Lov 21 CO2 pistol: Part 1
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
The Lov 21 is a CO2 target pistol made in the Czech Republic. It doesn’t look like much, but people speak well of it in Canada and Europe.
This report covers:
- Findlay 2017
- Still in production
- First impression
This day was always coming, and today it’s here. The day I review an airgun I have never seen or even heard of. You won’t find it in the Blue Book of Airguns, either. The Lov 21 single shot .177 caliber pellet pistol is from Lovena-Druzstvo in Prague. That’s in the Czech Republic.
And, with that, I have told you most of what I know about this air pistol. Oh, there is lots more to tell, but we are going to have to discover it together!
Remember the Findlay airgun show I wrote about earlier this year? Do you recall that Pyramyd Air was selling the remnants of an airgun dealership they had purchased? This pistol came from that dealer.
The price marked on the box (yes, it was new in the box and they had several) was $120.95. Looking at the gun, I would say that price is the reason so many were left over, because upon close examination it appears to be a $40 air pistol at best. I gave half that for it — just to have another odd duck to tease you with.
When Tyler Patner told me about this pistol he was sure I knew all about it, and of course I went along. Have to keep up the charade, you know? When I first saw it, I thought it must be a variation of a Drulov I hadn’t seen.
The gun’s appearance does remind me of the Drulov DU-10 target pistol Pyramyd Air sold many years ago. But that was a semiautomatic repeater (There — I just remembered another semiauto pellet pistol! Yesterday I couldn’t remember any besides the Desert Eagle.) and the Lov 21 is a single shot. I saw some speculation on a Canadian airgun forum of that same general similarity to the Drulov.
Still in production
In my research I found the pistol for sale on a UK airgun website and several other European sites, so it’s still being produced. And the UK retail price of 90 pounds works out to around $116, so the price marked on the box is legit.
I’m treating it as an obsolete model, though, because I think here in the U.S. it would be difficult to find a new one for sale. It certainly isn’t being sold by mainstream U.S. airgun dealers.
It really looks like the maker saw a Crosman Mark I or Mark II and tried to reproduce it in plastic. It looks so similar, cocks the same way and has an adjustable rear target sight. The grips are even contoured as ambidextrous target grips.
Crosman’s Mark I/II target pistol was wonderful for its era (1960s to the ‘80s). Is the Lov 21 a modern copy?
Like the Crosman Mark I/II, the Lov has cocking “wings” on either side of the receiver. Pull them forward to cock the gun. There is just one power level.
The rear sight adjusts in both directions. There are no detents and the windage is a push/pull arrangement with screws on both sides.
The trigger is shockingly light. It feels like a direct sear, which gives me some concerns about safety. I will test for that in part 2. There is no adjustment, so you get whatever the gun has to offer, but all the reports I read say the trigger is light and crisp. So, this one is not unique.
Speaking of safety, the Lov 21 has none. It’s all up to the shooter!
The pistol is all-plastic outside. The color is black all over and the finish is smooth to the extent of being slippery.
In the owner’s manual, which is written in the Czech language with only a poorly-copied German translation, they show a different type of CO2 cartridge that appears to have an attachment screwed on its end. That would mean that the end of the cartridge would have to be threaded, which our 12-gram cartridges are not. The “piercing cap” has a blunt post inside that looks more like it pushes open a valve (in the screwed-on portion?) than it actually pierces a CO2 cartridge. I made it pierce the cartridge, but it sure didn’t want to.
In this manual drawing we see something (arrow) that appears to be screwed to the end of a CO2 cartridge.
This drawing shows the cartridge separate from the gun. That “thing” is attached to the neck.
And there is the piercing “pin” inside the cap. See why I think there must be something else? That flat pin was not designed to pierce a CO2 cartridge by itself.
A UK website says to expect velocities of 135 meters per second, which converts 443 f.p.s. That’s right where you want a target pistol to be.
The bolt has no o-ring. It’s just a plain pin that slides back and forth. It also does not rotate to lock in place, like I would expect. The Crosman Marks I/II have both things. Do you need them? This test will find out.
Continuing along the crudeness line, the rear sight adjusts in both directions without detents. That’s disconcerting on a target gun. Also, in another strange Crosman Mark I/II similarity, the windage adjusts by two opposing push/pull screws. Yes, I think someone saw a Crosman pistol when this airgun was designed.
If the targets I see on the internet are real, we can expect great accuracy from the Lov 21. If it is that accurate (quarter-inch 5-shot groups at 10 meters?) and if the trigger is safe, then the high price is more than justified, and I will have discovered something I never thought would be built — a Crosman Mark I/II target pistol in the 21st century!
This will be a fun test, because it’s not often I get to test an airgun I never heard of! Everything will be new to me.