by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Umarex Legends Blowback P.08.
This report covers:
• The test
• Daisy Premium Grade steel BBs
• Crosman Copperhead steel BBs
• Avanti Precision Ground Shot
• What happened?
• Umarex Precision steel BBs
Thanks for being so patient with me on this report. I actually planned to run it yesterday, but that “Why” report just had to come first.
I was taken to school on the Legends blowback CO2 BB pistol — both by this report and also by several of you readers. As a result, I studied the P08/Luger design since the last time I reported; and I now know at least 1 percent of what there is to know about the pistol. Seriously, I always knew the P08 was a complex handgun, but I had no idea how complex before studying up for this report!
For starters, after having owned 3 P08s and shooting hundreds of shots in them, I was surprised to learn that one objection to the pistol back at the beginning of the 20th century was the fact that the toggle link obscures the shooter’s line of sight, however briefly. I’ve never seen that! I’ve seen the toggle rise when other people were shooting the pistol next to me, but never once have I seen that link in my own sight picture! Well, today’s accuracy day, and I can tell you for sure that I have seen the link now! More on that in a bit — let’s get to the test.
Blog reader Mike pleaded with me to try the P.08 with Avanti Precision Ground Shot, Daisy Premium-Grade BBs and also Crosman Copperhead BBs. I agreed and also added Umarex Precision Steel BBs since Umarex is the distributor of the pistol. Boy, am I glad I tried all of these, because you won’t believe the results!
I shot the pistol from 5 meters using a rested 2-hand hold. I’m using a monopod Leapers provided that isn’t quite ready for production but will be soon. I hope to use it for field target and also for some big-game hunting I’m planning to do. I’ll keep you advised; but as there’s nothing on the market yet, I don’t want to show it before it’s finalized.
Daisy Premium Grade BBs
I installed a fresh CO2 cartridge and loaded the magazine with 10 Daisy Premium Grade BBs for the first test. I’d forgotten how light the trigger is’ but since I was holding the pistol rested, the sights never wavered. I used a 6 o’clock hold on the 10-meter rifle bull. Ten BBs landed in a 1.238-inch group that’s centered just below the bull and to the right. Eight of those BBs went into just 0.55 inches, which is outright astounding!
This was when I first noticed the toggle link in my line of sight. I think the action on this pistol is slow enough for me to see this, while the firearm operates so fast that I never do. Also, I have to say this pistol recoils more than almost any BB pistol with blowback that I can remember. That toggle rising up is what does it, I think.
Crosman Copperhead BBs
Next up were Crosman Copperhead BBs. These BBs opened up to a group size of 1.833 inches. The hold for them was just as good, and there were no pulled shots called.
Ten Crosman Copperhead BBs landed 1.833 inches at 5 meters. There’s no real tendency for shot placement within this group, except that 5 of the BBs did land at roughly the same point of impact as the Daisys. Those 5 are in 0.431 inches.
Avanti Precision Ground Shot
This is where the test took a strange turn. I expected Avanti Precision Ground Shot would take the day, but that’s not what happened. In fact, just the opposite. It turned in the worst group by a wide margin! Ten BBs made a group that measures 3.536 inches between centers. Not only did some of the BBs miss the target paper, one almost missed the cardboard backer!
I think the Avanti shot are a little too large for this barrel. Some are sliding out normally, while others may be sticking just slightly. That’s the only explanation I can come up with that made this superior shot perform so poorly.
Umarex Precision Steel BBs
The last BBs I tried were Umarex Precision Steel BBs. Ten of them landed in 1.126 inches. That is the best 10-shot group of the session, but there’s also something else to note. While the BBs are strung out very vertically, look at how tight they are horizontally! And also note that they struck the target on the line of aim. Yes, they’re up and down, but all are in line with the center of the target — and I was holding the sights at 6 o’clock.
I think the verticality of the groups was caused by my aiming error. The P.08 has what the Germans call a Perlkorn front sight blade. We would call it a pointed blade. It’s a pyramidal blade that tapers at the top. It’s difficult to align that point with the top of the rear notch. You’ve seen me shoot other handguns better than this when their sights were more precise. But these sights are true to the P.08 design, and they belong on the gun.
I think this BB pistol is a lot more realistic and fun than just about any BB pistol I’ve tested in the past year. Maybe it’s on par with the Dan Wesson BB revolver. If you’re fascinated by the Luger design — get one. If you like nice triggers on air pistols — get one. If you like BB pistols that are accurate — get one.
In fact, get several. But don’t think you’ll get this one. It’s staying with me!