by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Unusual air pistol
- Brodax .44 Super Magnum
- Pleasant grip
- CO2 in grip
- Kudos to Umarex!
- Overall evaluation
Today we begin looking at the Brodax revolver, a CO2-powered BB revolver from Umarex. At $40, it’s going to command a lot of attention.
Unusual air pistol
I said when I first saw this unusual revolver at the 2016 SHOT Show that it looks like something Hellboy would carry. Well, it still does. Or perhaps it’s an S&W TR8 on steroids. The lug with rail under the barrel is wide and flat and there is a cantilevered Picatinney rail above the barrel that gives a depth to the barrel no other revolver can match. The look is unique to the Brodax.
Brodax .44 Super Magnum
Just for the record, writing on the left side of the underlug/barrel jacket says .Brodax .44 Super Magnum. Now, there is no .44 Super Magnum cartridge, so, just as the appearance of the gun is out of a dream, so is the name. Elgin Gates once tested a cartridge that was longer than the .44 Magnum and he called it a .44 Super Magnum, but it was never commercially produced. There is a .445 Super Magnum cartridge, but it is exotic and not commonly seen. But there is no .44 Super Magnum.
The airgun is almost entirely synthetic on the outside, with only the trigger and hammer being made of metal. It weighs 1.5 pounds on the nose with no CO2 cartridge installed. Of course the synthetic construction is why the weight is so low. If this gun were made of metal, the weight would be around 4 lbs. because of the thick jacket around the barrel, and shooters would complain.
The grip is made of the same dull black synthetic as the rest of the gun. It’s smooth without being slick. The finish is pebbled for roughness, but the plastic negates that. A slight palm swell on both sides of the grip makes it fit the hand very well.
Unlike many BB revolvers, the Brodax cylinder does not come out of the gun. It is cast in place. To load the gun you must remove a thin circular clip at the rear of what looks like the cylinder. A spring-loaded pin on the left side of the gun is pushed forward and rotated up to lock out of the way. Then the clip is pushed out, right-to-left. This rotating clip actually indexes on the rear of the spring-loaded barrel.
Up to 10 BBs are loaded into the front side (barrel side) of the clip, only. At the rear of the clip the holes are too small to accept a BB. They only allow gas to flow through. When the BB is loaded it goes into the chamber as far as it will go, stopping against a shoulder in the chamber.
As large as the gun’s overall profile seems, the grip is actually medium-sized and fits my hand very well. In fact, I must say I really like how the gun feels in my hand. I wish I owned a firearm revolver that felt so good. The trigger is at just the right place to reach easily and the double action trigger-pull has got to be the very lightest I have ever encountered.
The Brodax functions in both single and double action. As I just mentioned, the double action pull is light and smooth, and the single action pull is fantastic! I just hope this revolver is accurate. If it is, BB-gun fans everywhere are going to want one!
The safety on the Brodax is unique. Located behind the hammer, it can be applied whenever the revolver is uncocked, preventing both the trigger from being pulled and the hammer being cocked. But once the gun is cocked, the safety is both inaccessible and inoperable because of the gun’s design. All you can do then is lower the hammer slowly after releasing it by pulling the trigger. So, this isn’t a safety that can be applied after the gun is cocked.
CO2 in grip
The CO2 cartridge fits inside the grip panels, as is common for gas pistols these days. The left panel pries off to give access to install the cartridge. The left panel also has an Allen wrench permanently attached to tighten the CO2 piercing screw.
I must comment here that the grip panels on the Brodax are tighter than tight! There is zero movement to them and the left panel even takes a little work to pry off. This is a weak point on some CO2 pistols, so take note.
The sights are fixed, front and rear. They are a low ramp in front and a wide rear notch cast into the rear of the frame. Of course there are accessory rails both above and below the barrel for dot sights, lasers, flashlights and more, so the array of possible sighing options is quite large.
The pistol is rated to 375 f.p.s., which is hot without being excessive. That suggests a large shot count that I will test and report in Part 2. And a normal BB trap is all that’s needed to catch what comes out of this one.
Kudos to Umarex!
I read the manual that came with the pistol and was delighted to see it recommend putting a drop of RWS Air Chamber Lube on the tip of each fresh CO2 cartridge before piercing. If owners will do this their guns will last for many years. This is one of the first times I have seen this recommendation in a manual, so hats off the Umarex!
When I first saw it at the SHOT Show I thought the Brodax was a joke. The appearance threw me for a loop. But now that I’ve had my hands on it I see this may be a very exciting new BB pistol. It all depends on how the tests go. The price is certainly in the right place. Let’s hope this one wins!