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CO2 Umarex MORPH 3X CO2 BB pistol and rifle: Part 2

Umarex MORPH 3X CO2 BB pistol and rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Umarex MORPH 3X rifle
The Umarex MORPH 3X is many airguns in one!

Today, I’ll finish the introduction to the Umarex MORPH 3X pistol and rifle. We started looking at this strange BB gun two days ago, and there simply was not time enough to adequately cover all of its aspects, so this is a continuation of that first look at the gun.

The barrel “extension”?
The thing that confused me about the MORPH, and I think it confuses a lot of people, is the extra barrel that’s used when the gun is configured in its Buntline pistol and carbine modes. Is this a replacement barrel that you exchange with the pistol barrel or is this a barrel extension that somehow adds length to the pistol barrel? Nowhere in the description of the gun nor in the owner’s manual will you find the answer. So, I’ll tell you today.

The extra barrel is actually an extension to the pistol barrel. The pistol barrel stays in place, and this long extension screws into the pistol’s muzzle to join with the pistol barrel almost seamlessly. Since we’re talking about a smoothbore barrel, there is no rifling to be concerned with. The extension barrel must line up with the stationary barrel so the BB is not interrupted as it travels forward; and as long as that happens, the extra length of the extension should offer increased velocity. Of course, there will be some loss of gas pressure at the joint where the two barrels meet; but the designers put an o-ring at the end of the threads on the extension, so they must feel it is required. I’ll test the gun with both barrel lengths and on both power levels (remember, we learned yesterday this gun has two power levels), so we’re going to find out.

Umarex MORPF 3X Rifle barrel extension with pistol
The barrel extension is shown above the pistol. It screws into the pistol without removing the pistol barrel.

The extension simply screws into the muzzle of the pistol. Once it’s tight, you’re done — though you’re supposed to put a sleeve around the barrel extension to complete the look of the gun. Do that and you’ve built the Buntline pistol. The gun now has the longest barrel it can have, so the velocity does not increase when the buttstock is added to turn the gun into a carbine.

Umarex MORPH 3X Rifle barrel extension thread detail
The presence of the o-ring tells us that the designers expect to seal the barrels to a certain extent.

So, it’s the pistol, alone, or the pistol with the barrel extension. Those are the two barrel-length options of the MORPH 3X. But there are two different configurations that both use the barrel extension. The first is the Buntline pistol. To make it, first remove the pistol’s front sight by sliding it forward. The sleeve you attach next has a front sight of its own.

Attaching the sleeve takes a bit of fiddling on the first try until you realize how the plastic sides of the sleeve must give a little to allow the two parts to fit together. No excessive force is required, but you do have to pay attention that the pistol enters the sleeve low enough for the keyway on the sleeve to align with the sight rail on the bottom of the pistol frame. Once you see how it goes together, all subsequent assemblies will go faster.

Once the sleeve is in place, the barrel extension is screwed in place, and the conversion is done. It takes less than a minute to do everything once you’re familiar with how it goes together. The Buntline pistol weighs very little, being made of plastic and mostly hollow. You can easily hold the pistol in one hand to fire.

Umarex MORPH 3X Rifle in Buntline configuration

The Buntline version of the MORPH is just a pistol with a long barrel.

I want you to know that I’m calling this long-barreled configuration of the MORPH 3X a Buntline pistol only because I can think of no other name for it. Umarex does not refer to it by that title. But long-barreled handguns are more popular today than they’ve ever been. I’ve been reading what customers say about this gun, and a couple things jump out — with accuracy being one of them. While a longer barrel does nothing to increase accuracy, it does cause the front and rear sights to have a greater separation, and that does have a positive effect. So, I guess I need to test the MORPH 3X in both the pistol and long-barreled modes to determine how much accuracy is affected.

Creating the carbine from the Buntline is even easier than creating the Buntline. All you do is pull the backstrap off the pistol grip and replace it with the carbine backstrap. I’ll mention again that removing the backstrap is difficult, but since you have to do it to swap CO2 cartridges anyway, you’d better get used to it.

Umarex MORPH 3X Rifle in carbine configuration

In the carbine configuration, the MORPH 3X is light and handy. But the rear sight fails by being too close to the eye.

As light as the MORPH is, the carbine butt is strong enough to do the job. Let’s be honest, there’s no bayonet attachment point on the gun and you’re extremely unlikely to give anyone a vertical butt stroke with it. Or if you do, you’d better be a great runner or have a firearm in your pocket!

The butt turns the MORPH into a fine little carbine…but for one item. The rear dot sights are now too close to your eye for aiming, and you must use an optional optical sight or just guess where your shots are going. I think owners are going to attach dot sights and that’s what I plan to do with the test gun.

Velocity testing will be next; and as you can tell, it’ll be somewhat involved.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

18 thoughts on “Umarex MORPH 3X CO2 BB pistol and rifle: Part 2”

  1. B.B., you bring back memories when you write about bayonets and butt strokes whether to the head or other parts of the enemies body. My experience with the pugil stick was brief but memorable.

    I can’t find how long the barrel is at its longest. As a long handgun, I assume it will stand beside the PT-85 Blowback Tactical pistol. Recently, I have seen a stainless steel .44 black power revolver with a 12 inch barrel. I will assume it is for velocity and accuracy rather than a quick draw.

    I made a boo boo tonight. I short 16 rounds of neue spitz pellets through the PT-85. They have some oxidation but seemed ok. After shooting them I decided (for reasons I am not sure of) to run an unnamed branded bore brush. The first time I pulled back the threads stripped and the brush remained in the breech. I could see it easily when I pulled the slide back. I tried a few shots attempting to shoot it out. NO GO! I had to hold the slide open to move the brush forward enough to insert the magazine. Thankfully it only took on CPHP to shoot the brush out of the magazine. The barrel seems okay, but I don’t want to go through that again.

    About the pistols. I am mentally grasping how to get a good hold on the handguns. This seems to be something of a break through. I have found that placing my index finger straight along the frame of the handgun helps to get the grip properly into the web. It seems to be similar to the quick shot method, although I am using my index finger to pull the trigger (rather than my middle finger; as I believe I would using the quick shot method).

    I saw the MORPH 3X a couple of days ago, that and an air soft sniper rifle that seemed huge at a glance. It looks like someone can rig a bayonet on to the long barrel (but it is probably too soft for that, as well as a bit goofy).

    It is after midnight CST and we return to work on campus today. I will dream about a wall of handguns tonight, all kinds and calibers.

    I saw some tins of Crosman lead free .177 hollow points. I considered buying them for grins to shoot from the handguns. However, at more than twice the price of lead hollow points in the same caliber I just couldn’t consider it justified.
    Speaking of which, I will have to go back to see who asked about the Crosman Destroyer EX pellets. In spite of what I read, I had no problems with them in either handgun, nor was I able to see any difference between them and the ones from the tin marked Destroyer (with no EX).

    I think I have rambled enough. Once more with gusto, “Happy New Year”. ~Ken

  2. I have this gun, and the green o ring got chewed up by some roughness on the metal inside where it seals, so I did a little sanding to smooth the surface of the metal. I didn’t have a proper size o ring, but I found one that was close, so I installed it and screwed the barrel extension back on the pistol and it sealed fine. Before I put the new o ring on I installed the barrel extension without it and chronied it, then I installed the o ring and rechronied it. there was very little difference in velocity. So you could probably get by without the o ring, but I left it in anyway. The screw to adjust velocity on mine turned two full turns. I’m running the stock sights for now, but I’ll probably put a dot sight on it latter. I like the gun a lot, and I’m looking forward to shooting it in warmer weather. It is accurate as well.

      • Hi B.B. Pelletier,

        the o-ring isn´t there for sealing anything, it is just there for giving a certain “screw-down” feeling and sort of prevention of over tightening the barrel. A sealing would only make sense at the joint of the real barrel and the extension, if gas gets past it, it is already wasted for accelerating the bb.

        By the way, i am really excited about your further results of testing. I have owned the pistol-only version of the morph some months ago (as sold here in Germany) and consider buying the complete kit now. Already the pistol i had with its really short barrel was pretty powerful. Also the added power of the extension not only seems to come from the added barrel length but also from the fact, that the extension barrel is spring loaded. The short barrel (pistol-only) moves forward to load the bb, then rushes back, to knock open the valve…. with the extension, there is even more spring load to drive back the barrel(s), so higher and longer valve opening is to be expected. Interesting physics in these Co2´s 😉

        The barrel extension is only housing a pretty short “real-barrel” extension. It could be cut of by nearly half without any problem… at least in the German version of this gun, is it also this way in the US-version? Sometimes her in Germany are special versions here to comply with our 5 ft/lbs law.

        best regards,


        • Markus,

          Thank you for that information! It certainly makes more sense than what I said. And your comment about how the barrel extension adds power to the striker (which is the pistol barrel) is very interesting!

          As for whether our two guns are the same, I can’t say, but the barrel extension cover is certainly useless — except for looks and for extending the scope rail.

          And welcome to the blog, although I believe you have been here before, right?


  3. B.B. , I too am interested in the Morph. It reminds me so much of a Beretta Neos Carbine. I have to wonder if the Neos Carbine also suffers from the rear sight being too close the eye to use? I perfer open sights. I have a Crosman (2260) rifle that has a rear sight that can be a notch or “peep”. However the notch is useless because it is so close to the eye. Even the “peep” isn’t much better. Thank You for all your reveiws and great reads. Bradly

  4. Looks like that Paul Capello fellow is no longer the host of American Airgunner TV show? His face is still on the PA site as the host of American Airgunner. Is this info too good to be true?


  5. This review and test on the Morph is really making you have to work, since it is shootable in the three forms. Of course the chrony tests will be the same for the carbine and the “buntline”. But the accuracy tests may be different between the buntline and the rifle due to handling differences? I am really interested in the velocities and accuracy tests.And, will the barrel switch require resighting in this airgun? Sounds like work, but also lots of fun.
    Keep up the fine work you do. I am really enjoying my air guns since getting to a range is a major chore anymore, and I have an acre now. Your work really adds a lot to my enjoyment and understanding of air guns.

    Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

    • Jon,

      Oh, no! You want me to test both the Buntline AND the carbine for accuracy? How about I just test the carbine, since it will be the easiest to shoot? And of course I will test the pistol separately. Since I have to test both guns at low and high power I thought that would be pretty thorough.

      Remember, this gun is a BB gun and we’re going top see some fairly open groups — no matter how accurate it is.


  6. Makes sense to me B.B. And I forgot to mention the low power/high power switch! And that leads to how many good shots on low power and high power. Lot of angles testing this BB gun!

  7. is it safe to shoot in carbine style without the sleeve on? I thought the sleeve was support for the barrel but I dislike the sleeve because it covers the rail mount at the bottom.

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