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 Instead, the loading gate is only lifted halfway and the trigger is cocked without the striker being withdrawn.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.