Umarex Brodax CO2 revolver: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Brodax revolver
Umarex Brodax revolver.

This report covers:

  • Unusual air pistol
  • Brodax .44 Super Magnum
  • Loading
  • Pleasant grip
  • Action
  • Safety
  • CO2 in grip
  • Sights
  • 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.

Brodax revolver name
Even the name is fanciful.

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.

Loading

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.

Brodax revolver clip out
Spring-loaded pin (arrow) is pushed forward and up to remove the circular clip. BBs are pushed into the front of each chamber to load.

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.

Pleasant grip

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.

Action

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!

Safety

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.

Brodax revolver safety
Safety switch sits behind the hammer and is pushed forward to engage.

Brodax revolver hammer cocked safety
When the hammer is cocked the safety is both inaccessible and cannot be applied.

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.

Brodax revolver grip off
The left grip panel removes for the CO2 cartridge. The grip has a hex wrench permanently installed for piercing.

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.

Sights

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!

Overall evaluation

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!

28 thoughts on “Umarex Brodax CO2 revolver: Part 1

  1. I like all of these CO2 pistols and rifles! Saying that I like the ones that shoot pellets over the BBs! Why? Most of the pistols that have CO2 built into the grips seems to have a lot of problems without sizing the BBs and then depending on the magazine parts where the follower is located seems the BBs shoot out all over the place and stick in the gun on their own! Can’t pull trigger for BBs? The spring on followers seem to be inconsistent! NOW I purchase these BB pistols only when I may purchase them for about nothing! From Big stores and little stores! I don’t shoot them much! I think they are neat and fun to take apart and tune and whatever? And have some of them to be accurate. If the price is right! I don’t think the CO2 combined magazine works that well! And they all seem to be very similar! I Sounds like a crying time again I guess? Not my nature! I have the good pistols and rifles and some of the top ones! I read about these and go get a deal and purchase them! CO2 pistols mainly instead of the rifles? Then most the time I’m disappointed with them! Semper fi!


  2. Does the safety operate with the hammer back at all?
    Meaning… if you can get a pick or something to move the safety. Would it then work?
    Too bad they don’t have a tab on either side of it to operate it if it does actually work when cocked.


  3. I like the design of the clip. Kind of reminds me of the Crosman 1077 clip set up. And for some reason it’s making me think this pistol just may be accurate for a BB pistol.

    And I do like the idea of the accessory rail. I think I can see some serious can killing happening with a nice lazer mounted on it.


  4. B.B.

    I was disappointed to read that the front and rear sights are fixed. At the very least an adjustable rear sight (windage and elevation both) should be a mandatory feature. I have the Smith and Wesson M&P R8, and I think it has the adjustable rear sight.

    Is the magazine also plastic? The S&W M&P R8 magazine is plastic. I made the mistake of leaving two BBs in the R8 magazine when I put the gun away in storage. When I pulled it back out a year or two later, I discovered that the magazine had cracked open where the two BBs were still in the holes. I was looking at this Broadax magazine and thinking it may be more durable. Umarex never made accessory magazines for the M&P R8 that I ever saw. The Pyramyd Air site is showing accessory magazines for the Broadax, so that’s good.



  5. B.B.,

    I have been eagerly awaiting this report for a while now. All revolvers look to cool to me, but this is stunning. I wonder how many sci-fi action movies will end up using these as a foundation for a prop gun, just adding a doo-dad here and there.

    Michael




        • Duskwight,

          I’m glad you brought up the Bladerunner pistol. High quality no-function replicas of them sell for hundreds of dollars. If Umarex (are you listening/reading Umarex? I hope you are!) paid a licensing fee to whomever and came out with a Bladerunner BB (better yet, pellet) version that was quite well done, oh boy! I would buy two. One to stay in the box and one to plat with.

          Michael


      • B.B.,

        The phrase “mostly plastic” is usually music to my ears. When someone writes or says, “Mostly plastic,” all I am able to hear is “Affordable”! Lets face it, this is not meant to be a CO2 handgun competitor to an Air Arms TX. This is supposed to be a “fun gun..” If it is accurate for a BB handgun, I will get one. (Or two.) The phrase you use, and probably coined, is “minute-of-soda-can.” If this will reliably kill soda cans 15-20 feet from my patio, that will be good enough for me. And hey, plastic is fine.

        How much plastic does one suppose is in the international space station or any of the remaining space shuttles? How much plastic is in half of the high-end semi-auto pistols (powder burners) on the market today?

        This one has me excited.

        Michael


  6. B.B.

    Hello and sorry for being off for too long. Well, there wasn’t much to report, anyway. But now there is – pieces are starting to come together.

    I received a long-waited batch of parts so today I can show some progress: http://i68.tinypic.com/2zgwytj.jpg
    Big piece on the top is receiver, all assembled together with bypass and bypass lever, minus barrel and rubber rings. It’s complete set of parts for receiver and now all I have to do is to fit them together (“simply” fit them together, ha-ha, it’s going to be a lot of very slow and careful work). Trigger assy is easily recognizable, as well as synchro casing to the right. So things are taking shape and I believe I can now earn some extra money growing bonsai – my patience grows to be on par with that of the mountain 🙂

    A little update on my “Dark Side” shooting – I’ve updated my firearms license and bought a Vepr-12 semi-auto shotgun. Looks, sounds and smells quite impressive, leaves holes wider than anybody’s worst group but compared to a well-tuned airgun it’s a sledgehammer compared to a scalpel. It boasts some sheer and brute power, but lacks finesse and elegance of the shot – and the art of calculating the wind and distance. Good for some cardboard zombie fighting fun, but doesn’t give you the opportunity to relax, meditate and “live” the shot process. So I like it, but my heart belongs to airguns.

    duskwight


    • Duskwight,

      I have too many questions,.. to even start asking. Very nice! Your project is the “ultimate” tuners dream. I am just glad to see that it still progressing. Please,…. keep us updated.

      Forget “tuner”,…. you are a (Builder). Keep at it,.. and all of my best wishes that it turns out to be everything that you hope it to be.

      Chris


    • Duskwight,

      For those of us that don’t have a good memory anymore (like me), and for those newer to the blog, would you be so kind as to remind us the type of airgun you are designing and making, along with some basic parameters like: caliber(s), projected length, weight, FPE or FPE range, etc.

      Thanks, Comrade D!, and greetings from North Carolina, USA

      David H.


      • David H,

        Do not feel bad,…. me too. As best I recall, it is an opposing piston design. Note he mentioned the “synchro” device. As I recall, by having 2 pistons moving in opposite directions, towards each other.. the normal “thump” of a springer could be eliminated. Timing of the 2 pistons would the tricky part. I think swept volume would be increased as well. The only thing that I remember is that he was trying to pare down each part to eliminate weight, while keeping all essential function. Hope I got that right. 🙁

        So like you, I could use a “parameter” refresher myself.


    • duskwight,

      Long time no hear from you! It’s good to hear you are still with us.

      Your parts are beautiiful. I can remember back when you were talking about doing this. I never thought you would do it. Now you are on to an advanced design! Wow!

      As for the shotgun, whatever makes you happy. I was always a lousy shotgun shot until I picked up a Browning Auto 5 in 20 gauge. It changed my life! I have never missed a shot (on crows) with that gun.

      So enjoy your Vepr.

      B.B.


  7. Tom,

    Great report. I’m looking forward to the rest of your reports on the Bordax. I like revolvers in general and specifically like the looks of this one.

    You mentioned that the safety is unique. I have one other Umarex revolver that has a similar safety. I believe that you mentioned a similar safety on one of you other reports. Maybe the John Wayne revolver.

    Thanks for this report.

    Off topic: Will you be at the Malvern Airgun Extravaganza on the 29th and 30th? If yes, will you have a table? Thanks.

    Hope you are feeling better,

    Jim


  8. BB
    Off topic but I see Hamilton will remain on the $10 bill as a result of the musical. Here’s the “rest of the story.”
    Hamilton is said to have fired his shot into the air during the famous duel with Burr. Hamilton supplied the pistols which, unusual for dueling pistols, had rifled barrels and adjustable sights. They both also had a hidden st trigger, which was set by pushing the trigger forward. It’s possible Hamilton’s gun fired from the weight of the trigger alone if it was set too fine. Burr wouldn’t have known about the set trigger and used the normal pull weight to fire the fatal shot This was discovered when the pistols were disassembled to make replicas in the 70’s. See Smithsonian Magazine, Nov. 76.
    And now you know…..
    Fido3030


  9. Umarex. Could spend their time better offering more barrel options for the Peacemaker, or maybe a top break S&W Schofield,and a bunch of other revolvers.Pass


  10. Rather than fantasy revolvers , would like to see cartridge using versions of revolvers like the S&W models 10 and 19, model of 1917 , Colt Official Police ,New Service, and Trooper


  11. Pingback: Umarex Brodax CO2 revolver: Part 3 | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

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