the SIG Sauer P226, GSG 92 and Tanfoglio Witness 1911.
                    These and the Walther PPK are on my favorites list!
                    With the blow back action, full metal construction, field stripping like the real thing these are second to none.
                    Those pistols aren’t the most accurate but I don’t think that’s the point of these but they’re the most fun to shoot (maybe because I can’t shoot the real things).
                    I would buy a Glock or a Luger and how about this magnificent piece: /product/hfc-hg-196-full-metal-gas-airsoft-pistol?m=857
                    a nicer Colt Defender than the one currently available would also be bought by me.


                    • Lloyd,

                      I had a rather heated discussion on a paintball site with one of these people. Paintballers focus on the guns, not on the fact that both airsoft and paintball shoot at people for sport. Paintballers continue to use markers and try to distinguish themselves as responsible based on the fact that they do no use firearm clones…thereby not posing a threat.

                      In fact, they have gone out of their way to paint airsoft shooters as bad guys and that they deserve whatever is coming to them.

                      Another big sore point is that airsoft has grown tremendously, which has probably seriously reduced the ranks of paintballing.


    • Darth,

      How can you be troubled by my calling a Glock a DAO? That is what they are.

      Glock uses the term safety trigger system, and there are other things that happen with the Glock that don’t occur with other DAO triggers, but the last pull of the trigger retracts the striker against the striker spring and releases it. That is a DAO in anyone’s book.


    • Darth,

      No, I’m not aware of any BB guns that use Hop Up technology. It would be difficult, because the Hop Up is a rubber band or pad that slows the plastic ball, and a steel BB would tend to cut through that material pretty quickly.


  2. The Beretta PX4 Storm CO2 gun is a true semi automatic, with the hammer being cocked upon each firing, and the slide “blow back” simulates a real firearm (vibration, movement, etc). I have used it a couple of times to train new shooters before visiting the range.

  3. This was sent to the wrong address by Steve, so I have posted it here for him:

    Hello Tom,

    Several months back you wrote about using 566 BKL riser blocks for mounting a BSA scope on a Beeman P1.
    Couldn’t one just use UTG Leapers accushot 1″ high rings instead and bypass the riser and ring combo?



    • Steve,

      No. The Beeman P1 recoils too much for plain based scope mounts. The BKL bases are the only kind that will clamp on tightly enough to prevent movement.

      The rings I used in the report you cite have Weaver bases. That means they have a cross-key that locks into the cross slot at the top of the BKL riser bases.

      You can use any scope rings that have a Weaver base, but only the BKL mounts have the clamping pressure to hold on when the P1 recoils.


  4. Testing, testing, testing!

    We’re having some sort of issue with the comments not showing up & all going to spam. We’re trying some things until a piece of automatically updated/messed up software is fixed.


  5. BB,

    Good bit of buzz on Target Talk this morning about an improved trigger for the Izzy:


    **”Air Venturi has just announced their fully articulated trigger for the IZH-46M.

    The new assembly allows the finger rest to be adjusted laterally, in the same manner as used on the very high dollar competition air pistols (Pardini, Morini, Steyr).

    The lateral adjustment makes shooting more comfortable and the control of the trigger much easier. I assure you, this is an option well worth adding to your Izzy. It will put trigger operation on a par with my Pardini.

    Pyramyd will be selling these starting the next couple of days. You can see it at /product/air-venturi-izh-46m-upgraded-air-pistol-trigger-assembly?a=4101 “**


    about to go on sale at PA. Would it be possible for you to take a look at it and comment as to whether it’s worth the money to improve the fitting of the IZH-46M trigger?

    Doesn’t need a full report; just a couple of paragraphs.



      • Thanks, Edith.

        It’s sometimes awfully hard to sort through the large variety of pellets PA sells, and I agree with Chuck that a sort by wadcutter/domed/point/expanding/etc. would be enormously helpful. Brand and price, one after the other, leaves you with quite a mixture.


        • Pete,

          When I sent the idea to Pyramyd AIR, several people quickly went to the website because they thought for sure that we already had such a filter available. All of us are surprised 🙂

          I’d look for this to happen pretty soon!


  6. Hi Edith,

    For some reason I’ve only got three comments showing posted to this topic. They are from DerekB, Darth Cossack and g. auston.

    It is the same using AOL and google chrome, but comments are showing up in my e-mail, but for the most part only in my spam account.

    I don’t have a clue as to what that means, but thought you’d like to know about it just in case it’s a problem from your end.


  7. Hi, folks. The conversation about open sights the other day inspired me to spruce up my open-sights inventory. I tend to lean towards PCP rifles, but I’m only just realizing how few PCPs out there seem to support open sights! I suppose shrouds and opens just don’t mix.

    I’d love to hear what folks here prefer for an open-sighted PCP rifle. Ideally, it’d be lightweight: I think my eight-year-old is getting big enough to try some offhand shooting with the right lightweight rifle.

    I suppose I might have a good candidate right under my nose in my Discovery. Alas, I’ve never been very happy with the accuracy of my particular .22 Disco. And maybe its fiber-optic sights aren’t the best to learn with. I guess I could always work on accurizing the Disco, and try blacking out the sights.

    Aside from that, what else is there? S200? Challenger?

    PS, I’m not religious about the PCP thing. I already know that I eventually must pick up a classic 10m springer. But I reckon a PCP might be the best bet for something my boy can cock and load unassisted, compared to a springer or SSP. You know – to give him the illusion and satisfaction of self-sufficiency, even if the reality is ultra-tight supervision. Sorry to be long-winded.


    • My experience with fiber optic sights is that for most application they are terrible. They tend to be thick and they “glow” as they are supposed to. Both of these features make it hard to be precise since you can’t really tell where you are holding due to the width and glow. That’s why traditionally you want to have your iron sights to be fine and dead flat black for precision. I use a preparation called Sight Black that can be sprayed on them to eliminate the shine. It is easy to remove later with a little gun cleaner. In the old days, a carbide light was used to deposit it’s soot on the sights for the same effect. The sight black works great on my open sighted Diana 52. An exception to all this would be in low light situations while firing at close range targets.


    • GenghisJan,
      One option for a 8 year old is a TAU 200. They are very light and short (with out the spacers installed) so small people can handle them unsupported. They operate on CO2 (that may be a dead breaker for you) and set up at 500 fps give or take (fast enough to cut clean holes in target paper) with a 8.2 gr. pellet, you get 50 to 60 good shots. The trigger is comparable with a high end 10 meter rig and the accuracy (with the right pellet) is outstanding. Just my 2 cents.

    • Thanks, fellas! Such great suggestions.

      I will get me some Sight Black for the Disco right away.

      Totally agree that the Disco is worth keeping, and worth sprucing up. I am ham-fisted and not so handy, but I suppose I can always send it to one of the experts after I ruin it (maybe even before!). That guy Robert on the Yellow is one of the posters who’s always worth reading. Reminds me of our own Robert From Arcade: always posting incredibly useful information, always based on deep first-hand experience. I always wondered whether these could be the same Robert until our Robert recently confirmed they weren’t.

      CO2 isn’t a deal-breaker for me at all. I’ve even got a basic CO2 bulk-fill setup for the Disco. The TAU rifles weren’t even on my radar screen. Thanks!

      Agree on the Marauder. I’ve got a .177 turned down to 11.5 fpe. I absolutely love that thing. So danged accurate. It’s sort of the “anti-Disco” in my tiny collection: big, heavy, and always scoped (with an oversized FT scope that seals the “big/heavy” deal). The 11.5 fpe thing is primarily for WFTF regs, but it also happens to be great for plinking: 90+ plinking-grade shots per fill to 2500!


  8. B.B. – in your series on open sights, may I make a request? I grew up with open notch and post sights, typical open sights. Recently, I seem to be flooded with ring and peep sights. My Mini-14 has “Combat Ghost Rings”, the new Crosman M417 has peeps and even my new Crosman 2289 Backpacker has a peep as an option (which it was set to when I got it). I’m really not overly familiar with these, my shooting has been reasonable with them, but I don’t know what the sight picture should be looking like. The Crosman M417 allows for the rear peep to be positioned forward or back quite a bit, each changing the sight picture and how much can be seen. What is the intended setup? Anyway, these seem great, but I’m not very familiar with them. Can you go over them for me/us, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

  9. This is just my opinion but I’m sure paint ball manufacturers are worried about airsoft for the very reason that airsoft is a better solution to force-on-force training than paintball. With the advent of airsoft, force-on-force training has become more practical than paint ball. Paint ball, while similar to airsoft, is too messy and the guns aren’t very realistic with that big hopper on them. Sure it’s easier to mark a kill with a paint ball splat but that’s not the objective of force-on-force. You’re not looking to score points against an opponent nor is he trying to score points against you, you’re looking to survive. And I think you’ll know if you have survived in an airsoft training exercise.

    Force-on-force is the next step up from silhouette training. Force-on-force is practicing against a target that is shooting back. This is not something you want to do with live rounds, obviously, but it’s more practical with airsoft. It’s one thing to shoot at a target that doesn’t shoot back but another to interact with a target that shoots back. The body chemicals have more of a effect on judgement and dexterity when ones target is shooting back.

    There are laser devices that can be used in unloaded firearms for f-o-f training but the effect just isn’t the same. I think one would have more fear and therefore more realistic coordination affecting anxiety by the fear of being hit with an airsoft “bb” rather than a laser dot.

    The only solution paint ball could come up with would be disappearing ink but I think even that would be too messy over time and would still leave stains on clothing.

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