Morini 162MI 10-meter match pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Morini 162MI pistol

Morini 162MI 10-meter target pistol.

This report covers:

  • What you get
  • Dry-fire
  • Grips
  • Sights
  • Air handling
  • Weight
  • Test

Yes, today I am starting a test of the Swiss-made Morini 162MI 10-meter match pistol. Pyramyd Air gave me my choice of either the model with the mechanical trigger or the one with the electronic trigger. I tested the Morini with the electronic trigger for The Airgun Letter many years ago and found it to be no different than any good mechanical trigger. It’s just as light, just as crisp and no better, as far as I could detect. And that was when I was competing, so my trigger finger was a lot more sensitive than it is today. The mechanical trigger has no need for a battery, so I went that way this time.

What you get

What do you get for your $1,700 investment? The pistol comes packed inside a hard case with two 200-bar air cylinders — each with a manometer built into the end. There is also a brass 200-bar fill adaptor, a degassing tool for emptying the cylinders, a set of tools to make adjustments, a screwdriver and an owner’s manual with test target. The target with this pistol was made with JSB Match Diabolo with 4.49mm heads, and the group measures 0.058-inches between centers.

Morini 162MI pistol case
The pistol comes with everything needed to start winning.

Morini 162MI pistol test target
You’ll never see a 5-shot group like this from me, so remember this!

Dry-fire

If you have been reading this blog for a year or longer you know that the dry-fire capability of any 10-meter pistol is extremely important. It was the first thing I sought in the manual, because that is how I get acquainted with any target pistol’s operation. There is no button to push on the 162 for dry-fire. Instead, the loading gate is only lifted halfway and the trigger is cocked without the striker being withdrawn. What a clever way of doing it!

The trigger came set at 510-514 grams from the factory. Since it must break at a minimum of 500 grams for competition, this is about as close as it can be set and still pass the test every time. About 480 grams of the pull are loaded into stage one, so stage two breaks with just 30-34 more grams of pressure.

Of course the trigger is fully adjustable for position, first and second stage pull and let-off. I found it adjusted the way I like it right from the box, but I suppose I will experiment with the trigger blade position as I learn the pistol.

I bet you want to know how the Morini trigger compares to the trigger on my FWB Model 2 pistol I recently acquired. I know I certainly did! Both triggers break with exactly the same feel because they are both set to the same weight. The Morini trigger has less feedback when it breaks, because the FWB mechanism is fully cocked and the Morini isn’t. That is the only difference I can detect.

Grips

This is a Morini pistol, so the walnut grips are excellent. Air pistol match rules mandate that the pistol must fit inside a box of certain dimensions, so the grips can’t wrap around the hand more than they do, but within the allowance you should be able to find an adjustment that works. I spent 30 minutes with the adjustments and got pretty much what I always want — the pistol grip has to be tilted sharply forward to align the sights. That locks the wrist tight. The stability this provides adds several points to my score.

I have shot other 10-meter pistols whose grips are even more adjustable than these, though. There doesn’t seem to be much side-to-side cant adjustment, and not much twisting of the barrel alignment, either. Adjusting these grips is mostly just setting the degree of rake you prefer.

Sights

Naturally the sights are adjustable for windage and elevation, but with a specialized target pistol like this you expect and get even more. The rear notch width adjusts within a small range and the width of the front post can be adjusted by positioning the post in one of three holes to move it closer or farther from the rear sight. Some shooters, and I am among them, prefer to see a wide white space on either side of the front post, while others want only the thinnest margin of separation. These adjustments allow the shooter to set exactly what is best.

Morini 162MI pistol front sight
Looking straight down the front post (arrow) can be positioned in one of three places.

Air handling

The Morini cylinders get pressurized to 200 bar, which is a pressure that’s commonly available to airgunners. Then a filled cylinder is screwed onto the frame and the gun is ready to go. As long as there is sufficient pressure in the tank, the gun can be cocked and fired. When the pressure drops below what’s required, a hook grabs the cocking lever. making it impossible to cock the pistol. The shooter can always manually push this lever aside and continue to shoot, but he must be aware that the velocity of the pellet that is normally around 500 f.p.s. will be falling.

Morini 162MI pistol pressure lever
As long as there is enough pressure remaining in the tank, that hook stays away from the cocking lever. When the pressure drops too low, the hook catches and prevents the gun from being cocked.

Unfortunately this lever also prevents dry-firing when the air pressure is too low unless it is manually moved each time. That is one drawback to the the way the dry-firing mechanism works on the 162.

The manual says you can expect to get 220 shots from each filled tank. That’s more than enough for a match (60 regular shots for a man, plus 10 qualifier shots if you finish among the top shooters), plus you have a spare tank in the case if you need it.

Weight

The 162MI weighs 1060 grams, which feels light to me, but is actually on the heavy side for competition air pistols these days. The one thing that wasn’t included with the gun are weights to adjust both the weight and balance of the gun. These days shooters seem to want very light pistols and I suppose adding weights would seem unnecessary on a gun that already weighs this much.

Test

I plan to test this pistol fully for you, and then we may get something extra. Pyramyd Air has asked me to test a Feinwerkbau P44 target pistol, too. I will test that one, which has long been the 10-meter target pistol of my dreams, and then I will do a comparison of the two guns as a finale.

The Morini 162MI is a genuine world-class 10-meter target pistol. This gun could be used to win a World Cup match today without any modifications. It isn’t common to have even one such pistol to examine, but if everything goes to plan we should have two to test and compare. If you are a fan of 10-meter pistols you should enjoy this series.

52 thoughts on “Morini 162MI 10-meter match pistol: Part 1





  1. I’m licking my lips to read these pistol reviews! I’ve recently bought a Baikal IZH 46M and have been enjoying it thoroughly. Interested to read about the sight adjustments. You talked about preferences for white lines either side of the front post, but what are your thoughts on sub-6 o’clock hold? How much white above the front post?




    • Where the heck did you buy this pistol? I thought all IZH products were unavailable. Actually, there might be an answer to how much white space below the bull. What I’ve heard is that you want to leave the smallest possible amount. Why? Because white space is very hard to measure with the eye, so once you start increasing it you will have no idea of how much. That means that the white space should be barely perceptible. This in effect would be equivalent to B.B.’s method of just touching the bottom of the bull. I have shied away from that because once I make contact the black of the sights tend to bleed into the bull. The minimal white space is my antidote, but in effect, it is the same technique.

      Matt61


      • Matt61, I’m in the UK: there doesn’t seem to be a Baikal shortage around here. Agree with you RidgeRunner – when I first held the pistol it actually hurt my hand to aim it. That was disappointing. It took time to mod the handle to my liking. The grip shape is not quite perfect yet, but the difference in comfort and control is already huge. Now it is difficult to put it down! The trigger is fantastic, it’s easy to pump, very accurate, but a tad heavy.


  2. I would love to hear a little more history of Morini as a company, they don’t seem to be involved in long arms at all, but are active in motorcycle production even today and have always made v twins, some lovely, sweet little 350 and 500’s during the 70’s and 80’s
    Google the Morini 350 Dart or the less pretty Kanguro, I wonder how this sits with the 10m air pistol commercially?


  3. Very nice. Not one,… but perhaps 2 high end pistols. Kind of like looking at a review of a very high end car which we may never see, sit in, let alone drive. Still, it is fun to look and dream. Thanks for breaking from the norm and giving us a look at the luxury side of air gunning. I like it and look forward to future reports.


    • Chris,

      Compared to a lot of sports, like golf or skiing the $1700 price of admission for a quality 10 meter target pistol is not really that high.

      Think about it – it is a one time investment (no green fees, memberships, lift fees, etc.) and you have an Olympic class, best in the world piece of equipment that will (with minimum maintenance) last your lifetime.

      I have a FWB100 10 meter pistol and I know I will never approach the capabilities of the pistol. It is such a fine piece of equipment that I can’t but smile when I pick it up – it shoots like a dream.

      I lucked into a deal on the 100. The PCP target pistols were coming out and the owner decided that he didn’t want a SSP anymore… got it for $200 (Canadian!! LOL!) and it has only seen casual use.

      If you ever get a chance to try a good 10 meter pistol you should probably take a pass and refuse because shooting one could have a detrimental effect on the savings account. 🙂

      And if you already are set up for the dark side then all you need is a can of pellets and you are good to go.

      Hank


      • Hank,

        Very true on all the above. Depending on what route I go, I could end up twice that. So, yea,… getting started and taking that first “plunge” is the biggest step with regards to the “darkside”. After that, like you said,….it’s all about the price of a new “toy” and some lead.

        Speaking of coin,….did you dig up anything on the Omega, like BB’s? I did some pretty extensive research and did not turn up much. I would like to see the owners manual. Parts/seals kits? Etc.

        I may just call them and see what I can turn up. I would like to hear/see some (independent) reviews. Plus, I am not sure how long it has been offered or if there has been any improvements over the first offering, if there is one. The Shoebox has gone through some Gen.1, Gen. 2, etc.. For the price, I would think that their web-site would be equipped to leave 0 questions. Period.

        If I can turn anything up, a call will be in order. It would be nice to hear from someone that actually owns one and could offer their input. Mmmmmm,…… who would that be? 😉

        Thanks again, Chris


        • Chris,

          I took a quick surf when I initially found out about the Omega HPA compressor and didn’t find much info so that put me in wait and see mode.

          Figured that it was too new to get real user experience at that time and at that price point I didn’t want to become an early adopter of what could be a boat anchor.

          Ted (of Teds Holdover) did a review of the Omega and he was impressed with it. That was a while ago and he has probably put a bunch of hours on it by now. Maybe he has done a follow-up review.

          I’ll look around a bit and get back to you.

          Hank


          • Hank,

            Thanks. It must be fairly new. I did ask BB more directly on the current blog. He’s got one, he uses it, he reviews airguns and airgun products. Need more be said?

            Then again, if he says get the current Shoebox 8, without much on the Omega,….I guess we would have an answer,…..reading more what is (not) said,…rather than what (is) said. We’ll see.


    • Chris, in the world of sport cars I am happily on the bottom rung with my 1990 Miata. However it is fun to read and watch reviews of cars like Aston Martin, Lambos, etc. BB’s test of this pistol makes me wonder if the Gamo Compact might be the Miata of air pistols.


      • K7,

        Yes, it is fun to look. Me?,… ’11 Rav. 4, quality and function. Consumer Report’s top pick year after year. Sporty?,….well that might be open to debate. Not bad though.

        Top quality, excellent function, really good price,…… ahhhh!,…. the “Holy Grail” and the ultimate paradox of all consumer goods.


        • Have you looked at TRD for upgrades?
          I had a coworker that was drag racing his ’87 Corolla after building a header and having the cylinder head complete with 4 Webers sent in from Puerto Rico.
          It took about a year for him to save up for the clutch kit but then it was on.
          “¡Ochenta en tres! “


          • Reb,

            No,…. no upgrades. It is what it is. I can not see trying to turn it into something that it is not. Plus, with all the crap on cars today, there is not a whole lot you can do without screwing up the whole works. In other words, not a good modding platform. Kind of like airguns,…..some are a good modding platform and others are not.


  4. BB,

    Oh yeah! Here we go! Now we are talking!

    I own one air pistol, my Izzy. I have played with a few others along the way, but nothing shoots near as nice. All the others quickly found new owners, but my Izzy has stayed.

    One day my Izzy might get replaced, but it will have to be something better.


  5. Herr.Pelletier:

    So, are there no provisions for attaching any counter weights? What would a shooter do to balance the pistol to his preference? Also, I’ve noticed that 10 meter and free pistols tend to place the shooter’s wrist in line with the axis of the bore. Is this the correct ergonomics, unlike something along Rhea lines of an HW75?
    Der Fischänder


  6. B.B.
    I am just as excited as you about the possibility of your testing 2 world class 10-m pistols. I only wish my skills could do them justice! Are globe sights permitted in 10-m competition? Would that give you a better sight picture?
    How long can you leave the extra tank filled? I assume that this gun is regulated, am I right?
    I would love to see a diagram of the mechanical trigger. Is it polished like the inside of a fine watch?
    Boy am I looking forward to this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks,
    Yogi



    • X2 on this report.
      Nowadays the boys and I shoot a lot of rimfire for plinking (having played far too much ‘Call of Duty’) because the like the louder ‘bang’.
      I am still however involved in a local 10m pistol league, everything from FWB to Avanti 747’s (and a couple of Gamo Compacts, myself included). This is one of my bucket list guns.


  7. I myself on open sights like a distinct white line on each side of the post. Of course I’m talking rifles. I don’t really shoot pistol. You can take advantage of the white line with windage compensation if needed too. Just like if you place the post high or low to the rear sight. Very simple to adjust hold over or under on open sights that way for distance shooting.


  8. I found that I had to increase the trigger pull of my IZH to get to 2+ lbs and match my 25 yard Bullseye .22 pistol. In the off season, I use the IZH for practice and in my case, I’ve found that trigger pull is key for getting good scores. It is too easy to pull the gun to the left or push it to the right when I squeeze the trigger. Everyone is trying to lighten their trigger pull and here I am having to increase the darn thing!

    Fred DPRoNJ


    • Fred
      Oh no! Not make your trigger heavier.

      Of course I’m just joking. I have to do that to my rifles also when I shoot. And each rifle has the trigger set different. Some are set light like the FWB 300 where the slide recoil system tames the the gun. But my hot rodded .25 Marauder likes a little heavier trigger because it tends to push back and pull the muzzle up a bit when it shoots.

      No telling what would happen if I set all the guns I have with a set trigger pull. I probably wouldn’t be able to get good groups anymore with them. Trigger pull weight is very important to a individual gun.





      • They found a couple arteries blocked and transported me to Abilene via ambulance.
        I had an angioplasty and a stent installed. Now I’m getting some circulation through my left foot.




            • Reb,

              Yes,…best of luck on getting all fixed up and back to your own “pad”. One thing for sure,… I’ll bet the staff has learned a whole lot about airgunning! I’ll bet too that your trigger finger is “itching” real bad. 😉 Chris


              • I was talking knives with one of my nurses earlier but no guns yet.
                I’m thinking about getting a full body angiography before they send me back.
                If my doctor will just show up so we can talk.




                    • Reb,

                      Eeeeaaakkk! Not one to talk, but after 3 days, the cigs. are out of your system. You did say you should just quit,….well,….you got a (real good) head start,….albeit not by your choice. Something to consider.


                    • Reb

                      You really ought to quit to cigarettes. You can keep the beer though. They contribute to your arteries getting blocked. I have had patients with limbs lopped off because of smoking.

                      Good to hear that they got to you in time or else you might be on a peg leg.

                      Praying for your recovery.


  9. I won’t be making any $1700 investment in a pistol which is why I love these reviews! That’s a nice test target, but what are the circumstances? Machine rest at 10 meters? On the subject of price, I looked up the new Ataman line from Russia, and I see that they are over $1000! What about the super-quality at ridiculously low prices that was the trademark of Russian guns? 🙁

    Mike, thanks for the info about the op rod spring that gives me more confidence that my M1 has been fixed for good. But what a ridiculous cause of grief for 5 years and more. That’s a shame for those great Korean rifles to be used for firing blanks. I understand that the M1 was being improved right up until the end. So even though the WWII era rifles have the most collector value, it is the Korean rifles that are the best built. I’m surprised you got them clean after their use. Is it possible that a rifle becomes dirty beyond repair? I sent my Mosin to a gunsmith for testing and cleaning, and he told me that the patches kept coming out dirty and that he couldn’t keep charging me. I ended paying $400 for the whole service. I’ve now had several range sessions where I swab the gun before and after with Sweet’s 7.62 followed by a full cleaning with a bronze brush and Hoppe’s and the patches are still filthy when I finish. I can’t believe that much stuff is packed in there. Maybe the debris gets somehow baked in there and becomes impossible to remove.

    Matt61


    • I wouldn’t worry too much about the barrel on the Mosin not being super clean. As long as it shoots well, no problem. Be careful with the Sweet’s, it’s very strong. I don’t think you need it each time you clean the rifle. Too much cleaning will wear on the barrel. Shoot and enjoy. Don’t over think it.

      Mike


    • Matt61′

      I would think, and BB could offer some real opinion, but I would guess,… that it would be some sort of machine rest/vise. After all, what can that pistol do?,…. minus all Human influence? Again, the theory that the Man can become the Machine,…the “Jaws”?. Man overcomes the Machine,…or at least becomes it’s equal.


  10. BB,

    Completely off-topic, but I found an extremely clean .177 BSF/Wischo 55N at the Roanoke show last fall, and would like to shoot it scoped occasionally, since my eyes are pretty bad for the iron sights.

    Can you suggest whether one of the UTG/Leapers Diana dovetail-to-Weaver bases might be compatible with the scope rail on this 55N? My example has the classic walnut stock with checkered, rounded grip & forward finger groves, but the top rail was never drilled & fitted with the small screw usually set into the left rear of the scope/aperture sight base; it is completely plain. I don’t know the rail’s length, or its thickness at the front above the compression tube, but I can measure these and forward the info to you if that would be helpful. I did not know whether you still have the 55N you reviewed in the recent past to check on this.(It just occurred to me that I could check its dimensions against the rail on my Diana 54 T01.)

    I’ve also considered using a one-piece BKL mount, perhaps with droop compensation as a simpler alternative; I don’t know whether BKL’s separate two-piece, non-drooper mounts are capable of the same grip as their one piece.

    I would appreciate your opinion on the best path.

    Thanks!

    Lance


    • Lance,

      Welcome to the blog.

      BSF rails are small, so get a base that has narrow legs. BKL 2-piece rings clamp just as well as their one-piece. No problem there. But they make bases with wider and narrower clamps. Avoind anything made for BSA, as they will be too wide.

      My rail is 4.4 inches long by .44 inches across the top.

      B.B.


  11. Matt61– Try wipe out. I have been using it for 5-6 years. I have 4 Mosins ( one was made in 1898) and wipe out got the bores down to bare metal in a few days. It was also able to remove the fouling in my .220 swift. The first time that I saw a clean bare metal bore in 20 years. Wipe out is my first choice when I clean my rifles. Look up their web site for details. Ed



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